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October 17, 2018, 04:16:35 PM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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nChrist
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« Reply #5040 on: October 09, 2018, 03:25:57 PM »

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How Do You Wrestle a Spirit?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

Wrestling is a sport that is usually associated with boys and men, only a few of whom engaged in organized wrestling in high school or college.  But whether you are a man or a woman, the Apostle Paul says that you are engaged in a life-long wrestling match against the members of Satan’s host.

But did you ever wonder how you are supposed to wrestle a spirit?  And what is this wrestling match all about, anyway?  Paul doesn’t say, but we believe he was thinking of Daniel 10.  Here an angel was sent to Daniel to deliver a message from God, but a fallen angel “withstood” him for 21 days (vv. 11-14).  Since Paul says of our wrestling match that we must “withstand” (Eph. 6:13), we feel he had this passage in mind, especially when we consider what was happening in Daniel 10.  The Prince of Persia, one of “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” was fighting to keep a message from God from getting through to a man of God.  It is our firm conviction that “the rulers of the darkness of this world” are still fighting to keep a message from God from getting through to men and women of God—the grace message.  Today, however, God is not using angels to deliver His message to His people, He is using grace believers.  Because of this, the members of Satan’s host are no longer withstanding angels, they are withstanding us.

And so if you’ve been wondering how you are supposed to wrestle against the devil’s principalities and powers, wonder no more.  Every time you share the grace message with someone, you walk out onto the wrestling mat.  Every time you try to “make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery” (Eph. 3:9), you engage your wicked opponent.  And every dollar you invest in grace ministries helps defeat the adversary’s attempts to keep men and women of God from obtaining the message that unlocks the Scriptures, the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.  Why not reach someone with the message today, and know the thrill of pinning a Satanic combatant to the mat, and liberating a bewildered believer from the dark shackles of religious tradition that envelope every saint who has not yet learned to rightly divide the Word of truth.
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nChrist
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« Reply #5041 on: October 10, 2018, 05:36:50 PM »

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The Key To A Worry-free Life
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


According to doctors at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, rattlesnakes thought to be dead can still strike, bite, and kill you. Doctors in Phoenix said they have a large number of patients admitted each year suffering from bites from rattlers thought to be dead. Sometimes the snakes were shot and their heads cutoff; but, the snake head retains a reflex action. In fact, one study showed that snake heads could still make striking-type motions up to sixty minutes after decapitation.

Satan, that old Serpent, was defeated at Calvary—his head was cut off. Hebrews Chapter 2 says that our Savior, by His death, destroyed him who holds the power of death. But for a season Satan can still strike and wound us. He can still hurt us and poison our relationships and spread his deadly venom into our homes and lives.

Paul admonished the Corinthians to take great care in this area, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Cor. 2:11). Although this may have been true in the apostle’s day, we are not sure it is the case today. It seems to us that many believers are unaware they are under attack. Satan can be very subtle and his devices are well planned. While his devices take on many forms there is one in particular that he uses quite effectively— worry! If the enemy can keep you off balance in this area he can successfully hinder your service for the Lord.

WORRY

    “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” —Phil. 4:6,7

Do you worry? I didn’t think so, but there are some who struggle with this problem. Paul says, “Be careful for nothing.” In our modern day language we would say, “Don’t worry about anything.” The Greek word behind the term “careful” here is merimnao, which means to pull in different directions, to distract. This is exactly what worry will do to you—it will tear you apart both emotionally and physically. It can be one of the leading causes of ulcers, which is something else to worry about!

Worry always dwells on the future in regard to what may or may not happen. It mulls over every worst-case scenario imaginable.
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« Reply #5042 on: October 11, 2018, 05:15:19 PM »

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The Riches Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Some years ago there came to this country a very poor young man. He found a job in the timber lands of Wisconsin. Being industrious he gradually accumulated some timber acreage of his own. Soon be began to prosper, and after a few years he invested in a lumber milling industry. It was not long after that until he owned more than one mill. This led him to expand into northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Before long he was very rich, investing in timber acreage in the far northwest and eventually owning valuable land by the thousands of acres, the very finest timber in the country. At the time of his death neither he nor his relatives nor friends knew what he was worth financially, so wealthy had he become.

When the time came for him to die, however, he could not take one cent of his riches with him, for as I Tim. 6:7 says: “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

It seems difficult for most men to learn that “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). They close their ears to the words of wisdom spoken by our Lord:

    “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal” (Matt. 6:19, 20).

The truest, most lasting riches of all are referred to in II Cor. 8:9 where the Apostle Paul says:

    “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”

And these riches may be had by faith — by accepting them as a gift, for “the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
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« Reply #5043 on: October 12, 2018, 04:20:04 PM »

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Our Weakness and God's Power
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


When our Lord was on earth He healed great numbers of sick and diseased people. The believers at Pentecost also healed many in the name of Jesus, offering to Israel His return from heaven upon condition of their repentance (Acts 3:19-21).

All those who were healed, however, finally succumbed to physical infirmity or disease again and died after all. This was because the Lord Jesus was rejected as King, not only in His incarnation but also in His resurrection. Rom. 8:22,23 declares the result as we see it in our own day:

    “…we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit [that is], the redemption of our body.”

But Christians in “this present evil age” often need physical infirmity to draw them closer to God in prayer and faith. Paul himself said:

    “…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh… lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me: My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (II Cor. 12:7-9).

The Apostle’s response to this shows how well he understood that suffering and weakness are an important part of Christian discipline.

    “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… I take pleasure in infirmities… for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Cor. 12:9,10).

    “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a for more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:16,17).
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« Reply #5044 on: October 13, 2018, 04:15:23 PM »

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Our Responsibility To The Bible
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


There are four passages in the New Testament where adjectives are used to describe “the Word of God” and where we are informed of our responsibility toward it as such.

For example, in James 1:21 it is called the “engrafted” or “implanted” Word, and as such we are advised to “receive” it “with meekness” since it is “able to save [our] souls.” The Word of God, indeed, does have a way of getting down underneath, of getting “under our skins,” so to speak. It is not merely sown, it is planted into men’s hearts and often makes them miserable as it convicts them of sin and of their need of salvation through Christ. When it does this, says the Apostle: “receive” it “with meekness” for it is “able to save your souls.”

Then, in Titus 1:9, it is called “the faithful Word,” and as such we are urged to “hold it fast.” “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent.” We can safely count on His Word and act upon it.

Next, in Philippians 2:16 the Bible is called “the Word of life,” and as such we are to “hold it forth.” The Word of God alone has power to regenerate and give spiritual life. St. Peter says that believers are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (I Pet. 1:23). Thus we should “hold it forth” to lost men as their only hope of eternal life.

Finally, in II Tim. 2:15 it is called “the Word of truth,” and as such we are told to “rightly divide it.” If we fail to rightly divide it, we can change the truth into error, for God has not always dealt the same with mankind. Abel had to bring an animal sacrifice for salvation (Heb. 11:4). The children of Israel were told to “keep” the law “indeed” to find acceptance with God (Ex. 19:5,6). But later Paul declared by divine inspiration: “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 Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
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« Reply #5045 on: October 14, 2018, 04:18:16 PM »

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The Triumphal Entry -- Past Or Future?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Did our Lord actually ride in triumph into Jerusalem to become King of the Church? Or is His true triumph still to come?

True, the townspeople cried: “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:12,13). But Jesus responded by entering the city, riding “an ass’s colt” (Verses 14,15). Surely this was not a very regal sight! Once before, when He knew that they “would come and take Him by force to make Him a King, He departed…into a mountain Himself alone” (John 6:15).

He knew that it was not yet time for Him to reign. First must come the cross, then the throne. Zechariah had prophesied of this entry into Jerusalem, saying: “Behold thy King!” Look at Him! and then he describes His entrance: “Lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass” (Zech.9:9).

At this entry, “When He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). At this entry He entered into the temple, looked about and went out again (Mark 11:11). It was His Father’s house, but He could not worship there. It had become a den of thieves. No, this was no triumphal entry. Look at Him, meek, lowly, riding on an ass’s colt, and then see Him coming again as Revelation 19:11-16 describes it. How different the symbolism!

Once meek, lowly, and “having salvation.” Now, “in righteousness doth He judge and make war.” Once, riding “an ass’s colt.” Now, “Behold! a white horse!” And those eyes, once filled with tears are now “as a flame of fire.”

Our Lord’s true triumphal entry is still future. According to prophecy He will come again, put down all rebellion against Himself, and reign in glory and power. Thank God He has not yet done so! In love He still points to Calvary, where He died for our sins and offers us the riches of His grace.

    “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom.4:25).
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« Reply #5046 on: October 15, 2018, 10:56:42 AM »

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Failing Christian Leaders
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Have you been disappointed in your pastor or the officers of your church or perhaps in Christian leaders in general? Have you placed great faith in some spiritual leader only to be disillusioned and to find out that your faith has been misplaced? Have you observed the growing popularity of some evangelist or Bible teacher whom you “know” to be insincere, while noting that another, whose fidelity and sincerity are beyond question, seems to get nowhere?

How it helps, in such situations, to be able to “rightly divide the Word of truth,” and to enjoy “the full assurance of understanding” that comes with “the full knowledge [Gr., epignosis] of the mystery”! (Col. 2:2).

In “this present evil age” we are living under “the dispensation of the grace of God.”

God is not saving good people today, nor even people who will repent and “do works meet for repentance.” Rather, He is saving poor sinners who will come to Him with all their sin. This is God’s gracious response to man’s rejection of the King and the kingdom as offered at Pentecost.

Look at the way believers lived together in love and harmony during the Pentecostal era and you are apt to exclaim: “Why can’t we live that way today? Let’s get back to Pentecost.” But look at the way believers lived together after the raising up of Paul, even among his beloved Philippians, and you will say: “It is no different today.” This is because the believers at Pentecost were all filled with the Spirit in fulfillment of a prophetic promise, while today He has in grace committed His message to failing men and women, who indeed possess the Spirit, but often grieve Him.
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« Reply #5047 on: October 16, 2018, 04:24:33 PM »

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Satisfaction Should NOT Be Guaranteed
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


One thing for sure about the Apostle Paul, he was never satisfied with the spiritual condition of the saints. Nowhere is this more evident than in his words to the church at Thessalonica:

    “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you…indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more” (I Thes. 4:9,10).

Did you catch that? After acknowledging that the brotherly love of the Thessalonians was so great that it had spilled over into the surrounding regions of Macedonia, rather than congratulate them, the apostle begged them to “increase more and more.” When it came to wanting God’s people to grow in the Lord, there was no end to the Apostle Paul! In this he reminds me of my father, who was never satisfied with the level of success that he had attained at any point in his life.

Years ago, my brother (who was Dad’s partner in his tool and die business) was telling me about the tremendous growth that their machine shop had experienced after I left to work for Pastor Stam at Berean Bible Society. It was no coincidence, by the way, that the shop really took off after I left, for I was never a very good toolmaker! But after hearing of the exponential growth that my father’s business had experienced, I remarked to my brother, “Dad must be very happy about all this.” Shaking his head, my brother replied with words that I will never forget, saying, “There is no end to Dad. He wants to buy more machines, hire more people.”

That was certainly my father. When the state lottery began in Illinois, he mentioned to an old friend who worked at his shop that he had bought a ticket. This friend, who had known my dad for years, just laughed at him, and asked, “What would you do if you won the lottery? You wouldn’t retire like most people, you’d just buy more machines!”

Beloved, that’s the way to achieve greatness in any field of endeavor. Never be satisfied! Paul wasn’t satisfied with the surpassing love of the saints at Thessalonica. Don’t you want to be like Paul? Are you satisfied with the level of your spiritual growth? Are you begging God to help you attain pinnacles of spirituality that would make an angel gasp? No matter what area of your spiritual life needs to flourish, are you willing to pray about it right now?
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