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nChrist
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« Reply #4740 on: December 09, 2017, 04:41:12 PM »

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The 23rd Channel

The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want for entertainment.
It maketh me to lie down on the sofa.
It leadeth me away from the Scriptures.
It destroyeth my soul.
It leadeth me in the path of sex and violence for the sponsor’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption,
For the TV is with me, its cable and remote, they control me.
It prepareth a commercial before me in the presence of worldliness;
It anointeth my head with humanism,
My coveting runneth over.
Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house watching TV forever.

—Author Unknown
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« Reply #4741 on: December 09, 2017, 04:42:19 PM »

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Is Christ Your King?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth

Most Christians would answer this question with a resounding yes, but most grace believers would respond with an emphatic no. They know that the people of Israel lived in a kingdom (I Sam. 24:20), and they know that the Lord was born “King of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2) and will one day rule over them in the kingdom of heaven on earth. They rightly reason that a kingdom is ruled by a king, but that believers today are members of “the Body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:27), and a body is ruled by a head. Since Christ is our Head (Eph. 4:15), it is easy to see why some say He is not our King.

But the same apostle who tells us we are members of Christ’s Body also tells us that “the Father…hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:12,13). Paul is speaking here of God’s overall kingdom of the saved of all ages, but any kingdom, by definition, is governed by a king.

There are, of course, some dispensational differences. A kingdom has to be governed by law, so God gave Israel a law, a law that said that if your neighbor is hungry you should feed him (Deut. 15:8.). But bodies aren’t governed by a law, they are governed by love. When your stomach is hungry, your head doesn’t need a law to tell you to feed it. You feed it because “no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Eph. 5:29). In a kingdom, you have to have laws that say things like “thou shalt not kill,” and “thou shalt not steal,” so God gave the kingdom of Israel a law that said things like that. But our apostle says that laws like “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal” are “briefly comprehended in this…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” (Rom. 13:9,10). So after telling the Galatians that we are not under the law but under grace, Paul told them, “by love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). Under grace, we don’t kill or steal from one another because we love one another! But what would happen in the kingdom of Chicago if the mayor announced that he was suspending all laws, and from now on everyone should just love one another? It wouldn’t take long for people to realize that love works well when it comes to governing a body, but a kingdom needs laws!

But despite these dispensational differences, Christ is still the king of the overall kingdom of which we are a part. Someday He will “sit upon the throne of His glory” in the kingdom of heaven on earth (Mt. 25:31). In the meantime, does He sit on the throne of your heart? Why not choose to give “the King” the “honour and glory” He deserves (I Tim. 1:17) by choosing to obey Him.
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« Reply #4742 on: December 10, 2017, 10:20:36 AM »

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An Exhortation to Pray
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Did you hear about the woman who bowed to pray on New Year’s Eve, saying, “Lord, for the coming year, I pray for a fat bank account and a thin body. And whatever You do, please don’t mix the two up like You did last year.”

While Christians often forget to pray for others, most of us remember to pray for ourselves, especially when it comes to things like that!

Of course, you wouldn’t think a pastor would forget to pray for others, but pastors are Christians too. So Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy, saying,

    “I exhort therefore, that, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (I Timothy 2:1).

Now, when Paul only exhorts Timothy to pray after charging him to “teach no other doctrine” (1:3,18.), it’s easy to conclude from this that praying is not as important as teaching. But an exhortation from God is a serious thing! After the Lord told the Jews that “the blood of all the prophets” would be “required of this generation” (Lu. 11:50,51), Peter chose to “exhort” them, “saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40). That sounds serious to me! And when Paul then exhorts us to pray, we know that prayer must be just as serious a matter in the eyes of God.

As we look back to the previous chapter to see why Paul would exhort Timothy to pray “therefore,” we see that Paul just finished charging him to “war a good warfare” (1:18.). Well, what does every soldier do before going into battle? He prays! I don’t care if he’s a Christian or not. An old saying says, “There are no atheists in foxholes!”

Yet, as Christians, it is so easy to forget that God has called us to “wrestle… against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). After Paul went on in that passage to describe the armor God gave us to conduct that warfare (v. 13-17), he exhorted the Ephesians to pray (v.18.). Naturally! After donning his armor, every Roman soldier was certain to pray to his god, and so must we.

Beloved, we must pray for the lost with whom we share Christ, and we must pray for the saints with whom we share the mystery, if we hope to “war a good warfare” against the wicked spirits that are keeping them in darkness with their “doctrines of devils” (I Tim. 4:1). If you are laboring to bring souls to Christ and then build them up in the faith, why not follow the example of Epaphras, who was “always laboring fervently…in prayers” that people might “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12).
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« Reply #4743 on: December 14, 2017, 12:00:18 PM »

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The Unpardonable Sin
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “…All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men… neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31,32).

As a pastor, I often hear from people who are afraid they’ve committed the unpardonable sin. They cite these verses, and then proceed to tell me what they said or did that has caused them to believe they blasphemed the Spirit.

When this happens, I remind these dear troubled souls that before he was saved the Apostle Paul was “a blasphemer” (I Tim. 1:13), and it was unquestionably the Spirit whom he blasphemed. As a Jew who followed the Law of Moses scrupulously (Phil. 3:6), he would not have blasphemed God the Father, and there is no concrete evidence that he ever even met God the Son. It wasn’t until the twelve were “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4) that Saul showed up and led the blasphemous persecution against them (Acts 7:57—8:3).

So when the Lord said that those who blasphemed the Spirit couldn’t be forgiven “neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” we have to conclude that with the saving of Saul, God introduced a whole new world. A world called “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2). A world in which grace reigns:

    “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21).

How thoroughly does grace reign? Notice Paul says grace reigns unto life as sin reigned unto death. And sin reigned unto death with absolute sway over men. The prophet declared, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4), and there have never been any exceptions! So when Paul says “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign” to eternal life, you have to conclude that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13), with no exceptions. This is because whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord is “made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21), allowing grace to reign “through righteousness unto eternal life” (Rom. 5:21).

So if you are among the many who have agonized over the Lord’s words in Matthew 12:31,32, agonize no more. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve said or done, you cannot commit a sin that God’s grace cannot forgive. You have His Word on it.
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« Reply #4744 on: December 14, 2017, 12:03:00 PM »

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Sickness And Sin
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One thing that really concerns this writer about modern life, is how sin is constantly called sickness. A man commits some moral outrage and they say he is sick — they even tell him that.

I went to see a man some time ago who had fallen into unspeakable immorality and it had caught up with him. For years his sanctimonious life had been a sham; now the mask was torn off and he was in trouble — deep trouble.

I had been telling him that now his best course was to make a clean confession — to the courts and to God. But someone else had gotten to him first. While he stood by, listening, this man had told his wife: “You must get Jim to see that he’s sick and needs help. I’m not condoning what he has done, but I’m hopeful that if he gets the proper help he can be cured.”

What a way to evade the sin question! Of course the man was sick — I imagine you and I would be sick too if we lived as he had been living! But let’s get this straight: His sick- ness came from his sin, not his sin from some sickness. He would have been far better off to sob out his heart in contrition before God for his sin than to excuse his conduct on the grounds of illness. Rom. 5:12 says: “By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin,” and Rom. 6:23 says: “The wages of sin is death.”

The sobering fact is that while there may be differences in the kinds of sins we commit, or in the degrees of our sin, Rom. 3:23 declares that there is no difference in this, that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

This is why we are so pleased and proud to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God,” how Christ paid the penalty for our sins that we might have a perfect standing before a holy God, “being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” (II Cor. 9:15).
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« Reply #4745 on: December 14, 2017, 12:04:06 PM »

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Seven Times a Failure
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Despite man’s natural tendency to boast, history has proved again and again that he is a failure, in deep need of God and His grace.

The Age of Innocence closed with man rebelling against his Creator and becoming a fallen, sinful creature (Rom. 5:12).

The Age of Conscience opened with one murder (Gen. 4:8.) and before another age was ushered in “the earth was filled with violence” (Gen. 6:11).

Then came Human Government, but the world’s first ruler made a spectacle of himself through drunkenness (Gen. 9:20,21). Little wonder we soon find the race intoxicated with its own importance so that God had to confuse their language at Babel (Gen. 11:4,7,8.).

The Age of Promise came next, with Abraham failing to enter the promised land through unbelief (Gen. 11:31-12:3). It closed with Israel, his seed, failing to enter the promised land through unbelief (Heb. 3:19).

The Age of Law began with Israel worshipping a golden calf before Moses had even gotten down from Sinai. Little wonder it ended with the rejection of Christ.

The Age of Grace commenced with the Apostle Paul, God’s ambassador of love and grace, persecuted and imprisoned (Eph. 6:20). This showed man’s attitude toward God and His grace. It will be brought to a close as man continues persistently to go on in his sin rather than accept redeeming grace through Christ (II Cor. 4:4; II Tim. 3:1-5).

The Kingdom of Christ, which is to follow the present age, will begin with our Lord rebuking strong nations (Micah 4:3) and will close with multitudes, who for a time had rendered enforced obedience, following Satan (Rev. 20:7-9).

How all this demonstrates man’s need of God and salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ! “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) but, thank God: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). Though surrounded by sin and rebellion, multitudes down through history have called and have been saved.
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« Reply #4746 on: December 14, 2017, 12:05:18 PM »

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Two-Faced Christians
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


Our month January is named after Janus, the mythical Roman god of gates and doorways. Janus had two faces which looked in opposite directions, just as January looks back on the old year and forward to the new. Hypocritical people are often called “Janus-faced” or two-faced. Abraham Lincoln, not known for his good looks, was once called Janus-faced. He responded, “If I had two faces, do you think I’d wear this one?”

We can avoid being Janus-faced spiritually by putting off the old man and putting on the new man (Eph. 4:22-24). But many Christians find this difficult. Some feel they could more easily muster up the spiritual fortitude to live a consistent Christian life if they could just speak to the Lord “face to face” on a daily basis, as did Moses (Ex. 33:11). This blessing is of course not available to us during this dispensation—or is it?

When Paul told the Corinthians that one day they too would see the Lord “face to face” (I Cor. 13:12), he spoke not of the day when they would see His face in heaven, but of a face-to-face relationship with the Lord that they actually lived to see and enjoy. You see, as Paul wrote these words the Bible was not yet complete. Consequently, men were able to see God only as “through a glass, darkly.” The crude glass of ancient days gave men an unclear view of what was on the other side.

It reminds me of how before the launch of satellite telescopes, Earth-based telescopes labored under the limitation of having to peer at the stars through the earth’s atmosphere, which distorted man’s view of the heavens. One scientist likened it to bird-watching from the bottom of a lake! But the launch and perfecting of the Hubble telescope gave science a crystal clear image of Creation.

In much the same way, the addition of Paul’s last epistles completed the Word of God (Col. 1:25), and launched our understanding into the heavens (Eph. 1:3). Now as we look into the pages of God’s completed revelation, we are able to see God Himself “face to face.”

Paul used yet another metaphor to drive this point home. Looking into the unfinished Word of God was also like looking into the crude mirrors of those days. Mirrors in Paul’s day gave imperfect reflections, and so while everyone else knew exactly what Paul looked like, Paul himself knew what he looked like only “in part” (I Cor. 13:12). Similarly, with the Bible incomplete, men had an unclear view of the image of God. But once the Word of God was complete, Paul predicted: “then shall I know even as also I am known,” i.e., then he would know God as clearly as men knew him.

Thus there is no excuse for us to be two-faced Christians. As we peer daily into the pages of the written Word of God, we can see God “face to face,” and can sculpt our lives into His image:

    “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18.).
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« Reply #4747 on: December 15, 2017, 07:14:37 PM »

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A Clear Conscience
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


With the knowledge of good and evil man came into the possession of conscience. A sense of blameworthiness smote him when he committed, or even contemplated committing, evil. This has been so ever since. The Bible tells us that even the most ungodly and benighted heathen “show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom. 2:15).

It is true that man’s conscience can be violated so often that it becomes calloused or, as St. Paul puts it: “seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:2), but events or incidents can take place which suddenly awaken the conscience and make it sensitive again. Many a person has indulged in “the pleasures of sin” more and more freely until, suddenly, his sin has found him out and his conscience has caught up with him to condemn him day and night and make life itself unbearable.

The Bible teaches that all men outside of Christ are, to some degree, troubled by guilty consciences and certainly most are “through fear of death… all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15). But it also teaches that “Christ died for our sins” so that, our penalty having been paid, we might be delivered from a guilty conscience.

The works and ceremonies of the Mosaic Law could never accomplish this, but sincere and intelligent believers in Christ, having been “once purged,” have “no more conscience of sins” (Heb. 9:14; 10:1,2). They are, to be sure, conscious of their sins, but they are no longer tortured by a forever-condemning conscience, for they know that the penalty for all their sins, from the cradle to the coffin, was fully met by Christ at Calvary.

This is not to imply that even a sincere believer may not be troubled about offending the One who paid for his sins, but he knows that the judgment for these sins is past. Thus he earnestly seeks, like Paul, “to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward man” (Acts 24:16).
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« Reply #4748 on: December 16, 2017, 04:12:00 PM »

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Paul Not One Of The Twelve Apostles
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Occasionally the Lord’s apostles are charged with acting arbitrarily in choosing Matthias to take Judas’ place. It is said that they first chose two candidates and then asked God which of these two He would have to fill the vacant position. Paul, according to some, was actually God’s choice for Judas’ place. But this charge is not based upon the record of Scripture.

1    The apostles, with Peter as their chief, had been given authority to act officially in Christ’s absence (Matt. 16:19; 18: 18,19).

2    They acted upon the Scriptural declaration that another apostle should be chosen to fill Judas’ place (Psa. 109:8; cf. Acts 1:20).

3    Their action was bathed in many days of united prayer (Luke 24:49; cf. Acts 1:12-15), and when two candidates were found they again prayed and left the final choice in the hands of God (Acts 1:24-26).

4    Probably only two (Matthias and Joseph Barsabas) were eligible, for only those could qualify who had followed Christ continuously from the day of His baptism by John until His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:21,22; cf. Matt. 19:28, “Ye which have followed Me”).

5    Paul would not have been eligible, for he had not even seen Christ during His earthly ministry (I Cor. 15:8.).

6    The conclusive proof that the eleven acted in the will of God in this matter is found in the fact that the Scripture clearly states that Matthias “was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26) and that “THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT” (Acts 2:4). Men out of the will of God are not filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thus Paul stands separate and distinct from the twelve as the apostle of the present dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:1-3).
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« Reply #4749 on: December 17, 2017, 04:23:04 PM »

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The Rest of the Story
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


During the Second World War, radio personality Paul Harvey began ending his daily newscast with a feature he called, “The Rest of the Story.” These factual narratives always concluded with an interesting twist that made for a surprise ending. Listeners were often fascinated to learn that even when it came to stories with which they were familiar, there was always more to the story than what they had previously heard.

This is sometimes true of the greatest story ever told, the gospel of Jesus Christ. There may be more to the story than what you have heard in the past, and the part you may not have heard just might be the very thing that is keeping you from believing what the Bible says about how to be saved from your sins. Let’s begin by reviewing the part you may have already heard, the part that maybe left you feeling skeptical about the Bible’s plan of salvation.

The Bible clearly teaches that you cannot work your way to heaven by doing good works:

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

    “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5).

Perhaps you’ve heard these verses before, and wondered, “Does that mean God does not want us to do good works?” Since this didn’t seem to make any sense to you, maybe you chose not to believe what you considered to be such an unbelievable gospel.

If that’s the case, it might comfort you to know that God knew in advance that people would wonder about this. That’s why right after that verse we quoted that says salvation is “not of works,” the next verse goes on to say that believers are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:9,10). If you are wondering what it means to be “created in Christ,” remember that God created a creature named Adam in the beginning. Today, when someone believes the gospel, God makes him “a new creature” (II Corinthians 5:17). And just as God’s first creature was created to do the good work of dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15), believers in Christ are likewise “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” That is, while you cannot be saved from your sins by doing good works, once you are saved by grace, you’ll want to do good works because you are saved (not in order to get saved) to express your gratitude to God for saving you.

We see the same thing in that other gospel verse we quoted, where right after saying that salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5), Paul adds “that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” (v. 8.). Here again we see that after we are saved by grace through faith, God then reminds us to do the good works that we were created to do.

So you see, just because God does not ask you to do good works in order to be saved doesn’t mean He doesn’t want you to do good works! He just wants you to understand that good works come after salvation, not before. Most people get the cart before the horse, and you just can’t get to heaven in a cart like that!

Does the gospel story seem a little more believable to you now? If so, you should know that while you can only be saved by believing, it is important to believe in the right thing! It is not enough just to believe in God, for “the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). It is not even enough to have faith in Christ; you must have “faith in His blood” (Romans 3:25). That is, you must believe that the blood He shed on the cross paid for all of your sins, and that you don’t have to add a single good work to what He has already done on your behalf. Romans 4:5 says:

    “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

If you are still not sure how to be saved from the judgment of God on your sins, ask yourself this question. If you died today, and God asked, “Why should I let a sinner like you into My Heaven?” what would your answer be? If your answer is anything other than, “Christ died for my sins,” or if you try to add your own good works to what Christ did for you on Calvary, then you are not fully trusting in His blood. Why not rather follow the advice of the Apostle Paul? When a man asked him, “What must I do to be saved?,” Paul replied quite simply,

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30,31).

And now you know the rest of the story!
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« Reply #4750 on: December 18, 2017, 02:41:41 PM »

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God's Just Judgments
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth…”

The first 15 verses of Romans 2 always make me think of our Lord’s dealings with the rich young ruler of Luke 18: 18,19. “Good Master,” the ruler had said, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

The Lord answered in effect: “Why do you call Me good? There is none good but God, so if I am good I must be God. But do you want to know what to do to inherit eternal life? Simply obey the Law, the Ten Commandments.”

Our Lord, of course, was trying to show the young man that it was impossible to earn salvation by doing good. To keep the Law was impossible for any child of fallen Adam, and breaking the Law could only bring condemnation. Now this absolute justice is the basis for the believer’s confidence in God.

It is wonderful to know that God does not merely pity sinners and smuggle them into heaven if they are sorry. If He did, someone in heaven could point an accusing finger at this writer and say: “What, you here!” Thank God, He has rather taken us before the bar of justice, pronouncing us guilty, but has stepped down, as it were, to pay the penalty for our sins Himself, then justly declaring us righteous! This is why salvation, in Scripture, is based upon Christ’s payment of our just debt. This is why Rom. 3:24 declares that believers are “justified freely, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

    “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21).
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« Reply #4751 on: December 22, 2017, 12:59:01 AM »

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How God Empowers His Witnesses
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


As we know, Paul wrought mighty miracles, as Peter and the Pentecostal believers had done. Indeed, a comparison of Paul’s miracles with those of Peter shows Paul’s to have been the mightier. This was mainly in divine confirmation of his apostleship, since Paul was not one of the twelve (II Cor. 12:11,12).

But it is clear from a study of Paul’s ministry and his epistles that these miraculous demonstrations were to vanish away as the dispensation of grace was fully ushered in (See I Cor. 13:8; Rom. 8:22,23; II Cor. 4:16-5:4; 12:10; Phil. 3:20,21; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20). In fact, in the last seven of Paul’s epistles nothing whatever is said about signs, miracles, healings, tongues, visions or the casting out of demons.

How, then, does God now empower His servants in their conflict with Satan and his demons? The answer is: by the Holy Spirit through His Word, as it is preached with conviction. There is a great volume of evidence as to this in Paul’s epistles, including his early epistles. Two examples:

    I Cor. 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing [persuasive] words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

Mark well, this was power in his preaching, not in performing miracles. Indeed at the very same time when he proclaimed his God-given message with such power, he himself was very weak, for in the preceding verse he says:

    “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.”

The other example is I Thes. 1:5:

    “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”

In Thessalonica too, Paul had suffered much opposition and persecution, until the whole city was in an uproar (Acts 17:1-5), and this may well have been the result of his powerful preaching. Out of the “uproar,” however, sprang the beloved Thessalonian church, an example and inspiration to those won to Christ under more benign circumstances.
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« Reply #4752 on: December 22, 2017, 01:00:06 AM »

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The Holy Spirit And The Pentecostal Believers
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


The prophesied work of the Holy Spirit in connection with His people Israel should be clearly understood if we would understand His work today in connection with the members of the Body of Christ. In Joel 2:28,29 God promised to supernaturally cause them to prophesy, etc., but in Ezek. 36:26,27, He also promised to supernaturally cause them to do His will:

    “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND YE SHALL KEEP MY JUDGMENTS, AND DO THEM.”

Thus God would show that the only way in which even His own people can perfectly obey Him is when He takes possession of them and causes them to do His will. Indeed, He is still demonstrating this. Though we today have all the advantages and blessings of the dispensation of grace, and though we desire most earnestly to obey and serve God as we ought, we still continually fall short.

This is because, contrary to popular opinion, none of us has been baptized with the Spirit (See Acts 1:5 and cf. I Cor. 12:13). We must be careful to notice the immediate change that took place in the behavior of the Pentecostal believers, now that the Holy Spirit had come to take possession of them. Not only did they speak with tongues and prophesy and work miracles, but they all began living for one another.

    “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).

We have not observed this way of life among those who call themselves Pentecostalists today.
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« Reply #4753 on: December 22, 2017, 01:01:08 AM »

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A Free Gift For You
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


It seems that everything is going up in cost these days. Nothing comes down; everything goes up — up — up. Wages too are going up, but not as fast as the cost of living, for our dollars are decreasing in value all the time. This is why former President Eisenhower suggested we begin calling them dollarettes!

We should thank God, though, that there is one thing that has never gone up in price — the salvation of precious souls. No price was ever put on this and none ever will be, for several good reasons:

    Because God is not impoverished; He does not need our money.
    Because if salvation could be bought, the rich would have an advantage over the poor.
    Salvation was fully paid for by God the Son on Calvary’s cross, and to charge one penny for it now would be to cast reflections on His finished work.

Even in Old Testament times God made it clear that sacrifices and good works could not buy His favor. In Isa. 55:1-3, the prophet cried:

    “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

    “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

    “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: Hear, and your soul shall live…”

Centuries later, after “the gospel of the grace of God” had been committed to Paul, he offered even better things to those who were willing to accept them. He declared that believers in Christ are…

    “Justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the [free] gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

    “In whom we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
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« Reply #4754 on: December 22, 2017, 04:27:47 PM »

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Kingdom Rewards in Heaven or on Earth?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “How can Matthew 5:12 talk about rewards in heaven for kingdom saints if their future will be here on earth?”

This verse is not alone in promising heavenly rewards to kingdom saints (Matt. 6:20; 19:21; Heb. 10:34). But Peter wrote to them about “an inheritance… reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:4). Jews would understand from this that he wasn’t saying they would go to heaven to receive their inheritance. They would have known he meant that their inheritance would come to them on earth in the kingdom. The Lord told a parable in which…

    “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return…And…when He was returned, having received the kingdom…” (Luke 19:12,15).

The nobleman represents the Lord (cf. Mark 13:34). The “far country” to which He traveled after His resurrection was Heaven. When He returns for Israel, He will return “having received the kingdom” that He will establish on earth for them. But in the meantime, all of the “treasures” of the Jewish kingdom saints are “reserved” there in Heaven with Him.
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