The Preservation Of God’s Servant

The Preservation Of God’s Servant

“He Is Alive and Now In Heaven”

Book of Mark Chapter 15:40–16:20

When we left Christ Our Lord last, He had just given His life in payment for “all sin” since the time of Adam till the end of time as we know it.

Mat 20:28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also “for the sins of the whole world”.

The Lord Jesus was terribly abused by men but mankind had not taken His life, He had willingly given His life!

Since that was true, He could take back up His life!

This a power that only God has!

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.

We will meet many eye witnesses to this fact today!

Let’s begin

*****Mar 15:40  There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; Mar 15:41  (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

During all the time in our study of the Book of Mark, there has been some one behind the scenes that were doing what they do best. They take care of so many of our needs! The precious ladies of our world who do so many things including fixing our meals and repairing our clothes and keeping them clean.

They stood afar off because, it was not wise for women to be to close to such things as were taking place on Golgotha. One more thing is certain, besides John and possibly Peter from a great distance, the remaining disciples had scattered. It seems these women were more brave than the men!

Who were these women?

Mark wrote of these:

1) Mary Magdalene:

Mary was a common name used in the middle east. In the Old Testament, the name Mary would be Miriam in Hebrew.  Moses had a sister named Miriam. This Mary was from Magdala. It is a mistake to believe that this Mary was a woman of bad character. This is the Mary whom 7 demons were removed but showing gratitude to her Deliverer she became a follower and she was probably not a poor woman.

Luk 8:2  And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

Luk 8:3  And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. (Substance meant goods and property, things she owned)

2) Mary, possible wife of Alphaeus, who could also be Cleophas, (the mother of James the less).

James the less, was a different man from James the Apostle. And I do not believe this to be James the brother of Jesus as some say. Remember the brothers and sisters of Jesus did not care to be a part of the ministry of Jesus until after He had resurrected from that grave!

3) Salome, the wife of Zebedee, the mother of the Apostles James and John.

We also know that Mary, the mother of Jesus, stood by her son but closer and not afar off, at least until the time when it seems the the Apostle John took her to his own home.

Joh 19:26  When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

Joh 19:27  Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Mary, the mother of Jesus also had sons and daughters, who it seems were not present with her this day of her first son’s death.

Mat 13:55  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Mat 13:56  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Mat 13:57  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Jesus was not Joseph the carpenter’s son. Jesus was Son to God the “Master Carpenter” Our Creator!

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.

It Is Our Carpenter who built His Church, this day at the cross and would place His seal on the Church with His resurrection for ever!

It was 3 more hours until preparation day began at 6 PM.

It had been only 21 hours since Jesus had partaken of the Lord’s Supper, with His disciples.

*****Mar 15:42  And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

The Passover day would end at 6 PM and the “Feast of the Unleavened Bread” would begin at 6 PM.

Friday would begin at 6 PM.

By the laws of Moses, no criminal should be left hanging on a tree till the setting of the sun. It was important to get the body of Jesus off of that cross by 4 PM in time to prepare it for His burial.

Deu 21:22  And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

Deu 21:23  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

There was an honorable man that understood this very well!

*****Mar 15:43  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin Court but he was also a silent believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joseph had had a tomb prepared for himself because he wanted to be buried as near to Jerusalem as he could and not in his home town. It is probable that Joseph had been hiding in this tomb during the time Jesus was crucified and had witnessed everything that had happened.

This may be when he also realized, just like that centurion, that truly this was the Son of God.

This gave him the boldness to approach Pilate and openly reveal his love for Christ Jesus.

We accept that we may have to give our life for Christ once we believe on Him and forgiven!

The Body of Jesus would have just been discarded into a criminal’s grave if not for this man, who placed the body of Jesus in a grave he had prepared for himself.

At that time the body of criminals who were crucified were just thrown in the trash dump!

Joseph was a rich man by Jewish standards.

But Joseph was now also rich by God’s standards.

And the scriptures cannot not be broken:

Isa 53:9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Isa 53:10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, “he shall prolong his days”, and “the pleasure of the LORD” shall prosper in his hand.

So Isa 53:10 must also be fulfilled.

*****Mar 15:44  And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

Mar 15:45  And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

The Jews had already requested that the legs of all those crucified be broken to hasten their death before 6 PM and Pilate marveled that Jesus had died before this had not yet taken place.

Again prophecy:

Psa 34:20  He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

Joh 19:32  Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.’

Joh 19:33  But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

Joh 19:34  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Joh 19:35  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

Joh 19:36  For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

Joh 19:37  And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Not one passage about the death of Our Lord would go unfulfilled!

Psa 22:15  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

And the blood of Jesus did flow:

Psa 22:14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

This was the centurion that knew that Jesus was truly the Son of God!

A soldier who has been in wars knows what death looks like.

Jesus Christ was physically dead!

*****Mar 15:46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

No doubt Joseph had help from others as he could have done this alone. We do know of one other who help him.

Joh 19:39  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Joh 19:40  Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Nicodemus was also a member of the Sanhedrin Court and a member of the Council just as Joseph.

He may also have been hiding with Joseph in that tomb that the Lord Jesus would only borrow for three days.

Nicodemus was a Master of Israel and no doubt he would never be treated again as one after this day he had helped the true Master, in his death.

Even these two old men could not have done this alone.

But there were also others watching.

*****Mar 15:47  And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

It is probable that this Mary is the same Mary who was mother to James the less from verse 40.

This was day 1 and it was almost the beginning of day 2 the way the Jews count days.

*****Mar 16:1  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. Mar 16:2  And very early in the morning “the first day of the week”, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

What is this so important to the Christian?

The pure fact is that a dead Savior, cannot save anyone!

IT IS A FACT, that the Lord Jesus Christ was not in that borrowed tomb after the 3rd day!

Jesus Christ had said these words.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; “so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”.

This thing took place about 6 AM on Sunday Morning and will now be referred as “The Lord’s Day” and also called ,”the first day of the week”.

Today in our so-called modern world, Monday is called the 1st day of the week but to the Jew Sunday is the 1st day of the week.

The Apostle John said.

Rev 1:10  I was in the Spirit “on the Lord’s day”, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

This is the reason that the New Testament Church gathers together on Sunday and not the Sabbath which is on Saturday!

Every Sunday we are celebrating the day our Savior came out of that grave “ALIVE”!

But we are to worship Our God 7 days a week!

These precious ladies had come to complete the work that Joseph and Nicodemus had only started because they had only a very little time.

They had come to anoint the body of the Lord Jesus Christ BUT another Mary had completed this task before the Lord had died.

Joh 11:2  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

This is also where the phrase “Sunrise Service” comes from. The Lord rose at sunrise.

*****Mar 16:3  And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

Mar 16:4  And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

This Jewish tomb had been carved out of the mountain or hill side and a stone was constructed to cover the entrance when that person was buried within. Depending on the entrance size, the size of the stone would be from 1000 to 2000 lbs. on average.

Generally speaking, this rolling stone was set inside a groove in front of the entrance, and secured from falling over by a stone wall that stood in front of tomb opening. Often, the groove was not level, but slightly sloped to make very difficult for anyone to roll the stone away.

To close the tomb, the stone would be rolled down the groove at a decline and come to rest in front of the entrance.  To open the tomb, the stone would have to be rolled up the groove at an incline.   Given the structure of such tombs, it would not have been possible for Jesus to simply push the stone over from the inside of the tomb. 

Jesus would have to roll the 2000+ pound stone back up the groove without having anything to grip. 

Such a feat would not be possible for one healthy man, yet alone a man who had just been beaten to a bloody pulp by the Romans.

These ladies, who were traveling from Bethany and not Jerusalem were discussing how they might remove that stone. They knew they even though there were at least 3 of them that they would still not be able to do so.

But as always God had all these things worked out!

The High Priest and the elders had had real concern that the Lord Jesus would do as He said and come out of that grave sometime within those three days and they had gone to Pilate.

Mat 27:62  Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Mat 27:63  Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

Mat 27:64  Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

Mat 27:65  Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Mat 27:66  “So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch”.

There had been an earthquake at the death of Jesus and there would be another earthquake at His rising from that death.

Mat 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Mat 28:3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Mat 28:4  “And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men”.

These brave soldiers had passed out in fear of their own lives as this angel of the Lord rolled back this great stone right in front of them.

As these ladies were approaching from Bethany these soldiers were retreating to Jerusalem.

Mat 28:11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

Mat 28:12  And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

Mat 28:13  Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

These men were paid a bribe to keep quiet. Without the help of the Jewish leaders and the High Priest, these men would have been killed for their failure!

Mat 28:14  And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

Mat 28:15  So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Not knowing all these things, these ladies observed that the stone had been removed but they also saw something else.

We should also be very clear. That stone was not removed so Jesus could exit this grave!

In that glorified body Jesus could pass through the walls of that cave just as He, in His glorified body, had passed through those grave clothes.

That stone was removed so the inside could be observed by those who were to come and see that Jesus was not inside and the view of His grave clothes could be seen.

*****Mar 16:5  And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

Mar 16:6  And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

Mar 16:7  But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Matthew 28:2 says that the women encountered an angel.

Luke 24:4 says that there were two men.

John 12:12 says that Mary Magdalene saw two angels.

Since angels often appear as men, there is no contradiction in these words.

The word “angel” is the same as messenger, and God had sent these two messengers to roll the stone from the tomb so these women could observe that the body of Jesus was no longer where He had been laid and to tell these women what had happened. What was their message? “Jesus was risen”.

These women were told to go tell the disciples and “especially Peter” that Jesus would meet them in Galilee, “just as he had said”.

Mar 14:28  But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

But did they believe God’s messengers?

*****Mar 16:8  And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

These women had seen the empty tomb.

These women had heard the message from the angels.

However they were too confused and terrified to do much of anything, so the Lord came to their rescue.

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene.

*****Mar 16:9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mar 16:10  And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

Mar 16:11  And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

There are those that try to make something out of this first appearance of the Lord.

As we see the men were still mourning and weeping the passing of the Lord, this woman, Mary Magdalene had organized a group of women to adorn the Body of Christ.

The other women had fled back to where they had come from and Jesus would appear to them also but Mary Magdalene had lingered for a moment in tears and confusion.

Joh 20:11  But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 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. Joh 20:13  And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

The Lord will always respond to His children:

Joh 20:14  And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Joh 20:15  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Mary with her eyes full of tears only caught a glimpse of some one coming up from behind her and as she turned herself.

Joh 20:16  Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

But Jesus said:

Joh 20:17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Many are confused with this verse but if we just see what happened it makes the explanation easier.

When Thomas finally had the opportunity to touch the Lord, he fell down and worshipped Him.

Mary was about to do the same thing!

We should realize and we should never doubt that Jesus stood before Mary in a body that was touchable and not in some ghostly spirit!

Jesus said that there were other things that needed to be done at this time and He needed Mary to deliver the message that had been given to her by those angels.

After all, Jesus was not about to ascend into Heaven at that moment and there was still much time for worship.

It was more important for Mary to obey the Lord than to fall down in worship of Him.

Obedience to the Word of God is the greatest sign of our worship!

So Mary then obeyed.

*****Mar 16:9  Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mar 16:10  And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

Mar 16:11  And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

These that loved the Lord so much simply could not believe the truth that the Lord Jesus was risen from the dead.

The world still refuses to believe this truth!

But the “truth” does not require a believer to still be true!

While Mary Magdalene was doing this thing Jesus had caught up with the other women.

Mat 28:9  And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Mat 28:10  Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

But Jesus also had others to meet.

*****Mar 16:12  After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

Mar 16:13  And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

Luke describes this for us:

Luk 24:13  And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

Luk 24:14  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

Luk 24:15  And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

Luk 24:16  But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

If you were ever out on a day that was so bright that you could not look up but held your head down for the brightness and could not see all things clearly then you can understand this word “holden”. It was the glare of the sun that hindered their sight.

So the Lord listened to them for awhile and then joined in their conversation.

Luk 24:17  And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

Luk 24:18  And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Luk 24:19  And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Luk 24:20  And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Luk 24:21  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Luk 24:22  Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

Luk 24:23  And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

In their unbelief John and Peter had actually ran to the tomb.

Joh 20:3  Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

Joh 20:4  So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

Joh 20:5  And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Joh 20:6  Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

Joh 20:7  And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Joh 20:8  Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

Joh 20:9  For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Joh 20:10  Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

And Jesus continued.

Luk 24:24  And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

Luk 24:25  Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Luk 24:26  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

Luk 24:27  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luk 24:28  And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

Luk 24:29  But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Luk 24:30  And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

Luk 24:31  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luk 24:32  And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

The Lord had indeed showed to us all the concern He had for Peter and He has that same concern for all of us when we fail Him.

Luk 24:33  And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Luk 24:34  Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

And Jesus went to the others of His chosen disciples.

*****Mar 16:14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

But the Lord was not through for Thomas was absent at this time.

Joh 20:25  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

We should be very careful of the words we say because the Lord is always listening to the words of His children. The Lord repeated to Thomas the exact words that he had said.

Joh 20:26  And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Joh 20:27  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Joh 20:30  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

Joh 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

And Jesus still showed Himself again after this.

Joh 21:1  After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

Joh 21:2  There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Joh 21:3  Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Joh 21:4  But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

Joh 21:5  Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

Joh 21:6  And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

They knew Jesus by His actions, after all they had spent nearly 3 years with Him almost daily.

Joh 21:7  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

Joh 21:8  And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

Joh 21:9  As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

Joh 21:10  Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

Joh 21:11  Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

Joh 21:12  Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

Joh 21:13  Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

Joh 21:14  This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Joh 21:20  Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

Joh 21:21  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

Joh 21:22  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Joh 21:23  Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Joh 21:24  This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

Joh 21:25  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

But the Lord was still not through.

Jesus stood before many others before He ascended back to Heaven.

1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

500 witnesses with the same exact story cannot be denied!

And again the Lord appeared to the disciples to give them their final orders, what we call the great commission to the Church.

*****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.

There was a family member that needed to see the Lord!

1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And even later after His ascension the Lord Jesus came back to visit the Apostle Paul on more than one occasion.

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

We should never doubt that Our Lord rose from that borrowed tomb and is “ALIVE” EVEN TODAY!

Then Mark mentions some signs of gifts given to the Apostles.

*****Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Just as the office of the Apostle was limited to the those 12 who were called by the Lord Jesus Christ, there were special gifts given to them and a few others.

1) There was the gift of  prophecy. These men received instructions by direct revelation from God.

Since the foundation of the Church and because we have the complete Word of God there is now no need for this gift.

Does God still reveal His message to His preachers? Sure, but only through His completed Word!

2) There was the gift of miracles. These 12 and for a time a few others seemed to have performed miracles.

The fact is, that The Lord gave them the “authority” through His name only , to perform miracles and not the actual power to perform miracles.

Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and “gave authority” to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

What these Apostles asked of the Lord was done. Since the foundation of the Church this power has ceased and is not now given to any men.

Do miracles still happen? Sure but directly through the power of God and by answered prayer and most miracles go unnoticed today.

3) There was the gift of healing. These 12 and a few others were given the authority to heal for a period of time.

Since the foundation of the Church this authority has also ceased and “healing” is only in the power of God and it can be said that every healing is a result of God’s intervention and a response to prayer!

4)  There was the gift of tongues or the speaking of many languages.

God expects those that serve Him to be educated in the languages of the people where He decides for them to serve today and the gift of tongues has ceased since the foundation of the Church and the completion of the scriptures. The same goes for the gift of interpretation of tongues.

Everyone that serves must study to show themselves worthy!

1Co 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; “whether there be tongues, they shall cease”; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

5) The gift of preaching and teaching the Word of God is still given to those that are called of God to do so.

God expects His message to be delivered and that by a preacher.

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Every preacher must also be a teacher but not every teacher is called to preach but in that sense we are all called to be evangelist.

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13  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:

2Ti 4:5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, “do the work of an evangelist”, make full proof of thy ministry.

Evangelist are all those who proclaim the good news of the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”!

6) In the Church Age, all devils and demons are cast out by the simple prayer of faith, which then brings the filling and the sealing by the Holy Spirit.

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

No believer can be then occupied by any demon or devil!

7) The only snake handler in the Bible was the Apostle Paul:

Act 28:3  And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

Act 28:4  And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

Act 28:5  And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

Paul shook that snake off into the fire and it caused him no harm. This was not a gift but only the fact that God will not allow death to come to those that serve Him until that work is complete and in most cases then they are taken on to Heaven to live with Him.

The same would go for any poison.

We are fools to handle poisonous snakes or drink poisons. Even alcohol is toxic!

It was only after all these things that the Lord Jesus ascended back into Heaven.

*****Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

We know that the Lord spent 40 more days on this Earth after He arose from that grave and He did so many things that proved He was still alive.

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:

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:

An infallible proof cannot be denied!

And none of these powers and gifts that we have talk about came permanently!

At the death of these Apostles and a few other these powers ceased!

But the followers of Christ Jesus had to obey the Lord and remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came to begin the New Testament Church.

This would have been 7 more days and on a Sunday.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Church Age officially began the day of Pentecost and it was then that the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus” began to spread around this world we live in.

*****Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


Let’s Pray!

What Is The Gospel Of The Lord Jesus Christ

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


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?


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"!


Clarifying The Gospel Message

Clarifying The Message

Book of Acts Chapter 15

We will see today that Satan had so far not been able to stop the spread of the “Gospel”. Just as God uses people to spread the “Gospel”, Satan will use everything in his means including people to hinder the spread of the “Gospel”!

AND, there will always be those who stand in front of open doors just to block the way of others from coming to the Lord!

We must remember what Jesus told to the Philadelphian church:

Rev 3:8 says “behold, I have set before thee an [open door] that no man can shut”

We cannot ever allow those false brethren, who are amongst us, to stand in front of that door!

God has already given us all this command:

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.

We do not need any other command to make us move in obedience of this command to witness.

If this means we must go without the support of our local church then we must still go!

We also have this warning to the church:

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, [and not after Christ].

God has given us the only the means of salvation.

We must beware of anyone adding to or subtracting from, God’s plan of salvation!

This is the main thing we must insist on!

The Bible says:

Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

All other matters must be left it the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

And, the Holy Spirit will always lead us to Jesus.

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].

So let’s begin:

*****Act 15:1  And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

The question we need to answer within ourselves is whether Christianity is merely an extension of Judaism or a New Dispensation that has taken its place.

We do not have to guess!

Jesus had these words to answer this question for us:

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the [new testament in my blood], which is shed for you.

So who were these certain men?

The Bible teaches us:

Gal 2:4  And that because of “false brethren unawares” [brought in], “who came in privily to spy” out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, “that they might bring us into bondage”:

These were Christians in name only!

These men were not brought in from any of the established church!

They were brought in to the Christian brotherhood to which they did not rightfully belong!

These were really some evil Jews, Satan’s messengers, trying to hinder the spread of the “Gospel”!

*****Act 15:2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

These men  were called “Judaizers” who became a real problem to the early church!

This is a form of legalism, and legalism is still prevalent today in many places of worship!

The Bible is specific:

Eph 2:8  [For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God]:
Eph 2:9  “Not of works”, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The church of Antioch of Syria, which was a mission minded church, this church decided that it would be best for a council of the apostles and the elders of the church in Jerusalem to provide the guidelines. Remember the New Testament had not been written at this time.

We now have the completed Word of God and it is the Word of God that has replaced any need for apostles, and any need for further councils. The Bible is our counsellor!

But remember the New Testament that we have is the same as the doctrine of Jesus that He gave to the apostles!

Eph 2:20  [And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone];
Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

*****Act 15:3  And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

Notice “it was the church that wanted answers” and it was the church at Antioch that decided it would be best to send Paul and Barnabas and “certain others that believed as Paul”.

The Apostle Paul knew the old Mosaic system better than most other men and who better to seek the answers to these questions!

We can determine that the early church certainly wanted to go in the direction set forth by Christ Jesus.

They did not want to make up their own rules or their own doctrine!

AND, Old Testament tradition has no place in the New Testament Church!

The Apostle Peter wrote:

1Pe 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19  “But with the precious blood of Christ”, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
1Pe 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21  Who “by him” do believe in God, that raised “him” up from the dead, and gave “him” glory; that your faith and hope might be “in God”.

Just what is the “Gospel” the “Good News”?

1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you [first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins] according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that [he was buried], and that [he rose again the third day according to the scriptures]:

If Jesus Christ did not do these things then there can be no salvation for anyone!

Paul did not miss this opportunity to tell the Phoenicians and the Samaritans, that even the Gentiles could be converted and this brought great joy unto all the “true brethren” that heard this “good news”.

You see the “Gospel” would not be believable if it did not include “whosoever” will believe!

*****Act 15:4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, “they were received of the church”, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

This group of believers from Antioch were first received by the believers of the Church at Jerusalem.

We must always welcome our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter where they come from.

Only then was there a meeting with the Apostles and  the elders of the Church.

BUT, before any questions were asked, a report of how the “Gospel” was spreading was first made.

Paul told them of the wonderful things that had happened in Galatia.

In Galatia “they did not know anything about Mosaic Law”, they just believed in the work of Jesus Christ!

You see God must first get the glory!

It was not what Paul had done.

It was not what Barnabas had done.

And it was not what the sending church of Antioch had done.


It takes the entire Body of Christ to spread the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 12:5  So we, being many, “are one body in Christ”, and every one members one of another.

And then Paul explained it had nothing to do with Judaism or the Laws of Moses.

All true believers understand this!

*****Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Why is there always “a certain group” of people that have to have things their way?

Any believer that has been converted to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ “must” release themselves to Him!

Some of these were men who felt that Christianity was just an extension of Judaism and they were severely wrong!

Christianity is not the extension of Judaism, Christianity is the fulfillment of the Word of God.

These were people who wanted to add something to the “Gospel”.

But the only way to approach the Lord Jesus is by “Faith”!

In John 14:6, Jesus says, He is the only way to Heaven and we must believe Him!

God only has one question for all of us:

God ask, “What are you going to do with my Son Jesus”?

We must answer this question before we die a physical death!

Php 2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

*****Act 15:6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

The answers could not come from the public or from that certain group of men, who wanted things their way.

The answers had to come from the Apostles of Jesus and the church elders and the Body of Christ.

This was an important issue that had to be resolved or the early church would fail.

God had already said that this was impossible!

*****Act 15:7  And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago “God made choice among us”, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

We now see the rest of the lesson that the Apostle Peter had learned from his time spent with Simon the tanner and Cornelius and his vision.

Let’s look at how God had used Peter already:

1.) God had chosen Peter to present the “Gospel” to the Gentiles, [“Note” Cornelius and his family and some others].

Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

2.) Jesus had given Peter the keys to the Kingdom to build the Church on the “Rock of Jesus”:

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

3.) Peter had opened the door of “faith” to the Jews:

Act 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

4.) Peter had opened the door of “Faith” to the Samaritans:

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Peter had made it very clear that all these had been saved by the hearing and believing of the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

AND, None of these things had anything to do with the Mosaic Laws or any other man-made laws!

*****Act 15:8  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

God had made it very clear “by sending the Holy Spirit” to the Gentiles just as He had done on the day of Pentecost to the Jews.

God was truly no respecter of persons!

The message was to “whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ”!

The message was not to “whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and obey the Laws of Moses” or any other man-made laws!

*****Act 15:9  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

It is by “faith” that the heart is purified!

Not by works!

Not by ceremonies!

Not by traditions!

You see we are all sinners and saved only by 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].

There is no other means of salvation!

Salvation has been about “faith” from the time of Adam!

Salvation has never been about any law!

Rom 4:16  Therefore “it is of faith”, that “it might be by grace”; [to the end the promise might be sure] to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

*****Act 15:10  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of “the disciples”, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Why do people, even in our day tempt God, by trying to add works to His plan of salvation and just as bad, why are there those that tempt God by taking away the blood, or the virgin birth or the bodily resurrection or the truth of the cross or anything else from the Lord Jesus Christ?

It was a fact that not one Jew, but Jesus, was ever able to keep all the Laws of Moses!

We see that the Apostle Peter stood boldly with the Apostle Paul and Barnabas!

How can this world associate Peter with any of the false doctrine of Rome and read these scriptures?

*****Act 15:11  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [we shall be saved, even as they].

Notice that Peter says the Jew will be saved just like the Gentiles are saved!

Peter does not say the Gentiles will be saved just as the Jews!

The Gentile never had the Law and are saved by “faith” in The Lord Jesus Christ which brings the “Grace” of God!

The Jew will also be saved just as though they never had the Laws of Moses, “by faith” which then brings “Grace”!

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is the gift of God]:

It is a “GIFT” that cannot be bought by any means!

Skip to verse 14 to the words of Paul:

*****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.

We see that this verse makes no mention of circumcision.

This verse also indicates that the saving of Gentiles was part of God’s plan from the beginning, in fact before the beginning!

We know that “whosoever” believes will be saved BUT this verse indicates that only a portion of Gentiles will be believers, taken out of a large group of Gentiles, not all.

It is not that God would not save them all, but that most Gentiles will still reject the truth of the “Gospel”.

Jesus had said:

Luk 21:24  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, [until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled].

The time fulfilled would be the end of what we call the “Church Age”.

Again Paul explained it like this to the Jewish believers:

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”.

The Apostle Peter added:

1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10  Which in time past [were not a people], “but are now the people of God”: which had not obtained mercy, “but now have obtained mercy”.

The time of the Gentiles is slowly coming to an end! AND “after this”, God says:

*****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:

This the prophesy of Amos 9:11-12.

In other words after the time of the Gentiles, the Church Age is over, The literal kingdom of Israel, “on this Earth”, will indeed be restored under the Messiah, at the second coming of the Lord to this Earth.

The Church composed of Jews and Gentiles will already be “Raptured” out of this Earth when Jesus comes in the clouds as a thief.

*****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.

These are things that the rest of the world will take notice of after the “Rapture” of the Church.

Today, God is calling out a people, which is the Body of Christ.

After the Rapture of the Body of Christ there will be a great many turning to the Lord during the terrible time of the tribulation period:

*****Act 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

God had revealed all these truths gradually to the world through His prophets, BUT now we have the entire Word of God which explains these things to us all.

BUT, this has been God’s Plan from the beginning of Genesis 1:1.

*****Act 15:19  Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

James, the half-brother of The Lord says, that since it is evident that this was God’s plan from the beginning, “it would be foolish of them” now to hinder God’s plan by insisting the Gentile should follow Jewish practices and traditions!

*****Act 15:20  But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

James added that the Gentiles “could have a better relationship to their Brother Jews and have their greater respect” IF:

1.) If they avoided food used in idolatrous practices of false religion.

2.) Rejected food that came from strangled animals.

“When an animal is strangled, some of the blood will stay in the animal and could make the meat unfit to eat”.

Every hunter knows to get a clean shot to keep the animal from being in a panicked state.

3.) Refusing to consume blood as food.

God had given this command before the Laws of Moses were ever written. Genesis 9:4 says that, Blood is used to make atonement for the “soul” and blood must be poured out before God.

Jesus shed His own blood on Calvary’s Cross. To drink of any blood, showed no respect for God’s Word!

4.) Abstain from sexual immorality.

God has also commanded this from the beginning. BUT the world has never considered this to be sin.

And even less in our day!

But God says to keep our bodies pure. God has called us to be a clean and a holy people.

1Th 4:7  For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

These were things that would allow the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians to grow in harmony and these things pleased the early church.

Paul later wrote:

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, [that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way].

*****Act 15:22  Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23  And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

We can see that it took a compromise on both the Jew and the Gentile in order for there to be harmony in the early church.

Though we can never compromise on the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be aware of cultural differences of the Body of Christ and all strive to be in one accord with all our brothers, no matter where they are located:

Php 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, “that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”.

*****Act 15:24  Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: [to whom we gave no such commandment]:

Those Judaizers that had shown up in Antioch of Syria had not been sent by the church in Jerusalem!

James also realized the turmoil that false doctrine could bring to the Church!

False doctrine could subvert the soul of the believer making them useless witnesses for the Lord!

James had finally understood the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, with whom he had spent so many years not understanding.

*****Act 15:25  It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, [to send chosen men] unto you with our “beloved” Barnabas and Paul,
Act 15:26  [Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ].

Things can happen when the local church is in one accord but even greater than that is when the entire “Body of Christ” can be in one accord.

Those Judaizers were considered to be deceivers.

“Chosen men”, these are men who chose to serve the Lord but also chose to not try to profit from their opportunities!

These two men would confirm the written letter sent from the Apostles and the Church at Jerusalem to those at the church of Antioch in Syria.

Barnabas’ name is mentioned first because he is the elder of Paul and more well known at the church in Jerusalem.

AND, the sufferings of Paul and Barnabas was recognized by the early church.

*****Act 15:27  We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

Judas: Not a whole lot is known of Judas accept he is later called a prophet, which probably means he was preacher.

After preaching in Antioch for awhile he returned to Jerusalem.

It is possible that he was a family member to Joseph Barsabas who was one of the two selected by the apostles to replace Judas Iscariot.

[Act 1:23  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.]

Silas: Silas became well know because he chose to travel with Paul on his mission trips. He is later known as Silvanus.

This does not make one man greater than the other because we know the Holy Spirit is the one that must guide all our lives.

*****Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

We can see that we must allow the Holy Ghost guide us in every decision we make and we must follow His lead!

These things that are mentioned were given so that the Gentiles would not cause the Jews to fail.

Gentiles are never required to meet any demands of the Mosaic system, but they are to exercise courtesy to those that do!

And no one is to commit fornication, which is sexual behavior outside of marriage!

But it can also include placing an Idol before the Lord!

*****Act 15:30  So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
Act 15:31  Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

These things that happened to the early church are written for us that we learn from them and not make the same mistakes.

We are never to become stumbling blocks to believers in our own place of worship but also to those of another culture! 

There is only one means of salvation and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)

But problems and differences of opinion are best brought before the church and be based on the Word of God and quickly resolved.

Most church problems are not caused by doctrinal differences but from headstrong leaders, or headstrong followers.

Listen to the prayer of Jesus:

Joh 17:9  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, “but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine”.

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their word”;
Joh 17:21  “That they all may be one”; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

It is when the entire “Body of Christ” is in one accord that the Church will have it’s real power in this world.

But this must happen in every local church at one time.

We cannot separate ourselves by denominations!

Every group of believers may be diverse but  we must use this as a tool to make a unified church and this begins with Jesus and the work He did on the Cross.

If we cannot get to the Cross THEN we cannot get together.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus—–Sweetest name I know!


Let’s Pray!

The Preeminence Of The Gospel

The Preeminence Of The Gospel

Book of Acts Chapter 14

We already know that not everyone who hears the “Gospel” will believe it’s “life giving” message.

AND, non-believers will not sit back and allow Christianity to take over, what they see as their world!

Christians should seek every way to spread the truth of the “Gospel” but Christians should not avoid politics.

We saw a pattern in chapter 13 of a sending church that we should follow even in the day we live now. But we also saw a pattern of the actions of non-believers that also continue and are getting worse.

First non-believers will dispute the truth of God’s Word “then” they will bring legal action against those that live by God’s Word.

Paul and Barnabas had some success in Cyprus but that same success had not come in Antioch of Pisidia. A group of jealous and zealous Jews had stirred up the people.

Again as we still see today non-believers will stir up “women of power” and “politicians” in deceptive ways! Paul and Barnabas were forced to leave Antioch of Pisidia for other places but now we will see a change.

The people of Antioch of Pisidia, had deprived themselves of an opportunity to hear the “Gospel” and be saved!

There were some who did believe and were left behind and it was these who would start a church in Antioch of Pisidia.

Christian brothers and sisters can still have joy in the midst of this turmoil.

Chapter 13 ended with these words:

Act 13:51  But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
Act 13:52  And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Let’s begin:

*****Act 14:1  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

(Show Map)

Iconium was a large city about 90 miles east of Antioch of Pisidia. It is still an important place called Konieh. Iconium was a province of Galatia at this time.

We might ask our selves if Paul was turning to the Gentiles, why then would we see him always beginning at the synagogue of the Jews?

This was the place where the leaders of Judaism gathered but this was also a place where spiritual matters where discussed.

In most cases this would also be a place where intellectual and affluent people would gather but there was also another reason!

Paul later wrote to the Romans:

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.

That word Greek “meaning Gentile” as opposed to the “Jew”.

Paul also wrote these words:

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.

Paul knew the difference between the two, but in the eyes of God, the Gospel must be preached to the lost, “whosoever” they are, because this is the real command of Our Lord!

*****Act 14:2  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against [the brethren].

Notice that word “Brethren”.

Here again we see the results of the preaching of the “Gospel”.

First there are many that will believe and be saved and in turn there will be those unbelievers that stir up trouble for God’s missionaries.

*****Act 14:3  Long time “therefore” abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Act 14:4  But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

At Antioch, Paul and Barnabas had been expelled from not only the city but the entire area but this had not happened so far at Iconium.

Paul and Barnabas abode in Iconium for a long time! The longer they stayed and preached the more divided that city became.

Some of these Gentiles held with the Jews, and part of the Gentiles held with the Apostles. These non-believers out numbered both the Jews and the Brethren and it is still this way today.

*****Act 14:5  And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,

That word “assault” means this divisiveness of the multitudes came to such a point that they turned and came upon Paul and Barnabas intending to them harm. In fact if they could have gotten their hands on Paul and Barnabas they intended to stone them to death.

This of course meant that it was the Jews who led this assault. “Legally” these Jews could not do anything so they chose to do things “illegally”!

*****Act 14:6  They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
Act 14:7  And there they preached the gospel.

These cities that are mentioned are in the area called Galatia in the days of Paul but we now know this area as modern day Turkey.

Notice that Paul and Barnabas were not intimidated by the opposition to the Gospel and we cannot be either.

This is a lesson every believer needs to learn. Though we get discouraged from time to time we cannot be intimidated by this world we live in. We must keep busy spreading the “Gospel” in every way that we can!

We have no control of the results! The results are in God’s hands and in the hearts of all those that hear the “Gospel”!

God’s message has not and does not change no matter the opposition to it!

*****Act 14:20  Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Before we get to this verse God had healed a lame man through Paul in verse 11.

These people of Lycaonia had mental pictures of their false gods and all of a sudden they believed that Paul and Barnabas were those gods and began to worship them.

We can see that they also were expecting their false gods to come to Earth as men. They were and still are expecting a false messiah and we know that this will also happen. We call him the Antichrist.

Jupiter was a Roman false god, and would be the same as “Zeus” to the Greeks. Mercury was another Roman false god would be the same as “Hermes” to the Greeks.

These people had been taught that these pagan gods had once appeared before men and they thought that they had returned.

It does not take much to convince an unbeliever of a false messiah!

Paul told them that their gods were vain and non-existing!

He told them that what they considered as works of their false gods were actually only natural forces that were under control of the true Living God.

These people would have to be taught “Creation” by God’s Word in the Book of Genesis.

We find that the modern church is still confused about creation and fail to preach Genesis as the truth and it is the truth.

Our world was created in 6 days just as God said and is only about 6000 years old.

When we witness to the lost, we must have a clear understanding of “Creation” according to the Word of God.

We cannot be swayed by the false science of “Evolution” nor any of it’s teachings of an old Earth.

These evolutionists will do anything in their feeble attempt to prove the Book the Genesis to be wrong. In fact when they cause doubt, they have already succeeded!

God had winked at this false worship for a while because these people had seen the evidence of the true God and had been taught lies.

BUT, now was time to hear the truth of the “Gospel” and “Creation”.

We are wrong when we do not teach Jesus from the beginning and in every book of the Bible.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world “are clearly seen”, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; [so that they are without excuse]:

Men who cannot realize that “Creation” did not happen by accident have closed their mind, that God gave them, to the truth.

It takes a closed mind and blinded eyes to believe that everything in this world we live in happened by accident.

Every accident I have ever seen brought destruction and not life!

We saw Satan and the enemies of the Gospel have traveled more than a 100 miles to try to stop the spread of the “Gospel” and attempted to murder Paul, which brings us to the verse we are on now.

We should not miss this for the miracle that it was.

We know that Paul later wrote these words:

2Co 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].
2Co 12:3  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
2Co 12:4  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
2Co 12:5  Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
2Co 12:6  For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

If Paul was caught up to Heaven, it did not happen on the Damascus road.

It is quite possible that this was the occasion of Paul’s vision. It is very possible that Paul was stoned to death and God brought him back to life.

It is also very possible that a young Timothy was one of those that stood around Paul that day.

2Ti 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

And Paul tells us all that it is going to get worse than it was this day in Lystra:

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

We can see the truth of this in the day we now live!

Paul and Barnabas and some other believers then left and went to Derbe.

*****Act 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

What we see in this verse is that “Doctor Luke” did not give any details of opposition in Derbe.

AND, We do believe that Gaius joined Paul at this time:

Act 20:4  And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and [Gaius of Derbe], and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

Paul and those with him, then went back to to all those cities they had been run out of and gave them additional proof of the “Gospel” by the Word of God.

This was a time of establishing the local church in each area.

These places needed to be organized in order to continue in the faith.

*****Act 14:23  And when they had “ordained” them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

The Greek word used for “ordained” in this verse means that they elected the leaders of the local church by a showing of hands.

In other words they had a church meeting and they voted. These elders could have been teachers and leaders but they were not Pastors. They were organizing the local body of Christ and we know there are no unimportant parts of this body.

The qualifications for these positions are given in the Book of Timothy:

1Ti 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Ti 3:7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

We should notice that to be “the husband of one wife” would by these words of scripture eliminate “all female” church elders!

It is God Himself who calls His pastors, “not the church” and it is the Holy Ghost who distributes the gifts to each believer and no one else!

We can also see that the Apostle Paul was “a church planter” and though he tried to strengthen each local church, they would have to depend on God to lead them!

*****Act 14:24  And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25  And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
Act 14:26  And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
Act 14:27  And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

Paul and Barnabas had retraced the steps of their missionary journey.

They preached in each local church and established each one.

They were eyewitnesses to the power of God in the lives of these Gentiles.

AND, They now had returned to the church that had sent them out and supported them and gave them a full report.

We are now witness to the first missionary conference in the New Testament!

Notice how it was God who got the “Glory”. They rehearsed “all that God had done”, because we can be God’s messengers BUT it is God’s Word that does all the work of Salvation.

Then it is each individual who must believe!

Salvation is still a personal, “one on one” relationship with the Lord!

The Church at Antioch of Syria became the first headquarters for missions and there have been many since that time.

In fact every group of believers that gather together as the “Body of Christ” should be a headquarters for missions!

AND, If we cannot have joy in the good news of God’s work, then how can we call ourselves Christian!

This is the mission of the every local church to send God fearing men and women out into the world to spread the “Gospel”.

In return everyone that is sent out needs to report back on the things that God has accomplished!

A church that does not support missions that spread the “Gospel” of “the Lord Jesus Christ” have little need to exist!

A church that spreads any other message is a house of Satan!

Jesus gave us this command:

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:
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.

If Jesus did not teach it, then we should not teach it!

We have a “completed” copy of the Word of God. We are not to add words to it and we are not to take away any words from it!

*****Act 14:28  And there they abode long time with the disciples.

We can be sure that much had been learned from this first mission trip and plans were made for another.

Paul and Barnabas had shown that access to the Savior was as free to the Gentiles as it was to the Jews and this would continue to cause disagreements in the early church.

The first trip lasted for about two years and it would be another two years before another would begin.


Let’s Pray!

Proclaiming The Risen Christ

The Proclamation Of The Risen Christ

Text: Book of Acts 3:1-26

Our focus: Acts 3:1-8, 11-16, 18-21

We have just witnessed the first birthday of the Church Age and we will learn as we study the Book of Acts the function of the Church.

The Church is the tool of God to reach the lost and to hold back the evil of this world we live in!

1.) The church is to provide proper instruction:

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly “in the apostles’ doctrine” and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2.) There should be proper “fellowship”:

Act 16:34  And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, “believing in God with all his house”.

3.) There must be proper “Worship”:

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.

4.) There must be proper “Service”:

Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, “they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ”.

Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad “went every where preaching the word”.

The power to do all these things comes from the Power of the Holy Spirit!

Let’s begin:

*****Act 3:1  Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

We can see that the Apostles and the Jewish converts to Christianity, continued in the regular practices of the Jewish religion.

It was common practice for the Jews to pray 3 times a day, at the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours.

We should clearly understand that the Church is the fulfillment of the Jewish religion “and not some new religion”.

In fact Christianity is not a religion at all, “it is just the truth” of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

BUT, The Church is not and never will be a new Israel. These are two separate fulfillments of prophesy!

We have just seen in the Book of Ruth a “type” of Christ and His “Gentile Bride” which is the Church!

These are some of the things that were promised when the Messiah came and that Messiah is Jesus Christ! The word “Christ” is Greek for “Messiah” or “The Anointed One”!

The Bible tells us:

1Jn 2:22  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is “the Christ”? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

If Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ, cannot be accepted for what He is, “God in the flesh”, then you are not a believer and therefore not saved!

This is the stumbling block of Christianity to the world!

Any man can be good some of the time but only God can be perfect!

Heb 5:9  And “being made perfect”, he became the author of “eternal salvation” unto all them that obey him;

*****Act 3:2  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Act 3:3  Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

We have in this verse a man who has been lame from the day he was born and he was 40 years old at this time. We can see that he had someone who cared enough about him to bring him to a place where it was possible for him to get enough money to eat on.

At this time this was the welfare system of Israel.

Peter and John are often found together in Scripture:

They were in a fishing business together.

They prepared the last Passover before Jesus was crucified.

They ran to the tomb of Jesus together on that first Easter morning.

They were the first to minister to the Samaritans who were hated by the Jews.

They were now both filled with the Holy Spirit and working together to build God’s Church!

That gate called Beautiful was probably the gate that led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women. A gate that Herod had added when he was rebuilding the Temple and had it hand made of Corinthian Brass.

An “alms” would be anything given for the poor. We now call it “Charity”!

*****Act 3:4  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
Act 3:5  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

Most of these beggars would not be focused on those going in and out of the Temple. They would hang their heads down because most of them were embarrassed for what they had to do to survive.

Being disabled is not satisfying at all!

Being disabled seems to take away from any purpose of life!

But this lamed one obeyed Peter when he was told to look at him and John. This man was expecting some money but he was about to get something much more valuable.

There should be no doubt that this beggar was not the only one at this gate of the Temple that day. It should be noticed that Holy Spirit led Peter to this particular beggar for a reason.

*****Act 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Miracles did not happen at random in the scriptures. Miracles occurred in three major periods:

In the days of Moses and Joshua.

In the days of Elijah and Elisha.

In the days of Jesus and His Apostles and there were very few outside this scope of time.

Miracles were always given to authenticate a message!

God enabled certain of His messengers to perform unusual miracles to substantiate a new message they were about to give!

When the Bible was completed in the form we have today, a completed work of God, then there is no need for miracles of this type.

I believe God still does miracles everyday but we have to to be paying attention to see them.

It’s a miracle every time someone is saved.

It’s a miracle every time someone is healed from a major sickness and there are still many that happen today but we have the entire message God has given to us and it does not need to be authenticated by miracles!

Jesus gave the Apostles and maybe a few more the gift of miracles but these ceased when the last Apostle, John died.

There is no truth to Apostolic powers in our day. All work is done by the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.

God still does miracles but He does not still do them through a person.

AND, It can also be said that the church is so rich in “silver and gold” today that the church has forgotten about the Power of the Holy Ghost.

*****Act 3:7  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

If we pay attention we can see a “type” of sinner being saved.

This man was born lame:

And everyone on this planet is unable to walk to please the Lord. When Adam “fell” he passed his lameness to all his descendants

Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

This man was very poor:

We as sinners are bankrupt before God. The wages of sin are only death!

Luk 7:41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

Salvation was immediate for this once lame man:

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The evidence of salvation was evident to those around him that knew him!

*****Act 3:8  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

Now that this man could stand, he also took a stand on the Lord!

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, “to stand”.

*****Act 3:9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
Act 3:10  And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Act 3:11  And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

Now we see the purpose of the miracle!

This entire audience is made up of Jews. Jesus had said:

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.

Jesus had told His disciples to begin in Jerusalem and God was gathering a large audience to hear His message to be preached by Peter.

Prophecy had said:

Isa 35:5  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isa 35:6  [Then shall the lame man leap as an hart], and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

And Jesus said:

Mat 11:5  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Mat 11:6  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

*****Act 3:12  And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, “Ye men of Israel”, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

We know that at this time the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was presented only to Israel. Jesus had told the Apostles to begin in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem had rejected Jesus and after His Death, Burial, and Resurrection, they would now hear the Gospel to see if they would now believe.

The fact that the Gospel “will come to where we live” is proof of the Love of God!

Peter is very clear, that this miracle was not done by any power that he had.

The New Testament had not been written at this time and Peter was about to take the Old Testament and show them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

*****Act 3:13  The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

Peter was now not some dumb fisherman but he was mighty in the Word of God. Peter laid the groundwork for his sermon by associating Jesus with the God of Israel, the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Again Christianity is not some new religion but it is the fulfillment of Judaism. It was the same God who made a covenant with Israel who then also rejected the Son of God!

It was some of these very same Jews that had delivered Jesus to Pilate.

It was some of these very same Jews that had denied Jesus as their King.

Pilate had truly put some effort in trying to release Jesus!

Mat 27:24  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Then all of Israel made this foolish statement:

Mat 27:25  Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children”.

Israel has surely suffered because of this statement!

But God has not abandoned them as some think!

*****Act 3:14  But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Act 3:15  And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

It was some of these very same Jews that had received the guilty Barabbas in exchange for the sinless and guiltless Son of God named Jesus.

For the remainder of his days the Apostle Peter will never preach another sermon where he will not mention the “Resurrection of Jesus Christ”!

Peter here says he and John were witnesses to these things and there were some in this very audience who were also witnesses to these things.

*****Act 3:16  And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

In His Name:

It is the names of Our Savior that also describe Him to us!

His Son Jesus, The Holy One, The Just One, The Prince of Life, His Christ, The LORD, The Prophet, The WORD, The Light, The Lamb of God.

He is Shiloh!

He is the Rose of Sharon!

His name is Wonderful!

He is the Mighty Counselor!

He is the Mighty God!

He is the Everlasting Father!

He is the Prince of Peace!

And He is the King of Kings!

He is the Lord Jesus Christ the true Messiah!

And He is Our Precious Savior!

And He is the Fulfillment of “All” the Old Testament Prophecy about the Anointed One of God!

*****Act 3:17  And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18  [But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled].

There are many things that we do through ignorance and do not totally understand the results that come from them.

Even Jesus said forgive them for they knew not what they were doing!

We will never understand all the plan of God, but we know God has a plan and he wants us to be involved in his plan and not have a plan of our own, which is a greater sin!

All the things that were fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ were told about in the same Old Testament that all these people had access to.

The apostle Paul put it this way:

1Ti 1:13  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, [because I did it ignorantly in unbelief].

To be a unbeliever does not give anyone an  excuse but an unbeliever cannot know the will of God!

An unbeliever relies on the laws of man and if the laws of man do not match up with the Word of God then they are ignorant of God’s law.

It is our job to tell everyone “who cross our paths” the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is not one single book of the Old Testament that does not point to the Messiah!

It may be said that Israel’s situation was something like that of the “man slayer” who killed his neighbor without prior malicious intent and fled to the nearest city of refuge.

*****Act 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, [when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord];

These Jews and the World of today need to realize that when they fight against Jesus they are fighting against the God of the Bible.

The resurrection of Christ Jesus was conclusive proof that He was approved of God!

The present power of Jesus was shown by His healing of this lame man.

The rejection of Jesus is an act of ignorance and God was ready, willing and waiting to forgive them of this sin.

To “repent” is a complete changing of the mind and is reflected in the heart!

To be “converted” is the physical act of turning from sin and Satan and then unto God!

It is this act that that will cause your sins to be blotted out in God’s book of records!

Isa 44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; [for I have redeemed thee].

Salvation is only on an individual level but Peter was preaching for the national repentance of Israel.

Jesus Christ had suffered brutally and died on the cross but there will be a time in the future when He will return as King and King of Kings.

This will be the time of His refreshing And the time of His presence again in this world!

*****Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

These are the things that God had shown by the mouth of all His prophets.

This is the message that God was giving to “whosoever” would listen and repent.

And Jesus will come again a Second Time!

Peter was saying this day that, “now is the time to turn and repent”. Peter’s message was that the Lord can return any day and the day of judgment was not the time that they could repent.

Psa 69:28  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and “not be written with the righteous”.

On the day of judgment or the day of death, every soul will be blotted out the book of the living “but it will be too late to be written in the book the righteous”.

It will be too late!

Today then is surely the day to turn to the Lord!

This is the same message we need to hear today!

*****Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive [until the times of restitution of all things], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

The last day of the Church Age all the Saints that are still alive will be taken up into Heaven.

All the souls that are in Heaven will be reunited in a “glorified body” along with those saints.

1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
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.

There will then be a seven-year tribulation period proven by the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This period of seven years will be divided into parts of three and a half years apiece.

This last period is known as the Great Tribulation is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble:

Jer 30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: “it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble”; [but he shall be saved out of it].

The Apostle Paul wrote:

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

It is at the end of this time that God will restore all things for 1000 years:

Amo 9:11  In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

This is the message of Peter to the Jews and this is the message to the Church today.

These things will not change!

The truth is the truth whether there are any believers!


Let’s Pray!

The Revelation Of Righteousness “The Gospel”

The Revelation of Righteousness  "The Gospel"

Our Text today will be Romans 1:1-17

We will now begin a group of lesson’s in the Book of Romans. The "Roman Road" to "Salvation" is known worldwide I’m sure.

The Holy Ghost used the hand of the Apostle Paul to write this wonderful book but just as all the Bible, God wrote these things to us personally because Our Lord is seeking a personal one on one relationship with each and everyone of His children.

The Apostle Paul presents the "Saving Gospel Message" clearly in the Book of Romans.

The "Theme" of Romans is "Righteousness" and "our righteousness" can only come through "God’s Saving Grace" and by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let’s begin:

Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

A man named Paul introduces himself as the writer of this book but he tells us some things about himself. The name Paul was used a lot at this time.

This Paul says that he was a servant of Jesus Christ.

We know that this Paul became a servant on the Damascus Road:

Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Act 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

This Paul said he was an apostle:

There were certain requirements that had to be met to be an apostle.

The Apostle Peter said:

Act 1:21  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

To be an apostle meant you had to see Jesus after His resurrection.

Paul describes this day for us:

2Co 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.
2Co 12:3  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
2Co 12:4  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

There are those that say that Paul did not meet all the requirements to be an apostle but it can be just as easily said that only Paul was called with such a "Heavenly Calling".

I believe it can be said that no one was given more authority to deliver the "Gospel" than that of the Apostle Paul!

Jesus said:

Joh 13:20  Verily, verily, I say unto you, [He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me]; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

We have read where Jesus sent Paul and praise the Lord, he sent Paul to the "Gentiles". A "Gentile" is anyone that is not a Jew.

Gal 2:7  But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8  (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

To not believe the "Gospel" according to Paul then is "heresy".

Heresy means they have made an error in opinion..

They have made an error in opinion of true Church Doctrine!

1Co 15:1  Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

Paul then tells us what the word "Gospel" means:

1Co 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

When Paul says "according to the scriptures", he means just like it was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Paul then goes on to say he also just like the other apostles was separated unto the "Gospel of God":

1Co 15:5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul made it his life long work to bring to Jesus His Bride:

2Co 11:1  Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
2Co 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

*****Our first lesson here is to see that TO BE CALLED OF GOD IS TO BE SEPARATED UNTO THE GOSPEL OF GOD.

That’s the actual death, burial and bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. To preach any other way is not preaching the "Gospel".

We need to have a very clear understanding:

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.

1.) It is God that loved.

2.) It is God that sent.

3.) It is God that separates.

Our Job is to believe! To have "Faith" in the "Promises" of God.

Remember God will be "Faithful" to fulfill those promises.

Deu 7:9  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].

*****Rom 1:2  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

What is God’s Old Testament "Promise" to the Church?

Isa 53:11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

What is God’s Old Testament "Promise" to Israel?

Jer 23:6  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

What is God’s Old Testament "Promise" to all that will believe?

Hab 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

*****Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

1.) Jesus was that baby born to the Virgin Mary who was a direct descendant of David. Jesus was a Jew and to hate the Jew or to not stand with Israel is to be against the earthly family of Jesus.

2.) Jesus was that baby of "royal blood" because Mary would be married to Joseph who adopted Jesus as his own son.Joseph was in the kingly line of David through Solomon. This Mary was also in the line of David through David’s son Nathan.

3.) It took God’s Power to cause the "Virgin Birth". It took God’s Power to raise Jesus from the dead. These things happened by God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Holiness.

This the "Gospel" according to Paul. This is the message of "Good News"!

We must realize that this "Good News" to the Church will be followed up by the "Bad News" from Heaven:

1Jn 2:22  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

a.) Jesus was "Christ" but also "Man" in the flesh and will keep all the promises to Israel as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

b.) Jesus was "Christ" but also "The Son Of God" declared so by the Power of the Holy Spirit and is High Priest of the Church and Our Lord.

Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

*****Rom 1:5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

We must "Receive" the gift of God’s Grace  before we can serve Him. We must then be obedient to "Our Faith in The Gospel of Jesus Christ."

*****Rom 1:6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

We must not fall into the trap of thinking that Paul was establishing a New Christian religion as some do. To be Christlike is certainly to be a Christian but the "Gospel" preached by Paul is the same message given to us from the Old Testament that was fulfilled in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has had only one message since the fall of Adam. The Rapture of the Church will end the Church Age but God will continue on with the Promises made to Israel.

There is still only one way to Heaven and that will never change even in the Millennial Kingdom. Every Saint of God is connected to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is nothing in this world nor in Heaven that can sever the connection between Christ Jesus and His Saints!

Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*****Rom 1:7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What we know is that God loves everyone in this world we live in:

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.

There is no truer statement in the entire word of God BUT:

Only the Saints, His children, those of the Household of God are called "The Beloved of God"!

1.) "Grace" has only one source, God.

2.) "Grace" has only one channel, The Lord Jesus Christ.

3.) "Grace" has only one administer, The Holy Spirit.

So only those who have received Jesus Christ can truly become God’s Children!

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

*****Rom 1:8  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Paul shows us that he is also related to us all in the family of God. Every believer no matter the race or nationality are tied together by their "Faith" in Christ Jesus. Just as "Faith" links every believer, it is the "Grace" of God that links us all to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not linked by denomination, or Apostle, or Preacher, or Missionary, it is God that gathers His People to Assemble!

It is the "Job" of every child of God to "sound this out to all the world with every means at our disposal.

*****Rom 1:9  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

We can see that the "Power of God" moves only through "Prayer". These people could not have known how much Paul had prayed for them but God certainly knew and Paul was not afraid to say so.

My health has faltered these past couple of years and it is truly a humbling thing to know so many of my brothers and sisters are shouting my name all over Heaven.

We owe it to each other to pray for each other! This shows our Love to God better than any other way.

Paul said he served in his spirit:

There are a lot of people that do not believe in the trinity of man. They believe that the human body only consist of two parts, the "body" and the "soul".

The Bible is specific about this subject:

1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God [your whole spirit and soul and body] be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must remember our creation:

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Our God is a trinity and therefore in His Image, we are also a trinity.

But to serve in the spirit, is to serve in the Holy Spirit of God!

Paul said he did not hold "inspirational meetings" but he did hold "Spiritual Meetings". Any gathering without the Holy Spirit is just a social event.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

We are not alive without being filled and sealed with the Holy Ghost of God. When we give our selves to the Lord, He will give us His Spirit.

*****Rom 1:10  Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

Paul always prayed that his testimony would produce fruit for Our Lord.

God has said:

Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

To produce fruit we must be in the will of God:

1Jn 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

We must showcase our "Faith" in our "Prayer Life"!

*****Rom 1:11  For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul is not saying that he could give gifts that only the Holy Spirit can give. Paul was saying that he could help them "grow in the Spirit".

I just recently witnessed a preacher that after preaching a fairly Biblical sermon asked at the end of that sermon if anyone wanted a little extra spirit. He then laid his hand on their forehead and said receive ye the Spirit.

God’s Holy Spirit will not flow through the laying on of hands. God’s Spirit only comes with acknowledging Jesus Christ as your Savior.

The Laying on of Hands simply means you are joining with another in seeking the will of God.

Jesus Christ gives us our example:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

We must remember these people could not go home and find comfort in their Bible because they did not have one.

Paul preached to provide these things:

2Th 2:17  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

*****Rom 1:12  That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

This the comfort supplied by a "Pastor" of the Church. The "Pastor" is the earthly shepherd who will also look ahead to the mutual blessings that will come to those that "Love" the Lord Jesus Christ..

*****Rom 1:13  Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

The Apostle Paul was a perfect "Ambassador" for Christ Jesus and he longed to be used wherever he was led by the Holy Spirit. Paul could not choose his own path.

What was the fruit that Paul was seeking for these people?

Rom 6:21  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God will never hinder the spread of His Word so if he was hindered then it had to be Satan that did this. We should not be surprised by the efforts of Satan to hinder the spread of the Gospel.

*****Rom 1:14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

The "Greeks" are those influenced by the Greek culture and were considered the elite of society.

The "Barbarians" were not Greek and considered a lower class of people.

The "Wise" and "Unwise" could be from either group.

Paul said he was in debt to the Lord Jesus for all classes of people because there is no class of people "righteous" in the eyes of a Holy God.

We are not "Sinners" because we sin!

We "Sin" because we are born "Sinners"!

Jesus Christ tasted death for every one on this world:

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We must repeat these words for our own self or we are not one of God’s children.

The message Paul has for the Saints of God is this:

Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

There are many that reject the "Gospel" according to the Apostle Paul and they have turned away.

1.) They reject the "Virgin Birth".

2.) They reject the "Death of the Messiah".

3.) They reject the "Burial and the Bodily Resurrection" of Our Lord.

4.) They reject John 14:6:

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.

5.) They reject the "Gospel" according to Paul because they reject the Apostleship of Paul.

6.) They did this in Paul’s time and many do it now:

Paul wrote to Timothy:

2Ti 1:15  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me;

We know where Asia is and they still reject the Gospel of Paul in Asia.

Jesus tells us in the Book of Revelation when it is all over:

Rev 22:11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

It will be too late to make changes in the way you believe!

Today is the day of "Grace"!

*****Rom 1:15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

At this time in Rome the Jews were a hated and a despised people. They just refused to be ruled by some foreign power. I can’t say I would not be like these Jews if America ever fell.

The Apostle Paul was a short man and considered weak when compared to other men.

2Co 10:10  For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

Paul knew that any Jew that had influence in Rome would consider him a troublemaker. The Roman rulers considered themselves to be gods and what happened in Rome could influence what might happen throughout the Roman Empire.

The "Gospel" had already been rejected by these Jew.

Act 28:22  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

The entire world was against Christianity. This has not changed very much in our day because this world is under the guidance of Satan:

2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Paul had the Power of the Holy Spirit on him and he was not afraid of stiff-necked crowds, Paul was always ready to "Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ".

Paul was always ready to die for the "Gospel of Jesus Christ".

Act 21:13  Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

*****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.

Verses 16-17 give us the "theme" of the Book of Romans.

Paul uses the word "For" to mean "There is no doubt"!

1.) For I Am not "Ashamed" of the "Gospel" (there is no doubt)

2.) For it is the "Power of God to Salvation" (there is no doubt)

3.) For the "Righteousness of God is revealed in this Gospel" (there is no doubt)

4.) For the "Wrath of God is revealed unto all ungodliness" (there is no doubt)

Paul was willing to go to the Home town of the Enemy that had crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul "despised the shame" and therefore was not ashamed of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Christ was crucified!

Christ did die!

Christ was buried!

Christ did rise from that death in the Power of God!

Paul said:

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

No Preacher will have the Power of God until he has fully accepted these "TRUTHS"!

And everyone that rest in these words can be saved!

This is God’s "Good News" the "Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ".

To "Preach" this ‘Gospel is to Please God!

1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The Cross may be a symbol to many but it is the Preaching of the "Gospel" that is the "Word of the Cross"!

1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The Cross with no Savior cannot save!

The Christ with no Cross cannot save!

Our Salvation rest in a Christ That was Crucified!

This message is to be broadcast and not discussed or argued.

To proclaim this truth does not allow for such foolishness!

What the "Gospel" is NOT!

It is not the Power to reform.

It is not the Power to be educated.

It is not the Power of progress.

It is not the Power of development.

Those that are lost do not care about these things.

What the "Gospel" is, THE POWER OF SALVATION!

Php 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

Php 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Jesus Christ was rejected by the Jew.

Then the Gospel was first delivered to the Jew and again it was rejected.

Paul went back to Jerusalem one more time before he died to preach the Gospel and again it was rejected by the Jew.

What we find is that even in Rome the "Gospel" was rejected:

Act 28:28  Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
Act 28:29  And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

Just as all the Lost, the Jew will not have any excuse.

*****Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Our "righteousness" is based from faith to faith, which means the only work we have to do is to "Believe"!

Our "righteousness" is of God but it is based on the "redeeming work of the Lord Jesus.

1.) The Blood of Christ, "Redeemed His Church"!

2.) It is God’s Word that we must Keep!

3.) But our "Faith" must be in the entire Word of God!

4.) The belief of the "Gospel" is the means of "Our Justification"!

This is God’s Plan we have no right to disagree!

Because Our "Soul" hangs in the balance!

Hab 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Though our "Soul" is not upright, we can be "Justified" by our "Faith" in the ‘Living Word of God"!

Let’s pray!