Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Book of Acts A Dispensational Study - By Ike T. Sidebottom


The book of Acts is one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible because, for the most part, it is not read and studied from a dispensational point of view. This book presents the wonderful truths of God's Word in a clear and understandable manner, carefully following the admonition of II Timothy 2:15 to "rightly divide the Word of truth." It takes into account the revelation of the mystery committed to the Apostle Paul for this age, and thus puts God's plans and purposes for Israel and the Church in proper perspective. To those who will read it carefully and prayerfully, it will help you g
row in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (208 pp.)

  Table of Contents

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Itroduction

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
ead Acts 16L31 Romans 1:16, and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Six Bible Truths You Need to Know - By Pastor Charles Wages


 Salvation
 Charles Wages

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

Grace is simply God's willingness to do something for us that we cannot do for ourselves. It is often said that God helps them that help themselves, however, the important thing is that God helps them that cannot help themselves! This is where God's grace really is evident.

If there should be one area in which man proves his helplessness, it is in trying to save himself from sin. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Also, that "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Therefore all men are subject to death because of sin. What can sinful man do about it? The answer is-nothing! What can God do about it? He can cleanse us from all sin!

The Scripture says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). God's grace is so bountiful that it overabounds all our sin. Romans 5:20 tells us, "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound, but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Yes, God saves us by His grace, keeps us by His grace, teaches us by His grace, and by His grace we shall appear with Him in the glory (Titus 2:11-14).

Dear Friend, and reader of this, please keep in mind that, doing the best you can, changing your ways, joining a church, becoming religious, or whatever, will never save your soul. However, if you will simply trust His grace to save you from your helpless, hopeless condition, He will.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31)

"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." (John 3:16)

"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Romans 4:4-5)

Someday the silver cord will break And I no more as now shall sing: But oh, the joy when I shall wake, Within the palace of the King! And I shall see Him face to face And tell the story, saved by grace.

Eternal Life

It is not only difficult, but really impossible for anyone to fully grasp the meaning of eternity. No one really knows when time began and when time will end. No man saw the beginning, nor can any man see the end. The only thing we can say with certainty about eternity is that it never stands still. We just have to trust God that He knows because He was there when time began and He will be in existence forever. Habakkuk exclaimed in Habakkuk 1:12, "Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One?"

The Scriptures teach that God's power is eternal (Romans 1:20), His purposes are eternal (Ephesians 3:11); and His wonderful Person is eternal (I Timothy 1:17).

In the wonderful prayer of our Lord recorded in John 17, Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (vs. 3). In other words, everlasting life is to know God, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent. But how do we get to "know" God and Jesus Christ?

We get to "know" God by believing what He has said. In John 14:6, Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, He gives us His life, which is eternal. He said in John 14:19, "Because I live, ye shall live also." God led Paul to write in Colossians 3:3-4, "For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

One of the most familiar truths in the Scripture is that which Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:7, "Ye must be born again." Jesus knew the natural man would die. Hebrews 9:27 states, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Only the life that God gives when we believe on the Lord Jesus is eternal. What do we believe concerning the Lord Jesus ? The gospel that saves is simply stated: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." (I Corinthians 15:3-4)

Eternal not only refers to the duration of the life that God gives, but also to its quality. It not only speaks of a future position but also of a very present reality. And wonder of wonders, it cannot be lost or taken from us! Jesus said in John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my Father's hand."

Our eternal life is in God's hand, not ours. Our assurance depends on God's faithfulness, not on our weakness. Paul was led to write, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" (II Timothy 1: 12).

Yes, the eternal life God gives is as eternal as God is. And, yes, the eternal life He gives is the eternal life we should live. If you have not as yet trusted Jesus Christ for eternal life, remember the Scripture says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).


The Church

"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23)

If a random group of people were asked "what does the word 'church' mean to you?", a varied amount of answers would be forthcoming. To some, it would mean a particular building, to another a particular congregation, such as Catholic, Lutheran, or Baptist. However, we all need to "search the scripture" for the real meaning and especially in this "church age."

The original word used in Scripture is ecclesia and simply means "a gathering of called out ones." One of the main distinctions that must be made is between the nation Israel as a "called out group," and the church of this age called the Body of Christ. When this distinction is made much of the confusion that is prevalent among and in religious groups will disappear.

A wonderful thing to know and believe is that all people who have been saved by God's grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the church, which is the body of Christ. The body of Christ is not an earthly denomination even though some speak of being members of "the church of Christ," "the universal (Catholic) church," "the church of God," and other names. The true body of Christ is an heavenly organism, not an earthly organization. Some in early times met in houses, others in buildings, but really the real "church" was not the house or building but the believers!

The scripture teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church,

"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;" (Colossians 1:18-19)

The head of the church does not sit or live in some ancient city on earth, but He lives in glory! He (Christ) is "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:21).

It is a wonderful and assuring truth to know that we are "members" of His church, our names are in heaven's book, we don't need men's "letters" and that we cannot be "excommunicated" or put out of the church! It is also blessed to know that all believers are one in Christ. We are brothers in Christ. This should make all love one another as our Saviour desires.

Yes, the meaning of "church" does make a difference. It makes us to see that we are "complete" in Christ (Colossians 2:10) and that our position is in glory. Our salvation is eternal, and our life here on earth can be both satisfying, enjoyable, and useful.


Baptism

The Scriptures have a lot to say about "baptism," but many seem to think it all pertains to water baptism. Even on the subject of water baptism, there is a vast difference of opinion among religious bodies as to its significance. Some believe strongly that water baptism is necessary unto salvation, others that it is a testimony of salvation, others that it is necessary for membership and service.

There is also a great difference of how it should be administered. In other words, the mode or manner in which it is performed. Does water baptism mean sprinkling? Does it mean immersion? Does it mean pouring? Should infants be baptized? Should persons be baptized more than once? The questions that could be advanced are numerous, but none of them really are as important as some believe.

Really, when one considers the doctrine of "baptism," it must be realized that the subject embodies a lot more than just "water." Anyone desiring a rich study should pursue the truth concerning all the baptisms taught in the Old and New Testaments and especially as presented in the epistles of Paul. For example, the Lord mentioned three in one verse of Scripture, Matthew 3:11. The Lord spoke of his death on Calvary as a baptism (Luke 12:50). He made this statement quite a while after He had been baptized in the river Jordan by John. I Corinthians 10:2 tells us that the children of Israel "were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."

However, the most important question should be, what is God's plan for today in regard to baptism? Important and key verses to study are, Romans 6:1-4, I Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 4:4-6, and Colossians 2:10-23. When a person "rightly divides the word of truth," (II Timothy 2:15), it will be clear that "water" baptism was in God's program as long as He dealt principally with the nation of Israel.

The true church today is the body of Christ in which there is neither Jew nor Gentile (Ephesians 2:14-18). God's divine method of placing a believing person into the Body of Christ is the Holy Spirit baptizing that person into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. "Water" baptism is not necessary today either for salvation or a testimony. God saves us when we are "washed" in the blood of Christ and raised into a newness of life. Our testimony should not be a ceremony or ritual but an every day life that testifies to God's saving and keeping power through the Lord Jesus Christ.

When a person sees that he or she has been placed into the body of Christ by the baptism for this age, the baptism into His death by the Holy Spirit, then earthly ordinances become meaningless. What is important is that we are "complete in Christ" (Colossians 2:10), and that we are "blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3).


"Thorny was the crown that He wore,
And the cross that His body o'er came
Grevious were the sorrows He bore,
But He suffered thus not in vain

May I to that Fountain be led,
Made to cleanse my sins here below
Wash me in the blood that He shed
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Father, I have wandered from Thee,
Often has my heart gone astray;
Crimson do my sins seem to me
Water cannot wash them away.

Jesus to that Fountain of Thine,
Leaning on Thy promise, I go;
Cleanse me by Thy washing divine, and
I shall be whiter than snow.

Whiter than the snow;
Whiter than the snow.
Wash me In the blood of the Lamb
And I shall be whiter than snow."


The Lord's Supper

It has been stated that, "when many differences of opinion on a subject prevail among honest believers, it goes without saying that there is room for re-examination." it might be also added that when there are as many differences in reasons for and observances of this "ordinance," that it is quite questionable that God intended such practice for His church today.

Here are a few Biblical points to consider in approaching this particular subject.

    The only time the expression, "the Lord's supper" is found in the Word of God is in I Corinthians 11:20 where it is stated, "When you come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper." The reference to eating of bread in the book of Acts, if carefully studied, will reveal that no ritual or ordinance is intended, but rather the regular eating of meals in fellowship. It is far more than just interesting, but entirely noteworthy to see that this subject is not taught or developed anywhere else in God's book. The books of the Bible such as Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians in which the truth concerning the Church which is the body of Christ is developed, make no mention of anything related to the Lord's supper. In fact, just the opposite is given, notably such passages as Colossians 2:20 which warns,

    "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not, taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines men?"

    Also we are instructed and admonished in Colossians 3:1-3,

    "If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

    The only time the expression, "the Lord's supper" is found in the Bible, it is connected with the Jewish passover. How anyone can attempt to disconnect and separate this subject from Jesus' teaching of the passover in Matthew 26 and related gospel passages, is hard to be understood in view of the fact that Paul quoted from these passages in I Corinthians 11:23-24.

    The only time the expression "the Lord's supper" is found in scripture, it gives no clear instructions for the manner, materials, or time in observance. This is in contrast to God's detailed and important instructions to His people Israel in regards to the passover. It is both devisive and disheartening to hear people talk about "closed communion;" "transubstantiation;" "sacraments;" "miracles;" "one cup or many;" "crackers or unleavened bread;" "wine or grape juice;" "quarterly participation, weekly, or once a year;" "in the evening or morning;" "at the altar by priest or served in the pews." Many feel that this observance is a "symbol" of the "body and the blood" of the Lord Jesus, somewhat according to their own peculiar feelings or leanings. Also, this is exactly the same reason given for all the "sacraments" including water baptism, last rites, joining the church, etc. These could go on and on as it reflects the traditions and teachings of men in various parts of the world.

    The only time the expression "the Lord's supper" is found in Holy writ is given in a portion of the Word that was written during a transitional period of God's dealing with Israel and the first revealings of the Body of Christ. The sign gifts such as unfamiliar "tongues," healings by men, hair requirements, and water baptism, are found in this period in which First Corinthians was written. However, it certainly appears that the people of Corinth were engaged in an unruly corruption of eating in trying to emulate the passover. Paul could do nothing more than correct and reprove them; which he did as God's apostle. A thought provoking question might be, what would be Paul's reaction to today's many and varied observances of a "Lord's Supper?"

The expression found in I Corinthians and the rebuke by Paul for this error by the Corinthians should make all believers think of real spiritual communion with our Lord.

What a wonderful meal the Word of God provides for those who will partake of it in an orderly and worthy manner. When we see that the Word of God is spiritual (I Corinthians 2:9-14); that believers have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13 and Romans 6:3-4); that the Holy Spirit is our teacher (I Corinthians 2:13); and that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), we should easily acknowledge a spiritual communion.

All of this should lead us to our glorious privilege, as heavenly citizens, of having real spiritual communion with our Lord. We have plenty of meaningful and clear instructions as to how to have this spiritual communion through the Word. The believer is not left in the dark as to how, when, where, and what is needed to partake of the Word! The believer doesn't have to wait until he or she gets to "church" on a prescribed "Lord's day" to have communion, but by "Seeking those things which are above," and "setting their affection on things above," can enjoy "close" communion with the Lord anytime and anywhere.

The Three L's

If you were asked to pick your three favorite words or to pick three words that have the most meaning to you, what would they be? Let's briefly consider three that begin with the letter "L."


Live

Yes, "live" is a very meaningful word, but do we really know what it means? The Apostle Paul said, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

There can be no real life apart from the Lord. Christ is our life. He said,

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)

Living with and for the Lord makes life meaningful. It also gives life a future for the life God gives is eternal. Someone once said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward."


Love

This is the most popular word in every language or vocabulary. Some have even called it a universal language in itself. There is no question of its importance in knowing God and His Word. The most familiar passage of the Bible probably is John 3:16. But let us not forget I John 3:16, and that we are told in I John 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Isn't it wonderful that"God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners; Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Learn

We should be yearnmg for learning, so we can be earning. However, we have to be reminded that learning can be bad as well as good. Also, we had better be very careful not only what we learn, but from whom we learn. There are many, many false teachers in the world system.

Some learning takes place naturally, like a baby nursing. Some comes from experience, like putting your finger on a hot stove. Most comes from applying our hearts unto wisdom.

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

The noble Bereans of Acts 17:11 "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so." Learning is a process whereby we learn about life as God has prepared it.

Knowledge without God's wisdom puffeth up (blows up like a balloon) and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)

You have always known the three "R's" Have you given much thought to these three "L's"?







How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Friday, September 25, 2015

What Saith the Scripture - By Charles Wages


A set of 6 simple tracts that deal with these vital spiritual issues: Salvation, Eternal Life, The Church, Baptism, The Lord's Supper, and The Three L's
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Table of Contents

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The Three L's


How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Saved, Settled, and Sure - By Ike T. Sidebottom




Is it possible for us to know that we are saved and that we never can be lost?

Is every saved person complete in Christ without membership in any Church organization and without the practice of any of the Church ordinances?

Do we go immediately to Heaven or Hell when we leave this world?

If there ever was a time the Church needed to give a positive, clear ringing testimony in answer to these questions, that time is today. The world is in confusion because of "Wars and rumors of wars." The Church is hopelessly divided in "mind and judgment," because of denominationalism; and desperately sick because of the improper diet prescribed by Church leaders and rationed out to the multitudes by hirelings.

The individual sinner has a desire to be saved, but he doesn't often hear the plain scriptural plan of salvation given from the pulpit, over the air, or from the printed page. The babe in Christ has a desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, but when he goes to the meeting place for food from the precious Word of God, he usually gets a sermonette on churchanity and must return home with a hungry heart.


We May Know

that we are saved, because God has said so in His infallible Word.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:11)

This is God's record that all who have His Son are in possession of His own eternal life. He wrote these things in order that those who "believe" may "know."

Dear Reader, If you are in doubt about your salvation or if you feel that you are now saved, but fear that some day you may lose your salvation, will you not get your Bible and read the above passage on your knees before the God of glory. Read and re-read this, His own testimony, which He has borne concerning His Son and the eternal life given through Him.

If you are among those who "believe on the name of the Son of God," you have the scriptural right to know that you have eternal life.

In connection with this comforting certainty, I suggest that you read and meditate upon the following kindred passages—Ecclesiastes 3:14; John 3:16-18; 10:27-29; Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:35-39 and 2 Timothy 1:12.

In these closing days of the Church Age, things are terribly unsettled. The unsaved man looks about him for something that is substantial and sure. All he can see in the world is change and decay. Oh, that we who are really saved might bear a sound, solid, positive testimony concerning the eternal life which God has given to us in His Son. How refreshing it is to hear a believer say, "I know I'm saved."

Remember, my dear friends, when we testify to the fact that we are saved and sure of our salvation, we are not bragging on ourselves but we are boasting in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who saved us! He is the One who keeps us! He is the One who will carry us safely through to glory, without the loss of one! To Him belongeth all the praise.


Church Joining

is a very popular movement in these days, spoken of by the Apostle Paul as "perilous times." The idea of forming church organizations and promoting church-joining programs originated with man and not with God. The proud flesh of churchmen cries out for manpower when the real need of the church is God-power.

The children of Noah said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name" (Genesis 11:4). The modern church program of today is built on this same foundation, hence the confusion and scattering of the church members into more than four hundred different sects and creeds. Just as the organized effort at the Tower of Babel failed (Genesis 11:5-9), so the organized efforts of churchanity are doomed to confusion and failure.

Paul describes the conditions in the professing Church at the close of this age in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

It is very easy for the majority of God's faithful children to see that the above quotation applies directly to organized churches. However, it is painfully difficult and extremely hard on the flesh for us to apply the last four words of verse five in a practical way. If every child of God would obey this imperative command—"From such turn away"—the religious system would be forced to cease their commercialism in the name of Jesus Christ.


Independent Churches

are springing up everywhere. Just as the conscientious Protestants in the days of Martin Luther organized themselves into churches like unto the Catholic system from whence they came, so are the independent Fundamentalists of today organizing themselves after the fashion of denominational systems. It seems that preachers and church leaders refuse to be satisfied with the church and its doctrine, as set forth by the Holy Spirit through the writings of Paul. They insist upon enlisting the members of the body of Christ in a competitive work of building churches.

The moment a group of believers give themselves any other name than that which designates them as an assembly at a given address, they mark themselves as another sectarian group. Usually a second step is taken immediately after the church name is selected. This second step is a doctrinal statement including a part of the Bible and emphasizing one Biblical doctrine above that of another. A third step usually follows, which binds the members of the assembly into an organization with voting power to control the policies of the said organization. Such doctrines of men can never be fitted in to the order of God as laid down in Ephesians 4:11-16.


The Biblical Church

of this dispensation is spoken of in Ephesians 1:22-23 as "The church, which is the body of Christ." Christ is the one head of this church, and every saved person on the face of the earth is included in its membership. "We are all baptized by one spirit into one body." The baptism here referred to is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The body is the "Body of Christ."

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6)

If you are a member of the church which is Christ's body, you are "complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10). It is just as unscriptural for a believer to be dissatisfied with the church membership which God gives him as it is for him to be dissatisfied with the salvation which God offers. We do not need man's work added to God's plan of salvation; neither do we need the touch of man-made organizations for everyday service in God's church. If you are satisfied with your salvation, you should be satisfied with your position in Christ.


Our Hope of Glory

will be realized when our Saviour returns from heaven to "change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20-21). If we who are members of the body of Christ die before He returns for His church, we are immediately "Absent from the body, and present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). The body goes back to dust, but the spirit goes to be with the Lord. We may expect the return of the Lord for His church at any moment, and at His coming the bodies of those who have fallen asleep in Christ will be raised and joined with their spirits that are now present with the Lord, and the living saints will be changed and caught up into glory with the resurrected ones. At this time the church which is the body of Christ, will be presented to Christ, the Head, according to Ephesians 5:25-27.

All who die without the Lord Jesus Christ go immediately into the flames of torment. This truth is illustrated in Luke 16:19-31. The rich man of this passage actually lived on the earth, died as other men die, and then lifted up his eyes, "being in torments," and recognized his terrible condition.
All Unbelievers

must either meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary and accept Him as their personal Saviour, or else they must take their place in the flames of torment when this life is over.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)







How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 





It's All In the Bible - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We couldn’t help hearing it! This woman had a voice that could be heard at considerable distance and we distinctly heard her say: “I doped it all out from the Bible.”

“Well, at least somebody’s interested in the Bible,” we said to each other.

But as she prattled on it turned out that she had used the records in an old family Bible to establish her claim to part of an estate. These records, introduced in court, had won the case for her.

There was, after all, no indication that she was interested in the Bible — only in those pages between the Old and New Testaments which, in some editions of the Bible, are kept for family records.

Actually she was no different from the masses about us who go about from day to day interested only in the things of this life and ignoring almost completely the things that really matter: God, heaven, hell and their own eternal destiny.

If these people only knew what treasures are to be found in the Bible! Among these are “riches of mercy” (Ephesians 2:4), “riches of grace” (Eph.esians 1:7), “riches of glory” (Philippians 4:19), “riches of wisdom and knowledge” (Romans 11:33), “the riches of the full assurance of understanding” (Colossians 2:2), “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). And the best part of it is that anyone may have these riches simply for the asking:

“For there is no difference… for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him,

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Roomans 10:12,13).






How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What About Ordinances? - By Ike T. Sidebottom


    He promised to be with them to the "End of the world (age)."

This commission was never fully carried out by the "Twelve" to whom it was given: it has not been fully carried out by any other company of saints since the days of the twelve apostles, and it will not be fully carried out until the "Hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel" preach it again during the period of "Great tribulation" immediately preceding the "End" (Matthew 24:13-14).

"Great salvation" through this kingdom message "first began to be spoken by the Lord" and it was "confirmed" unto the Hebrew believers "by them that heard Him," namely the "Twelve," and God was with them "bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will" (Hebrews 2:34). Just "after the Lord had spoken unto them" (the eleven) the words of the so-called "great commission," He was "received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following" (Mark 16:19-20).
Water Baptism During the Acts Period and Why?

That period of time covered by the Book of the Acts of the Apostles (approximately 30 years immediately following Pentecost) is the period during which the kingdom message of the Lord was "confirmed" with "signs following" (Mark 16:19-20 and Hebrews 2:3-4), according to the commission of Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:14-18.

During that period, the Holy Spirit was offering the kingdom message to Israel. The nation had rejected and crucified her King, but His prayer for them, on the day of His crucifixion, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," was answered when the nation was given another chance to accept the Messiah under the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. When they rejected His offer of the Kingdom they committed the "Unpardonable sin" of Matthew 12:31-32, and the nation was set aside until after the calling out of the "Church, which is His body," and then the above mentioned kingdom message will again be given to all nations, after which, the Age of Grace will end and the Kingdom of Heaven will be set up.

Water baptism was preached and practiced by Spirit-filled men throughout the Acts period. The Holy Spirit said, through Peter, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). As I understand the Word, the baptism of this verse is "Water baptism," and it was essential to salvation. Let us remember, however, that the Spirit was here addressing the "House of Israel" and "when they (members of the house of Israel) heard" Peter's message concerning the risen Christ "they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:36-37). God was still endeavoring to make Christ "manifest to Israel" as their King, therefore water baptism was still in His program. While the Holy Spirit was giving the message of Acts 2:38, He was also telling Israel about "The Times of Refreshing" and "The Restitution of All Things, Which God Had Spoken by the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets Since the World Began" (Acts 3:19-21). The "times of refreshing" Acts 3:19) could not be the same as "The Hope of Glory" (Colossians 1:27), and the "restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21) could not be the same as "The Mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations" (Colossians 1:25-26). These simple comparisons of "spiritual things with spiritual" will prove that the Kingdom Message of John the Baptist, and of Christ, and of the "Twelve" was continued on into the opening chapters of the Book of the Acts. This is why Peter and the "eleven" preached and practiced water baptism.

Cornelius and his household were "uncircumcised" Gentiles (Acts 11:1-3), yet God saved them, gave them the Holy Ghost, and "put no difference" between them and the Jews upon whom He poured out the Holy Ghost at Pentecost (Acts 15:7-11). These are the first of a chosen number of Gentiles who are elected to be "A people for His name," and their call is in full agreement with "The words of the prophets," and they are to be linked with the building again of "the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down" (Acts 15:13-18). This links Cornelius with the kingdom hope and, therefore, accounts for his water baptism of Acts 10:47-48.

Paul, the preacher, the apostle and the teacher of the Gentiles (2 Timothy 1:11), did not preach water baptism at any time, yet during the Acts period he practiced baptism with water (1 Corinthians 1:14-16). During this period, Paul was an "able minister of the New Covenant" (2 Corinthians 3:6), and, as such, he was guided by the Holy Spirit to make a difference between the "Jew" and the "Gentile" (Romans 1:16, Romans 3:1-2, 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, etc.). His Acts period ministry to the people of Israel included "None other things than those which the Prophets and Moses did say should come" (Acts 26:22). This accounts for Paul's recognition of both water baptism (1 Corinthians 1:14-17) and Holy Spirit baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) during the Acts period, and for his clear cut statement, after the Acts period, that there is just "One Baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). As I understand the Word, this one baptism is Holy Spirit baptism and not water baptism.

John the Baptist knew only one baptism and that was water baptism. During the Acts period two baptisms are recognized—water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism. In our present church age, we have only one scriptural baptism and that is Holy Spirit baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13 with Ephesians 4:5). During the period of tribulation at the end of the Grace Dispensation, Holy Spirit baptism will 


continue toward Israel, as during the Acts period, and water baptism may be recognized again.

A summary of the scriptural use of water baptism in God's plan and program for Israel will clearly distinguish three different groups of "labourers together with God." These three groups are set forth in the Scriptures as follows:

    John, the Baptist, and the earthly ministry of Christ with His twelve disciples (Matthew 3:11 and John 4:1-2). These labored under the old (law) covenant.


    The Acts period ministry of the Holy Spirit through Peter and the eleven (Acts 2:38 and 10:46-48). These labored under the new covenant.


    The Acts period ministry of the Holy Spirit through Paul and his co-workers (1 Corinthians 1:14-17 with 9:19-22). These were "able ministers of the new testament" (2 Corinthians 3:6).

The same Kingdom Message which was borne to National Israel from the beginning of John's ministry to the end of the book of Acts will be preached again during the 70th week of Daniel immediately before the coming of the Lord in Glory to usher in His Kingdom (Matthew 24:8-14). Since the commission of Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:14-18 will be the marching orders for the true ministers of God during this period between the rapture of the body and the setting up of the kingdom, it is reasonable to expect that water baptism will have its place in this future period as it did in the three periods mentioned above.

We call your special attention to the fact that the ministry of the above mentioned groups, and the ministry of the tribulation saints does not include the preaching of "the mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:19) or the teaching of the truth concerning the dispensation of "the mystery" (Colossians 1:24-27). Therefore, there is no scriptural reason for introducing the use of water baptism in our present Mystery Dispensation on the grounds that it was preached by John, the Baptist, the twelve apostles and even Paul during his Acts period ministry. Either water baptism or Holy Spirit baptism must fade out of use with the application of Ephesians 4:5 which says, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Since it is the Holy Spirit baptism that puts us into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), and since Paul was not sent to baptize with water (1 Corinthians 1:14-17), it seems clear that the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5 is Holy Spirit and not water.


The Lord's Supper and Why?

Modern churchmen refer to their various communion services, which include the eating of bread and the drinking of wine, as "The Lord's Supper." However, the expression "Lord's Supper" is used only once in all of the Word of God: and this one time the Holy Spirit is telling a company of Acts period saints that when they came together in "one place" they could not eat the Lord's Supper. We quote this one verse which is recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:20: "When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper." In the original language the verse reads "Ye cannot eat the Lord's supper." There is a scriptural reason why the New Testament Church could not partake of the Lord's supper in one place, or in a general assembly. As I understand the Scriptures, this reason was the fact that the Lord's supper was the antitype of "The Lord's Passover" of Exodus 12:11, and was to be eaten in their houses and not in the general assembly (Exodus 12:3-4).

The day of "The Lord's Passover" was set forth as a memorial day to be kept throughout the generations of Israel "by an ordinance forever" (Exodus 12:14-17). This Passover was eaten by the children of Israel on the night before their redemption by blood from the iron hand of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt. Almost 1500 years later it was eaten by Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles on the night before His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary. I call your attention to His own language concerning that last Passover supper. Turn with me to the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 22 and beginning with verse 14. "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." The kingdom reference in this passage is explained more fully in verses 28 to 30 of this same chapter. "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Two important dispensational truths are brought out in the Scriptures quoted in the above paragraph. The first one is the fact that Christ and His disciples were eating the Passover which had its beginning in Exodus, chapter 12. The second truth referred to is the fact that Christ declared He would not eat the bread and drink the wine with them again until the yet future day when they shall eat and drink at His table in His kingdom, and "sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." This helps us to understand the expression of the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:26, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death til he come."

According to Paul's own instruction, the Corinthian Church was to eat the bread and drink the wine (1 Corinthians 11 :23-27). However, we must bear in mind that this eating and drinking was a household affair and not a service that could be performed by the whole congregation in one assembly (1 Corinthians 11:20). The reason for this is found in Exodus 12, verses 3 to 4, where the children of Israel were specifically instructed to eat the Passover supper in their respective households and not in the congregational assembly. We are also to remember that when Paul received this ordinance from the Lord and delivered it unto the people he was an able minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6), and not a minister of the Dispensation of the Mystery (Colossians 1:24-26).

As a labourer together with God under the "new testament," Paul instructed the church at Corinth concerning the teachings of Christ who said "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:28-29). He was giving instruction concerning the New Testament and the "Hope of Israel" and not the revelation of the mystery and Christ in the believer, "the hope of glory."

After the setting aside of National Israel in the closing chapter of the book of Acts, the apostle was no longer a minister of the new covenant, which was promised through the prophet to the "house of Israel and the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31-34), but he was "a minister, according to the dispensation of God" which was given to him "to fulfill the word of God" (Colossians 1:24-25). The Lord's supper, which was the anti-type of the Lord's Passover, had a place in the New Testament Church of the Acts period, but it has no place in the church which is the body of Christ, which is now being called out during the Mystery Dispensation.

As I understand the Word, the Lord's supper along with all other externals must be left behind by those who would "go on unto perfection" in body truth. We say with Paul of old: "Wherefore, if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using); after the commandments and doctrines of men?" (Colossians 2:20-22).

Under the old covenant, the Passover lamb was slain and its blood covered the sins of the people. Under the new testament, Paul said, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7), but in the Mystery Dispensation he declares that Christ is "our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh" (Ephesians 2:14-17). There was a place for the Lord's supper among those who were looking to Him as their "Passover" but there is no room for such an ordinance among we members of the body of Christ who know Him as our "peace."

Some of the doctrines of other dispensations have been brought over into the Mystery Dispensation and the things which God has brought across we rejoice to preach and practice. However, it seems clear that both water baptism and the Lord's supper are not only left out of Paul's Mystery Dispensation, but they are forbidden by such Scriptures as Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:14, 20-23; and Colossians 2:9-10.






How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mid-Acts Grace Bible Studies - Posted By Cecil Spivey




... a dispensational exposition

Open To Read
 
THE CHURCH-WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? R. B. Shiflet  





How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Euthanasia - by Pastor Paul M. Sadler



Euthanasia 
  Pastor Paul M. Sadler


“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
— Hebrews 9:27

It is our firm conviction that every believer in Christ should strongly oppose euthanasia on the grounds that it runs contrary to the revealed will of God. Euthanasia is the deliberate act of prematurely terminating the life of someone who is hopelessly ill. This is normally achieved through the controlled inhalation of carbon monoxide, by a lethal injection of drugs or withholding nourishment. Those who are advocates of this unwholesome rationale believe that it is morally acceptable to end the pain and suffering of a loved one whose life would otherwise be meaningless. In the name of compassion Michigan’s infamous “Dr. Death” has assisted in many such suicides, proclaiming himself to be an angel of mercy.

Thankfully most physicians still hold to the Hippocratic oath, which states that every effort should be made to preserve life. But even more importantly, man has no moral right to terminate a life that has been given by God. It has been appropriately said: “Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it only lays it on the broken shoulders of the survivors.” Many seem to have forgotten that it is God “in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10). We sympathize, of course, with any family who has a loved one who is terminally ill. Nevertheless, to cut that life short may send them to a Christless eternity when they might have otherwise believed before their natural death. Also, we may never know how many souls in the medical profession have been saved because they were in the presence of a dying saint or family member who was faithful in sharing Christ. The Lord’s consolation at such times is “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE!”

The Two Witnesses - Pastor John LaVier (Click Here)

Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)





How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Monday, September 21, 2015

Justified Without A Cause - Pastor Cornelius R. Stam




Justified Without A Cause

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

God tells us in His Word that believers are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The word “freely,” here, does not mean “without cost,” but “without cause.” The same original word is so translated in John 15:25, where we find the words of Christ: “They hated Me without a cause.”

Thus sinners hated Christ “without a cause,” yet God justifies sinners “without a cause.”How can this be? Let’s see:

What had Christ done to earn the enmity of men? Nothing whatever. He had been kind and good, had helped those in distress, had healed their sick, had made the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the lame to leap for joy. Why, then, did they hate Him: The Bible says they hated Him “without a cause, i.e., without any cause in Him. The cause of their hatred lay in their own evil hearts.

But on the other hand, what have sinners done to merit justification before God? Again the answer is: Nothing whatever. They have broken His commandments every day, lying, stealing, and committing hundreds of other sins. Yet in love God gave His Son to die for them on Calvary “that He might be just and [at the same time] the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). He loves and justifies believers “without a cause”, i.e., without any cause in them. The cause is to be found in His own compassionate heart, for “GOD IS LOVE.”

Thus those who trust in Christ, who died for our sins, are justified without a cause, by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

“God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“By this man is preached…the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which He could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).





How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Bible A Confusing Book? - By Pastor Cornelius R. Stam




The Bible A Confusing Book?
Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We ran across an article recently, entitled: “Yes, the Bible is a Confusing Book.”

The article did not even attempt to dispel this “confusion,” or in any way help its readers to understand the Bible. It did not suggest even one basic rule of interpretation. Nor did it explain why the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles constantly exhorted men to study the Bible.

The Bible is indeed a very large Book, so that the greatest of us will never understand it all. Moreover, it is God’s Book and must necessarily contain much that is “hard to understand.” But this makes it the greater challenge to the believing heart to seek divine aid in exploring its depths and the greater joy when precious stones are brought up from this exhaustless mine.

God does not reward lazy and indifferent Christians with light from His Word, but confusion invariably vanishes as we prayerfully obey His command:

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).

In studying the Bible there are basic distinctions to be observed; e.g., between the twelve apostles and Paul, the apostle for this age; between the “gospel of the kingdom” and the gospel for our day: the “gospel of the grace of God,” etc., but meantime there are many passages of Scripture so plain and simple that a child can understand them and no theologian can explain them away. For example, in John 3:35,36, we read:

“THE FATHER LOVETH THE SON, AND HATH GIVEN ALL THINGS INTO HIS HAND.
“HE THAT BELIEVETH ON THE SON
hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

At the other end from the spiritual poverty experienced by those who deem the Bible “a confusing Book,” we have what St. Paul, by divine inspiration, calls “all [the] riches of the full assurance of understanding” (Colossians 2:2).






How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


(A 10 Minute Video)


 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
cspivey1953@gmail.com


E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends