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The Way Back From Backslidding

(Hosea 4:16) “For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer:” The term “backslider” was not invented by man, but rather God to describe anyone who has slipped back into their old sinful ways of carnality. In other words, they once were people who walked with God, but for one reason or another they are now filled with the flesh and walking again in their old ways. (Prov. 14:14)“A backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.” The most dangerous place to be as a Christian is in a selfish self-centered place and backslidden away from the Lord. Why? Because when someone is backslidden, they are hard to reach, hard to talk to, and even harder toward God’s Word, for every backslider thinks that he/she has a good reason for why they are in their backslidden place and frame of mind. Usually people are backslidden  because of an offense, or some discouragement, or possibly the result of a trial that caused them to quit, but thank God He has a plan to bring back the backslider. 1) Re…

What's In Your Heart?

(Mark 7:20-23)  “And he said, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” We as believers need to protect our hearts above all else, for the heart will either lead you into sin or away from it. There is no such thing as a sin gene! Man is no more predisposed to be a thief  than he is to be an adulterer or homosexual. Sin is always a choice and never does God say in His Word that it’s natures fault. (Pr. 4:23) says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” 1) The Heart is part of our Human Nature. So, it needs to be given over to Christ, controlled by the Holy Spirit, and fed God’s Word,  or it will produce the above sins on its own.The heart is not naturally good, but rather evil by nature. (Jer 17:9) “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desp…

Living In Faith Rather Than Failure

(Judges 16:28) "And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." In (Heb. 11:32) Samson is immortalized for his faith, but just what type of faith is he immortalized for? All of Sampson's life he was considered under what is called a Nazarite vow. He was to abstain from intoxicating drinks, he was not to cut his hair nor touch anything dead, and he was to be holy and consecrated to the Lord, but as we read about his life in the Word of God, he wasn’t real faithful to the keeping of his vows. So where was his faith? Well, Samson was honored because God’s Spirit was his power, and although he lived unrighteously, he did repent of his sin at the end of his life and glorified God. Sometimes trials in this life are brought by God to bring us back to faith in Him again. Many times, we as stubborn Christians continue in our co…

The Lessons Of Fear And Doubt

(Mark 6:51-52) “And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure and wondered.For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” Faith is taught over time by a series of lessons of fear and doubt. In the above verse, Jesus had just walked on water to rescue the disciples from a terrible storm, and upon entering the ship the storm ceased and all became calm. In the above verses the Holy Spirit wants us to see that the apostles’ hearts were “hardened” because they feared and forgot about the miracle “of the loaves.” How often in the storms of life do we as Christians fear and toil in our own strength, forgetting to seek Christ’s help, demonstrating unbelief  or a “hard heart.” The apostles just witnessed the power of Jesus when he fed 5,000 men with just 5 loaves and two fish, and yet they still had trouble trusting in him. At least in (Matt. 14:28) Peter seeing Jesus walk on water asked to…
(Mark 6:7) “And he called unto him the twelve and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;” The calling of God is more than just a call to be saved, it’s also a calling to mature spiritually. When we first get saved, we are considered “babes in Christ” (1 Peter 2:2). Meaning that newly saved people know very little about God, spiritual life, or the Bible. Therefore, spiritual growth (like the growth of a child) takes place over time. Jesus sent his disciples “forth to preach,” to experience the ministry first hand and to learn to live by his power. Three lessons are seen here.1)Come to Christ. The apostles saw that they needed to come and follow Jesus to grow in faith, but unfortunately today not all believers see the need to spend time listening to him and his Word. There are two ways that we spend time with Jesus; first is in personal devotions, and the second is when we come to church and are fed by God’s Word. If a Christian is not doing b…

The Resurrection, Fact or Faked

(Matt. 28:6) "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."  All throughout history there have been men who have tried to disprove the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why they do is totally subjective to each, but what they all have in common is the rejection of Jesus coming back from the dead of his own power. For if he did, they would have to believe him. Some of the many foolish theories are: 1) Unknown Tomb Theory.  That the followers of Christ never really knew where Jesus was entombed because the Roman soldiers use to bury criminals in unmarked graves. 2) Wrong Tomb Theory. That the woman and disciples went to the wrong tomb, but if that were so, the Roman soldiers stood guard over the wrong tomb also, and Joseph of Arimathea forgot where his own tomb was. 3) Legend Theory. That the resurrection story like  most folk stories was embellished over hundreds of years by religious zealots. 4)Mass Hallucination T…

To Whom Is The Arm Of The Lord Revealed

(Isaiah 53:1) "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" In the above verse the "arm of the Lord" is the "strength of God." In other words, to whom is the strength of God revealed. In (Isaiah 53) the strength of God is none other than Jesus Christ, but he is only revealed to those who hear and believe. The above prophesy was given to this world 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ ever happened, and yet it reveals to us an accurate account of Jesus Christ, what he would be like, and what he would endure to pay for the sins of mankind. 1) He came as a "tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground."Israel was dead spiritually when Christ came, yet from the dried roots of Israel, and from the stem of the tribe of Jesse came a "tender" man called Jesus. 2) What was he like? (v.2)"no form or comeliness." Average looking, and yet very humble in his mannerism. 3) How was …

The Importance Of Faith

(Mark 6:5-6) "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief..." Interesting enough in (Mark chp.5) Jesus performed many miracles, but when he went home to Nazareth their unbelief prevented God from being able to do much there. (Heb.11:6) says "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." The main reason that we as believers do not see the great miracles of God today is simply because we do not believe God when he promises something. 1) God wants us to "prove Him." Proving God means to trust in Him and His Word. Without faith in God's Words, He  cannot do what He promises, for He is bound by His Word. God's Word has been given so that we would have something to trust in and hope for. When we demonstrate belief, and trust in His …

Living Without Honor

(Mark 6:4-5) "But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." In the above story, Jesus went home to his home town where people knew him and saw him grow up. Everywhere else that he went people followed, and as a result, great miracles happened but in his own hometown not much happened because of their unbelief.Jesus wanted his disciples to understand this great truth. You see, people that know us the best have the hardest time with us changing after salvation because they judge us by the past and not the present. When we get saved, we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17)."Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new." It takes a while for "kin" and friends to see that we are different, because they knew us before. Therefore "our hon…

Why So Much Demonic Possession and Oppression In Israel

(Mark 5:2) "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit...,"Have you ever wondered why there was so much demon possession and oppression in Israel during the days of Jesus? There are some that say that all physical diseases are demonic, but the scripture does not teach that. No, the real reason lies in Israel's past. In (Duet. 28) God promised Israel before they entered into the promised land, continued blessings if they would follow Him and his Word; freedom from sickness, victory over their enemies, protection from evil, and a bountiful and happy life, but because Israel didn't listen "all the curses" that he was going to put upon Israel's enemies He said, "shall now pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed"(45). One of the greatest blessings Israel had was God's protection from Satan's influence. That's why God wanted all the occult pictures, al…

Re: Faith That Removes Mountains

Pastor, remember to send these to jonhohlf.wsbc@blogger.com not to my email address. The correct address is saved on your computer under the name "Pastor's Corner"

Jon

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From: Jon Hohlfeld <76mavstallion@outlook.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2019 11:05:47 AM
To: jonhohlf.wsbc@blogger.com
Subject: Faith That Removes Mountains
From: Pastor Rick Sella <pastorsella@westsalembaptist.org>
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2019 9:45:05 AM
To: Jon Hohlfeld
Subject: Faith That Removes Mountains (Mark 11:23) "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."Over a hundred years ago, the great evangelist Dr. R. A. Torrey told the story of one little church in Maine that was dead spiritually. In fact, most of the churches in that town were pret…

Obeying The Will Of God

(Mark 4:35) "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side." In the above verse the will of Jesus was to "pass over" to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. So, as obedient disciples that night they left not knowing that ahead was a fierce storm that would ultimately threaten their lives, and little did they know that this test was allowed by God to teach them faith. 1) To Trust in God's Plan. Whatever the will of God is, God will help us do it. The apostles were able because they had Christ with them in their vessel, for Jesus said, "I will never leave thee or forsake thee." Sometimes the storms of life hinder us from following God's will, but one thing is for certain when Jesus is within us, there is no storm that can stop us. 2) Trust in God's Peace. Once Jesus was aware of the storm, all his disciples had to do was trust in him to handle the situation. Trials teach us that Jesus …

Faith That Removes Mountains

(Mark 11:23) "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."Over a hundred years ago, the great evangelist Dr. R. A. Torrey told the story of one little church in Maine that was dead spiritually. In fact, most of the churches in that town were pretty dead, but in this one particular church a few of its godly men decided to petition God for a miracle, and so they said, "here we are, uneducated laymen, but let us form a praying band, and center our prayers on the salvation of one man." So, they decided on one of the hardest men in town, a hopeless drunkard, and centered their prayers on him. To their amazement in just a week this man was converted. Seeing therefore the impossible become possible, they began to pray for another, and then another, unti…

Things That Hinder Revival

(Jonah 3:5) "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them... (4:1) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry."Imagine if you willone of the largest and most wicked kingdoms of all time, repenting of their sin and turning to the God of heaven, and Jonah became angry. In fact he refused to rejoice in the repentance of a sinner. 1) Jonah's heart was not right with God. Jonah had seen the terrible things that the people of Nineveh did to Israel. They stole their possessions, raped their woman, killed and murdered Israel's fathers, and then enslaved their children. They were pagan, immoral, exceedingly wicked, and yet God still wanted Jonah to preach to them. For it wasn't until Jonah was in the belly of the whale that he truly surrendered to do so. You see, Jonah saw the forgiveness of God upon the Ninevites as wrong and so he refused to rejoice in their reviva…

The Importance of Bible Study

(Psalm 119:11,15) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee... I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways." I wonder how many believers today truly study God's Word? Too many people today are satisfied with an electric device that will open up a good Bible program, but never do they hold a real tangible Bible in their hands or mark it up with notes where the Holy Spirit spoke to them during devotions. Too often believers read a verse for the day, or some prewritten devotional, but never do they sit and really study God's Word as God intended. I'm just old fashioned enough to look back at my 40 years of Bible reading to say that I'm on my 4th Bible. Having old used Bibles on my shelf that look like they went through a war (which they did). Having pages scribbledwith notes that go back to a time where God specifically spoke to me about something important. Bibles with tear and coffee stained pages that comforted …

The Importance Of Studying A Real Bible

(Psalm 119:11,15) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee... I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways." I wonder how many believers today truly study God's Word? Too many people today are satisfied with only having some electric device that will open up a good Bible program, but never do they hold a real tangible Bible in their hands or mark it up with notes when the Holy Spirit speaks to them during devotions. Too often believers read a verse for the day, or some prewritten devotional, but never do they sit and really study God's Word for themselves as God intended. I'm just old fashioned enough to look back at my 40 years of Bible reading to say that I'm on my 4th Bible, for I have three older Bibles on my book shelf that look like they went through a war (which they did). Each having pages scribbledwith notes that go back to a time when God specifically spoke to me about something important during my lif…

True Love

(Song of Solomon 8:7) "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."  In the above verse, Solomon is expressing the strength of a real love between two people who are committed to each other, especially in the Lord. True love is indestructible. 1) True love came from God. God so loved man that he gave man the ability to not just love Him but also his mate in life. (Gen. 2:22) "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." That day, God gave a precious gift to Adam. It was someone to complete him, someone like him, from inside him, someone who could share life with, and a love like no other in this world. When Eve was given to Adam it was for life and not just until he found another. That's why Adam said, "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: an…

Is there An Unpardonable Sin

(Mark 3:29) "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:" So, is there a sin that can be committed that is unforgivable? According to the above verse there is, but how is this sin committed, and can a saved person commit it?
1) What is the unforgivable sin?  Well, it's not a one-time blasphemy but rather a "settled position" where someone refuses to believe God's Word while at the same time rejecting the convicting power of God's Holy Spirit, adding blasphemy to unbelief. The religious Pharisees of Jesus' day were so in denial that they even attributed Christ's miracles to the devil making themselves as stated above, "in danger of eternal damnation." In other words, they had not totally committed this sin yet, but were in danger of doing so and its unforgiveness, if they continued in their unbelief and blasphemy. 2) Can a saved person commit it?No!!!A saved believer is…

The Peril Of Religion

(Mark 2:27-28) "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." It has been a problem ever since the fall of man that man has desired to add religion to God's Words. In the above verse Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for placing the Sabbath above the everyday needs of man. The Sabbath was important to keep, but not at the expense of neglecting charity toward each other.  RELIGION MUST NEVER BE: 1) A substitute for God's Truth.  God warned man not to add to or take from his Word, and God's Word tells us that God is a God of compassion and mercy, butthe Jew created a religion that would rather see a man starve than eat on the Sabbath or remain crippled than see him healed. Be careful not to leave God's truth for the way of religion. 2) A substitute for Christ. Jesus is "Lord of the Sabbath," meaning that as God himself his Sabbath represented more t…

Becoming A Fisher Of Men

(Mark 1:17-18) “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him.” Only Jesus can turn average men into soulwinners, but without one’s surrender to God’s calling there will be  no men caught for Christ. Jesus asked them to 1) Forsake their past. All these disciples new was fishing. These men were asked to leave their old way of  life for a new way of life, and immediately they did so! You and I cannot win men to Christ without this first step. God does not call everybody to be full time pastors and missionaries, but he does call every believer to forsake their old way of life for a new life patterned after Christ. 2) Follow Him Jesus said, “come after me,” which means change your direction and plans for mine. Following is a commitment to surrender one’s will to the will of Christ. God does not force anyone to follow, but He does expect it if we desire to “catch men” for the kingdom of God.…

The Purpose Of Christ's Temptation

(Mark 1:12-13) “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.” In the above verse the Word of God mentions twice that Jesus after his baptism was directed or driven immediately by the Holy Ghost into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. The wilderness is a picture of the place of testing just as it was for Israel in the wilderness after coming out of Egypt. For as the Jew immediately was driven into the wilderness for a purpose, so are we after salvation driven by the Spirit to the place of testing to teach us about faith and God’s Word. God directed Jesus to fast for 40 days not to prove that he could but rather to bring him to his weakest point as an example to us that even when weak and discouraged we can have faith in times of testing. For the power of Jesus over Satan was not found in his human flesh but rather in His Father’s Word…

John's Baptism Is Not The Same AS Our Baptism

(Mark 1:4) “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”The Bible teaches us that all the land of Israel came out to be baptized of John in the Jordon. Why? 1) John baptized the Jew in preparation for the coming Jesus. According to scripture Johnwas sent by God to make Israel ready to hear and receive the words of Christ. Although John used the same method of baptism (by immersion) his baptism was not the same as our baptism is today. 2) Our baptism today is both one of consecration and identification with Christ. When Jesus was baptized it wasn’t a baptism of repentance for sin but rather it was a baptism of consecration, just as the OT priest was cleansed in water prior to serving at age 30, so was Christ.  Jesus’ baptism was a prerequisite of the type of baptism that we practice. Not only are we consecrated as “priests and kings”(Rev. 1: 6) into a new life once we’re saved, we also identify with him and his ministry upon our b…