Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heresy of Hearsay
Photo by Dyanna Hyde [CC BY-ND 2.0]
Matthew 5:33-37
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’   But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.  But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ for whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

Exodus 20:16
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour”. 

In the Talmud, the story is told of a king who had two jesters. He sent one of them out to bring to him the best thing in the world and the other, to bring back to him the worst thing in the world. In a short while both jesters returned, each with a package. The first bowed low, opened his package and exclaimed “the best thing in the world, sire!” Before the king was a TONGUE. The other jester began to laugh and quickly un-wrapped his bundle. “The worst thing in the world, O King!” he said, and behold, another TONGUE. And so it is!  The tongue has the most awesome power in the entire world. By a word, fortunes are gained or lost; by a word men are exalted or debased; by a word, the course of a nation is determined; by a word, God is praised or denied; and by a word, man shall be eternally condemned or glorified.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Kings 17:1-7: 
“And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”

Prophet Elijah was one of the great prophets who lived in Israel. Someone has described him as “the one who must be obeyed.” In his confrontation with the sins of the house of Ahab the king, and the nation Israel, he had prayed that there would be no rain  in the land of Israel. And for a period of three and half years there was neither rain nor dew in the land. He did this because Israel had turned to the worship of Baal and left the living God. The more than three years of extreme drought were to confront the Baal worshipping nation of Israel with the truth of Elijah’s prophecy and, more importantly, with the supremacy of Elijah’s God. The God of Elijah instructed His servant, Elijah to hide himself by the Brook Cherith, and there God miraculously fed him using ravens each day. Elijah had food and drink while the rest of the land suffered from hunger and thirst. 

But after a while the brook dried up. There is no gainsaying the fact that water is a basic necessity. How could the God of Elijah allow the Brook to dry up? How could He do such a thing to His faithful prophet? This and many other questions like this flood our minds when we face difficulties. How could God allow such things to happen to us?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

This week we have a guest article from Cindy . Please read and share your comments

Many people use the word ‘salvation’, or ‘saved’, however, some choose these words, but do not fully understand the meaning.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

What Money Cannot Buy

Acts 8:18-24
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.  Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." Then Simon answered and said,” Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me." 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Baptism of fire

Last week, we saw that the promise of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled at the upper room on the day of Pentecost. We also saw that the promised baptism of Fire was not present. We ended last week by noting that after Acts 2, we never hear again of this baptism as something to be waited for, prayed for, or expected. There was never another Pentecost recognized in the Church. Only twice thereafter, is the baptism so much as mentioned in the New Testament; once in Peter’s account of the reception of Cornelius and other Gentiles with  him into the Christian fold (Acts 11:16), and then in Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians where it is shown to be something past, in which all who were believers had shared. “By one Spirit are you all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (First Corinthians 12:13)

What did that historic Spiritual baptism accomplish and why did it take place subsequent to the new birth or conversion of the apostles and other believers in the opening of the Book of Acts?