Monday, July 31, 2017

Significnce of the Loaves and Fishes by Pastor Ricky Kurth

  Significnce of the Loaves and Fishes 
 by Pastor Ricky Kurth

“What’s the significance of the five loaves and two fishes the Lord used to feed the multitudes (Matt. 14:15-21)?”

The significance lies not in the actual number, but in the fact that loaves of bread were smaller in Bible days, with three loaves being about the right amount for one man’s meal (Luke 11:5,6). This means that the boy who shared the five loaves and two fishes (John 6:9) had packed just enough to feed himself, with a little left over to share with another. But it also means that he was willing to share his provisions even when it became evident that sharing them among so many would likely mean that he himself would go hungry.

This is a prophetic picture of the Tribulation saint who will be willing to help others who are hungry after the beast issues his mark and God’s people cannot buy food without it (Rev. 13:16-18), but who may fear that in so doing there may not be enough for himself. Faithful Hebrews in that day will trust God when He said that “there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth” (Prov. 11:24,25), a proverb that perhaps motivated the boy in our text. When the lad gave all that he had to the Lord, and the apostles distributed the loaves and fishes (John 6:9-11) “unto every man according as he had need,” it typified what Tribulation saints will have to do to help one another (Acts 4:32-37), and it proved that you are never too young to serve the Lord and His people!

                                        Pastor Ron Knitht 

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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Teachings of Jesus - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

The Teachings of Jesus 
 by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

n the controversy over “Pauline truth,” not a few Fundamentalists have joined Modernists in attempting to exalt “the teachings of Jesus” (on earth) above the Word of God through Paul. “Which,” they ask, “should bear the greater weight with us, the words of Jesus, or the words of Paul?”

But do they ask this because they truly desire to obey these “words of Jesus” and to see them obeyed? No, for they flagrantly disregard and disobey them, from the Sermon on the Mount to the Great Commission.

With regard to the Sermon on the Mount, they do not subject themselves to the law of Moses (Matt. 5:17-19); they do not bring gifts to altars of sacrifice (5:23,24); they do not give freely to all who ask of them (5:42; 10:8,9); they do not refrain from laying up treasures on earth (6:19,25,26); they do not sell what they have and give alms (Luke 6:30; 12:33).

And while professing obedience to the so-called “Great Commission” as “the Church’s marching orders,” they do not proclaim faith and baptism for salvation (Mark 16:16); they do not—they cannot—perform miraculous signs (Mark 16:17,18); they do not give the Jew first place in their ministry (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8), and they certainly do not teach others to observe all things that Messiah on earth commanded (Matt. 28:20 cf. 23:1-3).

They set “the teachings of Jesus” (on earth) over against “the teachings of Paul,” not because they are determined to obey Jesus, but because they are determined to minimize that which God has “magnified”—the authority of Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).

They seek to exalt the teachings of the earthly Jesus above those of Paul because they have closed their ears to the oft-repeated and Spirit-inspired claims of Paul that the glorified Lord spoke again from heaven, to and through him, committing to him “the dispensation of the grace of God” and the program for the day in which we live (Acts 20:24; 22:6-10,17-21; 26:12-18; Rom. 11:13; 15:15,16; 16:25,26; I Cor. 3:10; 11:23; 15:3; II Cor. 5:16; Gal. 1:1,11,12; 2:7-9; Eph. 3:1-4,8,9; 6:18-20; Phil. 4:9; Col. 1:23-27; I Thes. 4:15; II Thes. 3:14; I Tim. 2:5-7; II Tim. 2:7-9; Titus 1:2,3, etc.).

They have forgotten the stern rebuke the Galatians received for failing to recognize Paul’s teachings as a message from the risen, exalted Christ (Gal. 1:6-12). They have taken lightly Paul’s words to the Corinthians:
“…if I come again I will not spare: since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me…” (II Cor. 13:2,3).
They have distorted Paul’s inspired admonition as to his own writings:

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing…from such withdraw thyself” (I Tim. 6:3-5).

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Motives of Law and Grace - by Pastor Ricky Kurth

The Motives of Law and Grace

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (I Timothy 1:7).
Since “we are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:15), what possible motive could someone have to teach the law? Well, in Paul’s day, the men most likely to desire to cling to the law were Jews (Acts 15:1). Speaking of them, Paul told Titus:

“…there are many unruly and vain talkers…of the circumcision…who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:10,11).
The thing that these circumcision Jews “ought not” to have been teaching was the law, which they taught for the same reason men teach the law today—because there is money in it. Satan always makes sure that undispensational truth is popular, and teaching what is popular is always a lucrative endeavor! 

For instance, in time past, God’s message to Israel was that He was going to use Nebuchadnezzar to conquer the nation to chasten her for her iniquities (Jer. 25:9). But false prophets in Israel were assuring God’s people it would never happen, that they would continue to enjoy peace (Jer. 23:17). Which of those two messages do you think was more popular, and thus more lucrative? 

Of course, when Israel was obedient to God’s law, His message to them was a message of peace, but when they rebelled against His law, that message became one dispensation too late. Well, today the law is one dispensation too late, but it is as popular and as profitable as undispensational teaching has always been. People are religious by nature, and the law appeals to their religious “flesh” (Gal. 3:3). And that which appeals to a man’s religious flesh is always going to be as popular and as lucrative a business as that which appeals to his carnal flesh (II Cor. 11:20). 

When Paul added that those teachers of the law understood “neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm,” that was a polite way of saying they didn’t know what they were talking about! All because they were one dispensation too late in their teaching. What’s that say about all those “desiring to be teachers of the law” in our own day? 

Maybe you are thinking, “If the goal of the law is to get us to love God and our neighbor (I Tim. 1:5), and we’re not under the law, does that mean God doesn’t want us to love God and our neighbor?” Of course He does! But now such loving charity is the goal of a new commandment. You see, when Paul said that “the end of the commandment is charity” (I Tim. 1:5), he wasn’t just referring to the goal of the ten commandments. 

Remember, Paul opened this epistle by insisting that he was an apostle “by the commandment of God” (I Tim. 1:1), and in the dispensation of grace, the goal of that commandment is charity out of a pure heart. The goal of Paul’s God-ordained apostleship is to get people saved and loving God and their neighbor, just as it was under the law. The difference is, in this dispensation, “the love of Christ constraineth us” to serve Him (II Cor. 5:14), not the fear of what will happen to us if we disobey Him, as was the case under the law. That’s the motivation of love, not law! That’s the motivation of grace.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Commandments of the Lord - by Pastor Kevin Sadler

The Commandments of the Lord

by Pastor Kevin Sadler

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).
Many Christians have a fuzzy idea that when Christ ascended up from the Mount of Olives to heaven, He stopped speaking. But nothing could be further from the truth! Paul says that the things he wrote to the Corinthians, and to the Body of Christ as a whole, were the “commandments of the Lord”! Similarly, in his epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul says, “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus” (1 Thes. 4:2).

After Christ ascended to heaven, Israel continued in her rebellion against God by rejecting the Holy Spirit’s ministry through the twelve. Thus, Israel was temporarily set aside by God (Acts 7). God then raised up a new apostle, and gave Him a message which had never before been revealed (Acts 9; Gal. 1:11,12). Christ spoke again!

From heaven the glorified Christ gave to the Apostle Paul a new revelation concerning His heavenly ministry to the Church, the Body of Christ. To Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13), was given the commandments of Christ for the Body of Christ today. In Paul’s epistles, we have the will of God for our Christian lives during the dispensation of the grace of God. In Paul’s letters, we find the doctrines of grace that the Church is built upon and is to live by and share with the world.

Notice that Paul’s words, as revealed to Him by Christ, are spoken of as “commandments.” This is not a take-it-or-leave-it word. When a commandment is given by God, He expects us to obey and conform our wills to His will. In past dispensations, other commands were given which were valid at the time given, but are not for today, and are not for our obedience.

Take food for example (a topic close to my heart). The Bible commands man to eat only vegetables and fruit, then it allows for eating meat with fruit and veggies, then it commands only certain foods to be eaten, then it commands that all food can be eaten. It is impossible to obey all of these different commands at the same time.

There are many other issues in Scripture like this, so it’s imperative to determine which commands God would have us obey today. The answer is that Paul’s letters are the commandments of the Lord which are valid for today under grace. And Paul says we can eat all things (1 Tim. 4:3-5). It’s great to live under grace!