Tag Archives: kingdom

TWO PREACHERS-ONE SERMON


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
TWO PREACHERS-ONE SERMON

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:1-2.
Reading further in Matt. 4:17, it is written, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So, Jesus and John delivered the same initial message to the Jewish nation, and it was not a new plan of salvation of the spirit, but something new, and at hand: the kingdom of heaven.
Dr. Fred G. Stevenson, instructor of Old Testament Hebrew for many years in Missionary Baptist Seminary, stated often that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God as it is variously called are one and the same, and what constitutes it is the righteous ways of God being carried out by righteous men.
Truly, the concept of such a kingdom was in play as early as Eden, but took on the necessary processes applicable to sinful men after the fall to bring them to a state of spiritual maturity. Those processes are the Bible story, the full fruition of which, men still struggling with sinful flesh, is realized in this age of grace through the New Testament church. The complete fullness of it will be realized in the millennium and subsequent heaven ages.
The Lord’s church, a mystery hidden in ages past, is the heavenly designed climax of four thousand years of experience designed to bring men to the position of mature sons by virtue of spiritual growth aided by the anointing of the Holy Spirit which came to permanently reside in the church on Pentecost, Acts 2. The church is the bride of Christ, the branches of the vine, and kingdom representative and executive in the present age.
Make no mistake about it. The kingdom of heaven did not exist prior to the ministry of Christ Jesus even though it was in preparation. Both Jesus and John declared it was at hand. Some may object because Jesus said to the rejecting Jewish nation that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to another bringing forth the fruits thereof. That simply means what was intended for Israel would not be received by them, but by another.
Thus was the kingdom of heaven entrusted to a prepared people to receive it. This was the mission of John the Baptist, and the message of both John and Jesus. What a treasure beyond words God’s obedient people have today, but individual decisions are still necessary to be positioned in it.
Opening the mind to ultimate truth is God’s Work: exposing the mind to the Word is ours! How sad it will be for some to go out into eternity having had copies of the Bible in their possession, but not knowing what it was all about. Hear then the message of two heaven sent preachers. Learn its meaning!

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary, Uncategorized

Humility—The Way to Greatness


 

Luke 14:10, 11

 

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” Luke 14:11.

 

 

 

To humble oneself to be exalted is an oxymoron. James and Peter also gave the same admonition. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Since the grace of greatness is only afforded by God to those who are humble, it would benefit us to find out what it means to humble oneself. Jesus publicly accused the Pharisees of false piety for publicly advertising their fasts and disfiguring themselves to appear humble and submissive.

 

Humility that God recognizes is supernatural, a gift of the Holy Spirit, like the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23). Humility appears not to be the result of praying for it, but rather surrendering oneself to God’s control. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). Here, we see James, Jesus’ blood brother, advising us to humble ourselves to be lifted up by God. One basically has to lift an empty cup for God to fill. “Blessed are the poor in spirit [spiritually bankrupt] for their’s is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

 

Greatness in the eyes of God may be opposite man’s idea of greatness. Jesus told twelve jealous apostles that the greatest people in the kingdom are those with a servant’s heart, willing to serve others rather than be served. Jesus Himself came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.

 

 

 

Just Saying

 

Here’s my cup, Lord. Fill it up and run it over into others’ lives.

 

 

Robert Brock

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

God’s King Will Come


 

Psalm 2:4-7

 

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion,” Psalm 2:6.

 

From the beginning God has been redeeming creation back to Himself, back to a kingdom where His Redeemer is the preeminent monarch, King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

Mankind has need of a king who will guide his heart back to God. Otherwise, man does that which is right in his own eyes, and that is Satan’s playhouse.

 

In America, we love the idea of democracy. Democracy is wonderful as along as the nation’s leaders guide the people back to the source of all the blessings. However, in a democracy there is a possibility that Satan’s advocates can lead the nation away from God. One nation under God, without God, does not exist. Isaiah warned Israel, “O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isa. 3:12). We must pray for our leaders, but always remember that one day Jesus Christ will sit on the throne as God’s King, and those who know Him as Savior will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years.

 

When God’s King sets up God’s kingdom, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. . . . I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:4-8).

 

 

Just Saying

 

The only way to enjoy a rulership is to be the child of the ruler. Think about it (John 3:36).

 

Robert Brock

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Inspirational

J.R. GRAVES, LIFE, TIMES AND TEACHINGS 17


 

Chapter III

 

TROUBLES AND TRIUMPHS

 

 

A CLASSIC ENGLISH WRITER has forcefully and beautifully said:

 

 

There’s untold power in him who knows a thing’s

 

of God’s own willing; though doubts may shroud

 

in cloud the transient hour.”

 

 

It is the unmeasured power of belief that a soul lives by. Give a man faith – unclouded, heartfelt belief – and though his brain be narrow, and his knowledge small, he will impress and have successes, while the man of great intellect and broad culture, who does not know anything of God’s own willing or purpose, will fail. But if such faith dwell in any earnest soul, a clear strong mind, a trusting, fearless heart, mountain difficulties melt before him, he can tunnel or explode or scale them. He can stand in the very storm center, beneath the black clouds and the thunder strokes with uplifted face and fearless heart, and where that faith is in the reasonable, vital, soul-lifting, sanctifying, God-revealed, eternal truth, he is always irresistible. Fixedness, firmness and fearlessness will mark his course. His spirit will be caught by those with whom he comes in touch and conviction and acceptance will follow, or else opposition and even sometimes hate.

 

 

This kind of faith distinguished J.R. Graves, a modest, quiet, unassuming person, reticent in company and not specially gifted in social conversation. But he flashed forth whenever God’s truth was attacked, or when it was his opportunity to preach the word, or when intelligent converse lay along such lines.

 

 

Here are some of his words, which carry conviction with them to every candid mind, that the loftiest impulses controlled him. When charged with perverse notions he replied: “I can only deny this, because I cannot show my heart to my readers. But to my God I can, without fear of condemnation, lay my hand upon it and appeal to him to believe the rectitude of my intentions. When I obeyed the voice that spoke to my conscience, I gave up all the cherished plans of my life to preach the gospel of the Son of God. Nor did I find the limit to stop at this point, i. e., simply teaching the positive commands of Christ. These words burnt themselves upon my eye, rang with weighty import upon my ear, fixed themselves ineradically in my heart: “Every plant which my Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.” I am conscious of no other motive. I appeal from my accusers to my master and Judge.”

 

 

When he penned these fervid words, he stood before the world as the disturber of religious peace, the foe of Campbellites as well as of Methodists – and other communions whose erroneous teachings he attacked. He stood almost alone, and like Luther before the Diet of Worms, said: “I can do no other, God help me.”

 

 

“Th age,” as wrote Carlyle at that time, with lightening force and glare, too, was called “the age of shams.” The age of heroes, according to him, of real genuine men, had gone, and in their room had come forth shadows, masks, make-believes, unrealities. All this was to a great extent itself a sham – a caricature. Yet there is some truth in it. It cannot be denied that then and now much of so-called Christianity is a form – an image – a masquerade – a sham. Alas, there are sham ministers and sham church members, whose prayers (repetitions of dead men’s) are a sham, whose contributions to the name of Christ are a sham – a show, a pretense, a lie; in short, a wicked mockery. What a sham to call the Roman pope and his priestly hierarchy a church, that is, an assembly of believers in Christ Jesus! What a sham to call the General Conference “the Methodist Church of Christ.” What a sham to call the sprinkling of a few drops of water on the face of an unconscious babe, baptism into Christ’s death, a burial with him by baptism, and then call that babe a member of the church! What a sham to say that the eternal destiny of a soul is conditioned upon the action of a mortal man, who gives absolution at the confessional of the remission of sins in immersion!”

 

 

These shams stared J.R. Graves in the face. He felt called of God to meet them, expose them, and as far as he could do it, banish them from the earth. He had a mission and a message, and steadfast was his aim to fulfill the one and to deliver the other; making no pause, no compromise, whether in the vigor of young manhood or beneath the burden and infirmities of old age. His was a conflict unto death.

 

 

At that time, be it remembered, the Methodists had a chosen champion who lectured from place to place, attacking with denunciations, and misrepresenting with unscrupulous attacks, the principles and ordinances which distinguished the Baptists. These lectures, often mere tirades, were given mainly by an Irishman, of force and sharpness, whose name was Chapman (with several others in different southwestern states). To leave the truth thus perverted and slandered and travestied and shamed was to forsake the truth when humiliated, was to play the smirking coward when God and his cause demand men, real, red-blooded men, stalwart, heroic men who, like Tennyson’s Light Brigade at Balakalava: “Their’s not to reason why, their’s but to do and die.”

 

 

Dr. Graves was everywhere appealed to by his brethren to come to their help in conflict in which they felt themselves no match for those who attacked them, and he went, for “one blast of Rhoderick were worth a thousand.” He did not quit the field until the truth was vindicated. There were so many of these calls that people got the notion that such conflicts were his delight, but he sought not his own pleasure, he was God’s chosen defender and he halted not when God’s cause called for a champion. As we have said, Dr. Graves was frequently called to meet these men, and meet them he did, with sweeping overwhelming force. Indeed the swelling tide of Methodism was checked, and the Baptist cause was strengthened and greatly extended by his discussions. He was “A Sampson amongst the Philistines.” He felt called to this particular work, and he delighted greatly in his calling. Of one of his contest debates we let a competent witness speak: Major Penn, the great lay-evangelist, has left his “footprints on the sands of time.” He was once a successful lawyer of Humboldt, Tennessee, and later an active member of the Jefferson Church, Texas; respected and influential. He abandoned all to become an evangelist. God blessed his work and thousands were led to the Lord Jesus through his instrumentality. In his meetings he preached Christ only – justification by faith, and the Holy Spirit’s work in man’s renovation and salvation. None was any more free from everything like ritualism of church salvation than he. But he was the inestimable friend, and to some extent, imitator (I may say disciple) of J.R. Graves. He preached, as Dr. Graves did, the immediate duty of baptism by every convert; never hesitated to proclaim that “the immersion of a believer in Christ, saved persons, was the only baptism known to, or commanded in God’s Word.” In his early life he attended a debate in which Dr. Graves was the Baptist champion. Describing that debate, some fifty years after, he wrote: “Soon after my conversion I attended for one term the Male Academy in Trenton, Tennessee, and then for a single term the Union University of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, of which the distinguished J.H. Eaton, father of T.T. Eaton of Tennessee, was president.

 

 

About this time, while living in Humboldt, we heard of a great debate that was to be in Lexington, a town fifty miles east of us, between J.R. Graves, Baptist, and I.L. Chapman, Methodist. My mother and myself were anxious to attend and at once decided to go, although it was quite a journey and a one-horse buggy was our best means of conveyance. We arrived the morning the debate opened, and heard the first speech.

 

 

“I wish I could describe the grand old hero of Baptist faith. These were his palmiest days. In robust health, eloquent in speech, graceful and attractive in manner, he swayed the multitudes that were in constant attendance during the three days’ debate. Dr. Graves, as I thought, completely demolished the Methodist champion” (Life of Penn, p. 40).

 

 

The debate was adjourned to Canton, Mississippi, and was followed up several times in different places with unvarying results.

 

 

In these debates Dr. Graves was always at ease, and always self-possessed. He could not be thrown off his guard and never lost his temper. His intensity at times was overwhelming. Carlyle says some of Luther’s sentences had Austerlitz battle in them.” The same might be said of the red-hot logic of J.R. Graves. His words were like chain-shot from a rifle cannon, and nowhere, so far as we could learn, but the Baptist cause was aided where these discussions took place. Great revivals often followed.

 

 

But, be it remembered, that in the logical and scriptural arraignment and denunciation, too, of the errors he combated, especially of the unscriptural forms of church government and of the ordinances, he would always announce and repeat that he did not question the true standing of his antagonist as a believer in Christ. In his last great debate with Dr. Ditzler he said (as was usual with him):

 

 

I may unchurch an organization, i.e., deny that they possess the scriptural characteristics of a gospel church and not thereby unchristianize its members. If my opponent should attempt to make the impression upon you that I deny that you are Christians because I deny your society is a church, he will pursue a course both unwarranted and unprincipled” (Debate, p. 927).

 

 

But even if he had not uttered this denial of any such charge, the whole scope of his writings, his known views, and teachings were sufficient.

 

 

That master of pure English, Dr. Channing, has well said: “Human language does not admit of entire precision. It has often been observed by philosophers that the most familiar sentences owe their perspicuity not so much to the definition or the definiteness of the language as to an almost incredible activity (in the heart of the reader) which selects from a variety of meanings that which each word demands, and assigns such counts to every phase as the intention of the speaker, his character and situation require.” If readers would only remember this.

 

 

What meaning does the term kingdom in Dr. Graves’ vocabulary demand? An organization of churches. What does his language demand when he emphatically says: “I may unchurch an organization (that is deny that it possesses the scriptural characteristics of a gospel church and hence kingdom) and not unchristianize its members?”

 

 

His whole life, his character, the drift of all his writings, and his denunciation of any charges, demand in all manly fairness that no such meaning be put on his language or his mistaken view of the kingdom.

 

 

If it had been done during his lifetime he would have denounced it, in his own fiery language, as a malicious falsehood. But he has gone. That eloquent tongue is silent. That wonderful instrument, from which every tone of varied music went forth, is broken.

 

 

He hears not, he heeds not, he’s freed from all pain,

 

He has preached his last word, he has fought his last battle,

 

No sound should awaken him to conflict again.”

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Characters

Ye Shall Be Witnesses


 

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:8.

 

Two words in Christ’s marching orders to the churches are both translated power. In Matthew 28:18, 19, “All power [exousia—authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.”

 

Then, in Luke 24:45-53, He repeated the Great Commission and made it clear, “But, tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power [dunamis—supernatural energy of the Holy Spirit] from on high” (verse 49). We get the word dynamite from dunamis (dunamis—supernatural energy of the Holy Spirit). When Christians go in the authority of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, their lives become forms of worship in Spirit and truth that God records in Heaven. Having authority to witness, they were not ready to witness until they had the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

One wonders, how much of God’s kingdom work is done by talented Christians in the flesh, going in His authority, but without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 1:8 is actually the outline of the entire book of Acts.

 

Paul was educated and talented to the hilt. He could have done God’s business if God would have made the way easier by removing his infirmity.  However, God let him know that He was able to do His own work. All Paul needed to do was surrender and allow God to use him to do it. Paul did not need a miracle. God’s grace was all he needed. Paul went on to allow God to use up his life for Christ’s glory, not for the glory of the great apostle, Paul. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, . . . and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7, 8).

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT – Paul’s life and ministry exemplifies Jesus Christ. Follow Paul’s example.

 

Robert A. Brock

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Inspirational

Demons Believe in God


 

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble,” James 2:19.

 

 “They [the demons] cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29). 

 

Like the demons, I believed in Christ a long time before I was saved.  I believed He died to pay for my sins, but if I had died before I was fifteen years young, I would have gone to hell as an unbeliever.  One can believe that Jesus Christ was a historical person who died on the cross to pay the cost of people’s disobedience. That kind of belief will not save the sinner’s soul. Salvation only comes after repentance of sin, asking forgiveness and asking Christ into one’s life, total surrender, depending on nothing else but Jesus’ sacrifice.

 

Satan and his demons know they have only a short time to build Satan’s kingdom. Satan is not omnipresent, but he has enough demons who know his agenda to aggravate every one of us. In Ezekiel 28:11-19, God teaches that Satan was created full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He was created the most beautiful, talented angel. God never took that wisdom and beauty from him. His demons use the devil’s music to trap souls for hell. Polls tell us that young people get their culture and attitudes from their music. James said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). However, resisting is a conscious act, and Satan hypnotizes the mind with his musical vibrations, then plants wretched lyrics in the mind which forms the character of young people and adults.  Try listening to good Christian music for a week and see if it does not make a world of difference because you receive a different message of peace and salvation.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT – One must trust Christ if he wants to be saved.

 

Robert A. Brock

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspirational

God’s Word Bears Fruit


 

Ye heard before in the word  of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is  in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you,” Colossians 1:5, 6.

 

Jesus had just preached the parable of the sower and the four kinds of ears that hear the Word of God. One would assume that the apostles got the message, since Jesus had told them that the truth of the kingdom was for their ears. Then, just a few hours later in a storm, their boat was filled to sinking. They roused Jesus from sleep and accused Him of not caring that they were about to die. His word rebuked the wind, and the sea was immediately calm. The apostles were amazed and revealed their lack of understanding that they were in the boat with the Creator of the universe. Jesus shed light on their fears, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Their reply revealed their lack of belief in His Word. “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (verse 41). 

 

Believing God’s Word matures the Christian to simply take Him at His word.  Jesus said to Satan that, if a person really believes God’s Word, he is actually living life on a higher plain.

 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:11, 12). God’s Word can do surgery on the Christian and it can heal. Dive in and let it change your life and take away all your fear.  His Word claims that He has got your back, even in the worst storms of life.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT – Saved people are expected to be fruit bearers.

 

Robert A. Brock

 

 

 

 

The post God’s Word Bears Fruit appeared first on Your Daily Word.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Inspirational