GOD IN THREE PERSONS

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 (KJB)

The belief in one God is standard among those who believe in God among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; and there could be others. We begin to part in our beliefs when we as Christians believe that God is revealed in Scriptures as three in One God.

I am not going to try and explain it. It is only fully understood by God Himself, but the answer is the Scripture clearly shows us in the text above, the presence of the Triune Godhead (Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9), at work on the day of our Lord’s baptism.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descending, the voice of the Father speaking, “Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.”

You can believe what the Bible says, or you can choose not to believe, but there it is.

The words of the blessed old Hymn came to my mind as I thought of these Scripture verses this morning. The following are verses 1 and 4 of Holy, Holy, Holy:

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy; Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy; Merciful and Mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

 

Evidence Given Us From God

“This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son.

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:6-12 (KJB)

From the Geneva Bible Translation Notes for 1 John 5:6…

“(8) This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; (9) not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the (g) Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

(8) He proves the excellency of Christ, in whom only all things are given us by six witnesses, three heavenly, and three earthly, who wholly and completely agree together. The heavenly witnesses are, the Father who sent the Son, the Word itself, which became flesh, and the Holy Spirit. The earthly witnesses are water, (that is our sanctification) blood, (that is, our justification) the Spirit, (that is, acknowledging of God the Father in Christ by faith) through the testimony of the Holy Spirit. (9) He warns us not to separate water from blood (that is sanctification from justification, or righteousness, begun from righteousness imputed) for we do not stand on sanctification, but so far as it is a witness of Christ’s righteousness imputed to us: and although this imputation of Christ’s righteousness is never separated from sanctification, yet it is the only matter of our salvation.

(g) Our spirit which is the third witness, testifies that the holy Sprit is truth, that is to say, that that is true which he tells us, that is, that we are the sons of God.” Geneva Bible Translation Notes

 

My Father and I Work

It was a constant battle which Jesus fought.  Accusations of blasphemy by saying things which, according to the religious leaders made Himself equal with God.  Jesus constantly confirmed in His own words that He was indeed what He claimed, and that He and His Father worked together; that He did not do anything except what the Father did. Hear the following words…

But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.’
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. John 5:17-24  (KJB)

Let me leave you with these thoughts from others.

First from the Geneva Bible Translation notes:

“The work of God was never the breach of the sabbath, and the works of Christ are the works of the Father, both because they are one God, and also because the Father does not work except in the Son.” From the Geneva Bible Translation notes on John 5:17

Finally from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:

My Father worketh hitherto and I work — The “I” is emphatic; “The creative and conservative activity of My Father has known no sabbath-cessation from the beginning until now, and that is the law of My working.”” From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

To honor the Son [Jesus Christ] is to honor the Father too.  To honor the Father is to honor the Son.

Man of Understanding

THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING

Hearing Wisdom From Human Sources – Proverbs 1:8-19

Verse 8 –  The first line of defense against evil for the child is the parents and their wisdom concerning good, right, wrong, godliness, evil, Righteousness and unrighteousness.

If the parents are not wise in the things of God, then their children are in danger of great peril.  The child is to listen to their parents teaching with interest in what they are teaching.
“Obey the correction, discipline, chastisement of your father.  Do not throw away, cast off the law of your mother.”

Verse 9 –  By hearing, obeying your father, and grasping hold of your mother’s teaching, and cherishing her teachings they will be like a golden chain around your neck (Genesis 41:42-43).

For they (shall be) an ornament of grace unto thy head. The sentiment here expressed is put forward as an inducement to youth to observe obedience towards the instruction of the father and the law of the mother, and the meaning is that, just as in popular opinion ornaments and jewels are supposed to set off the personal form, so obedience towards parents in the ways of virtue embellishes the moral character (Bayne, Cartwright, Holden).  From The Pulpit Commentary (e-Sword edition).

Could it be that a child who grows in wisdom will be seen as having a “Good head on his shoulders”?

Verses 10-19 –  The enticements, alluring and greed of the evil will lead to murder.

There is temptation which comes from outside the individual sinner.  Those who “lay wait for blood”  There is a certain greed, lust, thirst for power which cares not whose life it may harm.

This greed for blood comes from lustful desire for material gain to be seen as powerful, famous, and beautiful.

Within these verses are two warnings to “consent thou not”, and of what this evil does.  Verse 10, and verse 15 is a call to “walk not in the way with them”.
The Pulpit Commentary gives us a point to think about,

“HOW THE TEMPTATION IS TO BE MET. “Consent thou not.” Let no man deem himself the helpless victim of temptation. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able,” etc. (1Co_10:13) We have wills. We can say “Yes” and “No.” We are not responsible for meeting with temptation, since even Christ felt the cruel force of this trial, but we are responsible for the way we behave under it. one thing to be tempted, Another thing to fall.

Psalm 119 gives some words of wisdom and instruction as well, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”  Psalm 119:9-11 (KJV)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Loving the Father and the Son

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. Judas saith unto Him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me. John 14:18-24 (KJV)

Loving God the Father means loving God the Son who is Jesus the Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again.  The resurrection is evidence of the truth Jesus spoke while walking among men on earth.  May I say too, that there is absolutely no evidence that Jesus ever came as a man to any other part of the earth, except to Jerusalem, the land of Palestine.

We who are the redeemed of the Lord; redeemed through His sacrifice; have His commandments and we will keep them because we love Him.  Because of the gift of the life of Jesus we love the Father and the Son.

Love God.  Love one another.  Do those sound familiar?  That is two of them.  How are we doing?

 

Agur’s Wisdom

“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” Proverbs 30:11-14 (KJV)

There is much for our generation; this generation to learn from all the Proverbs Solomon as put together for us in this wonderful instruction book.  When we are young words of wisdom, neither instruction seem to quite be what we want to hear.  They are necessary, and as we get older we will appreciate them more.  Some will even begin applying them and all of Scripture to their daily living.

We will begin doing so when the Lord Jesus has become Lord of our lives, and He changes our desires into His desires; when He gives us His heart.

Some thoughts from Proverbs 30…

“The words of Agur the son of Jakeh”. It is not known who Agur is. There is no other reference to this name in Scripture. Some have thought it to be reference to Solomon, as a nickname; but seems unlikely. There are some who believe that Agur was a court counselor to Solomon. Agur does begin the wisdom a bit differently than the other writings.

1. “The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.” from ESV verse 1. It seems more likely that Agur is addressing pupils he might be teaching with the names of Ithiel and Ucal.
Agur seems also to be a man of humilty, note; “Surely I am more brutish [stupid] than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.” (v. 2-3).

2. Note the wisdom of his theology (v. 4). The obvious answers to these questions can only be “God”. Now look at his beliefs concerning Scripture (vv. 5-6); 1) It is pure; 2) God is a shield; 3) To add to the word of God makes one out a liar.

3. Agur asks for two things (vv. 7-9); 1) Give me neither poverty, nor riches; 2) Provide what I need to live.

4. The matter of slander is addressed in verse 10. See Psalms 15:3 & 101:5 “a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report” Dictionary.com

5. There are four types of evil characters in verses 11 – 14; 1) Those who do not respect their parents; 2) Those who are immoral, but refuse to acknowledge it; 3) Those who are arrogant; and 4) Those who take advantage of the poor, and enslave them. “There is a generation…”

6. There are five things in fours which are lessons wisdom can teach us. Verses 15-17 tells us of things which have unquenchable thirst or hunger, that cannot be satisfied. Verses 18-20 tells us of things that are mysterious and wonderful; with a warning in verse 20. Verses 21-23 four things that are out of place, and unnatural. Verses 24-28 tell us of four tiny creatures who are prepared for life and living. Verses 29-31 tells us four things which have honor, and are without shame.

7. Verses 32 – 33 deal with those who involve themselves in everything of others; have a comment about others situation, and find themselves with bloody noses; or worse.

Be wise today and turn to the One who loves you so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for you that you might have everlasting life (John 3:15-18).

Love and Discipline

Every parent has entered parenthood completely inexperienced.  O how we can mess things up.  We make many mistakes.  I am so thankful that God has given us a manual for raising children.  It is called the Bible; but it is so much more than a manual for raising children.

The book Proverbs is of a father instructing his son in the way of life and living in wisdom and knowledge.  So many times we neglect the teaching of children in the way of God, and give them many instructions, and disciplines for finances, marriage, and making a living.  If we teach them discipline in the things of God, then they can better learn to discipline themselves in those other matters.

“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:11-12 (KJV)

I have heard parents say,  “I want to be a friend to my child”, and I guess they suppose that being a friend to their child will cause that child to love them more.  First you were given a child to be their parent, their teacher, their leader, their commanding officer;  you get the point.

Sometimes you need to give an erring child a good warm butt-warming as a loving parent.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Proverbs 13:24

You are not loving your child by overlooking their rebellion, their bad language, or their rudeness and disobedience to you or any who are in authority.  Being a loving parent means you will teach them respect for yourself, and others in places of authority.

We also need to realize as adults that we ourselves are under authority, and must be respectful to the authorities.  If we are not we will pay the consequences for it.  Disrespect will gain us chastening, some form of discipline such as a speeding ticket, a fine for not wearing a seat belt; or for something more serious maybe time in jail or prison.

As a Christian we should appreciate the chastening of the LORD.  It is because He loves us that He chastens us.  His discipline shows us, and is proof that He loves us.  It shows that He has the best plan for our life, and that He will get us to the place He wants us.  Let me remind you of the letter to the Hebrews words…

“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:6-11

Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ believe on Him today and become a regenerated child of God.

Receiving Wisdom

As I study the book of Proverbs I realize just how short of wisdom I really am.  That is why I so trust the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the real Giver and Teacher of wisdom.  If wisdom could be Personified it would be in Jesus the Christ Son of God, God the Son.

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.” Proverbs 2:1-9 (KJV)

At least three times the word “If” is used.  Meaning that wisdom is dependent upon us receiving it from the giver.  It is dependent upon our desire for it. Or do we just want to live meaningless, ungodly, unenlightened, dark, doubting, fearful lives?

A father giving instruction to his son.  That is so needed in every family.  The first “If” is calling for the son to hear, and hide the father’s commandments in the life.  Does the son have a burning desire for wisdom?  “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding…”  is an earnest desire, strong passion to have what the father is endeavoring to teach his son.

Then, there will be understanding of the “Fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God”.

For us to have wisdom begins with a great desire to have it.  To have Godly wisdom begins with the desire to know God, and doing what God says, believing what He has said.

God sent His only begotten Son because of His great love for us, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:15-18).  Believe this and that will be the beginning of wisdom.

The Exclusive Christ Jesus – Christmas Day Two Hundred and Fourteen

What do I want for Christmas?

And this is for everyday.

I want all those who profess to be Christian to realize, and to know that the faith of Jesus Christ is exclusive; meaning that He is the only way to God and Heaven; that there is no other way, but the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that those who do not believe in Him will perish (John 3:16), and there is no other hope, salvation, redemption, or eternal life, except Him.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to think, and I want every man who aspires to be godly; to think on the LORD and His Word, to love his wife, and children; and to care for them as a husband and father ought; and to put the things of this world on the back burner; and to thank God every day for His blessings on us.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:6-8 (KJV)

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”  [Jesus Christ]  Matthew 15:18-20

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my friends, and sister’s in law parents; Denny and Linda Ball to have a wonderful day celebrating their fiftieth Wedding Anniversary; On this day in 1966 Denny and Linda were united in marriage.

May the Lord give them many more years together.

And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)

Day Three Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to love my neighbor as I love myself.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”” Exodus 20:12-17 (NKJV)

“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Also see Day 317

The Kingdom of God and Children

Children are special. It does not matter if they are “special needs” children, or just as bright and healthy as one of us would like them to be. They are special, and need adult guidance, care, supervision, leadership, and discipline. All of those things.

One day when Jesus was with His disciples some children were brought to Him so that He would touch them, and bless them. The disciples began rebuking the adults who brought them, and we read the Biblical text…

“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16 (KJV)

Jesus has also warned of “Offending” children (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:47), and these verses are also dealing with all who place their trust in Christ Jesus; adults as well as children.

Jesus’s point in the above verses is that those who come to Him must trust Him, even as a child is trusting of their earthly mother and father. When our children were young, even small; I had our youngest son jumping into my arms from the highest end of the front porch. He trusted me to catch him. Do you think I would ever pull my arms away, not catch him, and ruin that trust? No loving father would ever do that. Jesus “…took the children up in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them”.

God have mercy on any who would offend the children.

Trusting Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross is the only way into the kingdom; and we must trust that that is the only way. It is the way. He is the way, the truth and the Life (John 14:6). Trust Him.

I Will Show You Kindness

The following are notes from a recent message preached at Shiloah Baptist Church

I Will Show You Kindness
“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)

The son of Jonathan; David’s best and dearest friend; comes before David the king at his direction, and bows before him in fear and out of humility.

The king’s first word, after speaking his name is, “Fear not…”. Mephibosheth is crippled from a childhood accident while being carried by an adult (2 Samuel 4:4), fell and left him crippled. He sees himself as unworthy of the king’s attention; a dead dog.

In this moment is seen the mercy and grace of God. David knew of these. He himself was a recipient of both. He displays them both. In the name of Jonathan he gives all the lands back to Mephibosheth which had belonged to Saul.

Mephibosheth was also at David’s table continually.

O, the grace and mercy of God shown to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. In His name, for His name’s sake we are made “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

Love of the Brethren

Love of the Brethren

Genesis 37:1-36

We are taught in Scripture to love our brothers and sisters.  it is sad when you see families, brothers and sisters, parents and children at odds with one another; and in the  case we look at today; even hating a brother to the point of wanting him dead.

1.  The Father Has a Special Son (vv. 1-4).

2.  The Son Has a Special Heart for the Things of God (vv. 5-11).

3.  The Son’s Heart for His Father and for His Brothers (vv. 12-17).

4.  The Sale of the Beloved Son/Brother to the World (vv. 18-28).

5.  Seeing the Sovereign Hand of God Through Tragedy (vv. 29-36; Psalm 76:10;  Romans 8:28).

Preached Sunday morning at Shiloah Baptist Church July 27, 2014.

The Faith of Sacrifice

The Faith of Sacrifice

Genesis 22:1-19

1. The Person of the Sacrifice and the Sacrificial Offering (vv. 1-2).

2. The Place of the Sacrifice (vv. 3-4).

3. The Pertinence of the Sacrifice (vv. 5-8).
This was a journey only the father and son could do together.
This was a journey only God the Father, and Jesus God the Son could do together.

4. The Power of Sin and the Necessary Sacrifice (vv. 9-14).

5. The Promise of the Sacrifice (vv. 15-19).

Preached in the Evening Worship @ Shiloah Baptist Church July 20, 2014

Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Teaching

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  ~Jesus (John 14:25-27)

Come to Jesus for Rest

“I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight.  All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.  Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  ~Jesus (Matthew 11:25-30)

The Word Jesus Has Spoken

“He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me.  And he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me.  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.  And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.  For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”  ~Jesus (John 12:44-50)

Glory in the Kingdom

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  ~Jesus (Matthew 5:13-16)

Words for Christian Living – Our Comfort

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-6 (KJV)

In times of sorrow from loss of a family member, a friend, or in times of financial chaos; or some other catastrophic event it is an encouragement to a Christian to know that GOD is the one who comforts us.  He is the source of all our comfort.

Of course we need to realize that He comforts us many times through friends, family, neighbors and loved ones.  Sometimes though these may fail us; and it is then that God will give us peace and comfort through His Spirit who abides within and through His Word.

Through our own trials and tribulations we learn to console and comfort others.

The Rights of our Creator

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is Mine honour, and if I be a master, where is My fear; saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name?’  And ye say, ‘Wherein have we despised Thy name?’  Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, ‘Wherein have we polluted Thee?’  In that ye say, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil, and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor.  Will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person; saith the LORD of hosts?'” Malachi 1:6-8 (KJV)

Just for a note.  The above verses are the text for the sermon I will be preaching this morning at Carr Lane Baptist Church.  Today has been called, and I have also said that I was participating in Pulpit Freedom Sunday.  In the United States of America pastors have the freedom to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to stand up from the pulpit for moral values, and for moral values that have become political hot potatoes.  In the U.S. of A. we hold to our freedoms quite strongly; at least many of us do.

One thing I see among Christian people in the USA is that we often forget about God’s rights.  Does He have rights?  Most definitely.  He is the Supreme Right Giver.  We all received our rights as humanity from Him.

You will note in the Scripture text above that GOD challenges the nation of Israel to honor Him, to fear Him; but they have not.  Let us think about this matter today, and remind ourselves everyday to give GOD our very lives and being.

-T.A.

When We are Gathered as One

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  Verily I say unto you, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’  Again I say unto you, ‘That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:15-20 (KJV)

Only those who are in Christ can be one, as we join together in His Spirit and in His Word.  That means we are walking with God, and are in agreement with Him.  As individual Christians we may not always agree with one another, but we must agree with the Living and written Word He has sent us.  When we agree with His Word, and practice it; in faith and forgiveness; then we will be at peace with Him and one another.

-T.A.

Councils, Sparrows and Enemies

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.’  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”  Matthew 10:16-39 (KJV)

Notice the three “Fear nots” in the text above.  The word also of Whom we are to fear.

-T.A.

Who Is The Image…

Who Is The Image…

Colossians 1:15-18

I. JESUS IS THE VISIBLE OF THE INVISIBLE (v. 15a).

A. God, the Father desired to reveal Himself to the only part of creation which He made in His image and likeness, and lost it.

1. He wanted to do more than reveal Himself.
2. He also desired to have sweet fellowship with us, but there was something which had to be done first – RECONCILIATION.
3. The Father loved us, and sent His Son to pay our sin debt. When we see Jesus Christ we are looking at the Father.

B. Is anything too hard for the LORD?

1. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.“ John 10:30 (KJV), and “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one” John 17:22 (KJV).
2. Jesus also said, “He that has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

C. He [Jesus] is the ‘exact representation’ (Heb. 1:3; NIV) of the Father.

II. JESUS IS THE IMAGE, THE ‘FIRSTBORN’, THE HEIR OF ALL THINGS (v. 15b).

A. As the ‘Firstborn’ in preeminence He receives all that is the Father’s.

1. He is heir of all things, because the Father has placed all things under His feet.
2. It is because He was completely obedient unto the Father as He walked in human flesh that He was accounted worthy.

B. As the heir of all things, by His death, burial and resurrection; by faith in Him we become joint heirs with Him;

1. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17 KJV).

III. JESUS, OUR LORD, ALSO THE IMAGE OF THE CREATOR (v. 16).

A. Paul writes, “For by Him were all things created…”.

1. The very one who took on Himself the body of a created being was in fact the Creator Himself.
2. This should blow the mind of the Gnostic “Know-It-Alls”.

B. When we read back in Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created…” it does not appear quite clear that Jesus was there in the creation.

1. However, when we read the gospel of John and verses one through three,
2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” we have confirmation that this same Word which is spoken of here is the same Word which went forth in the work of creation, creating, and is the same Word which John tells us ‘became flesh’; “And, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14); it becomes very clear, to one’s who have sight to see.

C. All things were not only created ‘by Him’, but also, ‘for Him’.

1. We must understand that the Godhead is in need of nothing.
2. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Self-sufficient, Self-sustaining, and Self-existent.
3. God does desire to be glorified in all that He has created.

D. You will notice that in this verse (16) that even kings and kingdoms, all authorities were created by Him.

IV. JESUS IS THE IMAGE OF THE ETERNAL (v. 17).

A. He is before all things.
B. Jesus is the One who holds all things together, “By Him all things consist”.

Here are the words of John Gill on this portion of the verse, “…and by him all things consist; he upholds all things by the word of his power; the heavens have their stability and continuance from him; the pillars of the earth are bore up by him, otherwise that and the inhabitants of it would be dissolved; the angels in heaven are confirmed in their estate by him, and have their standing and security in him; the elector God are in his hands, and are his peculiar care and charge, and therefore shall never perish; yea, all mankind live and move, and have their being in him; the whole frame of nature would burst asunder and break in pieces, was it not held together by him; every created being has its support from him, and its consistence in him; and all the affairs of Providence relating to all creatures are governed, directed, and managed by him, in conjunction with the Father and the blessed Spirit.”

V. JESUS IS THE IMAGE, THE HEAD, OF THE CHURCH (v. 18a).

A. When we say we are Christian and a member of a church; we are telling the world that we know its Head.

1. What does the Head of the Church look like.
2. To those outside the Church it will resemble the one we are supposed to be following.

B. We as followers of Jesus should be the light in this dark, condemned, crazy, lost, decaying, world of evil societies, and their rulers whose main goal in life is exalting themselves.
C. Exalt the image of Christ as the head of the Church, the body of Christ in the world.

VI. JESUS IS THE IMAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE (v. 18b).

John MacArthur writes concerning the word ‘Beginning’ in this present verse, “Arche (beginning) is used here in the twofold sense of source and primacy. The church has its origins in Jesus. God ‘chose us in Him before the foundation of the world’ (Eph. 1:4). It is He who gives life to His church. His sacrificial death and resurrection on our behalf provided our new life. As head of the Body, Jesus holds the chief position, or highest rank in the church. As the beginning, He is its originator.” pg. 51 of THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY on Colossians and Philemon.

A. Jesus said to John the revelator, “ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Rev. 1:8; KJV).
B. As the ‘firstborn from the dead’ we see Him as having conquered death, hell, and the grave.

1. Since the resurrection proves the divinity, power, and victory on the cross of our Lord and Savior; He most definitely is the image of eternal life.
2. Eternal life is not just something you may or may not gain later; it is what you can have [present tense] now.
3. In Jesus’s own words of John 3:16 it is quite clear. “…Shall not perish, but have everlasting life”.
4. On that day we will be “Like Him”; “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV).

VII. JESUS IS THE IMAGE OF FIRSTNESS (v. 18c).

A. Remember He is ‘firstborn’ in the promise of inheritance, and because of His work on the cross we become ‘joint heirs’ with Him.
B. The word ‘preeminence’ is used here, meaning, ‘first in rank’ and certainly Jesus fits this category.

1. There are no gods of men, if they could, even become like the creature of their creation.
2. There is no one; god or other wise, who would die for their created being.
3. There is no god or being anywhere that has risen from death and the grave after giving themselves for their created beings.

C. If you want to see an image of ‘Firstness’ you have to look no further than, to the living Son of God – Jesus Christ.

1. Firstborn in creation.
2. Firstborn in life
3. Firstborn in death.
4. Firstborn in eternal life.

D. He is the preeminent One.

1. All things rest on Him.
2. In Him alone is there consistency in life, death, and eternal life. He holds it all together.

SUMMARY –

I. WHEN YOU LOOK AT JESUS YOU SEE THE FATHER.
II. BEING PREEMINENT IN ALL THINGS, JESUS IS HEIR OF ALL THINGS.
III. JESUS, GOD INCARNATE, IS THE CREATOR OF ALL THAT IS.
IV. BEING BEFORE ALL THINGS JESUS IS THE IMAGE OF THE ETERNAL.
V. JESUS, AS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, IS THE IMAGE FOR OTHERS TO SEE.
VI. JESUS IS THE PHYSICAL IMAGE OF ETERNAL LIFE.
VII. JESUS, AS THE IMAGE OF FIRSTNESS, IS PREEMINENT IN ALL THINGS.

-Tim A. Blankenship

B F & M – God – The Holy Spirit

There seems to be many professing Christians who are not seeing the Trinity of God in Scriptures.  The teaching is clearly revealed throughout the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit is the one that many want to leave out of the picture.  They only see Him as a power, an influence, but not a person of the Godhead, or the final person of the Trinity.

We Baptists believe in the Trinity, because it is a doctrine of Scripture.  Many will say, “That word ‘trinity’ is nowhere used and the Bible”, and they would be correct, yet the idea is clearly presented as I declared in an earlier post.  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all at work “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1-3); the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are again clearly seen at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3).

The following is from our Statement of Faith concerning the Holy Spirit:

“C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.”

It was by the Spirit of God, also known as the Holy Spirit, that we have Holy Scripture and by these we can know God, His Son Jesus, and the power of the Spirit.  It is because of the Spirit that we are “Sealed until the day of redemption”,

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV).

Without the Holy Spirit of God moving there is no one who would ever be saved and delivered from sin and its temptations.  Jesus was dependent upon the Holy Spirit.  It was the Spirit who led Him into the wilderness and strengthened Him for those 40 days and nights.  It is by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we know we are the children of God.

“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”  Romans 8:9b (NKJV).

The Spirit of Christ is, of course, the Holy Spirit.  It is also the Holy Spirit who equips Christians to serve the Lord Jesus.  He points all to Christ, glorifying Him and Him alone.  He does not call attention to Himself, but to Christ.  We can know that anytime anyone is magnifying the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives they are completely out of line with Scripture, and out of fellowship with God.

We as Baptists have often been accused of neglecting the work of the Holy Spirit, but that is not really the case.  We see Him as being quietly, peaceably, behind the scenes glorifying our Savior, giving us power to live for the honor and glory of Jesus, and calling no attention to ourselves, but Jesus alone.

-T.A.

B F & M – GOD

There are many beliefs about “God”, and some could and would say, ‘gods’, but there is only one God.  The one God is the LORD.  He is the Creator of all that exists.  There is nothing that exists which He did not create.  He created all things, even that which He made in His own image, and after His likeness; for His own glory.

The Baptist Faith & Message statement:

“II. God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.”

This statement of faith is just that, and it gives we Baptists a means of cooperating together.  Most Christians can agree with the statement given above, no matter what their denomination is.

In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NKJV).  The name “God” given here is in Hebrew ‘Elohim’ a plural name for our Creator, and tells us that He is One yet has a plural personality.  Most Christians believe that is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  That is where we stand as Baptists.  He is God.  We can actually see the Persons at work in the creation.  “God said”, that is His Word going forth to create, ie., the Living Word; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1.  Then, we see the Spirit, “Hovering over the face of the waters” Genesis 1:2.

In the New Testament there are at least two instances we see the trinity manifested, one of which is at the baptism of Jesus.

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV).

This clearly shows the presence of the Father, the One who spoke from heaven; we see the Spirit who descended in the form of the dove; and the Son is the One who was just baptized.  This is not only a Baptist teaching, but clearly a Biblical teaching.  We are a Biblical people.  Let’s continue to stand on the Biblical principles and teachings.

-T.A.

Originally posted at All Things Baptist (June ’07)

Prognosis By Fire

In this study I will endeavor to show that through suffering we are prepared for glory.  In the life of Jesus He was preparing for the cross through the things which He suffered, and endured ever faithful to the Father.  It is hard to imagine suffering in order to endure more suffering, but that is what Jesus did; “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered;” Hebrews 5:8 (KJV).

To begin this it will be a review of First Peter, and on this article we begin with verses one and two.  “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ”.  This is one who spoke without thinking.  John MacArthur describes him as the apostle with “The foot-shaped mouth” in his book titled TWELVE ORDINARY MEN, and the title of that chapter is “Peter – The Man With The Footshaped Mouth”.

Now here is an epistle through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration written down by Peter himself.  Originally called Simon, Jesus changed his name to Peter/Cephas meaning ‘rock or stone’.  Peter is not the Rock upon which the Church is built (Matthew 16:18 – “And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”).  Peter is part of the foundation (Ephesians 2:20 – “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone;), but is not the Rock, upon which it is founded and built.

This letter was written in troublous times for the Christian. According to authorities in this area; the time is around the time that Rome was burned in which Nero set the fire and blamed it on the Christians and set the people of Rome to hating them even worse than before.  In a time of great persecution Peter wrote this letter to comfort and encourage those believers who were in “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”  These Christians were “Strangers” and being that some were Jewish were dispossessed of their homeland.  The Gentiles and the Jews who had become Christians had also become “Strangers” to their families, friends, and work associates, because their home was now in Heaven.

Peter specifies to whom this letter is written.  The “Elect” or “Called” and as Paul wrote, “…Before the foundation of the world”.  This is an assuring thing – it is motivation to continue in faith.  Realizing you are the called of God has a strengthening effect on you.  To be chosen, called or the elect of God, and only so by the work of Jesus Christ on calvary’s cross.

“FOREKNOWLEDGE” is from the Greek word ‘prognosis’ which according to MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY is “a forecast esp. of the course of disease”, only God in His ‘prognosis’ is never wrong.  With God’s prognosis we know the outcome, and in Christ it is wonderful.

“Sanctification” is a process by which we are set apart, made holy in this life for the glory of God.  In sanctification the Spirit convicts us of sin, corrects us in our errors, and comforts us in our sorrows, and by and through the Word of God.  He puts us into “Obedience” and showing forth the sacrifice of Jesus in our lives.

“Grace” is Paul’s favorite word and filled his whole life.  It is also Peter’s.   He had experienced the grace of God extremely.  he denied the Lord three times, and was forgiven.  Where grace abounds there is peace. (Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”; and then in Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which passeth all undestanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.)  In the midst of the fires of trials and tribulation there is always ‘Peace’ in Jesus.  Through Jesus you can have peace in the midst of the storm.

Observations From John – 032711

There are many who are not Christian – not followers of Jesus Christ – who claim to believe that Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, a good example; but refuse to trust Him as God and Savior of the world; and of their eternal souls.

Jesus said,

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”  John 5:19-24 (KJV)

Jesus as a man walked among us with only one purpose in life and that was to do whatever He saw the Father doing.  The Father, GOD, is doing the work of salvation in this world.  The “god of this age”, the devil, is going about to steal, kill and destroy.  The work of GOD  in this world now is through the work and ministry of those who have the Spirit of Jesus Christ in them – the Holy Spirit; and our desire is to do what we see the Father doing.

You will note in Jesus’s words that Jesus says, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.”  The honor, faith, and glory that belongs to the Father [GOD], belongs to the Son of GOD.  To trust Jesus is to believe Him to be whom He claims to be; the Son of GOD.  This honors Him.  To claim to be be merely a good man, a good teacher, or a good example and deny and reject Him as Savior and GOD is to basically call Him a liar.

Can you call a liar, a good man, even a good teacher, or a good example?  Not where I come from.

Hear, today, the words of Jesus above, “I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Jesus also says in verses 45 – 47,

“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” John 5:45-47

Jesus is the way to salvation, heaven and GOD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Observations From Mark – 031411

Reading today from Mark 5 – 7

I want us to consider the charges Jesus makes against the scribes and Pharisees concerning their hypocrisy, and “Making the word of God of none effect…”  Just how does one go about making the word of God of no effect?  First of all this means, giving; in this case; more authority and power to something less powerful, such as their traditions.

The following are the words of Jesus,

“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.   For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.  And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”  Mark 7:6-13

Sometimes traditions are good, might even be great; however when we make tradition greater than Scripture we are in danger of being hypocrites, and of honoring God with lip service, but having no heart for Him.  The danger the scribes and Pharisees were in was due to one thing that Jesus mentions in verses 10 – 12.  Their tradition allowed them to take what would be used for honoring their father and mother; call it God’s, thus, making that sacred, and then they were unable to use that material thing for the honor of their parents.

The following are the study notes of the English Standard Version of the Bible for verses 10 – 13;

Mark 7:10–13 honor your father and your mother (cf. Ex. 20:12; 21:17; Deut. 5:16). No one questions the importance of this law in the Ten Commandments; disregarding it was punishable with death in ancient Israel. Part of honoring father and mother is to care for them, both financially and personally, in their old age. However, Jewish tradition allowed that funds originally dedicated to the care of parents could be declared Corban (Hebrew/Aramaic for legally “dedicated to God”; cf. Lev. 1:2; 2:1; etc.), meaning that the person would no longer be required to do anything for … father or mother. These funds could now be given to the temple, if so desired. Such human traditions thus allow room for the depravity of the human heart, directly opposing the Law of Moses which so often serves to protect the weak and helpless, in this case, parents in their feeble old age (making void the word of God). The “Corban” tradition is an example (along with many such things you do) of disregarding and rejecting the more important aspects of the Mosaic law.

As Christians of today let’s be careful to follow the guidance of the Word of God, and not our traditions over the Word.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Gethsemane: “Thy Will Be Done”

“And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and He saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33 And He taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35 And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 37 And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? 38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. 39 And again He went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer Him. 41 And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth Me is at hand.”  Mark14:32-42 (KJV)

This is the place called, “Gethsemane” which means “Oil press”.  It must have been the place where the harvested olives were pressed for the oil.  There probably can be no better representation of the “Press” Jesus Himself must have been in at this moment in time.  Of course, Jesus’s press was a spiritual one; affecting Him physically; which was pressing on Him to fulfill the will and work of God in His life, and that was His will and choice as well.  He came to do His Father’s will.

Jesus tells the disciples to sit in a certain place while He goes to pray.  He takes with Him Peter, James, and John to stay a little closer with Him and to pray while He goes to be alone with the Father.  The weight, agony, passion weighs heavily upon Jesus as this is being done, and he commands the three with Him to “Watch”; that is “Be vigilant”, “Be watchful” (v. 34).

At least from the time of the beginning of His ministry at the age of thirty the heart and mind of Jesus was on the cross; dying there for the sins of mankind.  As the only blood atonement for all our sin.  That was, afterall, the plan of the Father.  That was His plan too.  Having that as His heart and mind; is the old idea we have heard the right one, or could it be that He thought He could possibly die before He reached the cross due to His physically weakened condition; due to His grief and sorrow – His agony?

Could He truly have been praying that this time of passion “Might pass from Him”? If indeed that had been His heart and mind for many years? If so it would not be that He was questioning the Father’s will, it was the agony of His coming separation from the Father that was causing Him so much pain and agony.  He is the Son of God in flesh, never away from the presence of God, and to take away the sin of the world would require separtion to provide justification, cleansing, and in the end our glorification.  His death for sin was the only means by which a holy God could save mankind from their sins, and still remain just and holy.  Jesus knew that, and thus prayed, “…Not what I will, but what Thou wilt” (v. 36).

Remember Jesus had told Peter, James, and John to be vigilant, watchful and pray, but He finds them sleeping.  In the time of His own personal crisis His disciples – the three closest to Him at that – seem unaware at what is happening to Jesus.  It may also be that they are so troubled that they are overwhelmed, and they are emotionally exhausted.  It was a very trying time for them, but especially for their Master.  That was the time for them to pray, not to sleep.

He went back to pray and returned again only to find them sleeping again.  It happened again a third time and this time He tells them, “Sleep on”.  The time of His betrayal was at hand.  There was nothing more that they could do.  Judas was coming with the mob to take Him and lead Him to trial for His murder.

One thing we can learn from this event is that we need to be diligent, alert, and aware in our praying.  Sadly, there are far too many Christians asleep at spiritual living; especially in prayer.  At the darkest points of our lives we must be praying.  Maybe we are not even aware of those “darkest points”.  We need to be.  When we see the dark points of friends and family; we need to pray diligently.  Lord help us to pray as we ought.

Lord,  When we are in Gethsemane [the press] help us to pray, “Thy will be done”.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Do Not Fear; Be Watchful

“And Jesus answering them began to say, ‘Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.  9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”  Mark 13:5-13 (KJV)

DO NOT FEAR; BE WATCHFUL.

“There will come in the days of the future”, Jesus said, “times of trouble, and many will say ‘I am Christ”.  That will be a day for one to be watchful.  This appears to be a time following the destruction of the temple [which happened in A.D. 70], but the time Jesus is speaking of here seems to apply to another era of time.

Jesus warns the disciples and us of an approaching time when there will be many “anti-christs” who come for no other reason, but to lie and deceive, and to lead followers after them.  Whether it be in the time of the disciples or in our own time; be it 70 A.D. or 2010 the Word is the same, “BEWARE”, “TAKE HEED”.  These false christs are out for their own well being and not for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells the disciples not to be afraid even though there will be earthquakes, famine, war, etc.  These are only “birthpangs” showing that the second coming of Jesus is near.  They would begin with less intensity, but as the time of the end draws near they will become more and more intense.

In looking at these things we need to be mindful that there is great reason to believe that Jesus is speaking of His second coming in the “Olivet Discourse” both here and in the gospel of Matthew.  There are some things, that,  we who are looking for the appearance of Jesus in the “clouds”, must learn from these passages of Scripture.  First of all, none of these signs Jesus speaks of has to do with the “rapture of the Church”, all the prophecy of Jesus coming for His Bride [Church] has been fulfilled.  Secondly, We too must be on guard, keeping up the watch, being alert, taking heed.  There are false teachers, false professors of Christ, and some who say they are the Christ.  Anyone who professes to be Christ is a liar.  Everyone will know when Jesus comes again, with the exception of the “Snatching away” of believers of Christ Jesus.  A third thing to learn is, we must always be sure we are ready, and that our friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors are ready to “…Meet thy God”.  We can know we are ready by drawing nearer to Jesus through everyday association with Him in prayer, His Word, and in so doing obedience to His Word.

During the time of what Jeremiah calls, “…The time of Jacob’s trouble…” (Jeremiah 30:7), there will be a persecution of the people of God unlike anything the world, or God’s people have ever known.  Those who believe in Jesus at that time will be put to death by the most horrid means imaginable, and in the last three and one half years of “Jacob’s trouble” the Hebrews will be in great distress, yet protected by God.  “But he who endures to the end shall be saved…” is not speaking of a salvation of works, but of those who already have salvation, and by the grace that saved them showing the power of their faith in God.  God gives grace which keeps us to the end.

We must be strong in our Lord.  No matter what the world may throw at us we must “…keep looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”  Even those of us who are looking for the “Rapture” must “…be ready to always give an answer for the hope that is in us” (1 Peter 3:15).  There is none of us who are immune to persecution. “Yea, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).  Live for Jesus Christ; He is coming soon.

-Tim A. Blankenship

As Good As Already There

Looking at the High Priestly prayer of our Lord and Savior once again we are reminded of the Son addressing His Father in our behalf.

“Father, I will  that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.”  John 17:24 (KJV).

Those whom the Father has given the Son are all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ through the work of the Spirit of God.  The requests of the Son, Jesus is first of all that we may be with Him where He is.  Jesus is in the presence of the Father.  He is in the will of the Father.  He is fulfilling the will and glory of the Father.  His final and eternal place is in glory, His glory, and with us with Him and in Him.

Peter, James, and John were three who had the privilege of seeing the glory of Jesus, even before He died on the cross and was raised to life again.  See Matthew 17.    This glory was what Jesus had with the Father even before the world was created.  He had the glory of the Father; as He claims; “Before the foundation of the world”.

That is the place He has prayed for those who believe Him; to be.  Are you as good as there; right now?  By faith in Jesus alone, you are.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth

Do you have a special place where you like to go just for the beauty and the quiet?  Most people do I believe.  I know that I have some.  There are times I go and take a walk beside the creek.  I enjoy it as it flows along, especially over the shallow and swifter parts, it makes a noise that only the Creator could use to still a troubled mind.  That is a special time.  A special place.  It is almost a sanctuary.  A protected place, set apart for only the ones who will appreciate it.
In Jesus’s prayer and as He prayed, He asked that His disciples be “sanctified”, ie., set apart, called out for special service, even protected for the glory of the Father.  Here is the verse for the study –

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.”  John 17:17 (KJV).

In the process of being made more like Jesus.  That is really what ’sanctification’ is all about.  It is also a protected place, a special place, and Jesus is asking the Father to see to it that we become like Him.  It is implied here that the way of our sanctification is through the Word which we have written to us in the Bible.  The Bible is God’s Word.  It is His truth.  We cannot be made more like Jesus except through the Word of truth.
It is a daily washing of the feet and hands as they have been in the world.  The picture is given in the Old Testament Tabernacle.  There was a large brass bowl with water in it, where the priests needed to stop upon entry of the Eastern Gate, and there wash their feet and hands, so they were sanctified upon entering the holy place.  Jesus’s prayer is that we might be clean, and be made more like Him.
To become more like Him we must stay in His Word daily, pray  in His  name, and be obedient to His will.
Be sanctified through the truth.  Jesus has prayed for it.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Keep Through Thine Own Name

Jesus continuing His Priestly prayer for His disciples, prays…

“…And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee.  Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.”  John 17:11 (KJV).

Jesus is nearing the time that He will lay His own life down as the sacrifice for our sin.  This prayer is assured to be the prayer of God, the prayer God is guaranteed to hear, the prayer the Father will answer.  Why wouldn’t the Father hear His own Son’s prayer.  He is God’s High Priest.  He is the Priest of all priests.  He has obeyed His Father’s will and His Word in all things; even to the death of the cross.

Jesus’s saying “…I am no more in the world…” shows that He has already committed Himself to the cross of His death.  He considers Himself to be already dead, the work already as good as done.  Fully recognizing that the disciples are still “…in the world”, by our flesh.

Let us not believe that when He was praying for “…these”, that He is praying solely for those present day disciples.  NO! NO!  He was praying for all the disciples who would ever follow Him.  He is praying for you all who are in the faith of Jesus.  For all who would ever hear His call, “Come follow Me”.

Notice Jesus prayer in this one verse.  “…Keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me…”.  How can one who is God’s child, one who trusts in Jesus ever leave Him.  In order to do so they would have to make Jesus’s prayer null and void.  That will never be done.  In the faith of Jesus we are kept by the power of the Father’s own name.

Blessed be the name or our Lord.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Words Which Were Given

There are many words for us to hear.  The Words that Jesus spoke and is still speaking are the ones He has given us in the Bible; His holy Word.  They are given us for faith, practice and Christian growth; for His glory.

“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.”  John 17:8 (KJV)

We see in this verse, one of those things given to Jesus by the Father; “the words”.  Which words is Jesus referring to?  Jesus’s teachings, His doctrine.

There are three things about the disciples which are mentioned: 1. They accepted Jesus’s teachings;  2. They knew – were certain – that Jesus was of divine origin and character;  3. They believed that He was sent by the Father.

Jesus brought the “words” and principles of the Old Testament to life.  As the physical manifestation/revelation of God he was the living Word of God.  They are no longer dead, lifeless vowels and consonants that only show one’s sinfulness and give no life.  Rather, they are now life giving through faith in the “Sent One”.

The only way for these disciples to know these things is because they  were God’s from the beginning.  No one can come to God on their own.  All salvation is a work of God.  It is God who awakens man’s awareness of God’s existence.  It is God who draws men/women to  Himself.  It is God who convicts of sin and all unrighteousness.  It is God the Father who causes us to look to the cross of Jesus and fall on our knees in repentance, grace and faith.  It is all of God, and His grace (SEE John 6:44).

NOTE – Election of God and predestination are essential doctrines of belief, but trying to understand it will drive one crazy.  It is essential in believing, but not for understanding.  God is sovereign and knows exactly what He is doing.  Let’s leave the work of eternal salvation to Him; through the cross of His Son Jesus.  He knows and understands it all.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Whatsoever Thou Hast Given Me…

We are already at Memorial Day of 2010, and there are many things which can concern and worry us.  What is dear to you?  What do you cherish more than anything else?  Is it health, family, your children, your grandchildren, your spouse, your career?  There was something dear and cherished by Jesus, and He shared them with those He knew and loved.

“Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee.  For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they  have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me”  John 17:7 (KJV).

If you look at the first sentence of these two, you must ask the question “What has the Father given the Son?  That question is quickly answered by the following statement.  God’s Word is a very precious item to the Lord.  Jesus lived to glorify the Father/God by living according to His Word, preaching it, and giving it to those who followed Him.

Giving the Word of God to others is still a priority of God’s people.  It must be given.  We must ask ourselves the begging question, “Have I received the Words the Father gave the Son?”  The disciples did, and it was  His disciples for whom He prayed, “They have received them”.  It is because they had “Received them” that they were able to know, “Surely I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me”.  If you are a follower of Jesus Christ; you are His disciple, and this prayer is for you too.

When you want to know the Personal Truth personally you will hear, and receive His Word.  It will be precious to you.  Jesus Christ, the Living Word; will especially be precious to you.

-Tim A. Blankenship