Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Darkness At All

Temple Baptist Church - 2-26-2014
1 John 1:3-7
A. Last week, I preached on the subject of “The Basis of Fellowship.” Fellowship or getting along within the local church is essential to the well-being and work of the church. A house divided “against itself” cannot stand. Not divided by the world or Satan or doctrine, but by personality conflicts.
B. When speaking of our fellowship with the Lord, the bible describes God’s holiness in one short phrase: “In him is no darkness at all!”
1. Impeccability is also found in this verse: “no darkness at all.” This speaks of the absolute perfection of a thrice holy God. No fault, no sin, no possibility of sin is found in the God of this bible.
Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
2. Immutability is also found in this verse: “in him.” God is infinitely and immutably holy.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
C. The holiness of God is unequaled!
Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
D. One of the best ways to understand a portion of scripture is to find the truth God sets forth in the first mention of that subject or word.
Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (4) And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
1. Darkness – to hide or obscurity
2. Light – luminous, clear or glorious, complete visibility
3. Divided – to sever or distinguish
4. We often use the axiom “as different as day and night.” These are opposites.
5. God saw the light and said that it was “good” and divided it from the darkness about which nothing was said. Thus giving the immediate impression that, if the two are opposites, then the day or “light” was good and the darkness or “night” was not.
E. I understand that the night, as far as the twenty four period is concerned, is not in itself evil but the spiritual application is different. Night in the bible is a time of sin and sorrow. The night comes in which man does not work (at least in years gone by) so man sleeps it away in order to rest for the following day.
F. In our text found in 1 John 1, we find that light is good and holy while darkness is bad and sinful. This is the proper interpretation of these verses; therefore, it is both good and holy to walk in the light while it is bad and sinful to walk in darkness. Darkness breaks fellowship with God and, therefore, with man.
G. Walking in light:
1. Light Discloses The Sin That Hinders Our Fellowship - 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (Sin always breaks our fellowship to some degree. When people begin to back off or become unfaithful, there is sinfulness in the background somewhere.)
2. Light Defines The Peace That Describes Our Fellowship – James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (As righteousness prevails in our lives, it is sown in peace with our brethren. Peace produces peace.)
3. Light Directs The Path Of Our Fellowship - Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Missing the will of God is a matter of walking in darkness to some degree and causes the perpetrator to walk contrary to the brethren.)
4. Light Displays The Person Our Fellowship Is Established Upon - 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (The perspective that we have of Christ is of the utmost importance because as He is, so are we in this world. We cannot properly conform to Christ without a proper vision of Him nor can we fellowship with one another in light if we do not perceive the Light Himself.)
5. Therefore, Light Defines The Basis And Establishes The Parameters Of Our Fellowship - 1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (Fellowship has biblical boundaries which are uncompromisingly set in the Bible! To walk in the light is to walk circumspectly within the realm of God’s Word; therefore fellowship is established upon the basis of light.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Basis of Fellowship

Temple Baptist Church - 2-19-2014
1 John 1:1-3
A. As we continue with our introduction to 1 John, we find the basis for the rest of the book in the first 3 verses.
1. In verse 1, we looked at the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ because He is the Foundation, He is the Chief Cornerstone, He is the Stone that the builders rejected, He is the Saviour of the World, and He is the Life of the child of God.
2. In chapter 1 of 1 John, the Holy Spirit deals with the fellowship of the believer. It is of the utmost importance that we understand the value of our fellowship! The greatest enemy of the local church is not doctrinal heresy or the worldliness that is encroaching upon the holiness and separation of the church. The greatest enemy of the local church is disunity!
3. Before someone “hangs” me, let me say that true spiritual fellowship swings on the “hinges” of doctrinal truth and separation but I have found good, solid, bible believing churches to have disunity which ultimately leads to their downfall. A house divided cannot stand!
B. The message that I get from this opening chapter is this:
1. Unity and fellowship do not come naturally to a believer just because they are saved. A person can be saved and out of step with the corporate fellowship found in the local church. Many churches split and splinter because of saved people, as Bro. Richard Rawls would have said, “Walking at a guilty distance from God!”
2. Unity and fellowship within the corporate body comes from our spiritual walk and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice with me these first few verses.
C. The beloved Apostle John begins this book (through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost) by setting forth the disciples’ interaction with the Lord Jesus Christ as they walked with Him for 3 ½ years on this earth.
1. Thus the message is this: our walk with each other depends entirely upon our walk with the Lord!
2. If we are right with Him, we are doctrinally correct! If we are right with Him, we are walking in separation from the world! If we are right with Him, we are confessing and forsaking sin! If we are right with Him, we are faithful to both the local church and in our testimony before the world!
3. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear” (Colossians 3:4) is tremendous statement because salvation is so much more than just going to heaven and missing hell; salvation involves our walk with Him through this sin sick world!
D. All of that being said, now let us look at that intimate relationship of the apostles to the Lord Jesus and make application to us as believers. You see, they saw and believed but blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe!
1. They heard and believed! That which was from the beginning, which we have heard!” You will never walk with Jesus Christ and you will never have fellowship with the corporate body of believers until you KNOW Him! You may come to church; you may like or even love some of the people; but you will never know the love of Christ for the brethren as God wants you to know.
a. The apostles’ salvation came just as ours: not through sight for many saw and yet believed not but through hearing and believing. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
b. Our salvation comes the same way. John 20:28-29 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
c. Salvation is grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing, and mixed with nothing! 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; (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
d. So many denominations add human merit to grace and faith: baptism, church membership, sacraments, good works, etc. To add any of these things to grace destroys it because grace is unmerited favor! Works of any kind makes salvation a wage earned!
2. They beheld Him with their eyes! “Which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” No, I have not seen the Lord Jesus Christ with my physical eyes and neither has anyone else since the completion of the bible. But, I have seen Him through His world and His Word!
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
a. As the disciples saw Christ, the incarnate Word of God, we see Christ, the inscribed Word of God! You cannot separate Christ the Word from the bible!! And, if you hold any other English bible other than the Authorized King James Bible, you do not have a “bible!” Things that are different are not the same and versions that disagree are not God’s Word. They may contain some of God’s Word but they err!
b. Our fellowship with Christ is dependent upon our reading, studying, and believing the bible. It is in the bible that we see Christ; it is in the bible that we find the Old Paths of doctrinal truth and separation from the world. You will be no more spiritual than your spiritual relationship with this old King James Bible that I hold in my hand!
c. It is through the bible that we see Christ and know Him!
Conclusion: Our relationship with God is found in the knowledge of and love for His precious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! Our relationship with both the believers and the local church is found in the same! Without salvation, that knowledge of Christ, and our love for Him, we cannot be right with each other!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Last Days And Perilous Times

Temple Baptist Church - 2-16-2014
2 Timothy 2:24-3:7
A. We certainly live in the last of the last days. Once again, when you find a 2nd or 3rd, these books normally deal with the Second of Christ and the “falling away” or apostasy that ensues.
1. Generally, we separate chapter 2 and chapter 3 because of the chapter division but we need to remember that the chapter and verse divisions were added for our help and often cause confusion.
2. Chapter 3 begins with “This know also” which ties the chapters together and tells us that the verses in chapter 3 belong in the same context with those in chapter 2.
B. We have spent the last couple of weeks dealing with the attitude and reaction of God’s men to those who “oppose themselves.”
1. We live in days of self-opposition by many who sit under sound doctrinal teaching and preaching but will not heed the scriptures. These are rapidly becoming the “many” while those who adhere to the teaching and preaching become the “few.”
2. This is causing much discouragement and, too often, adverse reaction by God’s servants who preach their hearts out with little visible results.
C. The Signs of the Second Coming are on every hand.
1. One World Church in the making. We have heard over the past 30-50 years the saying, “Doctrine divides, love unifies.” The first part is biblically right: doctrine does divide and God wants it that way. Doctrine is simply “rightly dividing the word of truth.” It is not a denominational thing; it is a bible thing! Denominations normally follow the teachings and beliefs of certain men while Biblicists follow the teaching of the bible. We are not to make the bible conform to our denominational teaching; we are to conform our teaching to the word of God. I have often said, “I am a Biblicist.” Today, people “worship” together with those who do not believe or stand for doctrinal truth and the result is a pseudo-Christianity that will open the door wide for the false prophet of the end time. Just how important is doctrine?
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.
Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
1 Timothy 4:13-16 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (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.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
2. One World Government in the making. That system of government will be socialism. This is not a political message but our present administration is leading America into socialism at an alarming rate. The government is socializing medicine. It is making people look to the government for their security and living. The poor get poorer (regardless of what they tell us) and the rich get richer. The middle class is being squeezed out and taxed to death. More and more people are on what our fathers called “public assistance:” welfare, food stamps, EBT (Eat Better Today) etc. We are losing our national sovereignty as we bow to the power and authority of the United Nations. We are losing our freedoms while the government spies on everything we say or do. The presidency is becoming a dictatorship where one man can change or amend law without the approval of congress by fiat! Enough of that but you get the point or you are a part of the problem!
3. One World Currency In The Making. Inflation is undermining the financial stability of the dollar and collapse, if this trend continues, is inevitable. Unprecedented printing of currency, outrageous rising of the national debt, and uncontrolled spending will eventually send our nation into a tailspin from which there will be no recovery. The currency of the future will be a cashless one. Money will be a thing of the past as most major transactions of our day are electronic or magnetic stripes in cards. The end time will be a mark in the head or hand.
4. Wickedness on every hand. Our land is permeated with baby killers! Abortion is premeditated murder. If you cause a wreck and a woman loses her unborn, it becomes a child in the eyes of law and you can be prosecuted. If a baby is cut to pieces in the womb or otherwise aborted, it becomes women’s rights and it legal. I am pro-choice but choice is before conception, not afterward. Sodomites permeate out land and what the bible condemns has become socially accepted. Sodomy is sin! God hates and condemns the sin while loving and dying for the sinner.
5. No concept of right or wrong. Right and wrong have become relative terms with no distinct definition. The bible defines these things clearly and gives us principles and laws to live by. Bible believers are mocked on every hand and Christians persecuted around the world. Today, every man does that which is right in his own eyes. There are laws on the books that are no longer enforced. Marijuana use is a good example along with sodomy as both are still against the law in most places but overlooked because of their popularity among the American people. If you think it is right, then it is right; if you think it is wrong, then it is wrong.
1. The Distinction of the Time – vs 1
a. A Day Prophesied – It is certainly no surprise!
Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
b. A Day Perilous – certainly perilous times
1. Perilous Physically – America has drastically changed over the past few decades and now the streets that we once walk unafraid are dangerous for all.
2. Perilous Nationally – The America that we once know is one that our children and grandchildren will never know. God said that He would turn all nations into hell that forget God and ours, if it does not repent, will not escape.
3. Perilous World Wide – Our world is one of unrest, war, deterioration, and fearfulness. Europe controls our money, the Middle East controls our oil, the terrorists control our airports, the socialists control our nation, and the world is in a mess of its own making.
2. The Description of the Time – vs 2-5
a. A Description of the Wickedness
1. Lovers of their own selves – Selfishness
2. Covetous - Inordinately desirous
3. Boasters - glories in or vaunts self
4. Blasphemers - one who speaks of God in impious and irreverent terms.
5. Disobedient to parents
6. Unthankful
7. Without natural affection
8. Trucebreakers – will not keep their word in things agreed upon
9. False accusers – prone to slander
10. Incontinent - Not restraining the passions or appetites, particularly the sexual appetite
11. Fierce – savage or untamed
12. Despisers of those that are good
13. Traitors – to turn upon
14. Heady – ungovernable
15. Highminded – puffed up with pride
16. Lovers of pleasure more that lovers of God (put everything ahead of Him)
b. A Description of the Worshiper
1) Having A Form Of Godliness – a semblance
a) They Name The Name – profess salvation
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
b) They Play The Game – go to church
c) They Defame The Name – deny the power thereof - Power to Convert and Change
2) From Such Turn Away
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
3. The Deception of the Time – vs 6-7
a. The Condition of Women – vs 6 (now don’t take this personal. God said it!)
1) Light Headed Women
a) Satan Began His Attack With Woman
b) Satan Will Conclude His Attack With Woman
2) Lustful Women – “laden with sins … led away … divers lusts”
Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
b. The Corruption of Wisdom – vs 7-8
1) Contentious – “resist the truth”
2 Timothy 4:14-15 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
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.
2) Corrupt – “corrupt minds”
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3) Calloused – “reprobate”
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
4. The Damnation of the Time – vs 9
a. Their Damnation – “proceed no further”
b. Their Followers Damnation
2 Peter 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Jesus Christ In The Tabernacle - The Brazen Altar

Temple Baptist Church - 2-16-2014
Exodus 27:1-8; 38:1-7
A. The first thing that the Jews saw when they entered the outer court of the Tabernacle was a horrific sight: the Brazen altar!
1. They could no doubt smell the blood being shed during the heat of the desert day. I remember well going to the outdoor market place in Mexico and smelling the blood and raw meat as it hung in the open. I have been to the slaughter houses on several occasions here in the states and the smell of blood was strong.
2. They could no doubt hear the fearful bleating of the sheep, bulls, and goats that were ready to be offered. Animals do not like the smell of blood and it struck fear in the hearts of these animals who were to be slaughtered.
3. They could no doubt smell the smoke and scent of burning flesh as the sacrifices were consumed upon the altar.
B. The Brazen Altar was a “wake up call!”
1. It was a place of realization of the reality of sin.
2. It was a place of realization of the holiness and judgment of God.
3. It was a place of realization of the penalty and consequences of sin.
4. It was a place of realization that the innocents were dying for the guilty ones.
C. The Brazen Altar was not a place of joyfulness.
1. There was no singing there because it was a place of sadness.
2. There was no shouting there because it was a place of solemnity.
3. It was a solemn place filled with a mixture of emotions:
a) Remorse and repentance for their sinfulness.
b) Sadness for the death of the innocents (they were shepherds and loved their animals).
c) Yet, gladness because God gave atonement through sacrifice until the Lamb of God would come to take away the sin of the world.
D. Four great doctrines are illustrated here at the Brazen altar:
1. The doctrine of Atonement. Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
2. The doctrine of Redemption. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
3. The doctrine of Justification. Romans 3:24-25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
4. The doctrine of Positional Sanctification. Hebrews 10:10, 14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all … For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
E. The Brazen Altar was a beautiful type of Calvary and the Cross of Christ.
1. Its makeup was of brass. Brass in the Bible is always a type of judgment. We find the use of altars throughout the Old Testament beginning in the early days of Genesis where sin was judged. Sin has a terrible consequence and its wage continues to be death in our day. Sin was judged at Calvary.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2. Its sacrifice was propitiatory. It was a place where the innocent died for the guilty. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, took our place at Calvary.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
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.
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.
3. Its message was grace. The number 5, in bible numerology, is the number of grace. Its length was 5 cubits, its breadth was 5 cubits. These speak of double or abundant grace. Grace has never been made more clear and available than at Calvary.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
4. Its implication was power. There were 4 our horns on the Brazen Altar, one on each corner of the top of it. These “horns” are a type of power. There was the power of the blood to cleanse; there was the power of the blood to save; there was the power found in the 4 horns, one in each direction, to save all of mankind as Christ die for all. His grace stretches to the four ends of the earth.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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.