Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Mystery of Godliness

Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2012
1 Timothy 3:16

A. Tonight, we will look at one of the mysteries of the Bible. The word “mystery” means “to shut the mouth.” A mystery is a secret that is kept. If a mystery is revealed, then it is no longer a mystery to those hear it. There are several mysteries mentioned in the New Testament:

1. Mystery of Iniquity (2 Thessalonians. 2:2-8)

2. Mystery of the indwelling of Christ in the believer (Colossians 1:25-28)

3. Mystery of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32)

4. Mystery of Israel’s blindness (Romans 11:25)

5. Mystery of the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).

6. Mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16)

B. This final mystery is different from all of the others because it is described as “great.” Though the preceding mysteries are beyond our finite capacity to understand, the greatest of all is the Mystery of Godliness. The incarnation of Christ is involved where God became man.

1. It encompasses the incarnation of Chris through the virgin birth; the dual nature of Christ: both 100% God and 100% man; both divine and human at the same time

2. It encompasses the love of God for sinful man: the absolute holiness of God loving and providing redemption for the absolute sinfulness of man; the salvation of sinful man from the holiness of God through the justification of faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

3. It is to be believed and yet is beyond human comprehension.

C. This final mystery is not only described as great but the Holy Ghost said, “Without controversy.” As the statement “In the beginning God,” this mystery is a statement of fact, not a point to be argued. Believe it and be saved or believe it not and go to hell. God is not in the arguing business. Man’s disbelief does not change God’s truth!

1. God was manifest in the flesh. God became man. The seed of the woman robed in pure flesh without the Adamic sin nature that is derived from the seed of Adam. Almighty Jehovah God took upon Himself the form of a servant and became obedient to death. The great I AM THAT I AM walked on this earth with all of the frailty of humanity while maintaining all of the infinite power of His eternal being.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

1 John 1:1-2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

2. Justified in the Spirit. “To pronounce righteous.”

a. In His Birth - Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

b. In His Life - 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

c. In His Resurrection - Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

3. Seen of angels.

a. Attended at His birth - Luke 2:9-14 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. (10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

b. Ministered in His life - Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Luke 22:41-43 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

c. Witnessed His resurrection - Matthew 28:5-6 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (6) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

4. Preached unto the Gentiles.

a. Salvation is to the Jew First - Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (God loves the nation of Israel. He blesses those who bless Israel and curses those who curst Israel.)

b. Salvation is to the Gentiles Also - Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (I thank God that He loves me also! He is a respecter of nations but is no respecter of persons.)

5. Believed on in the World.

a. The Preaching of the Gospel brings opportunity - Romans 10:15-17 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! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

b. The Believing of the Gospel brings salvation - 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

6. Received up into Glory.

a. He ascended to Heaven - Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

b. He will descend in the Rapture - John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2012

Leviticus 19:28


A. This morning, I want to deal with a current phenomenon that has taken our country by storm: tattooing and piercing. Everywhere you look, both men and women, young and old have tattoos and or multiple piercings.

1. I am not necessarily going to deal with body piercing today but it has also taken America by storm. I have no problem with women wearing earrings but now their ears are pierced multiple times with rings or studs also in eyebrows, noses, lips, tongues, belly buttons, and a lot of other places that I will not mention. This practice is heathen and satanic.

2. I also want to say that not all people who have a tattoo did so with evil intent. A lot of men in the military have tattoos that are representative of the branch or service or the unit they served in. Others are in commemoration of a loved one but were not a result of a lascivious lifestyle. These who have tattooed their bodies did so out of biblical ignorance. As my mother would have so beautifully said, “I am not complaining, I am just explaining.”

3. What does the Bible say about tattoos? This is a very important question. Near the end of the 20th century, tattooing became increasingly popular, especially among young people. The purpose of this message is to forth the principles by which we can determine whether tattooing is something right for a Christian to participate in or is it something to be avoided entirely.

4. The words “print” and “mark” literally mean to “brand.” Print or inscribe by making an incision or invasion into the flesh. We are not talking about using a pencil or ink pen to make a mark on the flesh. I have seen a lot of people make notes on the palms of their hands and, later, erase or wash them off. This marking of the flesh mention in Leviticus is to place in or underneath the flesh.

B. Today, 21 % of all adults have at least one tattoo.

1. I did a little research and these are the figures that are widely accepted: Ages 18-24 at 22 %; 25-29 at 30%; 30-39 at 38%; 40-49 at 27%; 50-64 at 11%; 65+ at 5%. These are phenomenal numbers to say the least.

2. When I was a child, about the only tattoos that I saw were from ex-military personnel. If you go into a public place today, it seems that 1/3 to ½ of all of the people you see have tattoos. People of all ages and gender: women with tattoos on their ankles, calves, thighs, backs, chests, necks, and faces; men with “sleeves” and tattoos from head to toe. They have multiple piercings of the ears; pierced eyebrows, pierced noses, pierced lips, pierced tongues, as well as piercings in other places. We see old women and old men who should have a little more sense have gone into tattooing and body piercing.

C. I want to give you seven principles to help with your decision making because the influence of the world is strong on both young and old.

1. The Biblical Principle – God said do not print a mark on your body!

Leviticus 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (This verse is plain and should be enough to base your decision upon by itself if you are saved and obedient! If not, then these other 6 principles should give you some added help.)

2. The Historical Principle – tattooing has had a long and sordid history and has always been associated with wicked, riotous, heathen, and lascivious lifestyles. Tattoos were popular in the early part of the 20th century among military personnel, and others, commonly reflecting a carousing lifestyle. Later, gang members, rappers, and other celebrities began to embrace tattooing as a sign of a licentious lifestyle. God’s people have historically not tattooed.

Jeremiah 10:2a Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen …

3. The Social Principle –These tattoos and piercings began to be popularized in the later part of the 20th century by people in the pop culture known for sinful lifestyles. As the rebellion of the drug and hard rock culture grew, so did the tattooing and piercing. Now, Hollywood actors, singers, musicians, and especially sports stars in a sports crazy society have become tattoo and piercing role models of both young and old. Candy cigarettes and fake or “pretend” tattoos became popular when I was a child and many of us pretended to smoke and wore fake tattoos until bath time. Many adults now use the same fake tattoos. Because of the sinful connotations associated with these piercings, this behavior should not be characterized by God’s people.

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. (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.

4. The Physical Principle – I heard a surgical nurse say that when a person was having surgery (because of HIPAA, a person’s medical history could not be discussed, even in the operating room) and had more than two tattoos or two earrings they “double gloved.” This was precautionary because, as a general rule, such tattooing and piercing implicated a lascivious or licentious lifestyle which exposed the one tattooed to allergic reactions, the unknown long-term health effects from the metal salts and carrier solutions that make up tattoo inks, skin infections, psoriasis, dermatitis and other chronic skin conditions. Tumors (both benign and malignant) have all been associated with tattoos. Due to the use of needles in tattoo application, there is also the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as tetanus, herpes simplex virus, staph, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and even Syphilis.

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

5. The Spiritual Principle – tattooing not only fails to glorify Christ, it also defiles the temple of the Holy Ghost. If your body belongs to God and is the temple of the Holy Ghost, then I believe it only right that you ask God’s permission before tattooing His body!

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? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

6. The Testimonial Principle - tattooing does nothing to lead a lost person to Christ! We that are saved must contrast the world, not reflect it. So many churches and preachers have adopted the philosophy of this world and conform to its philosophy and ways in order to gain disciples. Churches have become entertainment centers for those who seek the soothing “salve” of religion to cover their sinfulness instead of the precious blood of Christ that takes away their sin. The church is to set forth the holiness of God in contrast to the sinfulness of the world. The world is to behold our good works that glorify God.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

7. The Perennial Principle – those who have tattoos almost invariably wish one day that they had not been tattooed. Removal of tattoos is both painful and expensive. Scarring is often the result of removal. Most just wear the shame of tattooing for the rest of their lives. Those who have pierced their flesh may remove the earrings or studs but the holes remain as a continual testimony of worldliness and rebellion. Social risks are those that could damage your relationship with others, including friends, parents, teachers, prospective spouses, and employers. Body modification can affect your chances for future employment. Certain jobs are not available to people who have visible body art.

Conclusion: Biblically, I find nothing biblical, spiritual, or beneficial in getting a tattoo. God said not to make a mark on your body and that alone should be enough to settle the issue.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Temple Baptist Church - 9-26-2012
Philippians 4:5


A. I want to begin tonight by saying that there is nothing wrong with enjoying life and the fruit of your labor!

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (God has given us much here in America. We have been blessed with abundance on every hand and I enjoy having a good time. I try to spend time with my family. I enjoy watching our congregation have things and take vacations.)

B. Having made that clear, we find that our text is not necessarily to our fleshly liking: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Though we are to enjoy the things that God has given us, we are to do so in moderation because these things are not eternal, they are temporal.

1. Our flesh may not like it but this is a very important verse. Life is made up of priorities and priorities are what make our choices. Therefore, life is full of choices and, in order to make those choices right, our priorities must be right.

2. The key to our verse for tonight is the last sentence: “The Lord is at hand.” You and I know that our Lord could come at any moment and the biblical command to us is to watch and pray. All that we desire and do is to be circumscribed by the promise and possibility of His soon coming.

Luke 21:31-34 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. (33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (34) And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with ing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

C. The word “Let” means that we have to allow moderation to be an important part of our lives. Moderation is not natural to the flesh as the flesh desires the things of this life with no regard to eternity. The world cannot have enough! It wants bigger homes, newer and more expensive automobiles, toys galore, etc.: and these things will never satisfy the desires of our flesh.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

D. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is manifested in three different aspects:

1. There are the inward aspects of love, joy, and peace.

2. There are the outward aspects of longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness.

3. There are the upward aspects of faith, meekness, and temperance. (The last of the upward aspects which are Godward is temperance: giving up the “excess” of Ephesians 5:18 for the filling of the Spirit of God. We cannot be filled with the Spirit when our lives are filled to excess with the pleasures of this life.)

E. Our moderation is to be KNOWN to all men. It is to be known to our brethren as well as to the world. I believe that one of the things that that are hurting evangelism and missions is the lack of moderation among the people of God.

1. We do not have time to win souls because we are too busy with the things of the world.

2. We do not have the money for missions because we are too busy buying the things that occupy our time and efforts.

1. Life’s Contemplation – The Purpose of Life - Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Eat, drink, and be merry but that is not the reason that we are here. God saved us with purpose in mind; otherwise, He would have saved us and taken us home. The Bible says, “Christ, who is our life.” Our life is not in what we have but who and why we are. Illustration: Mom.)

2. Life’s Choices – The Priority of Life - Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Life is full of choices but eternity only has two. When we get up in the morning, we spend our day making choices: right or wrong. The choices we make have to do with our priorities. Right priorities makes for right choices. Wrong priorities makes for wrong ones.)

3. Life’s Contentment – The Pleasure of Life – 1 Timothy 6:5-11 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (I won’t preach fully on contentment right now, but contentment brings satisfaction and peace. The rich have no peace. My pleasure is in my Lord, family, and church family! I enjoy doing things but my life is found in what I am doing for the Lord, my family, and you.)

4. Life’s Compensation – The Payment of Life – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (We may not have all that this world has to offer but one day, we will have the world! We are joint heirs with Christ of all that God has made. We will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ, during the millennial reign with Christ, and in eternity with Christ. It will be worth it all when we see Christ!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rejoice Alway

Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2012
Philippians 4:4
A. Paul encouraged the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord.” There things in this life that are hard to rejoice about.
1. We hear of the patience of Job but, as I read the Book of Job, I find that Job was not a “happy camper.” He cursed the day that he was born!
2. There are valleys that I have had to travel that were far less than pleasant and, if I could have avoided them or had it to do over, I probably would not travel that road again.
3. Our rejoicing is in the Lord, not in our circumstances.
B. “Alway” is an interesting word. It is a word not found in the spell correct of this computer. Every time I type “alway”, the word processor corrects it to “always.” “Always” is found 62 times in the Bible while “alway” is found only 23 times. When the Bible makes a distinction between the spellings, it behooves us to take a closer look at the wording.
C. Both words come from the same two root words which mean “every” and “when.” Therefore, to the casual observer, the two words are the same but this is not the case. The “s” on “always” makes the word plural while the lack of the “s” makes “alway” singular. This difference is an important one to the believer as our text verse will bear out.
1. In the context of the use of the word “always,” the meaning seems to refer to an expanse of time more than just an instance of time.
2. The seemingly opposite is true in the context of the word “alway.” It seems that “alway” refers to a specific instance of time and encompasses many instances of time but one at a time.
D. Some may differ with my interpretation of the different spellings and they are more than welcome to do so but the different spellings are a delight to this preacher! I enjoy reading Philippians 4:4 and am glad that the Holy Ghost said, “Alway!” It is and has been a joy during the hard times of my life.
E. Let me give you another instance where the Bible uses the “alway” instead of “always.” We know that the Lord said that He would never leave nor forsake us in Hebrews 13. Though the word “always” is not used, the sense of the word is there. I am glad that the Lord will be there with me and for me until the day He calls me home! But, in Matthew 18:20, He said, “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” I believe that the difference is that, now, our Lord said that He would be with in every place, in every instance, and in every circumstance of life as we carry the gospel to a lost world. Every situation and circumstance, He is there with us while having the power to deliver and sustain us. “Even unto the end of the world” tells us that he will be with us in every circumstance all of the way home!
F. Having said all of this to explain what I think the word “alway” means, let us look at the verse.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
G. Paul used the word “rejoice” twice in the same verse.
1. Normally, “Rejoice in the Lord” would have sufficed but Paul reinforced the word by beginning and ending the sentence with “rejoice.” It shows us the importance of having a right attitude as well as having a trusting one.
2. Our mental state has as much to do with our general outlook on life as our circumstances do. As a “merry heart” doeth good like a medicine, a positive state of mind makes our outlook on life positive. God controls and He loves His children!
1. Rejoice in the Lord during the good times of life.
a. It is easy to forget God when things go well.
Deuteronomy 8:12-14 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; (13) And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; (14) Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
b. We need to rejoice in the Lord because He has been so good to us.
Psalms 106:1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2. Rejoice in the Lord during the hard times of life.
a. We can rejoice because God’s providence controls our circumstances.
Job 23:10, 13 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold … But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
b. We can rejoice because God provides our needs in hard times.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
c. We can rejoice because God protects our lives in desperate situations.
2 Timothy 4:17-18 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. (18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
d. We can rejoice because We can count our many blessings in the valleys.
Psalms 145:8-10 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (9) The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. (10) All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
e. We can rejoice because God will bring about a right end when the trial is past.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Destruction of Disunity

Temple Baptist Church - 9-12-2012
Philippians 4:1-3
A. It is unfortunate that Paul had to once again deal with division within the local church. If there is one organization on this earth that should have unity, it is the local church. I preach on the subject at least a couple of times a year because, preaching through books, it is in the context and the need is always an argument or hurt feeling away!
1. We are all here because of what Someone else did for us!
2. We are all members of His body by the New Birth and thus family.
3. We have all experienced the love and forgiveness of Christ.
4. We have all got work to do in the Lord’s perishing harvest.
5. As adults that are Christian, we have to maintain a godly testimony in front of our children, family, friends, and neighbors.
B. All of the lodges, moose’s and the goose’s, etc. get along just fine and rarely split but Satan attacks the local church from both the outside and from within. Satan full well knows that the “house divided against itself” works both ways. Our Lord was saying that if Satan’s house was divided it would fall but Satan knows this tactic also and uses it effectively.
Matthew 12:29-30 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (30) He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
1. He enters the house. He enters through us, not an enemy!
2. He binds the strong man. He binds through division!
3. He spoils the goods. He takes all that is valuable to us!
C. Just a “shorty” tonight but I want to look at the goods Satan spoils when division becomes a problem in the church.
1. Our worship of the Lord is hindered.
2. Our striving together in prayer is hindered.
3. Our atmosphere of sweet fellowship is hindered.
4. Our purpose in missions is hindered.
5. Our homes and our children began to pay the price.
6. Our loving Saviour is grieved.
7. Our personal peace and tranquility is gone.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Temple Baptist Church - 9-9-2012
1 Timothy 3:8-13
A. In 1 Timothy, we find the mention of “office” of a deacon. Paul is not establishing the office but giving regulations for it. The establishment, as far as I can discern is found in Acts 6. In the early days of the church, thousands were saved in a short span of time. This created some problems for the baby church.
1. Thousands of babes in Christ with few mature Christians to mentor them. What a wonderful problem to have but a problem none the less.
2. An insurmountable work load for the men of God. Acts 2, in the later part of the chapter, found the church in great unity and in favor with both God and man but later, we find murmuring within the church.
3. The men of God were now having to leave the ministry of God’s Word and prayer to meet the needs of the people.
B. In this chapter, we also find the work of the deacons identified. Most churches of our day have no idea what a deacon’s responsibility is or is not. The biblical principle of First Mention gives both the reason for and responsibility of deacons. It has never changed.
1. The office of a deacon is not that of a ruling body. No place in Scripture is a deacon given one ounce of authority. Acts 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
2. The office of a deacon is not a reward for men who have much to give not is it a gift given to the prestigious of the community. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
3. The office of a deacon was that of a servant. Acts 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
4. The office of a deacon had qualifications. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
5. The office of a deacon was chosen of men, not called of God. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
C. In 1 Timothy, we find an expansion of the qualifications of deacons and I find that they are almost the same as the bishop or pastor. The word “likewise” is expressive of this truth.
1. Grave – serious in mind and character. It means to have character, not to be one.
2. Not doubletongued – this is the only used of this word in the Bible and it means “two-tongued.” The Indian people used to say, “Speaks with a forked tongue!”
3. Not given to much wine – as the pastor is not to be given to wine at all, the deacon can use wine in temperance. Once again, this usage of “wine” has no reference to “strong drink” or “fermented” wine. Wine or fruit of the vine was a drink of special occasions. Throughout the Bible, when quenching thirst, water or milk was used. Fruit of the vine was used in entertainment or feasts.
4. Not greedy of filthy lucre – he was not to be either covetous or dishonest in his finances.
5. Doctrinally correct – holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. A deacon was to be able to convince and comfort with scripture.
6. Proved – tested under examination. Not a novice but a man who has experienced both good and hard times in life. One who has “passed” those tests and continued in faithfulness and verity.
7. Blameless – living a life that is above reproach or censure. Not sinless, but a good man.
8. Faithful, sober, closed mouthed, grave wives – the pastor’s wife has not qualifications. The reasoning is this: a prophet is not accepted in his own country so the pastor is normally one who was raised in another place. His wife is not known to the people in the church’s community so she just needs to be a “background” person within the church. I am not in favor of wives being the spiritual leaders of the women in the church! I am their spiritual leader. Too many pastor’s wives get hurt because their husbands expose them to it by letting them be what God did not intend them to be: leaders. Letting the elder women teach the younger has to do with being a wife and godly mother, not being a spiritual woman in the church. The deacon’s wife normally has lived in the community of the church for an extended period of time because the deacon must be “proved,” therefore, she also has been scrutinized over the years by those living in that community and must have a reputation of quietness, faithfulness, humility, and seriousness.
9. Husband of one wife – not divorced and remarried! Period!
10. Ruling their homes well – his wife and children must be in subjection and his home faithfully in all things. Financial, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Conclusion: We find the deacon rewarded, both now and later.
1. Rewarded now – “good degree … great boldness in the faith”
2. Rewarded later – for their faithful service at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

The Blessings of God’s House

Temple Baptist Church - 9-9-2012
Psalms 134
A. I preached out of this chapter last week concerning the church of the end times. I believe that all of us that know anything about the Bible know what time it is spiritually. We are living in the Midnight Hour and Jesus could come any moment. As the world sleeps spiritually, God’s children are to watch and pray.
B. I do not want to reiterate last week’s message but do want to key in on the first and last verse of this Psalm. Verse 1 gives us several important things to contemplate in the hour in which we live.
1. The importance of God’s House. Hebrews 10:25 says, “and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” When God places this kind of emphasis upon something, we had better take notice. One of the most important things in your life at this time is your church! I cannot stress that enough. Be watchful when the world de-emphasizes something that God emphasizes!
2. The importance of our times. Night is a time of spiritual darkness in the Bible. We live in the most exciting time in the history of the world. I believe that we are the generation that will not see death. Our times are both exciting and expectant!
3. The importance of standing. This verse does not say attending and sitting. The emphasis is upon the word stand. There are many who are attending but few standing as the Laodicean Church marches on down the road of compromise.
4. The importance of serving. “All ye servants of the Lord” speaks of a special group within the end time church. So many have given up who once took their part in the work of the local church. This entire Psalm is written about and to those special people who understand the importance of God’s work and continue to do so in spite of the direction taken by the majority.
C. Now, let us look at the 3rd verse for a few minutes.
1. We see the power of the Lord. When I look up into the heavens, they declare the glory of God and I see his handiwork. Voyager 1 was launched September 5, 1977. Those were the days of the 8 track tape player! Voyager 1 still has not even reached the end of our solar system, much less flying beyond the reaches of our galaxy. God simply spoke all that we see plus the seemingly endless reaches of the heavens into existence. If God can do this (and He did), then truly nothing shall be impossible with Him.
2. We see the possessions of the Lord. Since He made it all, He owns it all. His resources are limitless and He can bestow upon whom He wills. In His wonderful omniscience, He has chosen to bestow upon you and I His local church.
3. We see the blessing of the Lord. Here we find His promise to bless those servants of His who stand in His house in the Night Season! This blessing is not found by those who just attend irregularly and are neither standing nor serving. The blessings are not just monetary but are found within the local church. These are blessings that only those who love the Lord and His church find.
1. The Blessing of Contemplation. Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (We come to church to think about Him! When we get out of church, we become more worldly minded and lose our perspective of just who and what He is! We come to church to see Him!)
2. The Blessing of Satisfaction. Psalms 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. (I have spent the last 34 years of my life consistently in church and I have to say that I am satisfied! It is a joy to come to church and, though I so often come empty, I invariably leave full. I seek nothing to replace church with as coming here is irreplaceable in my life.)
3. The Blessing of Worship. Psalms 135:1-2 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD. 2 Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, (It is a place or worship. A place where the Lord is the pre-eminent One and His name is glorified.)
4. The Blessing of Fellowship. Colossians 2:1-2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; (2) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; (“knit together with love” means interwoven or mingled. Paul was writing to the Colossians concerning both them and the condition of the Laodicean Church [the end time church age]. We do not come to church as individuals and leave the same way. Our lives are “knit” together with the love of Christ and love for each other.)
Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. (Hebrews 10:25 says, “Exhorting one another.” It is a blessing, when I am discouraged, to be able to come to the church and see all of you!)
5. The Blessing of Giving. Psalms 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, (What a blessing to be able to pay my tithe and give to missions! I enjoy making out our check each week as well as putting money in the offering plate during each other service. Giving is no chore to my wife and me. I feel that it is a privilege that God has given to me.)
6. The Blessing of Spiritual Growth. Psalms 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (The Lord has spiritually matured me in church. I have grown from a babe to full maturity through a wonderful diet of God’s Word. The sincere milk of God’s Word leads to strong meat!)
7. The Blessing of Holiness. Psalms 93:5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever. (No foul language, no vile jokes, and no nudity! I don’t need to turn my head or cover my ears. I can invite people to Temple and not have to worry about what they will hear or see.)
8. The Blessing of Testimony. Psalms 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (I love to hear people get up and brag on the Lord. The Lord has been better to all of us than we deserve. We have an opportunity to brag on Him every service.)
9. House of Fruit Bearing - Psalms 92:13-14 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (I have watched families for years and come to this conclusion: faithful families have their problems just like everyone else but God blesses them in the end for their faithfulness. Fruitful, fat and flourishing!)
10. The Blessing of Constraint - Psalms 122:1, 9 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD…Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good. (People who get out of church almost invariably end up ship wrecked spiritually. They blame everything and everyone for leaving church but take their problems with them and end up a mess family wise. Remaining faithful to God’s house has kept me from giving in to the desires of the flesh.)