Monthly Archives: January 2014

What To Say?


John 12:27, 28


Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour,” John 12:27.



For a moment, a split second, the humanness of Jesus was troubled. He knew the shame and agony that lay before Him. He, in His infinite wisdom, knew the answer to His own question, “But for this cause came I unto this hour.” His question, “What shall I say?” (verse 27) did not mean that Jesus was doubting the plan and purpose of His death, and certainly not that He was trying to back out. It only proved that He agreed with His Father’s plan.


We as believers are often brought to a crisis of belief—our will versus God’s will. In our imaginations, we conjure up all sorts of buts and what ifs that pull us away from the will of God. This is observed in all walks of life and in the Lord’s churches. God calls young men into the ministry, but the temporary hardships of a seminary education seem like a mountain instead of a hill; and they allow the stress of employment to suppress the will of God. Instead, let us be brave, go forward and follow the will of God by saying, “What shall we say but, yes, after all the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.”



REFLECTION – When God calls you, what will you say?


Beverly Barnett



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Vins, Georgi

President Carter had him released

1975 –  PETER VINS AND HIS SON GEORGI SUFFER FOR THE UNREGISTERED CHURCH MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA – On January 27, 1975, Georgi Vins was sentenced to five years in concentration camps, followed by five years of exile in Siberia and the confiscation of all his property. His father Peter I. Vins had studied theology in America and returned to the USSR in 1922 where he ministered in Siberia. The ministry was fruitful but he was arrested in 1930 and sentenced to 3 years in concentration camps. In 1936 Peter was held for 9 months without trial before being released. In 1937 he was arrested for the third time while pastoring the 1,000 member Baptist Church of Omsk, Siberia. It was then forcibly closed by the authorities. Peter died in prison in 1943.  Georgi, after completing his education in Kiev married Lidia, who had led the Council of Prisoners Relatives. She was arrested on Feb. 8, 1970 and sentenced to 3 years in prison for her activities. When the Russian government passed a law requiring all churches to register, Georgi Vins refused and this led to his arrest in Nov. 1966 and sentence of 3 years in a concentration camp. After his release he was sentenced again for a year at forced labor in Kiev.  He came to America in an exchange for two convicted Russian spies in a deal worked out by Baptist President Jimmy Carter in 1979.  Pastor Vins died on Jan. 11, 1998 in Elkhart, Indiana.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 36

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Oncken, Gerhard

Johann Onken


He did not dread the dungeon

Pg. 34 – JOHANN ONCKEN THE FATHER OF THE MODERN GERMAN AND EUROPEAN BAPTISTS – 19TH CENTURY – Johann Gerhard Oncken, the “Apostle of the German Baptists” was born on January 26, 1800 and for fifty years he served the Lord tirelessly! He was also known as the “Father of the Continental Baptists.” H. Leon McBeth in, The Baptist Heritage said, “Oncken served as a one-man mission society, theological seminary, and literature distribution center. Seldom has one man contributed so much to the development of a denomination nor left his stamp more indelibly upon it, not only in Germany but throughout Europe.” Oncken’s motto was “Every Baptist a missionary”, and by 1850 the First Baptist Church of Hamburg supported three missionaries and assisted in erecting more than 20 church buildings in Europe. In 1847 Oncken baptized converts and formed a church in Switzerland. The same year he did the same in Austria. In 1855 he was in Latvia. In 1858 a church was formed in Bucharest as well. Some Hungarians came in contact with Oncken in Germany, and after being converted, went back as missionaries to their own people. Oncken could not be intimidated nor silenced; he paid no heed to the prohibitions of the authorities; neither did he dread the dungeon.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 34.

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Redeemed by His Blood


1 Peter 1:18, 19


Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers,” 1 Peter 1:18.



Recently, research has been done into how much of a difference parental financial involvement during college makes when it comes to a student’s academic achievement. The results might surprise you. Researcher Laura Hamilton (University of California—Merced) discovered that the more parental aid given to the student, the lower the student’s GPA. Conversely, the more students must sacrifice to pay for their own college, the better their grades. The research seems to follow a principle Jesus taught in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


We all go through moments in which we may forget the significance and power of being called the children of God. From time to time, we may treat sin with nonchalance or disregard the commands of God in pursuit of our own desires. It is in these moments when we need to be reminded of the high price that was paid for our salvation. God did not simply collect a sum of money to purchase us. He moved Heaven and earth, setting up His Son from before time began, to spill His blood on Calvary to purchase us. We enjoy the blessings and benefits that come from being children of God because Jesus was willing to lay His life down, becoming the sacrificial lamb who was executed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus bought us with His blood. If we ever stop treasuring Christ, our hearts will begin to drift far from Him.



JUST A THOUGHT – Will you treasure Christ today?


Mark Clements



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Bunyan, John

A time for survival for Baptists

1661 – BAPTISTS SUFFERED GREAT PERSECUTION IN ENGLAND IN THE MID 17TH CENTURY – On January 25, 1661 a petition entitled “The humble petition and presentation of the 1sufferings of several peaceable subjects, called by the name of Anabaptists, inhabitants in the county of Kent, and now prisoners in the jail at Maidstone, for the testimony of a good conscience” was presented. 1660 to 1688 was a time for survival for Baptists rather than expansion. John Bunyan began his 12 year term in Bedford jail. On Oct. 19, 1661, John James, a Sabbatarian Baptist, was dragged from his pulpit in Bulsrake Alley, Whitechaple in London, and committed to the Newgate jail. On Nov. 26, he was taken to Tyburn to be hanged. King Charles II was unmoved. The Baptists had no recourse but to write publications. One was by John Sturgion, a member of the baptized people,” entitle, A Plea for Toleration of Opinions and persuasions in Matters of Religion, differing from the Church of England. Another was, Sion’s Groans for Her Distressed: or, Sober Endeavors to Prevent Innocent Blood. Seven Baptist ministers affixed their names to the document. Joseph Wright, Thomas Monck, George Hammon, William Jeffrey, Francis Stanley, William Reynolds, and Francis Smith. Joseph Wright spent no less than 20 years in prison for the sake of truth. They said that they were willing to be loyal subjects to the king in civil matters but that they must obey God in religion.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 33.

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William Andrew Dillard

The Kind of Christian I Am!
Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14. Matthew 5:1-2 makes it clear that this statement is made to His disciples rather than to the multitudes from whom he had retreated. Think with me about what this means!
The idea of this statement being made to a group instead of to an individual is reinforced by the comparison to a city set on an hill. Moreover, here is something beautiful about the King James Version of the Bible. Some folks don’t like the archaic English, but the translation is distinctly true to the original Greek by distinguishing singular from plural and nominative from objective case in the second person. “Ye” and “you” are plural, the first nominative and the other objective in grammatical case. So what we have here is Jesus referring to a singular group as plural, “ye,” in the nominative form. Hence, it is understood that this reference is to His church which this group of saved, baptized disciples were. So, it is His church, the pillar and ground of the truth; the fullness of Him that filleth all in all that is the light of the world, and as a city set on an hill that cannot be hidden.
The individuals that make up the church are addressed in the following two verses. Men do not light a candle and put it under a bushel, but in the candlestick that the benefit of light may be realized. The candlestick is presented in the Bible as a type or symbol of the church.
Furthermore, such lighted candles are to let their light shine before men. This accomplishes two things: men will behold (be influenced) by that light, and it will glorify the Heavenly Father. The terminology in verse 16 is “Let your light so shine before men…” Here the second person “your” is plural indicating a direct address to everyone who are numbered in the group or church.
“Light and darkness,” indicating opposite states are also used to indicate knowledge as opposed to ignorance, and righteousness as opposed to evil. These latter things are what Jesus referenced.
Make no mistake about it. Men become aware quickly of one who is faithful to the Lord’s church, and who lives in accord with the teachings of Christ Jesus. They also note quickly those who “say but do not do,” and categorize them as hypocrites. This fails to dispel the darkness, and to glorify the Heavenly Father.
The Psalmist David declared, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so….” Psalm 107:2. Redeemed folks should be happy folks. Redeemed folks should jump at every chance to glorify God by relating what He has done for them in providing eternal salvation, and an acceptable avenue of service. If they do this, they will be letting their light shine! I firmly believe every true Christian should be such a light in this darkened world. That is the kind of Christian I am!



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Madison, James

James Madison implores for liberty

1774 –  JAMES MADISON WRITES ON BEHALF OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN VIRGINIA – On January 24, 1774, as a citizen of Orange County Va., James Madison wrote: “Union of religious sentiments begets a surprising confidence and ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitates the execution of mischievous projects…I want to again breathe your free air…Poverty and luxury prevail among all sorts; pride, ignorance and knavery among the priesthood, and vice and wickedness among the laity…but it is not the worst…That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some, and, to their eternal infamy the clergy can furnish their quota of imps for such purposes. This vexes me the worst of anything…There are at this time in the adjacent county not less than five or six well-meaning men in close jail for publishing their religious sentiments, which, in the main, are very orthodox…I have squabbled and scolded, abused and ridiculed so long about it, to little purpose, that I am without common patience. So I must beg you to pity me, and pray for liberty of conscience to all.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   Pg.  32

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Order at the Lord’s Table


1 Corinthians 11:23-30


But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup,” 1 Corinthians 11:28.


Every church has problems. If you think your church does not have problems, you are probably in denial. Imagine this scenario played out at your church.


One day, the leaders decide to hold the Lord’s Supper to remember and celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus. So, the members show up for worship, and each family brings food for themselves, but does not share with other families. Some families even bring their best wine to the church fellowship and become intoxicated by the time church is over. Others are too poor to bring food, but those church members who brought food do not think to share with those who have none, so the ones who came to church hungry, leave hungry.


Do you think that would ever happen in your church? No? Well, it happened in the church at Corinth, and God responded by sending the members a reminder on how to observe the Lord’s Supper. (Reread 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.) One of the most important elements in the observance of the Lord’s Supper for a church is unity in the body. Unity is one of the major reasons Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper. When you examine yourself—see yourself in the proper perspective before the throne of God—you will find that everyone is all the same at the foot of the cross. Everything that distinguishes you in the eyes of men falls away before the broken body and shed blood of Christ and everyone is all the same—saved by grace through faith.


JUST A THOUGHT – Will you thank God for Jesus today?


Mark Clements


May I also add to this commentary that there none worthy to eat and drink the Lord’s Supper. We have been made worthy through the blood of Jesus Christ. Consider the eating and drinking unworthily is not if we have unconfessed sins in our life, it is considering the purpose we are partaking of the Lord’s Supper. If we are partaking for any other purpose than remembering the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, we are partaking unworthily.



James Candler



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Henry, Patrick

Patrick Henry paid his fine

1833 – JOHN WEATHERFORD, THE LAST OF THE OLD VETERAN BAPTIST PREACHERS DIED – John Weatherford, the last of the old veteran Baptist preachers, died on January 23, 1833. A little boy noticed the white, rigid seams in his hands and it left an indelible impression. In his latter years the boy learned that Weatherford had been imprisoned in the Chesterfield County jail of the colony of Virginia for five months in the year 1773. The iron bars did not hinder him from preaching through the grates to the congregation that gathered. Wicked men would stand on either side and slash his hands with knives until blood would stream down and actually sprinkle down on the people. Dr. White, the young lad, called them, ‘the martyr marks of the Lord Jesus.’ Weatherford was not released until the jail fees (room and board) were paid, which was a considerable sum. Finally they were paid by someone and he was released. Over twenty years later Patrick Henry became a neighbor to Weatherford and only then the preacher found that it was Henry who had paid his fine. As an old man he requested Newton’s song ‘Amazing Grace’ to be sung to him.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   Pg.  30

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Hebrew Language – Lord




The Hebrew ’Aḏōnāy (H136) rendered Lord (initial cap and lowercase in contrast to initial cap and small caps for Yāhweh, ) in most English translations, appears well over 400 times. While the singular ’aḏōn is used also of men—Sarah referred to Abraham as “lord” (Gen_18:12) and his servants called him “master” (Gen_24:9-10), Ruth addressed Boaz as “lord” (Rth_2:13), as did Hannah address Eli (1Sa_1:15), and so forth—the “plural of majesty,” ’Aḏōnāy, is used only of God and speaks of His dominion, possession, and sovereignty.


It is extremely significant that the direct NT Greek equivalent is kurios (G2962), which is frequently applied to the Lord Jesus. Again, while “lord” is sometimes used as simply a title of honor, such as rabbi, teacher, master (Mat_10:24; cf. Luk_16:3), or even a husband (1Pe_3:6), when used of Jesus in a confessionalway, it without question refers to His divinity. The simple, but deeply profound, confession Kurios Iēsous (Lord Jesus) is rooted in the pre-Pauline Greek Christian community and is probably the oldest of all Christian creeds. Jesus is Lord!


Another startling fact is that in hundreds of instances, Lord (’Adōnāy) is actually coupled with either God (’Elōhiym; Psa_38:15; Psa_86:12; Dan_9:3; Dan_9:9; Dan_9:15) or “GOD” (Yehōwāh, instead of uppercase LORD; e.g., Gen_15:2; Gen_15:8; Psa_71:5; and more than 200 times in Ezekiel). This dramatically combines the various aspects of each divine name to paint a more graphic picture of who God is.


While a controversial issue, I would humbly submit that ’Adōnāy (and kurios by extension) being coupled with other names also further underscores the importance of emphasizing the principle of Lordship. In a day when the Lordship of Christ means very little in the thinking of many Christians, we must emphasize it all the more. The popular notion of “accepting Jesus as Savior but not as Lord until a later date” is foreign to the NT. Neither is it a historical position in the church; it is, in fact, a thoroughly modern invention, spawned by the relativism, pragmatism, and tolerance of our age. There is simply no salvation apart from Jesus as Lord (Rom_10:9-10). It is a staggering contradiction to say a person can believe in Jesus as Savior but reject Him as Lord simply because a change of life automatically results in a change of Lordship (2Co_5:17).


Scriptures for Study: Read Mar_8:34-38; Mar_12:28-34, and Luk_14:25-35, meditating on their deep significance.




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