If Jesus Christ is still in that grave
nothing really matters,
but if He came out of that grave,
nothing but that really Matters.
If Jesus Christ is still in that grave
nothing really matters,
but if He came out of that grave,
nothing but that really Matters.
April 22 – The Prayer to God Greater than Physical Power
What a prayer of faith and trust in God. The Army of Asa was 580 thousand. He faced an army of a thousand thousand. The Ethiopian army stood at one million men. The Ethiopian army was about twice as large. For the average man, there is no sense in fighting this battle. The odds were too large. It was sure destruction.
Have you ever considered a missionary that went into a new field not knowing anyone but simply has a calling from God to be in this place and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that would listen? The missionaries are outnumbered. They are one feeble light in a great mass of Darkness. The Lord’s Church is outnumbered by the ones that are preaching untruths and causing many at death to descend into the pits of hell. Look at those Church members engaging in telling others about Christ. The work of the true Church has many enemies that are fighting against the truth. Salvation does not come through good works, baptism or Church membership. It comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. That work He completed on the cross. Paul told the Ephesian brethren that salvation is a free gift.
Listen, when God is with us, who can be against us? Just as Asa triumphed through pray and the might and strength of God, we must rely on God to defeat the enemy. We must pray for the help of God because He has the power. He can defeat the enemy. He can overcome every obstacle Satan puts in our way.
We have the victory through Christ our Lord and God the Father.
We will do a little side slip here and do a little deeper study than the simple narratives I have been doing.
The First New Testament Churches
It is sad when we have to qualify Church by designating it New Testament. The Lord only knows one Church. That is the one He built to His specifications that no one, no person, no preacher has the right to change.
Every Church that follows what Jesus established is a true Church. Every “church” not built the way the New Testament says and with the pattern that Jesus gave is not a Church that Jesus built and therefore should be called a religious institution.
The fallacy of the ‘Universal Invisible Church’ theory has been demonstrated form the Scriptures. Along with this heretical teaching is another one just as heinous and misleading – ‘The Church’ began on the day of Pentecost along with the events in Acts 2.
There are 4 errors concerning the doctrine of the Church:
The beginning of this heresy was the Catholic Church. They claimed that the church was ‘Universal and visible.’ This linked all physical churches into one link that was beholden to the Pope. When Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church house door, his desire was not to start another church but to correct some abuses. He did not want to touch what was taught about the church because he agreed in the Universal church theory. When he was excommunicated, he had to change a few doctrines to be a little different from the Catholic church. One he changed was the visible. His doctrine of the church became, ‘Universal invisible.’ This has entered so many so called churches so much that it has infiltrated Baptist ranks. Scofield propagated this teaching with his Scofield Reference Bible. Under Hebrews 12:23 he has given the following statement.
Church (true), Summary: The true church, composed of the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection (I Cor. 15:52), united together and to Christ by the baptism with the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12,13), is the body of Christ of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:22,23.)”
Here are the considerations of such a statement:
Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 – “I will build my Church.” The Pentecost beginning of the Church would rob Jesus of the opportunity to personally build His Church and make Him a liar. The Pentecost beginning would make the Holy Spirit the builder of the Church because Christ was already in heaven.
If the Church was started on the day of Pentecost, that would put the gospels in the dispensation of law, the old dispensation. This would put Matt. 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” into the dispensation of law. The sermon on the mount would then belong to the previous dispensation.
If the Church began on the day of Pentecost, it began with the apostles and not Christ. This would then be a man-made church. This would enable for man to de-emphasize the ordinances of the church and observe them in whatever manner they desire. There is no Great Commission that has been given to the church.
To be continued.
William Andrew Dillard
THE SAVIOR OF HIS PEOPLE
The Holy Spirit used the apostle Paul to say in one place, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
It is also most interesting to note that the angel of God delivered the name of Mary’s child to Joseph, saying: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, There’s Just Something About That Name” the songwriter penned. Indeed, there is much, so much about that marvelous name. It is Hebrew in origin. In fact, it is the same as the name “Joshua,” and means “Jehovah is salvation.” The Old Testament Joshua, a type of Jesus (The embodiment of Jehovah) led the covenant people of God into the Promised Land through conquest and rule. Jesus will do the same as He leads His people into the fulfillment of promise of the millennial reign through conquest and rule with a rod of iron.
However, the angel declared the primary reason for the name is that He would save His people from their sins. Far beyond the new birth (saving from Adamic sin) that is universally offered, it is the saving of HIS people from THEIR SINS. John explained that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8. But the wonderful truth is that Jesus is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:25. Therefore, John went on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. What a Savior! He saves us! He keeps us! He forgives us! He blesses us!“…and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
Parson to Person
Much ado fills media nowadays about how all of us ought to simply be forgiving and love one another for who, and whatever, each one is. After all, many proclaim, “we are all brothers in this banquet of life.”
It is not my chief joy to upset the applecart, but this simply is not true. It is the devil’s lie, and it is being bought in total by wholesale numbers not excluding many “churches.” The truth of the matter is that the brotherhood of man is real and true only “in Christ.,” and that phrase does not stop at the new birth experience, but is inclusive of submission to and activity in “the things of, the teachings of, the Anointed.”
Many today run to and fro, seeking to enlist the children of the world into the church by reducing the church to the world’s level and understanding; hence, no change is required, just a warm body being present. Has it been forgotten that the things of God are possessed by, and only through, the medium of faith, and understanding of, and submission to “the faith once delivered to the saints?”
People of the world, lost in sin, and happy to be that way have as much desire and appreciation for spiritual things as pigs have for a necklace of expensive pearls. When enlisted into the church through worldly efforts of material, social, or business perspectives, the church can only cease to be the Lord’s church. It’s candlestick removed, its blinded members and leadership exult in the great numbers and filled coffers of a religiously oriented social club. So, where is the brotherhood? It is hinged upon a philosophy of “I am O.K., you are O.K. because we love one another although diverse in understanding. Certainly, God must be happy with this arrangement, because we want Him to be.”
Let there be no misunderstanding. There is a very real brotherhood of man which some enjoy and others reject. That brotherhood exists only in Christ, and no one may solicit you into it. It is personal, and those who find it realize its treasure. Unfortunately, great numbers of people have been sought by less than biblical standards which serve to disintegrate the true brotherhood, even as water added to gravy dilutes and destroys it. The world demands the church to change to suit them, and the church runs after the world in ways that can only be described as spiritual whoredom, even as God described Israel through the prophet Ezekiel in Chapter Sixteen (it should be read).
This sermon by D. N. Jackson will surprise some, challenge others and there will be those that will reject it out of hand without thought or study. An honest comparison of scripture will challenge those desiring the truth of God’s Word.
THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT
By D. N. Jackson
The Future of the Church
The Six “F’s” of the Church
By D. N. Jackson
(Summary of a sermon preached Sunday evening, December 31, 1961, at Calvary Baptist Church, LaVerne, Calif.)
Tonight we are here by invitation to preach a sermon on the CHURCH. I am sure you appreciate the fact that in the short time customarily allotted to a sermon it will not be possible for me to elaborate on this subject. So we must be brief and pointed.
As a basis for our message, let us note the Master’s own words: “… upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
We shall deal with the six “F’s” of the church after this order: 1. The founding; 2. The Founder; 3. The Foundation; 4. The Form; 5. The Fundamentals; and 6. The Future.
1. The founding of the Church
Broadly speaking, the church was founded during the personal ministry of our Lord on earth.
TESTIMONY OF CHRIST: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). Jesus testifies while on earth He finished the work which the Father sent Him to do. The establishment of the church being part of the work which He came to do, it stands to reason He established His church before His death.
TESTIMONY OF APOSTLE PAUL: “And God set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (I Cor. 12:28). These were gifts the Lord put in the New Testament churches. Mark explains when the gift of apostles was made: “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:13,14).
That was done during the personal ministy of Christ on earth. As the apostles were ordained by Christ in person and placed in the church, it stands to reason there must have been a church in existence, for you cannot put something into nothing. Incidentally, the gifts of healings, miracles, tongues and apostles were done away at the close of the New Testament canon, and this took place when John wrote the book of Revelation.
But the point is; the church must have existed while Christ was on earth, else He could not have placed apostles in it.
Specifically speaking the church came into existence during our Lord’s first year’s of ministry and before John the Baptist was imprisoned. The first disciples to follow Christ were John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael (John 1:29-51). These were with Him at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1). His disciples were soon increased in number (John 2:23; 3:1-7). This company was authorized by their Lord to administer baptism (John 3:22; 4:1-2), and it was called the bride of Christ (John 3:29). This company , while tarrying at Jerusalem after Christ’s ascension and before the dawn of the day of Pentecost, selected as Judas’ successor one who had companied with them “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John” (Acts 1:21, 22).
To this company were added about three thousand converts on the first day of the Pentecostal feast (Acts 2:41). And the same company is called a church, Acts 2:47: “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,” that is “such as were being saved.” This proves the church was founded even before John the Baptist was imprisoned and that it had been perpetuated from that day until the day of Pentecost. This church to which the three thousand were added was the company that began in John’s day, saw the ascension of Christ, and waited at Jerusalem for the coming of the events at Pentecost (Luke 24:49-53; Acts 1:14, 15).
Next Post – The Founder of the Church.
KEY VERSE: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord,” I Corinthians 1:30, 31.
Two little boys debated whose father was smarter. Jon said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that stopped hair from falling out. Brad said his father was smarter because he discovered a medicine that caused hair to grow back. Both fathers were bald. This is about the amount of our earthly wisdom.
Jesus gives us heavenly wisdom that does not end when we die. God’s wisdom is Christ and Christ in us. We are given wisdom through Christ Jesus as the Holy Spirit tutors us in the love story of God. This story is so simple it confuses a genius but gives wisdom to an illiterate because he accepts it by faith. That message is this–God so loved the sinner that He sent His sinless Son to die in the sinner’s place.
REFLECTION: In Christ, one has His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption; so if one is outside Christ, what does that make him?
WILL A MAN ROB GOD?
I know, I know! Everybody’s mind is made up from the title of this article what it is going to be all about. When pastors choose this title and use Malachi 3:8, it is almost always a message of giving of money to the cause of the church. So how could this be any different. Well, think with me and see!
Certainly, a lot of churchgoers do rob God in the matters of tithes and offerings as the context of this Old Testament passage of scripture indicates, but that is not the primary burden of this article. Robbery of God takes on a much grander scale of which robbery in tithes and offerings is but a symptom. Consider that when one repents from sin and receives Christ Jesus into his heart, he is born from above and his spirit sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. That person has been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus. He is no longer his own, but a subject of Jesus. As such he is to render praise and honor to his Savior (how logical). So what do many do? They find any excuse, and the slightest one at that, to miss church worship services or the giving of themselves in any noticeable way to honor the God of their salvation. Many, yes, many, would be embarrassed beyond words if they were called upon to lead in prayer, because prayer is a stranger to them. Will a man then rob God of the just honor due Him? Will a man rob God of the glory He is to receive from him in His church? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his heart? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his home? Will a man rob God of the power of personal testimony that he is failing to share with others? How many ways modern Christians do rob God!
The problem is a heart problem! Moreover, that speaks to the attitude toward tithes and offerings. Jesus pungently said it when He taught that where a man’s heart is, there will his treasure also be. So, look around. Where does your money go? Where is your leisure time spent? Where do you find your joy? There is where your treasure is. Certainly, it is a precious few who find their heart and their treasure in the things of God. Among far too many the decision is repeatedly made to rob God! It is robbery, sheer robbery! It is the kind of robbery that a sermon, or brow-beating, or grudging change will NOT fix. It is the kind that underscores heart trouble.
Knowing that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of deeds whether they are good or evil, wisdom cries out for a return of the heart to the God who bought it with His precious blood. When that cry is heeded, all the other things will be fixed.
HOW TO KNOW THERE IS A GOD
Would you like to know that there is a God, that Jesus Christ is His Son and Savior, and what true teaching is? Will, Jesus Himself suggested an experiment: Joh_7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. The responsibility is on the seeker. He must be willing to do God’s will when it is revealed to him. God promises no light to one who closes his eyes against it, nor any spiritual food to one who will not eat.
If you are an honest doubter, will you pray this prayer? “God, if you exist, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me. I am willing to do Your will if You reveal it to me, and will accept Jesus as my Savior if You reveal Him to me as Your Son.” Then read the entire Gospel of John, first noting its purpose in chapter 20, verse 31.
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God,” Hebrews 10:7.
Jesus Christ shed His blood and laid down His life for me! When I take a moment to let this truth sink in it humbles me. To see the sacrifice it took to cover my sins is sobering. How can I ever give anything back to Him that measures up to that? My life is all I have to give.
Sin absolutely wrecked our world. All of God’s creation feels its effects, including you and I. We are a broken people. Sin has devastated our lives and separated us from God. Just anything will not work as a worthy sacrifice to reconcile us back to God.
In today’s passage, we see the writer of Hebrews quote a psalm of David’s. Verse 4 speaks of the impossibility of the blood of bulls and goats to remove sin. The animal sacrifices in the Old Testament were great pictures that showed us the seriousness of our transgressions before God, but they fell short of paying the price for sin.
Then Jesus entered the world and became the answer for our sins. He offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice. His death and shed blood was able to accomplish what the blood of animals never could.
Now we have a reason to serve Him. The knowledge of what Jesus did on our behalf should serve as all the motivation we will ever need. When we consider the enormous gift that God gave to us, we should react by giving Him our lives.
Is the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice serving as your motivator for doing His will?