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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”   (Psalms 115:3)

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

The Seven Seals Compared To Matthew 24:

The visions of the seven seals given to John in Revelation, and the teachings of Christ concerning the signs of His second coming found in the gospels correspond perfectly with one another.  In order to emphasize the meaning of the seven seals of Revelation, I would like us to come to an understanding of the perfect alignment that is found in these two Scripture texts.   

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matthew 24:1-51

Mark 13:1-37

Luke 21:5-36

Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9:21, 11:15-19, 16:1-21

 

THE STUDY:

First, the lesson taught by Christ concerning the signs of His coming can be found in three of the gospels. Each account is parallel in nature, the Bible is recording this one lesson from three different perspectives. Keep in mind, these three texts record a SINGULAR LESSON that is taught by Christ Himself…

 

Segment of Teaching Matthew 24: Mark 13: Luke 21:
The Question 24:1-3 13:1-4 21:5-7
(1)  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.(2)  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (1)  And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!(2)  And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,(4)  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5)  And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,(6)  As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(7)  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Trials Faced By Lost and Saved Alike 24:4-8 13:5-8 21:8-11
(4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (5)  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:(6)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(7)  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.(8)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (8)  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.(9)  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.(10)  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(11)  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Trials Faced By All Christians 24:9-14 13:9-13 21:12-19
(9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.(11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.(14)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (9)  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.(10)  And the gospel must first be published among all nations.(11)  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.(12)  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.(13)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (12)  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.(13)  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.(14)  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:(15)  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.(16)  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.(17)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.(18)  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.(19)  In your patience possess ye your souls.
Trials Faced By The Jewish Nation 24:15-29 13:14-25 21:20-26
(15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoreadeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.(22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.(23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.

(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

(29)  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 

(14)  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him thatreadeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:(15)  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:(16)  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.(17)  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(18)  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.(19)  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.(20)  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.(21)  And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or,lo, he is there; believe him not:(22)  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.(23)  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24)  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

(25)  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

 

(20)  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.(21)  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.(22)  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.(23)  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.(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.(25)  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;(26)  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The 2nd Coming Of Christ 24:30-31 13:26-27 21:27-28
(30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (26)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.(27)  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.  (27)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.(28)  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Parable Of Fig Tree 24:32-36 13:28-33 21:29-33
(32)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:(33)  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.(34)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.(35)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.(36)  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (28)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:(29)  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.(30)  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.(31)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.(32)  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.(33)  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (29)  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;(30)  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(31)  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.(32)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.(33)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
3 Examples Of Unreadiness 24:37-44
(37)  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(40)  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(41)  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(42)  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.(43)  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.(44)  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Exhortation To be Ready 24:45—51 13:34-37 21:34-36
(45)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?(46)  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.(47)  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.(48)  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;(49)  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;(50)  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,(51)  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (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.(35)  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:(36)  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.(37)  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (34)  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.(35)  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.(36)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

 

From this table, it is very easy to see the parallel nature of the accounts of this event found in Matt, Mark and Luke.  Matthew’s seems to be the most detailed.  This makes sense because Matthew is the only author of the three that personally accompanied Christ during His earthly ministry.  Both Mark and Luke wrote their accounts from second hand sources.

In the other portion of our lesson, I would like us to examine the seven seals presented by John in Revelation with the above accounts of Christ’s teaching on the same subject… the signs that will take place before His second coming to the earth.

Because the account of Christ’s teaching in Matthew is the most detailed, we will use the Matthew text in this comparison.  However, it would be possible to use any (or all) of the three gospel accounts in comparison with the seven seals of Revelation…

 

Seal # Descript Revelation TextRev 6:1-17 Affects WorldMatt 24:4-8Matt 24:29-31 Affects ChristiansMatt 24:9-14 Affects Jewish NationMatt 24:15-28
1 Anti-Christs& False Teachers 6:1-2 24:4-5 24:11-13 24:23-28
(1)  And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.(2)  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  (23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
2 Wars & Rumours Of Wars 6:3-4 24:6-7a 24:15-21
(3)  And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.(4)  And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
3 Famines & Shortage 6:5-6 24:7b
(5)  And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.(6)  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
4 Horrific Deaths 6:7-8 24:7c-8 24:22a
(7)  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.(8)  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
5 Persecution  Christians 6:9-11 24:9-10 24:22b
(9)  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:(10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?(11)  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Six Darkness In Heavens 6:12-17 24:29
(12)  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;(13)  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.(14)  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.(15)  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;(16)  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:(17)  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
InterLude Protecting God’s People /Prelude To His Coming Revelation 7:1-17 Matthew 24:30-31
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages) (30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
7 God’s Wrath At The 2nd Coming 8:1-13; 16:1-21; 19:11-21
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages)

 

 

As you can see from the above, chart the very same events that are described in Christ’s teachings on the signs of His coming are identical to the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation.

This is important for us to understand, because it is another proof that the seven six represent the events that must take place before Christ’s 2nd coming.   The seventh seal reveals the wrath of God that falls at His 2nd coming.

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Spiritual Gifts: Gifts And Fruits For Use Today (Part #5)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

In our last few studies, we have been looking at the Spiritual Gifts that the Lord gives us for our usage today.   In our lesson today, we will be looking at Spiritual Fruit that is borne by all genuine believers in Christ.  We have previously summarized the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Fruits in the following chart:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.

Please note that some of the differences between Spiritual Gifts and Fruits include:

 

Difference Spiritual Gift Spiritual Fruit
When Is The Fruit/Gift Received ? Spiritual Gifts are given at the Lord’s intervention in the christian’s life to equip them for ministry. Spiritual Fruits are given when the believer is given spiritual life (during their salvation experience with the Holy Spirit’s indwelling)
What Is The Nature Of The Fruit/Gift ? Spiritual Gifts are supernaturally exercised by the Christian during the performance of their ministry Spiritual Fruits are naturally borne by the Christian resulting from the presence of the indwelling Spirit
What Are The Types Of The Fruit/Gift Received ? Various Spiritual Gifts are given to believers at the discretion of the Lord based upon their individual ministries All of the Spiritual Fruits are given to every believer
What Is The Purpose For The Fruit/Gift ? Different Spiritual Gifts are needed for the Christian’s differing ministries All the Spiritual Fruits are necessary for the fulfillment of the Christian’s ministry
Summary:
EVERY believer, based upon the discretion of the Lord, is given SOME (at least one) spiritual gift(s). The exercise of the VARIOUS GIFTS RECEIVED are vital to the successful completion of the ministries to which the believer is called. EVERY believer, based upon the presence of the indwelling Spirit, is capable of bearing EVERY spiritual fruit.  EVERY fruit is vital to the successful completion of the ministry to which the believer is called.

 

Let’s now continue our study of Spiritual Fruits…

 

Lesson:

Biblical Principles Concerning Spiritual Fruits:

 

#1 – The Amount Of Fruit Borne By Believers Varies…

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred…

The sower soweth the word.  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.  (Mark 4:2-8, 14-20)

 

One of the great results of spreading God’s Word to the lost is seeing those who come to faith then bear fruit for God’s glory.  This is one of the basic principles of the above parable.  Among saved individuals the amount of fruit that is borne varies.  This is shown by some bearing 30, 60 or 100 fold.

 

 

#2 – Bearing Spiritual Fruits Builds The Christian’s Testimony Among Men

 “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.  (Luke 6:39-45)

 

The spiritual fruits that are borne by the Christian are a vital part of their testimony before others.  It is through these fruits that we can have proof of a genuineness act of saving grace in the heart and the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  This is compared to those who receive the Word and those who did not act on upon.  It is those who do not bear any spiritual fruit at all. (Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33, Luke 3:7-9. 8:4-15; 13:6-9; Romans 6:18-22; 2 Corinthians 9:10-12, 1 Pet 1:5-11)

Also, please note that these are evil fruits that are given off by the unsaved (Eph 5:7-11, James 3:13-18).  Those evil fruits are listed in Galatians 3:19-21…

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

#3 – Cleansing Through The Word Increases Fruit Bearing

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  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.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. “  (John 15:1-8)

Here in this text, we can see that the Lord using the act of cleansing in the life of the believer to bring forth more fruit (Heb 12:4-13).  This cleansing always involves the application of the Word to the life of the believer (Col 1:3-6, 7-13).   This cleansing can take many different forms (personal Bible study and prayer, chastening, trials and tribulations etc etc).

No matter how God’s Word is applied to the life we see a basic progression of events:

1.  the Word is applied

2.  the Christian draws closer to God

3.  the Christian life increases in submission to the Lord

4.  then more fruit is borne in the Christian’s life

 

 

#4 – Fruit Bearing Is A Reason We Were Saved

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.”  (John 15:12-17)

The Lord clearly explains in this passage that one of the great purposes of our salvation was so that we might bear spiritual fruit for His honor and glory.  Think about it… He chose us and appointed us to go forth and bear spiritual fruit for Him.  This would include spreading His Word with our mouths and in our actions by bearing spiritual fruit in our lives. (Romans 7:4-6, Hebs 13:12-15)

 

 

#5 – Fruit Bearing Results From Following The Spirit’s Leadership

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”   (Galatians 5:13-26)

In this foundational passage, not only do we find a detailed listing of the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit, but we also find some practical instruction concerning the bearing of spiritual fruit.  The key to bearing much spiritual fruit for Christ is submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.  This principle is described by two different phrases…

1.  “led of the Spirit” – helps us to understand our need to allow the Spirit to lead and guide us in all our decision making

2.  “walk in the Spirit” – this helps us to understand that, as we habitually allow the Spirit to lead us, it will become a lifestyle and consistent walk of life.

 

 

 

#6 – Spiritual Fruits Are Acts Of Righteous Performed By The Righteous

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:9-11)

The fruits of the Spirit are also described as the “fruits of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10; Hebrews 12:11; James 3:18).  This title helps us to understand two truths about the fruits of the Spirit:

1.  They are fruits that indicate the presence of Christ’ righteousness in the life of the believer.

2.  The fruits are righteous fruits…. in other words they are aligned with God’s laws and accepted by Him. (Titus 3:12-15)

 

This lesson concludes our look at spiritual fruits borne by all believers.

 

 

Additional Information:

A Description Of Spiritual Fruits For Today:

15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Matthew 7:15-20)

 

33) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by [his] fruit.

(Matthew 12:33)

 

 

7) Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8) Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Luke 3:7-9)

 

 

39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40) The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42) Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44) For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

(Luke 6:39-45)

 

 

4) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5) A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13)  They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.

(Luke 8:4-15)

 

 

6) He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7) Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8) And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]:

9) And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

(Luke 13:6-9)

 

27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(John 14:27)

 

151) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

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.

6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

(John 15:1-8)

 

 

12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17) These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(John 15:12-17)

 

18) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death.

22) But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

(Romans 6:18-22)

 

 

4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5) For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.

(Romans 7:4-6)

 

14) And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

(Romans 15:14)

 

 

10) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for [your] food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12) For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

(2 Corinthians 9:10-12)

 

 

 

13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16) [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Galatians 5:13-26)

 

2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Ephesians 4:2-3)

 

 

29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

(Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

 

7) Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8) For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9) (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

(Ephesians 5:7-11)

 

9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;

10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

(Philippians 1:9-11)

 

3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love [which][ ye have] to all the saints,

5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6) Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

(Colossians 1:3-6)

 

7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

(Colossians 1:7-13)

 

6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1 Thessalonians 1:6)

 

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

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

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

15) All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace [be] with you all. Amen.

(Titus 3:12-15)

 

36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

(Hebrews 10:36)

 

 

 

4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them] reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10) For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.

11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

(Hebrews 12:4-13)

 

12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

(Hebrews 13:12-15)

 

 

13) Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

16) For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.

17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(James 3:13-18)

 

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;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

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.

(1 Peter 1:18-21)

 

11) Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

(1 Peter 2:11)

 

5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1:5-11)

 

 

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Believeth All Things”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

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…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s great love being on display as He entrusted His life into the hands of His Heavenly Father and entrusted different areas of service to each of His followers…

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: To Believe In, And Trust, Others

 

Christ’s love for His Heavenly Father was consistently on display throughout His ministry on earth. One way in which He shows us this love was by entrusting His life, work and future into the hands of His Father. On two separate occasions we see this trust exhibited very clearly for us…

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:41-43)

 In this text we can see that Christ (as He prayed to the Father concerning His upcoming arrest, trial, suffering and death on the cross) laid aside His own desires, and chose to make His Father’s desires His first priority. In doing so, He was entrusting His father with His entire being.

 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.(Luke 23:46-47)

 Immediately preceding His spirit’s departure from His body, Jesus clearly declares that He was entrusting the welfare of His spirit in the hands of His Father. Not only did He trust His Father with the course of His life on earth, but He also trusted His Father with the course of His life in the afterlife.

 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
[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.  
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.(Mark 13:32-37)

In this account, Christ is reminding us that He has entrusted them with many various responsibilities in His absence… “gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch

He gave us this example to emphasize the need for all of His people to “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

What was the basis of His trust, in giving us these important responsibilities for us to fulfill in His absence? His great love for us!

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Peter reminds us that Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow in many areas. One of those areas is Christ’s trust in His Heavenly Father (“him that judgeth righteously”)…

21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24)

 May we all learn to trust our Lord to the point we will fully commit our earthly life, and our existence in the afterlife, to Him.

 

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Beareth All Things”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

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…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s great love being on display as He exercised tremendous patience to those around Him…

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Silently, Patiently Holds Up Under Heavy Loads

 

Patience that springs from a heart of love is one of the most outstanding characteristics on display throughout the life of Christ. His patience shown in the Garden of Gethsemane was just one of many times His patience was on display…

 

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.  

And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.   And he said, Abba, Father, all things [are] possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.

And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take [your] rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.(Mark 14:32-42)

 

What a wonderfully patient Lord who kindly pointed out the continuing failure of His closest followers who chose to sleep instead of joining Christ in watchful prayer. Please notice He “caught them red handed” three times as they had fallen asleep during His times of prayer. They deserved His chastening and anger to be placed upon them, yet from a heart of love, He chose to correct them by kindly speaking words of truth to them.

 

From our human standpoint, this may seem like an extreme act of love on His behalf, however from a spiritual standpoint, He has shown to us a much greater patience than this…

His loving patience shown towards us as sinners (those who rebelled against His Word, scoffed and mocked His claims, and rejected His message of love and grace) intervening in our lives, breaking our sin hardened hearts and bringing us to Himself clearly stands out from all His other displays of longsuffering.

 

Paul, who described himself as “the chief of sinners” understood the great love that Christ had shown to him when He intervened in his life and showed him such great patience and mercy. In doing so, Christ was setting a perfect “pattern” of loving patience for all of us to follow in His steps.

This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(1 Timothy 1:15-17)

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

If we love our Lord as we should, and we recognize His great patience shown to us, we will find ourselves, motivated by appreciation, following His example and living holy lives separated for His use.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;(2 Peter 3:14-15)

 

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Suffereth Long”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

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…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 

 

This will be our first of many devotionals on the events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In every example, we will be seeing Christ giving of Himself for the benefit of others…

 

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Patience (To Be Long Tempered)

 

Christ’s life on earth was a continuing display of love on behalf of all mankind. One of the ways He showed His love was through being very long-tempered in His dealings with those who were living lives in opposition to Him.

 

Let’s notice two (of many) events in His life that showed a clear withholding of wrath towards those who were rebellious and seeking His harm:

 

 

 

1. Let’s take a look at what Christ said to the rebellious nation of Israel that refused to accept the message of His prophets concerning His identity and work…

 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not!

(Luke 13:34)

 

Although the Israelites had rejected His messengers and sought to kill them, now that He has come to live among them, He was still long-tempered in waiting to bring them to Himself, grant them deliverance from their sins and grace them with an eternal relationship with Him.

The only need on their part was to repent of their sinful works and attitudes and turn to Christ in faith. But what was their response to this? “ye would not”. They willfully continued to rebel and reject Him and His works among them.

 

Folks, what great love, Christ waited for them to acknowledge the truth of His prophets.   He patiently went the “extra mile” by actually coming to the earth to live with them and prove the prophets’ message about Him was true. As He lived among them, was rejected again and again and then was falsely accused, put on trial, and put to death by these same men (Matt 21:33-41). In spite of it all, on the cross He gave the ultimate display of controlled temper when He prayed “Father forgive them that they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)”

 

What great love revealed through the patient withholding of Christ’s temper, anger and wrath.

 

 

 

2. There was another great display of Christ withholding His temper during His life on earth. In this case, He held His temper in the midst of temptation…

 

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.(Mark 1:12-13)

 

In this case, Christ patiently went through forty days of fasting and then stood by and allowed Satan, himself, to tempt Him. Please keep in mind, Christ could have easily sent Satan away at any time, but He held back His temper and allowed Satan to continue with his enticements.

 

Why did Christ do this? He did this for us. This was done so that we would have a perfect example of faithfulness in the midst of trials and so that we could come before Him, seeking His grace, and knowing that He has shared in the same temptations as ourselves (Hebrews 4:14-16).

 

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Folks, there are many times when we are faced with situations that seem to beg us to lose our tempers and show vengeance towards others. It is during these times that we have a wonderful opportunity set before us to display Christ’s love in our lives.

 

In both examples, we could see that Christ’s wrath WOULD HAVE BEEN DESERVED BY HIS ANTAGONIZERS (Jews and Satan). And yet, He chose to withhold the wrath that was deserved. Oh how we can learn a very important lesson… even when it seems as if our opposition deserves our hatred, wrath and outburst of anger, to truly live as Christ lived, we are to patiently show them mercy, grace and love.

 

May we all take the following passage very seriously and ALWAYS seek to live our lives displaying love for Christ and others through the patient holding of our tempers…

 

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24)

 

 

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To Love As Jesus Loved: The Imperative Of Love

SIH TOTT ICON(Mark 12:28-31)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

 

As we continue our look at the many display of love in Christ’s life through His teachings and our actions, we now continue our brief look at a few of His teachings concerning love…

 


Christ’s Teaching:

 

Another of the subjects Christ addressed during His earthly ministry was “The Imperative Of Love”…

We should all be concerned about the Lord’s desires for our lives…

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

After listening to an exchange between Christ and the Sadducees concerning the resurrection of the body and the status of marriage following the resurrection, this young scribe recognized the wisdom and authority with which Christ spoke.

He then, from a sincere, questioning heart, asked Christ which commandment was the “first” in priority and importance.

 

We are to love God with our entire being… 

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

Christ’s answer was clear and to the point… There is only one God that exists and our first priority of life is to love Him with our entire being.

Please notice that Christ not only addresses this young scribe but all of “Israel”, His chosen people. Keep in mind that physical Israel is a symbolic representation of all those who are chosen to faith in Christ. This helps us to understand that the commandment to love the true God applies to all of His people.

Also, please notice that a Christian is to love Him with their entire being… this is shown to us by the phrase “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all our mind, and with all thy strength”.   These 4 terms teach us that our desires (heart), our physical life (soul), our thoughts (mind), and our abilities (strength) are to be dedicated unto His use, to bring glory and honor to Him.

 

We are to love others as if they were ourselves…

And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Most, if not all, of us would do be willing to make any sacrifice that is necessary to meet our own needs.

This is the same attitude we should hold towards others. When we see a need in their lives, we are to be willing to do whatever is necessary to help them meet their needs whether they are physical, or spiritual, in nature.

Are we willing to give our coat to the one who is cold?

Will we give of our food to one that is hungry, or are our time and attention to those who are lonely?

Most importantly, are we willing to share the gospel in the face mockery, abuse, or even death, for those who are lost and ready to perish eternally?

These can all be displays of a genuine love that we hold in our heart for our relatives, our friends, our acquaintances, and even the strangers that the Lord brings into the path of our life.

 

Love is first in priority and importance among all the commandments of God…

There is none other commandment greater than these.

Loving the Lord and our neighbor are the two most important of all of God’s commands. This is because when we love God and others as we should, we will automatically keep all His other commands.

IF we love God, we WILL honor, worship, and serve Him by keeping all His commands. If we love Him will not take His name in vain, we will serve Him exclusively, we will not worship graven images etc etc etc.

IF we love others, we WILL not sin against them but will live to meet their needs. If we love others we will not lie to them, we will not murder them, we will not commit adultery against them, we will not steal their belongings etc etc etc.

 

 Our Lesson To Be Learned:

So in response to the question, “Is showing love an absolute imperative for the Christian?” We can see through the teachings of Christ plainly show us that this is the number one priority for the Christian.

We have seen that Christ emphasizes this point to us using implications and clear statement of His command to us…
1. We should all be concerned about the Lord’s desires for our lives…
2. We are to love God with our entire being…
3. We are to love others as if they were ourselves…
4. Love is first in priority and importance among all the commandments of God…

May we all settle in our hearts the supreme need to love the Lord and others as we seek to serve Him!

 

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Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 5)

 SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In1 Cor 13:8
Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

 

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

Lesson:

The Prophecies Of False Miracles In The “Last Days”:

Please note MANY PASSAGES will be referred to in this lesson. As in all the lessons, the KJV text of each passage can be found at the end of this study. Please take the time to refer to them to come to a more clear understanding on the biblical teachings on these things.
As Christians, it is of utmost importance that we familiarize ourselves with Satan’s deceptive practices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan, the father of lies (John 8:43-45), uses deception as a chief tool to mislead people from the truths of God’s Word (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14). When we understand how Satan works we can more successfully guard against falling for His lies and counterfeit gospel message.
Let’s take a very quick look at some of the ways that Satan opposes Christ’s workings in the days in which we are living.

The Bible makes it very plain that in the time period described as the “last days” false accrediting miracles will be used by Satan to mislead many from the Biblical gospel message (Matthew 24:23-24; Mark 13:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-8; Revelation 13:11-14; 16:13-15; 19:20).
These false miracles are very effective tools of deception for Satan, This is because of man’s fallen, carnal nature which is not satisfied with the exercise of faith in the Lord and His Word, but is only satisfied by witnessing supernatural miracles being performed (Matthew 16:3-4). This attitude flies in the face of true Scriptural faith that rests in “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-3).
Please note that… The “last days” is the time period in which we live today. It finds its beginning with the first coming of Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3).   Knowing that the “last days” began with the first coming of Christ, we can know with certainty that the existence of false deceptive teachings, and false accrediting miracles, existed since the days of Christ on earth and will continue to exist until He comes back again at His second coming.

This is why John teaches us that antichrists existed in his day as well as would exist in today’s time (1 John 2:18-19)

Folks, the existence of false miracles is not something new, but has existed for many, many years. We find the exercise of false miracles periodically performed throughout New Testament church history.

The most important aspect of this teaching, for this study, is that these deceptive practices exist in today’s time. Because of this, we must take these prophecies seriously and always put the current day “miracles” to the test of God’s Word (Isaiah 8:18-20; Matthew 7: 15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 4:1-3]. There is no excuse for a Bible believing Christian to not seek out the truth concerning these practices. To naively accept modern day miracles as being of God is to show a lack of understanding of clear Scriptural prophetic warnings from God Himself.

We should all be like the Berean Christians who, after receiving teaching from God’s Word, took the time to check it’s accuracy by comparing it with the Word of God (Acts 17:10-12).  This same principles applies to the modern day accrediting miracles that are taking place around us. That is the purpose of this entire series of studies, to help us to clearly understand the teaching of God’s Word concerning spiritual gifts. This will give us the foundational information we need to properly judge that which is taking place around us.

False teaching and the use of false accrediting miracles is a big deal in the eyes of the Lord. It is such a heinous sin that, in the Old Testament scriptures these practices are deserving of death (Deuteronomy 13:1-8) and at the final judgment will result, apart from the Lord’s gracious forgiveness, in eternal death (Matthew 7:21-23; Revelation 19:20) . It is easy for us to understand why this is such a horrible practice… it is misleading many to eternal destruction and separation from God. And that is why there is such a grave need for all of us to take it upon ourselves to judge the validity of these practices.

You might be wondering why I have included this section under the heading of “When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence?”. My thoughts centered on the need for us to understand that false miracles do exist in today’s time. There are those who argue that simply seeing these things take place proves that the Biblical accrediting miracles are still taking place in todays’ time and, therefore, they have not yet gone out of existence. My answer to them is this lesson.

Just because supposed miracles are taking place around us, there is NO SCRIPTURAL reason to assume that they are divinely originated, nor that they are of the same type of gifts as the accrediting miracles that were performed by the Apostles and other local church members of the New Testament accounts. There is another very Scriptural and plausible answer to these things…. they are simply the deceptive workings of Satan that the Bible clearly teaches will exist in our day and age.

Yes, I believe that all of the false accrediting miracles fall into three basic groups which all find their source in Satan and his workings…

1. If they are miracles that actually take place and supercede the natural laws of nature, then I believe they are the result of demonic enabling and oppression (or perhaps, possession). (Mark 5:3-4)

2. In many cases, I believe they are, in actuality, not genuine miracles at all, but simply illusions that are performed (much like that of a magician) purposefully to mislead others. If that is the case, they find their origin in Satanic workings. They are the result of Satan blinding and twisting the minds of the illusionist seducing them with the promises of fame and the riches of this world. (2 Tim 3:1-8)

3. Finally, there are some “miracles” that are performed by those who are misled, sincere in their beliefs and caught up in their emotions. But once again, these find their ultimate origin in Satan, who has kept them from the truths of the Word and is actively at work in their mind and psyche. It is this group of people that “two-fold more the child of hell” misled and unknowingly headed for the Lake of Fire, while believing they are secure in Christ. (Matt 23:15)

May the Lord graciously protect us from these workings of Satan as he lies in wait to make merchandise of our very souls through counterfeit teaching and miracles (2 Peter 2:1-3; Rev 18:12-13)

I would like to close this section of our study with two very sobering texts. They are found in Matthew 7:21-23 and Revelation 19:20…

Mat 7:21-23 KJV

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In this text we see that there will be those who stand before the Lord at the final judgment making an argument for their acquittal. Their three part argument goes something like this… “But Lord, we HAVE DONE the will of your Father, and we can prove it! …
1. have we not prophesied in thy name? – we delivered a Scriptural message
2. and in thy name have cast out devils? – we successfully opposed Satan and His workings among men
3. and in thy name done many wonderful works? – we performed miracles that prove we were doing the work of God

Although all of these 3 areas of ministry appeared to prove their ministry was of the Father, in actuality they were lost individuals who would be cast into the Lake of Fire as rebellious, disobedient, lying, ministers of Satan. By God’s grace may He allow us to escape such an end.

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

In this text we find the beast (ungodly political powers of the world) and the false prophet (false religious powers of the world) are facing their final judgment. Note how the false religions of the world are said to work miracles which deceived the nations. Once again, these miracles are proven to be counterfeit miracles that only add to their eternal condemnation (as those responsible for misleading multitudes of people).

In our next lesson we will take a look at several Scriptural principles to apply as we seek to judge the messages and miracles being performed by those who claim to be followers of Christ.

 

Additional Information(Verses Mentioned In This Study):

The Prophecies Of False Miracles In The “Last Days”:

Deu 13:1-8 KJV

(1) If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

(2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

(3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

(4) Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

(5) And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

(6) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

(7) Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

(8) Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

 

Psa 119:11 KJV

(11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 

Psa 119:105 KJV

(105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

 

Isa 8:18-20 KJV

(18) Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

(19) And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

(20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

 

Mat 7:15-20 KJV

(15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

(16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

(17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

(18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

(19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

Mat 7:21-23

(21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

(22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

(23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Mat 16:3-4 KJV

(3) And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

(4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

 

Mat 23:15 KJV

15) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

 

Mat 24:23-24

(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

(24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

Mar 5:3-4

3) Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him.

 

Mar 13:21-23

(21) And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

(22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

(23) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

 

Joh 8:43-45 KJV

(43) Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

(44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

(45) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

 

Joh 17:14-17 KJV

(14) I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

(15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

(17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

 

Act 17:10-12 KJV

(10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

(11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

(12) Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

 

2Co 2:9-11 KJV

(9) For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

(10) To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

(11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

2Co 11:13-14 KJV

(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 

1Th 5:20-21 KJV

(20) Despise not prophesyings.

(21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 

2Th 2:8-12

(8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

(11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

2Ti 3:1-8 KJV

(1) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

(2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

(3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

(4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

(5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

(6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

(7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

(8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Heb 1:1-3 KJV

(1) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

(3) Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

Heb 11:1-3

1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2) For by it the elders obtained a good report.

3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

 

1Jn 2:18 KJV

(18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

 

1Jn 4:1-3 KJV

(1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

 

Rev 13:11-14 KJV

(11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

(12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

(13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

(14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

 

Rev 16:13-15 KJV

(13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

(14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

(15) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

 

Rev 19:20 KJV

(20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 6)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 

 

 

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local       assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

 

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

Keep in mind, in our previous studies we have seen that the Accrediting Gifts involving:

1. SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH:

the word of wisdomand the word of knowledge

2. SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH:

faith”, “gifts of healing”, “the working of miracles”, prophecyand “the discerning of spirits

3. SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH:

[divers] kinds of tonguesand the interpretation of tongues:

 

Before we begin looking at the Scriptural teaching on the conclusion of the accrediting gifts, there is one more passage that we need to look at concerning the Accrediting Gifts. In this case, in involves a list of these gifts given to the local assembly in the context of the Great Commission…

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

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.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

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

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.

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

 

And to “the seventy” as He equipped them to go before Him and announce His coming from town to town…

1)  After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

(Luke 10:1-20)

 

 

The Accrediting Gifts and the Great Commission

Let’s take a look at this historical account with our attention especially pointed towards truths about the accrediting gifts (within the context of the Great Commission)…

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

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.

This historical event takes place following the Lord’s resurrection from the dead with His ascension to the Father to take place soon after. We need to take notice of two important points in this passage:

1. The Lord is speaking to the eleven Apostles which made up the foundation of the Lord’s local assemblies on earth. He is meeting with them during a time when they are assembled as a group. This once again, supports the truth that the accrediting gifts were given to, and used by, the Lord’s local assembly and not believers in general.

2. The eleven had already trusted in Christ by faith. When He pointed to their “unbelief and hardness of heart”, He was not addressing a lack of saving faith, but a lack of belief in accounts of His resurrection spoken to them by eye witnesses. In other words, although saved, they had lacked faith in His miracle working ability. Especially, they did not believe in His ability to raise Himself from the dead. (John 2:18-21, 10:17-18)

 

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Please keep in mind the Great Commission involves three different responsibilities that are given to the Lord’s local assemblies:

1. Take the gospel to the lost; 2. Baptize those who believe the gospel; 3. Indoctrinate those who are baptized into the assembly

Matthew 28:16-20. In this passage only the first aspect of the great commission is taught with the second aspect only touched upon lightly.

Christ explains to His first church the need to preach the gospel to the lost in the hopes that a genuine belief in Christ and His work will result. The genuineness of the belief will be shown by a declaration of faith and membership in to the Lord’s assembly through baptism. A lack of genuine belief will result in eternal damnation (punishment).

 

This context (vs 14-16) to the accrediting gifts (vs 17-19) is further evidence that these gifts were given to the local assembly to be used in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. These gifts were NOT given to believers in general as is commonly taught in error.

 

17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name

Once again we see these gifts are described as “signs”. The Greek word for “signs” carries with it the idea of a “mark”, “indication”, or “token”.   In other words, the following list of spiritual gifts would be used by the Lord as evidence proving to others: the validity of the local church as the worship place for both Jew and Gentile; the divine authority of the message of the local assembly.

 

“them that believe” – These signs would be exhibited by those who were genuinely believing ministers of the Word. Remember the two aspects of “faith” being spoken of in the context…

1. a faith in the Lord’s ability to do all things as Sovereign All-powerful Lord (His resurrection in context) (vs 14)

2. a saving faith (vs 16)

The accrediting signs would be exhibited by those who had exercised a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Sovereign Lord. But the prerequisites for the working of the accrediting miracles did not stop there…

 

“In my name” refers to the fact that those who would work these miracles would be do so under the specific calling and authority received from the Lord. It would only be those who were “sent authoritatively” as chosen ambassadors they would be able to exercise these gifts. These workings of miracles were limited to Christ Himself, the Apostles, and other members of His local assemblies who were gifted for the benefit of the assemblies as they fulfilled the call of the Great Commission.

 

Contextually, there is no way to make this section of Scripture teach that all who believe in Him will receive these gifts.

 

 

shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

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.

The Lord now begins to give a list of some of the gifts that would be used in the local assembly’s accreditation by the Lord:

1. shall they cast out devils; – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

2. they shall speak with new tongues; – a supernatural PROCLAMATION of the truth

3. They shall take up serpents;- a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

4. and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

5. they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. – a supernatural INDICATION of the truth

 

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

Soon after He bestowed upon the assembly the authority to minister for Him (fulfilling the Great Commission) and gave to them the ability to perform works that would accredit their ministry, He ascended to be with the Father.   The giving of the Great Commission, and the accrediting miracles, was a very important step to preparing the assembly for the first stages of its ministry on earth in His absence.

 

 

The same type of miracle working ability was also given to a group of local church members described as “the seventy”…

(Luke 10:1-20)

1) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

These were given the responsibility to go ahead of Christ telling others of His soon arrival as He traveled from town to town…. There were many that were lost who needed this ministry to prepare their hearts for the coming Christ.

Note that they were “appointed” this is when they received the calling and authority of the Lord to minister to others and to use the spiritual gifts as a part of their ministry. Implied here, is that they had been disciples of Christ and members of His church.

 

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

This would be a ministry that was based entirely upon faith in the Lord Jesus. They were not to prepare for their journey but they were to be relying upon Him for their daily supplies.

 

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

As they traveled from city to city, they were to approach each home in a spirit of openness, love and graciousness, which would be shown by wishing the inhabitants quietness and harmony. If the 70 were treated with the same spirit by the inhabitants of the house the Lord would bless that house with peace. If the household treated the 70 poorly, they would lose out on the blessing of peace that could have been theirs.

They were to remain in the home and enjoy the hospitality that was offered to them. They should not feel guilty about the receipt of this hospitality, because they were simply being repaid for the spiritual blessings that the 70 had brought with them.

 

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

When a city accepted them, they were to be a blessing to the city by healing the sick. They were then to explain that this miracle was being performed based upon the “kingdom of God”. In other words, this miracle was performed based upon the Lord’s sovereign control over this sickness. They had just seen the hand of the Lord exercising control over this sickness.

It would be this same all-powerful Lord that would soon be coming their way.

 

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

To those cities who did not kindly receive the 70, they were to depart from that city and not “force themselves” upon it. They were to not take anything from that city, even the dust of the city they were to leave behind. This is a visible illustration to teach this rebellious city a very important lesson… the 70 did not need them, nor were they associated with this spirit of rebellion in anyway. It was a visible rejection of the city’s spirit of rebellion that would eventually result in their eternal judgment.

 

Examples to emphasize the horrendous, eternal, judgment of the Lord is given to this rebellious city…

1. Sodom and Gomorrah – the recipients of a temporal judgment of fire… the cities who reject the seventy would face eternal, never ending judgment.

2. Tyre and Sidon – Tyre and Sidon, two Gentile cities would be judged eternally based upon their lost condition, but because they did not have the privilege of hearing the teachings not seeing the miracles of Christ or the seventy, their judgment was limited. However, the judgment falling against those cities that purposely reject the message and miracles given to them would face a far greater judgment.

 

Since the seventy were sent as the authoritative ambassadors of Christ, anyone who rejected them was, in effect, rejecting Christ as Himself. This is the reason for the severe judgment of God falling upon them.

 

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

At the completion of their ministry, the seventy were amazed at the great miracles they were able to perform. In their mind, the greatest miracle was that of the casting out of demons.

Christ responds explaining that He had proof that Satan was already defeated in the counsels of God. Satan being cast out of heaven onto the earth was proof that he was defeated in the counsels of God. Of course, Satan’s defeat was accomplished through the death of Christ on the cross. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Christ gave them the ability to withstand the poison of snakes and scorpions (picturing Satan – Genesis 3:1-14, and the powers of darkness – Revelation 9:3-10). This was visible evidence that they had power over the powers of darkness which they could not see.

 

They are reminded to keep their attention, joy and appreciation pointed toward the miracle of their salvation not the far less significant ability to perform these accrediting miracles.

 

In both of these examples, we have seen tremendous similarities:

 

THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS GIVEN:

1. Healing of the sick

2. Not harmed by poisons

3. Authority over demons

 

THE PURPOSE FOR THE GIVING OF THE GIFTS:

1. To prepare the lost for Christ’s coming (to visit a city by announcing Him, or His second coming by declaring the gospel)

2. To give evidence their message was true and their authority was divine

 

THE PEOPLE TO WHOM THE GIFTS WERE GIVEN:

1. Local church members (Apostles, Seventy)

2. Personally chosen to a specific ministry

3. Given authority to be His ambassador and prepare others for His coming.

4. Given authority to exercise gifts to fulfill their ministry

 

It is very helpful that we keep the mention of the gifts in the Great Commission and the sending of the seventy in the context of our previous studies… the church at Jerusalem during Pentecost, the church in the house of Cornelius, the church at Ephesus, the church at Samaria. These examples help us to understand both the Luke 10: and Mark 16: passages.

 

In our next lesson, we will answer the question when did these accrediting gifts come to an end.

 

 

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)

(Mark 16:14-19)

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.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

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

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.

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

 

The Accrediting Gifts and the Great Commission

1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3) But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6) And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

8) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

11) And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13) And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

14) And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

(Genesis 3:1-14)

 

(Mark 16:14-19)

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.

15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

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

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.

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

 

1) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2) Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly [is] great, but the labourers [are] few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4) Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5) And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace [be] to this house.

6) And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8) And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10) But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11) Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14) But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16) He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18) And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

(Luke 10:1-20)

 

18) Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

19) Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20) Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

21) But he spake of the temple of his body.

(John 2:18-21)

 

17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

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.

(John 10:17-18)

 

14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

(Hebrews 2:14-15)

 

1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2) And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3) And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

4) And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

5) And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6) And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

7) And the shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men.

8) And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as [the teeth] of lions.

9) And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10) And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.

11) And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.

(Revelation 9:1-11)

 

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 2)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)

After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.
There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.

2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.

3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
In our previous studies we saw that the Accrediting Gifts that were given to the Lord’s churches on earth were divided into three different types as seen in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11…

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;
to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

As we studied this text we saw the gifts were divided as follows:
1. SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH:
“the word of wisdom” and “the word of knowledge”
2. SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH:
“faith”, “gifts of healing”, “the working of miracles”, “prophecy” and “the discerning of spirits”
3. SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH:
“[divers] kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues:”

In our last lesson we looked at the gifts that are contained in the first two divisions. For this lesson, let’s begin to look at the final division of the Accrediting Gifts…. The gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.

Gifts Involving The Proclamation Of The Truth
1. “Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” – This involves the ability to speak HUMAN LANGUAGES that are UNKNOWN TO THE SPEAKER but KNOWN TO THE HEARER.

(Note: Nowhere does the Bible speak of a “heavenly language”.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, …” this phrase needs to be closely examined.
What language(s) do angels speak? EVERYTIME we find an angel speaking in the Bible, he is speaking a KNOWN HUMAN language as he delivers God’s message to mankind. There is no evidence in the Bible that angels have spoken a language other than that which is spoken and understood by man.
The phrase “tongues of men and angels” is simply saying… “ the languages that are shared by men and angels”. There is no reason to make “tongues of angels” refer to a different set of languages than “the tongues of men”)

 

2. “The Interpretation of Tongues” – This involves the ability to interpret HUMAN LANGUAGES that are UNKNOWN TO THE HEARER AND THE INTERPRETER.

Both of these gifts came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

 

For today’s lesson lets concentrate on the first time the gift of tongues was given to the local assembly. This text is found in Acts 2:1-24. In this study, we will particularly note the detailed description of the characteristics of this gift.

The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Baptism In The Spirit: At Pentecost
In Acts 2:1-24, we find the first reference to the exercise of the gift of tongues. This event was prophesied in the following passages:
Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Luke 24:49; John 1:33-34; John 21:22; Acts 1:3-5

Some Basic Truths About The Gift Of Tongues (Acts 2:1-24)….
Vs 1- “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
The gift of tongues was given to members of a local assembly (church at Jerusalem) who were experiencing unity between their members and gathered together to worship the Lord.

Vs 2 – “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”
The gift of tongues was given to this church in conjunction with their baptism in the Spirit. This Spirit baptism was performed to empower the local assembly to fulfill the Great Commission. This involves taking the gospel to a lost and dying world, baptizing the converts and then teaching those who are baptized the truths of God’s Word.
This baptism in the Spirit manifested itself to the believers in that local assembly as a sound from heaven of a great wind and then the filling of the building with the Spirit surrounding the members of the assembly. In other words the church body was immersed in the Spirit, just as when a believer is baptized in water, they become entirely immersed and surrounded by the Spirit of God.

To help us understand “baptism in the Spirit”, here is a quick comparison of baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Ghost:

Type Of Baptism            Water                                                    Holy Spirit

Administrator     Local Assembly (normally Pastor)              Jesus Christ
Substance             Water                                                               Holy Spirit
Mode                      Immersion                                                     Immersion
Subject                   Believer                                                          Local Assembly

Also, please notice that 1 Corinthians 12:13 is not teaching that the Holy Spirit baptizes the local assembly, it is teaching concerning water baptism of those entering into local church membership…

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

In other words… “Through the leadership of one Spirit are we all baptized (in water) into one local assembly, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or freemen, we all receive the same indwelling Spirit.”

This verse is teaching that it does not matter about our race, nationality, or social status, the Lord will save anyone and lead them into church membership. Also it teaches us that a local church made up of Jews is on equal footing with that made up of Gentiles. Or a church having slaves as members is on equal footing to that church whose membership is made up of freemen. Etc etc.

Vs 3 – “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”
The gift of tongues includes a visual aspect to this gift. When the gift of tongues was given, this gift could be seen visibly as split tongues of fire came and sat upon each member of the local assembly. We are told that Simon “saw” the HS was given in Acts 8:18.

Vs 4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The gift of tongues included a verbal aspect, as the members following their being filled with the Spirit, began to speak in human languages that were unknown to the speakers…

Vs 5 – And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Vs 6 – Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Vs 7 – And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Vs 8 – And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Vs 9 – Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Vs 10 – Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Vs 11- Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues …”
Although this gift of tongues was unknown to the speakers, they were human languages that were known by those who were listening.

Vs 11- the wonderful works of God.
What was the content of the message spoken by the assembly members? They were proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. In other words, they were witnessing to those around them. Keep in mind, the gift of tongues had been given to the church to enable them to fulfill the great commission that had been given to them. A part of the great commission involves presenting the gospel message to the lost men gathered around them who were unable to speak the native language of the speakers.
Because of this gift, the speakers were able to present the gospel of Christ to those who could not speak their language, nor understand their testimony of Christ.

Vs 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Vs 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
Here, we have the response of the lost who were hearing the gospel through the gift of tongues. Some were amazed at this wonderful testimony of God’s miracle working power and grace. Some did not know what to think. Still others mocked and rejected the wondrous miracle they had experienced.

Vs 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Vs 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is [but] the third hour of the day.
Vs 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Vs 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Vs 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Vs 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Vs 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
Vs 21 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Peter now explains what is actually taking place so there would be no misunderstanding… He tells those who are observing this event that it is not due to drunkenss… but a sovereign, planned act of Almighty God as proven by it as being the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.
It also proved that this great event had a main purpose, to enable the gospel to be shared and for the lost to come to salvation through their calling upon the name of the Lord. (Note at the end of Joel’s prophecy, we have this text “And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved “ Peter reapplying this phrase to those observing this wonderful gift of God)

Vs 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Vs 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Vs24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Peter then shares the gospel message to the observers, once again emphasizing for us the purpose and scope of tongues… to enable members of a local assembly to fulfill the great commission by enabling them to speak in languages they do not know. Thiis enables them to speak to those of other languages, sharing with them the wonderful gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We then see in the closing verses of this chapter that the great commission is fulfilled by the church at Jerusalem – (gospel proclaimed – vs 25-36, souls saved and baptized– vs 37-41, fellowship and training received by new converts – 42-47)

Here is a short summary of what we have learned in Acts 2: about the Accrediting Gift of “Diverse Kinds Of Tongues”:
1. The gift was given to the local church at Jerusalem, not to believers in general (vs 1)
2. The gift was given following the local assembly being baptized IN the Spirit (not BY the Spirit) (vs 2)
3. The gift was given following the Spirit filling the church members (vs 4)
4. The gift had a visible manifestation: tongues of fire sitting on their heads (vs 3);
5. The gift had an audible manifestation: speaking in other human languages that were unknown to the speakers but known to the hearers (vs 4-11)
6. The Word of God was used to clearly explain what had taken place amid the confusion (vs 12-21)
7. The message proclaimed through the gift of tongues was proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. (vs 11-24)

The Word has now explained the details of the Scriptural gift of tongues that existed during the period of the establishment of the Lord’s church and the giving of the New Testament to man. Following this, when the Bible speaks of the gift of tongues, it simply mentions the gift without a lengthy description of what we have just learned.

This above principle can be used with many different teachings of the Bible. This principle of Biblical interpretation is described as “The Law Of First Mention”. This law states that “the very first time a word, doctrine or other teaching is mentioned in the Bible, usually, the Scriptures gives that word, doctrine or teaching its most complete description and meaning.” This is the case with the gift of tongues. This first reference to it has given us the detailed description of the gift which is to be applied throughout all of the other Biblical mentions of the gift.

In our next study, we will look at other times in the Bible that this same gift of tongues was given to local assemblies.

Additional Information:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
Gifts Involving The Proclamation Of The Truth
The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Baptism In The Spirit: At Pentecost

Joe 2:28-32 – “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”

This prophecy took place in its entirety during the 30-100 AD time frame:
1. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. “ – The spiritual gifts (especially accrediting gifts given to accredit the assembly)

2. “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” – The invasion of 70 AD and the preceding events that would involve the judgment Israel for their rejection of the true Messiah. The devastation of Jerusalem using fire as weapons of war resulted in great amounts of smoke and fiery ashes to appear in the sky above Jerusalem.
Why was this event mentioned in the context of the spiritual gifts? The accrediting gifts greatly increased their responsibility to accept the message and worship of the NT. Yet many rejected it.

3. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” – True believers in Christ paid attention to His warnings of coming destruction upon Jerusalem and left the country. Other true believers were driven out due to the persecution of the Romans coming upon them. In either case, in Israel both the message of Christ and the persecution of Romans took place resulting in the deliverance of God’s people before Titus entered the country. These persecuted Christians then took the gospel to a lost and dying Gentile world.

Mat 3:11-12 – I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
This prophecy speaks of Pentecost in combination with Titus invasion of 70 AD. As also seen in the Joel passage

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

Luk 3:16 – “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
This prophecy speaks of Pentecost in combination with Titus invasion of 70 AD. As also seen in the Joel passage

Luk 24:49 – “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The church baptized in the Spirit at Pentecost, empowering and enabling them to take the gospel into the world.

Joh 1:33-34 – “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
The baptism of Christ in water and the baptism of the local church in the Holy Spirit being described

Joh 21:22 – “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
“till I come” Christ’s coming to His local church at Pentecost

Act 1:3-5 – “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: 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. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Pentecost, the empowering of the local assembly with the HS is described here.

Act 8:18 – “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,”

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
(Acts 2:1-24)

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Spiritual Gifts: What Types Of Gifts Are There? Accrediting Gifts (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:4)

 After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.

There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:

1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.
2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.
3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.

We will be studying the differing types of spiritual gifts today we will be studying the “Sign Gifts” the Lord has given us.

 

 

Lesson:

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures

Accrediting gifts, another type of spiritual gift given through God’s grace to mankind, is also commonly called sign gifts.  Lists of these gifts are found in the following verses…

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)

In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, we find a sampling (incomplete list) of accrediting gifts given along with samples of other types of spiritual gifts (gifted men and ministering gifts).

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, we find a complete listing of the accrediting gifts.  Because we find the complete list in this passage, we will concentrate our study on this text.

To properly understand this text, we have to take notice of the words “another”.  They are translated by two differing Greek words.  The understanding of these Greek words is of utmost importance to our study.

Please notice these two Greek words:

1. “allos” – this word means “another of the SAME kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a dog and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “allos”, it would be tqeaching us that Rin Tin Tin is the same type of animal as Lassie.  Both are dogs.

2. “heteros” – this word means “another of a DIFFERENT kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a collie and “Rin Tin Tin” is another.  In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “heteros”, it would be teaching us that  Rin Tin Tin is a different breed of dog than Lassie (RTT was not a collie).

Although both our example sentences use the word “another”, we can see that “another” can hold two differing meanings.  This is what happens in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.  If we understand this principle, we can see that our text clearly places the accrediting gifts into  different divisions. Please notice our text…

Vs 8

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”This teaches us that the gifts of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” are gifts of the SAME type.

These are the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.

 

Vs 9 – 10a  

To another faith by the same Spirit;

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that the gift of faith is a different type of gift than the previous gifts mentioned.   

to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;

These “anothers” are all translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that gifts of: gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits are all the same type of gift as the gift of faith.

These are all gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH.

 

Vs 10b

to another [divers] kinds of tongues;  

This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”.  This teaches us that another new division of gifts is beginning.  In other words, this teaches us that “diverse kinds of tongues” is a different type of gift than the those we just listed under the supernatural signs of the truth.

to another the interpretation of tongues:

This “another” is translated from the word “allos”.  This teaches us that the interpretation of tongues is the same type of gift as the interpretation of tongues.  Both of these gifts form our third division among the accrediting gifts.

These gifts involve the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.  

 

Vs 11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   

All of these Accrediting Gifts are given graciously by God through the person of the Spirit.  They are distributed among men based upon the sovereign will of the Lord.

Now let’s take a look at each of these gifts in detail…

 Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

1.  “The Word of Wisdom” –  This involves uttering wisdom (practical truths for living) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first- time revealing of God’s wisdom to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)

2.  “The Word of Knowledge” –  This involves uttering knowledge (doctrinal truths) through the inspiration of the Lord.  It is a first-time revealing of the truths about Himself to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible.  (2 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18)

Please note:  Both of these gifts came to an end at the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

1.  “Faith” –  This is a supernatural faith that far exceeds the fruit of faith mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24. This supernatural faith results in many different types of miracles being performed.

Some mentions of this faith include:
a.  Moving mountains – Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, 1 Corinthians 13:2
b.  Lack of this gift hindered work of God – Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6
c.  Heavens shut up for 3 ½ years, Lepers healed – Luke 4:25-29
d.  Uprooting sycamore tree – Luke 17:6

Again, it is important that this “gift” is not confused with the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which bestowed at the point of salvation and then is exercised in every Christian’s life.

2.  “Gifts Of Healing” –  This is not the “gift of healing” but it is the “gift of the gifts of healing”.  The name of this gift is translated from the Greek language.  Literally it is translated “to freely bestow a cure” or “to graciously deliver from an infirmity” or “gracious healings”.  This clearly points out the gracious nature of the healing.  It is not a matter of those being healed are more faithful or more spiritual persons than those who are not healed.  This is the ability to heal a person who is entirely underserving of that healing.

3.  “Working Of Miracles” –  The gift of “the working of miracles” allows acts of power to accomplish desired, yet naturally impossible results.

4.  “Prophecy” –  Literally, this gift is described as the ability “to reveal the mind of God”.  When used in the context of the Accrediting Gifts, this gift involves the forth-telling of a future event.  This was used as a proof that the speaker was speaking the truth.   This is why the Lord has included this gift in the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH division and not the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH division. (2 Kings 10:9-11)

5.  “Discerning Of Spirits” – This involves the ability to PERFECTLY make judgment of the aim, content, and deliverer of a message. Put another way, this gift allowed men to discern the authenticity, reliability and intents of a verbal or written message without error. (Acts 5:1-6)

All of the gifts in the Supernatural Indicators of the Truth division came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word.  We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”

In our next study, we will look in detail at the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH: “diverse kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.

Additional Information (Verses referred to in this study):

Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures  

Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   (2 Timothy 3:15)

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”   (2 Peter 1:3-5)

And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”   (2 Peter 3:15-16)

But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.”   (2 Peter 3:18)

 

Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth

And it will be in the morning, and he will go forth and stand and say to all the people, Ye are just: behold, I conspired against my lord, and I will kill him: and who struck all these?  Know now that nothing shall fall from the word of Jehovah to the earth which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah did what he spake by the hand of his servant Elijah.  And Jehu will strike all those being left to the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great, and all his acquaintance, and his priests, till he left to him nothing escaping.”   (2 Kings 10:9-11)

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”   (Matthew 13:58)

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  (Matthew 17:20)

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].  And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”   (Mark 6:5-6)

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”  (Mark 11:23)

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.   (Luke 4:25-29)

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  (Luke 17:6)

And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  And separated from the price, his wife also knowing; and having brought a certain part, laid at the feet of the sent.  And Peter said, Ananias, wherefore filled Satan thy heart, for thee to belie the Holy Spirit, and separate from the price of the farm.  Remaining, did it not remain to thee? and sold, it was in thy power: for what hast thou put this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied to men, but to God.  And Ananias hearing these words, having fallen down, he expired: and great fear was upon all them hearing these things.  And the younger having risen up, drew him together, and having carried out, interred.”  (Acts 5:1-6)

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”   (1 Corinthians 13:2)

 

Spiritual Gifts: What Is A Spiritual Gift? (Part #1)

SIH TOA ICONThe Spirit’s Workings Among Men

Spiritual Gifts: What Is A Spiritual Gift? (Part #1)

Introduction:

“Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”  (1 Corinthians 12:1)

This verse is the beginning of a three chapter section of Scripture that addresses the subject of “spiritual gifts”.  Why does Paul write at such length concerning this subject?  It is obvious from what is written that the church at Corinth had many misunderstandings about spiritual gifts which led to their misuse.

In spite of these many misunderstandings, Paul’s clearly explains that concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  He was determined to give the church at Corinth much needed information clearly explaining the identity, purpose and longevity of these gifts.  In doing so, he was giving to the Corinth church the opportunity to be educated in these gifts which would allow them to exercise their God-given gifts in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord.

There can be much fault found with the church at Corinth which was, probably, the most carnal church in existence at that time.  But one thing we must always remember…  It is because of the church’s ignorant abuse of these gifts that we have these wonderful teachings concerning spiritual gifts which can be used for our edification.  Our Lord is so great He was able to turn their ignorance and misuse of gifts for our good and His glory.

Much, but not all, of our study on spiritual gifts will be derived from these three chapters in the book of 1 Corinthians.  Not only will we be sharing the teachings of Paul and others on this subject, but we will also share his motive for this study…. Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.   Our greatest desire for this study is that we all may come to a better understanding of spiritual gifts and their proper place in the local assembly before, and after, the completion of the Word of God.

 

Lesson:

A Spiritual Gift Defined

Throughout this study the word commonly translated “gift” is the Greek word “charisma”.  It is from this word that we get the phrase “charismatic”.  So what is the definition of “charisma”?

“Charisma” refers to:

1.  a “free gift”

2. an “undeserved gift”

3.  a “gift of grace”

4.  a “gift given out of kindness and mercy”

The idea behind “charisma” is God giving us a gift that we DO NOT DESERVE, and WE CANNOT GAIN OF OUR OWN MERIT OR EFFORTS.  It is given to us as a favor, or as an act of mercy done on behalf of the unworthy.

n 2 Corinthians 8:4-6, we find a clear reference to this principle…

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and [take upon us] the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  And [this they did], not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.  Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.”  (2 Corinthians 8:4-6)

 Here, we find the word “charis” (the root of charisma) translated in two different ways.  In verse 4, we find it translated by the word “gift”, while in vs 6, we find it translated by the word “grace”.   In the context of these passages, we find Paul speaking of love offerings received from the churches at Macedonia to be distributed by the Apostles to the poor of Jerusalem.  These love offerings were gifts given as an act of grace.  The churches at Macedonia were not obligated to give them, and the poor of Jerusalem did not deserve them.  They truly were “gifts of grace” bestowed upon the poor from the churches of Macedonia.

We Are Not To Seek To Obtain A Specific Spiritual Gift

Please note in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11:

1.  The Lord exercises His power in many different ways –

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  (“operations” – mighty workings)

2.  The Lord has different areas of service in which we are to serve Him –

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.”  (“administrations” – service, waiting on tables)

3.  The Lord sovereignly dispenses to His servants differing gifts to enable them to fulfill their calling –

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.(to profit withal” –  to benefit collectively – to profit entire local church not just gifted person)

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (“severally as he will” – individually as he decides.)

From all of this, we learn that a spiritual gift is nothing that can be earned, nor gained by our efforts.  It is not a matter of “becoming good enough” to receive any specific gift.  They are sovereignly distributed by the Lord for the good of the local assembly in which they were to be exercised.    These gifts are given by grace to those who do not deserve them, nor can be gained through any effort of man.  It is not in our place to attempt to dictate to the Lord what gift is best for us to possess.  It is totally up to Him based upon the needs of the assembly.  Therefore we are not to seek to obtain any specific gift.  We are to be content with whatever gift(s) He chooses to graciously bestow upon us.

However, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, 1 Corinthians 14:1, and 1 Corinthians 14:12 the terms “covet earnestly”, “desire” and “zealous” are used to describe the attitude Christians should possess concerning spiritual gifts. Each of these phrases/words are translated from the same Greek root word “zelos”.   What does “zelos’ mean in these passages?  To understand one of the usages of “zelos” in God’s Word we need to look at two other passages where its meaning is made clear…

 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.”   (Acts 18:25)

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”   (Romans 12:11)

In these verses, “zelos” is translated by the term “fervent” and, in both cases, it is not speaking of a desire to OBTAIN but it is speaking of a desire to USE what is previously received from the Lord.

We can see that the word “zelos” can be describing what our attitude should be concerning a gift we have already received.  It is a desire to use the best gift to profit the local assembly for any given situation.

For example:

1.  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”  (1 Corinthians 12:31)

We are being told that when the local church has a specific spiritual need, we are to look at the gifts we have been given by God and seek to use the gift that will meet the current needs of the assembly.   All of God’s gifts are equally good but each is “best” to be exercised when it is the gift needed the most by the local assembly.

2.  “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.”  (1 Corinthians 14:1)… 

1 Corinthians 14:1, in the current condition of the Corinth church, they could best benefit from the gift of prophecy to  instruct them more fully in the ways of the Lord.  In this instance, the use of the other spiritual gifts would not be as much of a benefit to them  (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).  Therefore, they were to desire for the proper gift to be exercised in the assembly, which, in this case, was the gift of prophecy.

3.  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”  (1 Corinthians 14:12)

This verse clearly explains that the gift they should desire to exercise should be the gift that will give the most benefit to the local church at Corinth.  These gifts are not given to bring attention to oneself, nor for other personal gain. The Christian is to always exercise his God-given gifts with a spirit of selflessness exercising his gifts for the good of the assembly.

Every Gift is Meant To Be Exercised Within A Local Assembly

Various gifts of the Spirit were included in the context of the Great Commission, which is a set of responsibilities that the Lord has given to His local assemblies…

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  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.”   (Mark 16:15-18)

This helps us to understand that the exercise of these gifts were a responsibility of members of the local assembly and were given to them for their benefit.  All of the spiritual gifts are given to us for the purpose of use and edification of the local assemblies which are, individually, the body of Christ…

…  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another… And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; see also Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 4:10-16)

If we do not recognize the needs of our local assembly (and therefore do not exercise our gifts when needed) or, if we are not a member of the assembly that the Lord would have us to join, the assembly is harmed through our lack of action.  Also, if we selfishly exercise gifts that are not needed by the assembly, the assembly is harmed as well.

Possession of our gift(s) is a great blessing, but along with it comes a great responsibility of stewardship as well.

The Difference Between Talents, Fruits and Gifts Of The Spirit:

The following table helps us to understand the difference between the talents, fruits and gifts we are given by God through the Spirit’s intervention…

Type Of Gift Texts Gifted Person Evidenced From Nature Of Gift Types Received
Physical Talent Matthew 4:18-20 Mankind Physical Birth Natural (Physical) Various(Lord’s Discretion)
Fruit Of The Spirit Galatians 5:22-24 Saved Spiritual Birth Natural (Spiritual) All
Spiritual Gift (Charisma) Romans 12:4-81 Corinthians 12:8-11Ephesians 4:11-121 Peter 4:8-9   etc. Saved Lord’s  Intervention Supernatural (Spiritual) Various(Lord’s Discretion)

Notes on above chart:

This chart is given to quickly illustrate there is a distinct difference between the “Spiritual Gifts”, which is the theme of this Bible study, and the “Fruits of the Spirit” and “Physical Talents” all of which are given by God to man.  The individual points in this outline will be covered in much greater detail during the course of our studies.

At this stage of our study, please simply understand that when we speak of the “Spiritual Gifts” they differ greatly in many areas from “Fruits of The Spirit” or “Talents”.  These three are not to be confused.  (Note: One area of similarity between the three is that all three are given through God’s grace and all three are to be used in our service to Him.)

In our next study, we will begin to look at the different types of Spiritual Gifts given to man.

Additional Information (Verses Referred To In This Study):

 

 

A Spiritual Gift Defined

We Are Not To Seek To Obtain A Specific Spiritual Gift

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.  For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater [is] he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”  (1 Corinthians 14:1-5)

 

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”   (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Every Gift is Meant To Be Exercised Within A Local Assembly

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?   And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely [parts] have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that [part] which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

 

 

 

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

(Romans 12:3-8)

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)   And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  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:  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”   (Ephesians 4:7-16)

The Difference Between Talents, Fruits and Gifts Of The Spirit:

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him.”   (Matthew 4:18-20)

 

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

 

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”   (Romans 12:4-8)

 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”   (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

 

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

 

As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.   If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

What Troubles Christ?

SIH STSTA ICONChrist, who is described in the Bible as the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” and “over all, God blessed for ever”, is also described as being “angry”, “grieved”, “sorrowful”, “heavy” (ie burdened), “exceeding sorrowful even unto death” and is said to have “wept”, “cried with a loud voice”, “groaned”, and “grieved”.

What could possibly have caused the Lord Jesus Christ to feel such emotions and to respond to those emotions with such deep, distressed reactions?

In this study, we will be looking at several different events in the life of Christ that show Him to be troubled and in anguish. We will attempt to come to an understanding of what has brought this anguish into the life of our Lord and how He deals with the situation…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Mat 26:36-46 – (36)  Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  (37)  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  (38)  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  (39)  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  (40)  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  (41)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  (42)  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  (43)  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  (44)  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  (45)  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  (46)  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Mat 27:45-50 – (45)  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  (46)  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  (47)  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  (48)  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  (49)  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  (50)  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Mar 3:1-6 – (1)  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.  (2)  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  (3)  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.  (4)  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  (5)  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  (6)  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Luk 19:41-44 – (41)  And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,  (42)  Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  (43)  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  (44)  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luk 22:39-46  –  (39)  And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  (40)  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  (41)  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  (42)  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  (43)  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  (45)  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  (46)  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 11:1-46 – (1)  Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (2)  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  (3)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  (4)  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  (5)  Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.  (6)  When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (7)  Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.  (8)  His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? (9)  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.  (10)  But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.  (11)  These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  (12)  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  (13)  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  (14)  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  (15)  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.  (16)  Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.  (17)  Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.  (18)  Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:  (19)  And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.  (20)  Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.  (21)  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (22)  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  (23)  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  (24)  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  (25)  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (26)  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  (27)  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.  (28)  And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.  (29)  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.  (30)  Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.  (31)  The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.  (32)  Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  (33)  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  (34)  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  (35)  Jesus wept.  (36)  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  (37)  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  (38)  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  (39)  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  (40)  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (41)  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  (42)  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.  (43)  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  (44)  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.  (45)  Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  (46)  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

 

Joh 12:27-28 – (27)  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.  (28)  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Joh 13:21-26 – (21)  When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.  (22)  Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. (23)  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. (24)  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  (25)  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? (26)  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

 

THE STUDY:

Mar 3:1-6 – “And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.   And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.   And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.”

In this text, we find Christ experiencing both anger (to abhor with passion) and grief (extreme sorrow).

What caused these emotions within Christ?

This account tells us it was due to “the hardness of their hearts” which was made manifest in their great desire to find some type of fault with Christ, as He went about fulfilling the call given to Him by His Father in heaven. They wanted to mischaracterize God’s workings among sinful man.

In other words…. it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by a sin-hardened heart by mischaracterizing the works of God.

 

 

Joh 13:21-26 – “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.   Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?   Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

In the above Scripture we are told that Jesus was “troubled in spirit” (agitated, stirred, anguished).

What was taking place at the time?

Christ was preparing to declare that one of you shall betray me.”  He then would identify that individual, Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon”

In other words… it was the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by the desire to oppose the work of the Lord using deceit and conspiracy.

 

 

Joh 11:1-46 – Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.  (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)  Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.  When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby…  and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.  Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.  Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.  Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him…  Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world…. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,  And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.  Jesus wept.  Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!  And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.  Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.   And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.   Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.”

In this set of verses we find that Jesus is described as “groaned in the spirit”, “troubled”, and “groaning in himself”, all of which was displayed for all of us as He “wept”.

What was the background to this experience in the life of Christ?  The EFFECTS OF SIN shown in the existence of universal physical death affecting all of fallen mankind.

 

 

Luk 19:41-44 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

In the text above, we find Christ as He “wept” over the city of Jerusalem.  Why was He experiencing such sorrow?  Because He understood the coming destruction of 70 AD that would take place annihilation the city, due to their rejection of the Messiah…  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Once again, we see the EFFECTS OF SIN shown by physical destruction and death that is experienced as the direct result of sin.

 

 

Mat 26:36-46 – “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.   Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”

Luk 22:39-46 – “And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.   And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.   And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Joh 12:27-28 – “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.   Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

In the above three passages, we find Christ described as being “sorrowful”, “very burdened”, “troubled” and “in agony”.   Especially, please notice He is said to be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”.  This was made clear to all when we are told that “sweat was as it were great drops of blood”.

What was the event that was causing this tremendous emotional occurrence in the life of Christ?  In all three of these accounts, Christ is thinking upon His upcoming death on the cross.

Here, as before we can see the EFFECT OF SIN on display in two different ways:

First, His upcoming sufferings were a necessity because of sin devastating effects upon His people whom He loved.  This is what motivated His Father to send Him to the earth and motivated His own willingness to die on the cross as payment for their sins.

Secondly, the very suffering and terrible death of Christ on the cross was the effect of sin, as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins. When He became sin for us, He suffered the agony of God’s wrath against sin as He hung on the cross…

Mat 27:45-50 – “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”

We see Christ suffering the most horrible of all deaths as He was separated from His Father as He bore our sins on the cross.

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Christ, willingly, suffered this most horrible effect of sin, separation from His Father on the cross.  Why did He do this?

To protect those He loved from the monstrous effects of sin that affects the lives of all fallen mankind:
1.  hardness of heart leading to  mischaracterization of God’s workings among fallen man.
2.  opposition to the work of Christ through deceit and conspiracy
3.  physical (and spiritual) death and suffering
4.  destroyed and ruined lives

In protecting them, He had to bring upon Himself horrible physical suffering, separation from the Father and terrible death upon the cross.  He did this as He bore the judgment of His people’s sins upon Himself, so that they might be reconciled to God and given eternal security in Him.

“And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth concerning this very important subject.

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Importance Of The Local Church -9 “The Blessings Of Church Membership”

SIH TOA ICON

“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this ninth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the many blessings that can be had by those who join the membership of a local assembly…

 

THE STUDY:

Blessings Of Spiritual Growth:

1.  Receive the Teachings Of God’s Word
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;   For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  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:  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”   (Ephesians 4:11-16)

As the saints are instructed in the Word, they gain….

2.  Spiritual Maturity & Strengthening
For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.”   (1 Peter 1:24-2:3)

 

Blessings Of Opportunities Of Ministry:

1.  Build A Good Testimony
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.  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;  Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.  For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;  That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.´  (Romans 1:8-14)

The Christian is able to build up their personal testimony through faithful attendance and increased opportunities of service, but also they are able to build a better testimony being members of a faithful church that is known publically for their faith in service.

2.  Increased Opportunities of Service
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?  But now [are they] many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.”   (1 Corinthians 12:18-23)

 
With increased opportunities of service also comes increased rewards when the service is completed faithfully…

3. Rewards For Obedience
And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”   (Colossians 3:23-25)

Blessings Of Community:

1.  Encouragement
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”   (Hebrews 10:22-25)

As saints see faithfulness in the lives of other saints, it encourages them to be faithful as well.

2.  Fellowship
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”   (Acts 2:41-42)

3.  Separation from Sinful World To Worship
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.  And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.”   (Mark 6:30-32)

Just as Christ called the first church to separation from the world for a period of rest and refreshment, so too, every time the saint attends the meeting of the church, they can get their minds off of the sinful world in which they live.  They can do this by concentrating more fully on the Lord through communal worship.

4.  Care From Others
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”   (Acts 2:44-47)

5.  Lord’s Presence and the Joy That Follows
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  (Matthew 18:20)
The Lord promises showing a special presence to those who join together with others to worship Him.  A result of His enhanced presence the saint also experiences increased joy….

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.”   (Psalms 16:11)

6.  Spiritual Protection
It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, [concerning] him that hath so done this deed,  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”   (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)
 

Here, we can see that church membership affords added protection from the powerful intervention of Satan in our lives.  In this text we can see that when an individuals are removed from church membership due to unrepentant sin, they are left exposed to greater Satanic influence in their lives.  This was done to show them their sinful condition and bring them back to repentance once their sinful stubborn flesh was overcome through the affliction of Satan.

 
THE SUMMARY:

What are the blessings of church membership that are available to all of her members?
1. Blessings Of Spiritual Growth
2. Blessings Of Opportunities Of Ministry
3. Blessings Of Community:
Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  There are many varied blessings that will be received as faithful members of His churches.
May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

Click to access lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:
https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

The Importance Of The Local Church -7: “The Mission Of The Church: The Ordinances of Baptism and Lord’s Supper

SIH TOA ICON“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this seventh lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the second responsibility given to the church in the Great Commission.  This is the responsibility to baptize those who profess faith in Christ into the membership of the assembly….

THE STUDY:

The Second Responsibility Found In The Great Commission: Baptize Into the Assembly.

1. What Is Baptism?: A public profession of faith in Christ and His Work

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.  The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”   (1 Peter 3:18-22)

Peter now speaks of an OT event which is a picture of the ordinance of baptism.  Christ spoke to the wicked men of Noah’s day through the ministry of Noah as he built the ark.  It was a public testimony of Noah’s faith in Christ and his belief in the message that his Lord had given to him through the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the salvation of the individuals in the ark during the flood was a living symbolic picture of salvation found in Christ.  The ark pictured Christ, those in the ark pictures the believers and the judgment of sin pictured by the flood. Baptism symbolically pictures the same truth… salvation through the work of Christ from sin and its results.

Baptism as a picture of salvation from sins:

Baptism is immersion in water…

The word “baptize” is used several times in the New Testament and is translated from a Greek word that means “to be immersed, submerged, or soaked”.   Biblical baptism is when an individual is actually immersed (picturing a burial) in water.

The steps of an individuals baptism are as follows…
1. The individual stands in the body of water.
2. The individual is lowered (until totally covered) into the water
3. The individual is raised from the water into a standing position.

These steps proclaim what Christ has done on his behalf:
1. When, first standing in the water, it is a picture of Christ standing on the earth working on behalf of his people.  His teaching, His healing, and most importantly, his arrest, abuse and crucifixion are all symbolized by this standing.
2.  When lowered under the water, it is a picture of the death and burial of Christ, done on behalf of those who are saved.
3.  When brought up out of the water, it is a picture of the resurrection of Christ, the proof that He paid the price necessary to secure salvation for His people and He is now victorious over death.

These steps of baptism also proclaim what God has done in the life of the new believer:
1. When, first standing in the water, it is a picture of the believer’s walk on earth prior to his salvation experience.  It is a sinful walk based upon selfish desires and the lusts of his flesh.
2.  When lowered under the water, it is a picture of the believer who is spiritually dead and under the bondage of sin.
3.  When brought up out of the water, it is a picture of the believers release from sins bondage, spiritual life being given to him and a new life of service to Christ beginning.

Baptism is to proclaim to all that an individual, through salvation, has a good conscience towards God:

baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)” 

Peter makes it plain that baptism is not observed to gain salvation for an individual.. “not putting away the filth of the flesh”.  On the contrary, Peter tells us that it is “the answer of a good conscience towards God”, it is observed once the recipient recognizes his sins have been forgiven and he is now right with God.  This is why he no longer has a guilty conscience before God and makes him the ideal candidate for baptism.

2. Baptism Is A Part Of The Great Commission Given To The Lord’s Churches:

To Baptize Into The Assembly Those Who Have Made Professions Of Faith:

Matthew:  baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The “them” referred to are those who have been made followers of Christ through receipt of the gospel message.

Mark:  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Here Christ confirms that baptism is one PROOF of a genuine salvation experience.  If someone claims belief in Christ, but is not willing to publically confess Christ is their Savior, the authenticity of their experience must be questioned.

Not only is baptism a public declaration of our faith in Christ, but it is also the prerequisite to church membership…

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”   (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

Although a local church is made up of many members, the local church is still one, unified body. Under the leadership of the indwelling Spirit, the new believer is led of God to partake of water baptism and join into the membership of the local assembly.

The only prerequisite of water baptism is faith in Christ.  Jew or Gentile, slave or free may receive this ordinance and become members of His local assembly, as long as they have trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Along with Baptism, although not a part of the great commission, the local assembly is given the responsibility to observe the Lord’s Supper.

1. What Is The Lord’s Supper?: It is a public profession and remembrance of Christ, His work and His second coming.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”   (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

The Apostle Paul, as he instructs the local church at Corinth, explains to them the purpose of the Lord’s Supper observance, as taught by Christ Himself.  It is to commemorate the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Eating the bread reminds us of Christ’s body that was bruised and abused on our behalf.  Drinking the fruit of the vine reminds us of His shed blood on our behalf.  The Lord also commanded the church to observe this ordinance until He comes again.

2. How do we know that the responsibilities for the Lord’s Supper observance was given to the local church?

Paul, as he writes to the Corinth church says that For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto youPaul clearly said that he was delivering the instructions for this ordinance to the local assembly, the addressee of his letter.

Also, when Christ observed the supper it was with the local church at Jerusalem made up of His Apostles.  There were eleven of His Apostles present for the observance of the supper (Judas left prior to the observance following his accusation) …

Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve…  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”   (Matthew 26:20-28)

And in the evening he cometh with the twelve…  And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake [it], and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.  And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave [it] to them: and they all drank of it.

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.  Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”   (Mark 14:17-25)

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.  And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:  For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide [it] among yourselves:  For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

 (Luke 22:14-20)

 

THE SUMMARY:

As we studied the local churches commission we have seen:
1.    That great commission was always given to the assembled Apostles that made up the first local church (church at Jerusalem).  (Please note the exception: In John, we saw that Thomas was missing but the rest of the eleven were present.)
2.  There are three basic responsibilities involved with the Great Commission:

To evangelize the lost; to baptize into the assembly those who profess faith in Christ; to indoctrinate church members to equip them for the service of Christ.

As we studied the first part of the Great Commission that is given to His assemblies we have seen:
1.  The content of the gospel message: Christ’s Death; Christ’s Burial; Christ’s Resurrection; The Witnesses To The Resurrection
2. The Responsibility to take the gospel to the lost is given to the Lord’s local assemblies is described as: To make students Of Christ; To declare the good news of Christ; To reveal man’s responsibility to receive the gospel message; To be sent as Jesus was sent; To share our experience of Christ with others
3.  The priority of taking the Gospel into the world

Jerusalem, the CITY where the church is located; Judaea, equivalent to the state in which the church is located; Samaria, the other states that make up the nation where the church is located; uttermost parts of the world, the other nations of the world.

As we studied the second part of the Great Commission we have seen that the Lord has given to His assemblies the responsibility to observe both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
1. Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ and His Work
2. Baptism pictures the work of Christ on our behalf
3. Baptism is a picture of our salvation from sins
4. Baptism Is A Part Of The Great Commission Given To The Lord’s Churches:
5. Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership
6. The Lord’s Supper observance is also the responsibility of a local assembly.
7. The Lord’s Supper is to commemorate the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  It is the ONLY organization that has been given the responsibility to observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  To properly partake of these, they must be regulated, supplied and observed by a local assembly of the Lord.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

Click to access lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:
https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

The Importance Of The Local Church -6 “The Mission Of The Church: Evangelize The Lost”

SIH TOA ICON“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this sixth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the first responsibility given to the church in the Great Commission.  This is the responsibility to take the gospel message to a lost and dying world….

THE STUDY:

The First Responsibility Found In The Great Commission: Evangelize The Lost.

1. What Is The Gospel Message:

The clearest definition of the four parts of the gospel message is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8:

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

 

Part #1 Christ’s Death

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Part #2 Christ’s Burial

And that he was buried,

 

Part #3 Christ’s Resurrection

and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

Part #4 The Witnesses To The Resurrection

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  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.   After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

 

2. The Responsibility to take the gospel to the lost is given to the Lord’s local assemblies in:

Matthew 28:18-20: To Make Disciples, or Students, Of Christ

 

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,…”

Taking the gospel to the lost is described as “teaching” in the above text.  The Greek word that is translated “teach” means to “to make a disciple, follower or student”.   In other words, the local church is to take the gospel message that is able to transform the lost into a disciple, or follower, of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The church is responsible to take the gospel message into all areas of the globe.  This is done through the support of missionaries and other ministries (print, radio, tv, internet ministries) that take the gospel worldwide.

 

 Mark 16:14-18: To Declare The Good News Of Christ

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

The command to take the gospel to the lost is “preach the gospel “ in the gospel of Mark.  The Greek meaning of this phrase is “to declare publically the good news”.  The local assembly is to take the good news of Christ, His coming and His work and declare it to the public.

The gospel is not a message to be kept within the walls of the church but is to be taken out into the public arena sharing Christ with those who do not know Him.  In both Matthew and Mark, the church is told to “GO”, again teaching us to take the gospel into the world, not wait for the world to enter into the church.

The church services are meant to instruct and strengthen the members of the church so they can then declare the gospel to the world when they leave the assembly and live their lives among their lost family, friends, acquaintances and anyone they may come in contact with.

(Please note: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”… this phrase is teaching us that, although belief is Christ is the only prerequisite to salvation, a willingness to be baptized is a strong indication that genuine belief has taken place in the heart of man.   If a person claims to believe in Christ, but is not willing to publically declare that faith by baptism, the authenticity of his faith must be questioned.  That’s why Christ is saying that the local church can give assurance of salvation to those “that believeth and is baptized”.  For those who lack a willingness to be baptized, great care must be exercised in giving them confidence in their salvation experience.)

 

 

Luke 24:33-50: To reveal man’s responsibility to receive the gospel message

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

Along with proclaiming the gospel message, the church is to proclaim man’s responsibility to receive the message by faith.  This is described by the phrase “repentance and remission of sins”.  As members of the local assembly were to tell others about Christ and His work, they are to also teach them their need of “repentance”.

The Greek word translated “repentance” means “to change the mind or attitude”.  The lost individual, as they hear the gospel, must change their attitude about Christ and His Work… instead of ignoring it, they must take it seriously; instead of rejecting it, they must accept it as truth; instead of laying it aside, they must apply it to their lives.  This change in attitude about Christ and His work will result in them turning from their sin to Christ, believing on Him as their Lord and Savior.  As this genuine repentance leads to belief in Him…. this then leads to the pardoning and freedom from the bondage of sin and its punishment.

Also, please note the local assembly is to begin by giving out the gospel to the area where it is located. in this case, Jerusalem and work outward taking the gospel worldwide.  The first priority of a local assembly should be its home area.  As the church grows in membership and financial ability it should then gradually increase its missionary outreach to all areas of the globe.

 

John 20:19-25: To be sent as Jesus was sent

as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 

The church being sent in to the world is now favorably compared to Christ being sent into the world.  In many ways the two sending are similar.  Some of these similarities are:

1. Being sent under Divine authority as ambassadors of a life giving message (John 3:17)

2. Being sent to reveal God’s Word to a lost and dying world (Hebs 1:1-2)

3. Seeking to do only those things that please our Lord (John 8:29)

The list is endless…

 

Acts 1:2-9: To Share our experience of Christ with others

 ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Declaring the gospel is described here as being “witnesses”.  The idea of a witness is “one that declares that which he has experienced”.  Especially this word is describing a “martyr” or one that is willing to given his all for the sake of proclaiming his message.  This helps the local church to understand both the content and importance of taking the gospel to the lost.

The content…The members of the church are to declare to others what they have seen and experienced in their relationship to Christ.  Many times people are timid to share Christ with others out of fear they do not have the right words to say.  When really all the Lord asks of us is to tell others about our experience with Christ.  Just tell others what He has done for us.  It is truly as simple as that.

The importance… as members of His local church, we are to be willing to give our all for the sake of the declaration of our wonderful experience with Christ.   As He has given His life for His church, so too it’s members are to give their lives for Him. (Eph 5:25)

Here in Acts, once again, we find the prioritization of the delivery of the gospel message in detail. The church is to begin in their local area and gradually move farther out as God supplies the ability.  Note the listing given with an example to be applied in our day and age… Jerusalem, the CITY where the church is located; Judaea, equivalent to the state in which the church is located; Samaria, the other states that make up the nation where the church is located; uttermost parts of the world, the other nations of the world.

THE SUMMARY:

As we studied the local churches commission we have seen:

1.    That great commission was always given to the assembled Apostles that made up the first local church (church at Jerusalem).  (Please note the exception: In John, we saw that Thomas was missing but the rest of the eleven were present.)

2.  There are three basic responsibilities involved with the Great Commission:

To evangelize the lost; to baptize into the assembly those who profess faith in Christ; to indoctrinate church members to equip them for the service of Christ.

As we studied the first part of the Great Commission that is given to His assemblies we have seen:

1.  The content of the gospel message:

Christ’s Death; Christ’s Burial; Christ’s Resurrection; The Witnesses To The Resurrection

2. The Responsibility to take the gospel to the lost is given to the Lord’s local assemblies is described as:

To make students Of Christ; To declare the good news of Christ; To reveal man’s responsibility to receive the gospel message; To be sent as Jesus was sent; To share our experience of Christ with others

3.  The priority of taking the Gospel into the world

Jerusalem, the CITY where the church is located; Judaea, equivalent to the state in which the church is located; Samaria, the other states that make up the nation where the church is located; uttermost parts of the world, the other nations of the world.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  It is the ONLY organization that has been given the responsibility to take the gospel into a lost and dying world.  It is through the local church that we are prepared to go, given the authority to go, and given ongoing support to go.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

Click to access lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:

https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

The Importance Of The Local Church -5 “The Mission Of The Church: The Great Commission”

SIH TOA ICON“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this fifth lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will be looking at the church’s mission.  The mission the Lord has given to His churches is commonly, described as “The Great Commission.  Let’s take the next few studies to come to a better understanding of the mission of the Lord’s churches…

THE STUDY:

The Responsibilities and Recipients of The Great Commission Are Described…

 

1. The complete texts of the Great Commission:

Matthew 28:18-20

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.   And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  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.”   (Matthew 28:16-20)

Mark 16:14-18

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.  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  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.

 

Luke 24:33-50

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,  Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.  And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.  But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.  And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.  And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them [his] hands and [his] feet.  And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?   And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.  And he took [it], and did eat before them.  And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

 

John 20:19-25

Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.  And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.  But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  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.

 

Acts 1:2-9

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:  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:  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.  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  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.  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.  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

 

 

2. The Responsibilities of The Great Commission

A. To Take The Gospel To The Lost, Locally and World-Wide:

Matthew: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations

Mark: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Luke: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.

John:  as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Acts:  ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

B. To Baptize Into The Assembly Those Who Have Made Professions Of Faith:

Matthew:  baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mark:  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Here Christ confirms that baptism is one PROOF of a genuine salvation experience.  If someone claims belief in Christ, but is not willing to publically confess Christ is their Savior, the authenticity of their experience must be questioned.

Luke: Not mentioned

John: Not mentioned

Acts:  Not mentioned

C. To Teach God’s Word To The Assembly Members To Equip Them For Service:

Matthew: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

Mark:  Not mentioned

Luke:  Not mentioned

John:  Not mentioned

Acts:  Not mentioned

 

 

3. The Recipients of the Great Commission:

The assembled Apostles (ie the local church at Jerusalem) with, in some cases, other disciples who were assembled with them, when He delivered the Great Commission.

Matthew:  eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Mark:  the eleven as they sat at meat,

Luke:  the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, (We have the eleven Apostles assembled with other disciples.  Probably by this point in time, other saved individuals had joined the Lord’s assembly.)

John:  the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said unto him, (This is a gathering of the “disciples” which obviously included 10 of the eleven Apostles.  Note later in the account we are told that Thomas was not there but the other 10 Apostles confirmed they were present at the meeting and told Thomas what had taken place.)

Acts:   the apostles whom he had chosen:,… being assembled together with [them],

 

 

THE SUMMARY:

As we studied the local churches commission we have seen:

1.    That great commission was always given to the assembled Apostles that made up the first local church (church at Jerusalem).  (Please note the exception: In John, we saw that Thomas was missing but the rest of the eleven were present.)

2.  There are three basic responsibilities involved with the Great Commission:

To evangelize the lost; to baptize into the assembly those who profess faith in Christ; to indoctrinate church members to equip them for the service of Christ.

In the next few parts to this series we will look at the responsibilities of the Great Commission in greater detail.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  It is the ONLY organization that has been given the responsibilities of the Great Commission.  Should we not all be supportive of the organization God has ordained to send His truth into the world for His honor and glory?

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,   Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,   May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,   Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”   (Ephesians 3:14-21)

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

Click to access lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:

https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

The Importance Of The Local Church -3 “The Nature Of The Church: The Lifespan of The Assembly”

SIH TOA ICON“…The house of God, which is the church of the living God,

the pillar and ground of the truth.”   (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this third lesson of our study on the Lord’s church, we will begin looking at the church’s promised span  and purpose of existence in this sin darkened world.

 

THE STUDY:

Our Lord has clearly shown us the “lifespan” of His local assemblies on earth… 

1. The Lord’s church began with the call of His disciples to form an assembly of followers: 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-20

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”   (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

Here, we are told that the first members of that the Lord called into His assembly were His apostles.  In the beginning times of the Jerusalem assembly, you have the Lord as the Pastor/Teacher of the assembly with the other apostles making up the membership of the church. The only other office that was existing in the beginning days of the church was the office of Treasurer into which Judas was placed (John 13:29).

Keep in mind, all of the Apostles, as well as Christ Himself, had been baptized by John the Baptist. This baptism followed the apostles’ fruits of repentance and made them eligible to obtain church membership (Mark 1:4). This is one aspect of John the Baptist’s ministry of which it was said that he was to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Mark 1:2), by making them eligible for membership in the Lord’s first assembly on earth.

The actual beginning of the Lord’s church is described for us in detail in two passages that describe the same historical event..

And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth [unto him] whom he would: and they came unto him.  And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:  And Simon he surnamed Peter;

17) And James the [son] of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:  And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.”   (Mark 3:13-19)

In these verses, we can see that the Lord chose these original twelve apostles to fulfill specific duties, one of which was to BE WITH HIM.  In other words, they were chosen to accompany Him and be pastored by Him.  Christ fulfilled His role of pastor to them as He led them, taught them, and protected them.  All of this was done to prepare them for their future, permanent, ministries that would begin at Pentecost (the EMPOWERING of the local assembly for ministry in Christ’s absence by the Holy Spirit) (Acts 2:1-36).

 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  And when it was day, he called [unto him] his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,  Matthew and Thomas, James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,   And Judas [the brother] of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.  And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;  And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.  And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed [them] all.  And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.   (Luke 6:12-20)

The Lord began His church by choosing, and assembling His apostles (here they are called “his disciples”), who are separated from the crowds that had gathered. Then they rejoined the crowds and ministered to them.

Following their ministry to the crowds, the LORD BEGAN TO TEACH HIS CHURCH (ie His disciples) as He shared with them the Sermon on the Mount.  This is clearly seen by Him looking directly on His disciples as He taught.   In other words, when the Lord taught the Sermon on the Mount, He was teaching His disciples (ie His church, His apostles) as the crowds looked on.

2. The Lord’s church will continue to exist on earth until He comes back at His second coming: Matthew 16:16-20, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:25-26

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  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.  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.  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”   (Matthew 16:16-20)

In the above text we can see that the Lord is making a clear promise that the His church will not be overcome, die a slow death and go out of existence.  Not Satan, not the powers of darkness, NOTHING will gain a lasting complete victory over all of His assemblies on earth.   Individual church assemblies may come and go, but there will always be at least one of the Lord’s churches in existence to minister to His people and the lost world around it.

Also note the phrase “will build”.  This phrase is translated from a Greek word that means “to strengthen”, “to edify”, “to add to”.  This is teaching us that, at the time Jesus spoke this, the church was already in existence and He is promising He would strengthen it, prepare it and “build it up” to be able to exist until His second coming.

He did this in many ways… His personal teaching during His earthly ministry, His completion and accreditation of the inspired Word and ministry of the church of God by 100 AD, the giving of the Holy Spirit to empower His assembly at Pentecost, the establishing of other offices that would be used to further “build up” the assembly, the adding of believers to the first assembly at Jerusalem and the sending of the gospel to (and establishing His churches) throughout the Gentile world.  All of these strengthened the Lord’s assemblies which enabled them to exist in His absence and in the face of all types of opposition.

(There will be much more about the “rock” being mentioned in this text in the next section of our study.  For now, the only important point to be seen is that the church will not die and go out of existence.)

The Lord also explains the event that will cause His churches to go out of existence… it would not be the opposition of the powers of darkness, but the end of the current age. This will take place at His second coming….

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  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.”   (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

A part of the Great Commission that the Lord delivered to His local assembly was the promise of His continuing accompaniment with His churches until the “end of the world”.  The term “world” was translated from a Greek word that means “age” or “specific time period” or “period of duration”.  This is teaching us that the second coming of Christ, which will bring about the end of the current age in which we are living, will also bring an end to the existence of the Lord’s churches on earth.

This same principle is also supported in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26…

 

After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”   (1 Corinthians 11:25-26)

 

The ordinance of the Lord’s supper is a church ordinance, therefore, it is under local church authority and is to be observed, and controlled by His local assemblies.  Here, we are told that His churches are to be observing His supper consistently until He comes back. For His churches to be able to keep this command, His churches must be in existence until His second coming.

The Lord’s church, which started with Christ’s call to assemble given to His Apostles, will exist until the second coming of Christ.

THE SUMMARY:

 

Based on our studies so far we can see that the nature of the Lord’s church includes:
1.  An assembly of individuals
2.  A local assembly
3.  A visible assembly
4.  A called our assembly
5.  A unique assembly

In the second part of our study we saw that the church, as an assembly offers to Christians the three-fold blessing of:
1.  the teaching of God’s Word – to strengthen, mature and ground them.
2.  the care and fellowship of other believers
3.  opportunities of service to Christ.
4.  enriched worship of the Lord through the observance of the ordinances and enhanced prayer effectiveness.

In the third, and last part of our study on the Nature of the Church, we can see that:
1.  The Lord’s church began with Christ’s call for His Apostles to assemble and to accompany Him.
2.  The Lord’s church would go out of existence during the age in which we live
3.  The Lord’s church will not be overcome by the powers of darkness in this world
4.  The Lord’s church will cease to exist at the end of this age, brought about by the second coming of Jesus.

Why should we should attend, join and support the ministries of a local church?  It is promised to remain in existence until Christ comes again, therefore it can be a consistent source of instruction, fellowship, worship and opportunities of service as we live our lives on earth.

May the Lord bless us as we seek His truth.

 

For a free study guide for this series in .pdf format:

Click to access lordsassemblyprotected.pdf

For a free study guide for this series in .docx format:
https://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/lordsassemblyprotected.docx

 

 

Personal Experience Or God’s Word, Which Is Our Standard? #2

SIH STSTA ICONShould we trust the Word instead of our life experiences?

Throughout our lifetime, we are called upon to choose between trusting the revelation of God’s Word or placing our faith in our life experiences. Phrased another way, are we to make our life decisions based upon what our senses have revealed to us, or do we look to God’s Word as the only unquestionable standard by which our life is to be directed?

This is study I would like us to come to an understanding of God’s will on this all important issue. There will be three parts to our study for us:

1. Should we trust the Word when we lack life experiences?
2. Should we trust the Word instead of our life experiences?
3. Should we trust the Word based upon Biblical revelation?

THE SCRIPTURES: 

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pharaoh, [and] it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (Exodus 7:8-13)

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, [there is] a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me [him] up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, [As] the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou [art] Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form [is] he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he [is] covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it [was] Samuel, and he stooped with [his] face to the ground, and bowed himself. (1 Samuel 28:7-14)

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, [It will be] fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. (Matthew 16:1-4)

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Matthew 24:21-28)

And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side. (Mark 8:10-13)

For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 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: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-15)

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-14)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 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. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:1-17)

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
(Jude 1:3)

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)

THE STUDY: 

Can our senses, and the events that take place in the physical world around us, be reliable sources to discern, and validate the will of God? This is a very important question that deserves a careful, comprehensive study of the Word of God for its answer.

With the establishment of the Lord’s churches on earth came the clear declaration of the existence of false teaching and purposeful attempts to deceive God’s people….

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:… That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;… (Ephesians 4:11-15)

We must pay attention to  the descriptive phrases that are used in this passage to describe the attempts that are used by Satan to deceive the people of God. For it is in these phrases we can clearly see willful intent, the motive of this deception, and the basic way in which the deception is brought upon Christians.  Please notice:

1. “sleight of men” – this phrase refers to seducing those who are unskillful. It was a term used to describe the experienced taking advantage of naive youths in games of chance.
2. “cunning craftiness” – this phrase refers to trickery, or cleverness, that misleads. It is speaking of the ability to lay plans ahead of time to mislead and take advantage of others.
3. “lie in wait to deceive” – to stay among travelers, or a well-traveled path, for the purpose of taking advantage of the travelers. It is describing something like a lion, who crouches along a much-used path waiting for an innocent animal to appear.

In the above, we can see the nature of Satan’s workings as he makes plans to use trickery and deceit to mislead the people of God. What was God’s remedy that He supplies to us? He graciously has given us the different offices of teachers that will share His Word, whose principles give us the ability to discern and resist Satan’s attempts at misleading us. These offices are listed in this text, “apostles” , “prophets”, “evangelists”, pastors and teachers”

So from this text we learn two very important truths…

First, as Christians, Satan is out to deceive us during our physical walk on earth. He will try to deceive us using various tricks and false teachings.

Secondly, the Lord has given us His Word, and those who minister His Word, both past (Apostles and Prophets who gave us the completed Word) and present (Evangelists and Pastor/Teachers who now minister that completed Word), to us to enable us to overcome the trickery of Satan.

In this text, He establishes the principle that His Word, when used as our standard for living, will thwart any deceitful plans of Satan that are sent our way in an attempt to mislead us. This principle is also presented in 1 John 4:1-6…

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world… Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

Please notice that Satan’s use of false teaching (and false teachers) is emphasized. We are told in this passage that we must “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:” How are we to try the spirits? We do this by comparing the truth of God with the teachings that come our way. This is presented to us in this text in two different ways:

First, teachings concerning the person of Christ are used as the basis of recognition of the deceitful teaching of Satan, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” This tells us that we need to compare the teachings of man with the truthful and reliable truths of Christ found in the Word.

Secondly, please note the closing sentence of this text, “Hereby know we the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, and the SPIRIT OF ERROR.”  What is the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error?
This is further explained in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15…

“For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

In this passage we see emphasized the deceitful nature of Satan’s plan. His teachers claim to be sent by Christ. They claim to be doing the works of Christ and they even appear to our senses to be the servants of the Most High.   In these two texts, Satan uses the proclamation of error through false teachers, false prophets etc. in an attempt to deceive the people of God. This is the “SPIRIT OF ERROR”.

In the 1 John 4:1-6 passage, the term “truth” refers to that which is genuine, actual to fact, verifiable truth. It is this very body of truth that is contained in God’s Word. The Word is the only source of absolute truth that is available to man…

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
(Jude 1:3)

Here we find the need to stand fast and defend the set of doctrinal truth (or “the faith”) God has given to man is found in His Word.  This is the “SPIRIT Of TRUTH”.

Notice what is said about “the faith”…
1. it was “once delivered” – in the original language this phrase means “to be delivered in its entirety once and for all”. This clearly refers to the Word of God, once handed down and brought to completion in about 100 AD.
2. it was delivered “unto the saints” – it was given to those He had selected to be the writers of His Word…. the OT prophets and NT apostles, and their associates. These men were inspired by God to write down the very Word of God recorded in the Bible, which now makes up “the truth” and “the faith” that upon which we base our entire system of beliefs and teachings.

It is this “SPRIT OF TRUTH” that is in a constant spiritual struggle with the “SPIRIT OF ERROR” we have previously seen.

But the Bible goes farther.  As it looks ahead in time, we find that we are told that this struggle will increase and be brought to fruition as the last days draw closer…

… Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

… Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Matthew 24:21-28)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come… Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was…. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:1-17)

… And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)

In the last three passages, please notice that Satan’s attempts to deceive the people of God are not limited to the use of false teachers and error filled teaching.  We see also the usage of “great signs and wonders” (Matt 24:); misleading miracles, “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth:” (2 Tim 3: and Exod 7:8-13); “wrought miracles” (Rev 19:).

Both in the days in which we are living, and in the days which must yet come, we can see the Bible is warning us about Satanic use of “miracles” and “signs and wonders” which will be used in an attempt to mislead God’s people.

Think about it, our physical senses observe that these false teachers are able to perform great acts that mirror the acts of the Godly men in the days of old. Based upon our senses, we are tempted to accept Satanic teachers based upon their display of “supernatural powers”. Then on top of it all, we hear with our ears messages that scratch “our itching ears” (2 Tim 4:), in other words, the messages are be pleasing to us and bring satisfaction to our sinful, fleshly, nature.

In these life experiences, our senses will certainly be working hard to mislead and deceive us. The only hope for us is clearly presented in the 2 Tim 3: passage, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

It is only through the use of the completed, inspired Word of God, that we can possess a standard to compare all teachings and workings of man.

In closing let’s notice a few things about the Word of God from the 2 Tim 3: passage:

1. The Word is what we have “learned” – to come to acknowledge and understand as genuine truth
2. The Word is what we have “been assured of” – to be trustworthy
3. The Word is “known of whom we have learned” – Godly, reliable men have given us this Word.
4. The Word is “able to make thee wise unto salvation” – was applied to our heart when we were saved.
5. The Word is “given by inspiration of God” – spoken by God Himself, it is “breathed out” by God
6. The Word is “profitable for doctrine” – it benefits us by supplying the truths of God
7. The Word is “profitable for reproof” – it benefits us by supplying warnings from God
8. The Word is “profitable for correction” – it supplies direction on how to correct error in our life
9. The Word is “profitable for instruction in righteousness” – it supplies truths on how to live a Godly life
10. The Word causes us to be “perfect” – it supplies what we need to be spiritually mature
11. The Word causes us to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” – it is ALL WE NEED to be furnished to please God in every aspect of our life.

The above description of God’s Word reveals several important facts to us about the Word. Of these facts let me emphasize four of them:

Notice we have learned it is trustworthy… our physical senses, which are touched by sin, are not trustworthy witnesses of that which is Godly and that which is against God. But the Word can be relied upon to reveal the true nature of what we may experience in this life.

We also saw that it was the Word that has revealed the way of salvation to us. If we can trust this Word to give us reliable discernment that affects our eternal destiny, surely we can trust it to give us Godly discernment our experiences in life.

The Word through its own testimony, and the examination of men for over two centuries, has been proven to be perfect, without error, and absolutely trustworthy. Surely, we can continue to rely totally upon this Word to lead us from error as we seek to serve the Lord.

Finally, in the last sentence of 2 Tim 3:, we are told that the Word is ALL THAT WE NEED to become spiritually mature and to perform “all good works” that we are called upon to do. This statement confirms for us the need to rely totally on the Word of God to discern to true nature of our life experiences. We do not need our life experiences, apart from the Scriptures, to show us the will of God. But we need the Scriptures for Godly discernment of all that our senses perceive as we experience life on earth

The revealed Word, as found in the Holy Scriptures is all we need and ALL WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN by God to give us a standard for comparison of all teachings and works of the men that minister unto us.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Getting to the heart of our study for today…

The Word is our completed guidebook for Godly discernment and leadership as we seek to serve our Lord on earth. If we rely upon our physical senses and physical experiences alone to discern the Lord’ will for our lives, we are headed for doom.

How does this apply to us in a practical way? Here are just a few examples….
1. When we hear teaching on spiritual things we must run to the Word and compare its teachings with the teachings we have heard. Any teachings that are in alignment with the Word we can cling to as much fine gold, and any teachings we hear that are in opposition to the Word we must cast aside as chaff.
2. When we see works performed by those who claim to be God’s messengers, we are to grasp our “gold standard” of the Word to see if these works will stand up against its teachings. Does God say that these works will be used by His ministers? Does God say these works will be done during the time in which we are living, or have they fulfilled their purpose and no longer exist? Are the works accomplishing the proper end? Etc etc
3. When we see methods being employed by churches and ministers we must not be caught up in the idea that “the end justifies the means”. Just because a certain method APPEARS to have great results for Christ, it does not justify their use. We are to take the Word, and see if the methods being used are glorifying to the Lord and sanctioned in the Word.

It is these type of issues that Satan uses to reap havoc and chaos among God’s people. It is only through the use of God’s Word as our final authority concerning the teachings, works, and methods of ministry that we can see the true nature of the ministries and ministers that may come our way.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth concerning this very important subject.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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The Sacrifice Of Love

SIH STSTA ICONJohn 3:16 is arguably the most familiar verse found in the Bible….

“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.”

In 1 John 3:16-19 we find another set of verses that contains the same basic theme…

“Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.”

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

“And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”

Let’s take a few minutes to study these two verses that address the Love of God which is shown to us by His acts of unselfishness and self-sacrifice…

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 3:16;  1 John 3:16-19;  Ephesians 5:1-2 ; 1John 4:9-11;  Mark 12:28-34; 1 Cor 13:4-12

THE STUDY:

Does God really love me?  This most important question has been asked by a multitude of people throughout the history of our world.  How can we really know if God loves us and cares about us and our needs?  The Bible gives us a clear proof of God’s love for us…. the sacrifice that He has made on our behalf.  Note our two texts….

John 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.”

In our first text, please note that the God’s LOVE was displayed through the GIVING of His Son, a true act of self-sacrifice on behalf of God for His people.  Why is the birth of Christ such an important and special act of God?  It is a clear display of His love on behalf of sinful mankind.

Please note our second text:

1 John 3:16-19 …

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?   My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

Here, we find that the way we can “perceive” (be aware, to see, to know assuredly) that God loves us is found in His act of self-sacrifice in giving of His life for His people.  Also, please note that in this second text, we find the Biblical mandate to make sacrifices for others in order to show our love for them as well.

True love involves self-sacrifice… a “love” that is selfish and demands only to receive is no love at all. Putting ourselves first, and others second, is turning love on its head, perverting the very nature of love.

Lets look at 1 John 4:9-11….

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

In this set of verses the word “manifested” means to “to take the cover off” or “ to reveal”.  How did God “take the cover off” His love for us?  By sending of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth.

Then Christ showed His love for us by giving His life for us.  He did this so that we, as sinners, could receive spiritual life.  The result of receiving God’s gift of love in our life, should be the showing of our love to others.

Ephesians 5:1-2 gives us more information about what Christ did for us…

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Here, we are told that the death of Christ was motivated by His love for us.  We are also told that His death for us was both a “sacrifice” and a “offering”.  It was a “sacrifice” in the sense that He gave of Himself (to the point of death).  It was an “offering” which tells us He willingly gave His life for us.   Oh what great love… to be willing to partake of death so that others could escape eternal death.  In these verses, we are once again reminded to follow this great example of self-sacrificial love.  How are we to do this?  By loving others as Christ loved us… with a self-sacrificial love.

Mark 12:28-34 (KJV)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments [is], Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.  And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love [his] neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him [any question].

Here we find the importance of love being clearly defined.  Our love (willingness to sacrifice ourselves) to God is described as the first and great commandment.  The commandment that should be our second priority is the command to love (be willing to sacrifice ourselves) for our neighbor.  Upon these two commands all the other laws are based.

If we love God and others as we should we will keep all the other commandments of God.  For example, if we love God as we should we will not take His name in vain nor would we worship other Gods,  if we love others as we should we would not steal from them nor would we lie to them.  This basic principle (supremacy of love for God and others) applies to all the commands of God.

Finally in 1Cor 13:4-12 (KJV)

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;   Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 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.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Please note, in the “love chapter” of the Bible, we find that every manifestation of love is an act of self-sacrifice.  Some examples of this include…. Patience, humility, contentment the list goes on and on.  In each of these cases, all of these flow forth from a heart of love and sacrifice willing to put others first and ourselves second.

Truly, the display of love, is based upon acts of sacrifice on behalf of others around us.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We are to appreciate the love that God has shown to us.  In doing so, we should be willing to follow His example and love others with a self-sacrificial type of love.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Please study the Bible to learn more about the great love that God the Father has shown to us in the sending of His Son to the earth.  Then learn more about the love of God the Son, as He gave his life on the cross so that we all might receive the forgiveness of our sins.  (to learn more about the way of salvation, you are welcome to read my blog page “How to have a relationship with God”, or you  can email me with your questions.  Also you can find any Bible-believing church in your area and contact them… I am sure they would be happy to help answer any questions you might have.

What great love…. What great self-sacrifice!  What a great Lord that we serve!

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”