Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Landmark Of Spirit Filled Preaching

Temple Baptist Church - 10-30-2011

Acts 2:1-4, 14


A. There is some division over the actual beginning of the New Testament Church. Some believe that it began at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Others believe it began during the ministry of Christ. I personally believe that the church was in existence during the ministry of Christ because Christ declared its foundation in Matthew 16; instituted church discipline in Matthew 18; and set forth its ordinances (The Lord’s Supper and Baptism) before His ascension. I believe that Acts 2 was the empowering of the church through the fullness of the Spirit. I do not fall out with those who believe different from me as long as they stand for the local church.

B. In our text, we find the filling of the Holy Ghost which was the empowering of the church.

Luke 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.

Many in our day believe that the evidence of being Spirit filled is the sign gift of speaking in tongues. The power given to the church was manifested in Spirit filled preaching! (verse 14) Previous to Acts 2, the Apostles followed Christ as He did most of the teaching and preaching. Now, He is gone and the torch is passed on to God called men. Peter preached to the Jews and Jewish proselytes in Jerusalem and 3,000 were saved. Before I go any farther, let me say,
1. “Do not equate Spirit filled preaching with great numbers saved or decisions for Christ made!” Some of the greatest pastors, evangelists, and missionaries that I know have faithfully preached the gospel to the lost for years with little visible results. Spirit filled preaching does not negate personal choice in salvation!

2. “Do not equate Spirit filled preaching with eloquence, loudness, or delivery.” Though, at times, each of these may be used effectively, they are not necessarily producing sound doctrine nor do they bring about desired results.

C. I said all of that to say this: in the early days of Acts, the church was characterized by Spirit filled preaching that turned a world upside down for Christ.

1. The history of the New Testament Church has a rich heritage of Spirit filled men of God who unapologetically preached the whole counsel of God! They were imprisoned, tortured, exiled, martyred, and maligned by those following the “god of this world.”

2. They did not preach for numbers or filthy lucre but preached for the glory of God and the souls of men. Some built great churches in times of little resistance while others died in obscurity on some mission field or in an area of little renown. There were and are no big preachers or little preachers. Some plow out the field while others plow out the corners of the field.

D. In these last perilous times, we find few men of God who are still Spirit filled and preach the Word of God as it is to men as they are. The “itching ears” crowd has rejected these men of God for the hirelings and “teachers” of 2 Timothy 3-4. One of the last Landmarks and a very important one has become a rarity, even in the Bible Belt. Men pleasers are, as a general rule, not God pleasers! We need to remember that it is God’s Word, God’s called men, and God’s results as we plant and water, but He alone gives the increase.

E. I want our church to be known as a Preaching Church. Singing is great but God is not looking for a Singing Church. The principal thing is the preaching of God’s Word. There was a time when people came to church to hear preaching but now it is for the entertainment that they find. The most common question people ask me when inquiring about our church is, “What do you have for the young people?” That lets me know that preaching of the Word is at best secondary and more than likely much farther down on the list of priorities.

F. Preaching is important because:

1. Preaching Exhorts The Believer

2. Preaching Evangelizes The Lost

3. Preaching Encourages The Discouraged

4. Preaching Edifies The Church

G. Old fashioned preaching is what the church needs.

1. Preaching is to be Uncompromising.
Jonah 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee! (Preaching is neither hard nor soft. Biblical preaching is to be straight and exact. I still believe that God meant what He said and said what He meant. Preachers are to be God pleasers.)

2. Preaching is to be Loving and Compassionate. Jude 22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (I have heard all kinds of preaching and some of it has been mean spirited. God’s men are to remember that they are preaching to God’s people! I find no place in the Bible where our Lord ever got angry with His sheep. He got angry at the religious crowd but never at His sheep. Loving, compassionate preaching will be accepted by even the chief of backsliders.)

3. Preaching is to be Bold. Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. (The messenger is not to be apologetic for God’s message! I do not get mad at my mail carrier when I get an unexpected bill. She is just the delivery person and has never driven down to my house to apologize for a letter. God’s men, if they are preaching the right doctrinal message with the right spirit, should never apologize for what God said.)

4. Preaching is to be Comprehensive. Acts 20:26-27 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (I often say, “What characterizes a preacher is not only what he preaches but also what he will not preach!” Many liberal churches have preachers who preach good messages. Their messages are doctrinally sound and homiletically developed but there are certain subjects that they are afraid to preach on because they are “job scared.”)

5. Preaching is to be Spirit Filled. 1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (Once again, let me say that Spirit filled preaching is not a performance; Spirit filled preaching is obedient! God’s men are to be led by the Spirit as well as filled with the Spirit. He knows what and when something needs to be preached. That is “in season” and “out of season!” When it is popular and when it is not popular.)

6. Preaching is to be Doctrinally Correct. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (Spirit and truth are placed on equal ground with the Lord. The church is the “pillar and ground of the truth!” I have been shocked by the lack of biblical understanding of many independent pastors. They base much of their beliefs upon what someone else believes while rejecting clear scriptures on certain subjects. I remain a Biblicist! If they tell me that they believe in something, then they should be able to give me scripture for it!)

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Your Loins Girt About With Truth

Temple Baptist Church - 10-26-2011

Ephesians 6:14


A. In these final verses to the Ephesian believers
, Paul admonished them to recognize their enemy and, knowing who Satan is, get ready for a continual battle. Our spiritual warfare is a perpetual one. Satan never gives up nor does he let up. God’s children are under constant attack for more than one reason:

1. Because it is Satan’s only way to “get back at God!” By hurting what God loves and doing his best to destroy us

2. Because we are the only gospel that the lost sees. Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of the lost. He has blinded them to the reality of their lost condition and also to the approaching of eternity. If we are defiled, discouraged, or destroyed—the lost will not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ and be saved.

B. Satan’s battlefield in both saved and lost is the mind! As we are admonished to withstand and to stand, Paul begins with the girding of the “loins” with God’s truth. Along with physical preparedness, mental preparedness is extremely important when facing conflict. If someone slipped up behind you and stuck you with a pin, you would probably jump and scream. When I hit the ground, I would be very upset with the one who jabbed me. But on the other hand, on occasion I go to the doctor for a shot of some kind. I do not like either the pin or the needle but the outcome is always different. I watch as they draw blood out of my arm. I do not flinch when they give me the old needle. What is the difference between the two sticking’s? Mental preparedness! I am unprepared for the malicious jabbing of the pin but mentally prepared for the shot or drawing of blood. I have prepared my mind in that I am ready for the pain of the needle, therefore it is no surprise.

C. We must be expecting the “jab” of Satan’s needle at any time and any circumstance. When we are mentally prepared for spiritual and physical confrontation, we are much more prepared to both stand and withstand. I want to take a closer look at this phrase “having your loins girt about with truth.”

1. The word having tells me that without this girting with truth, standing or withstanding becomes much more difficult if not impossible. The secret to standing and withstanding is having the whole armor of God, not just certain aspects of it and the first mentioned is that of mind! Most fights of any kind are either won or lost before the fight begins because of mental preparedness or a lack of it. Believers everywhere are falling to the wayside because of not having the right mental preparedness. Get ready mentally for the battle of your life.

2. The word loins is in reference to the strength of the mind or the degree of preparedness that we have. The word loins has nothing to do with the actual physical loins of our bodies from which comes physical strength because the context of the verse is speaking of truth. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

3. The word girt means to bind up or to strengthen. A sword is firmly attached to the soldier when in the sheath. Our minds must be properly bound up or fenced in. One man said, “If you are too open minded, your brains will fall out.”

4. The word truth speaks not so much about truth in general as it does about biblical truth or the Word of God. Knowledge and understanding are great weapons to be used against both Satan and the circumstances of this life.

1. A Cleansing - Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (We are to be careful what we allow our minds to think upon. We will have “fiery darts” strike from time to time and that in itself is not sinful. Our meditation becomes the problem. I often warn our youth about the things that they place into their minds because, as long as you live, “evil” will be present with you! Cleansing of the mind is like the cleansing of our bodies: it must be done perpetually or it will stink!)
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Psalms 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

2. A Cultivation - Ephesians 4:22-23 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (The greatest thing that we can do in the realm of our minds is to fill it with the Word of God. In order to be healthy and grow, our minds must be fed a right diet on a regular basis. We feed our minds every day one way or the other; therefore, we must continually renew them. As a right, regular diet makes for a healthy body, so goes the mind.)
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

3. A Capturing - 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (When in a spiritual battle, we often let our imaginations exalt “high” things against the knowledge of God. God is not able; God does not care; God does not love us; etc. are things that we know are not true and yet they are things that can constantly impact our thinking. God can; God controls; God controls; God love us; and God does care!)

4. A Concentration - Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Learning to think both righteously and positively are ways in which we can gird up the loins of our minds. Look for good in things; look for the blessings of God in things. I am not talking about the “Power of Positive Thinking.” I am talking about thinking positive. God is still sovereign and there are wonderful things to occupy our minds each day.)

5. A Continuation - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (Never, never give up! We are victorious in our faith and Satan is a defeated foe! He may at times win a skirmish but the war was over before it ever began. Hang in there; withstand all that Satan throws your way; and stand fast.)

Conclusion: Your mind is more important that you know. “Mind over matter” becomes a reality in our spiritual warfare. As goes the mind, so goes the war!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Landmark of the Presence of God

Temple Baptist Church - 10-23-2011

2 Chronicles 7:1-3


A. I want to look at another “Ancient Landmark” of the local church that is strangely missing in our day
. The presence and worship of God!

1. Most church services know nothing of either. Church has become a disciplined part of the life of most of God’s people and they are faithful to the services of the church. I preached some years on the question Isaac asked of Abraham in Genesis 22, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

2. In our day, it is the fire that is missing in most church services as they have become formalistic and dead.

B. I am not talking about a lot of spiritual hype that has been equated with worship (I am not against praising the Lord) but the true worship in spirit and truth that welcomes the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. God has been programed out of most church services. Prayer is made at the right times, singing is done at the right times, the offering is taken up at the right time, the preacher preaches at the right time, and we get out at the right time (check out the restaurant lines.)

2. Something is missing and it is so evident: the presence of God!

C. In our text for this morning, we find the presence of God. At the end of Solomon’s prayer, the fire fell and the glory of God filled the Temple. It was so overwhelming that the priests could not enter because of it. I know that the Lord works differently in the New Testament economy but the presence of God should be evident in every service. Our Lord said that where 2 or 3 were gathered together in His name, He would be in the midst.

D. Most churches have never known His presence and He is neither welcome nor wanted in most of them. He is disruptive of their “menus” and demanding of their members. Many churches have lost the glory of His presence: religion is their game and Ichabod is their name. Some churches still have the glory of His presence: there is excitement in their praise and joy in their hearts.

E. Here are some things that the presence of God will bring to a church.

1. God’s Presence Brought Excitement In Assembly – vs. 3 “All the children of Israel saw” - Psalms 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (What a blessing to come to church and leave having met with the Lord. Not everyone feels His presence but I love it. I come to church needing and looking for something and leave having found it. I love church! I love to come and know that He has given me some help.)

2. God’s Presence Brought Humility – vs. 3 “all the children … bowed” - Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (When the presence of the Lord is here, I realize more than ever my worthlessness and His worthiness. He is all that we have and all that we need. We cannot live without Him.)

3. God’s Presence Brought Worship – vs. 3 “worshipped” - Psalms 96:8-9 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. (I often pray, “Dear Lord, help me to lay aside everything that will hinder my worship and help me to keep my mind and heart stayed upon Thee. Dear Lord, help us to worship you each and every time we come to your house!”)

4. God’s Presence Brought Praise – vs. 3 “all the children … praised the Lord” - Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. (I do not want the rocks to have to praise the Lord in my stead! I know that we all have hard times but the Lord has been a lot better to us than we have been to Him and I want to continually have His praises in my mouth.)

5. God’s Presence Brought Sacrifice – vs. 4 “all the people offered sacrifices” - 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (People who know the Lord and walk with Him have no problem with tithes and offerings. I know people who give 20-30 percent of their incomes to the Lord. They are not rich and yet they are rich. One man once said, “We give to God with a spoon and He gives back with a shovel.”)

6. God’s Presence Brought Involvement – vs. 6 “Priests … Levites … all Israel stood” - 1 Chronicles 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets. (I know that not everyone will get involved but those who come to truly worship will. Singing is not a chore to them; taking a part in the choir or taking up offerings; etc. are not chores to them. God involved! If you sit and watch, you are missing much because worship and praise are not spectator sports.)

7. God’s Presence Brought Sufficiency – vs. 7 “the brazen altar … was not able to receive” - Exodus 36:5-6 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. (In our day, restraining people’s giving is not an option because there is much more in the realm of missions that needs to be done but we can dream about. For me to stand here and say, “Please don’t bring any more offerings for a while because we do not know what to do with it all,” would “blow” us all away. God’s presence will cause God’s people to sufficiently give in order to have “meat in mine house.”)

Conclusion: I believe with all of my heart that the Lord wants to make His presence known in the local church so that His people know that He is real and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. God’s presence brings about the “fullness of joy” in the hearts of His people.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stand Fast

Temple Baptist Church - 10-19-2011

Ephesians 6:10-13


A. Paul’s final exhortation to the believers at Ephesus was to stand fast. Ephesus was a thriving city in Asia Minor with wealth and idolatry on every hand. The Ephesian believers had been saved from a life of plenty and sinfulness. In the city of Ephesus stood the Temple of Diana (her Greek name was Artemis), which was one of the most revered of Roman goddesses. The Temple of Diana was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Antipater of Sidon, who compiled the list of the Seven Wonders, describes the finished temple: “I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.’"

B. Christianity was openly rejected and believers persecuted in the city (Acts 19). Here in our text, the Apostle Paul encourages these precious people to:

1. Be strong in the Lord. Vs. 10.

2. Stand against the wiles of the devil. Vs. 11.

3. Withstand in the evil day. Vs. 13.

4. Having done all, to stand. Vs. 13.

C. Over the next few weeks, I want us to look at these verses (10-18) and make some practical applications. We also live in a land of plenty as well as an idolatrous nation. By idolatry, I mean both idols made of metal and idols that are mental. American, in spite of our financial woes of this day, is still the Utopia of the world! The people of every nation look at America as being the epitome of wealth and luxury: Utopia! Along with the blessing of plenty goes the curse of idolatry! An “idol” is anything or anyone that comes between us and the Lord. What we love and live for is the “god” of our lives.

D. Coupled with the blessings of America is the timeframe in which we live. We live at the Midnight Hour spiritually and understand fully that the Lord may come today. According to 2 Thessalonians 2, the Second Coming will be prefaced by spiritual deception and a “falling away” spiritually. We are there!

E. If there was ever a time of spiritual decline and escalated sinfulness, today is it. I want us “who remain” to continue in the things of the Lord. People are “falling away” both physically and spiritually. Churches are becoming less and less attended while bibles collect dust on the shelf. I want to remain in the will of the Lord, faithfully serving Him until I go home! What about you?

1. Stand Fast In The Lord!

a. Our Confidence is to be in the Lord - Psalms 118:8-9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

Proverbs 3:25-26 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (If God knows everything [and He does], and if God can do anything [and He can], then we can trust Him!)

b. Our Strength is to be from the Lord – Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

c. Our Help comes from the Lord - Psalms 121:1-2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

2. Stand Fast In Unity!

a. By being Likeminded - Acts 2:44-47 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.

b. By being Loving - 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

c. By being Faithful - Hebrews 10:25 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.

3. Stand Fast In Assurance!

a. The Lord will Deliver - 2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (Either from the fire or through the fire.)
b. The Lord will finish what He Started - Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

c. The Lord will always be there with and for you - Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Landmark Of Sanctification

Temple Baptist Church - 10-16-2011

Matthew 10:32-39


A. There is another “landmark” of the faith that I want to deal with this morning. We have dealt with the landmarks of the Scripture, Sanctuary, and Salvation but one of the most important and neglected of all doctrines is that of biblical Sanctification. The old holiness people made much of sanctification though they were wrong in some of the terminology and doctrines concerning it.

B. In our text for this morning, we find the words of our Lord concerning division. Division can be either positive (or biblical) or negative in nature. Jesus Christ said that He came not to send peace but a sword. He came to set a man at variance from his own family. The believer’s family often becomes his greatest foes spiritually. It is not the believer that divides: it is Lord and His Word.

C. There are actually three distinct areas of sanctification in the life of every believer:

1. There is Positional Sanctification - 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (At the moment of salvation, the believer is set apart from the world positionally through Jesus Christ. He is the believer’s sanctification. We are baptized into Christ and remain secure!)

2. There is Practical Sanctification - 1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. (When we are saved, we remain just a sinner saved by the grace of God. As we mature in the Lord and grow in our faith, we are being constantly changed by both the Spirit of God who indwells us and the Word of God that teaches and guides us.)

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

3. There is Perpetual Sanctification - 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (We will be forever delivered from the presence of sin at either death or the rapture of the church.)

c. Positional and Permanent Sanctification are distinct works of the Lord as He becomes the propitiation for the sinner and ultimately comes to take him or her home. Practical Sanctification is a work of the saint! It is the act of separating from the world and unto the Lord; therefore, it is a very positive thing, not a negative one.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Unusual, eccentric, strange, odd, uncommon, not the norm, belonging exclusively to some person, group, or thing.)

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

D. Biblical Sanctification defined: Sanctification refers to the practical experience of separation unto God, being the effect of obedience to the Word of God in one’s life, and is to be pursued by the believer earnestly.

Horatius Bonar said over 200 years ago: “I looked for the Church and I found it in the world, and I looked for the world and I found it in the Church.”

Keith Daniel said: “If we try to win the world by being like the world the world will win you!”

Greg Gordon said, “A peculiar people is a powerful people! God anoints a set apart Church with the Power of His Spirit, there is no other way. A worldly Church will never win the world.”

E. There are three areas of Practical Sanctification that I want to briefly look at with each being contingent upon our obedience to the Bible.

1. Personal Sanctification - Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Each of us has an obligation to be personally separated from the world and unto the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that we are to be a peculiar people. We are to be peculiar in our actions; we are to be peculiar in our deportment; we are to be peculiar in our following; we are to be peculiar in our thinking; we are not to be conformed to this world but we are to renew our minds through the Word of God. We are special and we are different! We are saved and we are His!)

2. Ecclesiastical Sanctification - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (Our church is not to be yoked in any manner with other churches that are liberal or apostate. Denominations and conventions lend themselves to such unbiblical unions. You are who you hold hands with spiritually. You may think you are straight but if you are supporting or affiliated with liberal churches, you are liberal! That’s why we are independent and autonomous! We are not personally to worship in heretical, liberal, or apostate churches. If we obey this command, we will be hated and maligned by family and friends.)

3. Doctrinal Sanctification - Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (We are to remain doctrinally separated and pure. We are to allow no one who is not doctrinally correct to teach or preach in our church. We are not to work in any situation with someone who is not doctrinally correct. Wrong doctrines or wrong bibles make for disobedient affiliations. Earnestly contending for the faith does not make one popular with either the world or the religionist.)

Conclusion: We are not our own for we have been bought with a terrible price. Our responsibility is to be separated unto the Lord and from this present evil world. In all that we do, we are to glorify God. Biblical Sanctification is a positive thing, not a negative one. We are not only separated from something, we are separated unto Someone: our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting To Know Your Enemy - Part 2

Temple Baptist Church - 10-12-2011

Ephesians 6:10-13


A. Though I will not do a study on Angelogy or Demonology at this time, I do want to give a little more insight into the person and work of Satan as forewarned is forearmed. God’s people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge and knowing your enemy, Satan, is no exception.

B. In 1 Peter 5:8, we find an analogy: Satan is compared to as “roaring lion” who walks about seeking whom he may devour. In that verse, we see several things:

1. Satan’s Desire - “your Adversary”

a) We Need To Realize That We Have An Enemy

b. Adversary - One who has enmity at heart.

2. Satan’s Danger - “a roaring lion”

a) We Need To Realize That He Is A Formidable Foe

b) We Are No Match For Him In Ourselves

3. His Disposition – “the devil” Here are some of the descriptive names given to Satan in the Bible:

a) Devil – One who slanders or falsely accuses - Revelation 12:10 And I heard a great voice in the heaven saying, Now is come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren has been cast out, who accused them before our God day and night:

b) Satan – One who withstands - Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

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

d) Dragon – power and cruelty - Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

d) Lucifer - Light Bearer - 2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

C. Tonight, I want to look at three things that Satan desires to do.

1. Satan Wants To Damn The Lost. (God made man for salvation and Heaven, not hell.)

a. Satan Wants To See Their Minds Deluded. 2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

1) He wants them blinded to their need.

2) He wants them to reject the love and sacrifice of Christ.
b. Satan Wants To See Their Bodies Destroyed. Job 20:11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.

Psalms 38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.

1) He destroys their minds through sin.

2) He destroys their bodies through sin.

3) He destroys their happiness through sin.

c. Satan Wants To Damn Their Souls. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

1) He will blind them to the reality of hell.

2) He will blind them to the reality of God’s holiness and justice.

2. Satan Wants To Defile The Saved. (He cannot touch your salvation, but he can destroy both your life and usefulness.)

a. Satan Wants To Defile Your Testimony. 2 Samuel 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

1) He causes the lost to blaspheme God.

2) He causes the lost to perish without a witness.

b. Satan Wants To Destroy Your Usefulness. 2 Timothy 4:10a For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.

1) He leads the saint astray.

2) He exposes their sin to the world.

c. Satan Wants To Destroy Your Happiness. John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Psalms 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

1) He lies about the glories of the world.

2) He reminds you of your spiritual failures.

d. Satan Wants To Destroy Our Posterity. Psalms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

1) He does not want them trained for the Lord.

a) They need correction.

b) They need compassion.

c) They need consistency.

d. They need conviction.

2) He does not want them either saved or useful.
e. Satan Wants To Destroy Your Reward. 2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

3. Satan Wants To Divide The Church. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

a. The Causes Of Division

1) Church Division Comes Through Carnality – James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

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

2) Church Division Comes Through Biblical Ignorance - Ephesians 4:2-7 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 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. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

3) Church Division Comes Through False Brethren - 3 John 9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

4) Church Division Comes Through Satanic Influence - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 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; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

b. The Results Of Division

1) Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church. (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and unforgiveness in their hearts. They are Achans!)

2) Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church. (Missions has been damaged because of gaining a family and then loosing a family through spiritual nonsense!)

3) Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church. (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)

4) Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church. (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents. It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)

5) Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church. (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)

6) Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church. (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)

7) Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints. (Malice and unforgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)

8) Division Damages The Believer.

a) It Will Divide You From The Pastor – Your Friend

b) It Will Divide You From The Pulpit – God’s Message

c) It Will Divide You From The People – Your Brethren

d) It Will Divide You From The Peace Of God – Your Joy

e) It Will Divide You From The Place – God’s House

f) It Will Divide You From The Purpose – God’s Harvest

9) Division Brings Reproach Upon The Name Of Christ

a) It Brings Confusion Of The Church’s Purpose

b) It Brings Reproach Upon The Testimony Of The Local Church

c) Ultimately, It Damns Sinners To A Devil’s Hell

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The High Cost Of Backsliding

Temple Baptist Church - 10-9-2011

2 Timothy 4:6-13


A. 2 Timothy is generally accepted as the last of the Pauline Epistles because of both the date of the epistle and the content
, especially the wording of the last chapter (specifically the verses that we just read). In these verses, he mentions several of his co-laborers and fellow soldiers of the cross.

B. He mentions 3 in particular that I want to look at for a moment and then zero in on one of these.

1. We find one standing with the Apostle Paul: Luke, the beloved physician. What a faithful man! We have men like Luke in most of our churches and I thank God for them. You will never know what you mean to this pastor when you are faithful to the Lord and the church. I can depend upon you always being here with me and for me. I appreciate that! You are the “mainstays” of the church.

2. We find one coming back to the Apostle Paul: John Mark, who had previously quit the work. Many of God’s children, for one reason or the other quit serving the Lord for a time. Most of those who once served faithfully and quit, never do so again. Some get back on track and run the race once again. I thank God for those who come back! The harvest is truly plenteous and the laborers few.

3. We find one leaving the Apostle Paul: Demas. The only commentary given concerning his reason for leaving was that he “loved this present world.” 1 John 2:15 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

C. I am sure that Demas’ leaving distressed the man of God because, as a pastor, I am touched with the feeling of Paul’s infirmity. God’s men love all of God’s people: not only the faithful and the ones restored, but also those who get out of the will of the Lord. It distresses God’s men because”

1. Because Demas was Paul’s friend. Colossians 4:14 says, “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” Demas was called a fellowlabourer in another place. He worked and traveled with the great Apostle to the Gentiles.

2. Because the time was critical. In Paul’s Epistle to Timothy, young Timothy was exhorted to “preach the word” because of the worldliness of the church people who “heaped to themselves teachers having itching ears.”

3. Because of the need for laborers. As in Paul’s day, we are losing faithful people quicker than we are seeing them added. As one man said, “We are losing them out the back door as fast as we can bring them in the front door.”

D. There is no record of either what happened to Demas nor of his return to the Lord. I think that I would be scripturally safe to say that he left never to return. There is nothing said after his leaving but I will say that it was a great loss to Paul, a great loss to the church, a great loss to the lost, and it had a large “price tag” for Demas.

1. Demas may have loved life rather than death or persecution.

2. Demas may have loved pleasure and ease rather than hardship.

3. Demas may have loved the sinful life rather than the holy life.

4. Demas may have loved his freedom rather than “self-imprisonment.”

5. Demas may have loved wealth rather than suffering necessities.

E. I want to look for a few minutes at some things that Demas forsook.

1. Demas forsook his fellowship with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (The peace and joy that comes only through walking with the Lord was forsaken. Backsliders are the unhappiest people in the world. If you can be backslidden and happy, you may need to “slide up” first.)

2. Demas forsook his family at church. 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (Oh what joy; oh what delight, to be assembled with these special people. As old Brother Jim would have said, “I love you better than Butter Pecan Ice Cream!!)

3. Demas forsook his friendship with the man of God. 3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. (If you have a real pastor, you have a friend that will stick closer than a brother but, in order to have a friend, you must be a friend.)

4. Demas forsook the fruitfulness of his labor. Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (The world will never know the love of Christ that we know unless we tell them. Demas would be without reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.)

5. Demas forsook the freshness of a holy life. 1 John 3:20-21 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (A clear conscience still makes for a soft pillow! Walking at a guilty distance from the Lord causes sadness and unhappiness.)

6. Demas forsook the fortification of an almighty God. Psalms 62:7-8 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Safety is still of the Lord and the safest place in the world is found in the will of God for your life. I do not want Satan turned loose on me! 1 Corinthians 5:5 says, “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.”)

The Landmark Of Salvation

Temple Baptist Church - 10-9-2011

Genesis 3:15; 3:21; 4:1-7; Jude 11


A. I have been preaching on the subject “Remove Not The Ancient Landmark, Which Thy Fathers Have Set” over the past couple of weeks. Spiritual “landmarks” define boundaries and are points of reference from which all of our doctrines are measured. We are not as many who corrupt the Word of God by making it conform to our doctrine but we are those few who continually mold our doctrines to the Word of God.

B. I want to reiterate that I am a Biblicist before I am a Baptist! Baptists are only doctrinally correct as long as their doctrines conform to the Bible! If the Baptists err, then we follow the Scriptures. The Bible is the “Landmark of Faith!” Jesus Christ is the Head of the church and He is the Word of God. It is from the Bible that we know about God, Jesus Christ, the gospel, Heaven, Hell and how to get saved.

C. This morning, I want to take a look at the “Landmark of Salvation.” In order to get a proper perspective of what salvation is and is not, I want to look both to the beginning and then at the satanic end result of apostasy. The Bible Belt has been “unbuckled” for a long time and biblical salvation has been perverted by the apostates. The vast majority of people that we meet through door knocking have no idea of how to be saved. They have learned the “language” of salvation but do not know the reality of it! The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians is in its final stages and truly born again believers are few. The “Bible Belt” has religion, not salvation.

D. In order to get our perspective right, I want to go to the first mention of salvation, show the progression of apostasy, and the end result. In Genesis 3, we find the fall of man and the initiation for God’s eternal plan of salvation for him. In Genesis 4, we find the wrong way and the right way of salvation in the lives of Cain and Abel and God’s judgment of Cain. In the Book of Jude, we find the end result of apostasy: unsaved and ungodly men within the churches.

E. Genesis 3 declares that salvation is through the coming of the “seed of the woman” and requires the shedding of blood. Genesis 4 shows both the acceptance and rejection of a blood bought salvation. The account of Cain and Abel is profound:

1. It Refutes Works for Salvation – God rejected Cain’s offering!

2. It Refutes Ways for Salvation – God accepted only His Way!

3. It Refutes Self-Righteousness for Salvation – God required blood!

4. It Refutes Pre-destination for Salvation – God gave Cain a second chance and would have accepted him. Cain’s problem was not election, it was rejection and, therefore, a sin problem!

5. It Refutes God’s Acceptance of Cain Worship – God cursed Cain!

F. Though “Cain Worship” is almost as old as time, it has become much more prevalent in our day. People of our day for the most part have a works salvation: they have been baptized, joined the church, doing the best that they can, hope they are going to heaven, and get angry when you tell them about the New Birth. The gospel attacks their religion and, instead of getting right with the Lord and being saved, they get angry as they reject both the Lord and His truth.

G. The Bible says, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Our Lord said that the only way to heaven is through the new birth. In these last days, the New Birth is looked down upon and its recipients are maligned and mocked. The “Landmark of Salvation” is still Repentance and Faith!

1. It Is A Singular Salvation - Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Man’s ways may seem to them as the right ways they are “dead wrong.”)

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

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

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

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Is salvation simple or not? Is salvation plain or not?)

2. It Is An Eternal Salvation - John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 3:14-16 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I want to say, “Blessed be God!” It is self-righteousness that keeps people from believing in the eternal security of the believer! Salvation belongs to the Lord!)

3. It Is A Life Changing Salvation - Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (It is both repentance and faith, not faith alone! Our Lord said to repent or perish!)

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (As one old fashioned preacher said, “If you ain’t changed, you ain’t saved!)

4. It Is A Universal Salvation - Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (I know that I have dealt with this in the beginning but I want to say again that everyone of us has the same basic testimony of salvation. Your circumstances and mine may be somewhat different, but the salvation is the same. We recognized our sinfulness and final destination in hell, turned to Jesus Christ for salvation, and were gloriously saved! “In my hand no price a bring; simply to they cross I cling; O Lamb of God, I come!”)

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

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (Jesus Christ died for the sin of the whole world, not just the elect or the select. What pride! To thing that God chose me to salvation and rejected you!)

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (If you can interpret “the whole world” as being only the elect, you are totally ignorant of truth!)

5. It Is A Gracious Salvation - Ephesians 2:8-9 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 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Titus 3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (We deserve nothing; we deserve Hell, but because of His great love wherein He loved us—Jesus Christ DIED IN OUR PLACE!)

Conclusion: The Landmark of Salvation has been removed from most churches and the result is total confusion. People rely upon almost everything else other than the finished work of Jesus Christ: His death according to the Scripture, burial, and resurrection according to the Scripture. There is no other way!

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting To Know Your Enemy

Temple Baptist Church - 10-5-2011

Ephesians 6:10-12


A. Most people are ignorant concerning the person and work of Satan. He is joked about, ignored, and even slandered (much is blamed upon Satan that is actually the fault of ourselves) not only by the world but also by many God fearing people. They have no concept concerning the danger of such an enemy! The Bible compares him to a “roaring lion!” No one in their right mind would ignore or joke about a roaring lion while standing within its grasp and, yet, Satan is a much more formidable enemy because his destruction is both temporal and eternal.

1. People are ignorant concerning his person – He is full of hatred toward them. As much as God loves us, Satan hates us!

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Satan was a servant of the Lord and desired all that God had; therefore, he held to his lust and hated God.)

2. People are ignorant concerning his power – they worship and play with him.

Psalms 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Jude 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (In these two verses, we find that the strength of angels excels all others. Michael the archangel did not rebuke Satan but left that up to the Lord which speaks of the great power and standing of this mighty angel.)

B. When we realize who he is, what he is, what he desires, and how he works, we are much better equipped to resist Satan and watch as he flees.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (We can know exactly how Satan works and to do so gives us a definite spiritual advantage. There is an old saying that goes like this: “Fore warned is fore armed.” I will not preach on all of these devices but do want to name some.)

1. The Device Of Division – He destroys our unity.

2. The Device Of Distraction – He keeps our eyes off the “main thing.”

3. The Device Of Defilement – He will keep us unusable.

4. The Device Of Distress – He is the master terrorist.

5. The Device Of Disappointment – He is the author of hopelessness.

6. The Device Of Discouragement – He is the discourager of the brethren.

7. The Device Of Despair – He wants us to give up.

8. The Device Of Doubt – He wants us to doubt God.

9. The Device Of Dishonesty – He is the father of every lie.

10. The Device Of Deceit – He is subtle in his approach to us.

11. The Device Of Dullness – He wants us drunk on the wine of this world.

12. The Device Of Deadness – He despises our worship and giving of thanks.

13. The Device Of Delay – He hinders our efforts.

14. The Device Of Defame – He causes the world to speak evil of our loyalty to Christ.

15. The Device Of Disobedience – He breeds rebellion in the child of God.

16. The Device Of Disbelief – If he can succeed here, there is no possibility of us standing, which is our goal.

C. I am not interested in doing a study on Satanology or Demonology as some call it but I do want us realize just who Satan is and what we are fighting against each day. Our text declares that we wrestle not against “flesh and blood.” Satan is not a man; therefore, he is not limited by human frailty.

D. Our enemy is not a man but rather the driving force behind man! Let us look at verse 12 for a few minutes.

1. The word “principalities” deals with order, principality, or the first estate. It also deals with rank or ruling. The battle that we have each day goes far beyond our beginnings. This is an age old battle that began in heaven and is being fought out on earth. Satan is still the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the prince of this world (John 16:11).

2. The word “powers” denotes more than just the might of man but a superhuman influence that goes far beyond human limitations. His power is incomprehensible to finite humans. It is as close to “all power” as you can get without being omnipotent. Let me qualify that statement: with all of the power and force that Satan has, he is NOTHING compared to the power of our Lord. Satan’s power and might is “no contest” in his efforts to unseat the Potentate of the Universe!

3. “Rulers of the darkness of this world!” The darkness of sin and everything that is either wrong or bad in this world is “ruled” by Satan. He is the author of sin; he is the author of confusion; he is wicked incarnate and is behind every wicked government and act in the world. Men are simply influenced by his wickedness.

4. “Spiritual wickedness in high places.” In Matthew 4, during the temptation of our Lord, Satan offered Him the kingdoms of this world if He would bow down and worship him. That is an interesting statement because it tells us two things:

a) Satan owns the kingdoms of this world, not necessarily the men who rule them but, for the most part, to get elected to the highest office of a nation or kingdom is a pretty good sign that you have sold out to the devil a long time before! Every wicked kingdom belongs to Satan because it is he that created their governmental structure and elevated their superiors. America is included as it has become more and more anti-Christ in its nature.

b) Governmental ruling and ownership involve worship! Satan said, in my words, “You worship me and I will give you the authority of these kingdoms. They will be yours as long as you are mine! That is where we are today. Those in authority over us as well as other governments may not know that they are Satan worshipers but they are. They may even claim to be Christian but their lives and philosophies do not align themselves with the Bible. You cannot serve both God and mammon nor can you serve both God and Satan!

Conclusion: Therefore, both our standing and withstanding are to be done in a spiritual realm, not just a physical one. Because of this, we must get to know or enemy. It is a foolish general who goes into battle without understand both the thinking and power of his enemy.

Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Temple Baptist Church - 10-2-2011

Genesis 6:1-4; Numbers 13:1-3, 31-33


A. I want to preach on the subject of “Giants.” It did not take many generations after the fall for man to totally corrupt the earth through the wickedness of his heart.

1. The first mention of giants is found in Genesis chapter 6. They were not the offspring of the union between the Messianic Line of Seth and the Ungodly Line of Cain! The Bible simply says that “there were giants in the earth in those days!” It is interesting that giants were mentioned with no explanation or elaboration made concerning them. It was a simple statement of fact and had nothing to do with the sons of God and the daughters of men. They were not born of a union between “angels” and women! That is one of the most foolish assumptions that could be made. Angels do not reproduce! Period! The “sons of God” were the messianic line of Seth. Chapter 4:16-26 is the genealogy of Cain. Chapter 5 is the messianic genealogy of Seth. Chapter six is ungodly mixing of the two genealogies (Noah was upright in his generations.) No “angels” are or have been mentioned in any of the context. Verse 4 says that the giants were before the intermarrying. “And also after that!” Their children were after the giants and are described as “mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:6-7 declare that God repented that He had made man and was grieved at heart over their wickedness. Nothing said about “angels” in these verses. God said that he would destroy man for his sinfulness, not destroy “angels.” Once again, in verse 13, God said that “flesh” was the problem. Genesis 7:21 said that “all flesh died.”

2. The second mention of giants came in the Book of Numbers as the children of Israel approached the Land of Promise: Canaan’s Land. Og slept in a bed which was 9 cubits (app. 13 ½ feet) long and 4 cubits (app. 6 feet) wide. Goliath was 6 cubits (app. 9 feet) and a span (app. .75 feet or 9 inches). Thus, Goliath was 9 feet 9 inches tall.

Moses sent out 12 spies to spy out the land and 10 gave an evil report while only 2 gave an encouraging report.

a) 10 placed difficulty between them and God

b) 2 placed God between difficulty and them

c) 10 saw through the eyes of the flesh

d) 2 saw through the eyes of their faith

The effect of the giants upon the spies.

a) 10 discouraged the hearts of the people to turn back.

1) Their Faith was flawed: they trusted in self, not in the Lord.

2) Their Sight was impaired: they saw themselves in light of the giants instead of the giants in light of their God.

b) 2 encouraged the hearts of the people to go forth.

1) Their faith was in the Person of the Lord: the God who made the giants.

2) Their faith was in the Promise of the Lord: Canaan or the Promised Land.

3. The third and last mention of actual giants was in First and Second Samuel with Goliath, one of the 5 sons of “the giant in Gath (1 Samuel 17), being the most notable. The army of Israel cowered in fear until David, the son of Jesse—a keeper of sheep, killed him in the name of the God of Israel.

B. We do not know who these giants were or how they came to be but there are some things that we do know about them. Giants are found only in the Old Testament. They are an Old Testament concept, not one found in the New Testament. God does all things with purpose and this is no exception. There is a reason for not mentioning giants in our economy. The Old Testament saint had portions of God’s Word but learned to trust the Lord through experience. We have the completed canon of Scripture and, therefore, learn to trust the Lord through their example.

C. Today, though we do not face physical giants, we often are confronted with “spiritual giants” that are just as real. As God’s people overcame the giants in the Old Testament, we can overcome the “giants” that we face spiritually. I want to look at just a few of the “spiritual giants” that God’s children often face and can have victory over.

1. The Giant of a Sinful Past. I have known some men and women who were saved from a very sinful past who have faced this “giant.” Though some who have had such a past are on fire for God, many are not. They are saved but not serving as they should be. They seemingly have a sense of unworthiness. Old “Slew Foot” is always around to accuse these individuals and remind them of their sinful past. Though a sinful past should not be glorified in our testimonies, it can certainly be used greatly to lead others to Christ. They know where we came from and the great change of 2 Corinthians 5:17 is evident. The Lord has placed our sinful past under His precious blood, not to be remembered again and so should we! The Giant of a Sinful Past will sit you on the sidelines if you allow it.

2. The Giant of a Present Failure. All of us fail the Lord, a fact of which we are not proud but, sometimes, a child of God will fail the Lord in a great way and it will become open knowledge. I am so glad that the Lord will allow us to get right with Him; the church; and the brethren. Some of the greatest Christians in the Bible failed God miserably: Moses, Saul, David, Peter, Demas, John Mark, and as well as others. Some got right with the Lord and some never recovered. Just remember that 1 John 1:9 is still in the Book! The Giant of a Present Failure will sit you on the sidelines if you allow it.

3. The Giant of a Difficult Circumstance. I have often said and will say again, “God’s children are not exempt from sorrow and heartbreak, sickness and death, poverty and want, or satanic attack.” We have many problems but some of these “valleys” are much longer and deeper than others. It will often cause the believer to question God’s care, God’s love, or God’s holiness and justice. There are too many verses in the Bible that tells this preacher otherwise for me to quit on Him! Many go through adversity and never recover. They may come to church but they go through the motions and never let the Lord show them the help that only He can give. The Giant of Difficult Circumstance will sit you on the sidelines if you allow it.

4. The Giant of a Discouraged Heart. Discouragement is one of the greatest tools of the devil. It can come from many sources including the brethren: “our brethren have discouraged our heart!” Discouraged through loneliness; discouraged through fatigue; discouraged through destroyed dreams! Sometimes, things do not go as we think that they should go and we question God. The Bible is full of the questions and even complaints of God’s people so we are not in our boat alone. I am so glad that, though we may not see Him, He is always in the hinder part of the ship! “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thoughts.” The Giant of a Discouraged Heart will sit you on the sidelines if you allow it.

5. The Giant of a Bitter Spirit. Bitterness has a progression: hurt turns into anger and anger into bitterness if not handled right. I know that this sounds easy but it is not: you can come through your difficulties of life either better or bitter. The end result is up to you and me. Remember the end result of that bitterness though: bitterness will trouble you and defile those around you.

Conclusion: We may not face physical giants in our lifetime but we but we do face “Goliaths” in the spiritual realm. The God who taught the Old Testament believer to trust is the same God that we can also trust in our hard times.

The Landmark of the Sanctuary

Temple Baptist Church - 10-2-2011

Hebrews 10:24-31


A. Sanctuary – A sacred place.

1. As early as Genesis 4, we find that Cain and Abel “brought” their sacrifices. They did not offer just anywhere but there was a special place where they offered.

2. Abraham built an altar at Bethel (The House of God) and later came back to that same altar, naming it El-Bethel (God-The House of God) and found God there.

3. When God brought Israel out of Egypt (a beautiful type of salvation), He gave instructions to Moses for the building of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness; when Israel came into the land of Canaan—they brought the Tabernacle with them.

4. Later build Solomon’s Temple. This beautiful temple was the center of Jerusalem. When the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon, the first order of business was the rebuild the walls and Temple.

5. When the New Testament Jews and Gentiles got saved, they had a local church to attend. The Bible says much about the local church and works only through it. It is around the local church that our lives are to be centered.

B. Sometimes, when we go back to Hebrews 10:25, I wonder if I am not “beating a dead horse,” but the Holy Ghost used the words “and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” We preach these verses, we quote them, and yet—continually—we see a decrease in the faithfulness of God’s people to the church. This is a total disobedience to God’s Word and ignorance to its meaning and consequences.

C. These verses are the most profound concerning faithfulness to church that you will find. In them we find:

1. Our responsibility to each other – vs. 24

2. The importance and purpose – vs. 25

3. The callousness of the sin – vs. 26

4. The promise of the judgment of God – vs. 27-29

5. The seriousness of unfaithfulness – vs. 29

6. The fearfulness of the Lord – vs. 30-31

D. If God said and meant all of these things, you would think that His children would see the seriousness, repent of their sin, and get faithful but just the opposite is true. “As the manner of some is” has become the norm for most professing believers.

E. In the last few years, we have seen a great “falling away” from the local church. With the rising number of “home churches,” “TV churches,” “Radio Churches,” “golf, fishing, motorcycle, cowboy, etc. churches,” there has been a great forsaking of the house of the Lord. I find no substitute in the bible for the local church nor do I find any valid excuses for not attending. “Not forsaking” means just what it says. Not means no and no means never! Many use the verse in Matthew 18:20 which says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” That verse is dealing with the discipline of the church, not two or three playing golf or fishing! If you are sick, dead, or your “ox” is in the ditch, then you are excused!

F. The local church is a landmark of the Lord’s making and it needs not to be removed. Churches all over the Bible Belt have gone from two services on Sunday and Wednesday night Prayer Meeting to just Sunday morning services.

1. A Place Of Assembly – Hebrews 10:25 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. (The word “church” means a called out assembly. We are called out of this world to assemble together. If the Lord did not think that we needed a place of gathering, He would have just let us stay at home. “Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” describes the modern day “Christian.”)

2. A Place Of Exhortation - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (We need each other’s strength to continue on in this “present evil world.” Bearing one another’s burdens can only come about when we are together to know what those burdens are.)

3. A Place Of Fellowship - Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (We cannot love each other with a whole heart fervently if we are never together. I love my family and spend much time with them. I love my church family and spend much time with them! We laugh, cry, eat, and share together.)

4. A Place Of Bible Teaching - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (Most believers do not know how to behave in the house of God because they are not there often enough to be taught! Teaching is a very important of our spiritual welfare! The largest denomination in America is the “Church of the Ignorant Brethern!”)

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

5. A Place Of Powerful Preaching - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (The pastor is commanded to preach the Word but many are never there to receive it. So often I know that a particular message will be of help to someone and they do not show up. We need bible preaching and need it from the pastor!)

6. A Place Of Prayer - Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. (We come, take prayer requests and pray! We begin each service in prayer, we pray in the prayer rooms, we pray during the services, and we end each service in prayer. We pray for each other, we pray for our families, we pray for our needs, we pray for the needs of others, we pray for our nation, we pray for Israel, we pray for those in authority over us, we pray for souls, and we pray for the coming of the Lord. You have not because you ask not is an indictment against those who do not pray!)

7. A Place Of Faithful Giving - Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (Some tithe and give regularly while some tithe and give irregularly. The local church pays its bills regularly and missions support should be paid the same. How would we like it if we got paid on an irregular basis? We would probably be a little upset. Missionaries do not get full support because of irregular giving!)

8. A Place Of Divine Approval - Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (It is a sanctifying place where we are cleansed through the water of the Word.)