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  1. 9 points


    My church has been blessed lately with visits from missionaries that we support. Where we are, it is unusual for people to stop by - Perth is not really on the way anywhere, so you really have to be going TO Perth. And that is Expensive! As a result we don't get visits from missionaries very often. So far this year - yes 2018 - we have had two missionaries able to spend time with us. What a blessing it is to be able to look after these people!!!!
  2. 9 points

    Peace in the Midst of the Storm

    Matthew 14:22-33 “Peace in the Midst of the Storm.” By Alan “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33 The account of the Lord Jesus walking on the water is a wonderful story that shows us His lordship over His creation and loving care for His saints. Before we begin this devotion, let me bring a reminder that the disciples in the ship were Jews and were familiar with the account of how the LORD God takes care of the saints; even on the dangers in the sea. “They that do down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.” Psalm 107:23 and 24 God, in either Testament, God is Lord over all of the creation. The Bible is a wonderful book. The Bible is God’s Word and it gives us an understanding of God and His will for our lives. It also gives us peace in our hearts as we go through the storms of life and the hope of eternal life in heaven. “... tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.” In this world, all of us go through storms of life. We have physical, mental, and spiritual problems. We have fears in our hearts, doubts, wants, needs, and stress, in our family and work. Everybody has storms in their lives. The Lord Jesus wants us to have peace in the midst of our storms: whether those storms are physical, mental, spiritual, societal, governmental, family, or work related. What a wonderful story! This story tells of the power and majesty of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is truly Lord. “... walking on the water.” During the time of their deepest anxiety of life, the disciples saw the Lord Jesus walking on the water. Also, there was a very big storm on the water at the same time. How was it possible for Jesus to walk on the water? Can you walk on the water? Do you know of anybody else that can walk on the water in front of other people? Did Confucius walk on the water? Did Buddha walk on the water? Job knew, as the Jews knew, and as those who know their Bible know, only God in heaven, the LORD, can walk on the water. Job 9:8 says, “Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.” Jesus could walk on the water because He is Lord. Colossians 1: 15-17 says, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Because Jesus created all things, He is Lord and has the power to walk on the water! God, who lives in heaven, is invisible to all of us. The Lord Jesus is His only son. Jesus is the image of God. The Lord Jesus created this world and all that is in it. He created all of the things that you see and all of the spiritual things that you cannot see. The Lord Jesus created: the oceans, land, mountains, islands, our body, the thrones, or the governments, of this world, the angels, the Devil, or Satan, heaven and hell. All of the creation of the Lord is used for His purposes. “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The Lord Jesus can give us peace in our heart in the midst of the storms of life. The disciples were on the boat and the storm was raging. They thought that maybe they would die. Some of the disciples were fishermen. The disciples knew the dangers of the sea. Also, they never had seen a person walking on the water. The disciples had never seen a person walk on the water, so they thought that a ghost was coming to them. At the beginning, they did not understand what was happening. They were very scared. Then they cried out with fear. Like the disciples, so often in our lives we are fearful of the dangers in our paths and do not have a full understanding of the spiritual happenings around us. The Lord Jesus said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” The Lord Jesus does not want the Christian to have fear in their hearts. The Lord Jesus also said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave unto 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.” The Lord Jesus gives the Christian peace in our hearts. The Christian has peace in their hearts that only Jesus can give. Jesus gives the Christian peace in the midst of the storms of live. When a Christian dies, he knows that he will ascend into heaven and live with Jesus. “Come.” When Jesus spoke these words the apostle Peter realized that it was the Lord walking on the water. Peter had faith in the Lord. So, Peter asked the Lord if he could come on the water and walk to Him. Jesus said one word, “Come.” We need to come to Jesus in the storms of life! Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, 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.” Peter is a good example. In verse 29 we see how Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus. How did Peter walk on the water? Because of his faith the Apostle Peter was able to walk on the water. Faith is an amazing thing. We all need to have faith. “Lord, save me.” But, now we see that Peter took his eyes, his thoughts, off of the Lord Jesus, and looked at the wind and waves. Then he became afraid. Then he started to sink .That caused Peter to cry out, “Lord, save me.” “Lord, save me.” All of us need to pay careful heed to these words of Peter. If you are not a Christian then you need to cry out to Jesus and say, “Lord, save me I do not want to go to hell. I do not want to go to hell forever. Lord save me! I am a sinner and deserve to die and go to hell. But, Lord, in your mercy save my soul.” If you are a Christian, and you have taken your eyes and thoughts off of the Lord Jesus and onto the world and all of its problems then you need to turn your eyes on Jesus and say, “Lord save me.” In the hymn book there is a song called, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” The stanza says, “Turn your eyes on Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Jesus is Lord and He is truly wonderful. We need to take our eyes, our thoughts, our actions, off of the things of this life and trust in the Lord Jesus for all of our needs and give Him our fears. “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” In verse 31 we read these wonderful words, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Faith pleases God but doubting does not. When we doubt, and criticize the Bible, and the things of God, then we displease God. The Bible, and all of the doctrines, stories, miracles, prophesies written therein, are to be believed and not doubted. With very little argument, the greatest defender of the faith in the Chinese world was Wang Ming-Dao, July 25, 1900-July 28, 1991. Wang Ming-Dao is one of the best examples of the work of the scriptures in the heart of a Chinese convert. After salvation, as he was teaching in a Presbyterian mission school, because of his biblical stand to be immersed, he was dismissed in 1920. Later on, in the beginning days of the Charismatic Movement in China, he openly taught against the Charismatic movement and denominational hierarchies. Wang Ming-Dao became known for his indigenous church work. From 1955-1980 he was imprisoned, twice, by the Communist government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Ming-Dao Through all of his intense verbal, spiritual, cultural, family relations, religious, denominational jealousy, and governmental persecution, Wang Ming-Dao maintained a rock-solid faith in Christ, doctrinal integrity, and inward peace through his personal storms in life. Wang Ming-Dao said, 王明道「魔鬼敗壞信徒的計策很多,但最毒的莫過於使他們對神的話發生疑惑,因為這是根本的方法。」“Satan has many scheme’s to destroy the believer, but the greatest poisonous, and the original, method is nothing more than to cause them to doubt the word of God.”[1] The English translation is a free translation from the author. The Lord Jesus saw that, without divine intervention, Peter would quickly drown and lose his life. But, until Peter called out for the Lord to save him Jesus did nothing. But, when Peter called out to Him then Jesus saved him. When we call upon the Lord to save us He will do so. “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3 Many a person, in time of extreme distress, potential loss of life, war, accidents, and other physical dangers or spiritual dangers, have called upon the Lord for not only the eternal salvation of their soul, but for physical deliverance. “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” The Lord Jesus took Peter’s hand then both Jesus and Peter walked back to the boat walking on the water. Peter embraced Jesus! When they got back to the boat the wind ceased. When Jesus and Peter arrived back to the boat the other disciples realized the wonderful thing that Jesus did. Then the disciples worshipped Jesus. They said, “Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” As Job realized that only the Lord in heaven could walk on the waves of sea, so must we. The confession that Jesus was the Son of God was a confession that Jesus was the Lord from heaven and equal in attributes, character, power, and authority. Both the Father and the Son are eternal and worthy of worship. Psalm 2:7 and 12, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” In conclusion, we need to be like Peter and the rest of the men in the boat. We need to worship the Lord Jesus. Why not be saved today? Call upon Him in prayer and say, “Lord save me.” [1] Wang Ming Tao, Treasuries of Wang Ming Tao, Volume II The Hard Road, (Touliu, Taiwan: Conservative Baptist Press, 1996), Page 256.
  3. 9 points

    Contrary Doctrine

    Text: Rom.16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 1Tim.4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 2Tim.1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 2Tim.2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. We claim to be Christians, followers of a specific way and teaching Jn.14: 6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. We claim to be guided by the unerring Word of God, the Bible. Yet it seems we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history and repeatedly disregard the warnings of those in the faith that have gone before us. We have a parallel in the history of the nation of Israel. We can see this parallel in the remarkable scriptures of Duet.1:2-15. An eleven day trip took them forty years! We can see a direct parallel between Israel’s relationship to God and our relationship to God…. how slowly we cover the ground! What winding and turning! How often we must go back and cover the same ground again and again. We are slow travelers because we are slow learners. We might marvel at their unbelief and slowness to OBey, but we, like them, are kept back by our own unbelief and slowness of heart. The doctrine that we are to hold and pass on is the Word that we have received: The pure, unadulterated truth of God. The Galatian Church is a negative case in point. Gal.3:1-4. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. Saved by grace, but then allowing themselves to be seduced by a perversion of Scripture. Deut.1:3. And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them; Here is instruction for all who labor in the Word and doctrine: Moses gave what he received from God, nothing more or less; this is the grand principal of the ministry, to bring people in direct contact with the Living Word of God. The Apostle Paul makes this argument better than I can. 1Cor.2: 1-5. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1Cor.15: 1-3. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; The ‘so called’ church has wholly departed from the authority of the Word of God. In these churches, things are taught that have no foundation in the Scripture. They not only tolerate, but sanction and defend that which is in direct opposition to the mind of Christ. He spoke of them in Mat.15:8-9. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. If you ask for the Divine Authority for their institution or practice, you are told that God has left us free to act according to our conscience. It is considered that professing Christians are left free to form churches, choose their own form of government and appoint their own officers. Can this be true? Are we to assume that the church is worse off than Israel in instruction and authority? We can see in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the marvelous pains God took to instruct His people in even the minutest particulars concerning their worship and private life. Nothing was left to human arrangement. Man’s wisdom, judgment, reason and conscience had no part in it. There was no place for, “I can’t see this, or, I can’t go with that, or, I can’t agree that this is so.” Such language could only be regarded as self-will, for in that day all the instruction came with, “Thus saith the Lord.” They might as well say they could not agree with God. Are we left to think and arrange for ourselves in worship and service to God? I think not! 1Tim.3: 14-15. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. He then goes on to show how things ought to be done by believers. Why are there different doctrines among professing churches? We have possession of God’s Word. We also have division, sects, creeds and denominations, Why? Because they refuse to submit their whole moral being to the authority of the Scripture. Free exercise of thought is the boast of Protestant Christianity. Such thinking will not stand at the Judgment. Mat.7: 21-23. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. The duty of the servant is to OBey, not to exercise his will. The confusion between so-called churches is due to an unwillingness to bow to Divine Authority. Mat.7:28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. It is impossible for the Holy Scripture to teach opposing doctrines. It cannot possibly teach the doctrines of Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Church of Christ and Baptist….they oppose one another! Let’s look at a direct command in the name of Jesus for unity. 1Cor. 1:10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. The so-called “church”, has departed from the authority of Christ long ago. They gave themselves over to man’s reasoning, feelings and religious perversion. They did not heed the teaching of Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. It is every Christian’s sacred duty to test every ecclesiastical system by the Word of God. If we have no Divine authority, no perfect standard, how can we be certain that we are on the true path? All that claim to be His church cannot justify the confusion of doctrines that they hold true. 1Cor.14:33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. If God is not the author of this confusion, then who is? Jas 3:16. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. If we cannot say that “this is the thing that the Lord has commanded”, then we are in error. If a church or religious organization is not in subjection to God as revealed in His Word, what and to whom are they in subjection to? There are only two powers in this world, the power of God and the power of Satan. Satan is the master of deception and mimicry and his masterpiece of all time deception is a false religious system. Rom.16:17-18. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. What kind of doctrine has God won your heart with? Can you go on to perfection with an opposing doctrine having once known the truth? Rom.6: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. The religious liberals will say that there is some good in all churches. My answer is that there is good grain in rat poison too, but it only takes a small amount of poison mixed in with the grain to kill the rat. Any Christian that thinks that he can take what good there is and leave the bad, is ignorant of the nature of evil. Make no mistake; that which is contrary to God’s Word is not of God! 1Cor.10:21,
  4. 9 points
    This morning a couple JW ladies stopped by our house while my wife was at home. Of course, they immediately wanted to talk about end times (their "go-to" topic). My wife asked a question of them, "How would you describe your relationship with God?" The speaker was flummoxed, and the 2nd lady had a stricken look on her face. My wife just waited in silence. After a long, uncomfortable silence, the speaker turned to the 2nd lady and looked at her for help. The 2nd lady said, "Um, I guess I would say, 'Necessary'?" The first lady looked back at my wife and simply shrugged, but said nothing. My wife said, "You, know, I agree that it is necessary to have a relationship with God for the sake of your soul's eternity, but I think I would choose a different word... I think I would say, 'Intimate'." She then briefly gave her testimony, focusing on the personal relationship she enjoys with God through salvation in Jesus Christ. She then asked if she could show them from the Bible how they could have a close, personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. At that point, the 2nd person said, "Well, it's obvious that we are not going to agree on a lot of things, so I think we won't take up any more of your time. But I do have one question, What church do you go to?" My wife told her the name of our church, to which the lady said, "I knew you were a Baptist! The only people who seem to know what they believe and who talk like you do about a relationship with God are Baptists. But, honestly, most of them aren't as kind as you."
  5. 9 points


    One of the greatest joys that I remember shortly after I got saved was visiting with missionaries in various countries in South East Asia during the Vietnam War. It was a blessing in visiting the works that God gave them. The Lord gave me the honour of seeing dedicated, and sacrificial, men of God, their wives, and their ministries. A special missionary in my heart is Brother Earl Beegle. Brother Beegle was a missionary to the U.S. GI's on Taiwan. Brother Earl Beegle, helped a lot of young men gain a strong love for the scriptures, soul-winning (both Chinese and American), and HOLY living. Brother Beegle is in heaven now rejoicing in the presence of the Lord Jesus. I love missionaries. I love supporting missionaries. I love being around missionaries. As far as I am concerned, the command of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 is the marching order of the Captain of our Salvation until He calls us home. A New Testament church is a missions minded church.
  6. 8 points
    OLD fashioned preacher

    Major changes

    Please pray for us. Selling or giving away practically everything (amazing how much 2 frugal people accumulate in 15 years after losing almost all in a hurricane and tornado). Giving "heirlooms" and such "family possessions" to my kids / grandkids. Looking for small motorhome for temp housing while on deputation for $6000 or less. (Target date for being on the field 31Dec19). Technologically challenged couple trying to put together presentation, etc. for deputation. Cracking down on seeking proficiency in Spanish for two old codgers. We are going on a "survey / fact-finding" trip 25Dec17-12Jan18. We are going to Nicaragua (missionary) probably beginning ministry in / near Jinotega or Boaco. The Lord has already provided me with a couple of national contacts (a paralegal who is familiar with Nicaragua visas and a Nicaraguan Independent Baptist pastor) and a gringo missionary in Matagalpa. The national pastor should be able to make me aware of existing solid Baptist churches that might be in an area that most gringos wouldn't know was there because of them being the result of the ministry of a Nica church instead of a US missionary. That should help avoid an unwitting waste of time and effort in an "already covered" area. If someone knows of some churches which have an annual missions conference that might be worth my while, please let me know. I've always stayed in my little corner, minding my own business and busy with the ministry the Lord had me in. As a result, most the people and contacts I knew are in Glory now. I know no one, no one knows me (which can be a blessing or a frustration).
  7. 8 points

    Prayer for moderator and wife.

    I am asking for prayer for one of our moderators and his wife. The moderator is Ukulelemike, his wife's name is Delia. Mike wrote to tell me that his wife woke in the night some time ago with severe stomach pain. He rushed her to the hospital and they found that she had a perforated colon resulting in a massive spill of bowel contents into her abdomen. At first they couldn't even find her blood pressure, once they did find it, it was only 50/20 her heart rate was 165. He said she almost died. She has been in intensive care for a full five weeks. She is healing now and it is looking a lot better for her. They have no insurance so this is going to be hard on them. I asked him if I could post this on the forum and he said yes, the more the better. So now we have something to pray for, for one of our own.
  8. 8 points


    I posted this before but in 2014, so I will post it again in response. I Posted June 24, 2014 I was out soul winning, door knocking in the area when someone who answered the door stated "I have heard of your church, you guys are the one's with all those rules." I looked at him genuinely confused and said "we don't have ANY rules." He said, "then why do you guys dress so different, and you don't drink, go dancing, go to movie theaters, or party like normal folks, and you go to church like several times a week?" I told him it's because of a love for God and what he has done for us. We find principles in His word that indicates what would be most pleasing to Him and out of love we do all we can to please Him. You don't have to do ANY of those things to attend our church, that would make them rules that must be followed. You don't need to follow any of those things to be saved either and on your way to heaven. I then got the chance to explain a non-works salvation to him. A person who needs rules, doesn't understand principles. Galatians 5:18 (KJV) 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. If you are truly led of the Spirit, the Spirit will NEVER lead you to do anything that is contrary to God's will and Word, there is no need for the law. Rules are neccesary for a heart away from God. Galatians 3:19a (KJV) 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV) 12 All things are lawful unto me [the Law], but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any [the Principle]. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (KJV) 23 All things are lawful for me [the Law], but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not [the Principle]. The law makes nothing perfect. Hebrews 7:19 (KJV) 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. The law was not made for righteous men. 1 Timothy 1:8-10 (KJV) 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disOBedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; Galatians 3:24 (KJV) 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. So many people, especially IFB's who have been raised since children in an IFB church, have no idea WHY we have the standards we do. Until they understand that a standard is simply a self-imposed boundary set to help us keep a conviction that was formed by understanding a principle from God's word. You first find a principle in God's word, and from that principle you form a conviction, and then a standard is set by yourself to help you keep that conviction. Because of this, some standards are entirely yours alone. For instance, I will not allow myself to own a boat. There is absolutely nothing wrong or sinful about boat ownership, but for me, outdoor recreation is a huge draw and I am weak enough to it ( "I will not be brought under the power of any"), that my ministry for God is hurt by it. Until people have standards put IN them by understanding the principles behind them, instead of ON them because "that's just the way we do things" they will never have them for their own and it is easy for them to backslide as soon as they are out of the house. Bro. Garry In His will. By His power. For His glory.
  9. 8 points
    No Nicolaitans

    The Altar

    Hi Thief on the Cross. I will give you my view on it; others' views may differ. First, I'm not sure how the area (that you're referring to) became known as "the altar". At one time, it was called things like "the mourner's bench". Charles Finney called it "the anxious bench". Those latter two names will give you the significance of it. Basically, the idea and purpose for it is that it gives a person (who may be under conviction) the opportunity to respond to that conviction at the earliest possible moment after hearing the word of God preached. The idea being, that if a person possibly waits, they may (or may not) make a decision in response to God's word. That's a good question. I personally believe that to call that area "the altar" isn't really in keeping with the biblical use of the term. The altar was the place (in the Old Testament) where animals were sacrificed and slain. There was also the altar of incense. Various people also built altars in the Old Testament prior to the institution of the law. I don't recall if any of those altars were used for anything other than sacrificing animals. They may have been; I just don't recall right now. In the New Testament (aside from the four gospels), the only altars that are mentioned which aren't for Israel's sacrificing of animals are... 1. An altar to false gods in Acts 17. 2. An altar mentioned in Hebrews 13 that belongs to "us". I think most people would say that this altar is the cross of Christ since that is where he was slain. 3. The altar of God in heaven in Revelation. Now aside from that, is there a biblical reason for doing this? I would say that's up to the individual church... My reasons in favor of it: 1. When the people heard the word of the Lord read in Nehemiah 8, they immediately acted upon it. 2. When the keeper of the prison asked Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved, he was told and immediately acted upon it. Now, it must be understood that in those two examples, there wasn't "an altar" (as we're referring to). They heard the word of God and immediately acted on it. So, people can still act on what they've heard from God's word without an "altar". My main reason for using those examples is that it (the altar call) gives people the opportunity to act immediately after hearing the word of God. However, the actual "acting on God's word" takes place in our daily lives. My reasons against it... There is nothing in the bible (that I know of) to describe what we know as today's altar call. At the same time, there is nothing in God's word describing a Sunday School, Church Choirs, Assistant Pastors, etc. There are many things done today that fall under what I would call "Christian Liberty". There may not be anything expressly supporting them in scripture; however, there isn't anything expressly forbidding them either. So churches are at liberty to use them. My concern (apart from the name itself) is that "the altar call" has become more than it was intended to be. Some use that time to pressure people. Some use it as a way of measuring a successful sermon. Some use it as a way to compare themselves with other churches. I want to stress "some"...not all! Now keep in mind, these are my thoughts on it. Others may disagree. In fact, if anyone knows that I'm mistaken in any part of this, I would hope they would point that out to me so that I can make it right.
  10. 8 points

    The beauty of creation

    I am posting this in The Beauty of Creation thread because it has to do with The Beauty of Creation, but it requires more than just a picture. It also needs to be explained in detail so that readers will understand all the factors involved. I hope readers will enjoy this as much as I have enjoyed experiencing it first hand. As I write this the date is May 1st. 2018. We have had to move our residence to a different place about eight miles from where we previously lived. It has been a long and arduous task for two old people, but we got it done. A new location always brings about unexpected changes and surprises, but with this move there was a surprise that I never could have anticipated. But before I reveal this surprise I need to flesh out this story so that the reader understands the unique situation we live under in California. When most people think of California they immediately think in terms of big cities and huge populations. I also thought this way before I became a resident. The truth is that there are many places in Far Northern California that are extremely rural and even off the beaten track. Many places are desert with no population, or mountainous and forested. Where we live is mountainous and heavily forested. It is just a place name with little population. In a fifteen mile stretch of highway the population is just 115. The nearest sizable city is 80 miles distance. Out nearest neighbor is more than three miles away. Hello So, having established how rural we are I will move on. Being surrounded by wilderness we see a lot of wildlife. When we moved in here the person that was moving out told us of a small California Kit Fox that visited regularly. He said this fox liked to stop by for a slice of bread. Since we moved in this little female fox has stopped by a number of times. But I found out something about this visitor that no one ever would have guessed. I'm Foxy After the first couple of visits where I would dole out a slice of bread in small bites, one evening I decided to sing some hymns. I often sing when alone and outside, or in the truck. As I sang I noticed a visible change in the demeanor of the little fox. She was standing about six feet from me and her eyes seemed to soften as she listened. I could tell she was enjoying the hymns because her ears would move back and forward in response to certain notes. Got Bread? Then began a ritual whereby she would stop by not only for a scrap of bread, but also to be sung to. She doesn’t leave right away when the bread is gone, but waits quietly for the singing. The first time this ritual began I was pleasantly surprised to see she was not just inquisitive about the pleasant sound of song, but she was thoroughly enjoying it. First, as she was listening she seemed to relax more and then sat down. As I continued to sing different hymns she then lay down with her head up, still a mere six feet away. Finally she not only lay down, but put her head down between her paws, flat on the ground. She ended up with her front feet tucked under her and her head on the ground in a very peaceful position and continued to listen. What a trusting attitude for one of God’s wild creatures. She shows no fear with the exception of my wife trying to get a picture of her through the window, that makes her wary, but not fearful. Having lived in Alaska for many years I am familiar with most kinds of wildlife. I do not make it a habit of actually feeding any wildlife because they can become habituated to it and lose their ability to forage for themselves. One scrap of bread once in a while is not likely to have this effect. I Like Bread As I said in the beginning of this story, “a new location always brings about unexpected changes and surprises.” But this is a surprise I never would have imagined. It would seem that this latest move has also brought about the surprise of a ready made congregation of one. So you might say that I now have a ministry of food for the homeless, as well as a ministry in song. She does seem to favor the slower, soothing hymns as opposed to anything up beat such as “When the roll is called up yonder;” or “The battle hymn of the republic.” This seems to be a small sample of what nature and man will experience during the Millennium. All of God’s creation has this to look forward to in the future. Awww, come on, just one more song
  11. 8 points
    I do believe that the KJO "movement" is dying, but I'm OK with that. The KJV was around centuries before there was ever a "movement", and will be here long after the movement is over. A movement is spearheaded by men following men. And what men lead other men into, they can lead them out of. I suspect that when we get to heaven, God's opinion of the shadow cast by some of the IFB "greats" will not be quite as high as their own opinion of themselves. John the Baptist said "He must increase, but I must decrease". I've watched these men do nothing but increase for decades, until they crashed one-by-one, ruining their testimonies, as well as the testimony of their "movement". Some 100 -odd years of Icarus flying too close too the sun on wings held together by the wax of personality. It melted. Now we're falling from the sky. We have spent decades sending our best and brightest to these centralized "institutions of higher learning" established and run by egomaniacs and carnal showmen, and failed to do our duty as a local church and train up our own, as commanded by II Timothy 2:2. So we now have a full 2 generations of "pastors" in this country who are the ignorant, carnal product of our own lazy, irresponsibility. The answer? The few real, godly, veteran pastors that are left must start taking their own young preachers under their own wing, and lead them at home by example in weeping, working, loving, studying, preaching, praying and living right. Pastoring is about nights on our knees, not neckties around our necks. It's about working hard on sermons, not waxing eloquent on social ills. It's sacrifice, not salaries. Humility instead of haughtiness. Building faith, not getting fat. We call ourselves "Christian". "Followers of Christ". Well, Christ was poor, humble, loving and forgiving while still preaching hard truth. He was hard working and invested in his disciples on a 24-hour-a-day, personal, sacrificial basis. We, the IFB "movement" left following Christ and began following men who named Christ, but followed themselves. I'm 50 years old. I was born to an IFB preacher, and raised in it my whole life. 3 of my uncles were IFB preachers. My dad graduated under DR Tom Malone at Northwestern in 1972. I was ordained in 1998 as an IFB preacher, and have preached in IFB churches across the US and in a number of foreign countries. I am heartsick at the condition of the church today as a whole. We have to stop doing what got us in this mess in the first place, and start accepting our responsibility to replace ourselves, (Matthew 28:18-20, II Timothy 2:2 etc.), while making sure daily we are even worth replacing.
  12. 8 points

    Why our IFB churches are dying

    I have visited well over 100 Independent Baptist Churches here in North Carolina. If you add the churches we visited while traveling, the number is probably close to 200. What we have determined is that there are 2 areas where IFB churches can and should improve before they fade away. One is with the Pastor and the other is with the People. Pastor Though there are 3 different types of preaching, Expository, Textual, Topical, there is something missing in a lot of our churches. I have heard hundreds of preachers over the years and unfortunately many of them have moved away from Scripture and to telling good stories, jokes, poems, etc. I was taught in college that illustrations illustrate. Unfortunately, what I see in churches is that preachers use 1 or 2 versus of Scripture and then use illustration after illustration to prove their points. There are many reasons why preaching has become an issue in churches, but my challenge to all preachers is to evaluate your preaching style and ensure that you are "Preaching the Word", not the great story about the time God blessed you. Church We have found that the vast majority of churches are just unfriendly. Shaking hands with me as a visitor is not being friendly. It's being cordial. As we have visited churches, many people have shaken our hands and thanked us for coming. However, very few individuals have even asked us our name. We have been invited to church by many people and they have said that they were the friendliest church in ####. When we arrive at church (usually 15 minutes before), we find that no one comes up to talk with us and learn more about us. Even when we try to start conversations with others, the conversation is one sided. It gives me the impression that the church doesn't want us there. Most visitors will only come to a church one time to evaluate it. First impressions are critical. Here are some ways people can make others feel welcome: 1. Have a conversation with the individual. Learn their name, where they live (Not necessarily the address), where they work, family, hobbies. 2. Use the above conversation to build a relationship with them. 3. Take them out for lunch and get to know them further These two areas are easily fixable. Pastors need to train their people to be friendly. It is what is driving the cults and "Modern" churches to excel. I share this in this area to encourage those in the ministry to evaulate
  13. 7 points
    No Nicolaitans

    What would you do?

    Please forgive me for what I'm about to say... Folks here know my stance (I think). I see nothing wrong with women wearing pants...if they are modest. Same with dresses. Sometimes, I feel that I'm the only one who draws a parallel between modern-day IFB "rules and regulations" and the Pharisees who placed the emphasis on outward appearance. Whitewashed tombs? Clean the outside of the cup? Christ certainly wasn't in favor of those who "made proselytes". I've said it before. I'm saying it now...and I'll continue saying it... Allow the Holy Spirit to change a person as they grow in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. When the change comes from him (and within), the change is real. When the change is forced by others...it's not real. It's done to please man. All of this emphasis on forcing a change on the outward appearance usurps what Christ is doing on the inside. Often more than not, it forces people to seek to please man...and often more than not, it leads to man-worship. I would much rather see a lady (who wears pants to church) yearning to know more of Christ...than to see a woman (who wears dresses only) that gives those who don't "measure up" looks of disgust and disdain, because they wear pants ...and the same for men. Preach standards...yes! However, don't force them on people. Allow the Holy Spirit to change them through the preaching of his word. Please?
  14. 7 points

    The beauty of creation

    This is a monolith called "Wave Rock" about 500km east of Perth in the middle of nowhere.
  15. 7 points

    The beauty of creation

    Late afternoon in the SW corner of Western Australia - that is the Indian Ocean.
  16. 7 points
    Jordan Kurecki

    a wife

    Update, yesterday I official began courting a most wonderful godly young lady that I met here at Baptist Bible Translators Institute/ the Lord is good.
  17. 7 points
    One of the colleges I went to was staffed in large part by BJU grads. There were a lot of placards with Bob Jones quotes on them. I don't remember if there were any with scripture. At another college I went to, one of the pastoral staff preached a message in chapel...it was completely taken from a book. The book was very good - I owned it, and that's how I knew from whence the message came. But hearing it "preached" was disconcerting, to say the least. It has always been my belief (and still is) that a preacher should get his messages from God, not a book written by man - no matter how spiritual that man is/was. It doesn't bother me if a preacher quotes another preacher once in a while, if it is apropos to the sermon and is biblically sound. IMO, it could be used as illustration. But, again, only once in a while. I'd much rather hear my pastor quote God's Word.
  18. 7 points
    What joy! Three of our grandsons were saved today! The two oldest boys (15 and 17 yrs old) are both special needs boys, and that just goes to show how powerful God's love and His truths are and how they can pierce through and not be hindered by those special needs! The youngest is almost 12 yrs old and he was the first of the three to ask the Saviour to save him. "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:7). What glorious answers to this grandma's countless prayers! I'm rejoicing with tears of praise, and ever grateful in prayer! Yes, praise God from Whom all blessings flow! I can't help but to add... What an unspeakably joyous thing it was to hear the oldest young man ask Jesus to save him! To be told that his countenance was one of peace and serenity surely wrought the instant longing to join the very angels in Heaven and burst out in joyful song! Glory to God in the highest for all three of my grandsons accepting the gift of salvation! Praise the Lord for my grandsons' momma who led them to Him...and their daddy for also teaching them and desiring that they be saved! In the quietness of your heart, if you will sweetly still yourself...you shall hear the RE-JOY-SING (JOY AGAIN and AGAIN!!!) in Heaven over these 3 precious young men!
  19. 7 points

    When did the church begin?

    When did the church begin? I think we would all agree that the English word “church” originates from the Greek word, “Ecclesia”. Without going into great detail I believe that we can also agree that this Greek word basically means “assembly.” Ok, if we agree so far then we can move on to what assembly we are referring to when discussing the word, “Church.” I think it logical to begin with the promise of the church. We find the promise here: Mat. 16:18 And I say also 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. In this promise Jesus defines what church he is talking about; He said it would be his church and that he would build it. If we take Jesus at his word we can eliminate any other church, or assembly, if you will. We can also affirm that his church did not exist before this because the words “I will build” are in the future tense. We find the first members of his church mentioned here” 1Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. We find that he chose these apostles here: Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles. Since the office of apostle is then a “church office,” we can safely say that when he chose the twelve this is the beginning of “his church.” There are many scriptures that show that his church was in existence during his personal ministry on earth. They do not show the time of the actual beginning, but they affirm that it existed at that time. There is no scripture that comes right out and says; “The church began at this time.” There are many that think that the church began on the day of Pentecost. But a serious study will show that the church existed before Pentecost. I’ll just mention a few here. Jesus is with his disciples here as they partake of The Lord’s Supper: Mat. 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. He sang this hymn with them in the midst of the church: Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance. Just the fact that they partook of The Lord’s Supper presupposes that there is a church in existence at this time. The authority of disciples in church capacity was placed in the church during Christ's earthly ministry. Mat 18:15. 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. 16 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. 17 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. They had the church commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost Mrk. 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Anyway, this part about the church before Pentecost is just a freebee. It doesn’t really speak to the issue of when the church was begun, but rather, when it wasn’t.
  20. 6 points

    Rock Tumbling

    The church I am working at has a home school ministry and I thought it would be a fun thing for the kids to learn about rock polishing/tumbling, so I brought in my little rock tumbler and a few rough gemstones that came with it and showed them how it works. They were a bit disappointed that it's going to take so long to have a finished shiny stone, but are excited to seeing the finished product. The rock tumbler works by turning a barrel of rocks, sand, and water constantly for up to 3-4 weeks depending on your desired shininess or rock type. The tumbler that I got came with four different grits of sand, the first grit is the roughest type and just gets the rocks smoothed out, the final grit is the finest type and polishes the rocks. The rocks have been tumbling for two weeks now, and are now at grit #3 and will tumble for another week before I change the sand again. The pictures are of the tumbler and some random rocks I found, before tumbling, and after the first week of tumbling. Before: After 1 week:
  21. 6 points

    The Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus

    1 John 4:10, “The Propitiation for Our sins.” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 The word propitiation means, “an atoning sacrifice.” An atoning sacrifice is a sacrifice that atones for sins. To atone for ones sins is to reconcile a person to God. The sacrifices of the Old Testament animals, or any animal of any culture, cannot take away sins; they were temporary until the Lord Jesus shed His blood to pay the penalty for our sins. The Lord Jesus became the Lamb of God that takes away our sins. John 1: 29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Only the blood of Jesus can take away our sins. Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” The Lord Jesus shed His precious blood on the Cross of Calvary to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ is the propitiation, or atoning sacrifice, for our sins. Leviticus Chapter 1 The book of Leviticus was given in order for mankind to know that we needed an atoning sacrifice, as a propitiation for sins, for the payment of sins. In these ordinances, God told the nation of Israel how to conduct these sacrifices. In Leviticus 1:1-9, God gives us some very important aspects of the sacrifices. God was very specific about the offering. The sacrifice must be according to what God said. Leviticus 1:3 “If the offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.” Leviticus 1:3 The sacrifices of the Old Testament Law, specifically the book of Leviticus, were to be brought on the voluntary will of the individual. Every man has a will and God wants our sacrifice to come from the voluntary will of the individual. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The Lord Jesus Voluntarily Gave His Life to Became Our Sacrifice “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51 The Lord Jesus willingly gave His life for our life. God Sent the Lord Jesus to Become the Atoning Sacrifice God sent Jesus to become the propitiation for our sins. The plan of God, before the foundation of the world, was for the Lord Jesus to leave heaven and become the propitiation, or atoning sacrifice, for the sins of all mankind. Why? Because God Loves Us Verse 10 says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” We also need to notice that before we loved Jesus: Jesus first loved us. In verse 10, the scripture says, that, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. In the sight of God, man is not righteous and not seeking Him. Romans 3:10 and 11, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” But, God is seeking man. God does not want anybody to spend eternity in hell. Hell is the place for the punishment of our sins. Luke 19:10, “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” The love of God, and the love of the Lord Jesus, was manifested on the Cross of Calvary. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” On the cross, the Lord Jesus, of His own free will, became the propitiation for our sins. Jesus loves us! Concluding thoughts We have seen some tremendous truths in this passage of scripture that can help us understand the love of God. And we found out that, God is seeking us and that Jesus Christ willingly allowed Himself to be crucified on the Cross of Calvary that we might be saved. The Lord Jesus became the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice, for our sins in order for to have eternal life in heaven. We need to accept this sacrifice in our hearts for our salvation and have a heart of thanks.
  22. 6 points


    Bubbles by Alan As one goes through life, troubles, like bubbles, arise and flow, Turmoil and woe, Friend and Foe Alike flow like bubbles, Bubbles, like troubles, are the woe on man, The curse of sin, Bubbles, like time, wax and wan, rise and fall Though big and complex, like the throes of life, meet man alike Bubble like troubles, are strong and weak to all they meet A wind shall carry, all alike, from start to finish. Though alike in form, the end is not norm, for all bubbles. To prove the fact, the truth may be known All bubbles are not the same. Though flimsy and flighty, the race is not in the bubble, 'tis the wind. Though not swift, nor strong in might, 'tis the wind. 'Tis wind my friend, the determines the end, of the bubble. ' that the race is not, to the swift,' 'tis the wind. Ecclesiastes 9:11 Photo by Mrs. Alan
  23. 6 points

    Wesco Family to Cameroon

    Please be in prayer for the Wesco family. This family of 10 arrived in Cameroon in recent months as missionaries. Brother Wesco was shot in the head and died either this morning or yesterday (the time difference fools me...). Anyway, all of their children are minors, so Sister Wesco is left to rear them as a single mom. Her prayer is that God will be glorified through all of this.
  24. 6 points
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. When we married, my wife tried to change me, and I tried to change her. To make a long story short, the truth of those verses finally dawned on me. After I gave up my own desires and accepted her for who she was, life was much better. Take it as you will.
  25. 6 points
    Here is something to ponder -- 1. The character of God's Law is holy. Thus it is in perfect unity with the perfect holiness of the Lord our God. 2. The character of God's Spirit is holy. Thus he is in perfect unity with the perfect holiness of the Lord our God. 3. If by character God's Law directs us in a perfect standard of holiness, and if by character God's Spirit directs us in a perfect standard of holiness, in what manner does God's Law and God's Spirit contradict each other?
  26. 6 points

    I have a request

    Tomorrow I will be going in for an echocardiogram. I have had the test before and there was nothing wrong. However, I recently had an EKG that showed some issues. There is an issue in my sinus rhythm, and they suspect that my left atrium is enlarged. Hence the ECG. There is definitely something wrong - I can feel it. Please, if you would, pray that they can find what's wrong and we can take care of it. On a happier note, I had a whole slew of blood tests done, and everything is great with those. No high blood pressure, either. My hubs had some tests as well. And they weren't as happy. His A1C hit 7, and his triglycerides were so high they couldn't figure his LDL or HDL count. My TOTAL lipid panel was 134. His triglyderides are 1500. Yes, you read that right. Ugh... So now we are in the process of trying to change some things. Would appreciate prayer for that as well.
  27. 6 points

    Salvation after the rapture.

    The "left behind" series are to be taken with a grain of salt. Although entertaining, thought provoking, and an element of truth, they are not entirely scriptural doctrine. They were written with more thought on making money in the Christian market than teaching biblical doctrine. Your question is not silly. It arises due to the confusion in false teachers teaching salvation by our works. So, we understand that your question is logical. First of all, nowhere in the Bible, in either the Old or New Testament, in either under Law or under Grace, nor even in the 7-Year Tribulation Period, will anybody be saved by works. Second, false teachers take verses out of context and give their own reason why they think people must work to be saved. I do hope that my short explanation helps. In other areas of OnLineBaptist the issue of working for one's salvation has been minutely studied. I am only giving you the conclusion of our studies. If you have any specific verse that you want us to study please let us know.
  28. 6 points
    Pastor Scott Markle

    My Apology

    Sometimes it is not the words themselves, but the attitude in which those words were administered. We observe the words, but God the Holy Spirit is able to look upon the attitude. Thus if God the Holy Spirit brought conviction against what was done, although you or I do not see the fault, then God the Holy Spirit should be heeded. Although I also may not have recognized any fault in Brother Jim's responses, I do certainly honor his humility in publicly providing the above expression of humble repentance at the direction of God the Holy Spirit.
  29. 6 points

    The beauty of creation

    Sunset East Coast of Taiwan The evening sun reflecting on the clouds - No Photo editing or special lighting. Photo by Alan
  30. 6 points
    Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
  31. 6 points
  32. 6 points

    The beauty of creation

    This picture was taken by a gentleman in Sequim last Thursday. Even though we are surrounded by mountains, snow is very rare in this area. It started snowing Sunday a week ago, and snowed several times after that. Temps remained very cold, so the snow hung on. Yesterday it began raining, so our front yard is basically clear (the back yard still has a lot of snow). It is beautiful, but I''m ready for spring.
  33. 6 points
    I have full assurance of conviction that the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 are NOT angelic beings.
  34. 6 points

    The beauty of creation

    A lady took this photo this morning. It's from the east end of Sequim. Gorgeous sunrise.
  35. 6 points


    My first church in Alaska, where I was saved, was a mission work sponsored and supported by Rodger's Baptist Church out of Garland Texas. Even as a mission we were taught mission support and supported three or four missionaries even as a mission ourselves. Our missionary pastor answered a call to far away Alaska from his home in Colorado. He and his family, as well as two other families started this mission work. They traveled to Alaska, bought three parcels of land, cut trees for building material and used a loaned sawmill to mill lumber for building. They had the advantage of six teen aged boys to help with the building. They helped each other build three houses while camping out in tents in summer. They began meeting in the pastors house. On Sundays and Thursdays people would arrive early, move all the furniture in the living room and set up folding chairs. There were only about six people attending when I went for the first time. I had never been in any kind of church before other than a Roman Catholic Church as a small boy. Although I knew these religious nuts were there, I never went near them. I went the night I was saved at the invitation of a man that did attend this mission work. I went more to get him off of my back as far as his incessant "witnessing" was concerned. (But God had a much more serious reason for my attending) After a couple of years our small mission had saved enough money to build a small 24X24 foot building to meet in. Some of the members were tradesmen, so the labor was provided by the mission. We never went into debt for any construction, even when we remodeled to make the building larger, which we did in another couple of years. I hope I don't drag this thread off topic by writing so much, but it does speak directly to mission work and what can be accomplished by God in even the most unlikely of places. In the beginning this was an extremely small community with only a few houses scattered along a road that dead ended 50 miles from the nearest town. The following is a picture of my first missionary pastor and his wife, who have both gone to be with The Lord quite a few years ago. But their work still remains and the work of other missionaries we supported still remains.
  36. 6 points
    weary warrior

    The beauty of creation

    Alan, you mentioned the full picture of the lion in my avatar ...
  37. 6 points

    The beauty of creation

    This is in contrast to weary warrior's beautiful late summer picture, also taken in Alaska. Notice that it is a different season.
  38. 6 points
    weary warrior

    The beauty of creation

    I've guided horseback off and on for several years here in Alaska. This is on one of my trips up in the mountains....
  39. 6 points

    Just braggin' a little.

    My wife is a wonderful, lovely, gorgeous, but slightly silly lady. I say slightly silly for the simple reason that you would have to be at the very least slightly silly to put up with me for 29 years, and yet as of tomorrow, it will be 29 years ago that we were married. I love her more now than I did then, and at that time, I didn't think it was possible to love a person more than I loved her. So I am bragging about how wonderful she is, and how amazing she is that she could put up with me for so long.
  40. 6 points
    In my early ministry, I quoted a lot of Old time preachers. I felt like it would give me some validity with the people in the church. As I grew in the Lord, I realized that people didn't come to hear me or funny stories or quotes from great preachers. They did not come to church to be entertained. They came to hear God's Word. My messages decreased in length from 50+ minutes to around 35, but the people began to grow greatly in the Lord and I saw a change in my church. I don't tell jokes anymore and rarely even tell a story. God's Word is the center point of my message.
  41. 6 points

    Eternal Security vs O.S.A.S

    I think both of you need to take a step back and breathe. It seems that you are talking at each other, saying much the same thing. For some reason you've rubbed each other the wrong way (at least that is certainly my impression of your interactions in this and other threads). Sadly, I do know of Christians who have stupidly said things like "you can go murder your grandmother now and you'll still go to Heaven." My mother's best friend was told this when she got saved as a teenager. It's no wonder she had no interest in learning anything more about the Lord. The fact of the matter is that eternal security is a Bible doctrine, and we are promised it in God's Word. We do not persevere, we are preserved. Christianity has, in many instances, equated OSAS with eternal security (and Omega is correct that there are minute differences between the two; but minute is the key...). Because once we are saved, we are saved. Period. And that is something with which the two of you are in agreement, even if you don't seem to realize it. So, let's, as I said, take a step back and a breath. And let's rejoice that we will meet in Heaven - and we won't talk at cross purposes!
  42. 6 points

    Starting on a new adventure

    We got back from church just a bit ago. The vote was 14 yea, 4 nay. The constitution that the church was under at the time of the vote required 3/4 majority. And so Randy is now permanent pastor. After the vote for pastor, the church also voted on the constitution. So now the church has a pastor and a constitution that is unique to the church. They also gave my husband a gift of cash for Pastor Appreciation Month. Thank you for praying. We appreciate any prayer as our adventure continues.
  43. 6 points
    Danny Carlton

    Urgent, work needed

    I find myself in a place where I have no idea how we will pay this month's bills. I've been supporting my family as a freelance web developer for the past 10 years and we've always had money coming in from somewhere, but my freelance clients have dwindled down to just a few and the website I was relying on as a financial backup also petered out and is now defunct. I know God will come through and provide, but the stress of times like this is always what's worse. So I'm asking for prayer for strength to trust in God's plan. He knows what He's doing, but it's very hard not to worry and fret over every little thing that I do, whether I'm doing enough, too little or too much.
  44. 6 points
    And herein I do stand also. Based upon my study on the doctrine of Biblical inspiration and preservation as delivered in God's Word, I can do no other.
  45. 6 points
    Salvation in the OT – Paul’s explanation. To begin with, Hebrews is the perfect place to find out about salvation in the Old Testament, for this letter is all about how the New is better than the Old. In fact, it is widely recognised that the key word of this letter is the word “Better”. This word is found 13 times – only Ecclesiastes and Proverbs have more instances of this word. Ecclesiastes is a comparison between the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord – so we would expect to see “better” in any list of comparisons. Proverbs is about living for the Lord, and the wisdom of God’s ways compared to the worlds ways – so again comparison would expect to see the word “Better”. So likewise, Hebrews also is a comparison – of the Old worship compared to the New worship, so the word “better” should be expected. There is much in Hebrews to examine in this matter. Heb 3:15-19 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. The Promised land is a picture of salvation, and they could not enter into the land because of unbelief – but it is actually more than that – it speaks of them not entering into His rest. Now, in case you would think that I am overstepping this point, see the next chapter. Heb 4:1-3 1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. Paul says that the Gospel was preached unto “us”, as well as unto them:” It doesn’t say that it was “a Gospel” but “the gospel” – this indicates it was the same thing preached unto them as unto us – and their problem was not that they didn’t sacrifice, but they didn’t believe in faith. And there is more along these lines: Heb 4:5 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Entering into His rest comes after the preaching, but some entered not into His rest because of unbelief. This could all be applied to simply entering into the Land, if it were not for the fact that Paul equates the gospel preached to them with the gospel preached “to us” (that is Paul and those of his time.) Heb 4:7-10 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. The key point in this section is that it is Jesus that would have given THEM rest – and that “rest” remains – the implication is that it is the same rest that is being spoken of. And an important note to this is vs 10 – “he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works”. Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; It appears as though Paul is equating the “rest” of the OT saints with the “rest” of salvation. The statement is made in: Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? If perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, then there was no need of the Saviour – It is stated quite plainly here that perfection was NOT POSSIBLE by the Law. With this statement, we must come to one of two conclusions – either there was no way for them to be saved, or they were saved by a way other than the Law. Further on in this chapter we have a comparison made: Heb 7:13-25 13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Jesus was not from the priestly tribe and is therefore not qualified in that way to be a priest. But He is after the order of Melchisidech – and the important part of that is “a priest for ever”. His priesthood did not start at the cross – He was already and always a Priest. In vs 19 Paul uses the past tense to show that “the Law MADE nothing perfect” – it never did, even when they were under the Law – “…but the bringing in of a better hope did;….” And in vs 24,25 Paul makes the point that this man has an unchangeable priesthood, and He is able to save “…seeing He ever liveth…” If it is unchanging, then it is unchanging from the start, and He is a priest after the order of Melchisedeck for ever. His priesthood is for ever and is unchanging. This indicates that His ministry has always been effective, and always will be. Next chapter: Heb 8:-7 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. Paul uses the word “Pattern” here, to show that the things of the priests were a pattern, or example, or illustration, of the true sacrifice. They were not the effective sacrifice, but a picture of it. If the picture were faultless (or effective) there would be no reason for the fact. In other words, if the yearly sacrifice was enough, there would be no need for the perfect sacrifice. The Picture showed the truth that was still to come. Chapter 9 discusses that picture. Heb 9:1-8 1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Paul makes the point that the “way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest” – this is a significant statement because the word manifest means “shown or displayed” – “to be made apparent”. This word is used of something that is in existence, but is not seen. It is not used of something that does not exist yet – the way was there, it was just not clearly seen. Heb 9:9-13 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: “Purifying of the flesh” indicates the outside – the works. “Conscience” indicates the inside – the spirit. Heb 9:14-15 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Paul talks of the “first Testament” transgressions being dealt with by the death of the Christ. This is those under the Law were purged by the death of Christ, not by keeping the Law – which we know its true today without argument. This is not specifically dealing with Pre-Christ issues though, but generally. Heb 9:16-22 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. After discussing the things that Moses did – blood purges sin etc – in the following verses Paul again talks about them being a “pattern”, and how the perfect sacrifice was needed. Heb 9:23-28 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Vs 25, 26 is interesting in that it says that Christ was offered once, and that was enough. If He had to be offered every year, as with the “pattern sacrifices”, then it would have had to have been “from the foundation of the world” – but now once in the end is enough. This is an indicator of a concept of “backward salvation” if you will – Paul is indicating that this once was enough for all time, even before the event – if it had to be an annual thing then it would have to be from the beginning of time for there were those who would have “missed out” if it was only effective from the day of the sacrifice. If the perfect sacrifice was only effective for 12 months at a time, then it would have to have been done at the very beginning and every year since. But this one time sacrifice is enough and is effective for ever. Heb 10:1-4 1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. A restating of these things – picture, example, if it were perfect, then once would be enough, the picture didn’t have the power to save anyone. Heb 10:9-12 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Take away the first – the picture of sacrifice, and replace it with the second – the perfect sacrifice. “….we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – this “once for all” is an all encompassing phrase – it means “one time for every one”, and there is no limitation stated or implied that it is “once for everyone from now”. Add to this the statement in vs 12 “…one sacrifice for sins for ever…” – the words “for ever” again don’t imply from now until for ever, but just forever. His Sacrifice was for sins for ever, not just sins from “now on”. Heb 10:20 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Even in this, the “new and living way” is not a brand new invention, but because it is consecrated to us “through the veil” it indicates that it is now seen by all – the veil of the Temple kept people out of direct contact, but when Christ died as the perfect Sacrifice, the veil was torn in two and people could see directly to God. The way was always there, but now it was “seen”, which ties in with ch9:8 where the way into the Holiest was now made manifest – the Holiest is the portion of the Temple concealed by the veil. The “Hall of Faith”. Heb 11:1-4 11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. The very first example of faith mentioned is that of Abel – his sacrifice was acceptable, and offered “by Faith”. His sacrifice was of a lamb – this pictured the coming Sacrifice of Christ, whilst the sacrifice of Cain did not. Cain’s sacrifice pictured man’s own work, whilst Abel’s sacrifice had the blood. How did Abel know to make such a sacrifice? We are not told, but we are told that to cover Adam and Eve’s sin, the Lord made them coats of skins: Gen 3:21 21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. We have the example straight up of a death required to cover sin, and the assumption is that Adam and Eve taught their children this example. They also had the promise of: Gen 3:14-15 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. This is a promise of Messiah, and event that He would die on the cross and be raised again – a bruised heel is rarely fatal – it is an inconvenience; it is painful; but it is rarely fatal. A “bruised head” however is a different matter. Even today a “bruised head” can be fatal, and before modern medicine it almost always was. This is a prophecy that a man would be injured but would then have ultimate victory over Satan – this is what we see in Christ – He was wounded, but not to finality – He rose from the dead. And when He did, he put an end to the efforts of Satan – Satan will never be like the Most High. And this was known by Adam and Eve, and associated with the covering for their sin which required the death of animals – you don’t get skins off of an animal without killing the animal. And Able offered a better sacrifice by Faith – by faith in God, evidenced by Able following the example given to Adam and Eve, in knowledge of the promise of victory through a son. It is somewhat flimsy to the argument of faith in Christ, but there can be no doubt that Adam and Eve were waiting for one to have victory over Satan, and the sacrifice of an animal was associated with it. Enoch pleased God and it is impossible to please God without faith – so Enoch had Faith in God – but it is not explained precisely what that faith was about. In each of these faith is evident in the works they performed -they trusted God when God told them to do something. Heb 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. Abraham had faith which was displayed in many ways, but in this particular one there is an indicator of something – that death and resurrection was possible. And it says that Abraham “also received him in a figure”. Received who “in a figure”? It is unclear, but it can not be talking of Isaac, because it did not in fact happen. The indication is that Abraham received God “in a figure” – He looked at the picture of Isaac dying on the altar, and was convinced that God could raise Isaac from the dead, and then realised that it was a picture – that God would die and be raised up again. (But this is not 100% clear in this). Heb 11:24-27 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. It is interesting here that Paul says that Moses was “Esteeming the reproach of Christ” – not of God, but specifically “of Christ” – Now we know that Moses did not know the name of Jesus, but he knew about Christ, and that Christ was God. The Jews all knew about Messiah, and they all knew about the sacrifices – but not many put two and two together I guess – just as not many understand the truth of Christ today. Heb 11:39-40 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. These all “received not the promise” – that means they were expecting a promise – but which promise? They had faith, but “received not the promise”. It does not state it plainly. But there are indicators – and one of them is in the next section: Heb 12:1-2 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses? Which witnesses – these men and women just mentioned in chapter 11 – and what was common about them – they all had faith. The implication of this verse is that we should run the race in the same way that those gathered at the finish line did – they have already run their race,. And we should keep going till we finish as well. And what race are we to run? Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. What is implied here is that their faith (chapter 11) is the same faith as our faith, and our faith is looking to Jesus, therefore their faith was looking to Jesus. They didn’t know His name, but they knew about Him. He was promised, and it was the fulfilment of this promise that they were trusting in. There is no doubt that men have always been sinners – at least since Adam sinned – and there can be no doubt that there is none righteous, no not one. What is less often acknowledged is that a man can only be righteous if God makes Him so. And God did that in the OT as well as in the NT. Rom 4:6 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, God imputed righteousness to men WITHOUT works, even in the OT. There are some references in Hebrews that we have looked at that show that the OT sacrifices themselves didn’t save anyone – they have not the power to take away sins – it was faith in what the sacrifices pictured that counted. But what exactly did the OT saints have faith in? This is less obvious, in that it was not “made manifest” or shown clearly in OT times. Yet some understood it – that is clear from the words of Hebrews 11 amongst other passages. But look at: Joh 20:26-29 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. This last phrase is an interesting phrase in light of what we read about those who “received not the promise” in Hebrews 11. It says “they that have not seen” – and it uses not the future tense, but a tense that allows both past and current. “Have not” actually sits in the past tense but also applies to those who “have not yet” seen – so it could include those alive then who have not, as well as those of the past who “have not” seen – although it would be more definite if it said “did not”. But it indicates that there were some who “have not seen, and yet have believed”. There were those in the past who believed in Christ, even though they did not see Christ themselves – this brings my mind to those who were waiting for the promised Messiah, but did not “receive the promise”. They were trusting in Him, but did not see the realisation of that promise – yet they are counted as having faith. Further, Joh 1:29-34 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. This is that manifesting of the way into the holiest – the showing of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. And it is significant the way John refers to Him: “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” The people of the nation would have understood the reference. It was apparently approaching the time of the yearly sacrifice, and the people knew that a spotless lamb was to be sacrificed for the sin of the nation. We know that those sacrifices were pictures, illustration, shadows, of the truth. When John called out “behold the lamb of God”, the people would have known what John meant – that this guy – whoever He was – was the sacrifice for sin. They may not have understood it immediately, but people began to follow Him – they knew that He was the promised Messiah. People were looking for the Messiah to come. They knew about Him. They knew about the sacrifices as well. Over time and through poor teaching they had lost the meaning of these things, but it was known. They knew about Messiah, and they knew about the sacrifices, and the OT does link Messiah to the sacrifices – so the knowledge was available. They did not know His name, but they knew for instance that he would be called Emmanuel. They did not call upon the name of Jesus, but they did call upon the Messiah, the promised Lamb of God. And there is this: 1 Cor 15:3-4 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: These things were all done “According to the Scriptures”, therefore the knowledge of what had to happen was there. If it was all according to the Scriptures, then it is entirely possible that an OT person could be saved by trusting in the Messiah to come. After all, it was all written there. And of course, Paul confirmed that fact when he wrote to Timothy: 2 Tim 3:15 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Note that When Timothy was a child the only Scriptures would have been the OT, yet Paul says that was sufficient. (I went to correct a typo and all my references disappeared - I have replaced them, so I hope they show up now!)
  46. 6 points
    Proverbs 1:5 Analyzing the Chinese word, ‘Hear.’ 「聽」 Introduction Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” A wise man will listen to the scriptures and OBtain counsel. The Chinese language is unique, interesting, and very complex. Also, within their own culture, the Chinese language has a written testimony of the mind of God. The Chinese language is an ideographic language. It uses lines, called, ‘strokes,’ and, every individual word, is called a, ‘character.’ And, within every ‘character’ are other ‘characters.’ Finally, every line within the word has to written in proper sequence. I did not make up the sequence of this message; a Chinese dictionary made the sequence. The ‘character,’ or word, listen in the Chinese is comprised of six different Chinese words put together to form one word: the word listen or to hear. Let us breakdown the word, ‘Listen’ in Chinese and see what the Bible says. Also, we will list these words in the standard sequence that the Chinese use in writing their language. First Chinese Word - Ear 耳 Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” God created our ears for us to have the ability to hear words. To God words are important as they reveal what a person has in its heart. We need to be careful what we say and what we hear. God gave us two ears and one mouth so we will listen more than we speak. Proverbs 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” God gave us the Law in order for us to understand His holiness, His righteousness, His will, and our need for a Saviour. The Law is contained within the Old Testament. When a person, whether saved or lost, does not want to hear the Law than even his prayer is an abomination. As one studies the Old Testament Law he realizes that he comes far short of the righteousness of God and realizes that the Lord Jesus truly fulfilled the Law of God. The more we learn the Law the more we appreciate the grace of the Lord Jesus. Second Chinese Word - King 王 “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2 God rules the affairs of this earth from His throne in heaven. God is in full control and He knows exactly what He is doing and why He allows all events to happen. Revelation 19:16, "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” One day, hopefully soon, the Lord Jesus is coming back to this earth to rule and reign for 1000 years in His Millennial Kingdom. The first time that the Lord Jesus came was to suffer the penalty of our sins as a sacrificial Lamb. The next time that He comes to the earth, not in the clouds, will be as King over the earth. Third Chinese Word - Cross 十 The Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary for us. He took our sins and died in our place. God will not allow sin into heaven. Nor can a sinner atone for his own sins using any form of works or religious ceremony, God will only accept a perfect, or sinless, sacrifice for our sin. The Lord Jesus is sinless. Therefore, He was able to be qualified as our sacrifice for sin. Apart from the Lord Jesus, no other man is sinless. The Lord Jesus became sin for us that we might be saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21 declares, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The gospel is the death, burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we believe the gospel, in our heart, then we can be saved. Fourth Chinese word - Blood. 血 God plainly said in Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh and atonement for the soul.” God requires a blood sacrifice in order to save the souls of mankind from an eternity in hell. The blood sacrifices in the Old Testament were never intended to justify the sinner. The sacrificial Law was instituted by God to show mankind the need for a sacrifice for sins and the coming suffering Messiah that could atone for their sins as a sacrificial Lamb. Isaiah chapter 53. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 The Lord Jesus was the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. When the Lord Jesus died on the cross He shed His blood for our sins. The Lord Jesus became our blood sacrifice for the salvation of our souls. The scriptures are very clear that only the blood of Christ shed on the cross can make an atonement, or redeem, our souls. Hebrews 9:11 and 12 state, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once unto the Holy place, having OBtained eternal redemption for us.” The blood of animals, and any other man made sacrifice, cannot OBtain our salvation. Only the blood of Christ, shed on the cross of Calvary, can save our souls. We need to hear what God says about the blood of Christ. It is very important. Fifth Chinese Word - One. 一 In Acts 4:10 - 12 Peter lets us know that, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way any person can be saved. Belief in the name of Muhammad, the Pope, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, or some other man, cannot save the soul. The Lord Jesus said Himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” All religious attempts to OBtain salvation through good works, earning merit, ceremonies, striving to keep the Law, or some other religious belief, will fail to save a soul from an eternity in hell. Except through the Lord Jesus, there is no other way into heaven. The Sixth Chinese Word - Heart 心 The things that we believe in our hearts are those things that are dear unto us. We love with our hearts. What we believe in our hearts will guide our actions and create our character. The same thing is true with salvation. A heart belief is necessary in order to have salvation. A lot of people know about the Lord Jesus with their head, but they do not know Him with their heart. Salvation is a heart belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said this to the Romans, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9 and 10 When a person truly believes with their hearts that Christ died for their sins, and that He was buried and rose again the third day, then that person can be saved. Paul said further, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans10:13. If you are not saved through the Lord Jesus, than why not right now ask Him in sincere prayer to save your soul and give you eternal life in heaven. Conclusion In Luke 9:37 God, speaking audibly from heaven, said, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” The Lord Jesus is the beloved Son of God and we should hear, and follow, Him. The Lord Jesus spoke of those things that God told Him to say. The Lord Jesus said in John 12:49 and 50, “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.” A wise man will listen to the Lord Jesus speak in order to learn the will of God.
  47. 6 points

    Following Christ.

    Luke 9:51, "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." The Lord Jesus was determined to proceed to Jerusalem to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus did not let the affairs of this life, the Pharisees of the religious world, the issues of His day, and the clamour of the world deter Him from the will of God in His life. Proverbs 4:25-27, "Let thine eyes look straight on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil." The way of salvation is narrow and straight and the way of proper service to God is also straight and narrow. We should not let the religious hypocrites of this world, the babbling of the Charismatics, the corruption of the new versions of the Bible, the defection of the Calvinists from the truth, and the emerging church dictate how we serve the Lord. We need to reject, ignore them and follow Christ. The will of God as revealed in the scriptures, the methods of soul-winning and church government, and the doctrines of the scriptures, as revealed in the AV 1611, is our guide. Let us not falter in these last days from following Christ on the narrow path of service.
  48. 5 points
    Well, let's see. We have a country where it's been fashionable to "come out of the closet" and proudly proclaim that you're "gay" for a few decades now. But just 5 decades ago, when I was learning to read, Janet, Mark and Spot had a "gay" old time and it meant they were "happy". Now, Girls are going out, hunting bears with bows and arrows, fighting in combat and boys are now dainty little sissies. We DISHONOUR and emasculate our men, deeming them worthless buffoons, take away the things associated with manhood and give them to the women. How did we get here? Little baby steps. For one thing, we gave them our clothes. Women began dressing like men a loooong time ago and now the men have relented, we have little left. Bruce Jenner, the once mighty athlete is now "Kaitlin Jenner" wearing a dress.. Y'all do what you want, as for me and my house, my wife and daughter wear dresses and and are not the least bit interested in deer hunting.
  49. 5 points

    The beauty of creation

    beautiful and dreamy... پزشک متخصص فیستول
  50. 5 points

    The Foolishness Of Preaching

    The Foolishness of Preaching In todays society, all understanding, education, knowledge, and mankinds advancement is based on science, with the omission of God. The idea of God is seen as foolishness, and as an outdated close-minded mindset. Let alone the idea that there is something wrong with society, that their lives are filled with sin and they are in danger of perishing and going to Hell. These in societies eyes are the rantings of a lunatic, not understanding the seriousness of its fact. But Christ suffered first, He started the work and showed us the path that we must walk, and the cross of scoffing, mockery, ridicule, persecution, and in the end the wonderful words "Well done my good and faithful servant". The Bible says - 1Co 1:18-21 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. The Lord teaches that the understanding of the Word of God is more important and more powerful than any knowledge that the world could offer. The understanding of the Cross of Christ is more critical to a persons soul than anything you could attain in this life. The world offers all kinds of pleasures, in entertainment, wealth, and luxuries. But how they pale in comparison to the mighty power of a loving God who offers eternal life through the repentance of sin, and belief and acceptance of the Gospel of Christ. The world would rather pursue and preach the pursuit of happiness. In their mind and in their understanding that is nothing more than physical gain. But try and tell them that their understanding is wrong, that it is more than that, then they will hate you. John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. The Bible is seen as foolish and outdated, but that is only because they do not have the Spirit of the Lord to give them the understanding (1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.). The Lord said many times throughout the Bible that one must only ask and He will hear. Because If you believe the Word of God, then you have nothing to fear - 2Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Christ said Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. This is not only just a commandment, but a promise. Christ promised that He would be with us, but we also have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. What have we to fear. If Christ commanded that we preach the Word of God, then He will make sure to give you the words with which to speak - Eze 3:27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house. The Lord promised to give you the wisdom and knowledge you need if you but ask. The fear of man is nothing, the persecution you may have is nothing, if you fully trust in the Lord He promised that He would help, He promised that He would give you the words, and He promised that he would never leave us nor forsake us. It comes down to faith, do you have faith in the Lord? Do you actually believe that He will help you? You trusted the Lord to save you, and you believe that you will spend eternity in Heaven. So why would a Christian doubt or fear that they would be on their own in preaching to the lost? Trust in the Lord and the power of His might, the world cannot touch you if the Lord is protecting you. The Lord said countless times throughout the Bible, that He will give you utterance. The Word of God is just that, the Words of God, not ours. We do not speak, the Lord speaks through us. The message of the Gospel is hated by this world, it is seen as nonsense, but that does not negate its importance. The greatest reason that the Gospel is not preached to the lost is because of the fear of man. Fear can be crippling, it can freeze your thoughts and your body. The fear of man and the wild imagination that follows can be the worst, but God said that He would help you if you only ask Him. Paul the Apostle faced many an opposition, whippings, being stoned to death, beaten, and in the end he was killed for the faith. The trust that one has in God in that no matter what the outcome, no matter how foolish the world may see you, God will always give you the ability to stand. God said that if any man lack wisdom, let Him ask of God. He also taught that it is not of us that the Gospel is given, but that the Holy Spirit is speaking through us, that is convicting of sin. We are a voice for the Holy Spirit, an instrument of His grace, to provide a message of hope to the lost. When you understand that it is nothing of ourselves, that it is in OBedience to His word when we witness, we have nothing to fear. Like Peter before the Jews, he trusted in God and opened his mouth, and God spoke through him and many were saved. These were the men that not to long before had sentenced and killed Christ. And now Peter is and the other disciples are standing in front of over 5000 of them and is preaching Christ. Fear of not knowing what to say, of how someone might react, of _____ you fill in the blanks. Fear is the manifestation of an imagined undesirable outcome, it is your imagination, not a reality. But it is not up to us to make people like us, that's just our own ego and pride taking over. God cannot use you if you are always trying to change the outcome to better suit yourself and your own fears. Besides, in this world you would have to not preach Christ and avoid any Biblical topics to ensure that you would not be disliked. You must give yourself wholly and completely, with no thought to your own desires. (the servant of the Lord must not strive) you must not fight the will of God with your own wants and desires. You must not worry or care for anything, the Lord said to take no thought of tomorrow. That He would supply your every need, this includes safety and the words with which to speak. You must not fear or doubt what the people think. This is what the world calls foolishness, the absolute trust in the living God. A God that came to this earth and died for our sins, and rose to life again. A God that loves us and promises that He would never leave us. A God that promises that if we would just take the time to spread this Word, that He would do the speaking, He just needs us to be willing. Doing or saying anything that would make us appear foolish to others, or have others look at us with disgust, contempt, or even pity, goes against everything we strive for. We don't want to appear different naturally, but to appear like everyone else we would have to put Christ on the shelf and avoid Him. To do that would be knowingly sentencing them to Hell, you have the key to salvation in your own hand and are refusing to show them because some may see you as acting and speaking foolishness. Preach the word, and nevermind what people think, spread the Gospel whether they want to hear it or not. The word of the Lord is unto them which perish foolishness. But as Romans 1:6 says – For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. We have received salvation of God, we have been washed in the blood of Christ. Our eternity is secured, we have nothing to loose. Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but the Gospel of Christ compels me.
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