Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Them Which Have The Rule Over You: Divine Authority

 Temple Baptist Church - 12-30-2020

Hebrews 13:7




A.  Tonight, I want to continue to explore the biblical relationship of the pastor to the local church.  We looked at:


1.  The Pastor – God’s Gift to the Local Church.


2.  The Dual Obligations of the Pastor and the Local Church.


B.  Tonight, I want to look at the word “rule.”  What does it mean when the pastor is to rule over the flock or local church?  We need to remember that God is a God of order! 


1 Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.


C.  I have heard the saying, “Anything with two heads is a freak and will normally die.”  Thus, the local church.  If there are more than one in charge, the church will normally implode to some degree.


D.  The word “rule” in all its different forms is used 259x in 247 verses in your Bible.  Because of this fact, you do not want me to study them all tonight!  God established divine authority in all things that He did. 


1.  The Authority of God – we are all accountable to God!


2.  The Authority in marriage – the man.


3.  The Authority in the Nation of Israel – the Priesthood and kings.


4.  The Authority in government – God set up government and commanded obedience.


5.  The Authority of the local church – The Lord Jesus Christ and the pastor He sends.


E.    All of us are to be under authority of some type and human nature rebels against it. 


F.  First, I want to apply a couple principles of Biblical Hermeneutics.


1.  First Mention - Genesis 1:16-18  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.  (17)  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,  (18)  And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.


The sun, moon, and stars were given for benefit of those under them.  Three main reasons are for them is to give:


a)  Sun – to give Light –Man is work in the day – the pastor is to guide the work.


b)  Moon – to give Comfort – a light in the darkness of this world – the pastor is to give comfort.


c)  Stars – to give Guidance – the pastor is to guide you right.


2.  Last Mention - Revelation 19:15-16  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  (16)  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


Divine Authority (the Word of God - out of His mouth) and Strict Adherence (Authority - a rod of iron).


G.  How should a pastor rule over the flock and individuals in a spiritual manner that is consistent with the Word of God? 


1.  That is the “resting place” or “mid-point” of a pendulum’s swing.  The pendulum’s swings far to the left and far to the right but finds its balance in the middle. 


2.  To the far to the left and the people must rule themselves; to far to the right and the pastor becomes a dictator.


1.  Ruling right must be done justly and in the fear of God.


2 Samuel 23:3  The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.


a.  Just – to be right; to be moral.


b.  In the fear of God – moral reverence; in the fear of the Lord.


2.  Ruling right must be done in equality. 


Romans 2:11  For there is no respect of persons with God.


James 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.


3.  Ruling right must be done in compassion.


1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:


4.  Ruling right must be done in realization.


1 Peter 5:2-4  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  (3)  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  (4)  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 


A pastor must have the spiritual maturity (not a novice), wisdom, and boldness (taking the oversight thereof - “the flock of God”). 


The “flock of God” must have the spiritual maturity, wisdom, and meekness to allow the pastor to do such!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Seventh Seal - The First Four Trumpets

Temple Baptist Church - 12-27-2020

Revelation 8:6-13


A.  The reprieve found in chapter 7 is over!  God has given men on earth a space of repentance.


Revelation 2:21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.


B.  God has given men on earth a chance to be saved.  144,000 witnesses have been called and sealed to preach the gospel.  Multitudes accepted God’s salvation but, more than likely, the majority rejoiced in the reprieve but rejected salvation.


C.  In verses 3-4, the angel offers incense along with the prayers of the saints before the throne of God.  I believe that these are not prayers for mercy but prayers for the judgement of God on the wickedness of both past and present rebellion, persecution of the saints, and rejection of all that is holy and good.  The altar is a place of judgement and the coals of fire are the execution thereof.  The Lord has always used fire to try works.  The fire and incense are cast into the earth to show that God


D.  Verse 5.  When the Seven Trumpets get ready to sound, there is silence in heaven for the space of half an hour.  It reminds me of this scenario: a child facing punishment for something done and the child’s father chooses to give the child another chance.  The child says emphatically “NO” to the father, showing both rejection and disrespect.  All becomes silent as the other children, in disbelief, look at the face of the father and see his reaction along with impending judgement!


E.  As the Lamb of God prepares to open the seventh seal, there is a solemn silence in heaven.  The saint’s prayers, along with the incense have been and the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepare themselves to sound.  There is a similarity between the judgments found here and the physical, literal judgments which God poured out upon Egypt. In these seven trumpets, we will find


F.  Verse 7.  The first trumpet sounds and we find the beginning of God’s destruction of nature.  This judgement is three-fold:


1.  Hail – the destruction of vegetation: trees, crops, flowers, and grass. 


Hail makes one run for cover.  Over the years, I have seen golf ball sized hail that left great destruction in its wake.  The hail in verse 7 is not a “killing hail” for the bible is specific in that it is a vegetation killing one.


First Mention:  Exodus 9:18  Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.


2.  Fire – the burning of wild-fires everywhere. 


Likened to the wildfires out west that destroy everything in their path.  These fires are around the world.  They burn one third of the trees.  This means that people will be surrounded with fire because the one third will be consistent everywhere.  Imagine every third tree around you one fire.


It will also kill all grass.  A world on fire with no place to escape it.  Fire is a fearful thing!


3.  Mingled with blood – a repayment for the death of God’s people in the Tribulation Period and in the past from the blood of righteous Abel forward.


Blood everywhere and on everything.  Not as blood but blood.  I will speculate at this point but it is actual blood, that blood had to be found in either man or animal life.  I wonder if God has not gathered the blood of every sacrifice made and the blood of every martyred saint through out the ages?


G.  The Ecology of the earth destroyed.  The Ecosystem of this earth is delicately balanced.


This is an ecological disaster without parallel to this point in the history of mankind; its results are incalculable. 


The destruction of plant life, one third of the trees and all grass, will affect the air quality.  Plant life is our source of breathable air as they, through photosynthesis, take in sunshine, water, nutrients from the soil, and carbon dioxide (CO2) —which we exhale—and release oxygen (O2) into the air.  Our atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 20.9% oxygen.  The canary in the cage that was taken into the coal mines was to show oxygen levels.  The death of the canary was a sign for miners to evacuate because of low oxygen levels.


The destruction of plant life will affect our main food source.  I have been told that America keeps approximately 45 days of food supply in many areas.  I know that we have canned goods but the Tribulation Period is SEVEN YEARS long and it takes a while for new growth to come back and produce.


H.  Verse 8-9 – the second trumpet sounded and “as it were” a great mountain burning, or a gigantic ball of fire, was cast into the sea.  One third of the sea became as blood, possibly coagulated and sticky.  One third of the creatures in the sea die along with the destruction of a third of all ships. 


How we love the Atlantic Ocean!  I love to go to the coast and could sit and watch the waves come in and scan the waters for “fins” or ships all day.  They are a part of our recreation and just “getting away” from it all.


The seas of earth are all important in sustaining life.  I call the oceans and seas the “septic tanks” of the world as they are used, through agitation and salt, to cleanse our waters.  They are important in the earth’s water cycle as they produce fresh water through cleansing and the evaporation.  If the seas cannot operate right, what water that we get from them will not be right.  A catastrophe of great proportion.


J.  Verse 10-11 – the third trumpet sounded, and a star called Wormwood, burning as it were a lamp, fell upon a third of rivers and springs or fountains of waters.  The word “Wormwood” means bitterness and calamity. 


Wormwood has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.  Long considered a cause of hallucinations and potentially poisonous, wormwood was banned in the United States for nearly a century, from 1912 until 2007. It is now legally available in the United States as are so many once illegal “drugs.”


Witchcraft – the Greek word is φαρμακεία or pharmakeia - far-mak-i'-ah- medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): - sorcery, witchcraft.


The drinking water of earth became undrinkable because the waters were bitter, and many men died.  With the earth burning, the oceans bitter, and the fresh drinking water contaminated, this earth becomes uninhabitable to the who are doomed to inhabit it.


K.  Verses 12-13 – the fourth trumpet sounded the universe was stricken.  A third part of the sun, moon, and stars were darkened.  It was darkened for both day and night.  “Where were you when the lights went out?” 


How we love our universe!  We are all “star gazers” of one sort or another.  So many times (as we live in the country with no streetlights) my wife will look up as we get out of the car and say, “Look at those stars.”  What a comfort; what a joy; what an overwhelming sight!


People all over the world are spellbound by eclipses of both sun and moon, meteor showers, the “Bethlehem Star,” and such.


With the darkening of much of the universe, there would be a fright like this world has never known.  Darkness is depressing to those who are in it.  It is not like the short, self-induced darkness of night when sleep.  It is a darkness amid the destruction mentioned previously.  Fear will grip the hearts of those left on earth.  Another angel pronounces the impending three “Woes” that are to follow.


Joel 2:30-32  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  (31)  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  (32)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.


L.  During the destruction of God’s judgement, there will also be a standing offer of salvation to all who will call upon the name of the LORD!  I am glad that God never gives up on mankind!

I Want To Finish Right

Temple Baptist Church - 12-27-2020

2 Timothy 4:6-8




A. l Christmas is over, and a New Year is at hand. 


1.  2020 has been a year of uncertainty and challenges that has become history. 


2.  God was good to us last year; God protected us last year; God fed us last year.  God has been SO good to us!


B.  A new year is on the horizon now.  We see it quickly approaching and next week, it will be here. 


1.  Some of us are getting old; all of us are getting older; the time of His appearing or our departure is nearing.  One way or the other, we will be leaving for home soon. 


2.  We lost a good man of God on Christmas Day, Pastor Jim Rutland.  Jim was a good preacher, a good pastor, and a friend to most of us.  He finished his course; he kept the faith; he is home!


3.  I told Barbara that I want to finish right; I told others this past week that I want to finish right.


C.  As I read 2 Timothy, chapter 4, I see the end of a great life, a life spent for Christ.  The Apostle Paul was one of the greatest Christians who ever lived.  He fought a good fight; he finished his course; he kept the faith.


D.  That is what I desire.  That is what you should desire.  The world’s problems and America’s problems stem from one thing.  A rejection of God, His Son—Christ Jesus, and salvation.


E.  How to finish right?  I believe that Paul gave us 4 things in these verses to help us answer that question.


1.  Paul Fought A Good Fight.  1 Timothy 6:11-12  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  (12)  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.


2.  Paul Finished His Course.  Acts 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.


3.  Paul Kept the Faith.  Jude 3-4  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  (4)  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.


4.  Paul Loved His Appearing.  1 John 3:1-3  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  (2)  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.


Conclusion:  This is simple: in 2021, I want to be right so that I can finish right.  There are so many distractions in this world, therefore, let us keep our eye on Christ and our hand to the plough in 2021!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Virgin Birth Of Christ

 Temple Baptist Church - 12-20-2020

Genesis 3:15; Matthew 1:18-25




A.  It is the Christmas season, in which we normally celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God, the Seed of the Woman. 


B.  The Virgin Birth of Christ Prophesied – 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden.


Genesis 3:15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”


1.  It was about Sin.  Disobedience to God and God’s hatred for sin.


2.  It was about Sinners.  God’s love for the sinner despite sinfulness.


3.  It was about Separation.  Man hiding and God seeking.


4.  It was about Substitution.  The innocent died for the guilty that the guilty could become innocent.


5.  It was about a Saviour.  The coming of Messiah, Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world.


6.  It was about Salvation.  Free to all who would repent and believe.


7.  It was about Security.  Eternal restoration, eternal life, eternal joy.


C.  The Seed of the Woman – The Virgin Birth of Christ.


Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.


1.  One of the most precious of all doctrines is that of the Virgin Birth of Christ.  How important it is to the salvation of the child of God! The Virgin Birth of Christ is often referred to as The Doctrine of Holy Ground!” 


2.  The wording in Matthew 1:18 differentiates the birth of Christ from the series of “begats” found in the preceding verses. 


a)  “Espoused wife” and “before they came together declares a birth like none other that preceded it. 


b)  A birth like none that would come after it.


3.  No man or woman since Adam and Eve, except for Jesus Christ, came into the world through a virgin birth or without the seed of man involved.  As God created the world to bring forth after its own kind, so man brings forth after his own kind.  Adam and Eve had no predecessors and the Father of Jesus Christ was God.


D.  The world celebrates a Christmas without God and while others make Christmas about Mary as much as about the birth of Christ.  Christmas is not Christmas without Christ!  IT IS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST, ISRAEL’S MESSIAH, OUR SAVIOUR. 


E.  The Virgin Birth Was Performed - Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  (“On this wise” sets the birth of Christ apart from the “begats” of the first 17 verses!)


F.  The virgin birth of Christ was the pivotal point between Prophecy and Performance


1.  It is a doctrine both Sweetly Adored and Severely Attacked.  It the mystery of mysteries, the jewel of all ages, the hope of mankind, and the love of God manifested. 


2.  It was a miraculous event.  A miracle is a phenomenon that cannot be explained outside the realm of supernatural intervention. It is an event that supersedes natural law.  No other child born of man has been born without the seed of the man.  The “seed of the woman” combined with the seed of the Holy Ghost to bring forth the God-Man!


3.  The immortal became mortal that the mortal may become immortal - 1 Timothy 6:16a Who only hath immortality


1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.


4.  The untouchable became touchable that mortal may touch Him - 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.


Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


1 John 1:1  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;.


G.  The Virgin Birth was a thing beyond human comprehension!  Dr. Herbert Lockyer said it this way,


“The incarnation is the most stupendous miracle comprehending and involving all other miracles, and because it is a theme both deep and delicate, infinite and incomprehensible, how about “finding out acceptable words”.  The ground we approach is holy calling for the putting off of our shoes.”


The Importance Of The Virgin Birth:


1.  Scriptural Credibility Depends Upon It - Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  (If the Scripture errs on this point, how can we trust any other supernatural event such as the death, burial, and resurrection?)


2.  The Deity Of Christ Depends Upon It - 1 Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.  (If the Scripture errs on this point, then anyone could have been His father and He would not be the only begotten Son of God!)


Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


3.  The Sinless Humanity Of Christ Depends Upon It - John 1:1-2, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God…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.  (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ was tainted with the sin of Adam and Christ would have had an Adamic nature!)


1 John 3:5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.


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 Peter 2:22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:


Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


4.  The Vicarious Atonement Of Christ Depends Upon It - Exodus 12:5  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ could not save!)


1 Peter 1:18-19  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:


Mark 10:45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


5.  The Ultimate Defeat Of Evil Depends Upon It - Hebrews 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.  (If the Scripture errs on this point, then evil would ultimately win and Satan would reign!)


1 John 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.


6.  The Security Of The Believer Depends Upon It - Hebrews 7:26  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  (If the Scripture errs on this point, then the blood of Christ would ultimately corrupt and we who were lost would perish!)


1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;


Hebrews 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.