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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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The Preeminence of Christ (Independent fundamental baptist preaching) Preaching from the Pulpit of the Salem Baptist Church, Cincinnati, OH Pastor Phillip Blackwell Sunday Morning March 5, 2017 Title: The Preeminence of Christ ...
Tri-State Preachers Fellowship (2 of 2) preached by Pastor Billy Goolesby, Rome Baptist Temple in Rome, GA - March meeting of the Tri-State Independent Baptist Preachers Fellowship ...
Tri-State Preachers Fellowship (1 of 2) preached by Pastor Tim McCulley, Philadelphia Baptist Church in Calhoun, GA - March meeting of the Tri-State Independent Baptist Preachers Fellowship ...
Blessed are those who mourn - Matthew 5 - Baptist Preaching  - Pastor David Pigott "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." - Matthew 5:4 KJV.
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Temple Baptist Church - 8-8-20182 Peter 3:14-18Introduction:A. As we end the Second Epistle of Peter, we find an admonition by the great Apostle to stand fast in the doctrine of the Scriptures. This message will be straight and without apology as I believe it to be essential to the steadfastness of the saints in these last, perilous times.2 Timothy 3:1-10 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (10) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (Moses, God's man, was sent to deliver the people of God from Egypt and these two men, Jammes and Jambres, withstood him. “So do these also resist the truth!)B. Peter wrote these two Epistles because of the difficulties that the “strangers scattered” were having.1. They wanted to know what their relationship was to the Nation of Israel now that they had been born into the Family of God.2. They also wanted to know their relationship to the Law.3. They had become infiltrated with false teachers.C. I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews (verse 15), one of the Jewish Christian Epistles, but Peter also references his other epistles in verse 16 . He did not sign the epistle with his name because the saved Jews feared him because of the way he persecuted them before his Damascus Road conversion.2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.1. Peter mentioned such a letter. 2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;2. Paul mention those in bonds of which he was one. Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.3. Paul mentioned Timothy, his son in the faith, coming to them. Paul often used Timothy and Titus to carry letters to churches while he himself was incarcerated. Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.4 Paul signed the Book of Hebrews with his token signature. Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.D. We live in the last day phenomena of false teachers. Peter fought them; Paul fought them; we fight them! They are everywhere. They are on the television, radio, colleges, and churches. The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, has been in full swing for over 100 years now. I have no “axes to grind” tonight but must preach on these verses.2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even asthere shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 1. These false teachers were not and are not outsiders. We do not listen to the heretics on TV or the radio. These false teachers were and are among us! This means that they have creditability and acceptance. 2. If a preacher got into this pulpit and said that there were mistakes in the King James Bible or said that this word could been translated differently or better, you would run him off. This is the way it is in most good churches. 3. But a college professor can undercut the purity of the bible and they are protected. If they did not have acceptance and protection, they would not be tolerated. When God's men preach against them, there is resistance.E. Before we dissect our text, let me bring this prophecy close to home for us all. I feel it necessary to use Peter's final admonition to “the strangers scattered,” which is prophetic of our day, to point the people back to God's Way and God's Word. Out text explains the problem and gives the solution.F. Since other churches, TV and Radio preachers have no effect upon how we believe and operate, I want to look at the one area of problem that all of us face. Now for a little history lesson to show how far the God's people have been led from the truth.1. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, the local churches were places where the Bible was the accepted as the final authority. It was all that the child of God needed for doctrinal correctness. God gave us the local church, not a college, university, or seminary.2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (The bible is all that God's people need to perfect and thoroughly furnish God's men.)2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (These are the days that we live in. People do not want a straight preaching, King James Bible Church. They are wanting a sermonette from a preacherette that will make them feel good about themselves, not bring conviction and repentance.)a) Paul called the church the “pillar and ground of the truth.” From the beginning, God gave the local church to the believers as a place of doctrinal grounding and fellowship. God gave the churches pastor-teachers to grind out the scriptures and feed it to the “flock of God.” 1 Timothy 3:15 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.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.Acts 20:26-31 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.2. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, God's people did not argue over which bible to use; there was no generation gap between young and old. In the early 20th Century, this new phenomenon began to grow. a) Young preachers sat at the feet of older, settled, doctrinally correct men of God until they were grounded in the scriptures and doctrine. b) Each new generation followed the “Old Paths” that their fathers followed.Acts 2:41-42 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.3. In the 20th Century, instead of relying on what God chose to spiritually educate believers, religious denominations began starting seminaries for the instruction of God's men in the doctrine of their choosing. Methodists, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. began to send their young preachers off to “college” to learn the Word of God and become sound in doctrine. Local churches were no longer deemed sufficient to do what God established it for.Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;4. The independent Baptist Movement was no different as they certainly did not want to send their young preachers to a denominational college that was not of like precious faith, so they started their own colleges. They began to rob the local church of its young, God called men! These colleges soon became infested with liberalism and the product was young men filling pulpits who were not doctrinally sound. They in turn begat followers of like heretical beliefs. 5. In the beginning, independent Baptist Churches started their schools of higher learning under the authority of the local church, but parachurch (outside of or against - the concept of the parachurch ministry was unknown to the first century church and is therefore not mentioned in Scripture)seminaries began to arise.6.The first bible schools were seminaries that were meant to aid in the training of Christian workers and preachers, but the people began to feel the need to educate their children in Christian schools instead of secular ones. Therefore, the seminaries adapted and began to offer Liberal Arts degrees along with bible educations. 7. The Liberal Arts degrees were and are good, but their bible education is often contrary to the teachings of the local churches. Schools and colleges became places of pride and, to some degree, allegiance to the graduates. The Latin phrase “Alma Mater” means “Nourishing or Bountiful Mother.” 8. There became a gap between the pulpit of the local church and the professor in the classroom. I look back over my college years and see that I learned little or no doctrine in the classroom. I learned my doctrine by sitting under my pastors and studying the Bible. In college, I did learn things that were more “Baptist” than “Bible.” The same in my post-graduate work.9. We are independent, autonomous local churches. What other churches preach, where they stand, has no affect upon us. If they stand, praise the Lord. If they go liberal, that is their business and does not affect our church. Bible colleges, seminaries, etc. can and do affect local churches because their people attend them.10. I owe no allegiance to any school. I owe my allegiance to my local church and pastor! I want you to fully understand what I am about to say. I am a BIBLICIST before I am a Baptist. That does not mean that I am not glad to be a Baptist; it means that where the Baptist and the Bible do not agree, I stand unerringly with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!G. Now, with all of that said, let us look at our text.1. The end time existence of unlearned and unstable men. These are people who place humanistic thinking about the authoritative Word of God. These are the people who wrestle with the Word of God. These are dangerous men and God called them wicked in verse 17. a. Peter and followers were unlearned and ignorant. Ignorant means to not have been taught. Not to have knowledge pertaining to a subject; uneducated, untrained, uninformed.”Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.b. These men are unlearned and unstable. This means that they are not ignorant of what the bible teaches, but they do not accept the truth of its teachings and are unstable or changing. They are never satisfied with one version of the bible but go from the King James to the NASV to the ESV to the NKJV, etc. 2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.c. They have read the same bible that you and I have read but come to a different conclusion. Whereas we take God at His Word, they do not think that the bible is completely correct. This is the exact opposite of what the bible teaches.1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence. (30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.d. Now, before anyone labels me a heretic, let me say that not all men of education and wisdom are lost or heretical! God has and can use educated people, but their education must not destroy their faith in the Bible! The Apostle Paul was among the best educated men of his time.Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. (25) But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.c. These men are unlearned in that they do not believe the bible. The bible claims to be the perfect, inspired, preserved, inerrant, infallible, living word of God. I believe it to be so, but these men deny what the bible claims. Who is right, these men or the bible.d. These men are unstable because their version of the bible is in a state of constant change. Their bible is constantly being traded for a newer updated version. Bible believers remain with the bible and do not change.2. The end time existence of men who wrest with the Bible. The word “wrest” means to twist or to fight against. Peter mentions things hard to be understood. The simplest way to understand the bible is believe what it says is right and always interpret hard scripture (will never understand everything in the bible) with easy, plain verses. Wrestlers make the bible conform to their theology instead making their theology conform to the bible.2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.a. The Word of God is just that: THE WORD OF GOD!1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.b. God's people believe the Bible, not wrestle with it. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.c. God intended for His people to be grounded in truth. God never intended for His people to be ignorant of what He said. His will is for people to get saved and sit under pastors who will teach them.Matthew 28:20 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. (To teach them all things, you must have all things.)Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (To live by every word, you must have every word. Was our Lord so wrong as to make this statement knowing that the Word of God would one day become erroneous.)3. The end time existence of being led away. Peter mentions the possibility of being led away with the error of the wicked. Thus, falling from their steadfastness.a. We live in days of instability. Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (I have never seen so many people who are regular in church that are doctrinally ignorant! It matters not where they go to church and believe that every denomination is alright. I do not want to preach a doctrinal series right now, but doctrine is important.)Romans 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.1 Timothy 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.b. We live in days of falling away. 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (People who once stood with us no longer believe what we believe. We believe the Bible.)1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;c. We live in days of wrestling with the scriptures. Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (To wrestle is to fight with or to fight against. Why can people not just believe what the Bible says and quit trying to make it say what they want it to say. The Bible is right, and man is wrong.)
Temple Baptist Church - 6-20-20182 Peter 3:3-8Introduction: A. In these verses, we find those who scoff at the Second Coming of Christ. Peter gives us hope through the analogy of God's time found in the Bible. To scoff is to mock or make fun of something. Present day science falsely so-called is an enemy of God and truth. Biblical creationism has been replaced by the Theory of Evolution which is an assumption based upon false information. I do not want to write a book on this subject, so we will generally explore evolution and move on to preaching truth.1. The Bible says that our universe is only six thousand years old. Evolutionists say that it is billions of years old. Why do scientists talk of billions of years if it is so young? They do so for a several of reasons. a) One, they are God haters! They do not want there to be a God, so they must come up with something plausible to explain Him away and explain the beginning of the universe. Everyone knows that the universe must have had a true beginning, thus the Theory of Evolution. b) Two, if there is no God, then the existence of the universe must have another beginning: thus, the Theory of Evolution.c) Three, for their theory to be plausible, there must have been billions of years to achieve the evolution of our universe from nothing to its present state. Long expanses of time had to have occurred. 1) Theory - a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. 2) Supposition – a belief based upon suspicion, to surmise, a conjecture, speculation, guess, feeling, hunch, assumption, presumption.d) The Theory of Evolution is based upon speculation, not facts. Enough of that crowd as they will never open their spiritual eyes and recognize God.2. God created a mature universe, not a baby one that must grow. God created Adam as a grown man, not a baby.B. Peter speaks of God's time. God's time is not our time. He is always on time. In verse 8, we see time as God sees it. The Second Coming of Christ will be in two distinct parts: The Rapture of the Church and the Lord Coming in His Glory, separated by 1,007 years.THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH: THE CATCHING AWAY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST.1. THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH: THE CATCHING AWAY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. The next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church. A. The word Rapture is not found in your Bible. Rapture comes from the phrase “shall be caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” These four words are one word in the Greek: arpazw harpazo har-pad'-zo, which means to catch up, take by force, catch away, or to pluck, to claim for oneself eagerly. Harpazo is the Greek equivalent of our word Rapture.RAP'TURE, n. [L. raptus, rapio.]1. A seizing by violence. [Little used.]2. Transport; ecstasy; violence of a pleasing passion; extreme joy or pleasure.2. The Rapture is that event in the future when the Lord Jesus Christ will as a thief in the night and will catch away all the saved people of the world. It is a time, known in the Bible as the blessed hope of the believer - Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;A. It is eminent (Brand New Feeling In The Air! 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.B. It is encouraging (hard times almost over forever) 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.C. It is exciting (just watching the Lord work and prophecy fulfilling) Revelation 22:20- He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.3. The “last trump” holds tremendous Scriptural truth concerning the rapture. John heard “as it were of a trumpet talking with me” in the Revelation. The first mention of trumpet speaks volumes concerning its meaning and use. Exodus 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. (It was used to gather Israel into the presence of God.)A. In Roman days, when a Roman legion moved, there would be three blasts from the trumpets:B. The first trump would tell the troop to take down their tents, and to prepare to move.C. The second trump would alert them to fall in and line up.D. The last trump would be the signal to move out.E. We are leaving at the "last trump"4. The Rapture will be in fulfillment. of His promise.A. Before Jesus went to the cross, He promised His disciples that He would return for them - John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.B. He later reaffirmed this promise to the Apostle John - Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.C. When Jesus ascended back into Heaven, angels told His disciples that He would return - Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.5 The Rapture will be in fulfillment of His purposes.A. His purpose was that we might be with Him - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.B. His purpose was to receive His bride unto Himself - Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.6. The Procedure of the Rapture.1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.A. The Dead in Christ (saints of God who have gone one before) will rise first. Their spirit and soul is already with the Lord and coming with Him but their bodies will come forth, changed into a body like His glorious body – 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.1 Corinthians 15:22-23 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.B. The Alive in Christ - 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.7. The Rapture In Truth – We are premillennial, pre-tribulation rapture saints.A. The Denial of The Millennium - 2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.1) Post Millennialisma) In Christian eschatology, postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelationwhich sees Christ's second coming as occurring after or post- the thousand year "millennium". Although some postmillennialists hold to a literal millennium of 1,000 years, most postmillennialists see the thousand years more as a figurative term for a long period of time (similar in that respect to Amillennialism). Among those holding to a non-literal "millennium" it is usually understood to have already begun, which implies a less obvious and less dramatic kind of millennium than that typically envisioned by premillennialists, as well as a more unexpected return of Christ. (These teach that the world will get progressively better, revival will break out, and then the Lord will return to sit upon the throne of David.)b) Postmillennialism also teaches that the forces of Satan will gradually be defeated by the expansion of theKingdom of God throughout history up until the second coming of Christ. This belief that good will gradually triumph over evil has led proponents of postmillennialism to label themselves "optimillennialists" in contrast to"pessimillennial" Premillennialists and Amillennialists.2) Amillennialisma) Amillennialism teaches that the Kingdom of God will not be physically established on earth throughout the "millennium", but rather that Christ is presently reigning from heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, that He will remain with the Christian church until the end of the world, as he promised at the Ascension.b) Amillennialism also teaches that at Pentecost, the millennium began, as is shown by Peter using the prophecies of Joel, about the coming of the kingdom, to explain what was happening, and that, therefore theChristian church and its spread of the good news is Christ's kingdom.3) Premillennialisma) Premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible which sees Christ's second coming as occurring before or pre- his literal thousand year reign on earth (Revelation 19) which some envision to be centered literally on King David's throne in Jerusalem. This is a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.1 Kings 9:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.b) Premillennialism is distinct in that it usually interprets these "thousand years" literally; other views often interpret this as a figurative term for a long, undefined period of time (particularly, Amillennialists and manypostmillennialists). Premillennialism also holds this period of one thousand years is eschatological, and has not yet begun.4) The correct position is Premillennialism.B. The Denial Of The Pre-tribulation Rapture1) Mid-tribulation Rapture – Matthew 24:15-21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 175-170 – greatly persecuted the Jews and offered a sow on the altar.)2) Pre-wrath Rapture - Zephaniah 2:2-3 Before the decree bring forth, [before] the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. (A relatively newer version of the mid-tribulation rapture theory.)1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,3) Pre-tribulation Rapture – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 4:1 (At the end of the Church Age and prior to Revelation 6:1 and the revealing of the Antichrist.)4) The correct position is Pre-tribulation Rapture. The Church of Believers is absent in Revelation 4-18. The Church is mentioned 17 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but after John (a member of the Church) is called up to heaven, at the beginning of chapter 4, he looks down on the events of the Tribulation, and the Church is not mentioned or seen again until chapter 19, when she returns to earth with her Bridegroom at His glorious appearing. Why? The answer is obvious: she isn't in the Tribulation. She is raptured to be with her Lord before it begins! (The Church will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. They will then return to earth in Revelation chapter 19 with the Lord.)8. The Rapture In Type A. Manifested In Enoch - Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.B. Manifested In Lot - Genesis 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.C. Manifested In Elijah - 2 Kings2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.D. Manifested In Paul - 2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.E. Manifested In John - Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.9. The Rapture In TimeA. The Analogy of God's Time - 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.B. The Allotment of God's Time - Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Six thousand years from the beginning to the Rapture and the seventh one thousand years is the Millennium or Sabbath Rest.) C. The Achievement of God's Time - Matthew 17:1-2 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.D. The Acknowledgment of God's Time - Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.Matthew 24:4-8 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.10. The Rapture In Triumph
Temple Baptist Church - 3-18-2018Psalm 27:1-5Introduction: A. I want to preach for a few weeks on the importance of the local church in the lives of God's children. When our Lord ascended back to heaven, He left several things to the believers in His impending absence:1. The Holy Spirit. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.2. The Word of God. 1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.3. The Local Church. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.B. These three are equally essential to the well being of the believer. I may do a series on all three before I am finished because of the apparent ignorance of most professing believers of their value.C. David was both a man of war and a man of worship. In these verses, we find his heart's desire to assemble with the people of God in worship. David loved the house of the Lord. Your local church is important in your life as a believer!Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.Psalms 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.D. Hebrews 10:25 is possibly the most quoted verse concerning church attendance and has been normally been preached as a negative. 1. Hebrews 10:25 says, “As the manner of some is.” The word manner means a custom or habitual practice. There are so many people who professed to be saved that have no desire to be faithful to the local church. 2. We have a good nucleus here at Temple. I want to encourage the “as the manner of some is” this morning to get in. I also want to encourage the faithful to stay in. Many of the unfaithful were once faithful. E. There has been a great forsaking of the assembling in the past few decades with many in America unchurched. 1. Our nation if following the same path as England and Europe: the path of godlessness which always leads to ungodliness. 2. The faithful few that make up the nucleus of the local church have become fewer in number, especially Sunday and Wednesday night crowds. Few want any time of “extra” services such as revival meetings or mission conferences.F. With many, it is a leaving your “first love” problem. This morning, I want to encourage you to love your church! Make it a major part of your life. What a privilege it is to come to church! What a blessing to be able to come to church! What a benefit to be able to come to church!What makes the local church so special:1. It Is The Place That God Loves - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. (Jesus Christ died for the Church! He gave His life for that which He loves. Truly, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” When you get saved, you should love what God loves!)2. It Is The Place Of Worship - Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. (You can and should worship anywhere but the church house is a special place. It was a place built to worship in. You can come here and sing as loud as you please; you can say “Amen” or shout “Glory to God;” you can give your tithe and offerings scripturally in God's house. What a blessing!)3. It Is The Place Of Preaching And Teach God's Word - 1 Timothy 3:15 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. (You probably know it by now, but I love this blessed old King James Bible that I hold in my hand. We can read it at home; We can study it at home; but here in the house of the Lord, men of God preach like they know what they are preaching about! I rejoice with the Apostle Paul when the Bible is heralded and the preacher lifts up his voice like a trumpet!)4. It Is The Place Where God's People Gather - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.(The greatest people on earth are there! When I got saved I fell in love with a lot of things that please God but one of the greatest of all was the people of God. No, they are not perfect, but they are my brothers and sisters in Christ! We are all in the Body of Christ which is the Family of God and we love you!)5. It Is The Place Where Sinners Are Both Sought And Loved - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. (I love to see sinners come to the church house and be privileged to sit under the power of the Word of God and have an opportunity to hear the gospel and give their hearts and lives to Christ. The to watch the Lord gloriously change their lives for His glory.)6. It Is The Place Where I Pay My Tithes And Give My Offerings - Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (So many professing believers never get this! The tithe belong to the Lord and giving begins only above the tithe. What a blessing; what a thrill to be able to give to the work of the Lord. I saw this sermon title on the sign in front of Mount Zion Baptist Church one Sunday morning: “There's going to be a hold up Sunday morning.”)7. It Is God's Instrument For World Evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (I love to give an offering to missions! We can help support precious families as they cover the globe preaching the same gospel that we preach. Missionaries are the greatest people in the world! There is no greater calling than that. Carrying the Word of God to a world that needs Jesus Christ and we can help go by giving! We can go on organized visitation where we can personally witness to the Lost and occasionally see one get saved!)8. It Was There That I Heard The True Gospel Preached And Was Gloriously and Eternally Saved – Luke 18:10, 13-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican … And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (If it weren't for the local church, this pastor would still be lost in my sin. I got saved on a Sunday night in an independent Baptist Church. Thank God for Bob Lamb! God laid it upon his heart to come to Madisonville, Ky and start a church under an old gospel tent! Barbara and I were saved because of it! Ask me why I love the local church!!)9. It Is A Place Of Comfort And Spiritual Joy - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (The church is a refuge; a stronghold; a place of peace and tranquility; a place where we come and enjoy the things of God. It is a place of comfort to the troubled and a source of joy to those who are hurting. It is in the church that you will find encouragement and help. It is in the church that you will find that you never walk alone.)10. It Is An Encouragement Filling Station - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (We can get filled up at church. We can go to put something into the service and also to get something out of it. If you do not get a blessing, then it was because you were not blessable! I know blessable is not a word but I can make one up if I wanna! If you want a blessing, you will get one. If you do not want a blessing, don't blame it on anyone or anything but yourself. You get out of a church service what you put into it.)Conclusion: The Local Church Is Just A Little Bit Of Heaven On Earth - Psalms 84:1-12 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (If you don't like church, don't go to heaven! A lot of people have imagined a heaven that is not the heaven of this Bible. There will be praising and singing; there will be worship like we have never experienced; it is a prepared place for a prepared people! You won't like it there because church is a little bit of heaven on earth!)
Praying-Hands"The life that Jesus lived, the Christian life, is characterized by truth, and love, and righteousness. And prayer is the perfect example and expression of all three of these. Love is prayers motive, truth is its expression, and righteousness is its goal." ~ Ray C. SteadmanIt is by the grace of God alone that we have been given such a sublime gift as prayer. In the words of Dr. William Evans, "The Christian life cannot be sustained without it; it is the Christian's vital breath." This provision is even more valuable to us than water. One cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven with water, but through a man's humble supplication to Jesus Christ is eternal life granted him. Therefore it would be wise to understand how the originator of prayer has ordained its use. Our Holy God has ordained a distinct way that His children must approach Him in prayer. His infallible and wholly inspired Word gives us clear commandments on exactly how we are to pray. The Bible teaches that there are at least four essential elements of prayer. That these four things in particular militate against all other forms of prayer found in the world is clear by their nature and inimitability. In this essay I will expound on the essentials of prayer, and conclude by illustrating their value in man's relationship to the holy, triune God. In The Name Of Jesus Christ John 14:13-14 - "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."This instruction from Jesus Christ gives us the knowledge of the proper way to pray, and differentiates our prayers to God from the prayers of those in other (false) religions. The phrase "...in my name" means that where there is no other name whereby a man can be saved (Acts 4:12), neither is there another name in which a Christian can pray. This also tells us of the personal nature of prayer intended for man by the perfect love of God. As compared to the prayers to the impersonal deities and idols of false religion, the Christian's prayer is based on an ever-deepening relationship with the triune God. I have encountered Him in my own prayer life, and can give personal testimony to the importance and dependence upon that wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ; with God.Of John 14:13-14, David Guzik writes, "this signifies both an endorsement (like a check) and a limitation (requests must be in accordance with the character of the name). We are coming to God in Jesus' name, not in our own." That we are coming in Jesus' name and not our own means we are to actively seek the will of God over our own desire. Not only does this verse tell us that we must pray in the name of Jesus Christ, but that in knowing Jesus, we have at least an inclination of His will, which should affect what we are praying for, and how we pray. The phrase "in my name" can only mean one thing: Agreement with and adherence to God's will. That is because the following phrase, "I will do it," must be taken to mean that God will do only what is in His nature. Being that God's nature is holy and absolutely perfect in every moral attribute, we can only ask Him to do for us what is in agreement with His nature. John14:13-14 are implicit with the truth that praying in Jesus' name is intrinsically linked to the will of God. According To The Will Of God 1 John 5:14-15 - "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."The word "confidence" in this passage has also been rendered boldness, openly, plainly (and other variants thereof) throughout the New Testament. Therefore, our confidence, which is not of ourselves but is "in him," is that whatever we ask in accordance to His will shall be heard by Him. It is important to note that it is first stated here that our boldness or confidence is that we have been heard. This implies that the fact that our prayers to God our heard is enough to give us confidence! That alone is wonderful news to the believer, and should settle many matters of personal doubt we sometimes experience when coming to the Lord in prayer. The phrase "And if we know that he hear us," uses the condition "if", which is to say that, "if we have asked of Him according to His will," which we have. Here the apostle John is restating the obvious, probably for emphasis, because in the verse prior to this he has propositioned that we already have confidence or boldness in the fact that we asked something of God according to the will of God. Thus, whatever we ask, we know that not only does He hear us, but we have His petitioning on our behalf with God the Father. According to Ray C. Steadman, "Prayer is not a means by which we get God to do our will, Prayer is a means of obtaining the will of God, and is limited always by the will and purpose of God. If we pray outside of the purpose then there is no guarantee that our prayer will be heard." Prayer in Jesus name, and according to God's will, must be accompanied by a third essential element: belief. Belief In Prayer Mark 11:24 - "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."In the life of the Christian, prayer is preceded by belief. This is evident in that we must believe in order to be saved (Romans 10:9). As we come to believe, we know to whom we are confessing to and believing in, and we ascend to this through our prayer. Being witnesses to the love of God we believe; we are motivated by the truth, and given to prayer knowing full well that the end of prayer is to bring glory to a righteous God. In 1 John 5:10 we read, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." We must believe, for to not believe is a sin! (See also Hebrews 3:12). Indeed, belief is so essential a part of prayer that the prayers of a man with a doubtful heart are hindered. The verse in Mark 11:24 says, "...when ye pray, believe..." Jesus Christ uttered this the day following His cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. In Mark 11:17 He says, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves." Is it not striking that the day after the cleansing of the temple, and Christ referring to the temple as a "house of prayer," He gives the apostles a strong admonition to believe in order to have their prayers heard? Jesus was setting them up for a time to come that He foreknew he would not be with them physically, in person. His temple would be in each person's body, in each personal "house of prayer," and belief in Him would be more vital than ever for them to reap the freedom that is given to one who seeks to bring glory to God through his prayers. And no other prayer could accomplish that but one that is done in the name of Christ, according to His will, with a believing heart, and as we shall see next, with perseverance. Perseverance In Prayer Luke 11:5-10 - "And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."After teaching His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), Jesus then continues with a parable that illustrated the necessity of perseverance in prayer. This parable, seen in conjunction with another portion of the book of Luke (The Parable of the Unjust Judge, Luke 18:1-8), fully substantiates the point that Jesus was making: the tenacious prayer of the believer will, without fear or doubt, be answered. In light of the facts about prayer that I have expounded on thus far, it is clear that Jesus did not mean simply that anyone who prays fervently gets what they want. Again, the prayer in Jesus' name, following the will of God in relation to His character and His revelation, from a heart that believes, is the prayer that is heard and answered. This excludes all other forms of prayer, such as that which uses beads, idols, the intercession of the dead, or other demonic devices. The perseverance that is implicit in these parables does not mean repetitive. From the parable of the importunate friend, we find the word "importunity" in verse 8. In the original language of the New Testament, this word actually means "shamelessness." The implication in the context surrounding that word is shameless perseverance. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary illustrates, "If shameless persistence can obtain a boon from a neighbor, then certainly earnest prayer will receive our Father's answer." Therefore it is not simply tenacity or continuation that must accompany belief in prayer, but child-like earnest and humility as well. Hindrances and Helps In Prayer It would be reasonable at this point to mention both the hindrances and helps to prayer. To paraphrase Dr. William Evans, some of the hindrances are as follows: Indulgence in known sin, willful disobedience to God, selfishness, resentfulness and blame, faithlessness and idolatry. Some of the essentials to prevailing in prayer are sincerity, simplicity, earnestness, persistence, faithfulness, unison with others, certainty, effort and with fasting. Each of these deserves at least a paragraph unto itself, however to keep to the nature and flow of this essay I will astutely conclude this section by saying that the Word of God is not short on its lists of hindrances and helps to prayer. It is brimming with examples, parables, illustrations and commandments that are integral to the prayer-life of the believer. Conclusion There is so much to be said on the subject of prayer that choosing what I have felt to be its fundamentals seems to be injurious to prayer's myriad of aspects. Prayer is made mighty in its meekness and humility by the power of God, who is faithful to the repentant believer. It is this vessel of prayer which brings us closer to God. In my own limited experience, irregular or insincere prayer can quickly degenerate every aspect of my relationship with God. I recall the many ups and downs I've had along the way, and in reciprocity to that line is the degree of nearness to God that I was cultivating at the time. I recall the many times when God Himself has told me, "Aaron, now is the time to pray." It is in those moments that I have wanted to be the most obedient, falling to my knees, and either praying, or just listening. God is gracious and longsuffering towards His children, and I praise Him for that because my prayer life has been everything but perfect. In His continuous sanctification of the saints, His love is made manifest in our response to Him in prayer. James writes in his epistle, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:15b). I will conclude by saying that the four essentials of prayer as discussed in this essay are succinctly stated by James in his use of the words "effectual" and "fervent." Thusly, the good and perfect will of God prevails.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2 Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007. He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church. For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
Righteous_Lion"And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." ~ Genesis 5:21-24There are two notable dispositions in the life of Enoch: before and after he begat Methuselah. The Bible teaches that he was sixty-five years old when his son was born, and after that he walked with God. Therefore the first disposition is that he did not walk with God in the first sixty-five years of his life; the second then being that he walked with God for the remaining three-hundred years before his death. The significance of his latter disposition will be dealt with in this article. In Genesis 5 the phrase "Enoch walked with God" is repeated twice. (This repetition, however, is not verbatim in the original language. The Hebrew text in the original MS includes the word ‘with' in the first rendering of this phrase, possibly offering a clue as to the depth of this relationship he had with ‘elohiym). This is significant in that it is unique throughout the entire Bible. The only other person who we know "walked with God" was Noah, and to him was this tribute ascribed to but once (Gen. 6:9). I'm not implying that repetition is indicative of a ‘closer,' or ‘better' walk, but just that it is noteworthy. It is because of this small but significant detail that I chose to write about Enoch as on of my favorite peoples from the history of the Old Testament. Part 1: Enoch the Prophet Before examining the latter disposition in Enoch's life, it will be important to note the meaning of his and his son's names. Enoch fittingly means ‘dedicated', while Methuselah means ‘his death shall bring'; or ‘when he dies, judgment.' Of Methuselah's name, Matthew Henry writes, "it was fair warning to a careless world, a long time before the judgment came." We know that in the year that Methuselah died came the flood. It would be reasonable to assume that God foreknew he would be taking his dedicated servant Enoch early (Gen. 5:24), and left a prophetic message bound within the name of his progeny. This aptly illustrates a mere fragment of the boundless wisdom of God, and of His sovereignty. The prophetic naming of Enoch's son and the subsequent change in his disposition are not simply coincidental. It would appear that they are somehow linked in implication.So with this knowledge of the coming catastrophe through his son, what did Enoch do for three-hundred years? We can't look any further into Enoch without examining what is said of him in the New Testament epistles: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." ~ Jude 1:14, 15 From Jude we learn that Enoch was a genuine prophet of God. The Holy Spirit sealed this information about Enoch into the Word of God through the writer of this epistle and that is all we need to know. Jewish legends aside, it is clear that the early church had at least an oral tradition about the prophecy of Enoch, and that it was important enough to God to be included in His holy book. And what was the prophecy? In the context of these verses from Jude, we understand that he prophesied that Jesus, with a multitude of His saints, is coming and they will execute judgment upon all of the ungodly men of the world. In Enoch's day, only seven generations from Adam, he was proclaiming the coming of a Messiah and the judgment on the wicked. His prophecy applied both to the antediluvian society in which he lived, and to the ages to come. These prophecies set the tone for the three-hundred years of Enoch's walk with God. They may be exemplary of his preaching in an increasingly evil and God-hating world. One would have to be quite intimate with God to continue in this work. Perhaps this life was passed on to Methuselah. Perhaps he trained his son for those three-hundred before he was, as the epistle to the Hebrews expounds, translated. Part 2: Enoch Walked With God Hebrews 11:5 - "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." The first prophecy of the Bible is in Gen. 3:15. The seed of the woman, Christ Jesus, will crush the head of Satan. This speaks of the hope of the Savior to come and his breaking of the curse brought on by Adam. Enoch's prophecy concerning the Messiah, as recorded in Jude, fits as the Bible's second prophecy (it would have been uttered during the 300 years after the birth of Methuselah; a time when we have no other recorded prophecies). This speaks of the judgment of the coming Messiah on the ungodly. Enoch, a righteous man, would have to have known the prophecy of Gen. 3:15 through oral tradition. We can assume this because it was spoken by God to Adam and pertained directly to Adam's lineage. Enoch, being only the seventh generation from Adam, would indeed have clung to the very words of God as they had been passed down through his contemporaries and forefathers. Some time after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch began walking with God. Undoubtedly he, knowing this prophecy of the coming Savior, and having had received himself a prophecy of God of this Savior's coming judgment, began to draw nearer to God than any of his forefathers had. The book of Hebrews tells us two more things about Enoch that pertain to his relationship with God: 1. In the book of Hebrews we read, "By faith Enoch was translated..." By faith in what? I believe this is tells of his pure, unrelenting faith in God which included everything God had spoken to man at that time. He had faith in the three prophecies of the eternal God that had come down to man thus far: the coming savior (the Lord had spoken this to Adam), the prophecy that God had revealed to him of the judgment of the coming Savior and His saints, and the prophecy of the coming catastrophe spoken of through the name of his first son, Methuselah. 2. Also in the book of Hebrews we read, "...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." We know from the verse in Hebrews that follows this that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Enoch's life was a living testimony of faith and that he diligently sought after God, the rewarder of faith. From this we can also ascertain that Enoch must have had thoughts which were in alignment with the moral nature of God. Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" It is absolutely clear that Enoch was a man who walked with God, and in so walking with God he was in complete agreement with whatever God had to say. Enoch was surely in agreement with God's coming judgment on the wicked world that he lived in. Conclusion The Bible says that Enoch was translated, or, taken up to be with God. Little is known about this man of God except from what a few verses in Genesis, Hebrews and James tell us. However Enoch's testimony, as extrapolated through diligently studying the Word of God, reveals a great deal about this man. "He walked with God," it says twice about Enoch. He prophesied. He listened. He had faith. Although not always, because it is clear that for the first sixty-five years of his life he walked apart from God. Then, after a revelation from God in the prophetic naming of Enoch's son, we can imagine that he seems to put the pieces together: The coming Savior who will crush the head of the serpent; the coming catastrophe that will follow Methuselah's death; the newly revealed prophecy of God of the coming judgment of this Savior along with ten thousand saints. "And Enoch walked with God: And he was not; for God took him." His faith is counted among the faith of those who we regard as the patriarchs. It is a faith worth examining, for we live in an era not unlike that of Enoch, just before the flood. The kingdom of God is at hand, and we could be taken up at any moment.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2 Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007. He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church. For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
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