Tag: The Church

The True Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

Book of John Chapter 10

Before we start Chapter 10, we need to look back to Chapter 9.

Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Jesus had just boldly said that He was the Son of God and some truly believed, but the Pharisees and the High Priest and those close to them rejected everything that Jesus had said.

These are the same men who had all the Scriptures, who spent much time studying the Scriptures and swore to abide by them.

These men were not blind to what Jesus was saying, in fact some them believed that Jesus could be who He said He was.

These men just refused to give up their places of leadership and thought that they could resist God.

These same foolish men still exist today, and they will exist when Jesus returns and then they will be no more, till in the end when they will face the Lord again at the White Throne Judgment.

These men were followers of Satan, even if they did not know this was true.

They clung to their sin so tightly that no one could deprive them of it.

What is said of Satan?

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jesus told these evil men that if they did not know the Word of God, they would have believed but because they knew so much of the Scriptures and had so many means of knowing the truth and rejected the truth, then there was no hope for them and Jesus continues in Chapter 10.

*****Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

If we look at the original Greek manuscripts, we will see that the word used for “thief” is the same word used for “Judas” and the same word used for “robber” is used to describe “Barabbas”.

Jesus begins with a passage much like a parable and a parable is an earthly story that has a Heavenly meaning.

This lesson boldly states that it is Jesus Christ who is “the door” of the sheepfold and we will see this soon.

The sheep fold will one day include most all the Jews but at this time the sheep fold is the Church.

Those who try to enter the Church by some means other that Jesus Christ become as a thief and a robber and as the trained servants of Satan!

Jesus was probably looking straight into the eyes of these Temple leaders as He said these words.

Most of these men only thought of shepherds as the low-lives of society and had nothing to do to them. A true shepherd was with his flock 7 days a week.

We could say that Jesus was also pointing out what a true Church leader should be. These who were before Him knew nothing of caring for God’s people!

We should clearly understand that God does not deal with us a General over a His great army, the Lord deals with us a Shepherd over his valuable flock!

In this parable the sheepfold is the place where the Lord keeps His sheep.

This parable will deal with the false shepherd and the true Shepherd.

The true Shepherd is Jesus Christ and the false shepherds are all those opposed to Jesus Christ!

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in threat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

No one can get inside the pen where the sheep are kept unless they come through the Door and that Door is the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

We should understand that a flock of sheep are led by the shepherd and the shepherd’s boy will bring up the rear.

When there is a journey that shepherd’s boy will lead the sheep while the shepherd drives the sheep.

When darkness comes the sheep are herded into enclosures to keep them safe and the shepherd becomes the door to enter into that enclosure. Nothing gets by the shepherd to cause harm to the sheep.

The Shepherd knows each and every one of his sheep and the sheep know him.

It is sin for Christian people to suppose that they are just part of a crowd. The Lords knows each child of God as a shepherd knows his sheep!

In fact the Lord knows each of us so well that He knows when one hair on our head has fallen out or if we stumped our toe while walking.

God also does not so much convert the masses as He deals with us one on one.

The Lord Jesus wants a personal relationship and we can have one with Him if we just accept Him as the truth!

In the short time the Lord spent upon this earth in the flesh, He personally felt every infirmity that we deal with and so He knows what we are going through in every situation.

Note: Christ even felt what it like to be hated by other people even by some His own family for a time!

Christ does not just know something about us, He knows all about us and He makes the effort to know more that He can help us through this life until He takes us home to present us to His Father.

Note: Christ does not watch over us as if we are in a prison. We are never treated as slaves even though Christ purchased us from the slave-market of sin. Christ treats us members of His own family and He is our older Brother.

Note: Christ is the true Shepherd of the Christian sheep and the Holy Spirit is then the Porter or the Doorkeeper.

As sheep, the Christian will listen for the call of the Shepherd and He knows our name and we will follow and obey the Shepherd.

We should understand that the Lord deals with us individually. The only time the Lord will call us as a group is at the “Rapture” of the Church.

The truth of the Shepherd:

Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

If we do not know these things, then we are subject to be led by a false shepherd.

*****Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Once we know the Lord as our Redeemer, we will know His voice and we will never forget the sound of His voice.

We must trust the voice of the Lord. He will speak to us through the Holy Spirit just as we speak to Him through the Holy Spirit.

Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Our true Shepherd does not just go before us as some man, but He goes before us with all the power of God.

1Jn_5:10 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.

When the Lord puts forth His sheep none are ever left behind, and He will feed them with the truth.

When a false shepherd puts forth his sheep it is to rid himself of trouble, making merchandise of them.

2Pe_2:3 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.

The true Christian will never follow a stranger whom they do not know as a Christian.

Joh 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

Those who do not put forth the truth of the Scriptures are all strangers and have nothing of God within them!

What is the path of the stranger? Humanism, materialism, worldliness, fame, false religion, false science, false philosophy.

We are to flee from these things!

Again we see a parable that these Pharisees could not understand so Jesus explains this parable to them.

*****Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Without the Holy Spirit who abides in each believer, these things cannot be understood.

Pro 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

If we can see the truth, then we can see that these things are a fulfillment of prophecy.

Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Jesus continues to teach the truth that these men would not accept.

*****Joh 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

Jesus begins with “Listen to Me, these things are very important”(verily,verily)

Jesus explains that He is not only the Shepherd, but He is also the Door.

Maybe the most important thing in this parable, (some say proverb) is that we must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Door to the sheepfold or we could say “The Church”!

The fact of this is that the sheep cannot leave without confronting the Door and enemies could not enter without going through the Door which is impossible.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Notice in verse 8 the “I Am”. When the Lord says “I Am” we know He is Jehovah or Yahweh!

Who are those thieves and robbers?

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

By knowing these about these things, we should never be fooled by them!

All those who disagree with what the Lord is saying here need to get a true Bible and study and believe!

The Lord’s sheep will never be sheared again but those who follow a false prophet or priest, or false pastor will be sheared over and over again!

All those who reject the Lord as the Messiah, as Lord, as the True Shepherd, as our Redeemer cannot come through the Door where the sheep of the Lord are located.

Their message is a message of plunder and murder, they will not have a message from Heaven and God the Father because they cannot know Him!

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

*****Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Door to salvation.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

He Lord is the “Door”:

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

He is also the Shepherd:

Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

He is also the Pasture.

Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

His Pasture contains not only the “Bread of Life” but also the “Water of Life”!

Joh_4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Joh_6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Notice again, no one enters except by the Lord. (by Me).

*****Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Again Jesus is blunt when He says all those who say there is another way get to Heaven are just “thieves” and “robbers”. The only thing that they know to do is to kill and destroy.

Some just want the wool which is all the things of value.
Next, they will want the life of each sheep.

Life is the power behind our being!

Even as Christians we cling to life not willing to let go and there is nothing particularly wrong with this, as long as we know that true life comes after the death of our flesh.

True life is the deliverance from condemnation and death!
True life is forever.
True life is satisfaction.
True life is security.
True life is enjoyment.
True life is found only in God!
True life comes only by Jesus Christ!
True life begins when we are filled and sealed by the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

*****Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ is our Perfect Shepherd and He knows we cannot be left alone so He will care for us all our days.

Jesus is the good Shepherd because He gave His life for His sheep!

Jesus is the Great Shepherd!

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is the “Ideal” Shepherd

Isa 49:9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
Isa 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of our souls:

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Who are those that are false leaders of God’s people?

*****Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

There are many of these “hirelings” behind the pulpits today.

They are men and women who are hired who care not for the children of God but they are more like the mercenary who will leave when things look bad because they serve only their own interest!

These men and women who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who spend their time attacking the Christian faith.

They attack Christian liberty.

They attack the Christian life.

A wolf will capture some and scatter the rest intentionally destroying the flock of God and those that follow them are just as bad!

The hireling will never defend the cause of Jesus Christ!

*****Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jesus Christ is the owner of all the Christian sheep.

They were “given” to Him by His Father.
He is the Creator of all things and He “created” the Church and His flock.
Jesus laid down His life for His sheep and the Christian sheep are “paid for with His own blood”.
In a day that is close by, Jesus will “Redeem” His sheep and take them home to a New Heaven.

This is why His sheep know Him. He knows my name and your name if you love Him.

What is on the mind of Jesus Christ today? His sheep.

Every thought of the Lord is always on His sheep every day.

He is concerned about our joy and our happiness.
He is concerned about our trials and our sorrows.
He is there to pick us up when we stumble or if we stray from the path.
He is concerned about or needs and our wants.

Jesus keeps His mind on His sheep every moment we live and is waiting with open arms when He takes us home.

This is why the Rapture is guaranteed, so the world will know that Lord has redeemed His sheep and then proof that those left behind chose wrong.

Because those left behind all got an opportunity to know the Savior!

*****Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

As the Lord was speaking to the Jews of course, these other sheep would be of the Gentiles, that includes us who here today.

This included all other nations and every generation until Jesus returns!

Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

In the end there will be only one church!

There will be only one flock of sheep because there is only one Savior who is also the true Shepherd!

That word “must”, is very important. It means Christ Jesus is compelled by His Father to reach out to the Gentile sheep!

There are not Jews nor Gentiles, there are only Believers!

*****Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Had Jesus not died we would all still have our sin.
Had Jesus not arose from the dead we would still have our sin!

Our Good Shepherd sacrificed His life for our sin to become the Perfect Shepherd!

The Fathers infinite love for His Son would not allow for Him to stay dead.

It is because of the Son’s infinite love for His sheep that He arose from that death.

We must realize that Jesus as the Son of God could not die.

This passage means, it was Christ’s human life that died, and Christ had to take on that human life again in order that we be saved.

Christ was still in that human life when He ascended even though it was glorified to teach that we will certainly be like Him when we meet Him!

Jesus Christ will free us from death by providing eternal life to each and every believer!

If Jesus had not taken up that human life again, then we would still be lost in this dying world.

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

So we see that our Father in Heaven not only sent His Son to die but to also rise from that death.

Joh 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

We know that our Father in Heaven has given us the choice to follow Him or not and Jesus had this same choice. Jesus could have said no and just went back to Heaven, but had He done so then as far as truth goes there would be no God at all.

The Scriptures must be fulfilled just as they are written, or we would have nothing to to put our “Faith” because remember this plan was conceived before creation week began.

So, all these things being true it should increase our “faith”.

1Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus did all these things to glorify His Father another example for us to do the same!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Order Between the Church and the Government

Order Between the Church and Governments

Book of Titus Chapter 3

As we get into this lesson we must realize, this passage is not about the rulers of government and their behavior, because God has chosen them according to His continuing will.

Paul is writing to Titus and the Church, to each believer and our duty to the state.

In most cases we can do very little about the authorities and our government, or how they conduct their affairs.

The one thing we can do, is when we get the opportunity to vote, we vote for those who claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior even if we know it could affect our incomes. God will hold them accountable!

We should never forget that God has promised to provide our needs in every situation!

We know by now that God is very, very clear about the behavior of every believer!

We know that one of the evilest of the Caesars, Nero was ruler of the entire Roman Kingdom at the time Paul wrote these words to Titus and to the Church. Not many rulers have been as evil Nero though there have been some.

*****Tit 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

As Christians who are citizens of Heaven and preside right now in the nations of this world, we are to obey the laws of the nation where we are located.

It is our duty to obey those who are in authority in the places where we live.

This includes the local government and the national government!

We as Christians are to be subject of and obedient to them by the laws in place!

It should be obvious we should never do anything that goes against the will of God at any time!

In most all governments there is an attempt to keep the peace and to put down all chaos.

We should see this passage as the commands of God, as we do in all the Word of God!

The Holy Spirit would not have used the word “subject” if we were not to obey our rulers for the sake of public good.

Our conscience, by the Holy Spirit, upheld by the Word of God, will dictate our actions when our own government causes chaos to Christians.

It is the governments job to keep law and order, so societies can flourish rather than be as the unruly beast as described of the people of Crete.

If there were no communities, nor societies, and no life, there would only be selfishness and lawlessness.

As Christians we are to set the example for all others in this world to see, while showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When laws are written to outlaw the fruit of the Holy Spirit, then we must obey the Lord above all governments!

We must understand that chaos is not in the will of God.

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Law and order in every land is in the will of God!

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

When we claim to be Christians, God expects us to act like Christians in every situation we face!

1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

As Christian citizens, we are to always be ready to do “good works”!

In most all cases it is the Christian who should be the first to reach out to meet the needs of the community where we live, and all communities have needs!

Our Pastor would not be run down all the time, if he did not feel the need for what he does, and we should be no different!

In fact, we could say here at Gethsemane, our Pastor can be our example in the doing of good works in our own community!

*****Tit 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

No one, Christian or lost, should be slandered or verbally abused and torn down!

We must understand that we do certainly live in an evil world and there will be somethings that we must bear.

I read something today that said if Donald Trump had not become president, we would never have known all the corruptness of the previous administration and the abuse behind the backs of the people. I’m sure we have not heard it all yet and no one would admit the abuse of women and children that was going on by people in high places.

If people shut their eyes to corrupt governments, these things will never change!

As Christians we are not to slander anyone nor speak evil against any citizen, not even those who have proven to be evil.

This is the Word of God and not my interpretation of the Word of God. Verse 2 says speak evil of no man and this includes women.

Meekness is the surrender to all the Divine Will of God, but we are still to be bold in presenting the Word of God to all who will listen to us.

We must totally understand that we will never reach the lost when we slander them and put them down. They already know how to be lost our job is to teach them how to be saved!

Pro 11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

We are never to be a fighting, contentious, person.
We are never to walk around like we have a chip on our shoulder.
We should never be looking for an argument or a fight over the Scriptures.

But we must always take a stand on the truth of God under all circumstances!

Pro 3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

As Christians we must be gentle. Men will understand this better by saying courteous rather than gentle.

We as Christians we are to reach out to all the people of the world with the “Gospel”, so we can explain God’s “grace” which is the absolute best way we can show our gentleness!

Meekness is strong self-control as we know that the Lord had to possess when He spent His time on this earth!

We have no better example than the Lord Jesus in all these things.

We must remember where we came from!

*****Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

We are still only sinners who have partaken of the “Grace” of God!

The person who continues to reject the truth of God, is certainly a foolish person!

Foolish means, having no understanding of Spiritual matters as used in this Scripture.

We are not to call them fools but their actions are indeed foolish.

Praise God, He will still save the foolish. I know because I was once a fool!

Everyone who rejects God is also disobedient, which means they refuse to obey the Word of God!

Today we have more problems with our younger generation because they do not obey their parents, which leads to disrespect of all authority and we see much more violence in our streets!

Psa 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Psa 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Psa 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We must claim the Word of God and be obedient to it!

2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

All those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ are deceived by this world, which means being misled and led astray of the truth of God.

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

All those without the Lord Jesus Christ are enslaved by the lust of this world. How do I know? I was once amongst them!

That word “lusts” means passionate cravings, passionate desires, passionate urges, that we allow to dictate our actions by giving into them!

All those who are lost are enslaved by the works of this world in one way or another!

The Lord Jesus Christ gives us the strength to overcome these things.

Everyone in this world faces temptations, but the Lord shows us by example how to overcome them!

This Scripture, (verse 3) should not bother those who love the Lord because we know what we once were. Thank the Lord “I use to be one of these” but not anymore!

Those who live without the Lord are evil in nature and most have an evil disposition!

These are those same people who look for the worst in people and set out to ruin their testimony!

These are the very same ones who put themselves first no matter how it affects others including those they say they care about!

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

A person without God most always lives in envy, they covet the possessions of others. In fact, they covet them so much they will seek ways to take them away from that person.

We live in a world where most everyone you meet are not satisfied with the life they lead but not many of them care to change.

Envy can also cause depression along with other physical problems which may lead to lawlessness!

Pro 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

We must also know that those who are without the Lord can be very hateful!

It is very easy to hate others if you do not know the love of God!

Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

We live in a world of hate and the one who is hated the most is, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Hatred will consume you until it destroys you. I serve a God who is called Love because He has no hate for any human being!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

*****Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

People just do not understand that there is power in kindness!

In fact, our salvation comes from the “kindness” of our Savior!

Without God’s kindness we would never know God’s “Grace”!

The pattern of all kindness is set before us in the Bible, in the behavior of God toward us!

The wealth of God’s “grace” is shown to us in the Lord Jesus Christ!

God is not far off having no concern for His creation!

In fact, to the “Born Again” child of God, God is very near to each one who wears the seal of the Holy Spirit because He dwells within each Christian!

All those who say they cannot get their prayers answered, maybe they first need to repent of their sin! God has promised to answer every prayer that reaches into His throne room!

God is not some Supreme Being hovering over every human being to smack them down every time they make a mistake.

God is also not some loving Grandfather type being, that allows just anything to go on.

In fact, God hates worldliness!

Salvation comes from God’s love for each of us!

God reached out to man because as the Supreme Creator, God has great affection for all His Creation!

God loves us so much that He acted to save each one of us!

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The one thing we must realize is that we cannot work our way into Heaven. God gave us all the Scriptures, so we can understand what He has already done and just believe in the Son of God who paid the sin debt of every human being, no matter where they come from!

It is a fact we cannot earn our righteousness by good works because we have no good works.

Common sense says we are all just growing older until we die and if we would just open our eyes we would see that all God’s creation is just ageing to the point that one day it will not exist!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Salvation comes only by God’s “Mercy” which has been dipped into God’s “Grace”!

God sees the need for our salvation and provides the only method by which we can be saved!

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

So just how does God save us?

By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)!

There is no other means of salvation!!!!!

Salvation is a regeneration!
Salvation is a new birth.
Salvation is Spiritual New Birth!

Being “born again” is a definite experience!
Being “born again” is a noticeable changed life!
Being “born again” is a totally new life!

Salvation can only through the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what the Oprah and the rest of the world says. God says it and that settles it!

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who pours out the Holy Spirit upon us and within us.

We could not have the Holy Spirit except by the Lord Jesus Christ!

The power of the Christian is the Holy Spirit, so when you say you have no power to standup for the Lord, then you are saying that the Holy Spirit has no power, when the Holy Spirit is the most powerful force that exist!

Without the Holy Spirit we cannot be a child of God!
Without the Holy Spirit we will remain totally unacceptable to God!

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

All the work of the Church is powerless without the Holy Spirit.

The biggest problem with the church in this Church Age is that the Holy Spirit has been quench by false doctrine in many places of worship!

We cannot be justified without the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are without Christian power without the Holy Spirit.
We are without salvation without the “Grace” of God.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

If you still do what you use to do, then you are not saved, it is just that simple!

*****Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

If this is a faithful saying, then this is a warning to all to all those who call themselves Christian!

We must be careful to maintain good works after our salvation!

Salvation does not mean any sort of works have saved us and it does not mean that any sort of works will keep us saved, it only means that the works we do after salvation are just the opposite from the works we did before salvation.

If other people cannot see Jesus Christ in us and the works of Jesus that we should be doing, then we are not saved, bearing in mind the baby Christian who is still learning what God expects from them!

1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

We will now see the second warning in verse 9.

The Word of God is not to be debated. As believers we must reject foolish and controversial discussions that go against the Word of God!

We have the truth and the truth cannot be debated, it is what it is!

This includes foolish questions, God says what He means, and God means what He says.

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 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.

We are wasting our time on genealogies. Just as all Jews spring from Abraham and Sarah, just because Abraham trusted in the Lord did not mean that all Jews were saved.

Just because my mother and my grandmother, and many others who have gone on to meet with the Lord, had faith in the truth of God, it does not make me also to be saved.

Being restored in a fellowship with God can only be settled with our own personal relationship with Him!

There are 613 Jewish laws and those who would argue and strive over those laws are foolish because it was impossible for anyone to keep all those laws all the time.

Even as a baby we are all born into sin!

The Jews had preserved all the Old Testament, but all the Old Testament will only lead you to the coming of Jesus Christ!

Contention is strife in words or debate; quarrel; angry contest; controversy. The Word of God is the absolute truth of our world and of ourselves and no debate can change the truth of God!
If you will take time to get personal with God the Father, you will also know God the Son, who is the Lord Jesus Christ!

2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

Let’s look at warning number three.

*****Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Tit 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

A heretic is someone who rejects some or all the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

God says that we cannot pick and choose what parts of the Scriptures we will believe and what part we refuse to accept as the truth.

This is the second reason that there are so many different translations today.

The first reason is that the KJV Bible copyright has expired and with many changes to the Scriptures, some can get a new copyright and therefore they are in it for the money, they are not sincere about your salvation!

When we try to pick and choose what we believe, we have called God a liar!

1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
1Jn 5:10 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.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

This is the one true Scripture that is rejected the most today and Paul wrote to Titus, by the Holy Spirit, to prepare these Churches to defend the truth of God!

Anyone, I say anyone, who rejects the truth of God and chooses what they believe while rejecting the Word of God is bound for Hell because this sin cannot be forgiven!

This is the same for those who would take the Word of God and twist it to become a different meaning from what God intended!

These who will do such things will not only answer for themselves at the White Throne Judgement, but they will also answer for everyone they have led astray from the truth of God!

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there 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.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3 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.

There may be many different opinions of what God means but those who intentionally seek to promote discord in the church will see the wrath of God and not the “Grace” of God!

All heretics need to be removed from the church!

And now Paul will begin to close out these Scriptures.

*****Tit 3:12 When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Paul had some other things to discuss with Titus, so he was going to send Artemas or Tychicus to replace him until he could return.

We already know that Tychicus would travel to take the Word of God to the many places where the many churches were established but he could also step in for any other Pastor.

Not much is known about Artemas except to say he was trusted to preach the truth of the Word of God and would go where he was sent.

Tradition states that Artemas became the Pastor at the church at Lystra.

His name Artemas means given by Diana, which would mean that he had at one time been a worshiper of this pagan goddess.

And Paul continues:

*****Tit 3:13 Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

Just as Artemas, this is the only place we see this lawyer named Zenas.

It is very possible that Zenas and Apollos had been sent to help Titus on the Island of Crete. We can also see that Zenas was someone who could not devote all his time to the Church. Like many he had to support himself, so he could be in the ministry without the help of the church but with much help from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is always good to have a lawyer who loves the Lord and Paul needed advice from this lawyer as he soon would be defending himself before Nero.

Some say Zenas was a Jew, but his name would seem to connect him to the pagan god Zeus, who had been converted to Christianity.

It should be clear that the Lord needs committed laymen in the Church, those who will not rob God of His tithes and offerings.

Apollos was a Jew born in Alexandria who had been well versed in the Old Testament but did not know the Lord Jesus Christ until he met Aquila and his wife Priscilla who taught him the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

It could be that Titus was in possession of the funds necessary to pay the expenses of this trip to join the Apostle Paul and Paul knew or Paul had given this fund to Titus when he was sent to the island of Crete.

*****Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Good works are those works that grow out of a loving personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

It should be obvious that those sitting in the pews are to support the Church and also support the missionaries and evangelist.

It is our job as Christians to support those who take the “Gospel” to all the places in this world beginning with our own communities, and our own families.

1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Those who are the richest are all those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

*****Tit 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

As life goes on and no matter where we travel, all those who claim the Lord Jesus Christ, are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we need to treat them that way!

All those with Paul were also praying for the church or churches on the Island of Crete and we must also pray for the other churches we know of!

If we cannot support those we call missionaries and evangelists and Pastors, we can certainly urgently pray for them!

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

2Th 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

When we cannot help our brothers and sisters in Christ, who gave Himself for us, it does not speak well for us!

Thank goodness that we have our own Church here at Gethsemane that supports not only the church but also many missionaries.

There are always those who rob God of His tithes and offerings.

Amen

Let’s Pray!

What Is The Gospel Of The Lord Jesus Christ

"What Is The Gospel According To The Lord Jesus Christ"?

Text:

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

What is the "Gospel"?

To me the "Gospel" is the "good message", or the "good news" that comes from the knowledge of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.

The "Gospel" is the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ has taken my place on that cross and paid a debt that I could have never paid!

Like the Apostle Paul, I am not ashamed of the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ. If not for God’s mercy and God’s grace, I would have surely been in shame, when I would have faced the Lord Jesus at the White Throne of Judgment.

Because of the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been pardoned and will not face that judgment!

So when did the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ begin?

God said:

Heb 10:7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with a personal relationship with My Lord Jesus and it cannot get more personal than at our Creation as written in the Book of Genesis!

Gen 1:26  And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness": and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

To be created in the image of God is a very special relationship that God Himself decided on before He made anything else.

In fact God decided my entire features before He made me, I was designed!

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

To me, this is where my personal relationship with my Lord must begin.

Since I now know the Lord Jesus as my Savior, I want to be more like Him.

I want to be in His "image" and only by the "Gospel" can I truly know Jesus Christ!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can be saved!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can live on this Earth, no longer in misery but at peace!

It is by the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ that I can make it to my real home which I now know is in Heaven and not on this Earth where I am just a visitor!

God did not make this a hard thing for me to understand!

God made this a simple thing and all He asked me to do was believe on all the things of His Son, the "Gospel"!

And, I now realize that it is the Devil who causes the problems in this world I live in!

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The "Gospel" changed me and I know that whosoever calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ can also be changed!

1) So how can the "Gospel" reach those that do not know the Lord Jesus?

Preaching!

When Jesus preached He said He was God.

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We must accept this as fact before we can take any other step.

This is what is called "Faith".

Jesus gave these words to a grieving father whose daughter was on the death bed one day. Jesus said "be not afraid, only believe".

Mar 5:36  As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

If there 1000 steps between us and the Lord Jesus, Jesus Himself will take 999 of those steps, but we must find enough "faith" to take that last step.

Without this "Faith" we cannot begin to please God and we cannot go any further.

But with ‘Faith" we can please the Lord and He will reward us with His free gift of "Grace".

Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It is by God’s Grace that we are saved!

It is by God’s "Grace" that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ!

Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

These are free gifts and all that is needed is, to accept them, this is the "Gospel"!

It does not get any easier than that!

2) What was the "Gospel" as taught to the Apostles?

Mar 8:36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Life is all about the choices we make. Until we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we will never choose life.

Our God is a Tri-Une God. The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost!

Jesus told all His Apostles to teach this message:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

But Jesus also gave them the message they were to teach:

Mat 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.

The message that was to be taught was the Words of Jesus, the Word of God, the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ!

How can we trust the Word of God?

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Every word that is written down and preserved for our knowledge was inspired by God Himself, by His Holy Spirit!

We are created in His image and therefore also tri-une. The physical body, the spirit, and the soul.

While we are living, we must make a choice about our soul because to not choose is rejecting the truth of God.

Rejecting the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is the soul that is granted eternal life and it is the soul that is so precious to Our Lord!

It is the "Gospel" of the Lord Jesus Christ that will lead us to make the right choices!

1Ti 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.

3) What was the Gospel that was taught to the Church?

Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Just before Jesus Christ "willingly" got on that cross to pay our sin debt that we could not pay, He said He was going back to Heaven to prepare a home for those sinners that had been converted.

Joh 14:2  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.
Joh 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.

Jesus said He has given us His "Gospel" so that we would not be confused and could know the way.

Joh 14:4  And whither I go ye know, "and the way ye know".

And just so we can never be confused thinking that there could be other ways to get to Heaven, Jesus clears that up for us also!

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ made His "Gospel" simple because He will not tell us anything that will cause confusion.

1Co 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The church that is confused, is a church that has moved away from the "Gospel of Jesus Christ"!

4)  How do I make a personal application of the "Gospel of Jesus Christ?

I must use every means available to me, to spread the "Gospel Seed".

When God created our world He made this statement.

Gen 1:11  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit "after his kind", whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

When the "Gospel Seed" is spread, it will also produce fruit after "it’s kind".

It is my job to be a "Sower of the Gospel Seed" after the Lord Jesus has been merciful enough to save my soul!

The parable of the "Sower" teaches me that I can only be the Sower. I must cast the seed in every direction and on every soil, realizing that the soil itself must be prepared by the Lord and it is He, and He only who controls the results.

BUT, if I will not sow the "Gospel Seed" then there can be no fruit and no results.

Hag 2:19  Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

I must apply all these things to my own life that I may be more like Jesus Christ, who is my example!

5) What are the results of the Christian life?

Only by being like the Lord Jesus Christ can I be a Christian!

Jesus gave me this commandment:

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I will not be much of a witness if I cannot honor the Word of God with my life!

I certainly cannot consider myself a Christian unless I am more like Christ Jesus!

And if I walk as the world walks then I do not actually love the Lord.

I must come out from among those of this world, if I am to be in the family of God!

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

If we consider that we are in the last "Church Age", as all signs show, then this is the only way we can judge church growth.

God says that mankind will become more evil in the last days:

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

God says the last "Church Age" is a time when people will please themselves and forget Our Creator:

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

This the time when this world makes God sick:

Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

These are the days we live in now!

The truth of God may not bring in the great multitudes into the House of God during this time, so those that know the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him should be even more noticeable!

6) How can I know all these things are true!

I must believe in all the Word of God!

I must study the Word of God that I may not only help myself but I may be able to help others!

And I must live what I learn!

I will never be approved of God without these things!

This takes a workman like ethic.
This takes effort on my part.
This will also increase my love for the Lord.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I must believe that the Bible that God has given me is His truth:

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This the only method that I have to be more like Jesus:

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

7) So what are the facts of the "Gospel"?

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.
Jesus Christ came to the earth that I might be saved.
Jesus Christ gave His life, (no one could take it from Him), on that cross to pay a debt that I could not pay.
Jesus Christ rose from that grave because not even death could hold Him.
Jesus Christ went back to Heaven to be my advocate before my Father in Heaven.
Jesus Christ sent me His Holy Spirit to keep me in His ways until He returns to take me home.

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

And one day I will be like Him. Not as a God but as a part of His family!

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

8) How can you know what I know to be the truth?

You must admit that you are a sinner!

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

You must know that sin brings death apart from God but Jesus Christ brings life eternal!

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

You must not be ashamed to confess the Lord Jesus before this evil world!

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You must accept the free gift of salvation and you too can be saved!

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We cannot only believe all these things are true but we can also know all these things are true!

1Jn 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; ‘that ye may know that ye have eternal life’, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Why did Jesus come to this Earth, His own creation?

Luk 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Where is Jesus now?

Joh 14:2  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.
Joh 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.

Because this is the "Gospel of Jesus Christ"!

Amen!

The Plan Of Christ Jesus For His Church

The Plan Of Christ Jesus For His Church

Book of Acts 1:1-14

The Book of Acts is the first chapter, “the beginning of the truth of the history of The Church”, which is the Body of Christ, and just as important, The Bride of Christ.

This is the time called by some “the Church Age” that began at the ascension of Jesus, Our Lord and will not end until He returns in the clouds to get His Church. This called the “Rapture”!

And the “Church Age will be ended by the “Rapture”!

The Book of Acts was written by Luke. Luke was not one of the 12 disciples pick by Jesus. But Luke was an educated man and is mentioned as a physician. Luke was a doctor.

We may not realize it but there are medical journals as far back as 3000 BC and medical schools at least as far back as 500 BC.

There is strong evidence that suggest the Book of Luke was written about or very near 63 AD before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

The “theme” of the Book of Acts and the command to the Church, can be seen in Chapter 1:8:

This verse is called by some “the Great Commission”

Act 1:8  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.

The greatest thing we see here is that the Church had no power until the Holy Ghost began this new function after the ascension of Our Lord!

We must also remember this other command of Jesus to His disciples:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The Book of Acts describes to us the spread of Christianity and the establishment of many houses of God which were called “churches”.

That word Church means: “The Lord’s House” and a place to worship God in “spirit and in truth”!

The word “church” comes from the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “an assembly”.

The church “in the beginning” depended entirely on Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Ghost for everything and “today” the church still depends entirely on Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Ghost and this will not change during the Church Age!

There will never be a new message to the Church!

There will never be a revised message to the Church!

We already have the complete, ever living, Word of God!

In the Bible, the Church denotes the whole entire body of the “Redeemed”, all those whom “Our Father in Heaven has given to His Son Jesus Christ.

All those that have their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Jesus Christ writes down the name of every one that calls on His name, and each one is a member in good standing in His Church!

Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, [which are written in heaven], and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Let’s begin:

*****Act 1:1  The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Act 1:2  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

The author of the Book of Acts is closely tied to the author of the Book of Luke. We have already said that Luke was an educated man, and in fact he was a doctor, a physician and it shows as he wrote while inspire by the Holy Ghost.

Col 4:14  [Luke, the beloved physician], and Demas, greet you.

Luke also says that he had a perfect understanding of the life, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We find that in the Book of Luke:

Luk 1:3  It seemed good to me also, [having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first], to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

This “perfect understanding” could have only come through the Holy Spirit!

Luke affirms to what we already know, that salvation can only come through Jesus Christ:

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: [for there is none other name under heaven given among men], whereby we must be saved.

We know the world still rejects the truth of God’s Holy Inspired Word!

This Theophilus was probably a real man but that name means “Lover of God” or “Friend of God”!

This Book of Acts will show us at least these two things:

1.) We will see the threat of the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ and Christianity.

2.) We will see the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman controlled world.

3.) This book presents Christianity as distinct from Judaism “but also as the fulfillment of Judaism”, which is still also rejected by most Jews because they are still blind to the Gospel.

Luke will show us in the Book of Acts that Christianity follows in the historical pattern and is based upon the foundation of Judaism.

The proof of that can be found in the words that Jesus said to the woman at the well of Samaria:

Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: [for salvation is of the Jews].
Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, “when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth”: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him “must worship him” in spirit and in truth.

The Book of Acts will also reveal to us that the Apostle Paul had the same Christ given authority as that of the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles.

The Book of Luke told us of the things that Jesus did BUT the Book of Acts tells us what Jesus continued to do because of what He taught to the Apostles through the Power of The Holy Spirit.

There is a strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit in this book and it is through the Power of the Holy Spirit that the Church has strength.

It is the Holy Spirit that is “the shield” of the church:

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: [only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way].

Jesus had told them:

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, [he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you].

The Church can work only as the Holy Spirit dictates the Words of Jesus!

Those that removed the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ are not part of the Church:

This the prophesy of the end of the Church Age and the Laodicean Church.

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

If Jesus is outside and knocking on the door to get in then He is not part of that church.

We can see this happening before our very eyes!

*****Act 1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Luke had already said that he had a perfect understanding of all these things about Jesus and he now says there were many infallible proofs.

The Greek word “tekmerion” is used here and it is the only place this word is used in the New Testament. This tells us that the evidences for Jesus Christ’s resurrection were not based on philosophical speculations but on “Certain Facts”.

There is no other event in the Bible that is more confirmed than the “bodily” resurrection of Jesus Christ and that grave is still empty. This cannot be said of any other religious leader.

Jesus Christ died for “all” our sins and He arose again for “all” Our Justification!

There are 10 or more appearances of the resurrected Christ to the disciples!

That empty tomb, that remarkable change in the disciples who are now the Apostles, and in the development and the spread of the Church as a result of this preaching of the Cross and of the Resurrection are also proof!

The change of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday, “The Lord’s Day”.

The long observances of “Easter” by the Church.

The long observances of the “Lord’s Supper” since that first one with Jesus and His disciples.

The teaching of the full immersion of “water baptism” which is in type, The Death, The Burial, and the Resurrection of the Body of Christ.

The written testimony of every Holy Ghost inspired writer of the New Testament.

The “absolute fact” that if the Body of Jesus could have been found “it would have been found”!

These are additional proofs that cannot be denied!

As Jesus was victorious over Satan in His 40 days of temptation. He witnessed to His disciples for 40 “of this greater victory” over Satan!

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death”, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

*****Act 1:4  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Act 1:5  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Waiting on God for the anointing of the Holy Spirit is the condition of all our blessings in the Lord. When we are saved and employed by Christ Jesus, He will give us a much better Spirit than we had!

John the Baptist had “immersed” the disciples in water and they were shortly to be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit!

John the Baptist had said:

Mar 1:8  I indeed have baptized you with water: but “he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost”.

The Greek word “baptizo” means “immersion” and “not sprinkled” in both instances!

In accordance with the Promise of Jesus:

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17  Even the Spirit of truth; “whom the world cannot receive”, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Paul wrote that all believers were to be baptized in this same manner:

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Again, Baptism means “a full immersion” and not just a sprinkling!

If you get a sprinkling of the Holy Spirit “you are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit”!

We must be “fully immersed” in the Holy Spirit!

Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”;
Tit 3:6  Which “he shed on us abundantly” through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Abundantly not sparingly!

*****Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou “at this time” [restore again] the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

It should be very clear to anyone who studies the Bible that the Lord will, at some future time, RESTORE the kingdom of King David, to Israel.

The Bible teaches to the Church Age:

Act 15:15  And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
Act 15:16  After this “I will return”, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Act 15:17  That “the residue of men” might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

Jesus was specific that this was not a concern for His disciples. Not then and not now!

The Church has other things to concentrate it’s time on, which is specifically to the command of our next verse 8.

We know that Jesus Christ was 100% man but He was also 100% God and Jesus says that not even His human side knew when the Father would do these things, although His God side had to know when these things will happen.

The Bible gives us much information about “when this time may be near”, which if we open our eyes we can know that Jesus could come any day now, as their is no dominant prophesy that has not already been fulfilled about the Church except the Rapture!

We must remember the prophesies that remain are mostly for the Second Coming and the Church will be Raptured out of this world before that time!

If we noticed the words of Jesus in verse 5, we know that John the Baptist had spoken of being baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire BUT Jesus said nothing about “fire” in verse 5.

WHY, we might ask? Because the “baptism of fire” is the “future judgment” after the Church Age when the nation of Israel will go through the Tribulation period!

Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, “and with fire”:
Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and “he will throughly purge his floor”, and gather his wheat into the garner; but “he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire”.

We should not be confused thinking that the appearing of “the tongues of fire” is a baptism of fire!

Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Those Apostles had every right to ask all these questions and Jesus did not rebuke them for doing so. They knew that Jesus had proven Himself to be the Messiah by His Resurrection.

What they did not understand was the “Church Age”. The period of time between the prophecy and the restoring of Israel.

So what is God doing today?

Act 15:14  Simeon hath declared [how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name].

God is forming His Church out of the Gentiles!

And what is the purpose of this Church?  Again, Verse 1:8!

*****Act 1:8  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.

This is the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ to His Church. The “Power” to form the Church must come by the “Power of the Holy Ghost”.

What does the title Ghost mean? This is an old English word that is equivalent to soul or spirit.

It is the translation of the Hebrew word “nephesh” and the Greek “pneuma”, both meaning “breath,” “life,” “spirit,” the “living principle”.

The Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, whichever you prefer as they are interchangeable, is the “Breath Of God”!

This is much more than a dynamic preaching style!

It is the “boldness” and “grace” to be a “witness” centered on the Wisdom of the Word of God!

It can be said that every Holy Ghost filled child of God will possess the “Fruit of the Spirit”.

Which is:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Notice the word fruit is not plural. The fruit of the “Spirit” is all these things. We do not get one and not get all the rest!

To be a witness is not only a “Command” directly from Our Lord Jesus but it is also a fulfillment of prophecy!

We can see that we are to witness at our homes(Jerusalem).

We can see that we are to witness to our communities.(Judaea)

We can see that we are to witness to the adjacent communities in our nation(Samaria)

And, we can see that we are to witness in every location where humans dwell on the face of this Earth.(uttermost part)

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into “all” the world, and preach the gospel to “every” creature.
Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; [but he that believeth not shall be damned].

Our witnessing is to be the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

There is no other message of the Church more important than this, His message!

Pro 14:25  A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

It is the Holy Ghost that will decide who goes where, like to a foreign land BUT we are all to work at home!

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12  “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”:

These 3 things are the function of the Church!

*****Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Notice this verse does not say Jesus got in His spaceship and went up. It does not say Jesus had some kind of special spacesuit either.

This ascension of Jesus was a slow upward movement until He was out of sight because of the clouds!

And, There was only a cloud that received Our Lord.

What kind of cloud was this?

Joh 17:5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me “with thine own self” with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Where have we seen this cloud?

Exo 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day “in a pillar of a cloud”, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Exo 13:22  He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

This same Jesus:

Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and “the express image of his person”, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Col 1:15  “Who is the image of the invisible God”, [the firstborn] of every creature:
Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

From the Beginning till the End:

Rev 5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Rev 5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, “and all that are in them”, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, “and unto the Lamb” for ever and ever.

*****Act 1:10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11  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.

Jesus Christ went up in His physical “Glorified” body! 

Jesus is sitting on a physical “God Made” throne!

Heaven is a real place!

Heaven is not just some dimension in time!

Heaven is not just some dimension of space!

Heaven is not just some black hole in space!

My God is real, His home is real, and therefore my home is real!

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2  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.
Joh 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.

SO, Who are these two men in white apparel?

They may have been the same two who stood by the empty tomb who told of the resurrection:

Joh 20:12  And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

They may have been the same too men that came with Jesus to meet Abraham:

Gen 18:2  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
Gen 18:3  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

They may be the two witnesses described in prophecy:

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

It is not so much important as to who these two are as the message they bring!

They said:

“why stand ye gazing up into heaven”

In other words quit standing around gazing up to the sky.

IT IS TIME TO DO WHAT THE LORD HAS SAID DO!

And the next message was this:

This “same” Jesus will still be in His glorified body when He returns.

He ascended to a cloud and He will descend from a cloud.

He ascended from the Mount of Olives and He will return to this exact same place at the Mount of Olives.

Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

While will it be necessary for this earthquake. There was a Muslim king who was trying to defy the God of Glory and placed a cemetery between the Mount of Olives and the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem.

My question is if every Muslim goes to Heaven to 70 virgins then who is in all those graves?

Jesus will come in a cloud to get His “Church” but “He will step out of that cloud” So Every Eye Will See Him, at His Second Coming.

When He comes for the Church:

1Th 4:16  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:
1Th 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.

When He comes to rule as King:

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

*****Act 1:12  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

SO, What is a Sabbath’s Day journey?

A Sabbath-day’s journey, according to Jewish tradition, was about three-quarters of a mile. It was “the supposed distance” between the camp and the Ark that the priest carried it into the River Jordan the day Israel marched into Canaan Land.

Jos 3:4  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

*****Act 1:13  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Act 1:14  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

We find the 11 Apostles all in the upper room. Judas the betrayer had already committed suicide.

There had been many times of contention during their 3 and 1/2 years of training but not now.

Waiting on God for the anointing of the Holy Spirit is our condition of blessing and the fulness of “Power”!

All those that will be witnesses for Christ Jesus qualify for a better spirit than their own.

The Holy Spirit is God’s representative to each of us and will live within us!

This is also the first occasion of at least 30 times that “prayer” is mentioned in the Book of Acts.

There should be no doubt that “Prayer” is the greatest weapon we have. There are many things we as individuals cannot do, But We Can All Pray!

The ministry committed to every disciple of Jesus Christ is to bear witness of Him in all the world but we are powerless unless We Pray!

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

It is also good to see that the earthly family of Jesus are also now all in one accord.

The Mother of Jesus. Mary had been at the cross and had seen her Son crucified. She had stood by her Son all her life because she knew the truth and now after His resurrection “all these that were with her knew the truth”.

Jesus Christ, her son was God in the flesh just as she had been told by Gabriel:

Luk 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Mary had been the subject of name calling and ridicule all her life but now she was surrounded by believers.

“and his brethren”

The step brothers of Jesus who had been fathered by Joseph “and not the Holy Spirit”, had never believed much about their older brother:

Joh 7:5  For neither did his brethren believe in him.

But, that had all changed since His resurrection and His ascension.

Who were these brothers?

Mar 6:3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

We will later see more about James, and even Jude wrote one of the Books of the Bible called by his name.

We have said many times. God has a plan for this world. We can be a part of His plan of “Salvation” or we will be left out of it.

BUT, We cannot have our own plan!

God laughs at our plans!

Psa 59:8  But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
Psa 59:9  Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!