Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pure Religion

 Temple Baptist Church - 9-29-2021

James 1:21-27




A.  As we come to the end of the first chapter of the Book of James, the Holy Ghost ties up all loose ends.  He gives us the example of one religious man and one man with pure religion.


B.  Last week, I erroneously said that there were nine mentions of religion in one form or the other in the Bible.  There are only five!  It behooves us to look at these five mentions to get an understanding of how they are used.


1.  The first three mentions speak of the Jew's religion.  These three could be classified as false religions. 


Act26:5  Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.  (Saul of Tarsus lived a life above reproach yet was unsaved!)


Galatians 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:  (Saul's deception.)


Galatians1:14  And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.  (Saul's zeal.)


Though these three mentions speak of God's covenant people, Israel as a nation had rejected the Messiah and fell into spiritual darkness.


Matthew 4:16  The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.  (There were a few, when Christ was born, who sat in light—awaiting His coming.  All these people, sitting and looking, had the same Word of God.  Some chose darkness over light while others chose light over darkness.  Personal choice.)


2.  The fourth mention speaks of vain religion.  The word "vain" means to no avail. 


James 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.


3.  The fifth mention speaks of pure religion.


James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.


C.  Types of "religion" mentioned in these two verses, 26-27: one vain or "religious" verses one pure and undefiled before God "religion."  We will look at the difference between the two words and their manifestations.


1.  Religious.  Verse 26 uses the word "religious."  Religious is worship done before man and not necessarily before God.


a.  The word "religious" only occurs once in the Bible and it is used in a bad light.  Religious comes from a root word meaning "to wail" or "clamor."  It is an outward expression in a bad sense because it is not backed up with an inward reality: all show.


b.  Religious: demonstrative or pious.  Ceremonious in worship.  Liturgical or sacramental in tradition.  People within local churches who always must be seen, be in charge, receive praise. 


c.  Religious: the result given is both vain and vocal.  Vain: to no avail.  It does not impress either God or man.  Vocal: it manifests itself in self-glory and praise: I, me, my, or myself.  It is simply show.


2.  Pure and Undefiled before God Religion.  Verse 27 is the only place where "religion" in any sense of the word is found to be pleasing to God and man.  Pure means to be clean or clear.  Undefiled means to be uncontaminated and is an expression of continuation.  Pure and undefiled religion are done "before God," Who looks upon the inward, not the outward man.


a.  The example of Pure Religion is an interesting one.  To visit the fatherless (orphans) and widows (widows indeed) in their affliction.  To come to the aid of those who can neither pay nor reward your services.  By visiting!  Spending his or her time to relieve the suffering or loneliness of those who are helpless and needful.  JOY – Jesus first, Others second, and You last. 


b.  The second example of Pure Religion is to keep oneself unspotted from the world.  A love of Christ that compels one to live righteously, holy, pure, unspotted from contact with the world (we must live in this sinful world) and also unspotted before the world so as to have a delightful testimony.


Conclusion:  This all goes back to the context of either "enduring temptation" in verse 12, or giving in to temptation in verses 13-15.  Either being "doers" of the word or being "hearers only," deceiving ourselves but not deceiving either God of man.

Sunday, September 26, 2021


 Temple Baptist Church - 9-26-2021

Revelation 17:5


Introduction:  We will deal with the political system in chapter 18, but the Bible places the religious system first in chapter 17.  This is the reverse of chapter 13 where the beast of the sea, the political system, is mentioned first and the beast of the earth, the religious system is mentioned last.  The Scripture has a reason for the reversal.  It is the religious system that will cause the people of earth to worship the political system (the beast of the sea), by making an image to the beast and causing the image to speak.  Those who will not worship the image of the beast will by martyred.  It should be obvious to even the casual reader that chapter 17 refers to the end-time political system as the Roman Catholic Church. 


A.  As we begin tonight, I want to point out that the word “Babel” is a transliteration of the Hebrew word “Babylon”.    These two are the same.  The first World Power, Babel, was a humanistic (the "god of self"), idolatrous (the "gods of imagery and idols), anti-God nation (the "god" of human government) under the dictatorship of Nimrod.  The building of the Tower of Babel was similar in intent with the desire of Lucifer in the Book of Isaiah to overthrow God. 


Isaiah 14:13-14  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  (14)  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.


B.  When God confounded the language, the people of Babel were scattered abroad over all the earth.  Though their language was confounded, those who were scattered over all the earth had the same political and religious systems which they brought with them out of Babel and set up in all parts of the world where they migrated to.  Today's globalism is already set up as it was in the beginning.


Genesis 11:3-4  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.  (4)  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.  (The desire of man is to be unified in rebellion against God while God's desire for men is that they be separated or scattered.)


Acts 17:26-27  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  (27)  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  (God will allow globalism when it is the appointed time.)


C.  Every pagan religion and government in the world sprang from the same religious root, Babel!  They all have the same humanistic, idolatrous, anti-God mentality.  They just mentally rebuilt the same "tower" that sought to do away with the one true God only to be replaced by their inferior little "gods."


Genesis 11:8  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  (In our day, globalism is once again bringing these different nations together along with their political and religious systems.)


D.  Both the political structure and the religious beliefs were passed down from one world power to the other: from Babel to Assyria (who were idol worshippers), from Assyria to Egypt (who were idol worshippers), from Egypt to Babylon (who were idol worshippers), to Medo-Persia (who were idol worshippers), from Medo-Persia to Greece (who were idol worshippers), and from Greece to Rome (who were idol worshippers), where the Roman Church began as the Roman Catholic Church (which were and continue to be idol worshippers).  All seven world powers are known for their worship of images and idols along with polytheism.  The Roman Catholic Church is polytheistic:  the worship both Mary (Mariolatry) and Jesus Christ!  Every island, every jungle, every nation has its images and idols while their gods are not the God of the Bible.


E.  In the end-time, the world will once again be reunited through Globalism into one government and one religion.  The government will be socialism under Antichrist and the religion will be "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" under the False Prophet.


F.  The official beginning of the Roman Catholic Church is found in the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.  The Roman Catholic Church was born in the blasphemy and idolatry of Rome and operates contrary to the Word of God.  I do not want to do a history lesson tonight, so I will bring this down to the "Harlot" churches it ultimately produced.  Harlotry produces harlotry!


G.  On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, posted his Ninety-five Theses, propositions for debate concerned with the question of indulgences, written (in Latin) on the door of the Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany. This event came to be known as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther tried to reform the Roman Catholic Church from within, but was excommunicated in 1521 by Pope Leo X.


H.  Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin were the most noted of the reformers who wanted reform the Catholic Church while remaining within it.  This is contrary to the Scriptures.  It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right.  The Word of God teaches separation, not reformation.


2 Corinthians 6:14-18  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  (15)  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  (16)  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (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,  (18)  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.


J.  Though the newly formed Protestant Churches disagreed in many ways with the Roman Catholic Church, they also agreed with some of its false teachings and brought these heretical teachings into these reformed churches: some sacraments, rituals, dress, sprinkling or pouring instead of emersion, pedobaptism, holy communion, etc.


K.  Through the years, many of the preachers of Protestant churches preached a clear gospel while maintaining their liturgical services.  As the years passed, they began to revolve back into the false teachings of Roman Catholicism.  Personal merit and baptism were taught as essential to salvation.  Today's Protestant churches bear little resemblance to those of the past centuries and their congregations reflect these changes.


L.  One of the most prevalent signs of the end-times has been the change in Baptist churches, especially in the past 100 years.  I do not believe in Baptist Succession!  From the days of Christ, there has been a succession of people who followed the Scriptures and were named Anabaptists by the Roman Catholic Church.  Today's Baptist churches, for the most part, are both liberal and compromised.


M.  This next statement will probably get me into trouble with many but one of the men who helped bring about these Harlot churches was the "Reverend Doctor" Billy Graham.  Billy Graham was not a friend of the Bible though he is heralded as such.  As early the 1960's, Roman Catholic priests sat on the stages with Billy Graham while he preached.  Other Catholic priests help deal with the people who came forth during invitations.  If a Catholic came forward during an invitation, he or she was directed to a Catholic priest for help, so they remained both Catholic and lost! 

N.  Research on Billy Graham's actions and statement concerning his affiliation with Roman Catholicism are readily available from numerous sources for those who care to check my preaching.  Billy Graham was given an honorary doctor's degree by the Belmont Abbey in 1967 by Roman Catholic priests.  Billy Graham was also closely associated with the Catholic Pope in Rome along with many other Catholic priests.  He made it alright to be a Christian and Catholic, a state that does not and cannot exist as the two are contrary to one another. 


O.  I do not want to spend a lot of time on Billy Graham, but I will say that he was not a friend of the Bible and, therefore, not a friend of the Gospel!  The following statement was made by Billy Graham while being interviewed on Robert Schuller's "Hour of Power" in 1997:


“I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ—whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ,” Billy Graham said. “And that’s what God is doing today. He’s calling people out of the world for His name.”


“Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God,” Graham continued. “They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have.”


P.  Now, down to our day.  Both Protestant and Baptist churches work together with the Catholic Church.  Most notable would be during the time around Easter.  I personally do not like to use the word "Easter" but had rather used the phrase "Resurrection Sunday."  Forty-one days before "Easter," Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as it is the day before Ash Wednesday or the beginning of Lent.  Shrove Tuesday or "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras."  Lent, forty days before Easter and the purple draped crosses are seen in front of most churches in our areas as the announcement to passing people that Lent is being observed.


Q.  During Lent, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, and other churches have ecumenical services, prayer breakfasts, etc. together.  This makes being Catholic alright with so-called Christianity and so-called Christianity alright with the Catholics.  Thus, we see the harlotry spoken of in Revelation 17:5 coming to fruition in these last days as both Protestant and many Baptist churches accept Roman Catholicism as another Christian denomination.


Revelation 2:20, 24  thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols ...   the depths of Satan …


R.  Here we sit today and have been here for several decades!

Sunday, September 19, 2021


 Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2021

Revelation 17:5


A.  For the last 2 weeks, we have taken a close look at the phrase: “The Great Whore.”  This is not language that the Holy Ghost used loosely.  It is language that we, as children of God, normally refrain from but the Bible is very specific in its usage.  The end-time religious system has deserved every word of the phrase as it is anti-Bible, anti-God, and anti-Christian!


B.  In verse 5, we find further clarification of who and what the end-time religious system will be.  “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT.”  Notice with me the usage of all capital letters.  This usage is not found often in the Bible but, when it is used, it us used to closely draw our attention to the precise wording.


A mystery in the Bible is something that cannot be discerned by the unsaved.  A mystery is a family secret.  It can only be fully understood by God’s children.  For this cause, when we set forth the Bible truth concerning a mystery, the religious world believes that we are hard hearted, hateful people and maligns us.  The child of God can clearly see the spiritual truth set forth by the Holy Ghost in the Bible through revelation of the Holy Ghost.


The Mystery of both Babylon the Great and The Great Whore has blinded the minds and, therefore, the spiritual eyes of the world.  What we see, they do not see.  Truly, the god of this world has blinded their minds to all that is going on, so do not think that what the Bible is saying will be popular with the masses.


C.  Now, let us back up to verse 3, where we find “the great whore” “sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”


1.  The “seven heads” represent the seven world powers of human history.  Babel, Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.


2.  The first of the “seven heads” or world powers was Babel.  Babel’s founder was Nimrod, the beginning of his kingdom: 


Genesis 10:8-10  And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.  (9)  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.  (10)  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.


3.  The word “Babel” comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “confusion.”  It was there in the land of Shinar that the Tower of Babel was built. 


Genesis 11:1-4  And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.  (2)  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.  (3)  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.  (4)  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.


4.  What made this first world power stand out in world history is their organized rebellion against God.  Men have always rebelled against God, but the first mention of organized religious rebellion against God is found here.  The words “they” and “us” show the anti-God unity of these people.  Prior to this, the “sons of God” (the Messianic Line of Seth) looked upon and took for wives the “daughters of men” (the ungodly line of Cain).  This was an individual sinfulness of mankind, not an organized one.


5.  At Babel, God did “confound the language” of the earth as, in the beginning, there was only one language which allowed men to work together to bring about an intended end, a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven, and make us a name.”


6.  The middle or fourth world power, was Babylon.  The word “Babylon” comes from a combination of 2 Hebrew words meaning “out of” and “Babel” which means “out of confusion.”  Babylon was simply an extension, both political and religious, of Babel!


7.  The seventh and last of the world powers was and is Rome.  The First, Middle, and Last of the world powers being the same: Babel – Babylon – Rome.


8.  The 10 crowns will be the revived Roman Empire or Babylon or Babel! 


D.  Verse 5.  MYSTERY - secret or “mystery” (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites)


2 Timothy 3:13-17  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 


1.  Deceiving relates to 2 Timothy 3:1-9.  Those who follow this anti-Bible, anti-God religion of the end-time have no Bible comprehension.  They are “bought in” to this religious system because they can live any way that they choose and still be a part of it.


2 Timothy 3:1-9  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  (2)  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  (3)  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  (4)  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  (5)  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  (6)  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  (7)  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 


2.  Being Deceived relates to 2 Timothy 3:8-9.  This speaks of knowledge of its upper echelon.  There are those who know and understand exactly who and what this religious system is comprised of: from the beginning to the end.  I do not think for one moment that the religious leaders of “the great whore” do not know exactly what the system is and teaches.  The ultimate deception is found here.  “Deceiving and being deceived.” 


2 Timothy 3:8-9  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  (9)  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.


3.  Paul ends the chapter with an admonition to the believers.  You and I, who know and study the Bible, are to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord!”


2 Timothy 3:14-17  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  (15)  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  (16)  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.


E.  BABYLON THE GREAT.  Both politically and religiously, she is here! 


1.  The Vision of the world powers from Daniel’s time to the end. 


Daniel 2:31-35 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.  (32)  This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,  (33)  His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.  (34)  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.  (35)  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 


2.  The Interpretation of the world powers from Babylon to the end-time and BABYLON THE GREAT and its destruction prior to the Kingdom Age. 


Daniel 2:36-47  This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.  (37)  Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.  (38)  And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.  (39)  And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.  (40)  And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.  (41)  And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.  (42)  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.  (43)  And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.  (44)  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  (45)  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.  (46)  Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.  (47)  The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.