The Preaching Hour By Title And Production Date

Want DVDs Or CDs of The Preaching Hour TV from Brother Tobin?  Just contact us to make a request.

Watch Latest Episodes (And Go Back To Archives) From The Media Factory or Youtube:

What Are The Core Bible Sources For Zion Pentecost Mission? 

See Text and And Video Links At Numbers 445 and 447: "Knowing Our Prophetic Roots And That There Is More To Come."  

Text links: numbers 1,3,9,16,34,38-42,44-46,50,56,64-65,94,98,100-101,188,199-200,213-214,222-229,231-232,234-236,240-265,281-283,397,424,445,447,460, 484-497.

Tobin Hitt Youtube Links also at Number 394: "Hatred Is A Bitter Root That Defiles" and 478: "Seedbed of The Antichrist (3): Hitler's Nazism" and 480 "Empires And Wanna Be Empires Fall, But Nations Are The Will Of God"

Tobin Hitt Youtube links also for 484-494.

1. Holy Ghost Baptism: Settle for Nothing Less (6.12.09) text:  espanol

2. Beware of Idols (6.19.09);

3. Where Can I Land- on Jesus (6.26.09) text:

4. What Must I Bring To Church (7.3.09);

5. Who Helps Us? (7.10.09);

6. Families Blessed With Charity Modesty and Care (7.17.09);

7. Wisdom Lessons (7.24.09);

8. I Will Make You Ministers (7.31.09);

9. Vision of Zion Pentecost Mission (8.7.09) Text: ;

10. Follow Jesus First, Ask Questions Later (8.14.09);

11. Beware Of Counterfeit Faith (8.21.09);

12. Faithers Are Guilt Free (8.28.09);

13. Little Less Than Angels (9.4.09);

14. Cry of Hannah-The Cry Of Faith (9.4.09);

15. What Does A Healthy Church Look Like? (9.17.09);

16. Deliverance Is Just a Part of Normal Faith (9.25.09) text: ;

17. Healthy Church, Part II (10.2.09);

18. Judgment Is God's Imposition of Holiness (10.9.09);

19. Salt that Loses Its Flavor (10.16.09);

20. Love the Jews and Learn About Jesus (10.23.09);

21. Christians Best Communicate Spirit to Spirit (10.30.09);

22. John Wesley's Spirit of Iniquity (11.6.09);

23. John Wesley's Spirit of Iniquity, Part II (11.12.09);

24. Our Faith Requires Avoiding Snares (11.19.09)

25. Love Songs- Love Pslams (11.27.09);

26. Spiritual Hunger by John G. Lake (12.4.09);

27. Strong Man's Gospel by John G. Lake (12.11.09);

28. Holy Ghost Baptism: Don't Settle For Less, Part 1 (12.18.09);

29. Holy Ghost Baptism, Part II (12.24.09);

30. Holy Ghost Baptism, Part III (12.31.09);

31. Good Faith Examples of Hopeful Women (1.8.10);

32. Dietrich Bonhoffer's Becoming An Individual (1.15.10);

33. Bonhoffer's Call of the Disciple (1.22.10);

34. Foolish Empires and Habakkuk All Over Again (1.29.10) Text:   ;

35. Learn the Precepts of The Word, Or The Traditions of Men (2.5.10);

36. Youth Preaching Hour: Cry for Souls (2.12.10);

37. The Only Way To Know God Is As He Actually Is (2.19.10)

38. Blessed Are The Peacemakers: Christians and War (2.25.10); text:

39. Wake Up U.S. Faithful: We Are No More Than A Clan of Faith (3.5.10) Text: ;

40. Even The Most Powerful Nations Must Trust In God (3.19.10) text:

41. Just Curious About A Holy Roller Church (3.26.10);

42. Oh No- Titles For Christians? (4.2.10) text:  ;

43. Tithing And God's Money (4.9.10);

44. False Cults (4.16.10) text:  ;

45. False Cults, Part II (4.23.10);

46. Are We There Yet? Faith Overcomes Weariness (4.30.10) text: ;

47. Discernment of Spirits Is Way Necessary (5.7.10);

48. Too Much Anger (5.13.10);

49. Too Much Anger, part II (5.19.10);

50. Faith: Not Too Easy Or Too Difficult (7.16.10) text:

51. Too Easy Faith- Eternal Security (7.23.10);

52. Intro: Fruits of the Protestant Reformation (7.30.10);

53. Fruits of the Protestant Reformation, Part II: "Early Stars" (8.6.10);

54. Fruits of the Protestant Reformation, Part III: "Luther Plows Forward" (8.13.10);

55. Fruits of the Protestant Reformation, Part IV: "Anabaptists Grow Up the Faith (8.20.10);

56. Reviving The Lord's Supper (8.27.10) text:  ;

57. Reviving the Lord's Supper, part II (9.2.10);

58. God and Foreign Aide (9.10.10);

59. God's Covenant With Man-Creation, and the Gulf Oil Spill (9.16.10);

60. Spurgeon's Psalm 63: Not Lonely With God (9.24.10);

61. Men and Masculinity Are Good Things in Church (10.1.10);

62. Men and Masculinity Are Good things In Church, part II (10.8.10);

63. Br. David Wilkerson's Strength In Perilous Times (10.15.10);

64. Faith Is Way More Than Belief (10.22.10) text:  ;

65. The Logic of Faith: God Writes a Law In Us (10.29.10) text:  ;

66. The Logic of Faith, Part II: What God Does For Us (11.5.10);

67. The Book Of Revelation (part 1): Intro to Apocalypticism (11.11.10);

68. The Book of Revelation (part 2): Ezekiel Sets the Present and Future Stage (11.14.10);

69. The Book of Revelation (part 3): Ezekiel Sets the Present and Future Stage (part II, 12.3.10);

70. The Book of Revelation (part 4): Ezekiel's New Temple Must Have New and Better Priests (12.4.10);

71. Revelation (part 5): Zechariah Also Prophesies Restoration (12.4.10);

72. Revelation (part 6): Maccabees Hammer But Fail, And Crisis Comes Anew (12.17.10);

73. Revelation (part 7): Daniel- In Crisis the Prophet Becomes The Shepherd-Pastor;

74. Revelation (part 8): Daniel- In Crisis the Prophet Becomes The Shepherd (part II); 

75. Revelation (part 9): Jesus: the Apocalyptic Prophet of Faith;

76. Revelation (part 10) Chapter 1: Sword of The Spirit Protects Our Holy Salvation;

77. Revelation (part 11) Chapter 2: Jesus Says "I know You!"

78. Revelation (part 12) Chapter 3: Jesus says "I know You and What You are Up to!";

79. Revelation (part 13) Chapters 4-5: A Lamb (Standing!) On A Throne, Rules (2.11.11);

80. Revelation (part 14) Chapter 6: Endtime Visions On Horseback (3.11.11);

81. Revelation (part 15) Chapter 7: A Glimpse At The Endtime Saved; Chapter 8 Trumpets Call Unholy Earth To Repentance (3.11.11);

82. Revelation (part 16) Chapter 9: Evil Marches On; Chapter 10: Little Scroll Indigestion (4.8.11);

83. Revelation (part 17) Chapter 11; We Are The Two Witnesses Too (4.8.11);

84. Revelation (part 18) Chapter 12: Like Jesus We are Born From Above and Protected Below(5.2.11);

85. Revelation (part 19) Chapter 13: Two Beasts Rise From Below; Chapter 14.1-6: First Fruits of Israel Is the Salvation of The Nations, and the Two Beasts Are No Match For First Fruits (5.20.11);

86. Revelation (part 20) Chapter 14,6-20: Visions of Judgment on Idolatrous worship; Chapter 15: Plagues In Contrast To Coming Beauty and Holiness. (6.24.11);

87 Revelation (part 21) Chapter 16: God's Holiness Winnows Who Will Be Saved (6.24.11);

88. Revelation (part 22) Chapter 17.1-6: The Literal End and Seeing The Best Bride and the Great Harlot;

89. Revelation (part 23) Chapter 17,7-18: The Scarlet Beast Finally Implodes By Its Own Corruption;

90. Revelation (part 24) Chapter 18,1-24-19,1-5: The Gleeful Song Over Babylon;

91. Revelation (part 25) Chapter 19,6-21: Marriage Day of The Lamb Or Day of Disaster;

92. Revelation (part 26) Chapter 20: A Millenial Victory Lap!

93. Revelation (part 27) Chapters 21-22: We'll See God and A New Heaven, And Above All, A New Earth (9.11.11)

94. Correction Anyone? (9.11.11) text;  ;

95. Faith Is About Following (9.25.11);

96. Witnesses Keep Their Oil (9.25.11);

97. The Poor With Us (10.16.11);

98. Master the Obvious: We All Need A Savior (10.16.11) 

99. Faith Sometimes Leads to Loud Public Protest (11.6.11);

100. Dear New Believer: Your First Steps Are Important (11.6.11) text:

101. Dating and Marriage and Matchmaking God's Way (11.27.11) text: ;

102. Prophetic Primer on Israel With Br. Elmer Josephson (11.27.11)

103. What's The Good Shepherd Doing Today (12.18.11);

104. Intro To Hebrew Scriptures (1): Forming A People To Represent His Light (12.18.11);

105. Hebrew Scriptures (2): Gen. 1,26: Humans Made In His Spiritual Image (1.10.12);

106. Hebrew Scriptures (3): Two Failed Creation Covenants, Then Abrahamic Covenant (1.10.12);

107. Hebrew Scriptures (4): Abraham Learns To Trust God (2.1.12);

108. Hebrew Scriptures (5):  Personal Covenant With Jacob (2.1.12);

109. Hebrew Scriptures (6): From the Contender Jacob To the Holy Witness Joseph (2.23.12);

110. Hebrew Scriptures (7): First Holy Savior Joseph Saves Holy Nation Israel (2.23.12); 

111. Hebrew Scriptures (8): Moses' Burden For God's People (3.14.12);

112. Hebrew Scriptures (9): Moses Lifts His Staff and Leads The People Out of Egypt (3.14.12);

113. Hebrew Scriptures (10): Joshua: Time For A Most Obedient Leader (4.1.12);

114. Hebrew Scriptures (11): Joshua: The New Generation Crosses The Jordan (4.1.12);

115. Hebrew Scriptures (12): Discursus: The Immortal and Human Need To Sacrifice (4.21.12);

116. Hebrew Scriptures (13): Judges: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (4.21.12);

117. Hebrew Scriptures (14): Judges: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Part II (5.11.12);

118. Hebrew Scriptures (15): The Unifier Samuel: The Circuit Judge, Prophet, Priest, and Kingmaker (Part I, 5.11.12);

119. Hebrew Scriptures (16): The Unifier Samuel: The Circuit Judge, Prophet, Priest, and Kingmaker (Part II,  6.1.12);

120. Hebrew Scriptures (17): First King Saul Not The Best King- was he bipolar? (6.1.12);

121. Hebrew Scriptures (18): King David: Master Pol, Ruthless Soldier, And Man After God's Heart (Part 1, 6.22.12);

122. Hebrew Scriptures (19): King David: Great Man of God Because He Repented (Part 2, 6.22.12, extended play to 80 mins);

123. Deny Your Very Selves: (7.16.12, questionable audio quality);

124. Hebrew Scriptures (20): Solomon Continues Davidic Dynasty (7.27.12);

125. Hebrew Scriptures (21): Solomon's Wisdom and Rule (7.27.12); 

126. Hebrew Scriptures (22): Elijah: Israel and Judah Separate and Prophecy Confronts Kingship (8.17.12);

127. Hebrew Scriptures (23): Prophet Amos: Confronts the Rich (8.17.12);

128. Hebrew Scriptures (24): Isaiah: The Prophet of Israel's Whole Salvation Story (9.9.12);

129. Hebrew Scriptures (25): Isaiah 61-66: The Golden Scriptures of Universal Salvation (9.9.12);

130. Hebrew Scriptures (26): Ezra and Nehemiah Pick Up the Pieces Post Exile (10.5.12);

131. Hebrew Scriptures (27): The Maccabees Meet Crisis, But Not Zadokite Priests or Davidic Kings (10.5.12); 

132. Hebrew Scriptures (28): Seven Conclusions For Conviction (11.2.12);

133. Acts (1):  The Story Worth Telling: Themes, Speeches, Resurrection, Progress Reports (11.2.12);

134. Acts (2): Purpose of Study- Does Anything In Our Faith Mirror Power and Witness of Acts? Key Scripture: Acts 3,22 fulfills Deuteronomy 18,15; Jesus is Promised Prophet and Challenge To Israel and All the World.  More on 8 Themes, 24 Speeches; Post Resurrection Church, 6 Progress Reports (12.2.12);

135. Acts (3): Chapter1,1-2,28: Jesus Ascends and Sends the Spirit Upon Church in Jerusalem, for Gospel Witness and Boldness (12.2.12);

136. Acts (4): Chapter 2,28-3,26: The Apostle Peter Comes Up Big And Prophetic (12.21.12);

137. Acts (5) Chapter 4-5,11: The Faith And The Name Turns Jerusalem Upside Down (12.21.12);

138. Acts (6) Chapter 5,12-6,15: Jerusalem Can Be Won For Faith, But Then Stephen Arrested (1.17.13);

139. Acts (7) Chapter 7-8,8: All Church Fights Are About Changing Worship: Opposition To Stephen Leads to  Death and Expanded Mission (1.17.13);

140. Acts (8) Chapter 8,9-9,43: The Fruits of Phillip and Persecution By Paul (2.5.13);

141. Acts (9) Chapter 10-11,30: Roman Cornelius in Caesarea Changes Jerusalem Apostles (2.5.13);

142. Acts (10) Chapter 11,19-13,52: Big Greek Antioch (Syria)- First "Christian" Base, Then Paul's Apostolic Mission Can Begin (3.1.13);

143. Acts (11) Chapter 14-15,21: Paul's First Missionary Roller Coaster Continues, Big Meet at Jerusalem Home Base (3.1.13);

144. Acts (12) Chapter 15,22-16,18: Painstaking and Historic Jerusalem Conference Deal Put In Writing: Opens Way For Paul's Second Missionary Journey to European Beach Head in Phillipi (3.19.13);

145. Acts (13) Chapter 16,19-18,11: Apsotle Paul Stands His Ground, Lightning Rod for Both Friends And Enemies, The Looming Portent of Ephesus (3.20.13);

146. Acts (14) Chapter 18,12-19,41: Paul The Apostle Catalyst and Human Mortar Takes on Ephesus (4.10.13);

147. Acts (15) Chapter 20-23,12: Paul's Last Missionary Stand, Then Curious Insistance on Jerusalem One More Time (4.10.13);

148. Acts (16) Chapter 23,13-26,32: Fanatical Plot Against Paul In Jerusalem Leads to His Testimony in Rome (5.1.13);

149. Acts (17) Chapter 27,1-28,31: Rough Seas And Shipwreck Give Way To Freedom of Gospel in Rome (5.1.13);

150. Acts (18) Seven Conclusions To Acts: The Gospel Will Prevail (5.19.13);

151. Lord's Supper Plunge: Do we stop talking about children's nutrition just because folks don't agree about it? (5.19.13);

152. Hebrews (1) If We Know Jesus, We (nostalgic priests Acts 6,7) Will Persevere (6.16.13);

153. Hebrews (2) If We Know Jesus, We Will Persevere- Eleven Definitions To Know Him (6.16.13);

154. Hebrews (3) Chapter 1,1-2,18: Jesus, Our Final Revelation, Is All That and Better Too (7.13.13);

155. Hebrews (4) Chapter 3,1-5,14: Jesus, Our True Rest and Home (7.13.13);

156. Hebrews (5) Chapter 5,11-7,28: Grow Up Already- See The Better Priesthood (8.9.13);

157. Hebrews (6) Chapter 8,1-10,18: New And Improved Covenant, Sanctuary and Sacrifice (8.9.13);

158. Hebrews (7) Chapter 10-11: The One Sacrifice That Worked And Don't Let Down The Great Cloud of Witnesses (8.31.13);

159. Hebrews (8) Chapter 12-13: Eyes Fixed Upward On Jesus and Final Administrative Matters (8.31.13).

160. Syria: The Lord Says No to Empire (9.22.13);

161. Hebrews (9) Five Conclusions to Hebrews: Insider Group: Get Back On Track! (9.22.13);

162. 1Peter Intro (1) Small Book Big New Theology (10.13.13);

163. 1Peter (2) 1,3-12: Preamble To Christian Constitution (10.13.13);

164. 1Peter (3) 1,13-2,10: One New Gospel People Dedicated To God (11.3.13);

165. 1Peter (4) 2,11-3,7: The Code: Good Example Wins Souls (Especially You Faithful Roman Wives) (11.3.13);

166. 1Peter (5) 3,8-3,22: Mutual Fellowship, Submission, Suffering, Hope According To Example Of Christ (11.23.13);

167. 1Peter (6) 4,1-19: Be Mentally Ready For Full On Suffering And Persecution Which Prepares For Judgment (11.23.13) WARNING: THESE SCRIPTURES COULD BE USED BY FALSE SHEPHERDS OR BECOME MASOCHISTIC.  

168. 1Peter (7) 5,1-14 Church in Rome? Seeks Order Elsewhere After Initial Fervor (12.18.13);

169. 2Peter (1) 1,1-1,21: Exhortation-Guidance Regarding "False Prophets" And Unfufilled Prophecy of Jesus' Speedy Return (12.18.13);

170. 2Peter (2) 2,1-22: Lust, Greed, False Doctrine, Used To Conquer God's People (1.9.14);

171. 2Peter (3) 3,1-18: The Big Wait For 2nd Coming Challenges  All To Patient Love (1.9.14);

172. 1-2Peter: Conclusions: New Life, New Constitution, New Leadership Style (1.31.14);

173. Ephesians Intro (1): Apostle Paul Builds The Church's Faith In Christ, Lord of the Cosmos (1.31.14);

174. Ephesians Intro (2): Disorder and Disunity Below, But Enthroned With Him Above (2.21.14);

175. Ephesians (3) 1,1-23: Inheritors of Every Spiritual Blessing Below Including Power From Above (2.21.14); 

176. Ephesians (4) 2,1-22: All Humanity Was A Mess, But Now One New Humanity (3.16.14);

177. Ephesians (5) 3,1-13: Announce Gospel And Take Heavenlies (3.16.14);

178. Ephesians (6) 3,14-4,32: Struggle Of Loving Faith Takes Heavenlies and Fills-Builds The Church (4.11.14);

179. Ephesians (7) 5,1-20: Fully Awake Exposing Darkness in Church (4.11.14);

180. Ephesians (8) 5,21-6,9: Mutual Submission  In Church, Family, Marriage (5.7.14);

181. Ephesians (9) 6,10-24: Nothing Of Mine But The Whole Armor of God (5.7.14);

182. Ephesians (10) Five Conclusions: Paul's Gospel Bridges Early And Next Gen Faith (5.28.14);

183. 1Timothy (1) Can The Next Gen Apostle Keep Church From Failing? (5.28.14);   

184. Revelation 2,6 and 15: 25 Historic Ways To Control God's People (1, "Gentile" Treatment Began in Ephesus) (6.18.14);

185. Revelation 2,6 and15: 25 Historic Ways To Control God's People (2, No Domination in Five Service Offices of Ephesians4,11 and deeds 1-3) (6.18.14);

186. Revelation 2,6 and 15: 25 Historic Ways To Control God's People (3) (7.13.14);      

187. Revelation 2,6 and 15: 25 Historic Ways To Control God's People (4) (7.13.14);

188.  Strange Fire: MacArthur's Last Stand Against Charismania (7.29.14) text:

189. 1Timothy1: Next Generation Apostle Commanded To Supress False Teaching (7.29.14);

190. 1Timothy2: Calm The Worship Waters and Gender Politics Of Ephesian Church (8.24.14);

191. 1Timothy3: Anyone Qualified And Want To Be Lead Pastor In Ephesus? (8.24.14);

192. 1Timothy4,13: The Crisis Remedy Of Publicly Proclaiming Word To All God's People (9.17.14);

193. 1Timothy5: Church Happy To Employ Widows, Not Too Many Or Merry (9.17.14);

194. 2Timothy1: Paul's Last Apostolic Word To Prevent Failure of Church in Ephesus (10.10.14);

195. 2Timothy2: No Apostle Gets Distracted From Fully Planting Gospel:: (10.10.14);

196. 2Timothy3: Be The Apostle In A Bad Time And Place (11.5.14);

197. 2Timothy4: Just Preach It And BTW Come To Rome For Your Correction (11.5.14);

198. Suicide Prevention: People Not "Problems" (12.2.14);

199. Amos 8,11: The Privilege Or Famine of The Prophetic Word (12.2.14) text:

200. The Fiery Vision That Birthed Zion Pentecost Mission (12.27.14) text:  ;

201. Lord's Supper Biblical Feast: Our Blessing And His Blessing Bring His Prophesied Risen Body And Blood (12.27.14);

202. Excerpts From Frank Frangipane's "Divine Antidote:" The Seldom Heard Wisdom Of Spiritual Warfare (1.9.15);

203. Lord's Supper Biblical Feast (2): Spirit And "Blood" Flowing From Eternal Lamb (1.9.15);

204. Habakkuk (1, Intro): Faith Frees Us From Babylon's Dragnet: The Who, What And Timeless Where of "Babylon."  (2.1.15);

205. Habakkuk (2) 1,1-17: Habakkuk's Babylonian Dragnet Is Revelation's Mark Of Beast (2.1.15);

206. 1John2,18-27: The False Teachers Don't, But Do You Love Him Enough To Stay? (2.20.15);

207. Habakkuk (3) 2,1-9: But The Watchman Sees His Messiah, The kingdom, and Just Judgment. (2.20.15);

208. Habakkuk (4) 2,10-20: Babylon Bullies, Bloodies, Debauches and Idolizes But God Is In His Temple (3.13.15);

209. Habakkuk (5) 3,1-19: Prayer And Praise To One Lord For Miracles, Judgment, And Guidance Unto The End (3.13.15);

210. Who's Afraid Of A Little Sound Doctrine- Adult Water Baptism For Everyone (1) (4.10.15);

211. Who's Afraid Of A Little Sound Doctrine-Adult Water Baptism For Everyone (2) (4.10.15);

212. John G. Lake And The Consciousness Of Jesus:: (4.29.15);

213. Colossians2,23: Mandatory Celibacy Of No Use Combating Sensuality (4.29.15) text:

214. 1Peter3,7: Biblical Marriage- More Egalitarian Than We Thought (5.8.15) text: ;

215. Faith Bound Not Sabbath Bound (5.8.15);

216. Mammon, Iniquity and Conquering Or Submission To Jesus (6.5.15);

217. Intro Ruth: Espoused To Zion's Future Bridegroom (6.5.15);

218. Ruth (2) Chapter 2: The Harvest Is So Rich Even the Barren Become Fruitful (6.26.15);

219. Ruth (3) Chapter 3: Boaz Wakes Up At Harvest Time And Finds Ruth (6.26.15);

220. Ruth (4) Chapter 4: Boaz Publicly Declares Marriage At City Gate (7.17.15);

221. 1Coirnthians 6,19: We Are Not Our Own- We Belong To Jesus Alone (7.17.15);

222. Our One Baptism Essential To Eternal Covenant With Jesus Part 1 (8.7.15) text: ;

223. Our One Baptism Essential To Eternal Covenant With Jesus Part 2 (8.7.15) 

224. Ten Initial Biblical Pillars Of The Christian Movement (8.28.15) text: ;

225. The Three Levels Of 'The Pride Of Life." (8.28.15) text: ;

226. Endtime Faith Lifts Nine Veils, Part 1 (9.21.15) text: ;

227. Endtime Faith Lifts Nine veils, Part 2 (9.21.15);

229. Seven Godly Things I learned Biking (10.14.15) text:

230. I Don't Want To- But I Surrender (11.5.15);

231. Faith Is Always Now- So Get A Move On (11.5.15) text: ;

232. Three Remedies To Cruelty- Rising Above The Flesh (11.24.15) text: ;

233.  We Pour Ourselves Out In Gospel Service (11.24.15);

234.  Destination Earth: Eternally Going Home To Zion (Part 1, 12.16.15) text: ;

235.  Destination Earth: Eternally Going Home To Zion (Part 2, 12.16.15);

236.  Accept The Word Unto Living The New Interior Law (Part 1, 1.6.16) text: ;

237. Accept The Word Unto Living The New Interior Law (Part 2,1.6.16);

238. Jesus' Blood Is Our Fresh Start Over Family Curses (Part 1, 1.27.16);

239. Jesus' Blood Is Our Fresh Start Over Family Curses (Part 2, 1.27.16);

240. The Lord's Voice Above All Others (Part 1, 2.17.16) text: ;

241. The Lord's Voice Above All Others (Part 2, 2.17.16);

242. A True Christian Faith Overcomes The World (Part 1, 3.9.16) text:   ;

243. A True Christian Faith Overcomes The World (Part 2,3.9.16);

244. Mandatory Celibacy, Pastorianity, And Closed Religious Circles (Part 1, 4.1.16) text:

245. Mandatory Celibacy, Pastorianity, And Closed Religious Circles (Part 2, 4.1.16);

246. Capital For Some, Or All? (Part 1, 5.6.16) text: ;

247. Capital For Some, Or All? (Part 2, 5.6.16);

248. Capital For Some, Or All? (Part 3, 5.6.16);

249. Capital For Some, Or All? (Part 4, 5.26.16);

250. Individual Faith And Morailty, Or Group Think PC? (Part 1, 5.26.16) text: ;

251. Individual Faith And Morality, Or Group Think PC? (Part 2, 6.22.16);

252. The Lord Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over All Temples (Part1, 6.22.16) text: ;

253. The Lord Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over All Temples (Part2, 6.22.16);

254. The Lord Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over All Temples (Part3, 7.13.16);

255. Ten Ways Of Wisdom After 'I Didn't Know Any Better' (Part1, 7.13.16) text: ;

256. Ten Ways Of Wisdom After 'I Didn't Know Any Better' (Part2, 7.13.16);

257. Shame, Faith, Honor, No Offense, Sanctity (Part1, 8.3.16) text: ;

258. Shame, Faith, Honor, No Offense, Sanctity (Part2, 8.3.16);

259. Shame, Faith, Honor, No Offense, Sanctity (Part3, 8.3.16);

260. Building Up Ourselves Or Jesus' People? (Part1, 8.24.16);

261. Building Up Ourselves Or Jesus' People? (Part2, 8.24.16) text: ;

262. Building Up Ourselves Or Jesus' People? (Part3, 8.24.16);

263. Go To The Other Side Of The Veil (Part1, 9.19.16); text:

264. Go To The Other Side Of Veil (Part2, 9.19.16);

265. Go To The Other Side Of Veil (Part3, 9.19.16);

266. Overcomers Or Cowards, Sorcerors, Liars (Part1, Hell, 10.12.16);

267. Overcomers Or Cowards, Sorcerors, Liars (Part2, Cowards, 10.12.16);

268. Overcomers Or Cowards, Sorcerors, Liars (Part3, Sorcerors, 10.12.16);

269. Overcomers Or Cowards, Sorcerors, Liars (Part4, Liars, 11.2.16);

270. Live His Precepts To The Overflow (Part1, 11.2.16);

271. Live His Precepts To The Overflow (Part2, 11.2.16);

272. Praise The Lord- He Repeats Himself (Part1, 11.23.16);

273. Praise The Lord- He Repeats Himself (Part2, 11.23.16);

274. Praise The Lord- He Repeats Himself (Part3, 11.23.16);

275. Gospel-Salvation Basics, To The Hardest Cases First (Part1, 12.13.16);

276. Gospel-Salvation Basics, To The Hardest Cases First (Part2, 12.13.16);

277. Gospel-Salvation Basics, To The Hardest Cases First (Part3, 12.13.16);

278. Joseph Badger,1792-1852: Thank God For An Independant, Yankee, Non-Conformist Preacher (Part1, 1.4.17);

279. Joseph Badger, 1792-1852: Thank God For An Independant, Yankee, Non Conformist Preacher (opposition fuels and fine tunes ability to speak over it, Part2, 1.4.17);

280. Joseph Badger,1792-1852: Thank God For An Independant, Yankee, Non Conformist Preacher (nothing makes JB lose focus, Part 3, 1.4.17);

281. The Nicolaitans Have Tried To Control God's People Since Ephesus and Revelation2,6 (Part1, 1.24.17) text:

282. The Nicolaitans Have Tried To Control God's People Since  Ephesus and Revelation2,6 (Part2,1.24.17);

283. The Nicolaitans Have Tried To Control God's People Since Ephesus And Revelation2,6 (Part3, 1.24.17);

284. Visions Come True With Vulnerability, Faith And Perseverance (Part1, 2.14.17);

285. Visions Come True With Vulnerability, Faith And Perseverance (Part2, 2.14.17);

286. Visions Come True With Vulnerability, Faith And Perseverance (Part3, 2.14.17);

287. True Faith Or Form and Fashion Religion (Part1, 3.8.17);

288. True Faith Or Form And Fashion Religion (Part2, 3.8.17);

289. True Faith Or Form And Fashion Religion (Part3, 3.8.17);

290. Temporary Church And Tabernacle Unto Eternal Temple And Kingdom (Part1, 3.27.17);

291. Temporary Church And Tabernacle Unto Eternal Temple And Kingdom (Part2, 3.27.17);

292. Temporary Church And Tabernacle Unto Eternal Temple And Kingdom (Part3, 3.27.17);

293. 13 Biblical Realities Of Our Endtime Faith (Part1, 4.21.17): 1. The Turn Ag. Israel; 2. Antichrists: False Prophet, Political Antichrist, Image Of The Beast; 3. Revived European Empire. 

294. 13 Biblical Realties Of Our Endtime Faith (Part2, 4.21.17): 4. God Of Fortresses; 5. Tribulation; 6. False Mid-East Peace; 7. Mark Of Beast; 8. Two Great Prophet-Gospel-Witnesses.

295. 13 Bibilical Realities Of Our Endtime Faith (Part3, 4.21.17): 9. New World Order; 10. Rapture And Armageddon; 11. Judgment; 12. Millenial Reign; 13. Marriage of Lamb And Marriage Supper of Lamb- stay tuned!

296. Universal Davidic Kingly People: 1. Eternal Covenant Love Of God; 2. Eternal Home Of Praise in Judah and 3. Eternal Rewards Like Marriage Supper; Crowns And New Songs Of Deliverance. (Part 1, Eternal Covenant Love 5.11.17) ; 

297. Universal Davidic Kingly People... (Part 2 Eternal Home Of Praise in Judah, 5.11.17);

298. Universal Davidic Kingly People... (Part 3, Eternal Rewards, 5.11.17);

299. Paul To The Galatians: 'Let No Man Trouble Me,' And The Eternal Gospel I Bring

(you received all this revelation by grace, Part1, c1-2, 6.7.17);

300. Paul To The Galatians: 'Let No Man Trouble Me,' And The Eternal Gospel I Bring

(you were freed how could you fall back into the hold of evil powers and principalities, Part2, c3-4, 6.7.17);

301. Paul To The Galatians: 'Let No Man Trouble Me,' And The Gospel I Bring

(keep focused on salvation race, Part3, c5-6, 6.7.17);

Romans Series: The Grand Salvation Bargain, Hard Deal For Jews, Easy For Gentiles, But Faith Saves All

302. Romans1 (c1):The Obedience of Faith And Beware Of Big City (6.28.17);

303. Romans2 (c2-3): The Grand Salvation Bargain, Hard Deal For Jews, Easy For Gentiles, Faith Saves All

(Condemnation of All: Moralists, Lawbreakers, Law Makes Us Conscious of Sin, But Righteoueness Freely From God By His Grace, 6.28,17);

304. Romans3 (c4-5):Faith Righteousness Like Abraham, Benefits, Imputed Sin of Adam Gives Way To Graceful Gift Of Salvation In Jesus, 6.28.17):

305. Romans4 (c6): New Faith Theology: Dead To Sin Alive To God In Christ Jesus- So Get With The New Program (7.19.17);

306. Romans5 (c7): Even With Faith And Spirit The Struggle Against Sin Is Fierce But Worth It (7.19.17);

307. Romans6 (c8): Thanks To Jesus' Sacrifice- No Condemnation And Real New Freedom In New Law Of The Spirit Of Life (7.19.17);

308. Romans7 (c9): God's Sovereign Choice Of The Israel Of Promise- Not A Failure Of The Word, Not Injustice To Anyone, He Has Mercy On Whom He Has Mercy (8.9.17);

309. Romans8 (c10): Jew And Gentile: Obey The New Easier Way Of Righteousness That Comes By Faith For Everyone Who Believes (8.9.17);

310: Romans 9 (c11): The Israel Of Faith Will All Be Saved, Kind Invite To Gentiles, Stern Second Invite To Still Chosen Israel (8.9.17);

311. Romans10 (c12): New Faith Discipline In Familiar But New Wineskins: Offer Bodies As Living Sacrifice. c 13 Platfrom Speech- Obey All Authority So "Christians" Can Stay In Center Of Greco Roman Empire (8.31.17);

312. Romans11(c14-15): Accept "Weak" and "Strong" Faithers In Church Regarding Disputable Matters of Food And Drink So Gentiles And Jews In Harmony (8.31.17);

313. Romans12 (c16):  Paul Smoozes The Leaders Of The Church In Rome, First Christian Power Couple Prisca And Aquila, 10 Earthshaking Conclusions From Romans For Christian Posterity (8.31.17);

314. Use And Misuse Of God's Word-Find The Lost Sheep (10.13.17);

315. Dipping A Toe Into Bible Mysteries (10.13.17);

316. Start And Finish With A First Things First Faith (10.13.17);

317. Seven Relationship Lessons- Sharing Is Caring (12.1.17);

318. Nothing Satisfies The Soul Like Understanding (12.1.17);

319. Anti Semitism Is Anti Word And Anti Israel And No Bueno (12.1.17);

320. Philosemitism Inspires And Changes Hearts For the Better- The Example Of German Gustav Von Struve (12.19.17);

321. Compassion, Hope And Fellowship With All Answer Ruby Sales' Question 'Where Does It Hurt?' (12.19.17);

322. Perennial Scripture Challenge: Follow The Word Only- The Jewish Karaites And Biblicist Christians (12.19.17);

323. Come To Jesus And Learn Without Cost- Buy The Kingdom And Save Your Soul (1.9.18);

324. The Trial Of Faith Is The Battle For Our Eternal Soul (1.9.18);

325. Taking God Seriously, Seriously (1.9.18);

326. God's Persistence For Purity In His Presence- Engage Our Conscience (Part 1, 2.1.18);

327. God's Persistence For Purity In His Presence- Clean Of Eye, Mind, Tongue, Ears And Demons (Part 2, 2.1.18);

328. The Pilgrim Way Of Receiving God's Unstoppable Grace (2.1.18);

329. Angels, Satan, Demons- We Ought To Know By Now

(Part 1 Good Angels bring good messages, 2.24.18);

330. Angels, Satan, Demons- We Ought To Know By Now

(Part 2 Satan Our soul's first enemy, 2.24.18);

331. Angels, Satan, Demons- We Ought To Know By Now

(Part 3 Demons Appreciate A Friendly Host, 2.24.18);

332. Thou Shall Not Judge Outside The Church And Sparingly And Carefully Within

(Part 1: The Church Avoids Worldly Judgements, 3.18.2018);

333. Thou Shall Not Judge Outside The Church And Sparingly And Carefully Within

(Part 2: Some Public-Church Problems Must Be Addressed, 3.17.2018);

334. Jesus As Messiah: If Inspired Biblical Expectations From Whole Word, Then Biblical Blessings From Whole Word, 3.18.2018);

335. Working At Dreams Or Receiving God's Revealed Word By Supernatural Grace (4.9.2018); 

336. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: An Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy To Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part 1: Christian self- definition morphs into Replacement Theology. Christianity drifts from bible priesthood of all and people of the book. Anti Semitism of Church "fathers." 4.9.2018);

337. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: An Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy To Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part 2: Acts27 as a parable of bible's constant concern for salvation of Jews and Israel. "Synagogue of Satan " is about gentiles not Jews! And Bishop Eusebius' PC church history for the sake of Emperor Constantine.4.9.2018);

338. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: An Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy To Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part 3: Anti Judaic "Preterism" of Eusebius ignores literal kingdom expectations of Apostles and says endtime prophecies against Israel already fulfilled, so no literal 1000 year KOG from Zion; Marcion edits Jewishness from bible; "Gospel of Peter" portrays Jews as extra culpable for Jesus' crucifiction, 5.1.2018);

339. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: An Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy To Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part 4: Epistle of Barnabas says Jews have had no covenant with God since Moses smashed the tablets! etc, etc; Creeds and Greek (ie gentile) philosophy replace people of the book and "whole gospel" for a people with arcane creeds, dogmas, and oaths to men; Christendom more like a mystery religion than the revealed salvation faith from the Jews. 5.1.2018); 

340. Ruth Again! Across The Threshold Of Judah To Belong To A Greater, Bigger And Universal People (5.1.2018);

341. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: An Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy To Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part5: Greco Roman mysteries become part of non-bible based Christianity.  5.22.2018);

342. Joseph, Jesus, MLK: You Can't Kill A Prophet's Dream (Part1 5.22.2018);

343. Joseph, Jesus, MLK: You Can't Kill A Prophet's Dream (Part2, 5.22.2018);

344. The Power of Choosing Jesus, Not A Brand, Not Even Brand "You." 

345. Anti-Semitism In Early Church: And Injurious Stumbling Stone Still Too Heavy Too Lift, Zechariah12,3

(Part6: Pentecostalism and Messianic Judaism antidotes to Anti-Semitism in church; Zechariah Babylonian woman in a basket, Zechariah 5,5; Habakkuk 2,10-20: Babylon, bullies, bloodies and debauches God's people; Mysterious Christendom Woman of Revelation17 does not represent bride-church but gospel Mother Zion kingdom bound church of Revelation12 and Galatians4,26 does;

346. Psalm118: Trust The Lord God Of Israel: Only Builder-Raiser Upper Of Israel, Jesus, And His Temple-Gospel People;

347. The Gospel Has Only Two Debts And Three Parts

(1. Love With Jesus' Love And 2. Show-Tell-Live Jesus' Gospel)

(1. Salvation-Equipping 2. The Two Debts- Service 3. Ready For Second Coming-Kingdom)

348. The Gospel Has Only Two Debts And Three Parts. Part 3: Ready For The Second Coming-Kingdom.

349. One New Person In Jesus, Revival In Africa, Rastafari Protestants, Separtism Or Reconciliation (Part1);

350. One New Person In Jesus, Revival In Africa, Rastafari Protestants, Separtism Or Reconciliation (Part2);

351. One New Person In Jesus, Revival In Africa, Rastafari Protestants, Separtism Or Reconciliation (Part3);

352. One New Person In Jesus, Revival In Africa, Rastafari Protestants, Separtism Or Reconciliation (Part4);

353. Inquisitor Weeds Root Up Fine Wheat And Destroy Good Seed (Part1)

354. Inquisitor Weeds Root Up Fine Wheat And Destroy Good Seed (Part2 Inquisition Against Roger Williams);

355. Inquisitor Weeds Root Up Fine Wheat And Destroy Good Seed (Part3 Inquisition Against Anne Hutchinson);

356. Inquisitor Weeds Root Up Fine Wheat And Destroy Good Seed (Part4 Inquisition Against Family Of Ethan Allen);

357 Faithful But Not Thankful- Something Is Wrong;

358. Christianity: Welcome To The China Matrix;

359. Present Day Snapshot Of Christian Persecution Around The World;

360. The Life Changing Power of Choosing Jesus (Part2): He Will Never Let The Faithful Go;

361. Demagogues Have Moments In History And The Final Antichrist Will Have His Too;

362. The Stumbling Stone Of Greed; Can You Be Convinced To Make A Decision About Jesus?

364. Messianic Faither Sid Roth Has Supernatural Insights Like Preaching The Gospel To God's First People;

365. Revelation 11,18: God Will 'Destroy Those Who Destroy The Earth' ie Who Don't Recognize His High Calling;

366. Babylon In and Out Of The Church: Just Stop Preaching Repentant Faith In Jesus, Judgement, Prophecy And Second Coming;

367. Bible Psalms Are An Ever Present Confidence In Need And Prophecy Too;

368. Psalm118: Jesus- Temple-Home, Rest And Universal Font Of Salvation;

369. Sanctify Our Hearts In An Often Tawdry World;

370. Finishing The Faith Race No Matter What;

371. Welcome To The China Matrix 2: China Aims To Wear Out Saints (Dn7,25) And Muslims With One Party Worship; 

372. Without A Bible-Sized Covenant Modern Church Doesn't Ask Or Teach Much;

373. Strong And Faithful Individuals Build Strong Churches;

374. It's Your Marriage Don't Waste It;

375. Babylon In And Out Of The Church: Just Stop Preaching Repentant Faith In Jesus, Judgement, Prophecy And Second Coming;

376. Strong And Faithful Individuals Build Strong Churches;

377. If Your Eye Is Single Your Whole Life Full Of Light;

378. Ministry: See It And Do It For Yourself;

379. A Faithful Life Unto God Not A Credible Life Before Men;

380. Jesus and Our Saving Gosple Faith Must Transcend Culture;

381. Jesus Was The Last Victim- We're Just Witnesses To Him And His Gospel;

382. The Lord Always Seeks To Mold Sons And Daughters;

383. Mutual Hospitality With God Unto Consecration Again And Again;

384. Faithful Children Receive New And Best Consciousness Crying Out Abba, Father;

385. The Lord Jesus Is The Shine And Joy On Our Face;

386. The Kingdom Habit Of Asking God Early And Often;

387. Moving From Stuck To Emotional Healing From The Bottom Of The Heart;

388. Better Relationships Amidst The Apparent Gender Apocalypse;

389. The Faithful Always Have And Pass "Philistine" Test Part 1 (Covenant Or Uncircumcized: Samson-Delilah And King David-King Goliath, King Jesus or King Antichrist);

390 The Faithful Always Have And Pass "Philistine" Test Part 2: (City State Feeds, Warlike, Destroys, Superior Weaponry Tactics, Slavery,Non Bible Priesthood, Christians Thrown To Lions);

391. The Faithful Always Have And Pass "Philistine" Test Part 3: (Christendom Becomes "Philistine" as Church-State Become One; Political Rome Falls But Rises Again And Again In Political-Religious Bits And Pieces Unto The End, Daniel 7 and 2);

392. The Faithful Always Have And Pass "Philistine" Test Part 4. Philistine Christendom Bits And Pieces: Carlo Levi- Has The Bible Jesus Reached Us, Or Is City State Christendom Just Feeding On Us?; 

393. As Mere Creatures We Firstly Give God Honor, Praise And Worship, Then We Watch;

394. Hatred Is A Bitter Root That Defiles text: 

395. The Ongoing Faith Choice Of  God's Way, God's Life And God's Truth;

396. Beware! Our Bible Faith Has Only One Gate And Gatekeeper;      

397. Nations Not Supranationalism Until Jesus' Kingdom Come (1); text: 

398: Nations Not Supranationalism Until Jesus' Kingdom Come (2). Imagine the Israel Of Faith And Zion Worship, Not Man Made Supranational Kingdom;

399. Historicism And Prophecy (1): Whole Church History In Revelation; Messengers For Such A Time As This; To  Church Ages;

400. Genesis (1): Intro To 'Book Of Firsts':
First Creation Of Only World,
First Adam-Human,
First Garden, First Fellowship, First Eve- Human Mate,
First Enemy, First Sins And Sinners,
First Of Explicit Covenant With Noah And Creation,
First Nations, First Man-made Kingdom Apart From God, First Of Many Judgements-Punishments;
First Family With Abraham's Faith, First Patriarchs Begin Too Form A Distinct People, First Seed Of Faith-Word Nation And Church.

Genesis Chapter 1: God Speaks Heaven And Earth And Humankind Into Existance. His Word Creates, Powerful Life Giving And Is To Be Obeyed. Day 1,1-2

1,3-5 First Day Of Creation- Light Is Good!

401. Genesis (2) 1,4-31 Six Days Of Creation.

On most important 6th day God creates humans and shares His Spiritual creative image and husbandry with us;

402. Historicism And Prophecy (2) God's Word And Bible Scheme From God's Historical Point Of View: Dispensationalism;

403. Historcism And Prophecy (3) Isreal And Church History Seen Throughout Bible Especially In Crisis Esther; Daniel And Revelation;

404. Genesis (3) 2,1-25 God Rests Then Puts Adam- And Alas Eve- In Garden To Care For It And Each Other;

405. Historicism And Prophecy (4) The Millenial Kingdom Reign From Zion- Apex Of Historicism And Prophecy Come True On Earth;

406. Historicism And Prophecy (5) Revelation 2-3: Seven Churches In 1st century Turkey, Seven Church Ages, "Seven" Messengers  And Messages;

407. Genesis (4) 3,1-4,1 Adam And Eve Want More, Satan's Jewel Crown, Lose Garden, Probation, With Hints Of Hope;

408. Historicism And Prophecy (6) Daniel 9,24 Seventy Weeks Of Weeks For Fulfillment Of All Specific Promises To Jewish People;

409. Historicism And Prophecy (7) Revelation 2-3: Seven Churches, Church Ages, Messengers And Messages- N. 3 Pergamon;

410. Historicism And Prophecy (8) Rev 2-3: Seven Churches, Church Ages, Messengers And Messages- N. 7 Laodicea;

411. Genesis (5) 4,3-5,27: Cain's Second Hand Offering, Correction And Human Requirement To Search Out God's Way;

412 Historicism And Prophecy (9) Rev 17-18: From Fallen "Babylonian" Jerusalem Sanctuary To Fallen "Babylonian" Christendom. Surviving Empire But Losing Holy Separation;

413. Genesis (6) 5,28-8,22 Noah And His Ark: The Hope, Rest and Comfort Of A Temporary Savior;

414. Historicism And Prophecy (10) Rev 17-18: From Fallen "Babylonian" Jerusalem Sanctuary To Fallen "Babylonian" Christendom. Dea Roma Blends With Phyrgian Cybele And Ascetic Non Biblical Greek Priesthoods To Not Become The Bride of Christ!;

415. Genesis (7) 9,1-11,32 Noah Slows, So Progeny Slow To Scatter, Then Babels and Rebels (So God Prepares Another Merciful Covenant With Abraham); 

416. Historicism And Prophecy (11) Rev 17-18: Leaders In Jerusalem And Christendom Underestimate Seductive spirit Of Babylon;

Could historical and spiritual "Babylon" really ruin salvation of Christendom? Yes! If we continually underestimate it's destructive supernatual based evil.

417. Historicism And Prophecy (12) Rev 17-18: Actual Endtime Antichrist Revealed In Scripture And Secular-Church History And Precedes Aramageddon And Millenial. 

Endtime Antichrist prophecy was baffling to initial church and now dismissed as passe by moderns. It has also been obscured, minimized and even maximized but for bible faithful and wise it's not ever going away!;

418. Genesis (8) 12,1-14,24: God's Small Ball Universal Call Of Abraham And His Step By Step Response To Taking Faith Custody Of Canaan;

One small step for Abraham is one great leap for God's salvation plan.

419. Historicism And Prophecy (13) Rev 17-18 The Final Antichrist Is No Fable!       

The idea that Christendom (Rev 17-18!) will save the world from the final antichrist and institute the kingdom is a fable.    

420. Historicism And Prophecy (14) Rev 16,16 From False Worship Of Military Power And Final Antichrist Rule To False god of Fortresses (Satan) To Jesus' Armageddon Vindication!  

In the endtime battle, the names of the final antichrist and satan will become historical footnotes in the long and great story of the one Lord and God of Israel and all nations, now united in time under the one name of Jesus in His one Kingdom, one name and kingdom that will never pass away! 

421. Historicism And Prophecy (15) Romans 11 & Galatians 6,16 Israel's Future Salvation, Tmes And Fullness Of Gentiles, Fullness Of 'The Israel Of God."

Elmer A. Jospehson's book "Israel, God's Key To World Redemption" (Bible Light Publications 1974) opens the door to seeing that biblical Israel is both the center and pivot point of both salvation and world history, and that biblical Israel throughout all history never has and never will be forgotten by the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. 

422. Historicism And Prophecy (16) Conclusions For The Faith Conviction Of An Active Faith That Sees, Hears And Does!

423. Historicism And Prophecy (17) Conclusions For The Faith Conviction Of An Active Faith That Sees, Hears And Does!

Perhaps our historicist quest for seeing and hearing and obeying our ever living God seems occasionally illusive at times, but as soon as we faithfully line up our lives with His sacred and revealed Word as it has come true again and again in history, we begin to experience the fruit of personally knowing our Lord and the fullness of His Word God and thereby His plans and point of view of sacred-secular history and its fulfillment come alive and make perfect sense; 

424. Under Conviction But Overwhelmed By Distraction (1). text:

There is nothing like the Word of God (and The Spirit that goes with it) to focus and prioritize our lives, and repel all the distraction that keeps us from God. Hebrews4,12 tells that the Word so living and active, so sharp that it can sort out out the depths of our souls, spirits, right down to the "joints" and "marrow" of our lives. It can break down, reveal and judge the deepest thoughts and intentions of our hearts. And when it does it's conviction time for each of us, time to make following Jesus our number one priority which begins with the personal faith covenant of adult water baptism.

425. Genesis(9) c14  New King Abraham's Memorable and Blessed Encounter-Experience With Pre-existent King Melquizedek;

426. Genesis (10) Abraham's Memorable Mutual Covenant-Experience With God As Blazing Torch (15);

427. Under Conviction But Overwhelmed By Distraction (2) Look Up, Look Within, Look Around.

Jack London's short story 'In A Far Country' (1899): his two distracted and sentimental argonauts (sailors-adventurors on the ship argo of Greek mythology or "stampeders") fail to complete the trek to the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897. Will we fail in our journey of salvation for distraction and modern lack of human solidarity, ie fellowship?

428. Genesis (10) c16 Abraham And Sarah's Experience Of Frustrating And Fleshly Covenant To Get An Heir.

Obeying God's Word and entering into covenant with Him always takes courage. More often than not God inspires and blesses us with a strengthening experience of His grace for that courage. But Abraham's and Sarah's Chapter 16 flesh covenant lacked faith courage and leads to a corrective experience of weakness and frustration, of painfully breaking up with their own fleshly made plans, of having to let Ismael go and thereby learning to hear and obey God without regard to what it personally costs. And this was preparation for 'binding of Issac' in c. 22.

429. Genesis (11) c17 Abraham's Prior Faith Covenantal Experiences-Faith Acts Lead Him To Obey The Portentous "Eternal Covenant" Of Circumcision at 99 Years Old.

Obedience to physical circumcision is predictive of God's favor and salvation of one and all of His people, but it is also God's warning against going astray. Further, it marks very clearly who one belongs to and who governs one's life.  

430. Hebrews6,19: Lost Without Jesus- Anchor Of Hope: How Is Your Story Going To End?

"Laura" in Katherine Ann Porter's brilliant 'Flowering Judas' loses her light and life amidst wordly ideology of revolution, the vortex of worldly sorrow, and her careless refusal to love the truly good.     

431. Genesis (12) c.18 Serious God Tells Serious Prophet Abraham About Promised Issac. But Sarah Laughs-Scoffs.   

And God also reveals to Abraham His concrrete plans for judgement on Sodom.

Amos 3,7: God does nothing without revealing his [secret] plans to his servants the prophets. They are really serious, and for the salvation of God's people, they really need to know!

432. Genesis (13) c.19 Oh My- Sodom And Gomorrah Judged (Thank God Judgement Is Always His Job).

The bible is the one book we can't change the ending- not even in our own minds!

God has his own standards for salvation-judgement and for our canon of scripture which God's people will not let go! We best reverently know as much as possible about the standards of His Word according to new law of the the Spirit. But we take heart, and have compassion on all, because our God is 'mighty to save.' (Jonah3,17);

433. Jesus: The Always New And Defining Event Of Our Lives. 

Who will write our obituary and what will it say about who and what defined our lives?

434. Genesis (14) c. 19 Oh My- Sodom And Gomorrah Judged (Thank God Judgment Is Always His Job)   

Without the clarity of God's judgment things will only get worse for God's people. But at Gn19,27 we learn faithful Abraham stood firm in God's presence the day before judgment and the day after, and so can we all if we stand firm on the revealed Word of God.

Br. Tobin issues a prophetic challenge to those who are taking judgment out of God's Word. 

435. Genesis (15) c.20 No Philistine Strongman Gets In The Way God's Promise Of Issac And The Promised People Of Israel.

God can and will make his will known- sometimes very urgently and explicitly- even to those like Abimelech who don't know him yet. So both sinners and saints, faithers or non faithers, Israel and non Israel must pay attention! This saves lives as was the case here in c.20 when the Philistine Abimelech "stole" Abraham's wife Sarah. Paying attention also saves God's promises, ie the promised son Issac, through whom promses to Abraham will come true (Genesis26,3). Ditto in Genesis 31 when neither Israel's namesake Jacob and his Aramaen sorceror nemisis Laban turned his deaf ear to God commanding voice;

436. Healthy Faith-Healthy Psyche: Notes To Self On Our Relationship With Ourself

437. Without Judgment It Only Gets Worse For Faithful And Non Faithful

A gospel faith in Jesus is a momentous decision and opens the door to truly joyful living. It frees one and all from the weight and condemnation and misery living under the judgment and sickness of sin.

438. Our Church Is A Little Sick Without A Biblical and Revived Lord's Supper

So rise and shine Christian Faithful! The bible teaches that ALL the faithful are priests and ALL bless the cup and the bread at the Lord's table and ALL are commanded do this new Jesus based spiritual sacrifice in His memory;

439. Q and A About The Gospel And Church: Ask And You Shall Receive.

We ask God for answers sort of like a dog asks its master for a bone- then we treasure and guard those answers, and soon thereafter ask for more!   

440. Abe Digs A Deep Well And Also Plants A Prized Tree- This Depicts His Authority, Promise, Jurisdictional Expansion, And Fruitful Progeny;

441. Without Judgment It Only Gets Worse For God's People.

Good Fear Of God Includes Spiritual Sobriety, Patience to withstand delay, no over familiarity with the things of God, and no cutting out parts of revelation like judgement from scripture. 

The bride church withstand all such challenges to faith!

442. How To Better Understand And Interact With Your Bible Based Pastor, Prophet, Man or Woman of God.

The word based gospel is the best alternative lifestyle and when an entire church gets on the same gospel wavelength great things happen!

443. Genesis (16) Genesis c 22: First Faither Abe Has Nothing More To Prove Except that He Would Sacrifice HIs Own Elect Son Issac If God said So.

The lesson here is that active and prompt obedience to God is more important than anything or anyone else including family, nation, culture etc etc.

This dramatic lesson also fully and finally distinquishes Abe's clan from neighboring clans that practice child sacrifice.

444. Without Judgement It Only Gets Worse (5) 

The 17th century European Enlightenment rages on deifying man's ideas and presuming man's supposed nobility yet it has often left us materialists, militarists, hypernationalists, and technological dreamers;

445. ZPM And Our Prophetic Hebrew Scriptural Roots (1)

Between the tree of life in the garden of Eden in Genesis and the tree of life in Revelation is the faith story of the salvation of the people of God, the people of faith and of the book, Israel, whom He chose to represent him, and we gentiles were grafted into their salvation tree.

And by the way "Salvation is from the Jews." John4,22 

446. Drop Your Nets- It's Kingdom Time

Tough Times Speed Up Our Sense Of Gospel Responsibility;

447. ZPM And Our Prophetic Hebrew Scriptural Roots (2) text:

It sure would sober up Christianity if we realized that our faith roots are not in Christendom politics and Tradition but in the prophetic Word of God of both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, both of which teach, as did Jesus, of a literal millennial kingdom for all his Holy Ones (Zechariah14,5) led by Jesus in Israel;

448. ZPM And Our Prophetic Hebrew Scriptural Roots (3)

What our Faith Roots and tradition are, and are not- what our church is and is not. 

Again Zechariah, such as Zechariah2,10-11, connects and rounds out the unfinished prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures and connects them to New Jesus' second advent as prophesied in the New Testament when He will reign among all the saved of faith both- Jew and Gentile- within the fiery wall of Jesus Himself- in the literal Zion Pentecost kingdom centered in Jerusalem. Oh Glory!

449. Without Judgment It Only Gets Worse (6) How Dare We Waste His Saving Blood

2PT2,9: "The Lord knows how to rescue the godly... and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment."

Oh that all churches would stop taking judgment out of our scriptures and doctrine- and get back to the sound basics of the gospel, that all people are sinners in need a savior, that Jesus died for our sins, that only His bloody death on Calvary atones for our sins, and but for personal born again faith in Him that comes by His grace, we face a negative judgment;

450. Without Judgement It Only Gets Worse (7) "Rosebud" and The "Imperium" Of State Power of Revelation6,2 

Prophetic image Of Revelation6,2 updates the tower of Babel symbol of Nimrod's Imperium (Nimrod first great hunter, ie man of force) in greater Babel (Genesis10,8 and 11,8). Babel judged and people of imperium scattered by God, so it would not spread.      

Revelation is resistance literature that unveils image after image of judgment on wayward humanity, empire and wayward Christianity too. As we see into one of these images we can see into the whole unveiling of church history and the endtimes;

451. A Growing Love Can Become The Big Love Of Marriage.

James Carver's "Cathedral" and Giovanni Boccaccio's14th century Decameron (Ninth Tale Of The Fifth Day during ten person and ten day country respite from the black plague just outside Florence) help us understand the big and spacious and redemptive love of marriage.  

452. The Ways And Means Of Prayer Prepares Us For Holy Ghost Ministry.

Scriptures, church, worship and ministry all begin with grace and faith and prayer- ie actually hearing back from God

Three characteristics, six types, and the three big benefits.

453. The Seven Lights Of New Testament Gospel Revelation

The Menorah, as tree of life, as Jesus, as light of the the world, as seven lights of New Testament Gospel Salvation;

454. Without Judgment It Only Gets Worse (8). There Still Is A Distinction Between Pure-Holy-Clean And Impure,Unholy-Unclean

We Christians might think that God diminished His teaching and judgment about clean and unclean in the NT, but not so. While we are not bound by the law of Moses, now that we all are priests, by our personal faith baptism, we are all cleansed from the inside out, made worthy, made pure-holy-clean-holy by the presence of God living in us.

As his prophesied Holy Priesthood (Exodus19,6), we gain discernment from the Word and the Spirit as to what is clean and unclean, and act accordingly. In other words, God's pure presence in us over time serves as good protection from all sorts of deceit. 

This discernment is a type of pre-judgment judgment which gives us all confidence to live our daily faith knowingly enjoying the pure-holy-clean presence of God who has cleansed us by his blood and made us pure-holy-clean.

"Blessed are the pure of heart they shall see God." Mathhew5,8 

455. Without Judgement It Only Gets Worse (9) There Still Is A Distinction Between Pure-Holy-Clean And Impure-Unholy-Unclean.

The first thing a baby is taught "Don't touch that! It's unlean!" Likewise, we Christians become knowledgeable of the Word and attuned to the Spirit, and we learn not to grieve the Spirit with all that is impure-unholy-unclean. 

This sense clean and unclean is a foretaste of salvation and a peaceful comfort as we live out our lives in faith. 

456. Without Judgement It Only gets Worse (10) God's Kingdom Judgement Is Fair To Everyone.

Oh the glorious judgment day when Jesus comes back with all his holy ones (Zechariah14,5) Judges The Earth (and thus wins Armageddon), Redeems The Earth, Rebuilds The Fallen Hut Of David, And Redeems Worship By Building A Millennial Temple For All The Saved.

We set out in this sermon to show by the scriptures that Jesus gives a fair offer of gospel salvation to all who have ever lived, Jew or Gentile. All this is way worth getting ready for! 

457. Stop Neglecting Adult Water Baptism! (1)

Made clean by profession faith, unto unlimited grace of baptisms, plural! (Hb6,1-2)

Adult Water Baptism for infant baptized or those who haven't been baptized ever as refinement for salvation (Zc13,8-10)

Profession of faith And Adult Water Baptism- is the one Fell Swoop of Salvation!

The great English Protestant Reformer William Tyndale knew that if he got the NT bible in a language they could read and into the hands of the people, rather than the "doctors" of Christendom- they would read it for themselves and be able to decide issues of doctrine for themselves. This goes for baptism as well.

If the 20 best high school debaters in the nation never heard a sermon and then read the entire NT and then were divided into two teams- one for the proposition that infant is biblical and the other that adult water baptism is biblical, and Jesus Himself was the judge, who do you think would win?

Nine scriptures will help us out and- you decide!

458. Stop Neglecting Adult Water Baptism! (2) 

Drifting away from biblical realities and principle covenantal ordinances (cf Jeremiah6,17, "the good way"), ie water baptism and Lord's Supper etc.

Infant baptism is the custom while Adult baptism is the Word. Accept the Word unto living the new law of the Spirit in us. James1,21, 25.

Adult baptism essential to NT and the intertestimental period, especially pronounced for the Essenes, part of messiah fervor, and immanent- soon to arrive- kingdom.

Infant baptism essential to formation of church state Christendom and empires since 5th century and Augustine.

New Born Again Believers, Adults, More Open To Adult Baptism. 

459. Stop Neglecting Adult water Baptism! (3)

Personal covenant with Jesus like Abraham, Gn15,8ff;
Faith is not a spectator sport- we get baptized and then we go to gospel work for the gospel and the kingdom;
Do something for your eternal grown up self- get adult baptized;
Personal Covenant Reveals Personal Identity;
Memorable Milestone, we like Abraham never forget God's merciful promises and His faithfulness;

460. True and Excellent Brothers And Sisters Above All Else. Text:

How we treat each other in church is like the proverbial elpehant in the room- the big issue but not often discussed or preached.
2Peter1,7: Kindness is a precept of God in both Hebrew and NT scriptures and a pillar of Christianity.
Church is an elevated community- redeemed, unmistakeably egalitarian like the people of God Israel.
Shabby treatment is not chic in church- need to move the iceberg of customary ways of treating people alien to born again people.
Jesus was kind to us first.
Rights first in church or community faith-bible values first?
Humility, of forgiven people who forgive, another pillar, and reminds us we are all "just a Christian."

461. True and Excellent Brothers And Sisters Above All Else (2)

Hebrews2,11: Jesus is not ashamed to call is brothers and sisters in public- yet many won't even be seen carrying a bible into church.
Titles for Christians? Oh No! Please lay your prideful and hierarchical titles down, we're heirs to the chosen egalitarian people of Israel, not wannabe worldly potentates.
Seven fellowship instructions for our elevated community.
Almost 600 scriptures refer to false Brethren! (Including Ps55,13ff) So we have a problem here.
Blessed are the pure and excellent of heart, for they shall treat their brothers and sisters the way church ought to be;

462. From "Nothing To Show For It' To Faith Shows Me All I Need

The depressed spirit of 'lost a shilling and found six pence.' (ie only half of what we lost) is overcome by great faith.
Cancel culture will leave people doing the cancelling like they have lost a shilling- openess to all people- to finding only six pence (and still subject to being cancelled themselves.)
Because Jesus lives we can live with some material lack!
We faithers do not succumb to poor perception of identity and purpose.
Everybody loves free and faithers get a lot of free stuff- like God's grace, and hope, and understanding etc etc.
Psalm128 We will see the fruit of our gospel labor.
Like Issac, prodigy for Isael who in famine felt evenhe had nothing to show for it, but he didn't run to Egypt.
4 lessons from Issac and his finding the former family wells, ie gifts, and new wells found with God's help.
4 things that prevent blessings from coming our way.
No shame in starting over- at least when we faithers start over we know where we're going;

463. From Nostalgia And Atmosphere To Power And Witness

Acts 1,8: How do we live in the not yet kingdom, in the time of the not yet perfect? With faith power and witness- nostalgia and atmosphere of fandom, or faithdom, doesn't cut it! Whereas, peaceful Manchester United fans seek to empower fans to have a voice in club's management.

Mutually enabled or maturing in Faith? cf fandom 'Die Hards'? Or, see the game for what it Is?
1Cor.15,15 we testify that God raised Jesus from the dead. We testify that we were once dead in our sins but now we have new life and a gospel message for all.
Country songs have lots of nostalgia (sometimes exagerated sentiment about the past unto pathos) and atmosphere but faithers go beyond proper sentiment and atmospehere and seek and obey Jesus as He is, and thereby grow unto a present and ongoing bible based witness to Him, a living and present witness empowered by the Holy Ghost and acts of faith. From passive subjects (sometimes captive servants) to protagonists in our own lives.
Faith witness of Job. 

464. (Not Published) Without Judgement It Only Gets Worse (11): What Will Bring The Antichrist? (1) 

By taking judgment out of church we are just hastening the appearance of the antichrist.

Intro: Three sourced froggy (ie unclean, miry, bogged down) propaganda of Revelation 16,13: out of the mouth of satan, beast and false prophet church system (first propaganda is that humankind can save itself and the earth).

Seven Things Will Bring The Antichrist in seven year end-time tribulation. First three today.

The born again faithful will be raptured just before this seven year tribulation. Last Antichrist different from all earlier ones (Daniel7,24), the definitive one that only dies in end by Jesus' judgment (Revelation 13,1). In the middle of last seven years (Daniel9,27) antichrist revealed (2Th2,4);

Without Judgement It Only Gets Worse (12) Antichrist's Two Principal Attack Targets To Bring About His Rise: 2Thessalonians2,4 and Matthew24,15; 

To explain the rise and rule of the Antichrist we need to understand His two principal targets for his rise and rule. So we are pausing now on explaining the last four of the seven things that will bring his rise and rule, to study His strategy, as explained by scripture.   

Without Judgment It Only Gets Worse (13) What Will Bring The Antichrist?(2)

Three part Froggy-unclean miry bog of propaganda of Revelation16,13 (which hides from the light and cleansing flow of Jesus and His Word) spews and rages on. This propaganda crystallizes on seven things will bring the antichrist and his short reign in seven year end-time tribulation. Numbers four, five, six and seven today.

The Antichrist will in some way claim divine right of Kingship, (which is a false doctrine outside Israel and the Hebrew Sriptures) because as the martyrs of old proved, we Christians have no king but Jesus, and He alone is king of Kings and Lord of Lords!  

465. To Find The Pearl Of Great Price We Have To Look For It!;

This subject pivots on how Jesus makes disciples- he draws us from the multitude, separates us unto his holy service.  Often to be of His sacred use, we must be separated unto His healing before we can know Him and give all to him.

Jesus is looking for single hearted folks, pearl hunters, for the kingdom, separated unto His new law of the Spirit, His healing-empowerment, His kingdom, His sacred gospel use, and His abundance;

466. The Ever Living, Ever Sprinkled, And Ever Flowing Blood Of The Cross Unleashes Eternal Salvation Flow!

Romans5,20: where sin abounded, grace- the flow of salvation- abounded all the more.

With the inspiration of the Great Canadian Pentecostal Maxwell Whyte's Book "The Power of The Blood" we venture forward in faith knowing that Jesus' washing blood still flows, and therefore still covers ALL repentant sin, still washes all repentant souls, still is being sprinkled (by His spirit ordained priesthood fulfilling Exodus19,6!), still purifies, and consecrates and witnesses to the our one salvation in Jesus (John19,34. Revelation5,6, 1Peter1,1-2, 1John58).

Jesus' saving blood incomparably and mysteriously accomplishes two principal things: it grants us a salvation we never deserved, and, with the sending of the Spirit, it opens all facets of our being to Spirit to spirit fellowship with Him, Him dwelling in us. In sum, His everliving, ever flowing  blood not only pays the price for our sins, but opens the floodgates of the Spirit of God sent into God's people, God's congregation, both as individual temples and the temple of the nations, ie the church.   

467: From Beginning To End Our Christian Faith Is Unconventional Wisdom (1)    

Remember that unconventional wisdom of "I could have had a V-8!" ie I could have imbibed something healthy rather than sugary-empty calories that don't satisfy.

Our salvation begins with the healthy unconventional decision of seeking and finding the living eternal water given by Jesus. Yet, are we still thirsting for another sugary or brutal snippet of worldly conventional wisdom, or the unconventional wisdom and verdant expanse of our supernatural and miraculous faith in Jesus?   

468. From Beginning To End Our Christian Faith Is Unconventional Wisdom (2)

Errant conventional wisdom in our minds is like putting sticks into the spokes of our born again, well spinning, faithful consciousness. It depresses our spirits and makes them lazy and dull, and risks robbing us of the elevated humanity, the rich meaning and persevering Spirit that only His salvation gives us. Oh yes our unconventional biblical wisdom raises us to the status of a faithful human being with a supernaturally infused and faithful heart that becomes truly human rather than just the worldly try, try, try to be "good" and try, try, "try to do better" of conventional worldly wisdom. We choose instead to exercise your unconventional gift of faith (every person claiming to be a Christian has an actual measure of true faith cf Romans12,3), ie confidently act on the promises of God, again and again (cf Gene Scott).  

In contrast it seems so much of life now in and out of church devolves downward (or swerves sideways) toward a business model toward serving mammon- money- rather the upward call and path of God's better life and the supernatural grace of His Word and Spirit when we serve Him and others. A business model paradigm in church and elsewhere might make us useful specialists at our jobs, but not so well heart integrated and faithful about all the important things like family life, marriage, the quality and joy of our faith itself, let alone moral, justice, and a robust and healthy spiritual-faith walk with Jesus.

469. From Beginning To End Our Christian Faith Is Unconventional Wisdom (3) 

As Christians we give up on the false conventional wisdoms of luck, fate, determinism, and nihilism, self righteous materialism, hedonism etc and instead build our lives around the prophetic and kingdom values and faith teachings of Jesus Christ found in his Word and lived according to His Spirit.

I exhort us Christians to square up our lives with all we profess (square up our minds first with the Word and Spirit) and get comfortable with unconventional wisdom of supernaturally living right and suprnaturally following (by faith) our risen lamb, our risen Lord, a man-God by the name of Jesus! I exhort us to get comfortable with the miracles of His word and Spirit, of His great shalom, the great health of biblical peace and salvation, get comfortable with His 'grace is enough' for me and live the life and thereby the calling we profess. And Lord Jesus let it sink in deep in our hearts when we profess YOU as 'the way the life and the truth.'

After examining a bit of Joseph's life and His unconventional providential struggle and choice to forgive his brothers, we examine a bit the human temptation and conventional thinking of 'destroying the messenger.'

A modern trend upon this conventional wisdom is to even to attack the message of notable Christian leaders who have gone home to the Lord. The "Slacktavist" at 5.18.2017 "Speaking Truth Of The Dead" notes that there is no biblical prohibition against examining the life and teaching of the dead, but that any such examination would be subject to not judging the person's soul. He also notes that it is not very sporting to attack a man's character and teaching after he is dead. But that doesn't mean we should just offer fandom as the only legitimate post mortem response to a Christian leader's life and teaching.  

But it seems the trend inside and outside the church, likely to soon be conventional wisdom, is that everyone is fair game for dismissal and debunking amidst the worldy and "truthy" nature of all politics, especially the modern politics of personal destruction, whether someone is dead or alive. Better the unconventional bible wisdom to 'test every spirit' (and so every leaders biblical cogency), examine the fruit, but always with the realization that publicly attacking fellow believers with a wordly-critical spirit (that seems to border on hate) is 'no Bueno' (cf1Corinthians6,1ff) and that any critique of fellow believers, dead or alive, should be done in a spirit of loving correction, willing to point out differences in doctrine, and done in such a way that the present church and churches are edified and educated rather than further tribalized.     

And we best remember Proverbs 3,5: "Trust in the Lord with all your hearts, and lean not on your own understanding." 

Oh my- think back how often our human understanding about a person or situation has been nothing but conventional tripe, gossip, some sort of garden variety of ideology, or prejuidice or politics, all far distant from the Word and Spirit. But as more mature Christians we examine the matter and the folks involved more closely, separate the facts from the falsities, and give the matter the consideration of prayer and human neighborliness. And with love we refrain from ultimately judging another person's eternal soul, and always allow God to have the last word on the matter!

Yeah for the fact that God's unconventional wisdom is always better than our conventional wisdom! One day when we each meet him face to face His unconventional last word of mercy and His unconventional gospel of forgiveness and salvation (as lived by Jesus and Joseph) will be surely the sweet music to each and all of us.

In the meantime, may we all get used to the good news of hearing Jesus' unconventional wisdom and Word in every situation of our lives, in and out of the church, in Jesus Name I pray.        

470. Satan, The Evil One: Resist Him and Pray For Deliverance From Him. 

We are going study satan a bit in this sermon. Why? Because if he studied how to take Job and Jesus down, he might be studying how to bring you and me down too!

Our principal texts will be: 1. Jude v. 9 ie no "railing" against him- just rebuke him!; 2. cf Isaiah13,14 about our human weakness as scattered souls post Covid, and thus our need for our good shepherd Jesus more than ever, to guide us away from all temptation, and toward  gathering us up as one in the rapture, and His return with all the holy ones to begin the millennial; 3. John4,1 the temptation of Jesus to receive the whole world amidst his own lonliness and hunger; 4. James4,7 "resist...and he will flee."; and 5. Revelation12,11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb...", and 6. Matthew6,13: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" ie from a real personal spritual being, a fallen angel  (Ephesian6,12: "we wrestle not against flesh and blood but powers and priciplaties..."), not a projection of our fears.

471. Satan Tries To Corrupt But the Lord Establishes Us Firmly In Faith

Launch sciptures: Psalm107,2; 2Thessalonians3,3

The Lord (messiah!) gathers while satan scatters- and recruits folks to the wrong team. Yes our Lord Jesus gathers us in so many ways. All His ways as the Good Shepherd gather us. First he gives us grace, and we act on it in the first expression of faith, profession, then faithful-covenantal adult water baptism, then Holy Gost baptism and gifts, offices and gospel service, all of which bring us close and ever closer to Him, gathered to the world's one messiah!

In this second hour studying satan (because he studies us) we remember from last time that we rebuke and resist him not revile. And here today we will also examine (with the help of the ODJR) the progressive nature of our Christian knowledge about this real 'evil one,' the real supernatural fallen "person", the god wanna-be named satan. Yes he began in the Israelite bible consciousness as a mere "adversary" of us humans, but he became the 'evil one' in the New Testament, part of the whole apocalyptic drama of the salvation of Israel and the church.

Non Christians, or modern Christians with less focus on the scriptures, might to this day say that the fuller development of satan' fallen supernatural personhood- or fallen angelhood- is sourced from Persian Zorastrianism. But that something exists in another culture or nation's faith doesn't mean the apocalyptic and prophetic glimpses of the person of satan in the Hebrew scriptures are not a valid part of the basis upon which Christianity and the New Testament develops its more explicit teaching on satan. 

We Christians look all the way back in the Hebrew scriptures and see an actual evil one in the garden, the same actual evil one that tempted Jesus with power in the desert wilderness. Yes our faith has an apocalptic end with Jesus per Revelation19,6ff on great white horse judging all, and all evil, and then the evil one. This is not mythology from dualist foreign source, but further new testament revelation in the Judeo Christian bible stream.

The Hebrew teachers at Jamnia in the late first centuryCE or AD did a great job compiling the infallible Hebrew canon (the bookends of their scripture), which they see primarily as the Law, the Torah, as depicted in the first five books of our bible, then the Nevi'im (prophets and historical books) and then the Kethuvim (writings).

Whereas, us Christians from the start searched the prophets (not the Mosaic law, fulfilled by Jesus, but the new law of the Spirit) like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel and Zechariah and Haggai and Habakkuk, to find Jesus and thereby by faith in Jesus we magnify the prophetic and apocalyptic crisis (Jesus and angelic warfare to a degree) of good versus evil drama and the role of Satan which our Brit Hadassah fully teaches.

We gravitate, and still do, toward reading the entire Hebrew scriptures and New testament writings as the victory over satan who was in the garden as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, as was Jesus there as the tree of life, both trees that are also found in the last book of the NT as well.

So while the idea that the evil one being a real person is relatively late and per the New Testament, there is no doubt that ever since 586 BCE and Babylonian exile, and ever since Isaiah 52-53 that Israel's salvation history took a progressively apocalyptic-prophetic turn, a turn depicted by an increasing crisis, which speeded up after four or five empires occupied the land, over six to seven centuries, the last empire being non Christian Rome, who Jesus, King of the Jews, confronted in his colloquy with Pilate.

Israel also unsuccessfully and apocalyptically confronted Rome militarily in 66 CE the First Jewish Revolt put down by 70AD (ending with the destruction of the temple by Roman General Titus, and exit of Christians from Jerusalem) and then the Bar Kochba revolt in 134 CE. These apocalyptically inspired losses explain to a degree why non Christian Israel still looks to the Torah first and foremost, that is to living according to the law of the community, and good works and charity, not to endtime conflict with satan's team and kingdom brought on by Jesus.  

Jesus confronted satan himself, wanna be king of the universe, and wannbe be ruler of all the the heavenlies, all the spiritual jurisdictions, 'face to face' in the desert, and satan left him, fled. 

That's a long way, I am like that sometimes, to explain that apocalypticism-prophecy and Satan are now primarily Christocentric and that satan in the biblical minded Hebrew scripture law mode is sort of an after thought, but with the fullness of NT we Christians obviously take a more expansive view.

But, stay with me, this long way round helps us understand the progressive way satan is depicted all the way up to when he is thrown into the burning lake of fire per Revelation20,10.

So 1Samuel29,4 (Brown Driver Briggs 7854) depicts a disagreement between Israelites and Philistines, who did not trust Philistine Achish's ok of David because the Philistines as a group thought David, a man of war, could turn on them, become an adversary, adversary being the first name and definition of satan, in the Israelite bible mind, nothing more or less. 

Likewise, at 1Kings5,4 Solomon remarks that the land is at peace (unlike in David's bloody reign) ie "there is no adversary [literally no satan] or other evil occurrent." therein. kj This idea may have been partly or fully behind what Jesus said to Peter when Peter suggested Jesus avoid the cross. "Get behind me satan." ie right now Peter, you are my adversary, my enemy!

At Job 2,1 and satan, who roams the earth, is a God permitted heavenly prosecutor, Job's adversary. At 1Chronicles21,1 Satan is progressively more evil still, as Israel's seducer, or unjust inciter (BDB 5496) of David to take a census rather than depend on God providence to win battles.

By Ephesians6,12 and the book of Revelation satan is not only our chief enemy, adversary, but by Revelation 12,1, he is the 'accuser of the brethren,' and string puller in the whole fallen world system who risks the salvation of God's people with apostasy and his antichrist protoge (Rev13,1) that Jesus must judge and stop him and his protoge and beast and false prophet so as to bring the millennial kingdom of God.

Thus, this progressive view of satan through the whole bible makes perfect sense to us Christians. No worries, no contradicton, just more faith in a NT sense seeking and finding understanding in the scriptures, both written and interpreted with Holy Ghost inspiration. This progressive revelation view of satan merely highlights the true Lordship and soon to be won earthly kingdom of Jesus.

For us Christians satan is revealed as the corrupter of man, right from the garden, then angel Lucifer who fell, to become a wanne be god of Ezekiel28 and Isaiah 14, to become adversary of all the faithful, and finally to try and beget himself, incarnate himself, as if that were possible, as the antichrist, as part of one last vain attempt to be god and rule all the spirtitual jurisdictions of heaven and earth, and scatter Israel in the end, and scatter the church away from our one and only king of kings and Lord of Lords.

472. Dave Wilkerson's Warning Against Accomodation in the Christian Church (1999)

Spiritually forewarned is spiritually forearmed. He died in a crash in 2011, but this prophecy still speaks, and is way popular.

His gave a clear friendly warning to AG leaders and to all Christian churches in Springfield Missouri in 1999 in a sermon "The Dangers Of The Gospel of Accomodation." In this sermon, which we will read in part, laments what I would call the non biblical mediocrity creep, or mammon creep, whereby ever increasing fuzzy accomodations, bring the church a fuzzy and then fussy faith, and finally a weak non prophetic and easy pleasy faith that risks souls for popularity and wealth!

Four identifiable characterize Wilkerson's teaching.

We'll also introduce the modern stronghold ideology of the big church credo (and the big church pastor) knows better, and its birth to the idea that the big accomodating church has big authority. We'll break that down in our next hour, on warnings and the biblical and Spiritual authority needed to give them.

I see accomodation, which may mix in some good motives (such as less judgmentalism and officiousness in favor of more friendly atmosphere) as a real threat to faith perseverence of our blood bought souls. This modern accomodation of worldly feel good success worship may evidence itself as modern Christianity's last and greatest failure (Laodicea! Rev3,14ff), just as the success of political accomodation, and church state union, contradicting Jesus' own words, has been Christendom's (both Roman and later state-church Protestants and similar church-state flavors up to the present) earliest and greatest failure and worldly legacy.

Wilkerson and William Branham before him both understood that when worldly success becomes the norm and the means of church practice and aspiration, wacth out! Watch Out Watchman, watchperson, eternal souls are in the balance!   

473. Warnings-Corrections And Biblical Authority in the Church

In this second hour, we dive dive deeper into the subject wrestle with the concept of biblical warnings and corrections and the biblical authority behind them. Without biblical authority warnings and corrections may be true and bible and inspired- and like kids who need to obey "hypocritical" parents- they should be followed simply for these reasons- but no doubt these warnings are best delivered by those who are like the first "holy" man of the bible, the first suffering servant of sorts, Joseph who "gained authority over the land [of Egypt no less]." Genesis41,45 He gained authority in leadership by suffering service, by the rejection of popularity among his own people, and embracing the providence of serving the people God gave him to serve.

Even though for freedom Christ set us free we Christians do not despise authority in the church or out (cf1Tm4,12 and 2Peter2,10). To despise authority may be the result of bad example, pain and real hurt caused by those in authority, or it may come from some hidden sin of the despiser, some guilty snare.

Wilkerson's four ministry characteristics are a good place to start in gaining authority 1) excellence; 2.) prepared and definite teaching; 3) service to others, witness. Word and Spirit based, and watchman aspect; 4) Firm foundation of life on and in Christ Jesus.

We'll also examine very briefly Martin Luther's authority in the 16th century Proptestant Reformation which came from his fearless faith, His conviction about His 95 Theses, and conviction the Protestant Reformation was way necessary. In sum, Luther warned and that there was no good reason to compromise the Word of God to please our fellow humans. Luther's life, his entire witness, serves as a threshold benchmark and warning against separating the Christian faith from the foundational authority and salvation doctrine of the Holy Scriptures.

His salvation by grace by way of personal faith doctrine has been accepted by Christendom, by the RCC in 1999 in a document known as the Joint Declaration On The Doctrine Of Justification. However his excommunication has not been withdrawn. Later in life, his loving wife, who gave him five children and a loving marriage, characterized him as "too rude!" (We pray he repented of his antisemitism before he went to meet the Lord). But this man had authority to warn any and all about the importance of the scriptures, and the fruit of his authoritative warnings was a religious Reformation that forever changed the way all people see human freedom, their human conscience, institutional religion that strays from the bible, and the authority of scripture as the rule of Christian humanity.   

We'll end the sermon talking about John MacArthur's 2013 book "Strange Fire" (for my review see , which offered a stern warning and correction to the Pentecostal Movement. (I call it a movement because Pentecostalism is not church denomination, it's a movement toward and back to biblical Christianity.) Since I don't agree with MacArthur's claim that the Christian offices of Prophet, apostle and evangelist were closed after the first 12 Apostles died, I don't think MacArthur's non Pentecostal evanagelical biblical theology provides the real correction in this book. MacArthur wrote a much needed book that did indeed successfully correct the occasional floppy excesses and occasional lack of biblical focus and the occasional goofiness in the movement.

But more than that, eight years on, this correction has given me more confidence that the pentecostal movement has not only more worship in Spirit and truth to offer, but also the potential too offer more biblical insight and a demonstrated lived biblical fullness of to offer as well.

The book also served as an anointed wake up call, a we-can-do-better challenge to us Pentecostals, that is, praise God, being internalized within the movement. Praise God for his providential will! Thanks be to God that John MacArthur wrote the book.

God used MacArthur's considerable authority- gained by his unstinting ability and teaching focus to apply scripture to unpopular and less than easy-pleasy subjects. MacArthur's personal God given authority allowed God to correct the movement of excess and straying from the Word. The blessed result is a greater sense of preparation, a more focused biblical approach, a greater depth and appreciation of biblical study, and a greater humility from those within the movement. These blessings of correction will in the long run bless not only the Pentecostal movement but all our brother and sister Christians as well. 

Wilkerson's warning, Luther's warning, and MacArthur's warning-correction all are still bearing fruit, for those who ears to hear, anyway!

Don't you see son of man- woman of God?   

474. Seedbed of The Antichrist (1): False god Of Fortresses

As the fullness of salvation history draws nearer Daniel12,3 challenges the faith of us all, to kick it up a notch or two: "Those who are wise will shine shine like the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like stars forever and ever."

And we think back to Genesis12,3 and God's promise to Abraham that all the families [nations] of the earth will be blessed through him, ie through faith like him! 

Our faith makes us all sons and daughters of Abraham and also the one true God of Israel, sons and daughters, inheritors of all the faith promises of both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament, the blessed whole counsel of God. And what a great calling we gentile Christians share with Israel. What a great calling and purpose to lead others to salvation by sharing the full gospel, spreading our gospel knowledge and vision so that none of God's people perish in apostasy, for lack of vision (cf Hosea4,6). This calling and purpose are further seen at Psalm67,1-2 and Matthew28,19.

Psalm67,1-2: "May God be gracious to us and make his face shine on us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations."

Matthew28,19-20: "Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost teaching them to observe all; and lo I am with you until the end of the age." RSV 

God gave us our gospel message of salvation in Jesus name as our seedbed, that's the word and picture the Lord he gave me. We get saving faith as individuals and church and then we tend our precious faith seedbed. We water the gospel word and our faith in Jesus and it brings a harvest. It bears much fruit before Jesus comes back in judgement (For this vital question of who we are as the church in the USA see PH 476 below for this sermon). Yet Satan also has a seedbed so to speak, just as he had a place in the garden of Eden,  a corruptive planting there, with corrupting seeds, corrupting knowledge, corrupting vision or revision, from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (cf Genesis2,9).

Satan and his team have been preparing right throughout salvation history this anti gospel seedbed, corrupting and destroying souls through their anti knowledge, anti vision, and deceived leaders under satan's sway. And this evil seedbed will one day in the final seven year tribulation, become the seed bed of the appearing antichrist, satan's last and best attempt to incarnate himself. Satan and the antichrist will jointly attempt to replace Jesus with their anti Jesus, replace the seedbed of the gospel knowledge and vision from God, and trying to erase the fact that God brought salvation to all through the Jewish people, out of their prophetic word, out of the appearance of their messiah. All this is their vain but very real attempt by these two evil ones and their adherents to replace our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, king of kings and Lord of Lords. But that can't and won't be done. But the fact is God wants us all tioo persevere, finish the race, not stumble and fall.  

Now from our study of the bible we see that the seedbed of the antichrist will consist of two principle false teachings, two major deceptions, two tenacious strongholds over the minds and spirits of fallen humanity, and especially those who do not have faith in the one and ever living God of Israel. These two strongholds have existed and become more powerful throughout salvation history. The first is the false god of fortresses, a false spirit that has humanity sticking out its chest in pride and itching to be the one top dog, like Nimrod, and building towers of babel, up to the high heaven, and this ambitious fortress spirit pervades and or invades institutions, leaders, governments, whether they know it or not.

And the second evil stronghold fits right in with the first, its evil twin, is lawlessness (unjust violence, false god of fortresses inspire violence which inspires lawlessness and things get worse and worse). These two strongholds are the the principle deceptions of satan and define the spiritual seed bed out of which antichrist will appear. 

These two spiritual strongholds are bringing the antichrist, this endtime con man, probably a gentile, likely a globalist who wants to change all we already know (Daniel7,25 change times and seasons) about the good and gracious God of the bible, with a monstrous, seemingly peaceful but ultimately violent and lawless false gospel, an anti word that will attempt to take away humanity's and Israel's and the churchs' hard one biblical freedom.

And when the anichrist appears, we'll have been just raptured 1Thessalonians4,17.

cf. Wikipedia "Onward Christian Soldiers." citing Collins "Stories Behind Hymns That Inspire Americans." Zondervan 2003. 

475. The Seedbed Of The Antichrist (2): Lawlessness.

Lawlessness, or wickedness, wherever found- in the church, in culture, in politics- is the devil's plaything. It corrupts our humanity, our nations and our religions, and leaves humanity sort of ignorant and deaf to the inalienable rights we humans enjoy from God, and deaf to the new law, or perfect law of repentant faith in Jesus, of freedom in faith, ie the new law of the Spirit (James1,25) that comes from a personal saving faith that lives and follows Jesus according to the new norms and standards of the gospel.

Christianity is not without a law! And Not without the whole word of God.

God didn't tell us to throw out the 10 commandments. Our faith and church is not libertine, not charismania, not cheap grace. It's faith folks who have been disciplined by the new law of the Spirit, the new law of forgiveness and mercy, the new way to approach God, thorugh the graceful blood bought offer of salvation to all after Jesus' saving death on Calvary. (If you don't know God it's time for you to take Jesus up on His gracious offer.) Then we will receive the Holy Ghost power to not only spread the gospel, but live the new law of grace, the law of the Spirit, that sees right and wrong and now gladly chooses the right.

But make no mistake, the antichrist and his lawless and divisive spirit has been working all through the ages of the church, his and satan's mystery of lawlessness (2Thessalonians2,7), have always attempted to replace the saving wisdom and knowledge of the Word of God, and debunk Israel's faith, and her faith in the millennial, and her and our Zion kingdom, and debunk our precious faith in Jesus, God in the flesh, who died on Calvary to save all,  despite the vain efforts of any final antichrist. 

cf helpful "The Eviction Moratorium And The Rule Of Lawlessness." Jeff Jacoby Updated August 7, 2021 Boston Globe

476.USA  Faithful As Seedbed Of Gospel, Offspring Of Abraham

Who are we Christians in the USA? 

Without vision or strong practical faith knowledge (Daniel12,3), ie a good faithful identity, we Christians will not thrive, and our we risk perishing in apostasy (cf Hosea4,6).  We Christians in the good old USA need to wake up and rise above the worldwide spiritual stronghold of the false god of fortresses and reject the violence and chaos and worldwide lawlessness of our present modern culture, and stay faithful and peaceful (Hebrews12) and forgiving, and hopeful.

In short, we must rise up to the challenge of a stepped up faith per Daniel12,3 and get wise and lead many to salvation (Mathhew28,19). 

To do this we need to better figure out who we are as Christians in the good old USA. Love of our country is good. And as citizens we have much to be thankful for. But only faith in Jesus is really good- excellent! Faith is a higher virtue than patriotism, though patriotism is good too.   

We must also remember that our nation is not an empire, never was planned that way, nor is our nation meant to be authoritarian, but a representative republic, a federalist republic, no kings, no emperors, no church potentates ruling in a state church either. Our government was designed to both respect states rights and  the bill of rights, ie rights granted to all Americans.

Like Israel in Babylon of old (586BC) we are in exile in this world (Ezekiel17). We have a great country, but we're still in the world, Babylon, not the kingdom yet. In Babylon Israel didn't want to sing one one of their Zion songs by the rivers of Babylon (Psalm137,1-4 It's also Jimmy Cliff reggae song). But we're Christians- we always have a gospel song in our seedbed, always a praise on our lips for our Jesus. We're pilgrims on this earth, we're in exile from the kingdom, looking for the Zion millennial, over there, not here, over there where Jesus walked. And we rightfullly love our nation, but oh my we know the bible now and we know that we are not any new Israel. We are, by and large, descendants of transplants from Europe, from which our forbears left- yearning for religious and political freedom, and freedom from religious strife and empire, and kings, and religious empire too.

The state of CT has a motto (1788) that could especially help us Christians in the USA struggling with the vision thing in this difficult days: "Qui Transtulit Sustinet" He who is transplanted sustains. It likely comes from Psalm80,8-9 (cf, and the motto sees the story of faithful CT, transplanted from Europe, as like Israel, and Israel was transplanted back in the promised land after 400 years captivity in Egypt.

This is a comparison, a metaphor, and doesn't make CT or the USA any new Israel, or the promised land, or the kingdom of God, or always exceptional, though these concepts have colored our religious and political history a bit, and perhaps this has made us a little too confident of our elect status.

But I like this motto, which is a metaphor, not a claim to any sense of eternal American superiority, but we do have gratitude for our shared American blessings. It also suggests an America persevering, sustaining, keeping on in peace, the peace of a faithful people getting even more rooted in our not so old home and nation. This motto is instructive and hopeful for us Christians, and puts us in the USA in touch with our better angels so to speak, in touch with the Lord. As the psalmist said:

"You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it and it [Israel] took root and filled the land." Psalm80,8-9

Oh glory, we love the word of God. It roots us wherever we are.  

Being transplanted from Europe in time gave us political freedom and religious freedom, so we Christians in the USA are blessed and we pray these freedoms last until Jesus' second advent. And we pray for the faith to stand up peacefully for our religious freedom. Thank God for the religious pluralism in this nation. Why? Because it means religious freedom for us Christians, freedom to open and close our church doors when we want.

In the USA we don't force anyone to worship like we do. But the CT state church- flush with the blessing of the "Great Awakening"- tried to force Ethan's father Joseph, an "old light" Calvinist, justified by woks charity and obedience to the ordinances of the church, to publicly declare in church a born again faith, ie show evidence of this new light (also Calvinist). If he didn't his citizenship was to be demoted and diminished in the church state congregation and around town and all over the state. "Ethan Allen His Life And Times" W.S. Randall Norton 2011 77) This public display was something that the leading citizen and patriarch of a founding CT Puritan family would not do. (Though he still would be expected to tithe ie pay the state church tax.)

So, as they had done several times before, ill disposed to conformity, Ethan's family moved, this time north to the rough hewn town of Cornwall, still keeping the Calvanism (strict predestination of visible saints) of the state church, still an "Old Light" with a pastor Palmer who was close to the family. But a State church bishop of sorts, presiding over Litchfield County's consociation of state churches (in a church that did not have hierarchy! p. 88) made a point to follow Joseph Allen up the road a piece and loudly denounced (sometimes ordinary clerical calumny doesn't cut it) Pastor Palmer and Joseph Allen and the moderate Old Lights.  

By this time, and all this trouble Joseph Allen had rejected the doctrine Calvanist of strict predestination of souls, as unfair. So he and Pastor Palmer became Anglicans (a church state of England, still distant overlords to an extent of the colonies, but who believed in humanity's cooperation with God's grace unto salvation). Palmer was excommunicated and later sued for breach of contract (104) by his former church employers, sued in official state courts favoring the official state religion, wherein they prevailed, leaving Pastor Palmer in great difficulty for the rest of his life.

Young Ethan Allen stood up for him and published a written defense of him and became a prmoinent CT dissenter from CT state church orthodoxy. As such a leader, Ethan and his mother in 1762 sought and got an exemption for themselves, 19 new Anglicans, from paying the local church tax-tithe to the state church in Corwall. Instead they would be allowed to pay into a fund reserved for the Anglican mission. But the deal fell through (105).

The way I see it Ethan Allen was so scandalized that he never broached organized Christianity ever again, even though the plan was from his youth that he would follow the well trod path of becoming a state church minister. Instead, he turned his attention to leading men in the Revolutionary War and garnering wealth via becoming sort of a land baron.

The Christian faith in VT could have been well planted by him, and yet it wasn't.

So much for state churches and forced worship. 

In the good old USA we don't sort of force dissenting folks like Roger Williams in 1631 to accept his teaching appointment in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (which he thought was not separated enough from the sate church of England) when he preferred the Salem campus and later the Plymouth Colony where he was successful and his "new and dangerous ideas" were not offensive.

And well the hierarchical Massachusetts Bay Colony, a state religion that taxed and punished and all the rest, summoned him to their General Court in Boston in October of 1635 and convicted him of sedition and heresy and declared he was spreading "diverse, new, and dangerous opinions." Wikipedia "Roger Williams" (citing LaFantasie, ed. "Correspondence of Roger Williams" 1988 pp 12-13) For this he was later run off in the dead of winter because he didn't fit in with the religious-political-state church divines that ran that Colony.

You might know some of Williams' story. He escaped south to Rhode Island through the snow and lived peacefully and religiously among the Narragansetts, the indigenous, teaching them appropriately, and founded the city of Providence which tolerated different religious beliefs.

Williams was an exceptional man and a valid freedom loving and freedom giving founder in a sense of an exceptional people, mostly Christian people, a people and nation that became known as the United States of America which was always meant by the grace of God to have left religious strife and violence behind in Europe, left it in the past, a nation that gives us Christians the free speech right to shout our bible faith from the rooftops in freedom.  

So with our CT motto and like Roger Williams we need to roll with the Spirit and respect the political and religious tolerance that our nation learned the hard way, and grants still, and asks of us. Jesus told his apostles not to mind if other folks besides them were using his name so long as they were doing the gospel ministry (Mark9,38-40).

From out of these verses at Mark 9  and the CT motto and from the examples of Ethan Allen and Roger Willaims we Christians in the USA are reminded that religious tolerance is a good thing. Think how tolerant Jesus was with each of us. We enjoy the freedom of our faith by blessed grace and providence and tolerance of God, the freedom discovered by the Apostle Paul, for which we Christians in the USA were set free. So we honor this religious freedom we have all experienced here, the freedom we cherish, an exceptional freedom. We pray this religious freedom is respected in word and deed here in our country and around the world, because religious freedom and free speech are the two rights that allow us to keep and spread the gospel here and around the world.

We need to wake up and realize that we Christians in the USA are firstly called to be exceptionally faithful, exceptionally committed as a faithful offspring of Abraham, with an exceptional faith like Abraham, like Jesus, like Roger Williams, who all learned to season their speech with graceful salt (Colossians4,6).

Such graceful salt includes the fact that we have no right to claim that we are any new Israel because only Israel is Israel, and no nation has, or ever has or will, replace her, nor will God ever forget her (Romans11,26: "all Israel shall be saved."). Thus, we Americans, some of us Christians, are not promised by God a manifest destiny to be part of an empire, or nation builders, or and the military quarantors for the world.

And between the pandemic, and the recent and inevitable and disquieting end of "nation building" in Afghanistan (with soldiers? I thought soldiers had limited military objectives?) for over twenty years, and the increasing social and political intolerance in our culture, and the increasing violence in our cities, and hedonism in our culture and in the church, it's time we Christians in the USA consciously adopt a more pronounced gospel identity as brothers and sisters, seeking Holy Ghost fellowship, as Abraham's faith offspring first and foremost, no more no less, who know the prince of peace, a people who consciously choose to be a gospel seedbed of Faith, Of Jesus, of our one Lord and Savior, putting him first as the fruitful vine in the seedbed, a vine, His vine, His seedbed, in which we must remain (cfJohn15,1-4).   

This conscious and robust self definition for us faithful may not stave off the apostasy of the lukewarm and distracted within the church (what percentage of us do you think that is dearly beloved?). Or make the good old USA officially a Christian nation, but it surely will help humble and sustain those of us, hunting and pecking forward, still in exile, God's blood bought faithful, his little flock, here in the good old USA , readying for another transplant- ready for the rapture.

Though if we're honest we might admit too, that before that transplant, we're due and presently experiencing, a bit of God's pruning, both as church and as a nation. Yes sir we are being pruned by God!

Praise His Name, Praise Him for the seedbed of the gospel, and for the fruitful harvest that will come after this time of pruning. And praise him again for the time he gives us all to get right with Him.  

Br. Tobin

477. Empires And Wanna Be Empires Fall, But Nations Are The Will Of God (1);

At Genesis 6-9 we have the flood narrative- a judgment because God's heart was grieved by the continual human wickedness-so much so that God repented of his creation. Genesis6,5-6.

Part of that wickdness came from above, from fallen angels in heaven, who looked upon the daughters of men and took them as wives. Genesis 6,4  says that some of the children of this evil age became "mighty", ie violent, too big for their britches.

The flood was going to clean up the situation and start fresh with Noah and his clan and a new creation.

And part of the blessing of Noah's obedience was the seventy clans, the nations, of his descendants. "From them other nations branched out on earth after the flood." Genesis10,32.

Nations- as blessings- were give after the judgement of the flood.  

At Genesis 10,8  we meet Nimrod (one of Noah's grandsons), who "began to be a mighty one in the earth." KJ Oh my- Nimrod went right back to being like the 'giants' of old, the mighty supernaturally evil and violent men before the flood.

Nimrod was the first violent kingdom maker, a very ambitious king and emperor type. So Genesis10,10: "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

Well, as history shows, once you start on an empire you can't seem to stop, so v.11: "Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh and the city of Rehobeth, and Calah." And v. 12: "And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city."

Now there was the nations decreed at 10,32, as a blessing for Noah's obedience, and survival for the flood, and a remedy for evil mighty men, humanity's wickedness. But instead of spreading out in and as nations after the flood all the people, or new nation peoples, all got together on the plain of Shinar, the heart of Nimrod's growing empire. And there they built the tower of Babel, one big tower, and one big central worldly city, for one big empire. Genesis11,1-9.

And the Lord knew if He let all this happen- one city, one tower to the heaven, one ruler sort of acting like God- there would be no end to what humankind would cook up out of their vain imaginations. Genesis11,6 

So what did God do? Genesis10,7-8: he scattered humankind (right back to the nations) and confounded their one language and made it many languages.

Empires and wannbe empires fall, but nations, filling the earth as God intended, go into the kingdom, one by one. Isaiah11,10; Dt32,43;Mt28,19, Revelation19,14. 

So keep watch nations, keep yourselves whole, keep your faith powder dry, don't aspire to be just another failed empire, and watch out for the endtime antichrist who is going to try and build his empire and try to rule the world, by separating God's peoples, his God ordained nations from God, and their true shepherds, and their true prophets, through the false god of fortresses and the sowing of lawlessness in the name of one very worldly project.  

478.  Seedbed of Antichrist (3) Nazism

Nazism under Hitler was a ghastly and horrid and unacceptable test run for the final antichrist. 

It had a ghastly and criminal antisemitism, that mocks the entire revelation of scripture and the true history of salvation, and the blessed role of IsraeI, as light of the nations, as a true blessing to humankind via Abraham (Genesis12,1), and as the literal home of the Kingdom of God (Zechariah14,5).

It had the "Third Reich," an attempted third imperium, a militarist empire inspired by the false god of fortresses, Daniel11,36-39.

It had its "antichrist" in the person of the furor, Adolph Hitler. It had its mysterious stronghold of lawlessness (cf2th2,7) in the secret and the slick machinations of the Nazi elites, particularly the SS national police force and their slick and ghastly unified and broad based propaganda campaign (cf later endtime propaganda of Revelation16,13-14 see n.2 PH479).

It had a blaspmeous 'mark of the beast' in "Heil Hitler" and "Seig Heil." 

But the allied nations rose to the challenge and understood, as best thay coudl at the time, the threat of such evil.  

And we bible based Christians, with the blessings of history and cool reflection and the Word of God, would do well to understand the rise and parallels of Hitler's Nazism with the future endtime antichrist and his future attempted worldwide regime.

This will help us keep our bible based faith and resist the social and political and spiritual blindness and conformity that allows such real and pervasive evil to go unresisted, risking the eternal souls of Israel and all the nations, and the church, ie all the world;

(NB. Nothing in this sermon-teaching is meant to judge or belittle present day Germany. In fact, it may be that Germany has learned the lessons of their wannabe empire and the unacceptable evil of such political evil, and such cultural and religious ignorance and conformity, better than any other nation. This likely leaves them better prepared to resist the endtime empire of the antichrist) 

479. Eight Seeds, Already Fertilized, For The Antichrist's Seedbeds.

As we preached at PH474 and PH475 the antichrist has his two principal seedbeds: (1) The false god of fortresses and (2) the supernatural stronghold of lawlessness that is raging in our days.

And Nazism was a third seedbed of the antichrist, a trial run for the final evil of the antichrist.

So what's left to teach about the Antichrist seedbeds? 

The Lord put it to me this way: Eight evil seeds already fertilized.

We built a soccer field in Portales NM and the seed we used had three different bermuda seed types and fertilizer to boot. Seeds and fertilizer all in one. And it was beautiful field, Naboth's field, couldn't kill it with lack of water, or tear it up, or get it wet and muddy. It made for a great and fast field.

But we human beings, unredeemed ones especially, oh we also sometimes cast not just good spiritual seeds, but bad ones too, spiritual seeds already fertilized with some sort of evil. And of course these bear bad fruit, and instead of a blessing for the glory of God and fit for the garden of Eden, and the redeemed earth, they belong in Antichrist's seed bed. And well these evil spiritual seeds are going to be raising up and heaping up so much evil that in the endtimes, satan and his antihuman, the antichrist, will seize their last best opportunity to try and bring their empire, their kingdom, their rule, by the full presence and appearance of the Antichrist. 

But take courage little flock! Even though the church is being winnowed (cf Zechariah13,8, church winnowed by lack of true faith, by the pandemic, by entertainment culture in and out of the church, or even by God's grace), we will overcome. We will overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. We won't take his mark of the beast.

And we always have the encouragement and correction of the Word. 

As king Hezekieh said to His people when Sennacherib was about to attack Judah. 2Chronicles32,7-8 (Berean Study Bible):

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged before the the King of Assyria and the vast army with him for there is a greater One with us than with him. 8 With him is only the arm of the flesh but with us is the Lord our God to help us..."

The bible identifies eight of these all in one spiritual seeds, well eight that I can identify anyway. We'll preach 1-4 today and 5-8 next time:

1. Sometimes Jesus is knocking on the church door and we won't let him in. Rev.3,20 (And so he has to deal with us individually to give us salvation whether in church or out) And if Jesus is not there with us in church we are just making it that much easier for the antichrist and his false spirit to influence the church and try to take it over in the end, 2Th2,4;

2. Revelation16,13-14. Froggy (unclean) propaganda, pouring out of the mouth of Satan, the mouth of the antichrist beast (and His political system and his false and divisive spirit), and the false prophet  (the false church non biblically based system). These three have been building all through salvation history, in one form and expression or another, and now in our modern day these three have no problem finding so many mouthpieces in our modern world. 

What percentage of news do you think is some sort of propaganda in these modern days a) 25% b) 50% or c) 75%?

3. Refusal of some or many of political and church leaders to make difficult and righteous or just decisions.

And some, or even many, who won't really lead in a robust and comprehensive way, like the reformer King Josiah 2Kings23,1-14.

Are they deceived (Ezekiel14,9) or just cunning? Obfuscation, denial and all the rest, mendacity, who can fully know the human heart save God?

There's also dilly dallying and white washing (Ezekiel13,16-19), saying peace when there is no peace (Ezekiel13,10) and playing to the crowd, and people pleasing, and all manner of hoarding political and religious capital, but saving it for what? A rainy day? A higher office? A 'better' church?

Instead, Jesus went all out in his three year ministry. He  prophesied and taught his disciples the truth about God's salvation plan for all, sufferred hardships, and the cross, and yet was fully obedient unto the father, unto his resurrection, to his great glory and benefit of us all.

4. Hatred of prophets, and the prophetic, and Israel, and the little flock Christians, and the two witnesses;        

Matthew24,12: "Because of The Increase Of Wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." Cold love goes with a cold heart which breeds hatred and a "bitter root that defiles." Hebrews12,15;

5. Apostasy of The Faithful: leaving off a biblical faith and going back to idols. 1Timothy1,4. And God's Spirit leaves church (cfRev3,20, Jesus is knocking but He can't get in!) as did the Spirit leave the Jerusalem temple in 586BC per Ezekiel 9-11;

6. 1John4,3: spirit of Antichrist divides the church and factions arise and set in.

Clear cut doctrine becomes suspect because it's "divisive." People retreat into comfort of "my" church which might just be telling them what they want to hear. This divisive spirit weakens the truth and value of Scriptures for the whole body of Christ, robbing the body of the vitality of unity, depth and breath, and thus making the choice and acceptance of Antichrist and his divisive spirit and false teaching that much easier to accept.

What could be more devisive than the antichrist Spirit that emboldens false teachers to preach against the plain meaning of the clear cut doctrine of the Word with a straight face?

7. 2Thessalonians2,10-12: People refuse the truth of scripture (and so be saved). God allows their delusion and many will believe, if they don't already, the big lie that Jesus, Lord and savior of Israel and all the nations, can be replaced, that salvation is not exclusively through him. 

8. Seven Year Tribulation of Israel- the Antichrist appears as Satan inspires his seeming incarnation to rule world (but Antichrist is just a man), but Jesus returns with his faithful and true and institutes the millennial kingdom (Revelation19,14). 

Oh my so many evil spiritual seeds- already supernaturally fertilized- bringing anti life weeds to Antichrist's evil seedbed. But take courage little flock we have the saving and needed prophetic and even apocalyptic knowledge of the wise, Daniel12,10, of the Word, the whole Word, the whole gospel, of the saved, not the arm of the flesh, but the arm of God's Spirit! And by faith and His Spiritual strength we plan to overcome satan by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony, and overcome the divisive Spirit of Antichrist in the church, and overcome the cold love of this last church age, and get raptured and then return with Jesus for the 1000 year reign. Revelation19,14.

To Him be all honor and glory and praise!


480: Empires And Wanna Be Empires Fall, But Nations Are The Will Of God (2)

This sermon contuniues PH477. And it builds upon PH 476 "USA Faithful As Seedbed Of Gospel, Offspring of Abraham." We must not aspire consciously or unconsciously to a 'wanna be' empire status. We left the political and religious empires of Europe, to become one of the nations willed by God, after Noah obeyed God and survived the flood.

Nations are a blessing of Noah's obedience, meant to spread out and people the earth, and as such are meant also to be a means to resist empire, resist the strong men of empire, beginning with Nimrod in Genesis 10. And the final Antichrist of Mt24, Mk13, and Revelation13.   

Nations hear the gospel. Nations send the missionaries and only nations go into the Kingdom of God, not any empire! Revelation17-18. Empires always try to rival and replace God with temselves and their own leaders.

In this intro here to this second hour on this subject and under this title, we use the the brilliant American Philosopher Robert Nisbet's revealing term "Clerisy." This revealing, spiritual breakthrough term, has the obvious religious sense, but also a very revealing political sense, ie the Caesars were a ruling dual clerisy, political and religious leaders, declaring themselves gods and kings.

Nisbet nails the idea of clerisy by stating a sort of obvious truth that I had not as yet had the mental breath to see and verbalize- that is the political was (and still is) always paramount in the West, over the religious.

This totally contadicts our Christian prophetic biblically based faith, founded by our Eastern Prophet Jesus of Nazareth. For as we all know, Jesus said "Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to Him." 

The best part of our lives, and worship and vital energies should go firstly to God! Love your God with all your heart with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. The religious over the political, God before and over even valid a patriotism to nation, God and nation before the Babylonian evil and temptation to empire.

Nisbet  in this 1975 "Commentary" magazine article "The New Despotism" p. 13 brilliantly reveals that a long procession of Western philosophers and intellectuals from Pericles on, through the Greek and Roman period (and I would add in the 1000 year Holy Roman Empire also) the political was pre-eminant over the religious, because that's where the power is in Western culture. This carries on up to the present day and reveals that the "political state" in the West again and again becomes and remains the real temple. The real power, worldly anyway, is in politics in the West.

But we bible Christians know our best life and "power" and understanding is Christ in us, the hope of glory, the hope of His kingdom. Only he will rule permanently from Zion. 

We couple Nisbet's bountiful clerisy insight with Anglican Scholar Allen Brent, which we have mentioned several times on 'The Preaching Hour." He is the author of "The Imperial Cult And The Development Of The Church" (Brill 1999) which stands for highly credible notion that the Roman Empire's leaders and the initial church were immediatly gaming each other, imitating each other, so as to gain power and influence over each other, as soon as the "Ignatian" or institutional-political Roman church system was born. One quick example that comes to my mind that proves Brent's notion of mutual gaming-imitating each other is how Romans gained Roman Empire citizenship at by birth, through their father. LIkewise, Roman institutional religion quickly settled into a non biblical infant baptism, ie an automatic entrance into the citizenship of  the church, which sometimes was rival and sometimes cohort of the Roman political empire. 

So likewise Ignatius with the 'letters' attributed to him that supposedly chronicle his trek to Roman martyrdom. Thank you for your service. But I and John Calvin and others do not see these as authentic history, but long after his death (Brent makes no statement, as far as I know, about the authenticity of the Ignatian letters, but his point still stands). But we see how Ignatius is portrayed in these letters like a high placed successful visiting Roman general reviewing the various provincial troops. He is in command, visiting local bishops, promoting church order and hierarchy, and a well-crafted airtight, bishop led and inspired eucharistic theology, cut out of the whole cloth of Roman dual political clerisy.

These "letters" gave the institutional church a sustainable eminance. Brent's mutual gaming insight explains how the Ignatian-institutional-hierarchical-territoral Roman model could and would one day become the Holy Roman empire when the secular empire folded up in the 5th century. 

So, thus it was no surprise that the Western church which became the Holy Roman Empire, and the Western nations that slowly surfaced and emerged from that empire, always gravitated toward the temple of politics and empire and became both a mighty and unified religious and political clerisy- because (according to Nisbet's insight) the latter is where the power is.

This is our Western history. But Western history and the bible history and the Word says nations are the will of God and that all empires fall (Revelation17 and 18).

Even up to the present day, and even in the USA when Puritan Protestants from the ruling Masachusetts Bay Colony drummed out innovator Roger Williams, we see an America that sometimes tends toward a wanna be church state unity and colonialist thinking. Even some of the more modern stout Protestant successors to the Puritans seem to exhibit a tendency to also put politics and political power (and one pary thinking?) at the center of their religious life.

How did this happen?

Well, when Augustine declares in the early fifth century the church the Kingdom of God, there's more than enough religious patina (and appropriation from biblical Israel) for the church to become the Holy Roman Empire, a political-religious temple, with the political temple trumping the religious Temple.

Look at us christians in the modern USA- do we spend more time listening to political propaganda and politics on the radio and tv than studying the Word and sharing the gospel?

Look at our progenitor colonial forbears and nations of their origins. They all had some religious aspirations (and perhaps some interesting monastic flourish) but the bigger aspiration of these emerging nations was to empire, colonialism, bounty across the seas, and cheap or even slave labor, ie the political temple foremost so to speak, all seeking to rule as empires- even over other "Christian" peoples-nations, and willing to go to war to meet their aspirations of conquest and plunder backed up by a unified church state clerisy. 

Even the good old USA in the 20th and 21st century there is this Western tendency for even religious devotees to continously exalt expansionism and various forms of conquest, to over rely on military power and prowess in foreign affairs and to overlook and explain away military and Wall Street and DC's bi partisan overreaching and financial profligacy.

All this overeach is done with the resolute mien of an age old worldly political temple clerisy, that sprinkles in watered down Christianity, or other vague religious values as needed.

A humbling return to a Christian bible based faith, and the Word being first, and the Holy Spirit guiding us, a return to putting God above nation, would stand us back in good stead with our living God.  A return to a prophetic awareness that God's Spirit warning every nation against both any tendency to empire, and also against the globalist empire-coalition that will define the purpose of the yet to be revealed final Antichrist whose spirit is very active attempting to obliterate the bible believing church struggling amidst general apostasy of our times.

This apostasy that has been building throughout church history, a general apostasy that defines again and again the past and modern, second fiddle status of Christianity in relation to Western politics. This general apostasy will give way to what the bible calls the "Great",  what we might also call the "acute" apostasy stoked by the Antichrist spirit raging now, and forming pretribulation  attempted empire coalition seeking to rule openly in the seven year tribulation.     

Woe dear fellow Americans and Christians! It's time to read the lessons of history and the bible about empires falling and nations as God's will, even into the kingdom of God.

It's also time to read the signs of the times, to gain keen saving gospel knowledge of Daniel 12 (leading many to righteousness),  so that we too would not be swept up in the galloping apostasy of our days;

481. Eight Seeds, Already Fertilized, For The Antichrist's Seedbeds (2) 

This sermon continues PH 479. See above for the eight listed "seeds" of this fourth Antichrist seedbed. We mentioned again that Antichrist in the bible, and history, has the three seedbeds we have already preached: 1. the false worship of the god of fortresses, whom the Antichrist, along with Satan the destroyer, will serve; 2. the mystery of lawlessness that is seen operatiing in many institutions and governments today, and in the general apostasy sweeping into churches that are not sufficiently grounded in the Word and Holy Spirit; 3. The seedbed of Hitler's Nazism- or some similar form of final totalitarian constraint- on God's peoples, nations and churches.; 4. And then the fourth- the varied sins and failings of us humans and our institutions, and the spread of the antichrist spirit that will all open the final door to Antichrist attempt to rule an empire from Israel in the seven year tribulation. Each ot these four seeds beds explain how the Antichrist will come to power and priminance.

How do our unrepented sins fit into this discussion of the fourth of Antichrist's seedbeds? Our unrepented human sins both individually and collectively give Satan and his future Antichrist a type of spiritual jurisdiction over those sins, jurisdiction that puts our faith at risk. And thus we risk living our lives on their cursed and evil field so to speak, rather than living on Naboth's field, on good ground, vineyard ground, that bears great fruit for the glory of the Lord.

So we pick  up today and with the fifth seed of eight of this fourth of Antichrist's seedbeds. This fifth seed  is perhaps the most fatal sin of all- apostasy, turning away from salvation, turning away from a living faith and becoming complacent and overconfident, not preparing for the kingdom, perhaps even losing salvation, more ready to be tempted to take the mark of the beast than ready to meet our Lord in the air!

The sixth seed is the antichrist spirit which is one of church division and which has some Christians, even leaders, boldly proclaiming doctrines that are clearly in contradiction to scripture. The seventh evil seed is the big lie and delusion of 2Thessalonians2,10-12, that Jesus and his salvation can be replaced! Oh my! The final and eighth seed in Antichrist's fourth seedbed is his stepping out into public after the bible-faith based church is raptured. At this time Satan and His man, the Antichrist, will step out and publicly bring the seven year tribulation to Israel (time of Jacob's trouble) and to those "Christians" who did not have the faith to be raptured, to meet the Lord in the air (1Thes.4,17).

Oh my dear people whether we are close to Jesus or far away, we are all going to eternally reap what we have sown!  Don't let any one of Antichrist's evil seeds bear fruit in you. Praise the NAME of Jesus we are the seedbed of the faithful, the seedbed of Jesus and His millennial Kingdom and our eternity with Him. And as we sow the seeds of his and our gospel, serving him and His gospel, and we are tasting even now the rich bounty of His eternal reign of Jesus, of eternal salvation with him forever. Yes the seeds of the Jesus, the seeds of a like precious faith as Jesus and Abraham will bear each of us eternal glory, eternal joy, with the beloved and saved of God! Oh praise the Name of Jesus, Oh praise Him all creation!     

482. Antichrist- "The Enemy" (NJB and NEB 2Th2,4) Against Israel And The Gospel Church.

We introduce 'the Enemy' status of Antichrist against his two principal targets for destruction.

Why "targets"?

The Word says Satan throws fiery darts assaulting the faithful, the church. There is nothing more targeted than a dart right? Ephesians6,16 And Antichrist is Satan's man, chosen by him because he is also going to be a person of notable focus. Well who would be his principal targets? One, Israel. Why? She is light of the nations who brought all of us 'the light  of the world,' Jesus. And besides, Romans11,26 says "All Israel shall be saved."

And his second target would be the gospel or bible based church.

Why these two? We together, are one faithful, for we both represent the one and only true God, the Lord God of Israel. And likewise, we both represent his universal salvation. We both are not only inheriting the earth (which is a really big deal, ie the Kingdom for all the faitfhul, especially Israel), but we are both also going to partake of, and eternally enjoy, the New Jerusalem down from heaven.

As 'the Enemy" the Antichrist will attempt to take control of Jerusalem, by standing in the holy place,  by 'an abomination that causes desolation' (Mt24,15. cf Mk13,14, where "he" is an "it", like sets up an idol of flag or standard depicting his worldwide power and his control of Israel as his world headquarters). Then and there in Jerusalem, he will try to ruin, in every possible way the final salvation of faitfhul Israel.

Moreover, Antichrist also targets the Christian church at 2Th2,4 not any place in Israel. We demonstrate this with scripture (2Corinthians6,16,1Corinthians3,16, similar to 1Peter2,5 and the Greek "Oikos", or gospel announcing "house" of God- sort of like "sanctuary" of 2Th2,4 or Temple of God's people).

According to the 2Th2,4 image of the Temple-church, he's also going to try and enthrone himself in Christianity, by taking his seat as leader of it. Mt24 and Mk13 the "he" or "it" stands, ie according to sacrificial leadership in the Jerusalem temple, whereas he sits in the sanctuary-temple-gospel house of the church in 2Th2,4.

Didn't those "many antichrists" (1John2,18) that have appeared with their false doctrine regarding their false no incarnation doctrine try to enthrone themselves so to speak, come up higher- to be super spritual- in the church with their higher knowledge gnosticism? 

Didn't Babylonian King Nebuchanezzar try and "enthrone himself" so to speak and rule over Daniel and his two compatriots, ie Israel in exile, the people of faith, when he had them in captivity? Daniel4

Isn't this what Antichrist will want to do to the endtime church, just before the rapture? And after it into the tribulation? If 2Th2,4 refers to same event as Mt 24,15 and Mk13,14 then it seems Antichrist's primary target is only Jerusalem and Israel. But how could Antichrist's focus remain singular when the gospel church has been out doing its job of announcing salvation in Jesus' Name. For this gospel mission the church has also suffered throughout its own history. Not as badly as Israel has sufferred but upon reflection of the whole of scripture and salvation history, the two off them are both clearly the targets of Satan.

And isn't the true gospel church, especially just prior to the rapture, when the Antichrist could do the most damage in distracting souls from their salvation through his lies and stoking Christian apostasy in the church to seprate it from the last vestiges of its biblical faith? For, as Jesus said, when I come again will I find any faith at all? 

Who is a bigger threat to the Antichrist- the true church throughout church history and just before the rapture- out preaching and teaching salvation to all- or the gentile church that might or might not wake up in the seven year tribulation?

Yes the tribulation is more about Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah30,7), Israel's future, Israel's Kingdom of God, not so much the gentile church's trouble, which is always "now" in the apocalyptic New Testament, one generation time frame, within the forty years within which Jesus said he would return.

Why would the mostly gentile church folks who missed and dismissed, and turned from, the fullness of faith in Jesus in more peaceful days turn to him and fly right (repent) after the Antichrist slickly manifests a courting them with his seductive promises, signs and wonders, unto the falsely protective mark of the beast? 

So I am asking you to consider that 2Thessalonians2,4 really says that the Antichrist will try to enthrone himelf in the sanctuary of the pretribulation and post tribulation church. Why do bank robbers target banks? Because that's where the money is- why would Antichrist  want to enthrone himself in the pretrib church? Because this is where the already saved are, saved but subject and tempted now to a raging general apostasy, a temptation that only will get worse as the Antichrist manifests. 

Yes Jerusalem is the 'holy place' of Matthew24,15, but there is no third temple yet, whereas the sanctuary of Christianity of 2Th2,4, the Christian movement, the universal Christian Spiritual temple-people, build of living stones, already has existed for almost 2000 years and miraculously still exists. Matthew24,15 was arguably fulfilled in 70AD by the Roman General Titus destroying the second temple, which precipitated another Jewish uprising against Rome in 134 AD, and a desolation of Israel from physical Israel for about 1750-1800 years until until the Zionist pioneers returned by the grace of God. 

The church, filled with God's Spirit, is also a 'holy place,' a "Temple", and has been a sure target of Satan's and the Antichrist spirit, and arguably the many other doctrinal antichrists that have appeared for almost two thousand years. So why wouldn't the final antichrist work behind the scenes before the rapture as well as publicly thereafter?

I realize this take on 2Th2,4 is not the majority interpretion among pretrib rapture believing evangelicals, of which I count myself. I have seriously prayed over it, and studied it for 25 years, and I just can't seem seem to accept, given the Word, and given the recognition of many Christian leaders of the threatening and invasive spirit of Antichrist in the church at various times, and continuously too, and increasingly now. 

Paul at 2Th2,4 is talking to the church at Thessalonica so he makes no reference to any Jerusalem "holy place," but to the "sanctuary" where the future Antichrist will try to sit and enthrone himself. The Jewish priesthood stood for its sacrifices whereas most gentile Christian leaders sit in church. Thus, there are two different contexts between Mt24,15 and 2Th2,4. To wit, the force restraining the appearance of the final Antichrist trying to enthrone himself in the church is the Holy Spirit in the pretrib and pre rapture church. So the future Antichrist, the Enemy of the gospel church, will likely simulate some sort of non bible based Christian faith, so as to lend credence to his claim to be king in it and over it.  

2Th.2,4, the way I see it and study it, is that the Antichrist, as "the Enemy", has a clear cut plan, against both Israel and the gospel church. Why against the church? Again, the church has been according to 1Peter2 the gospel house announcing the risen Lord Jesus' marvellous deeds and miracles for almost two thousand years. If the word tells us at 1John2,18 that the Antichrist is coming, and coming soon, and tells us also that many antichrists (who denied the incarnation of God in the person and man known as Jesus) have appeared, then it stands to reason bibilically, with the Word and the Holy Ghost, that Satan and the spirit of the antichrist have always had a plan against the church, a spirit that made many doctrinal antichrists appear.

So likewise the birth of and maturity of the final antichrist would be coordinating not just in the tribulation with satan and the antichrist spirit in the churches, but also in the pre rapture endtimes, attempting to enthrone himself in the church. And failing that, or gaining that, he goes into the seven year tribulation and appears in the Holy place in Jerusalem trying to control all Israel too, politically, militarily, and religiously, ie totally.

A word here about the literal aspects of prophecy and the apocalyptic endtime relevant scriptures might help me further make this point about 2Th2,4-6 and the attempt of the final antichrist to enthrone himself in the church. As bible based Christians, we accept the many literal aspects of the prophetic and apocalyptic endtime teachings of the bible. Without great respect for the literal truths of the bible we too could and would fall into the trap of just spiritualizing and allegorizing and moralizing and sympathizing and religious goofiness in the name of a church and Jesus. But it can also happen that we can be so literal minded and unprophetically unexpansive, so narrow and cookie cutter if you will, so compartamentalized, in our view that we dismiss most anything outside the literal seven year tribulation. Thereby, we can forget to see the signs of the times, and the whole historic prophetic and apocalyptic worldview, that isn't and hasn't been 100% always linear, literal and time bound, and potentially miss signs and scriptures that span and speak to the entirety of church history and world history again and again- that touch upon the entirety of scriptural wisdom.

I see this whole prophetic-apocalyptic view of 2Th2,4 especially in the way the New Jerusalem bible and the NEB define the Antichrist so clearly as 'the Enemy." Other translations like the ESV and NIV suggest that the antichrist will oppose God and exalt himself etc, but I think the NJB and NEB do a better job defining him as 'the Enemy,' a real personal human, supernaturally infused and fused with evil, fused with Satan, trying to do the church special harm in the last days.

The church at Thessalonica, a gentile city, not in Israel, perhaps even a predominantly gentile church (1Th1,9  "how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God"), is not told about an abomination of desolation in Jerusalem. It's told by the apostle to the gentiles about a final Antichrist (likely a gentile apparent or simulated believer) trying to take over the church.     

My bigger point here is we can sort of make the final antichrist and his attempted reign in the tribulation an isolated literal event, a too in-the-future-event, a too post rapture event, a too novel and seprated from prior church experience event, and too seemingly intense for any relatable prior evil happenstance, as if the attacks of prior doctrinal antichrists, and prior and present and future antichrist spirit that has been discerned and tested in the church for almost 2000 years were not in any way comparable to the work of the actual final antichrist who only will openly operate and be seen in the last seven years before Jesus institutes the Kingdom of God.

Not so! 2John2,7 even entertains a plural Antichrist, a system of sorts: "There are many deceivers at large in the world refusing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. They are deceivers; They are the Anrtichrist." 

Israel has sufferred really intense similar "Antichrist" ie antisemitic persecution throughout her history in 568 BC in 164 BC in 70 AD in 134 AD in 1920-40s in Europe. And the true prophetic church has also suffered intense "antichrist" persecution in terms of martyrdoms and divisions and marginalizations up to the present day, even now the modern defacto excommunications for a lack  of political correctness.

Church and world history, and the Word, and the Spirit, and common sense all tell us that the antichrist spirit, of "the Enemy," was at work right away in and against Israel, and right away in the church up and up to and into the present day.

The false and divisive antichrist spirit has been seen, tested and discerned thoroughout the ages, and has been building, heaping up, throughout the ages. Revelation 13 posits seven such false worldy kings throughout salvation history and we should all (even pretrib rapture expectant evangelicals) be ready for the seventh worldy king, who will likely claim some strange right to be something and someone he is not, first in the church and then in Israel.

But we know him as the Word says as 'the Enemy' of both Israel and the gospel-bible based church.     

So keep the faith- as it has been graciously handed on to us by the scriptures, and Holy Ghost and faithful bible based leaders throughout salvation history- and mey peace in Jesus Name upon all;

483. Joachin Di Fiore Breaks Augustine's Monopoly On Theology

Nothing changed church history and built up non biblical Christendom more than Augustine's claim in the early 5th century that the Roman church was the Kingdom of God. As such, it was enjoying a thousand year "spiritual" millennial. Thus the literal millennial of Revelation20,4, ie the literal kingdom of God promised from Jerusalem to Israel was passe, put in moth balls. This was a departure from all biblical theology stemming from from Genesis12,1-3; Deuteronomy30,1-10 and 2Sam7,11-16 (cf Got Questions "What is The Millennial Kingdom and should it Be Understood Literally?).

2Samuel7,11-16 promised perpetual peace in Israel as led by King from the House of David. This king is who we Christians know as Jesus, "King of the Jews!" (cf also Micah4).

Nowadays, after the rebirth of Israel in a day in 1948, after 1800 plus years of exile, we also know that the literal millennial of Revelation 20,4 was promised primarily to the faithful of Israel (Matthew24,31; Zechariah12,10-14), and also all God's holy ones (Zechariah14,5 cf Rev19,14).

The Roman church is slowly distancing itself from this church as kingdom of God doctrine of late. I suppose this and modern biblical scholarship  (mostly from messianic or Jewish believers in Yeshua) of God's further unfinished prophecies to Israel, such as a literal millennial kingdom, would encourage Protestants to also abandon any remnant of this non biblical idea. (It's also worth noting that CCC Section 676 rejects any kingdom or millennial in historical time. CCC 676 states that messianic hope "can only be realized beyond history" ie after the Jerusalem from above comes down.)  

But the historical fact that the Roman church claimed for itself the Kingdom of God has had profound effects on the history of Christianity. It wrongly cleared the way for the unbiblical "replacement theology," ie that the church replaced Israel and received her promises. It also emboldened the Roman church to claim it could be and was the Holy Roman Empire, a politically based entity, even though Jesus clearly taught to render to Caesar what belonged to Caesar and to God what belonged to him. It is also the doctrine that backed up crusades to the Holy Land (as if the Holy Roman Empire-Church was the claimant there), and inquisitions and forced baptisms of those ill disposed to Roman Christendom. And looking back its hard to escape the realization that this teaching stulftified the study of biblical theology by all but the most brilliant, persistant and inspired biblical minds. 

The acceptance of the church as kingdom, along with Augustine's claim that the sin of Adam, original sin, could be cured (and the Holy Ghost and thus salvation given) by infant baptism, made Augustine the pre-eminant Christendom apologist in church history even up to the present day. There is no way to underestimate the historical and ongoing ill effects of the doctrines of church as the Kingdom of God and infant baptism. By these two doctrines, it's fair to say that Augustine had gained for the Roman church and himself a de facto monopoly on theology, especially church theology.

It bears stating the obvious- even if mildly- these two doctrines led the church far far away from the Word and Spirit of God.

But there was an antidote to Augustine's monopoly, a prophet with a positive and broad mind, a monk in the 12th century. His name was Joachin di Fiore from Calabria in Southern Italy. In effect he ended Augustine's monopoly on theology. He did so by teaching a literal Age of the Spirit, or Sabbath Age in historical time, in other words a literal millennial, a literal future kingdom of God, not a literal reign of the church, but a reign of God in time, in history that was open to the faithful Israel. The Roman church as the kingdom of God would never go completely unchallenged again. This "Sabbath Age" teaching both inspired and challenged all who came after Joachin to adopt a more positive and redemptive view of earthly history whereby God would redeem his first people Israel and all his holy people in historical time, at the end of time, in this Sabbath age, ie the kingdom age.

So as did all the reformers of his age, he witnessed to the fact that the church was in Babylon, and wordly (Micah4,10, ie not Augustine's City of God). Joachin courageously and honestly and kindly conveyed Micah 4,10- that the church was in Babylon- face to face to the leader of the Roman church in 1184.

His prophetic and apocalyptic teachings- and faith courage- broke Augustine's monopoly on theology, and opened the way for the book of  Revelation and 2Th.2 to be read as predictive of world history, and church history and in so doing he ushered in the Protestant Reformation hundreds of years later. This Reformation paved the way for the full and free study, and prophetic preaching, of the whole of scriptures, and the whole prophetic and apocalyptic meaning of scriptures.

Praise God, that this free and full study and preaching of the scripture can still continue to this day.   

484. Biblical Christianity Does Not Turn To Fables

We are free as human beings to choose what we believe. Our conscience needs to be formed and informed (by scripture and the Holy Ghost above all else), but as humans made in God's spiritual image we are called to choose the good, the right and the true, even the best, and the best is choosing Jesus, the Christ our Lord and Savior who died giving his best for us. Jesus is not a fable. He is the way, the life and the truth. His gospel of salvation in exchange for repentant faith in him is also not a fable. 

In freedom, but not in good faith and conscience, we can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and whatever fable we want. We're free! But the Word of God has no fables in it at all. It is the truth, the literal truth when literal and figurative truth when figurative. Either way, and in every way, and on whatever level of reality, it is the Truth, that sets us free, really free. It is inerrant too. No mistakes! The Word and its truth doesn't need a candle in a Protestant or Roman church to set an atmosphere. It doesn't need a statue or a human example to teach people about it. But what the Word does "need" is a people of God who want to follow it and preach it- like both our Jewish forbears and our Christians forbears- and also to hang onto to it. This is the best history of the Christian faith. There were many folks who wouldn't let the Word go. They chose it and treasured it and its truth- and set it aside! Wouldn't let it be stolen, or lost, or changed by anyone. The Word says heaven and earth shall pass away, but not the Word. It will all come true, Oh glory in Jesus NAME.

One of the denominational television networks has a real good Name, the Eternal Word Television Network. Now I don't believe much of the teaching there, but that's a great description of the WORD OF GOD. It is eternal. Fables are not eternal. The Word doesn't need fables added to it.

When we were kids, and perhaps kids everywhere are still hearing the Mary Poppins song "Just a spoon full of sugar, makes the medicine go down." The Word of God doesn't even need a spoon full of sugar for us to digest it. One of the deacons back in NM used to always correct me. That's ok correction is part of our faith. God corrects me on a regular basis about this and that and I am thankful. Praise His holy Name. Well this deacon used to say "you can attract a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar."

Well some folks preach more to the unsaved folks inside and ouside the church, rather than the saved already in it.  And as you might know the unsaved out of the church, and in the church too, many are yoked up with demons and sin, they don't need more honey, more country club sugar dispensers, and more fables, they need deliverance. They need to be brn again of the water, adult pesonal faith baptism, and the Spirit. They need to meet the Eternal Word. His name is Jesus! And they want to, and need to, meet him soon, the sooner the better! Before it's too late to get right with him.

Sinners, backsliders, unborn again folks don't need more fables in the church or out. Fables don't save anybody anywhere. Fables turn us away from the Word, away from God, away from repentance. Fables are empty sugar calories. Lot of churches dispensing sugar, spoonful every Sunday, but not a lot churches dispensing the strong meat of the whole gospel, the gospel that actually saves and teaches us to hang on to Jesus in faith till the end.

Some folks will listen to a preacher as long as he is tickling their ears, as long as he or she is dispensing the honey, as long as he only tells what most of the people in the congregation- and the powerful political based people- want to hear. One English Protetstant Reformer named Matthew Poole in the 17th century described this type of sugar dispensing preaching and worship as "Missa Non Mordet," the mass will not bite, the church service will never ruffle your feathers, not likely to bring to you to compunction, to bring you to what the "new lights" in the New England "Great Awakening" revival used to call the 'hot seat." Not likely to challenge you.

Nowadays we let high school coaches challenge teenagers to excellence in sports yet we let so few preachers, to move on from fables, and challenge people to excellence in serving God? What's up with that?

If you go to church, the idea is, you should be rewarded with a sugary sermon and worship! Sort of like when I was kid we used to go to the dentist, and we after got a genuine paper voucher for an ice cream at the pharmacy next door. Going to the dentist shouldn't bite, but if it did a little, there was ice cream after.

That's ok for kids and the dentist, but we're grow ups now, and this subject has to do with the future of our eternal souls.  

People used to get a little mad at me, before they got to know me, because I was like, and still am I suppose, a little like Savonarola from Florence back in the day, in the 15th century (born on the same day and month several hundred years before me) and oh my that brother might preach a message with an occasional little sting in it. 

Messages from the Word sometimes get under our skin and make people a little mad once in a while. Ma Joad in the "Grapes of Wrath" used to say as long as the men get mad once in awile everything will be alright.  

Oh my, preachers who get people to the point actual repentance don't tell a lot of fables, don't need to, They have the Word of God and the Spirit of God. But you all are still free what you choose to believe.

But, please know bible based Christians don't turn to fables, we have no need of them. We stick with the eternal Word.

We'll talk today about some of the religious fables out there today.   

485. The Big Lie And Strong Delusion of 2Th2

The "big lie" and "strong delusion" are diametrically opposed to the "Big Truth" who is Jesus Christ risen from the dead, Savior and Lord of all!

The "Big Lie" of the final Antichrist will be that Jesus can be replaced as far as salvation is concerned. This is theological-biblical basphemy! The strong delusion is what happens next. God sends you this when you believe the Big Lie and that His Antichrist replacement, Satan's man, is the new and improved way, the non repentant way, to salvation. And your strong delusion which God allows is you is feeling so comfortable following the Antichrist, so comfortable because you get to keep the sins you want, and still think you're saved.

I'm thinking part of the delusion will be that after he claims to be God, he'll be telling people they are forgiven without having any bible faith at all, any repentant faith that is. And because he's going to try and replace Jesus, who is the Word made man, he's going to replace the Word too, throw it out! When I see bibles at the library books sales- I hope they kept at least one good one at home! 

His 'big lie" and "strong delusion" are no joke.

They will spawn many many lies and many many delusions, and many many lost souls.

We'll examine with biblical and prophetic logic how the final Antichrist might bring to pass His "big lie" with a trojan horse full of lies, and with a revived but worldly and errant idea of the divine right of kings. 

Oh my- get ready for the rapture people! Whether it's today or 500 years from today! Get ready and stay ready. Read from the Word every day. Read the Book of Revelation from beginning to end this month. Pray and ask Jesus for all that you need. Pray for the souls of your loved ones. Rejoice in the fellowship with Jesus and each other that is ours.

Share the gospel- tell the big Truth of Jesus- with lost souls every chance you get;

486. From 'Vast Carelessness' To Perfect Law Of Faith Freedom

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote perhaps America's most famous novel, "The Great Gatsby" (published in 1925), and the two of the principal characters were Tom and Daisy Buchannan. The plot is like a soap opera and also sort of grimy. I won't get into that but everbody in the book is- more or less- careless. The narrator is Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner, so he, like Fitzgerald, perceives himself as less careless than the New Yorkers. So Nick via Fitzgerald delivers his assessment on the worldly Tom and Daisy Buchannan: "They were careless people- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money and or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

As Christians we know rich and poor people, and folks in between, all folks create dramatic messes because of sin, and sin is caused by carelessness, acedia or sloth in the Latin. But But folks can get stuck and get too used to living this way, and see no way out or get to liking this style of life. We preached about Laura in Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas", who is serenaded by the evil and careless Braggioni every evening. If we get too careless about sin and evil any one of could become just another flowering Judas, bearing evil fruit for the devil, when the God tells us "Be fruitful" and "bear fruit worthy of repentance" (Matthew and Luke3,8) 

If we get too used to carelessness we can be come like Tom and Daisy and Laua and Braggioni. We are better than that! Because, by the grace of God, we choose new life in Jesus. We choose Jesus whose cleansing blood and our personal faith washing adult water baptism (Mark16,16) blots out our sins, remits them, and cleans up the worst mess and and any and  all carelessness. 1Peter1,18: "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed by the empty way of life [futile conduct NJB, vain conversation KJ] handed dwn doen by you by yout forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."  

Then we can all live careful and set apart lives of faith and hope, serving Him, for his glory!

And if you are still a miserable and messy sinner, that's the way of all people prior to faith, well it's time to repent. Time to know God experience his loving salvation, his peace that passes all understanding, and the joy of the Lord, which is our strength. Joy is also a brand name of dishsoap. Dish soap these days is highly concentrated, real good at cleaning up a miserable messes, of pots and pans and dishes too.

But Jesus' joy cleans us up even better, and gives us eternal joy too.

If we look for the New Testament equivalent of 'vast carelessness' it would be 1Peter1,18. Peter was adressing mostly gentiles here, non Jews, who had no law from God at all. This suggests that gentiles, from Peter's Jewish standpoint, were especially careless, because they didn't have God's law. They were lawless, unclean and messy sinners by definition.

1Peter1,18 in the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is defined as "the futile conduct handed down by your ancesters." This same verse is "the empty way of life handed down by your forefathers" in the New International Version (NIV). In the King James Verse its even poetic: "your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers." 

I have preached this scripture for twenty five years- we're talking about sins, weaknesseses, carelessnesses, even curses or demons if you will, that run in families, and even arguably cultures, and found and passed down wherever sin has wide sway in any area of our lives. (You may need a deliverance too- we can help with that in less time than it takes you to drink a cup of coffee) Only the blood of Jesus, applied by our personal repentant faith, can blot out and free you from the empty holes of futile carelessness that run in familes, in worldly traditions and cultures. This carelessness feeds and takes root anywhere outside the faith and worship of the one true God of the bible.

Only Jesus' saving and healing blood, applied by our personal choice for God, can break us out, set us free, from the vast human carelessness that plagues humanity.

And lets fair- and also have compassion on all humanity- because the scope of carelessness is vast, is in keeping with the vast scope of all the things we humans must care about so as to become healthy human beings. Think for a moment how many things we need to care and be responsible about:

1. God, He's a living God and he wants a loving relationship with each of us; 2. Love neighbor and yourself; 3. Justice-Integrity; 4. Service to others-generosity-gratitude-purpose; 5. Family for mutual support; 6. Creative work- that serves good purposes; 7. Loving relationships unto meaning and maturity; 8. Physical health- body as temple of Holy Ghost; 9. Finances, food, shelter.

There's a vast array of things we all must care about.

But take heart- we can learn how to care from the example, guidance, and care of our Lord Jesus. Yes can- after we cast all our cares, and all our sins and carelessness, on Him. 1Peter5,7: "Cast all your cares upon him for he cares for us." That's salvation! Sin is a heap of cares from a heap of carelessness. We cast it all, all our worries, our anxieties, our carelessnesses, our sins on Him.

Then we become are God's property, bought and paid for. We have been bought at a great price, the blood of Calvary. We then live to worship and serve, carefully, in holiness, set apart for his gospel service and mission.

By this blessed salvation we we learn to care vastly- in a new myraid of ways- because now we already know we're cared for by our all powerful and loving God. Hurt people hurt people goes the saying. And people cared for by Jesus now care for people. Knowing this new way of being cared for and caring, ie knowing salvation, we also accept the whole Word of God, all of it, and receive the Holy Spirit of God. By so doing, we receive a new way of doings things, a new law of the Spirit, a new law of freedom (James1,25). Our careless hearts are now circumcumsized (Romans2,29) made alive, and we can now live obedient to the new law of freedom in faith that lives in us. Now we have the capacity to care for oursleves and others and God.

We care now not on our own power- that burns out- but on the eternal and renewable resource of God's Holy Spirit that lives in us and is new every day. And "this circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit [the new law of the Spirit replaces the law of sin-carelessness], not by the written code, but from God. Such a person's praise is not from other people but from God." (Romans2,29)

Praise God, for when we turn from our vast vast carelessness to vast caring  by our salvation choice for Jesus, by the washing his blood, we're not only set free from sin and death, from the vain conversation, and all that would bring us down, we're made worthy, re-made, reborn and made clean, by the blood of the lamb.

And then, just imagine, we are praised by God!

Wouldn't you love to hear the voice of God praising you! Hebrews 2,12 says "I will proclaim your name to my brothers. I will sing your praises in the assembly" of his saved people! What could be any better than that?  

Are you free today? Are you saved? Do you bear the new law of the Spirit, the new law of faith freedom? Or are you still living in the vast carelessness of your vain conversation life? Your vain way of doing and thinking and getting and having and living and dying day by day?

Well get free today! Repent with faith in Jesus! Get adult water baptized! Accept Jesus and His Word- get the new law of Holy Ghost faith freedom, get a new heart, a healed heart that is not careless, not leaky (not a cracked pot), not achy breaky, but that can hold the Spirit and new caring law of the Spirit of God! And live a life of vast caring, for others, for God, and even for yourself.  

487. Is Jesus our Exclusive Savior?

Perhaps nothing annoys, or seems to, non believers and weak believers and not so biblically oriented folks more than the unmistakable teaching of the New Testament that Jesus is the only savior of humankind.

I grew up an athiest and that's no way to live. I didn't believe in any one God or any gods at all. But one good thing about being an atheist, if that were possible, is whether they know it or not, they are in a spiritual fight so sooner or later God's going to manifest himself in power to the atheist fighting him. And in that spiritual fight God is going to show the atheist that He exists and that He is Lord, and that He is the one living God, and a reality, and the creator, and our our one Lord, the one Judge of all, the merciful One, and that there is no other God besides Him. 

So when He found me, or after I finally let myself, by His grace, be found. I didn't have any non biblical objections, any man made or philosophical notions of salvation. I had the blessing of just accepting in an instant decision for faith, one day, the exclusive salvation of Jesus Christ. He had showed me He had showed He existed and that he is in charge of my life, and then I decided and was no longer an atheist.

I had to get over the idea that any one or anything else besides our one Lord God was going to save me. The world might say well that the decision point of salvation is an ugly place to be, so why go there. No it isn't. It's being next in line for free money, next in line for the richest gift in all the world. All I had to do, or you have to do, is wait one more moment, and ask for and then receive, the one pearl of great price, Jesus. No one can steal this peearl from you, or destroy your faith, or get away with slandering him and defaming him. So you got something and someone to care for and to care for you from you. The one Lord and God of the universe! 

The Hebrew scriptures teaches no less at Dt6,4 "the Lord your God is one God, there is no other." He's unique. No other. The "God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" is the One God of the universe. One God. And He cares for you and all of us. Can you believe it?

For me never having dabbled, or went throught the motions or even studied Christianity, after I met Jesus, Acts4,12 makes perfect sense. After my encounter with the all powerful One who dwells everywhere in light: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

This exclusivity of salvation means that us Christians who live and preach this bible truth might never be popular in our present post Christian age. This age is generally annoyed at the whole idea of all truth, saved scientific truth, and nowadays particularly annoyed at any claimed religious or bible truths.

Jesus as exclusive savior is not just an inconvenient truth- all us human have many ways avoid inconvenient truths. But Jesus as sole savior is something that is almost impossible to avoid, once we pick up and read the New Testament bible. Thank God! In addition, there are millions and millions of Christians who have loved the Word of God all their lives and read it and know that exclusive salvation is the WORD. And then there are, again, praise God, many evangelicals who still teach this, and pipe up with this particular and exclusive truth.

Call me crazy, but from my bible faith vantage point, it seems vain, futile and empty to try and change this teaching, or explain it away. It's just so plain in scripture that we bible believers are duty bound to uphold it.

The "serentiy prayer" has become a prayer for everyone, almost everbody knows it: "God grant me the serentity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Seems to me from my reading of scripture that you or I or any church or the final Antichrist will not be able to change the exclusive nature of salvation in Jesus' name that we received from and his prophets and apostles according to the eternal word of God.

So we all as Christians are being challenged to stay the course with this doctrine. Yes it's annoying to people outside the fold, and to some folks in the fold I suppose, and especially to unbelievers. It always has been that way. Jesus is prophesied to be a rock that makes some stumble, an offense (1Peter2,8), just as Jeruslalem is prophesied to be a stone to heavy, too exclusive, there it is again,, for the gentile nations to bear away unto their apostasy and lawlessness. Because in the last days the Lord especially protects her (Zechariah12,3).

Truth, all bible truths can be annoying to all of us, but the exclusive truth of salvation in Jesus' Name sets us free. 

So sooner or later, and the sooner the better, we best just accept the revelation of God of an exclusive savior. That's what the bible says, and God always had His universal salvation message, and Jesus is the way.

This truth and other truths sometime leave us wrestling with God about how and when salvation for this people group, or that one, might or will happen. But we human beings- must accept the things we cannot change about  bible doctrine. We are called to proclaim the gospel, with his mercy and grace, and to serve Jesus and His gospel, and lay oursleves down and pour our selves out for the gospel, but not to quibble and fuss with the doubters and those who favor a man made word. It's what we are given and it is what it is.  

It's Ok to wrestle with God. Wrestle with him, not me. I am just the messenger, giving my gospel accounting to him, my just judge. Jacob wrestled with God and received the blessing of becoming the namesake of Israel. He got a new name to represent the people of God, his people, the people whose struggle and messiah would bring the light and gate of salvation to all world.

So to change the Word of God about the way and means of salvation is unbiblical and impermissably changes God's straightforward prophetic plan for salvation. It's sort of like betting on the idea that God will be more merciful than even his Word says. Better we wrestle with God than go in for betting on him being even more merciful than his merciful Word.

That's too philosophical and presumptuous in the face of the one who said "I am the way, the life and the truth." John14,6. So, I am sticking with the theology of God found in the Word, and that's what I am going to preach here on 'The Preaching Hour.'

He gave us his inerrant Word for a reason, both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. All of it is inspired. From his permission to Adam and Eve to eat of all the trees of the garden (Genesis2,16-17, including of the tree of life, ie from Him, the one God but not the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the tree of satan) to His eternal judgements in the Book of Revelation- God has backed up his insistance on exclusive worship unto exclusive salvation. Exclusive worship goes along with His exclusive salvation. And the latter is, praise his mercy, open to all by the mere asking for it in faith. (Matthew7,7)

So, as to the answer to the question of exclusive salvation we say a big "Yes!" Yes it may be hard to accept in a wordly, a human reason sense. But it's really really easy to reach out and receive the promise of our exclusive salvation in Jesus. All we each and all have to do is: "Ask and you [we all] shall receive!"

The world is the Lord's footstool (Acts7,49). The Temple and the church are variously described as his "house." (1Peter2,5; Matthew21,13) In his house, like in Vermont as a guest in winter in somebody else's house, you have to go by the house rules and take your boots! You have repent, get right with the house rules and take off your dirty boots.

So in Jesus' gospel house, we go by his rules, and one of those rules is that our salvation is exclusive in Him alone.

Even the best Christian church, or the best Christian ever, is not a mediator, because Jesus is our only mediator (1Timothy2,5), and we know there are no other names by which we can be saved. Acts4,12.

Oh dear people come to Jesus- come through the one gate of Jesus, the kingdom is open to all- Jews and Gentiles- through him: "I am the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved. They will go in and out and find pasture." John10,9

488. All Church Is Local           

Yes Jesus set up a universal plan to get His gospel message to all the world (Mt.28,19). But his plan was that this was going to happen at the local scale, by local congregations, by local churches, one by one sprouting up with the universal message, and governed locally.

At the local level is where the vitality of politics is found- the change, the passion, the movement- likewise in the church.

The farther politics get from the local level the more detached the people are, the more distracted we get. So, likewise in the church, the farther away church governance gets from within the local community the more detached the people are from it, and the further away from Jesus.

We have studied before on 'The Preaching Hour' the 1945 novel by Carlo Levi "Christo Si E Fermato a Eboli" Christ Stopped at Eboli. I think we were talking about the Nicolaitans, the controlling church with deeds and then doctrines per Revelation2,6 and 15. Levi's book showed that the territorial and hierarchical institutional empire got there, but Jesus didn't. So the dear souls were left with their own local customs, but not Jesus.

We live in an age where local communities often feel like we are just subjects of hierchical powers, of the federal government, of the bureucratic state, both imposing thier ways and means, and so called plans and bigger and better solutions. But then, if the past be our guide, not so much actual help and change filters down to the actual needs and wants of the local community.

Something very similar can happen in denominations that are run with a top down traditional business-political model.

And the people are left to wonder "Well nothing much changes, but I hope they send us a good one."

And the good one, that would be a gospel one, a bible based one, comes in or doesn't. If a good one is there for awhile, the local vitality of the local congregation migth be felt, but then the worldly top down church business model system, by design, just asserts itself once again. 

Real life, real church and real blessings and faith growth take place at the local level. Or not. As I said, and I think you migth agree, its very similar in politics, and the politics of social welfare. In Aprill 2020 a WSJ reporter Lauren Sandler wrote a book "This Is All I Got- A New Mother Searches For A Home." It's a real life story about a Dominican American woman, Camiila, who  is homeless, but the New York City social welfare system for the homeless is so burdened, with a varying city homeless population of between about 50,000-100,000 in recent years it's not really getting any results helping Camilla, who does everything right, but is left in a hard spot and not too many good choices.  

The impression I took away from this telling book was that New York city is so big, over eight million people, that the very system's scale and the scale of the problems makes it too big to be "local" and help a whole lot. In contrast Vermont (a most liberal and most conservative place, or the most conservative liberal place I have ever been), a state I know a little about, it seems the social welfare system blessedly still has a local scale, with its only 600,000 residents, with its small "cities." So, the social welfare system works better, than New York and Connecticut because its scale is still local and the scope of the problems are still in some sense local and manageable. But what do I know. 

When Jesus brought salvation to all, it was salvation coming through his local people, Israel (John4,22). He set up His church from the ground up, thinking to spread the local to the universal (Matthew28,19), not try to make a top down universal church, not a Western model political model of the Roman imperial model, based on the traditional state religion model, a hierarchical universal Pontifex ruling over a man made territorial provincial priesthood model based. This is more or less followed by both Catholic and Protestant Christendom even up to this day. It's a model that tempts all churches even good local churches who might want too make a franchise and a hierarchy and leave the local governance of the bible.

But Jesus at the beginning of his ministry at Matthew10,5-6 Jesus sends out his twelve disciples on a "local" scale, not as part of a state church, or a political church, but firstly to Israel geographically to gather them and introduce them to their new shepherd, the promised prophet messiah [Jesus, Genesis49,24, Dt18,15-18; Acts2,30). He and they by extension were Word bound to gather up the Jews scattered (Jeremiah31,10) in the Greco Roman world: "Do not go among the gentiles [they are still unclean, not to the "nations"] or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go  preach the message of the kingdom [promised first to Israel] of heaven is near." His disciples mostly came from a local place too, from around Gallilee.

At Matthew10,23 Jesus says the gospel message of the kingdom in Israel  is so important that there's no time for being territorial, just gather as many of our any of the brothers and sisters you can. Without territoriality, there's no reason for hierarchy (and also the tedious and distracting answer answer to the question who is the greatest among earthly religious leaders).

This non territoriality in Jesus' plan is also important because being territorial, even in Israel, where Christ knows he is going to be largely rejected (in these early days anyway) would require not only non biblical hierarchy, but sooner or later some sort of force. But Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers they shall be called sons of God." Teritoriality goes against Jesus' gospel and kingdom plan, his local church plan. Stay local and and peaceful unto the worldwide establishment of the salvation message. And from that local plan the universal message there would be the foundation of local congregations sprouting up first in Israel and later all around the world. Territoriality doesn't jibe with Jesus' peaceful bible based establishment of the gospel.

So we have Matthew10,23: "When you are persecuted in in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."

Mark9,38-40 also is strictly non territorial and non hierarchical. And its still in the general context of getting the kingdom message to local Israel, and also in the specific context of a willingness of Jesus' first Jewish disciples (and also us gentile later disciples) to accept other gospel disciples who are not in own local group or church:

"Teacher" said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. 39 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment can say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us."   

Let's keep going on this local thing. It reveals and unlocks a key understanding of God's Hebrew and New Testament revelation.

Revelation1,11-12 depicts the risen Jesus giving a message to the prophet John the Revelator. John the Revelator was not a territorial or hierarchical pastor, but when there are no pastors, or the pastors are not pastoring, or some real important teachings need to be established, well the prophets become sort of like pastors, by their teachings, like Daniel did when Israel was in Babylonian exile. See Amos3,7 God does nothing without revealing it to his pastors.

Both Jesus and John are in a sense via the Book of Revelation prophetically pastoring the churches, throughout church history. John was the prophet who heard the messages from the supreme prophet pastor Jesus for the seven local churches in Asia Minor. This was a crucial part of the world and the true message of salvation in Jesus for the local churches (and the church all through its future history) had to get out to the local churches and then be maintained amidst difficulties and various persecutions then and there (and throughout the church age until Jesus comes back to a local place Zion, to Israel and judges Israel and gethers her, and reigns for a thousand years with her and all the holy ones. Zechariah14,5 and Rev.19,14). 

Verse  12-14 of Revelation1 depicts Jesus as the 'Son of man", messiah of Israel, promised prophet, eternal high priest High Priest, dressed in a white robe with a golden sash around his chest, and as God himself with his head and hair white like wool. And he's standing among the seven lampstands, ie the seven local churches. John the Revelator was doing his best to give these churches his prophecies, get the message of God to the local churches.

The messages came from the one who is standing in the midst of his local communities. Pastors of these churches are not mentioned, as if Jesus wanted to get his message- as head of every church- directly to each, without any fleshly or wordly questions about the Word being stifled. These urgent letters are addressed to the angel of each local church, God's messenger, with God's local message to God's local church, not addressed to the pastor. This prophetic imperative of the Word is fitting and normative for Jesus knows exactly what going on in each local church and he not only stands in their midst, he also 'walks among the seven golden lampstands." Rev2,1 

So these messages are delivered obediently by both the angel or "star" of each church, but also written the obedient Prophet John (1,19)

This is all to say Jesus and his message, and his local church and his "church" and a worldwide collection of local churches (not a hierarchy), his Christianity, and bible Christianity has no mediators other than He himself. 1Tm2,5. The message for the salvation of each local church, and the gentiles and Israel can't be destroyed, even by men, not when Jesus has a willing prophet like Moses, or Jesus, or John, to whom He tells his plan (Amos3,7). And his plan in Revelation is firstly local, and then universality of local churches, and He is and has been sending messages to each local church throughout church history and that is still happening even now.

Prophets like these keep the Spirit moving, and the Word teaching, and Jesus is still chief shepherd of his church, his local churches.

The first generation of disciples and apostles kept moving with his message of salvation, first to Israel, then to scattered locally in the nations, then to the mixed Jewish and gentile churches and later to then primarily gentile church. That's the pattern in the New Testament.

Timothy, Paul's faith son, was a second generation Apostle and he apparently stayed in Ephesus teaching and evangelizing because it was so important that the gospel and the local church there got rooted in that region. But generally speaking the first evangelists and Apostles kept moving, and then local pastors would later become the norm as the message was planted and then pastors would administer each local church.

The Apostle Paul kept moving and was involved catalyzing and localizing something like twenty churches, making them come alive with the gospel, teaching how they should teach and get rooted, get stronger. He even got to Rome according to the Book of Acts, at Acts28,11ff, which was just another Jewish based local church.

We don't know if Peter got to Rome. (That tradition is likely built upon a misunderstanding of Matthew16,13-20, the passage about Peter correctly answering the question Jesus asked all the Apostles: "Who do you say I am?" We'll break down that important passage next time) But we know Paul did  get to Rome because Acts28,11ff tells us so. And we know Paul wrote Romans before voyaging to there to the local Roman church because he wanted to impart some spiritual gift [further apostolic teaching] "to make you strong" and "mutual encouragement " (Romans1,11-12)

If Peter was involved with the foundation of the local church there, Paul would not have likely even shown up there because Paul at Romans15,20 makes a sort of curious but efficient and logical point about his ministry: "It has always been my ambition to preach where he was not known, so I would not be building on someone else's foundation." 

Peter and the ordinary course apostles were told to go to the lost sheep of Israel, beginning in physical Israel and that's very likely what they did (Mt 10 and Mt 15,24 Jesus even says He likewise was sent on this local mission to Israel's lost sheep).

Paul in contrast was given a specific mission from the risen Jesus directly, prophetically: "to carry the name of Jesus to the gentiles, non Jews per Acts22,21. So Paul's gospel mission culminated with his letter and then his visit to the local chuch at Rome, mostly Jewish in origin, but which Paul knew would need his apsotolic teaching to stay rooted, especially as it became more gentile as it grew. I believe knew this as Apostle to the gentiles, and Rome being the center of the Greco Roman gentile world. 

Before Jesus ascended the the apsotles were told at Matthew28,19 to take the good news message, all Jesus'  teachings, including adult water baptism, and 'go make disciples of all the nations" with the promise that he as chief shepherd-prophet would be with them until the end of the gospel age.

And after this gospel age of local churches all around the world, the nations, then there's the kingdom age, with Jesus going back to the local kingdom place of Israel.  As Joel 3,17 says "The Lord your God dwells in Zion." Zion, God's faith hill in Jerusalem, and it is a local place, that one day will contain the final partucular and local people, both Jew and gentile faithers. And Jesus is coming back to this local Zion, with his localized people, who want to be localized, to be there, in the Zion kingdom. Revelation19,14ff, Zechariah14,5.

Yes his fulfilled priestly people Exodus19,6; 1Peter2,5, ie all his holy ones, Jew and gentile, will then be in the same local place, and will enjoy the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom promised to Israel, a local and fruitful place, designated for the chosen since God's prophecies to Abraham in Genesis 12, fruit of faith of local congregations all around the world.

We know the apostle Paul was used to go to the gentiles so as to broaden the base of the church. The church at Rome epitomized Paul's particular missionary charge from Jesus to the gentiles, so he wanted to go there, center of the Greco Roman world, without fail, come what may. The local church in Rome was possibly or even likely founded by the Jewish married couple Prisca and Aquila, to whom Paul pays "mad respect" or much respect (as the young people say about someone who has done something challenging). Accordingly, at Romans16,3-4 Paul writes: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches [local] of the  gentiles are grateful to them."

Again "mad respect" for this couple at the end of 1Corinthians16,19. Paul is writing from Ephesus, and Prisca and Aquila, tentmakers there like Paul, have been run out of Rome in 51 or 52 AD with the whole Jewish community by the emperor Claudius (Acts181-2). And now this super evangelistic and hospitable and courageous hosting the emerging church, emerging out of the synagogue, at their house- nothing more local than that! "The church in the province of Asia send you their greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the the church that meets at their house."

Acts18,24-28 tells us Prisca and Aquila were still welcome in the local synagogue there, still welcoming Jewish believers in Jesus. So Prisca and Aquila invited Apollos, also a messianic Jewish believer, from Alexandria in Egypt, to their home "and explained to him the way of God more adequately." (v.26) This was done in compassion and strategically because Apollos was a fiery teacher as he attempted to bring His fellow Jews in the local synangogue to faith in Jesus as their messiah.

So we're seeing that the base of church is the congregation was always expected to be founded and rooted in a local place, with a local community, and it was also uiniversal, in the sense that it had one message, one faith, one Lord, one baptism, ie one message that Jesus is messiah and savior first of Israel, but also the nations, in the local church(es) in Israel first and then in the nations.

We can also see that the view of the church per Matthew28,19, and the appointment of Paul as Apostle to the gentiles that the "church" itself can be seen as a collection of local churches, all spread out in the Greco Roman world, but should not be seen in a territorial or hierchical way with doctrines fashioned by non biblical sources and traditions. That the church as a universal message doesn't mean it is ever ruled and governed from a far off in a way foreign to the scriptures, but its goverance remains local.

The message of Jesus to his apostles, and the amazing apsotolic work of Paul and the amazing evangelizing by Prisca and Aquila in so may local churches shows us that all church is local. All church derives form the Jewish idea of the local congregation, the minyan, a local community of 10 (cf Oxford Dictionary Of Jewish Religion, perhaps based on the ten spies that scouted the promised land) what we would call in the secular sense a "quorom" a minimum number of the faithfull to carry out the local business of the local people of God.

Jesus was even more generous and said "wherever two or three are gathered in my name there I am in their midst." Matthew18,20.

This fits with the fact that Jesus was in the midst of the local churches in Asia Minor. Revelation1,12 He still is amidst us. He walked among the seven churches. Revelation2,1.

He walks among his local churches today. And starts up church wherever faithful folks gather in his name.

Alll church is local. It was first local in Israel with the local ordinary course apostles.Then local in the Jewish communities scatterred in the gentile Greco Roman world, such as in the local churches in Rome, in Corinth, and in Ephesus, which were set up very similarly to the Jewish synagogue system. And them became mixed with gentiles and then more gentile as the Christian movement sadly distanced itself from its local Jewish roots.

A synagogue, a church, a congregation is not about the building but about the local congregation, the community, because salvation is of the Jews, a local group, a local people chosen for salvation, a partcular group that belongs to a called out, a set apart people, a local people and local peoples that have heard and accepted the universal biblical message of salvation;

489. All Church Is Local (2)

We're continuing our teaching on the centrality of the gospel message in a local place, for a local community, built on the Jewish synagogue model, and the fact that salvation comes from the Jews (John4,22), from their prophetic scriptures like Isaiah and from their biblical tradition. So this means "All church is local" or better said, all church is governed locally.

A collection of churches might be considered 'the church' but Church is still comprised of local churches, not a Rome based, territorial, provincial, hierarchical system, based on secular and then religious empire. 

"Church" is about the one true salvation message getting planted in a local place, among a local community. This is where the church meets and where the church is governed, and most importantly where the Spirit comes down locally, and then the gospel message comes in, and creates that local church, as demonstrated by the first feast of Pentecost, local to Jerusalem.

What is the gospel, the precious message that founds local churches? We could describe it in many ways, I particularly like the 1Peter2,9, addressed to both Jews and gentiles because it's all about declaring the message and declaring the miracles of Jesus: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 

But since we are teaching about local church governance, local supremacy, in the church, we'll biblically assess Peter's right confession of who Jesus is at Matthew16,18- Jesus as Son of God, the messiah of the Jews. This message came first to Peter locally, in Israel. And He sent locally to the 'Lost Sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew10,6. We know he fulfilled this local mission from Galatians1,18 in that we are told by Paul that he visited Peter in Jerusalem three years after his conversion, and Galatians2,1-9 says Paul went up to Jerusalem again, and met with James, Cephas, and John, the acknowledged local church "pillars." Notice that in keeping with our theme of 'all church is local' theme- Paul refers to James, Peter and John, in that order, at Galatians2,9, with James the local pastor, Peter the message planter Apostle in Jerusalem, and John the prophet-evangelist.

So, as the local pastor James, brother of Jesus, ruled at Acts15 that gentiles did not have to be circumcized to become followers of Jesus 

Peter in His Christ given ministry focused primarily and locally in Jerusalem, and also locally in Israel, and then and then locally in Antioch just north of Israel, to the lost sheep of house of Israel. Yes in all his known ministry, Peter was still focused on the responsibility given to him to take the message to Jewish folks, lost sheep of Israel. In keeping this responsibility, a strange thing happened when Peter would not eat with gentiles, or non Jews, Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, rebuked him. Galatians2,11. 

So when we look at the famous and often misunderstood Matthew16,18 we don't forget that Jesus gave Peter the charge to go to the lost sheep of Israel. Matthew10,6. And we don't forget that Peter is going to still carry out that job, doing it well, staying close in Jerusalem and Israel for about 15 years, planting the local message in the local church there.

So when Jesus commends Peter at Matthew16,18 he's doing so because Peter, little Rocky, a chip off the block of the real rock, the rock of ages, knows the right revealed message of who Jesus is. So we read at v. 18 "You are Peter and on this rock [of your faith in the right "local" message, to the lost sheep of Israel] I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. " 

Jesus did not say the church was Peter's, or Peter was the rock, or that he would go to Rome and be the first "Pope" or that the church would become an religious empire and take a secular empire's administrative provincial structure and teritoriality. He was saying "I am the rock, I am the cornerstone of my church, and I am the the one who followed Israel and gave them food and drink in the dessert." cf 1Corinthians10,3-4.

Jesus was saying "I am the rock. I am the message. And Peter, little Rocky, you now got the right message! And what does one do with the local message- plant it locally, ie in local churches, local synagogues, local ecclesias, so to speak, as the local gospel Word and Spirit came down on each local place and local people. 

490. Genesis1,26: Image And LikenessTo Resemble And Represent God

This is a sermon that has been slowing stewing in my soul, and I pray it overflows, Spiritually, just right today.

As born again Christian, I realize that it's only because I am born again by faith, from the washing water of adult baptism and the everflowing cleansing blood of Jesus and the infilling of the Holy Ghost that comes by personal faith, that I have been given back the rich gift of  God's Spiritual image and likeness that He promised humanity at Genesis1,26, and that Adam and Eve had before they sinned. 

Now ever since Rene Decartes back in the early 16th century, said "I think, therefore I am," and probably long before that too, it seems Western humanity and, Western Chrisendom in particular, has had a real difficulty seeing its image and likeness of God as firstly spiritual rather than rational, as if we in Christendom were Descartes before Descartes.

Descartes paved the way for the enlightenment period of the 18th and 19th century, and this period has never left us.

We have become wise in our own minds, very "rational" and intellectual and "moral" in our own understanding, and have adopted a overly rational way at looking at Genesis1,26 and our very faith itself.

God said something different and way better than Descartes. In fact, God after showing to Moses as burning bush, nothing more Spiritual than that, defined himself to Moses at Exodus 3,14. This was so Moses will have something to tell the people, tell further about God, and give them hope too regarding their liberation from Pharoah: "I am who I am."  In other words, the deliverance out of Egypt is going to be a mighty miraclem worked out by God himself, by the mighty everliving eternal Spirit of God.

So much of Christianity looks at our human image and likeness to God as merely moral and rational. These are both good and right things, but subsets of the spiritual, both immaterial, but are often based on our unreborn selves, on our rationality and our morality that so often falls short of God's inspired super rationaity and super morality.  But the larger point here for this sermon is that moral and rational are both subsets of our spiritual image and likeness, which comes from our one true God, who is defined as Spirit. John4,24.

Now come forward and rise to our high calling dear Christian people! Our God is our personal God, and He is firstly, a jealous God! He suffers no rivals! He is firstly the loving, jealous and zealous God, a consuming fire, a cleansing Spiritual fire, who also guides and protects and showers mercy on all folks who choose to be in a loving "Hesed" (Hebrew concept) covenant with him, fellowship with Him. His first hesed relationship was and still is then Israel and then after Jesus died for all on Calvary, He offers a hesed relationship with all humankind.

Our first responses then to receiving the rich gift of resembling and representing are the first spiritual things of our faith- grateful worship, loving repentance, loving offspring trust, and actual Spiritual fellowship with God himself. Then and only then, are our minds more "rational" and "moral" and only then do we become better fit to serve our ever living and ever personal God- and so achieve on his acoount and by His power our high calling to resemble and represent Him!

Oh what a high Spiritual calling we have in the mighty revealed God, whose name is ours to use, and whose presence guides, protects and comforts, and gives peace beyond the merely rational and moral, and allows us to enter into actual Spiritual fellowship with our loving and jealous and zealous God who is Spirit, Spirit poured out on us, and into us, by personal repentant faith.

Oh what a high Spiritual calling we have, all revealed in our transforming faith-Spirit-Word-covenant-actual fellowship encounter with Jesus.    

491. Mandatory Celibacy Is Not God's Public Policy

I never thought I would go back to blessing the bread and wine at the table, or preaching about celibacy, but then again as God's spokespeople we are just called to do and preach what He wants, His Word in season and out.

It's always a surprise to me what the Lord wants me to preach next. Today is no different, just another surprise. It is like Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith show, "Surprise, surprise. surprise."

Preaching is always a surprise, to me, and then perhaps for you who have the faith courage to tune into 'The Preaching Hour.' 

There's a concept in the law that if a contract or agreement is against public policy, it won't be enforced in a court of law. No court is going to hold a person to a contract that is outside the operative laws and rules of a society. As a society, as a faith "nation", Christianity has public policies from both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. Some churches might dispute that to a degree, but generally speaking, most Christian churches would agree that we should not ask fellow Christians to enter into contracts that are against the public policy of the Word and the Spirit of God.

And you might say well only one Christian major denomination adheres to mandatory celibacy for its leaders- "so its no big deal." In a sense that's true. We can do what we want, but the Lord Jesus our God is sovereign and so is His Word in biblical based Christianity.

And yes we live in our own local nation, and town, and have own local church, but the fact is we also live in a global age, and global village to use a now trite phrase, where we are more and more seeing the interconnectedness of all human endeavors, especially within like minded institutions, or institutions in the same line of work, and thus in churches too.

Sports and banking and church are all global endeavors, more now than ever, and rules that change or don't change in each of these lines of work have a real effect on the "playing field" of all three. All sports leagues and all banks and all churches, not just inside one's own systems and preferred institutions are effected by change or not change, inside and outside their own governing structure.

So if the largest banking system (changes or doesn't change its rules, or the English Premier "Soccer" League) changes or doesn't change it's rules, or the largest church changes or doesn't change mandatory celibacy, it effects all the other banking systems, all the other soccer leagues, and all the other churches. For better or worse.

And situations arise in any institution or endeavor or line of work and just seems rules need to be changed, to make the particular institution, better and the whole global industry better. For example, baseball has been slow to change its rules (wouldn't it be a better, speeded up game, if three balls was a walk?), whereas NFL and NHL have been quicker to make the game better, with rules thatt favor scoring and offense, and rules against the clutch and grab in the hockey game that really slow things down.

What do I know? I would say NFL and NHL are today in better spot than the more "traditional" baseball. 

Likewise in Christianity, it's better for all Christians if all churches make changes, or not, according to the public policy of the Word and the Spirit of God. And when churches do this, the whole of Christianity itself is blessed, all churches are blessed, because Christianity is more and more honoring the Word, as its actual public policy, rather than trotted out in bits and pieces to try and support traditonal denominational customs, rules, laws and cultures.

By the Word and the Spirit, mandatory celibacy is a rule crying out for a change that will bless the long term interests of all Christian churches.

We saw this long better for the whole church view in the beginning of the pandemic. It was as if the secular world might literally shut down all Christian houses of worship. And what happened? Many serious Christians realized, oh my perhaps for the first time, that we all need to also look out for the best interests of all our brother and sister churches, not just our own.

I am going now proceed to go onto the main body of this bible based message against mandatory celibacy, but I wanted to open with a valid rationale as to why changing this rule wil bless all Christianity.

I trust this rationale and this preaching both come from the Lord, from His Word and Spirit.

As is my custom, in the mode of prophetic gospel preaching, I'll leave that to your discernment. You can take it or leave it, in freedom, just as I have to preach what the Lord gives me. 

492. Joshua And The Promised Land: Conquest Or Progressive Gift Of God?

Our two part sermon beginning today is one of the most difficult subjects in Israel's history and sacred bible history itself. It's difficult in several senses. Firstly, because it bumps up against the non Christian doctrine of religious based war which we Christians, after Jesus' example and teachings, totally reject. We do however look back at the conquest and we insist that it was more of a progressive gift than mere human inspired violence in that the God of the bible insisted that both He and His people, Israel, gain a promised land foothold for the world's salvation through Israel, light of the world, gate for the salvation of all nations, the gate being their messiah, who we know as Jesus.

It's also a difficult topic because- as then so now- Israel the God-willed state and her promised land, always raises the idea that the God of the bible plays favorites. This shows that Israel was elected to rise above her neighbors and enemies, even replace some of them, yet no one can replace Israel, not even the Christian church! And this is biblically true- "if I forget you Jerusalem let my right hand wither." Not going to happen.

And yes this seems unfair to the worldly. As the faithful- both Christians and Jews- we see from history that Israel has many times overcome existential threats, all throughout her sacred history. The sojourning family and tribe of Abraham, from their departure from the foreign land of Ur almost 4000 years ago could have perished. The people formed in the afflcition of Egyptian slavery could have perished. Instead, this people became God's first people formed by Him. Formed by Him because our one God also willed this political nation state of Israel and the promised land as her home and He, God, with their cooperation, made it happen.

It's a difficult topic to teach also because even Israel's pre-eminant leader Moses failed to get there due to his own disobedience (striking the rock rather than speaking to it) and thus died before he, as Israel's formative leader, even received the promise. And difficult to preach because the Book of Joshua (Joshua was Moses' right hand man), even for the most faithful Christian bible teachers doesn't clear up all our questions of how this conquest- which took over 500 years- even happened from a historical and cultural and military and religious viewpoint. That is, there's not much consensus for how this conquest-gift happened, but it most certainly did.

A faithful Hebrew Scripture teacher John Tullock in his textbook "The Old Testament Story" (7th Ed. Prentice, p. 121), in his chapter "Israel gains A Home", articulates four possible main scenarios: 1. It was basically a violent invasion as per Joshua text; 2. It was more about Israelite goat herder and sheepherder clans moving into cultivated areas and successfully turning to farming in the central highlands; 3. It was more of a peasant's revolt whereby the story of the Exodus revolt against Pharoah was still strong whereby Israelites then revolted against their more established Canaanite neighbors who controlled the best ag land. Thus, as Isreal's wealth, numbers, and the favor of God and military prowess increased, she began to take and rule more and more of the promised land; 4. The Canannite herdsmen on western coast saw their way of life and area decline, and thus moved inland and became Israelites. 

The key takeaway in Joshua (and he was from tribe of Ephraim) here is that Israel over time, over 500 years, and in actual historical time as a nation now gained a homeland, the promised land by taking control of the central highlands region (due west of Jericho where they crossed the Jordan), and the cities therein such as Ai, Gilgal, Jericho, Gibeon. And this subsequently led to the leadership of the Priest and Prophet Samuel, from Ramah also in Ephraim, who according to 1Samuel7,15, freely travelled about on his prophetic priestly circuit (like the Wesley brothers of old) between Bethel, Gilgal and Mispeh organizing establishing the religious norms of Israel.  

As Tullock concudes, the bible rendition of the religious question, ie how this conquest-gift happened is of central importance (and of course we teach the Word is inerrant), but like Paul Harvey, we also seek and study the rest of the story, even when the rest of the story is probably some combination of 1-4. 

That Joshua and the conquest-gift of the promised is challenging to sort out, and may never be fully sorted out, to anyone's satisfaction, yet we do not fret or lose faith. In fact, to my mind oftentimes as we study (not just parrot) the Word, no matter how difficult, we become not only more knowledgeable of it in factual and secular history and sociological and archeological terms, but also more reliant on God's Word itself and His stated Wisdom and His miracles. And so from not knowing all we want to know we are required to seek His Holy Spirit regarding what God is trying to teach us from each scriptural book of the bible.     

Here in Joshua God is primarily teaching that the people formed in slavery, and actually led out by Moses, really became a faith nation, and took and received thier promised land, in historical time, so as to become the people and nation that would also be a blessing to the whole world, as promised in Genesis 12,2.  And this actually happened and it is still coming true today, still being worked out.

The book of Joshua with its unfied action and faith movement and obedience seems to contradict the more or less contemporanous Book of Judges, where every man did what he thought was right in his own heart, where the most gifted like Samsom had real flaws, where Jephtah sacrificed the life of his own daughter after making a proud, and foolish oath, post victorious bloodshed.

And yes the difficulties, contradictions and paradoxes continue into 1-2Samuel, but Samuel shines. Samuel makes the center highlands and helps the nation hold up and become unified religiously. He is the best and healthiest all round Israelite prophet and priestly leader- who cautioned the people against a king because God was their king.

But without Joshua, and the conquest-progeressive gift of the promised land, Samuel couldn't have done his unity thing.

Then Israel got a king. All the nations at that time had kings, and Israel was begging Samuel for a king, and Isreal paradoxically also got one, even by God's will, by their lack of faith so to speak! But he, the manic depressive Saul, fails religiously.

Then Israel gets King David the fullest man of conquest, at times fleshly and violent who paradoxically also was "a man after God's heart" (1Samuel13,14).  David really does take and expand the promised land, the tribal territories, but also loses his two sons Ammon and Absalom, out of punishment for his own sins.

Difficulties, contradictions, paradoxes continue into 1-2 Kings too, which showcases idolatrous kings from Israel and Judah who sometimes were just as pagan and dreadfully sinful as the very peoples Israel had just conquested or was about to conquest.

Stay with me here. I am not discouraged. I have not lost our bible faith, but lets be clear when we enter the whole study of God's word it often helps to encourage ourselves not to turn a blind eye to Israel's sins, or humanity's violence or human depravity in the land, but to choose this day- in our day right up to the present day- not just the God of Israel whom we love and serve- but also the narrative of God's faithfulness to Israel and oursleves and the narrative of Israel's faithfulness, despite all the difficulties, contradictions and paradoxes all throughout her faith history and our faith history. We should have mercy on God, in a sense, because we humans are the best of what he has to work with, and the only ones with which he even has spiritual fellowship. Of course the difficutlies, contradictions, and paradoxes of God's Word are our fault, due to our sins.

The best we can do oftentimes in sacred history is cling to the bible faith narrative- from beginning to end. Bible detractors and worldly folks and worldly teachers will try to make Joshua more about human conquest, bloodthirsty human violence and war than the progressive gift and receipt of the promised land and the salvation and redemption for all the world that comes with it.

I am not a name it and claim guy when it comes to God's healing, but I am a praying and healing narrative guy. Call me and tell me what your problem is, and we'll pray for your healing. I claim the narrative of healing that characterizes the New Testament. First thing Jesus did was heal and deliver! We pray first and always, that's the right thing to do, but it is also right and fitting to also adopt the healing gospel narrative about our own lives and the lives of our local churches, and Israel, and the whole world being redeemed, ie healed thorough her. Why? Because all this and everything from God comes by way of God's gift, by way of his ongoing revealed Word. It's almost impossible to receive the gifts God has planned for us individually, or as churches, or as Israel, without receiving and speaking out the bible salvation narrative that God has revealed, even the narrative of Conquest-progressive gift of the promised land with all its difficulties, contradictions and paradoxes we humans brought to it. Thank God it's still our faith! Even if sometimes our faith is not much bigger than a mustard seed. 

So lets not allow our rock solid sacred bible salvation for-all-the-world-narrative to be lost by the real difficulties of fully understanding the conquest and the violence, and yes war that was a temporary part of receiving God's progressive gift of the promised land. We need to stay focused on the narrative of the gift of God to Israel of the promised land, for the salvation of God's chosen nation, through whom salvation comes to the whole world. If we lose oursleves and our faith in the difficult questions of war and violence, briefly sanctioned by God, and question the Word overmuch, oh my that's the wrong narrative, a non faith narrative.

So it's not just which God we are going to choose per the famous question of Joshua 24 as part of the necessary build up to the renewal of the covenant, the real God of the bible or one of the false gods of the Canaanites, ie Babylon, the world. There's also another real faith choice, to accept and remember the whole Godly narrative since Abraham, father of our faith, that His plan was and always has been is to give Israel the promised land, and salvation to all through them.

Every one of has the difficult daily faith choice to adopt the narrative of being a good neighbor or the narrative of not being a good neighbor, the narrative of making the bible just a myth, or the narrative of lack or concentrating our lives on teaching narrative of fully receiving all the gift of the salvation of God. You and I as faithful people have to line up our lives, minds and spirits with all the gifts and purposes of God, and revealed words of God. It's a package deal. It's a narrative deal, from beginning to end. Or, we will fall through our weakness and disobedience into the same sins and depravity, that God wiped out in Canaan. Wiped out not because he is, or ever was, or ever will be a warmonger, or hater of anybody or any peoples He created, but because He knows how prone all humanity was and is to such depravity.

Yet He made us in his image and likeness. He gave us the Word and the Spirit to come up higher, to have and possess the gift of faith and a certain degree of ability to obey him and represent him and to be fitting inhabitants of the promised land and then thereafter the kingdom of God, all though our imperfect faith and his perfect sacrifice.

Yes the conquest of the promised land is a true conquest so we can't say there was no ugliness and violence to it. But we can say that alongside that violence was God's progressively revealed will to give Israel her promised land, and by that gift, give salvation to all the world. It is not Israel right or wrong, as I have said on many other occasions, but Israel as faith bearer, and per today's sermon, salvation gift bearer, light bearer, earthly redemption bearer, kingdom bearer, the best and brightest narrative bearer according to the Word and Spirit.

An evangelical Baptist back in the 50's and 60's Elmer Josephson from Kansas searched again and again the prophetic scriptures and was one of the first evangelical pastors to envision God's progressive gift of salvation to Israel, and through her to all the world. And he travelled to the mideast, and lived there, and immersed himself totally in the Word and culture and bible history and bore into the unfinished prophecies to be fulfilled to Israel. And he realized that we Christians came late to the salvation party. He realized that Israel, the little old tribe of Abraham, on sojourn, and the limping Jacob who loves God but also fights with Him, the stuttering and occasionally disobediently violent Moses who learned to stand in faith and raise his right arm for deliverance, for a miracle deliverance of Israel. And we also remember Joseph, the rightoeus and holy savior prototype of Jesus, the one envied by his brothers.

And the warrior Joshua, who helped receive the gift of the promised land, representing the people and nation who chose their covenantal God as He had chosen them, the nation and people Israel whose heart does not grow faint, who needed a home base on which they and the whole world could be redeemed.

All these great faithers were participants in the living faith of Isreal that is salvation history, and they all glimpsed just as we do today that Israel was and is, and always will be, God's Key To World Redemption. Pastor Josephson wrote a book in 1974 of the same name.

I am sure he read Joshua about the violence of the conquest and how the modern scholars are demythologizing it and much of our other scriptures too, meaning they claim it to be full of myths, and mostly devoid of God, as if the God of Israel was above it all, above his promises, as if they were motivated by something less than his grand and beautiful Kingdom fellowship for humanity with Him. But Josephson by his study study study of the Word realized that while the Word of God may not always be pretty, that doesn't mean we ever throw away our like precious faith, the faith of Jesus, not just faith in Jesus, the faith of Jesus, and Spirit that is ours as God's people. This is our fruit, as Christians, of the Words and king, promised to Israel, fruit of their precious narrative, Holy and true, the narrative not marred or ruined by man's logic, or man's small mindedness, or man's values, and man's words and false wisdoms that cannot save anyone.

So while the 500 years of conquest are filled with difficulties, contradictions and paradoxes, especially to our limited notions of right and wrong and wisdom, and lack of scholarly agreement, the conquest-progressive gift of the promised land, is God's success, to the glory of His Name, regardless of the difficulty and contradictions and paradoxes of how it happened. It did happen and God made it happen- and that's what's supremely important.

And yes there was what the People's Court judge might call some very rough justice, very very rough justice.

But, the ultimate historical fact is that with God's favor to Abraham (a wandering foreigner from Ur) then to Issac in whom the promises resided, and then Jacob father of the 12 tribes, and to Joseph and Moses, then Joshua, then Samuel, and then King David, then Jesus all actual historical leaders, Israel became a real tribe, then a real people formed by God, God's first people, and then under Joshua and the prophet and priest Samuel, the King David this people became a poltical and cultic nation, an eternal nation, which received the actual historical God based gift of their promised land, where they live today.

But for God's narrative of salvation, His sovereign Word, contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, which includes the difficult narrative of the book of Joshua, this birth of a nation, this conquest, this progressive gift of the promised land would not have happened. 

But for God's sovereign narrative about the promised land- realized 1000 years after Abraham first heard it- we wouldn't know anything of the faithful protagonists of Israel and her receipt of the promised land, figure of the eternal kingdom of God in time and eternity. But for God's sovereign narrative, which includes his conquest and gift of the promised land, all these people of faith would have dissapeared in the winds of time and sands of the desert, and we would know next to nothing about them.

Yet we do know about them and we also trust in the book of Joshua. This Joshua- this leader whose name means God is deliverance. He fulfilled Moses call to lead the people out of slavery, into the promised land, which is one day going to be the kingdom of God, of Jesus, of Yahweh, of the Lord saves, our Lord who delivers.

Oh yes people of God we study and accept the book of Joshua and its difficult and sometimes violent narrative of God's deliverance of God's fight and God's will because it leads us to the king of peace, who delivers us away from sin and eternal death and in the end away from all violence itself, the One God fully revealed whose only violence will be his judgement upon those who reject his saving mercy, who reject his salvation message.         

493. Promised land: Conquest Or Progessive Gift Of God? (2)

The text above serves as a sufficient introduction to our second hour of this sermon.

But I want to introduce today's continued teaching on this topic of the conquest-gift of the promised land with making a clear distinction between the conquest-progressive gift that Joshua and Israel received from God in the foundation of  Israel, about thirty-two hundred years ago, and the foundation of the United States of America, more recently.

Did God give the good old USA to us through his conquest and gift of our land as he gave Israel the promised land?

No He didn't. 

The good old USA at its formation and foundation may have been in sync with the Providence of God, and I think it was. And the USA was God's will, as all nation states have been since Noah. But the founder of Providence in good old North America was Very Actually Reverend Roger Williams who rejected the empirish and hierarchical church and state ways of the Massachusetts Bay Colony- which ran him out of town in dead of winter. You might know the story. I know it from reading John Barry's brilliant book "Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church And State And the Birth of Liberty" (Penquin 2012).

You might remember this soul, the soul in America that wanted to be left alone to relish and enjoy its very costly freedom of speech, and thought, and religion, and freedom from unbiblical wars and crusades falsely fought in Jesus' name, freedom from Church-state meddlers, from the church state ruling class clerics who wanted more and more of your money, for their religious purposes, and who wanted to run your life, because you weren't ready for the freedom to run it for yourself.  

So I agree with John Barry that Williams' city of Providence should be considered our first and essential city with an American soul, a peaceful, separtist soul, not an imitation of a European church state religious soul, but a free religious soul, the soul that breaks away from all Church-state religions, a soul actually tied in a supernatural fellowship first to God, tied to God's providences, not to man's politics and man's denominational state religions around the world. So Providence was the first city and polis, first free religious people, since the very early church anyway, and it was made up of native peoples too, that fully realized as did Williams that the God of the Christian bible does have or need any church state religions.

That was only for His Israel of God, the nation he founded. Instead He told us Christians "to render unto God that which belongs to God and to Ceasar that which belong to Caesar." He expected a separation of church and state so we could stay holy, ie separate from Babylon until he comes back, so we could stay ready by faith for his kingdom. He certainly did not expect us in church history to quickly create a church in the image of the Roman empire, as if this were the rightful bearer of and kingdom of God, which was Israel's blessing and responsibility, let alone the replacement of Israel. 

We agree that God had made personal covenants with his Protestant sons and daughters who were fleeing the foolishness of unbiblical denominational empires and the bloodshedding persecutions among and between Christians in Europe. We could also perhaps agree that God made covenants with the Protestant churches who founded churches in Massachusetts and CT and in the USA. And since all Christians, pretty much now agree that Israel can never be replaced in salvation history, and has not been replaced, it is unbiblical to claim some sort of right from the bible that the occasional conquest aspects of the providential New World settlements of North America were God's will, as if the God of Israel made the USA the a new Israel, a new image of the Kingdom of God.

No need for any of that. It's hyperbole and presumption and a historic failure to know and accepting the unfinished still operative prophecies made to Israel herself like at Zechariah 12 and elsewhere.    

No, Roger Williams and God had seen enough church and state unities go bad. Neither would say Christian Protestants could take North America and her native peoples by conquering, by empirish decrees, the same methods that prior Protestants and Anabaptists had only rightly and recently rebelled against. But rather, these new world Protestants were called not to slip backward in time and the history of the Christian movement, but to go forward in time and rise out of, and separate from, Christian Christendom, state-church religion, whether Roman or Protestant. 

Williams knew as soon you have church and state as one, the church is going to sanction violence and become worldly and political. This has been true all throughout the ages of Christendom. But Jesus told Peter, "put that sword away [ie you are not starting a war in my name] If you live by the sword you will die by the sword." (Matthew26,52) Hebrews 12,14, written to Hebrews, liklely to pacifist clerics nostalgic for their lost Temple rites (and we Christians are all priests 1Peter2,5 and 9 by one baptism, adult and holy Ghost, in one Spirit) who had already accepted Jesus: "Be at peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see God."

Thank our migthy God that Roger Williams and the polis, the people, of nascent Providence had some Holy Ghost and Word sense to understand that conquest and conquering by actual physical violence was now passe.

That's not say that in certain interactions between Christians and indigenous peoples in North America there were not going to be- at limited times and places- instances of every person's and group's natural human right to defend themselves and their families.

Luke22,36 "if you don't have a sword, then sell your cloak and buy one." As our friend at reminds, the matter of self defense for Christians requires wisdom in the moment.

It's useful here at Luke22,36 to figure the context. Jesus is about to be killed, so his provision (purse) and protection (by miracle working Jesus) of the the disciples, is about to end. And they may have to take flight, so they themselves won't be killed, and his message be quashed, even lost. His statement about their immediate need for money and a means of self defense do not change our fundamental universal priestly orientation- of all of us- as priests- toward non violence, not trusting in our numbers (our census) and prowess to make war. (Psalm44,6)

Yes, since Jesus, and the new law of the Spirit, there is no holy war. Nor is their actual physical conquest in the name of God for the Christian bible believer.

The conquest-gift of the actual promised land of Israel is the last God sanctioned conquest. Israel- even with this one time gift- has never sought to be a military imperium, never worshipped an imperium, let alone a ghastly military imperium, never crowned an emperor, never worshipped the false of god of fortresses that will define the final Antichrist.

But instead, she has resisted empires tactically and wisely, and avoided all ill advised treaties and co-dependencies with nations and empires and emperors, and also avoided all willy nilly wars.

As the Word says she shall dwell alone (DT33,28), in the safety  of the Lord, and Jerusalem will be a stone too heavy for the final antichrist military nations to lift, ie  to defeat Israel (Zechariah12,3) because God is her safety. This non warmongerng stance of Israel serves her eternal purpose and God's purpose of bringing gospel salvation and the kingdom of God to all the world, to all the people and nations.

We in the good old USA were not conquistadores 400 years ago like Israel was one time of old. We are not conquistadores now. We were never meant to be an empire [or a replecement for Israel, but a mere nation, among nations, not a kingdom in utero, not a religious or secular or military empire replacing some long ago fallen European empire, as if conquering were any nations manifest destiny.

The conquest-gift of the promised land is Israel's story to tell, not ours.

Thank God we in the good old USA have seen the manifestion of God's Providence- in and through our nation- to show the world what freedom of religion and speech looks like, or could still look like, and show the providence of freedom and rights for all races and freedom of Christianity, for all churches, thanks to Roger Williams and the Word and Spirit of God and providence of God. To me this bible faith looks and is an unconquerable faith, that overcomes the world, if we avoid the foolish biblical mistakes and presumptions of our religious and political forbears from Europe, who largely saw religion as if they were the nation Israel themselves, rather than merely grafted into their salvation tree. (John4,22)

But we know better now. We know that we and they were never God's Israel. We also know the faithful Joshua wasn't Jesus, but one of the pre-cursors of him. And we know now that Joshua's conquest and the gift received of the promised land was a one time, irrevocable and ongoing and eternal gift to the nation of Israel, a promised land in which we by a bible faith might one day share;

494. What's In Us: Gossip Or God?

Compared with the levels of evil in our culture and world, gossip seems relatively harmless, and unavoidable, and just part of any life lived in public to any degree. But it comes from the same pit of hell as all sin, from the same Satan, our adversary, prowling the earth, false teacher, false giver, the thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy, to take life, to ruin blessings, destroy the fullness. John 10,10.

Whereas, Jesus is the gate unto eternal life, he gives all His life giving, abundant blessings, especially salvation. As a thief and destroyer Satan wants to take all the blessings of life from us. Christan minister Rick Renner points out that at John10,10 Satan does something else- "kill",  "thuo" in Greek, which here as Renner explains means sacrificer, slaughterer.

Satan wants to steal and destroy everything good that has come to us through the gate of Jesus, but get us to lose heart, give up, hand over all the life and blessings Jesus has given us as a deathly offering to him. Like the antichrist in the end who will try and "wear out the saints" change the times and seasons of worship and biblical morality, and so blaspheme God, that folks will give up, take the mark of the beast and worship, ie give a deathly sacrifice of praise to satan himself.  

Of course we won't do that! Our faith conquers the world.

I am going a little to run with Br. Renner's idea of sacrifice of John 10,10 in relation to gossip, if you will let me.

The ocacsionally hellish world is full of gossip and where does that gossip come from? The Word says from the fiery human tongue set on fire. Well what happens when our tongues get set on fire. Who are we worshipping then? And what is the fiery tongue tempted to do, run to cursing, of ourselves and others, run to verbal disbelief and self accusations and accusations of others, accusations from the accuser of the brethren. The fiery tongue from hell ends up making not a sacrifice of praise to Jesus but a sacrifice of praise to Satan, to throw out all the life and blessings from Jesus and pour out the death of satan: John3,5: "Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is a also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts [ie steals and destroys] the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."    

"Life and death are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs18,21. So, we could say Jesus' life or Satan's deathliness are in the power of the tongue. And by extension, the lies and gossip that are attempts to doom sensitive teenagers, and have suicide rates going up.

But stand firm- my fellow faithers we are not going to offer all that we are, and stand for to the fires of hell, or to Satan and his minions prepare the holocaust pyre that worships them. Not from gossip, or from anything or anyone! Because we are filled with the Holy Holy, the right fire, not the false fire of gossip and hell.     

Gossip is everywhere- in every institution. It's practiced at every level, sometimes to great effect, or no effect, by rich and poor, and folks in between. It's done at home or at work, on the street, at school, in the church, wherever. Like so may other shady things it's a hidden currency. It is easily and immediately traded, or saved for just the right moment, to enjoy it, like a secret piece of chocolate, as an offered morsal that goes deep in the now satisfied soul of the gossiper. Proverbs18,8.  What's in us, deep in or soul, special morsals of gossip or the Holy Spirit of God?

As a currency gossip is most perfect because gossip need not be true or false. Pilate said what is truth? Truth is what people full of worldy power like Pilate say it is.

The cash currency in your pocket, less of it for many folks these days, has to be US government issue, but gossip needs no authentification whatsover, it can be true or false, and it still works, still tradable whether true or false. As long as it's juicy and hurts just the right people, at just the right time.

It's a half underground currency, half enjoyed and half praised currency, half praised because it keeps out the riff raff, the undesirables, the different, and helps those who trade in it by being in the know, up to date, repeating whatever because well, it's the latest. So upon being confronted the gossiper can easily and plausibly deny, and claim to be a denizen of decency, protector against immanent frauds. Being in the gossip know is thought to be better than Jesus and His Spirit giving us eyes that see and ears that hear, without any gossip at all. Nor does gossip stain one's hands, like Lady Macbeth, just one's soul, at the very time when gossipers might paradoxically feel at their most self righteous and protected.

In the olden days, cussing kids were told by parents "I am going to wash your mouth out with soap!" Now I have never recommended that, and don't now, or ever. and I hope it never actaully happened. But the image is apt. Filthy is as filthy speaks. Out of thr fulness of the heart the mouth speaks. And gossip is filthy. It's grimy, it's makes even beautiful people ugly. Now just imagine what it does to ordinary looking folks? Both ordinary gossipers and beatiful gossipers should be afraid to look in the mirror now. Ugly. Ugly Ugly! God don't like ugly, and gossip is ugly because it sort of assumes that His honor and His blessings are in such short supply that folks must tear each other to pieces with their mouths to get their fair share in life. That's not the Christian gospel, our cupo overflows.

And yes God in the end judges (MT12,37) the ugly of our mouths, as we shall see in this second hour of this sermon: "What's In Us: Gossip Or God?"

Shirley Jackson was a mid century American fiction writer, from Bennington VT (where her husband taught at the college). She was particularly adept at short stories, of which she wrote over two hundred! That's a lot of stories. Her most famous is "The Lottery" from 1948 published in the New Yorker. The Lottery is held in this fictitious everytown USA once a year, with all the friendliness and dispatch of what Vermonters would call "Town Meeting Day." It's fictionally moderated by a well known and impartial and traditional denizen Mr. Hutchinson of the town who picks the ballot with the black mark on it, the name of the person to be sacrificed, at which time she is stoned to death by the townspeople.

Gossip has a randomness, a seeming fatefulness to it, that seeming lottery nature of it. It's your turn! Your satan's next sacrificial victim! Of course both human sacrifice, always prohibited by the Judeo Christian Bible, and gossip are from the fires of hell. At least in the short story, the black mark and it's stony aftermath ends the ordeal and has a limited shelf life whereby it's on to next year. But gossip can be a game, that if it works, keeps getting played, and in that way it's like politics. Winston Churchchill said politics is worse than war- because in war you just lose once, but in politics you can lose again and again. So gossip can be the evil gift that keeps on giving, until it become outright cursing and thinly veiled attempt to completely destroy people, to get them to give up and trade the life and blessings we have from and for Jesus, and offer ourselves to the non life of the darkside.

But take heart, even Balaam that false pagan prophet, that sorcerer who knew things from the darkside, agreed you can't curse what God has blessed. Israel, becoming a people in the desert was blessed. And we are too, all of us, even the faithless, because God gave all of us life itself and he wants us to always keep on keeping on, no matter the gossip, no matter the accuser of the brethren. And take heart also because Psalm63,11 says "But the King [represents all the people, see Romans5,17 we reign even now..."] shall rejoice in God; everyone that swears by him shall glory but the mouth that speaks lies shall be stopped." 

And gossip is no big deal for people who have never seen its destruction, no big deal until it's your turn, until your family, or your last ox is gored, until it costs you money.

And now there is a whole new growth area for gossip. Gossip used to be about what someone might have said or done. Now gossip can be all about what people might or migth not think. It's no longer limited to non conformist acting or speaking or doing allegedly wrong things, it now includes running folks down because they refuse to think like them and refuse to apologise for it, folks who who still treasure the true luxury that all us humans can enjoy- which is the luxury of free thought.

Watch out free thinkers and freedom lovers, the assumed and presumed or real or imagined way you think is open to the calumnies and gossipy railings of those with better and more worldy and urbane minds than you. The gossip thought police are on your trail!

Yes even our supposed or actual thoughts are the ripe topic for gossip now- without even the sacrificial victim having to say a word. 

Law enforcement and Dr. Phil's expert often try to ferret out the difference between gossip and truth using lie detectors. Since our culture now hungers for gossip more than truth or freedom, perhaps some social scientist globalist can design a thought detector, and decree a law that everyone over five years old must be tested at least every six months on this thought detector so that the gossip rabble will always have enough to keep them happy.

Then gossip can expand from "Did you hear what the hottest celebrity did or said yesterday"- to "did you hear what the hottest celebrity thought yesterday? It looks like he's going stop virtue signalling, perhaps forever. He's also thinking of changing the causes he financially supports. He's thinking of just sticking to acting. And oh my he's even got some bible verses running through his mind. He's got to be cancelled before somebody else, or worse some other star might, like even telepathically get similar ideas! How dare anyone think that way!"

And so remember friends the future of gossip is very rich, filled with filthy lucre, so invest in gossip futures now!

The future of gossip is in mining the very thoughts of every one, especially those who have any influence at all, and then controlling not only what they say and do, but how they think too, by unrelenting gossip.

Brilliant as the Brits say!

How dare anyone think sacrificing good souls to the gossip industrial complex is wrong or unrighteous! We don't use "wrong" of "unrighteous" in our social discourse anymore. As for me and my family, here in our globalist village, we are not going to let you or any one get away with any free thinking at all. Just you wait and see! We'll talk about you till the end of time or until you test, every month for a year, triple 000s on the thought detector meter.

What's a triple 000? 

1. It's no oringinal thoughts or inspiration of any kind at all (even your highly improvised, but totally unauthorized favorite pasta recipe); 2. No thoughts that line up with any form of traditional common sense- because that is so 1950s. (You mean like when most people still had a good chance to move up in the world?) and; 3. Above all else, no thoughts related at all, in fact or in spirit, to the Judeo-Christian Word of God. All this pesky religious claptrap about right or wrong and the Word of God-it just slows down the progress of our new globalist society, and its gossip industrial complex.   

I'm Brother Tobin and this is 'The Preaching Hour." Let's get serious and practical.

How about a practical application to move from being so interested in gossip to learning to enjoy like a healthy conversation. How about saying to one person a month "Tell me about yourself." And then stop talking and listen. You might here something besides gossip, beyond gossip, like the start of a conversation, the start of a relationship, which is so much more fun.

Hey, we could even begin this once a month thing "tell me about yourself with Jesus! You could say "Tell me about yourself Jesus." And He'll start an eternal dialog something like "I know all about you, and I still love you. I created you, I formed you in your mother's womb, and I always have loved you, and I want the best for you, and I'll save your eternal soul, if you'll let me!" 

And then he'll say "you will have my supernatural life in you, my good news, and My Holy Ghost seed in you, and all this is way better than a dirty morsal of gossip in your soul. Way better!      

495. From Nostalgia To His Love Compels Us

This sermon derives to a degree from a nostalgia I had to get back and preach for a place in the Great American Southwest and for a people that I really love. If I got there again I was thinking of titling this sermon after a song sung by Emmy Lou Harris and written by Kate Wolf "Love Still Remains." Oh glory, praise Jesus! His love and my love for this place and people still remains:

"it rolls down the dustry streets/and rise above the rain/ And rooms locked the time away/out on the open plains/ Yes the love I have for you still remains."

That's a purty song! And Emmy Lou Harris sings nothing but the best of purty. 

But the Lord just hasn't given me the opportunity to go back and preach this sermon. It is wide open place with lots of tumbleweeds racing across the High Plains in a northeasterly direction at about 10-15 mph. I even miss those good for nothing tumbleweeds, piling up at the fence lines. They they get so high they jump the fence. And the wind is so steady that the trees also grow in that northeasterly direction, so steady that if you were going against on the soccer field, you could berly (sic) clear the ball out of your defensive half, but just wait till the halfime change and your struggle will seem too easy.

Well I haven't been able to get back there. We'll blame it on Covid, as we do for so many things. And I was so ready to preach this to them and I was a bit nostalgic to do so, like two years ago.

But then again I have had enough of nostalgia about pre-Covid days! When gas was two dollars a gallon, and you could just pick up and go anywhere without thinking. 

But thank God it looks like Covid is ending. Let's get over the pre-Covid nostalgia and just start living and faithing and moving forward again, and turn off the bad news, "stay home" dronings.

Nostalgia is an emotion that doesn't cut it, doesn't sharpen our spiritual iron, doesn't really satisfy, doesn't declare our faith victory soon or often enough, doesn't walk in the fullness and quickness of faith confidence that is ours by the everflowing washing blood of Jesus on Calvary.

Anyway, I wanted to preach this sermon, like now, not waiting any more, and the Lord is letting me, praise his mighty NAME. But I had to change the title from 'Love Still Remains" to "From Nostalgia To His Love Compels Us." And I had to preach this before the fire shut up in my bones to preach it just turns to ashes or fruit on the vine that withers. Take heed folks preach the messages when they are right there, and the Holy Spirit rises up in us to helps us do it.

Like Natalie Merchant sang, "I may know the word and not say it." I may know the Word and not preach it! 

Love is a great motivator for all people, both faithful and unfaithful people. But for it to be the greatest and best motivator- love, even nostalgic love- needs to have the love of God in it, what our bible calls 'the love of God that compels us.'  (2Corinthians5,14) This love has the personal and loving and fiery Holy Ghost, God Himself, in it.

The Hebrew prophets like Daniel and Jeremiah (and all the other Hebrew prophets) and then like Jesus and John the Baptist and John The Revelator in the New testament were always compelled by the fullness of the fiery love of God in them. At Jeremiah at 20,9 he said when he tried tried to get away from prophesying he could not hold in what the Lord wanted him to say. By trying to, he got weary and just couldn't do it. Why? "Because his word [God's Word] in his heart was like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones."

We might think moping and staying silent, just staying home this pandemic, would help us chill and get rest. But Jeremiah learned that trying to stay home and not preach made him weary, mopey. Perhaps he was nostalgic for the days when his preaching was light and fluffy, and he was so popular. But then he got thrown in the muddy cistern for saying what the Lord's love compelled him to say!

The prophets might not have been preaching much about country music "love," but they were always preaching with bible love, the love of God that compels us to act and live for Jesus and His Word! And that's when our cup of supernatural compelling love of God runs over. When we say and do what God wants, and we run forward, but don't get weary (of well doing) and turn back.

Now nostalgia is a type of love emotion that is filled with an exaggerated emphasis on the past, on what we have already experienced and now don't have, and would like to have again. Like you calling your ex out of the blue- when you know that there's a reason you two are not together! Don't t do it! Don't even think of doing that if you are married! Nostalgia is a love for the familiar and is often built on good memories, because abscence makes the heart grow fonder, more nostalgic. Now nostalgia might spur us on a bit, temporarily, but it also might even slow us down in our lives and prevent us from moving on.

Nostalgia can be filled with love, but it's not often with the fullness of God's love. It can too full of the past, too full of loss. A much better motivation than nostalgia is the love of God in us, and around us, and in other people right in front of us! Love right now that right now compels us, to step out in faith, now and in the future.

This Godly love is a now and future and forever love and it's is the best motivation ever.

Yet and still we need not try and supress our nostalgia. It's an emotion. It is what it is. It's real but it comes and goes. But it's too fleshy, too soulish, too wishful, a little too much of a rom com set piece. You go to your high school or college reunion full of nostalgic love for all the folks and love is always "always," but you didn't get to see this or that friend. Well you still have a lot in common so you might even meet someone new, who you didn't really get to know then. 

But most times hey it's like after three days, that's enough of that. Time to get back to my real life. 

But nostalgia is not a bad thing. And if it weren't for nostalgic love there might not be all our great country music in the good old USA.  And if that was the case, most of us real simple folks might forget that emotions can be a good thing (not just sources of potential appearances on the Maury Povich, Steve Wilkos or Gerry Springer show in Stamford CT). Because emotions really do get us in touch with our emotional needs, and especially our need for God, and his love, and his healing and mercy.

And each other- in a high and holy way too!

The preacher and healer John G. Lake reminds us that God who is Holy Spirit can get into our brains, into our eyes, into our hearts and into our emotions. And thus make us feel right, think right, see right, and get all integrated, like heart and soul right, emotions all right. That would be great don't youy think? And we could after awhile of knowing Jesus get back our one undivided heart and soul God gave us, a heart and soul that in the biblical way of thinking integrates our past present and future memories and emotions, integrates our body, mind and soul, and makes us healthy at every stage of life.

With God in our emotions we can be heathly looking back, healthy now, and healthy going into the future.

Oh praise Jesus, he can turn the slightly off kilter emotion of nostalgia and re-order it, shape it up new and even expand and purify the true love in it. He can make that place in our soul where it comes from fill up with him so that He will part a part in our next opportunity to love right  by using his loving Spirit.  

Now I don't know if I am going to get back to that place and those loving people any time to the Great American Southwest soon to preach for them. I am fixing too. But the love that compels me to do that- it still remains. And I hope I get back there real soon. But no love is wasted, even that tinged with nostalgia, when we bring it to our Lord, lay it at His altar of Calvary and let him tune it up and lead us into the future- to the people and places He wants.

So, you and I, we let him- with His healing and merciful love- compel us once again. We dust off any unredeemed nostalgia off our hearts, summon our faith courage, and recognize our life long committment to do and say now and in the future what Jesus wants.

Fancy that country music fans, fancy that my Christian brother and sisters!

So I am Br. Tobin and this is 'The Preaching Hour" and now we'll continue deeper into the heart of this teaching.   

496. What's In Us: God Or Gossip? (2)

Oh my, last time we swung for the fences preaching about gossip. Gossip sent Jesus to the cross of Calvary- his enemies  said he didn't believe the Jews had to pay taxes to Rome Luke23,2, just exactly the opposite of what he said. They also said he healed by the power of Beezebub, just exactly the opposite of what he did. (Matthew12,24) 

There was some real nasty gossip against Jesus. But I am paraphrasing a bit "blessed are you are insulted and persecuted folks say all kinds of things about you falsely...." (Matthew5,11)

Well today we are going to continue with the same title of the sermon: "What's In Us: God or Gossip?"

But I am going to broaden our scope towards the whole point of the Book of James which we'll see is about how we rightly use our ability to speak. James' logic is this- since we have submitted to God and we actually have God in who is Spirit is us, we can speak rightly.Yes God is in us by faith! By being born again, from the seed of profession (1Peter1,23) unto the fullness of the Holy Ghost baptism (Acts2,36-38). So we leave gossip aside and then show by how we speak and live that we have learned the long slow wisdom lesson of James about taming our tongue. This learned lesson- to use our speech wisely-the lesson and miracle of Pentecost- gives great glory to God.

And for you young people out there- Jesus loves you and he wants you to know that your proper speech brings him great honor, and it's an honor too for your parents and grandparents for  all those times they corrected you. 

James is the leading pastor in Jerusalem- the brother of the Lord. He is not afraid to teach on difficult lessons- about such topics as not showing favortism to the rich. Has your church ever even mentioned this teaching from James? He also teaches about the need for faith deeds, not just faith words: "faith without acts is dead!" That ouchy. He also preaches about accepting the Word unto living the new law of the Spirit- no licentiousness for us- which I preached in a two part series awhile back. That taught me a lot- Christianity is not without a new and better law! In Acts15, having jurisdiction as the local Jerusalem pastor, James also  taught the difficult and revolutionary lesson that non Jews didn't have to become Jews, ie get circumcized, to follow Jesus, the Jewish messiah.   

In James from Chapter 3,1 all through James Chapter 5,20 there's an underlying theme that keeps surfacing. That is- we in the local church need to know how to use our faculty of speech wisely, to learn the discipline of speaking rightly, befitting the very God that lives in us. James chapter 3 is about taming the tongue. James 3,3 talks about a bridle and bit for our tongue. If a bridle and bit can curb a big horse's whole body, then when we can control our tongue an d our whole body too. James 3,5-6 deals with the evil of boasting, which is a false fire, and a 'world of evil', probably because boasting is so often full of lies. James 3,9 talks about the evil of one moment blessing with our tongues and the next moment cursing another human made in the spiritual image of God. At James3,14 our scribe and learned Apostle is right back to the evil and bitter envy of boasting that leads ineluctably to doing evil deeds per James 3,16.

James 4,1 talks against quarrels, which again are about the misuse of the tongue. James 4,11 talks against slandering each other, in the church no less, and even speaking against another brother is judging him. James4,13 speaks against boasting yet again, this time against boasting about the future: "I am going to get me a new car, a new house and a new friends..."

Hard for God or us humans to bless that kind of speech. Better just to say "If it is the Lord's will "I am going to get me a new car, a new house and new friends."

And James speech lesson just continues right on into Chapter 5, unabated and in full force. James5,9 says not only can't you speak against a brother. It says don't even grumble against each other. Did your seminary or bible college or church have a course in learning to grumble or not learning to grumble? Now I can't imagine why any Christian would blurt out an inarticulate grumble against another Christian, can you imagine? Or a ministry like "The Preaching Hour?" But I have heard some inarticulate, half stifled inarticulate sounds, and averted looks, from even my friends over the years, and some of these might have come close to grumbling, but no real grumbling.

Who is the best person in the world to interpret inartculate grumblings? A loyal and attentive spouse, who hears but thinks better of translating, or commenting! A spouse has no problem interpreting real grumbling!

It's really hard to stifle inarticulate grumblings, they can sort of gasp out of us. That's when we sing "Count it all joy" and pray that each of us would retain some small sense of humor in life, and in the body of Christ too, and some small ability to make occasionally articulate and pleasant conversation- in addition to all our other good and supernatural qualities.

Brother James is very thorough, and even finally teaches against making oaths with our tongue. Don't be swearing you are going to do this or that. So Jesus likewise said "Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no.' Anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matthew5,37) Why? because oaths are just another big snare, a big trap.

James is not confused, not paddy cake paddy cake in his teaching. No place to hide and not repent in His local church. No place for the gossip and slander and make deals against God like those that led to the crucifiction of his brother.

I find James inspiring. It's refreshing and hopeful for those of us who still like hear schematic doctrine taught now and then. Jesus taught a lot of doctrine too. Doctrine keeps me on my toes and learning. Keeps me mentally and spiritually disciplined. Jesus didn't say "go to all the world and entertain folks and make big politics and play music that is a little too loud."

He said go to all the nation and make disciples, teaching them all he taught us, baptizing ..." Teaching means discipline and doctrine- and these are all good things.    

There's a gospel payoff to our tongue being tamed- this discipline leads to success in leading others to salvation. This is the final speech lesson of another one of the  great wisdom teachers of the bible, the prophet Daniel, who survived the lion's den, and helpfully and diplomatically told Nebuchadnezzar about his dream, at Daniel2, about the idolatrous statue of himself as god, and about the rock, Jesus, messiah of the Jews, who will prevail against this idol statue, ie all gentile kingdoms like Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom (Daniel2,34), ie will topple them. (And then as you know our One God turns his focus fully back to the salvation of Israel.)

This golden tongued and wise prophet Daniel pastored Israel in Babylon in the 6th century BC. He pastored Israel in crisis after the priesthood lost the Temple and Judah with their foreign deal makings and idols on the Temple walls. Daniel finishes up this amazing book that prophesies the end times with a verse about the the fruit of our disciplined tongues.

Please turn to Daniel 12,3 and see for yourselves:

"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars, for ever and ever."

How do we lead many to righteousness as Christians? We use our now disciplined and tamed tongues to tell the lost of their need to get right with Jesus, not get right with us Christians-we are not God-not get right with a church institution- churches don't save us- but get right with him-repent and accept the salvation offered by Him alone, our exclusive savior. That's gospel!

Oh my, Oh glory! At Luke 7,35 there's another really fruitful and similar wisdom verse. Jesus is defending and summing up the teaching of John the Baptist as messenger of the kingdom, and his own teaching: "But wisdom is proved right by all her children." How do children become disciplined and learn wisdom, and get proved right? By following by doing the anointed and wise message of God's whole word, by somebody telling them what's right and gospel and then heeding the kingdom call of the saving message ofJesus.

Jesus was the prime messenger- our first and last Lord and savior- to whom else could we go but to him? As the prime messenger, he has the words of eternal life. And the Apostle Peter got this saving message, used his new Jesus restored voice and strength to plant the message to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And the Apostle James, brother of the Lord, learned the message of salvation and the wisdom message of teaching discipleship,especially how disciples  properly speak.

Look back over the whole Word of God. All God messengers and messagers (if I could I try to make the point) have bridled, well trained, God breathed, God disciplined speech.

Per Daniel 12,3- in these latter days God is calling us to be wise, and use our disciplined tongues, not just endtime Jewish folks, messianic Jews that Daniel was primarily prophesying about, but us Christian gentiles too (at least before the rapture).

God is telling us to speak up loudly! To speak up as Isaiah50,4 exhorts, and as Jesus and all the prophets did. It's Ok to speak loudly as we preach and especially if the Lord has give us a well trained tongue: 

"the Lord has given me a well trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them."  

To share our rousing gospel message takes the discipline of James Chapters 3 and 4 and 5, and the prophetic saving knowledge of Daniel, and the willing and well trained and loud prophetic voices of Isaiah, John The Baptist and Jesus. At Daniel2 is prophesied as the rock that topples the gentile kingdoms and at Daniel 12,3 and as the first star, light of the world, leading many [gentiles too, us!] to righteousness.

Jesus was the first star. He brought our one gospel message, of our one adult kingdom baptism, our one faith salvation. And when we take his one gospel message  to all world, we fulfill the best of Daniel12,3,Luke7,35 and Isaiah50,4! We become stars, lights of the world, not keeping silent but using our well trained gift of a God tamed tongue.

Yes we become God's obedient and disciplined children, wise and justified by our Jesus and His wise faith. And we have a message of gospel and kingdom wisdom, the best message ever. And we now understand then the beauty of Jesus' statement defending John the baptist and defending himself and defending us who say "yes" and "amen" to all His promises. Because we too can and will shine like stars with the brightness of heaven! Ye we know or we will know what Jesus meant, know that we know, when he said "Wisdom is justifed by all her [gospel] children."

These "children" are us, all who do and say what the Lord God of Israel wants said and done! Nothing less nothing more!

As wisdom children we don't just talk about the message of salvation, we go out say it and do it, and defend it, and so lead many to righteousness! Not with the ways and means of wordly power but with the saving message of Jesus as Savior, Lord and messiah of all.

Can I get a witness! 

This takes a disciplined tongue! With God in us, not gossip in us, not the raging envy and slander and gossip that got Jesus crucified. No with God in us! God for us, with us, feeding us gospel wisdom and and gospel discipline, about how to sow the gospel seeds of eternal life and eternal joy and eternal beatitude for we always have a reason for our hope, on our well trained tongues! Oh glory.

I am Brother Tobin and this is the 'The Peaching Hour" and we're preaching again today "What in us: God or Gossip? If God is in us- our tongues are tamed and healed as at the first Pentecost, and we have right speech, and we tell the story worth telling. Right speech judgement proof speech. 

So with the witness example of the most thorough Apostle James, and all his teaching about speech, we will drill down into this gospel topic as we continue our teaching today. Hope you are learning something here on "The Preaching Hour", because as God knows, I still am. If I can still learn, you can still learn right here and right now on "The Preaching Hour."   

497. Biblical Revival Of Lord's Supper: Neither Clerical Dogma Or Symbolic Breeziness

As I have said before, I never thought I would be back to actually blessing bread and wine again. But 1Corinthians10,16 kept coming back to me. Here Paul goes out of his way to emphasize that the whole local church extends hands and blesses the cup unto communion with the blood of Christ- actual Spiritual fellowship with the risen blood, ie the risen Jesus.

Here from 1Corinthians10,16 we are firstly talking about what all priests sacrificially do.They bless! Actually bless, not just say a blessing thanking God for a meal. And since we as the whole local church are a holy priesthood, according to 1Peter2,5,  we all bless- and we all take the cup and we all have a real Spiritual communion thereby.

And we all break the bread, after it's blessed, that is, we all rightly eat it, as our priestly portion, of all Christians, all the anointed ones, all the adult baptized, a cultic memorial meal, a spiritual sacrifice that fulfills God's desire of Exodus19,6 that all his people would be a holy priesthood, which we are now (1Peter2,5). 

Exodus19,6: "And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel." And as such, we exercise our faith by actually extending all our hands over the bread and the cup in personal faith and thereby we experience actual fellowship with our God who is Spirit! And with each other.

Oh glory! The Lord- about 12 years ago- unmistakably brought me back to actually blessing the bread and wine, back to this very important ordinance given by Jesus to us all: "do this" living- Spiritual memorial of him,in memory of Calvary. Yes our blessing and our personal faith calls down the very presence of God into the bread and wine- physical things. You are a physcial thing and I am a physical thing, and we are blessed by the "hands" of God, by our personal faith, by our Holy Ghost baptismal consecration, so how can the bread and wine be just symbols after we all, and Jesus too, have blessed them with His Spirit?

In fact why bless them at all if they are just symbols? A blessed and eaten symbol is no better symbol than an unblessed and eaten symbol. As soon as we bless them they are way more than symbols. Thus, "Unless you eat my flesh [flesh can be risen flesh 1Corinthians15,40] and drink my blood [blessed wine at the table, risen blood] you have no [eternal] life in you." John6,53 

And there's also the question of how can these blessings be reserved only for folks ordained by men when 1Peter 2,5 calls us all a Holy priesthood and 1Corinthians10,16 says "we" [all] bless the cup?  

Some of you keen folks may be thinking right now that Br. Tobin apparently doesn't know that at the Seder meal, the Pesah yearly memorial "passover" meal of the Jews, commemorating their deliverance out of Egyptian slavery, upon which the Lord's supper is built, that the blessing of the four or five cups (the fifth being the cup of Elijah's prophetic presence, his faith vigil for the messiah) was not a blessing of the contents of the cups and the bread. I agree, it'sw and we will go into it a bit deeper in a bit or another day on this topic. 

But what I am saying and teaching here is that Paul at 1Corinthians10 (as did Jesus at Matthew26,26, about blessing the bread, cf Luke9,16, miraculous blessing both loaves and fish) goes out of his way to show that in the pagan atmosphere of Corinth, far from the holiness of Israel, with pagan altars set up for actual fellowship with demons (vv14, 18, 21), that our actual Spiritual fellowship, a priestly fellowship of all the faithful and adult baptized, requires actual priestly blessings (as distinct from the home based seder).

These blessings, our blessings, the blessing of all the baptized, render the bread and wine, consecrated, unto Jesus as risen bread, as risen blood. (cf John19,34, a vision of the everflowing water and Spiritual blood of God.)

Not transubstantiated bread, not transubstantiated into his physical body, a body that decidedly and undisputably no longer exists. Or transubstantiated wine into his pre-Calvary physical blood, that likewise no longer exists, but blessed bread becoming by our mutual blessing with God the risen bread-the risen Spiritual body of Jesus, blessed wine by our blessing becoming new risen wine- Spiritual blood of Jesus, overflowing our cup of faith, our cup of the new covenant, that we all bless, and that we all grasp! That we all drink from!

And these priestly blessings, and the partaking of this risen body and risen blood and personal faith, effectuate our actual communion with the risen Jesus.

This is living bread come down from heaven upon the table. By eating it, we personally ratify our new covenant with Jesus. This is living wine- Jesus ever flowing Spiritual blood cf the vision of John19,34), which by drinking, we ratify our new personal covenant with Jesus, just as Abraham ratified his covenant his personal and corporate covenant with God by walking between the broken or split sacrificial animals of Genesis 15, which was correspondingly confirmed by God's miraculous blazing fire that passed through the space between the split sacrificial animals (15,17), the broken bread space so to speak of the Lord's Supper..   

We also know in the begining of the church age the supper was celebrated and described as "the breaking of bread." That is, it was part of an agape, love fills us and compels us, meal. We know this from Acts2,42, and from fresco paintings from Roman catacombs, and from 1Corinthians11,34 which was about some folks arriving late not getting enough to eat.

You know how it is when food becomes too big a part of your family gatherings? Trying to get everbody to the one table at one time! And one is way too hungry to wait and wants to eat at the scheduled time and not wait for those who are late. So at1Corinthians11,34 Paul says "So then my brothers [and sisters], when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he sould eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment [judgment from forgetting about the well being of the one body]."

We know as local churches got bigger and time went on  the agape meal part of the Lord's supper waned, probably because it was just too much work to prepare and feed larger crowds because of all the logistics. It waned and then was scrapped based Paul's admonition at 1Corinthians11,34. 

But there are some real important egalitarian underlying principles here at 1Corinthians10,16 and 1Corinthians11,34, cf Luke9,16 and Acts2,42, and as shown throughout 1Corinthians chapters 10 and 11 and 12. (cf 1Corinthians12,11, Holy Spirit gifts to each).

 They are:

1. Everyone at the supper is important- and must be treated fairly and the same- ie must get the meal and partake of it and the supper with true faith (as a memorial ratification of the covenant offered by Jesus), ie worthily, with an aware and full faith- that is a personal, repentant, loving and generous;

2. Everyone at the supper blesses the cup (v.16), ie everyone is a holy priest (1Peter2,5), the priesthood of Holiness, of our Baptism in the Spirit, might be considered, one of the egalitarian Holy Spirit gifts given to each of us 1Corinthians12,11)  ;

3. The supper is a spiritual sacrifice led by all, not a physical sacrifice led by a priesthood ordained by men (1Peter2,5);

4. The blessing of the bread and wine (by God too) makes them more than symbols, and makes them sacred, ie consecrated, with Jesus' risen presence in them;

5. The blessing of the faithful and God makes the bread and wine miraculous (cf Luke9,16, blessed loaves and fish), bread from heaven, just as the manna and the water in the desert were miraculous;

6. The blessing of the faitfhul and God makes the bread and wine, real food, real "spiritual food," real drink, real "spiritual drink", ie miraculously sacred in that it was provided

by the rock, Christ, in the desert that accompanied them (1Corinthians10,4);

and from the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation13,8 who had spiritual "body" and  "blood" in his pre incarnation "body");

and from in his post resurrection risen "body" or flesh Revelation5,6);  

and from the prophesied risen "flesh" of Jesus at John6,53: "Unless you eat my flesh..."   

7. The blessed bread is bread from heaven (Exodus16,4), but also better than the manna given in the desert in that it is bread come doown from heaven that gives to those who feed on it eternal life. (John6,51 and 6,27)       

This is bible teaching that is both of great faith gravity and glorious egalitarian joy for all of us. It is empowering and gives honor and does justice for all God's blood bought people, the church He shepherds. Oh Glory for our One Lord, for our one faith, for our one baptism, for our one supper and one table and one Holy Ghost gift of priesthood, for one people hungry and thirsty for the freedom and salvation and for the righteousness that is ours by our personal covenantal and corporate faith in Christ Jesus that is once and again ratified by us and supernaturally confirmed by God at the table;

498. Get Out Of Church Co-Dependency! 

Being a "modern" church is not the best way to describe a church- biblical would be much better- filled with faithful Holy Ghost empowered people- better too. But in some senses it is good for churches to be up to date- "modern." And one of the criteria such a church would be that the pastor realizes that he can't do all the ministry himself, and therefore that he must delegate ministry and responsibilities, and do so in a healthy way, for this is what empowers and builds up folks.

There is in fact a biblical and healthy way to do church. That is, everyone empowered by the Holy Ghost, according the discipline of the Word, according to each person's office in the church and recognizable Holy Ghost gift or gifts (1Corinthians12,7). Being a pastor is an office according to Ephesians 4,10. And if called to that office you will be equipped too with gifts (Phillipians1,6; Hebrews13,21). And it's best to use those gifts, mayby two or three are the most prominant, and we best delegate in the ministry in areas where our gifting doesn't exist, or is less strong, to other people who have their own callings and gifts.

Delegation of ministry responsibility is the first step towards any healthy church. There are some 'lone rangers' or solo pastors who try to do everything themselves. But then the church can't really grow and teach people because the pastor can only do so much, and only has limited time, and energy and gifts. Some pastors will delegate, but then not really let go, and micromanage, and then just end up burning out themselves just as fast as if they tried to do everything themselves. And they also take the joy and growth out of ministry by others who want to, and are already called, to serve. Lone rangers and micromanagers and "this is the only way we do it here" are forms of co-dependency, of mutually enabling immature ministry, whereby pastors enable people to solely rely on them and people enable pastors to not share the gospel and both pastor and people being co-dependent on the institutional or particular church status quo. This leads to ministry defeating activities and worldly attitudes, as if ministry is just "volunteering" at church. And besides what else would a pastor do all day, if he didn't do all the ministry of the church?

I once saw a pious sign on the wall in a church building something to the effect "You can't do church without (insert a non biblical title here)." The thought behind that sign is a co-dependent thought!

I grew up playing sports. You still play the game- and still can win- even without this one or that one. It's next man up! Next person up! The harvest is rich and the workers are few, but it's next person up! The only person that is indispensible in ministry is Jesus, the vine, who said "without me you can do nothing." John15,5 And please stop telling me and God's people that they can't do church without some worldly poltical plan or worldly business plan, or the mutual codependency of "that's the way we have always done it." We can't do church without Jesus!  

The pastor, if called, will be equipped and gifted to pastor. But the pastor's vacation is a perfect time for other folks to preach and learn to carry their own ministerial responsibility. We and you can do church without any one of us! And I learned plan to let some one else preach- at least once a month-so the faith and the ministry is passed on and passed down from one generation to the next. Psalm78,5-6. We are called to pass on and down our precious faith inheritance, the whole deposit of faith, of the sovereign Lord and God of Israel, not pass down church dysfunctions and co-dependencies, and "pastor so and so did it this way," and titles and wordly honors, and traditions long lacking vitality, and all the rest.

Oh we can't do church without this or that choir? Or this or that worship leader? And any pastor can also start to think small this way. How do I keep this one or that one? I served with worship leaders in a church and we were blessed with more choirs and musicians than services. And thank God we were in the bible belt too. So I didn't have to beg and borrow and enable and cajole and become co-dependent and let choir folks run for non biblical offices, with non biblical gifts with the church microphone. I didn't have to be co-dependent, you scratch my back I'll scratch yours, wasn't even tempted to be co-dependent. It's God's ministry. And He wants it done in healthy Word based ways- ie worked out through his grace given to us. It's about his harvest, all it needs is someone willing who has the faith to do it! 

Next choir up! Next preacher up! Age and gender and worldly stature and politcal set up and business plan, and co-dependent leadership models are all secondary.

The choir leaders at first would come to me and ask permission to go exercise their God given gifts and ministry at another church in town. And I was like "why ask me? Ask God what He wants!" I could have been co-dependent, worried about losing them, or possessive in that immature clerical-pastoral way  "well I'd prefer you didn't but..." Or, made some snide sectarian comment like "that's not our kind of church- they don't have this or that!"  

What I have learned is the Holy Ghost doesn't do co-dependent, ego-driven, fleshly, brand name ministry. He and God's people do gifted, anointed, empowered Holy Ghost Word based ministry, where God's gets the glory! Not the church, not the pastor, not the one permission giver, "Dr. No," or "Dr. Yes" who might or might not give permission one day for you to do some ministry!

At church everybody is to be ready and eager when it's their turn to get in the game. 

Psalm110,3 "Your people shall be willing in the day of your power; in the majesties of the holiness from the womb of the dawn." Are you willing? Do you have the power from on high? You have some ministry for your church? Or do you want to minister with Zion Pentecost Mission? It best be something you are eager to do, come on now people, with the kingdom faith and power of Jesus, something holy that you wake up thinking about and wanting to do! Praise Jesus.

Ministry is not a codependent discount private deal that you make with a pastor, who you happen to fancy, but something you and him and whole church are called, and eager and equipped by God, to do! It helps to like each other, but the criteria for ministry is God's will and gifts, not whether you all are "buddies." We put people into ministry because they are called to it, not because they agree with us or like us. "I like this pastor or that one"- that's a seed of co-dependency and dysfunction. 

Psalm108,2: "Awake, harp and lyre. I will awaken the dawn." Faithful eagerness, and joy, and the love of God compels, not the co-dependancy of church insiders, the closed circle, moving up in their world. Join this church or that church and moved up in the world. Find a church that empowers you and unleashes you in ministry and can give you guiidance, and sets you free.  

Sean Nemecek writes at In an article from March 27, 2019 ("Are You in a Co-dependent Church?"), he raises the question what is a codependent church?

"Codependancy is excessive spiritual, emotional, or psychological, reliance on a person or group. A co-dependent church typically moves in one of two directions: either over-reliance on the pastor or controlling behavior by a person or small group. In the latter scenario, the person or group may or may not have positional [official, Ephesians4,10ff] power, but they have the ability to manipulate or intimidate others to get what they want."

Manipulate or imtimidate? Oh my, Br. Nemecek are you talking about 'the church'? Our church? That's sort of offensive- at least say folks manipulate and intimidate in real nice, pious, and religious way!   

He also quotes Henry Cloud: "Codependency occurs when we don't have an awareness of our boundaries and behaviors, and we allow someone else's needs to control and take over our lives." In church more than 3 times a week? You might be in a co-dependent church.

I am Brother Tobin and this is "The Preaching Hour" and our sermon today is "Get Out Of Church Co-Dependency!" Because we want to be healthy and joyful Christians. And we want to learn to serve our Lord Jesus and His gospel and His people in the best and fruitful ways. We want to set the captives free! Heal the sick! Refresh the weary! Encourage and guide the lost and forgotten to Jesus!

And oh yes- we want to live by faith, for the just shall live by faith. Oh glory;

499: In Jesus No Imposter Syndrome

Now this sermon "No Imposter Syndrome In Jesus" follows upon and progresses on the last sermon: "Get Out Of Church Co-Dependency!"  

As is our custom these sermons are from Lord's precious inspiration. He has never failed to give me his messages, for 25 years.

So to tie the two sermons together- and to do justice to his gudiance of "The Preaching Hour"- let me just say it's really hard to be an authentic bible believing- for freedom Christ set us free- Christian (the just shall live by faith) in a church that is co-dependent. It's possible in exceptional cases, but a co-dependent churches of whatever kind and flavor will marginalize the healthy, to maintain their power and influence, and might even run off the prophets. 

We pray for healthy churches around the world! The healthy Holy Ghost Spirit recognizes the healthy Holy Ghost Spirit in his churches. And when and if you agree to worship with Br. Tobin and Zion Pentecost Mision we will be in one accord that we will all seek to be healthy gospel believers and servants of Jesus and His gospel, that we will all seek to live an authentic and healthy witness for the glory of our one Lord and savior Jesus Christ, aiming to live His Word in His Spirit.  

A 2016 study(Ravindran Sandeep, 2016)  says that 70% of people at some time in their careers feel like imposters. This apparently is especially so early in careers.

Oh my, that's a lot- 70%! I am no expert on this subject, and I am making no pretense to speak as a social scientist. But it would seem to me that in our very modern age this would be more of an issue because so many of our fellow Americans, and fellow cosmic citizens, seem to still mostly identify ourselves with what we do, and how much money that brings in, rather than who we are in Christ Jesus. 

I don't think any job is overly dreary, or too dirty or too whatever- it's a job. And if it's not against the law, and you can keep a clean conscience doing it, then it's honorable. Work is a virtue, and it can be holy too, and anybody who works hard at something and does it to the best of his or her ability, deserves much respect, and an honorable identity. No need to feel like an imposter, regardless of what your pay scale is.

But still I think we mostly judge oursleves by how much our jobs pay. In other words, even us Christians can assess our identity, and our churches themselves, and even our personal authenticity, by job status and income. This is a form of prosperianity, the worship of money and the lure of the false God of wealth, rather than worshipping and serving God and following his will, walking through the doors he is opening. Following God, obedience to God and His Word are authentic markers for us Christians, far more than than what a market economy offers us by way of wages.  

And with people changing jobs and careers and spouses and churches more often- in the greater physical and the mental and intellectual mobility of our modern culture, this imposter syndrome is bound to gnaw at Christians too. Once I became a Christian in my mid twenties, it was a new life. I have known all along my faith and gospel was me becoming more of who I was meant to be all along, me finding myself in him finding me.

It was a huge vocational call on my life too. I had a full sense that my salvation was also his call on my life. It was all one swoop of grace.

Not everyone who calls themself a Christian is born again, not everyone has God's indestructable seed (indestructble doesn't mean this seed can't die in you) is in them (1Peter1,23) by a personal repentant faith in Jesus. I am preaching against the imposter syndrome and for authentic bible based Christainity and most of us can totally agree that it is impossible to be an authentic Christian without a personal repentant faith in Jesus as Lord and savior. It's almost pointless to talk about authentic Christianity if we have never repented in faith to Jesus, and been born again.

That's our first step in being a Christian, and an authentic Christian too. Going to church does not make us saved or authentic Christian. Lighting a candle or smelling incense, even at home, doesn't save us. I like candles and incense, but to be an authentic Christian we have to have an ongoing repentant personal faith in Jesus. John 8,31b-32: "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

And then when we do that, hold on to his teaching (and he has got us in his grip too) we have confidence- and we also have a tremendous advantage when it comes to living an authentic life without the plague and self doubt of the imposter syndrome. Why? Because we have our ever-living and loving Spiritual God living inside us. Just think how much easier it is for us Christians to risk and then live an authentic life and witness to Jesus because we know that Jesus is in us, and right beside us, climbing to the heights with us, and also walking through the valley, oh glory, and he loves us all the time. And he is there with us all the time. John3,16, God so loved the world that he gave himself, gave us Jesus, and will never leave us, or forsake us.

As the song says "And he talks with me and he walks with me... and he tells us we are his own"- from inside us! That's authentic- what comes from inside us, from the heart, from our spirit and His Spirit joined in us. This is how the beautitudes of Matthew 5 come to life "Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see God!" See him, understand him in this life, and see him in the next too.  

I like visiting many churches- and in some of them there are apparently people who profess all the faith you and I do- but don't seem willing to interact in an unscripted way inside or outside church. They seemingly won't interact in a way that presupposes that we both are still growing in our relationship with Jesus, that we both need Jesus more than once a week, that we both share a common humanity in need of a living, healing, ever present God that loves all of us..

This cold love church, where sipernatural fellowship is assumed, this end time church, has such a reserved and undemonstrated fellowship- it's a Sunday thing- is this an authentic faith?

Or is it the mask of a type of religious imposter syndrome? It's like in some churches folks be worried that someone might find out that someone else was poor or rich, or impatient, or strong or weak, or has a troubled child, or is divorced, struggling at work, or once was or even is still now sinner in need of salvation.

Last time I checked the New Testament it said Jesus knows just what to do with all folks even sinners- who have a mustard seed of faith. If they come to him with a personal and repentant faith he'll forgive them, give them rest, and salvation, a home, a God who is their creator father, and a place to land in life, on him, and fill them with himself, and give them gospel brothers and sisters who love rather than hate, who encourage rather than gossip, and give them friendship rather than the left hand fellowship and the proud mask of hypocrisy.  

Remember Nathaniel praying under the shade of fig tree (John1,43-51), the salvation tree. That's where he was under a tree, commentators say likely praying when he met Jesus, the tree of life, the tree of salvation, the light of Calvary's tree, Oh glory. Jesus said at John1,47  "There's an Israelite in whom there is no guile." No deceit. The authentic Nathaniel meets the authentic messiah of Israel. Two hopeful, expectant, faithful, genuine faces, revealing the love of God, fur us, with transparent God infused humans face in fellowship with God, and one of them human faces was God, no imposter, no masked actor, no hypocrite was he. 

And Nathaniel professed his faith in Jesus as the Son of God, as coming messiah. But Christian faith doesn't just include a profession and a new Lord, it includes a call upon each of us to serve God, and serve the gospel. This means Jesus is having this joyful colloquy with Nathaniel because he is going to put Nathaniel and Phillip and you and I to work, each of us. We faithers and professors are now part of his missionary gospel people. He paid the price for your life and eternal salvation. And wants us to make some genuine gracious return on the salvation and loving fellowship he has so mercifully given each of us. 

This part of the world is known for close knit families and big holiday meals. And after a big beautiful meal, and all that loving table fellowship, everybody who has not already done his or her part, is called to get up and do what? Go watch the game? No, get up and wash the dishes! We are all called to do something for that family holiday celebration. You don't have to earn your part at the table, or earn your fellowship in church- but get real- we are all called to serve, and service is part of any authentic celebration of our faith.

You'll never feel like or be an imposter Christian around the Lord's table if you are serving him with a genuine faith and love. 

This human call to serve our one living God is right within everbody's salvation. But in practice we often just think leaders are called, just the pastors, just those priests, just those pastor's kids, all of whom usualy got a big head start so why bother. But every salvation by a personal repentant faith in God is a call to serve him. Romans8,28: "All things work together for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." 

Jesus' purpose for each of us goes beyond just professing faith- and getting our own salvation, and experiencing our own new life, and his own awesome supernatural zealous and guiding love for each of us. Nor are we are not just chasing experiences and gifts, and honors in and of themselves.

His purpose includes that we all follow him in some way into the vineyard and work for his gospel and kingdom. His harvest is rich, but his laborers are few. You didn't help our my people Israel. You didn't help out, not even a cup of water for the gospel folks serving the Lord. 

We find our purpose, when we find Jesus. We find meaning in that purpose and we find the authenticity in our gospel purposes and service. This is our answer to the imposter syndrome inside the church and out. 

I understand New Englanders can be quiet and reserved and think problems go away by not talking about them. But as silent and taciturn as New Englanders can be, we Christians here have a tremendous advantage when it comes to authenticity. Because we don't just have a job or an income that gives us an identity, we have have our ever living and ever loving Spiritual God living inside us, who guides our identity and gives us gospel service and purpose in our lives.

Yes we all answer the call. Or, not! To repent and profess makes us a Christian, gives us salvation, but to answer the call gives us an esteemed and blessed purposeful and meaninigful and authentic life.

People sometimes dismissively say to lost folks and hurting and poor and struggling folks "get a life."

I'd say to anybody "get Jesus, and get an authentic life!"

What could be more authentic than Christ in me and Christ in you, the hope of glory? And His Holy Spirit doesn't just save and live in us, but gives us all at least one supernatural gift with which to serve others. 1Corinthians12,7 "Now To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."      

So my friends, we Christians are way ahead of the imposter syndrome in our modern culture. Thank God our lives following Jesus are set on a learning curve, and ever increasing authenticty curve, "because he lives I can face tommorrow, because he lives all fear is gone!"

Because he lives! Inside each of us!

Don't feel bad if you don't really know Jesus yet. Don't feel bad that you have called yourself a Christian or a denominationalist, or what all, or what not, what if, and a member of this that and the other organization for years. Don't feel bad if you feel like an imposter Christian or an imposter human being. We have the goodnews of Jesus.

And we also have the good example of Charlotte Elliot grandaughter of a preacher. (Source She was born 1789 London England- died 1871, East Sussex. She got sick, bad, and was left a semi invalid at 32. But ended up living until ripe age of 82. Wrote 150 hymns and published them all in her Invalid's Hymn Book. (1834ff) 

One year into her sickness she had a spiritual crisis. And she confessed to the Swiss evangelist Henri Malan that she did not know how to come to Christ. A church woman didn't know how to come to Christ! So Br. Malan said "Come to him just as you are."

That's the begininning of our Christian authenticity- we come to Jesus, Lord and Savior, just as we are!

Twelve years later- already in the service of the Lord- but still an invalid- she wrote one of the most famous gospel hymns of all time "Just As I Am." This was statement of her faith, of her identity of her gospel purpose- of her authenticity.

Wow- with Christ in her, the hope of glory, she and Jesus ministered salvation to folks down through the ages!

Just as I am, without one plea,

but that thy blood was shed for me,

and that thou bidd'st me come to thee,

O lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not...

I am Brother Tobin Hitt and this is "The Preaching Hour." I am preaching "In Jesus No Imposter Syndrome." Blessed are the pure in heart. Why? Because they are authentic. We'll get back to this right quick but let's do a salvation prayer for any one in need of that. 

Do you want to repent and faith on Jesus and become a born again believer? A new creation, capable of purity of heart, capable of a redeemed authenticity? Do you want to worship God in Spirit and truth with Zion Pentecost Mission? Then why don't we do a salvation prayer, so you can get on the human authenticity track, the salvation track, with Jesus leading the way! Repeat after me. Contact me for you adult water baptism too. You will get all wet but God will wash your heart and soul clean. Repeat after me. 

Jesus I give you all my sins. I won't take them back. I accept you as my Lord and savior. Fill me with your holy Spirit. Baptize me with your Holy Spirit. Deliver me from all evil! I will follow you, and love you, and serve you, all my life. I am not turning back, in Your Holy Name Jesus I pray;

500. Biblical Revival Of The Lord's Supper (2)

I am going to continue teaching on the biblical revival of the Lord's Supper. And I think it is sort of humorous that God has me teaching about biblically reviving the Lord's supper away from Roman dogmatism and clericalism and away from Protestant symbolic breeziness in little old Burlington Vermont, at a secular public access TV station, in one of the least religious states in the good old USA. Now I have written forty-two meditations on this biblical revival and have celebrated the supper about three hundred episodes of "The Preaching Hour."  And long before that in my denominational gospel service, which the Lord gladly called me out of, I must have celebrated the Lord's Supper several thousand times.

Not that repetition counts for much, but that I have had a lot of time and years to learn about the Lord's Supper, and no doubt I am still learning.   

And I suspect after all this teaching on the "The Preaching Hour" and at some folks might just think I am just another Yankee tinkering in his garage. Oxford Languages dictionary says tinkering is "an attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect." No I am not tinkering! Nothing casual or half way or unfocused about our teaching. By these teachings we are discovering our one universal Holy Ghost Priesthood that comes by way of God's grant of new life and Spiritual rebirth, that comes by faith, spurred on by the very grace of God. Several years ago the Lord showed that he wanted a few Vermonters to take this teaching and run with it. I prophesied that. And I have introduced to them this teaching. And I pray to God that they will run with it. Not because I prophesied it. It's not about me, or them. And thank God there are no patents on interpreting God's word and celebrating God's Word. And as such, his commanded Word is that the memorial, the Spiritual sacrifice of the Lord's Supper is something God wants us all to do. The prophet Daniel prophesied to Nebuchadnezzar, not for his own benefit but for the benefit Nebudchadnezzar and the salvation of his people.   

And I pray to God that this seed of a biblical revival of the supper would spread all over New England, always a place of innovation, and all over the good old USA and to Christian churches all over the world. My humble understaffed ministry is far from tinkering, and I humbly believe that these 42 bible based teachings on the Lord's Supper with God grace can  truly mend the Lord's supper from both the non-biblical notion that it is meant to be led by only a special few. And mended from the neglect and mere symbolism that so many Christians bring to it.

In fact, the Lord showed that the supper is Jesus' way of focusing our faith, back to its essential elements. We all 'do this' ie remember Jesus' death for each of us and all of us. Focus and humility, that's the way he wants it done. I am not following his lead on a biblical revival for mending something cheap, but He wants to revive something both simple and precious, seedlike and already grand, not with a consciousness of clericalism like I am important, or any named church, or ministry, is important, but that all faithful humanity is holy and priestly. A humanity that shares the power to bless and consecrate befitting of the one priesthood and one Word of God.

Here at the table we remember the covenant we each have with Jesus- he died so that we might live by Him, by faith, by his every Word, by His bread of life. Here we should remember the hour we first believed, the hour Jesus became real and alive, and Lord and savior. Here again we enjoy bread from heaven and take the cup of our faith victory, the cup of salvation, and receive real food and drink for our life's journey.

At the last supper, or could we call it at the first Lord's supper, the walk through supper, Jesus walked his fellow apostles, fellow sent ones, through the brutal crucifiction that was going to take place the next day. Those apostles were men- but think about- and apostle is one of the offices in the church (Ephesians4,10ff). But priesthood isn't an office in the church. New Testament Priesthood isn't the same as pastoring. Pastoring is not a clerical priesthood, it's just one of the offices in the church.

You have some people staking their faith and to some even the he future health of Christianity on woman's priestly ordination. But New Testament biblical priesthood is a consecration per 1Peter2,5 and 9, for all of us, men and women already. Priesthood is not about any one pastoring- male or female. It's about our new Spiritual status. By a born again faith we are all priests of God, fulfiilling the Lord's desire for all Israel per Exodus 19,6. The table of the Lord celebration reminds us of this, bring us to focus and humility and gratitude that Jesus, our high priest, our savior, Lord and Holy brother has consecrated all of us, "ordained" all of us. It isn't an office at all. It's the Spiritual state of every Christian, man or woman. 

The last bible bible word we have on the Lord's Supper is 1Corinthians10 and 11 and it was the whole community blessing the cup.1Corinthians10,16. Woman too. In Christ Paul said there is neither Greek or Jew, man or woman, slave or free. Galatians3,28.

Well then why weren't women at the last supper? Women, even the apostle's wives, were not at the last supper? This supper was built on the yearly Israelite Passover Seder (Jesus being the new lamb, new salvation, out of our slavery to sin) which was a family and community event that included women. I believe there was no women at the last supper, the prophesied new life supper if you will, because it was dangerous to be around Jesus and His apostles the day before he was crucified, and most of the woman kinfolk were safe back in Galillee.

None of those apostles at the last supper were ever given a high priesthood by Jesus. They were not ordained at the last supper. And the seder and supper were not even designed by Jesus for a temple or church building where only a certain ordained clerisy work. Priesthood comes for all of us upon personal faith, and adult water baptism and the fullness of consecration of Pentecost and baptism in the Spirit. We Christians enjoy an ongoing Pentecost, Holy Ghost Baptism, promised to all according to the pattern and Word of Acts 2,36-39. Thus, we all also enjoy an ongoing priesthood, we are all a royal priesthood, even gentiles too, as Peter himself says at 1Peter2,9, a holy people following our high holy priest and king and savior.

What are you going to trust about the table of the Lord? The Word of God or the traditions of men?

Our New Testament priesthood is not a special class of people. It's who we all are. It's not about physically bloody sacrifices but a Spiritual sacrifice, related the essentials of our faith. cf 1Peter2,5. It's a new Spiritual sacrifice for a made new people. This made new people all can bless, all can consecrate. Jesus blessed the bread per Matthew26,26 that's an innovation on the Seder meal, not just blessing God for the bread, but the bread itself. He actaully blessed the loaves and the fish at Luke 9,16 and the fish at Mark8,7 (Strongs2127)

Jesus by his new eternal priesthood, moved the priesthood out of the Jerusalem temple and into the community. 1Peter2. And he gave himself as priest and the last physical sacrifice and victim for the salvation of, and the formation of and human elevation of a new priesthood of all the faithful. Again this fulfilled Exodus19,6 and even expanded it to gentiles. The risen Jesus served as the new cornerstone of the new temple, which is not a building but a new priestly people, who are "living stones" built on the risen cornerstone of this new Temple, who is Jesus risen from the dead, who is our one high priest. 

And so we all are a Holy Ghost Holy Priesthood in the community, offering Spiritual sacrifices such as the Lord's supper memorial. We all bless, we all offer the bread and wine as we are all priests.

At Luke22,20 Luke goes out of his way, and likewise Paul at 1Corinthians11,25, to make clear that something new is going on at the supper, being now  led by a new priesthood, in that both emphasize that the taking of the cup was after the supper, after the agape-seder prototype (seemingly after the blessing of the bread which is a study for another day). So there's something extra important that Paul and Luke and Jesus speaking of the cup at Mark14,25 about the cup at table. The same cup that we know was blessed by all the people, at the supper, from 1Corinthians10,16.

All these people are now holy priests and now must take that cup at this table and know that it is cup of their entrance into the kingdom. Mark14,25. The cup of judgement, with which we claim victory over sin and death, that is all throughout scriptures.  

This cup, each person blessing it, women too, and then taking it, is the fullest expression of our new salvation faith covenant with God.

It is also our personal faith means to fellowship with him at the table,1Corinthians10,16. We can't fellowship with him if we are also fellowshiping, taking the cup of demons, ratyfiing an unclean covenant at unclean pagan tables and altars in Corinth.

So we need to totally focus on Christ and be humble at the one table of salvation-judgment-fellowship or disfellowship: "For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement on himself." 1Corinthians11,29.

Dear Christian people of God we are all one priesthood. We are all called to bless the bread and wine and remember Calvary's payment for our sins, the broken body which made us whole and healthy, the shed blood that covered our sins and washed us clean.

The Lord's supper is God's priesthood- with great focus and humility- acting in faith both personally as as God's priesthood, and remembering and conforming their salvation, just as Jesus prophesied "Unless you eat my [risen] flesh [blessed bread] and drink my [risen everflowing John19,34] blood [blessed wine, taken cup, declared victory over sin] you have no life in you." John6,53

Now we'll continue deeper into our study and prophesy of the coming biblical revival of the Lord's Supper. We are all holy priests and can all celebrate the Lord's supper the way God intended with faith knowledge, with conviction, confidence and joy, free from both man made clericalism and dogmas on the one hand, and the neglect and breezy symbolism of those modern folks, since the end of the nineteeth centrury, for whom the table just isn't that important anymore. So why even bother?

I am brother Tobin and this is "The Preaching Hour." Thanks for tuning in. I hope and pray that Christianity, his one priesthood, is still hungry and thirsty for the biblical truth of Jesus, the tree of life, the bread of life, who not only humbly became man to feed us salvation, but also made us His priests, by putting himself in us. Now as His priests we gladly consecrate the bread and wine, knowing He confirms our humble blessing, so long as we do all these things with a personal and actual and biblical faith, that all comes to us by way of His sovereign Word and His sovereign Spirit. Oh glory! 

Welcome to the Lord's bible based table- welcome to our Spiritual sacrifice- priesthood of God! 

501. Some Sense Of Time And Eternity- Before It's Too Late


                                                              "Midway along the journey of our life,
                                                            I woke to find myself in some dark woods
                                                           for I had wandered off from the straight path."

                                                                                 Dante's Inferno
                                                       opening Lines, World Masterpieces, Norton 1973, M. Musa Trans.

 "What did you go out to see?" Matthew11,9

ie Jesus is asking his people "Don't you know what time it is? ie It's time prepare for Israel to prepare for their king, to meet their king and for his and their kingdom!" 

"Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God." Revelation3,2 (To Sardis. 5th of seven churches and ages)

A while back I preached about our modern "church" situation whereby "Christians" and non Christians are often under the conviction of sin but too distracted to do anything about it. This sermon today "Some Sense Of Time And Eternity Before It's Too Late" is sort of a follow up to that sermon. Any time we get distracted, you know we lose sense of time and priorities. So we cannot let the distraction of our busy-ness become our false god- this distraction of the chase for more, more, more which can become our god.

I love to encourage young people to preach the gospel, and there is no doubt in my mind that young people are called to preach. But they will often say. "I have to get married first." That means in the future "I'll have time for that." Really? Then, it's "we have to buy a house. There will be time enough in the future." And then it's "I am too busy with the marriage and the house and the two jobs and the two kids and the two cars"- which now requires three jobs.

Or "after I have enough money" (like from government handouts for rich and poor and everybody in between which causes wicked inflation but never mind those handouts are to win the next election). There's always tommorrow, manana, domani domani, always some future time to serve God. 'There's always tommorrow for dreams to come true...." (Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer)

And by that time, "Tommorrow your 45-50 or 60 years old you may have everything you, and your family and and your spouse and your job and your government could ever possibly give, but your under conviction about your lack of service to God- and have been for twenty five years or thirty-five years, because you have been too distracted with getting and having. Because there will always be time in the future for God and His gospel. 

But there really isn't.

Do you know what time it is in your own life? Don't you think it's time for a personal soul saving eternal salvation faith? 

Do you know what time it is in the history of the church.? The church, during it's fifth church age, at Sardis-say the begining of the Protestant Reformation- was told to wake up and strengthen the things that remain. Rev.3,2 

Then the sixth church age there was a time of the best Reformation churches and leaders- Waldensians, the Anabaptists, all the churches that avoided the trappings of church and state unity and church state Christendom.

And then the final church age, in Laodicaea, Revelation3,17, the rich and materialistic church- lukewarm and proud of itself, thinking it is is need of nothing. What a blessed full of scriptural knowledge, and great worship music, but "But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire..."

Jesus says this final church age is time for testing, time for refinement, separating the impure dross from the pure gold of our faith. So we can be like the prophet Daniel leading many to righteousness and live for eternity like stars in the heavenly realm Daniel12,3 

But now in these latter days, like in the days of Noah, folks kept building houses, kept getting and having, then building bigger barns to keep our stuff. Three care garages with only one car in it- for the stuff. Distracted from God and gospel service and the Word, we sit passive in church.

And like the folks in Noah's day we'll meet judgement and eternity in an instant- and there will be no more time, or another manana, at all! 

Do you know what time it is in your own journey of faith?

The problem of 'under conviction but distracted' from God is part of the more meta problem of losing a biblical sense of sin, and time, and eternity itself.

I was out spreading the gospel with my 'Jesus saves' sign and young woman and her Mom were at the light and the young gal remarked 'saves what?' Exactly adult age folks are distracted and some or even many young folks haven't even heard the story, haven't heard what sin and death and that Jesus died so our sins could be forgiven.  

When we are 25 we think we can do 25 things in a day. That's good confidence. And we can't imagine getting sick or dying some day. Can hardly imagine ourselves as sinners in need of a savior. Because we are so "young" and "young" people are so innocent! And have their "whole future to look forward to."

Or, we are too naive at 25 to envision the last ugly bit of the drama that sin and being distracted from God's time and eternity causes.

At 25 our physical flesh is invinceable, and so our physical presence on this earth must be eternal! But guess what? We humans beings weren't made just for life on earth, which will end one day. We were made for eternity, in the form of the New Jerusalem, heaven come down- with God and all the faithful. Or, we go to hell, "below", if we have no faith. If we refuse to listen to the gospel story. There won't be any "time" and space and dimension and duration in either of our eternity choices.

But I am thinking that an eternity with God is going to have a lot of love, and praise and freedom, and lovely souls too, whereas an eternity in hell will be spent with folks who like crowd your space on an airplane, and there's no freedom or loveliness at all- or escape- at all. Hell will be sort of like an endless cramped airplane flight, that never ends.     

As we mature in age and faith we need to develop a better sense of time, of life's priorities, of who Jesus is, and how he wants us to use our limited time on earth. Even the time of a 25 year old is limited, whether he or she knows it or not.

So the Lord is hoping we don't get too distracted by the sins of youth, like King David, who in due time gained a heart after God. Or hoping we don't get too distracted by the cares of the world- like the lust for power, fame and fortune. What I see now in our modern culture and modern church is a distraction from the fear of God, from reverence and respect for God, and His Word, and his upcoming judgement, and his creation of each of us for the best of eternal life not the worst.

We have a world right now that seems to fear almost everything and everyone, but God. There's fear of wars, and such leaders with such power, and famine, and gasoline prices, and diseases and pandemic and the Pandemic drones tell us winter season coming back 10 months from now! And there's climate change, and lawless cynical open borders, and severe housing shortages and impossible rents and housing prices, and drug epidemics, and violence in the cities, and more kinds of gangs than most anyone can keep track of, and the fact is that it now costs well over 500k on average to build a new house in the good old USA.

Fear of the future- but so little revival, so little repentance, so little fear of God.

And have you noticed that it seems like every media source, even the ones that used to hold on to a little well-rounded cultural balance, and the pols, some more than others, are out to scare us, even about the weather.

And we are so distracted by all these fears, and reverence for the things of here and now, and getting and having, that we are distracted from the Eternal One, who we should fear, that is God! His Name is Jesus. Without fear of God, we can become oblivious to the value of time, oblivious 24/7, week by week, year by year, decade by decade, and oblivious to eternity too!

We all need a 'great reset,' not of a globalist government run by rich globalist empire bureucrats "solving" our problems, but a great reset  of our mindset, that realizes that each of us is living a set number of days on earth, and then we will either enjoy eternity with Jesus, or not.

Jude and 2Peter3 both say in the last days there will be scoffers, that is, teachers and those in authority that just throw out the quaint notion that sinning leads to hell, and perhaps, even that hell exists. We need to wrestle with the Word and gain a sense of time and eternity, because our culture is beginning to scoff at the idea of right and wrong itself, about any judgment on earth, or by God, at the very idea of heaven or hell and biblical eternity.

Now reincarnation or just a long sleep or even annihilation for our souls-  all might sound better than an eternal judgement, but these are not in the bible. And what our prophet leader Jesus says. "Don't fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul! Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." MT10,28

One of the daily newspaper advice columnists recently advised a person who was fearful of hell. The columnist said categorically, on whose behalf and on what authority I have no idea. So she just said that the person wasn't going there. Didn't appear to know if the person had any saving personal faith at all. It used to be up to very recently if someone wrote in to an advice columnist about a religious question the columnist would respectfully refer them to a religious leader. 

But now, apparently, fear of hell and other difficult religious questions, are not really the purview of religious folks or even scriptural questions- anyone is welcome to dive right in answer them, authoritatively, in public based on something or other, perhaps a fuzzy feeling inside them, or a dream, or fairy tale, or legend or something wishful.

Our culture and media are sort of promoting a new secular religion- of no judgment, and a lot of feel good propaganda, as if they are trying to reset religion and humanity and its diverse cultures and politics all at once- without any realistic or any biblical sense of sin, without any eternal judgment at all.    

As for me I'd rather keep my eyes and ears on Jesus and His Word and his faithful crew for eternity than join the dominant secular religion that is being foisted on our culture and its institutions. Media organizations now want to plan our day, and makes us "member", and makes us feel special, and spreads the gospel of their secular values. To me it seems just like like church marketing strategies that marginalize god and endlessly repeat their secular virtues .

After the French Revolution there was plenty of secular values, and yes secular values have their place. Free speech, free conscience, free religion, association, separation of chruch and state, no state religious schools etc etc. These are basic constitutional protections for all of us. But history proves that when secular values and poilitics try and take the place of the gospel Word of Jesus, and religious institutions, things can get real ugly real quick, especially if you're not on the winning side of the new secular religion crowd and their very dogmatic ideas (cf Great Controversy, Ellen G. White). 

So I am not preaching today to scare anyone about hell, but Jesus preached extensively about it. So we believe and teach that the eternal destination of those faithless folks who persist in the negligence and fraud of sin and don't repent, who get so distracted by getting and having, one day may wake up and scoff at God Himself and any notion of a supernatural based religion itself.

We are close to that situation, the great turning away from God, the great Apostasy, by many people and families and cultures who used to have a supernatural faith.     

I am sort of an old school  in the way I see my life and our lives of faith. We are on a temporary earthly pilgrimage, from this place called earth to a better place, first the 1000 year kingdom from Zion, and then an eternal new creation, an eternity that comes down.

And little did we know before sin and its destruction wakes us up and we choose faith and rebirth, Jesus is humanity's best travel agent. Yes He's so good a travel agent he travels right beside every step of our eternal pilgrimage (cfPsalm23,6 kjv "surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.".

Or, if you prefer, and you'd prefer to have Satan as your travel agent, you might just gain the whole world, but lose your soul too. 

Satan can only plans one trip, one thing, your descent into hell and the deathly destruction of your eternal soul forever.

Why would Satan even try and entice us with his deceitful planning? Because he's so envious and jealous of us, that we in the flesh still have the opportunity in time and space to make the right choice to know Jesus as Lord and savior, rather try to be god like he did. And he failed, and he is very mad about that, and he'd like to lead us to his same failure too. Ezekiel28,1ff Misery wants company. 

The non conformist Protestant English preacher John Bunyan wrote, in two parts, published 1678 and 1684, the classic "Pilgrim's Progress." This was an allegory, a story of his faith of his walk from the "City of Destruction to the Celestial City." He wrote it during his 12 year imprisonment for unauthorized preaching. How humble is that- this awesome man of faith writes of his progress while he is being unjustly punished for doing nothing but good.  

Watch out nations of the world, when we have state and church together we have to ask the king or queen, or the government faith office, or the chairman of this or that, if we can preach and then what we can preach. And if you don't ask or don't abide their notions, that pad their religious and political coffers, they can throw you in jail like the English state church-government did to John Bunyan, just a pilgrim progessing. That's nonsense. For freedom Christ set us free. The first Christians were sent by Jesus at Matthew 28 to the nations, not to make Christian nations, but to make Christians, make faithers, make heaven and kingdom souls not state churches: "Render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to God."

John Bunyan had what every bible believing Christian is supposed to know- respect for the fact that eternal judgement is coming for us all. We can't go wrong reading John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress."

So don't just blow off that conviction of sin you are feeling. Don't just write an advice cloumnist. Call upon an informed man or woman of God, a bible believer, someone who cares about where your eternal soul is going. When you experience that "I've got to get right with God feeling"-at whatever age- stop with your busy-ness. Stop doing whatever is distracting you. Stop your wool gathering, stop your dabbling with the horoscopes and daily dosing of altered states of consciousness. Stop procrastinating, stop rationalizing your sins and lack of spiritual health. 

Stop thinking that only the sinners who get caught are "really sinners." Stop all this 'me first' 'me now' 'me always' thinking and repent! Make God and the people who have had to put up with your nonsense and drama- by making your peace with God today. 

Today is the day of your salvation! Don't blame your spouse for your sin. Don't blame your church! Or the devil. Or your demons. Come to your senses, get right in time and eternity with your everliving God.

Call me, or contact us, and we'll get you delivered from your ugly demons, and ancestral sins-familiar spirits- and get you adult baptized, and ready to worship in a healthy place, with bible based offices, and a bible based religion.

What are you waiting for?

To get rich? Might never happen. Might wait 50 years to get rich "enough" to thank God for what you already have right now, today!

To lose 20 pounds and get fit and handsome or beautiful like you were at your college formal? (As you sit at you work remotely, thinking about that Ben And Jerry's, just steps away, for lunch?

But that 20 pounds lost might never happen, before it's time for you to meet Jesus.

We might not have time enough to get rich, or fit, or super educated or find Mr. or Ms. right, before we gain a proper sense of time and eternity. But I tell you- for a fact- that whether we know it or not, whether we are walking the right way or the wrong- we all are on a pilgrimage to meet God, and  'every knee will bow!' Yur knee my knee, every knee. 

And I also know that there comes a time for every person needs the best travel agent- Jesus. The Apostle Paul went from grinning and sinning to repenting in an instant. He saw the ugliness and evil of his sin. And wow did he turn it around fast and run a great and persevering race of faith. What a pilgrimage, full of the holy Ghost fire. He had a great sense of time and eternity, with times of intense service, of rest, of great focus and priority, finally pilgimaging to Rome and his eternal rest with Jesus.

Along the way he said at Phillipians1,21 what only someone who had wrestled with time and eternity could say: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." This is Paul at his most wise. Paul simultaneously appreciated both the limited and precious time he has to serve Jesus on earth, and the even more precious gainful joy that will be our with God in eternity.

The Apostle Paul wasn't going to be surprised by his death. He knew it was going to happen, some day, some how. And if he died then and there he wasn't going to feel cheated of anything in life. So many folks now and at the end seem to feel cheated by life, as if time owes us something. No neither time or Jesus or our Father God owes us anything.

And they never did cheat us of anything. Life and time and salvation and even eternity itself is a gift of God. 

How great is Paul- because for him to live is to live with Christ, and to die is to eternally be with Him. He had a great sense of his whole pilgrimage, from his first faith, when he was blinded by the light, to his mission to the gentiles, to his persevering to Rome.

And his witness never wavered. 

Think about the last days of your faith. Will you still be growing in it, or will you have lost it? What makes you think you will be ready for eternity in the future, if you are not ready for eternity now? 

We live in a society where people are so ashamed to think someone might- over time- learn something negative about them. But at Luke12,3 Jesus prophesies to "many thousands" in Luke12, at the height of his popularity. And because he has such a good sense of time and eternity, he warns his disciples of the 'leaven of the Pharisees,' the evil that can rise up in us after the first flush of faith. Many folks are all excited  about the faith at one time in their lives, but in the end can become two-faced Christians, hypocrites. That evil leaven rises up in them and it takes over, corrupts the purity of their faith. Jesus is prophesying that he doesn't want this to happen to his 12 disciples during the "one generation" the 40 years expected duration of their service Mark13,30. Luke12,3:

"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops."     

Jesus, amidst the thousands and his 12 disciples, knows not everyone there listening to him is sincere. And it's prophetic of the future, and all eternity too. Jesus is going to hear every dissembling word, every faithless word we have spoken in the dark, ie in the secret places of our lives, about him. He is going to hear the apostasy of denying the Word right out of our mouths, denying he was God in the flesh. He hears all the vain faithless prayers, all the lack of faith whispered about him. He will hears it all, he has heard it all, and always has. 

This scripture is also prophetic of the last days too, the days of the scoffers, of the great apostasy, of hypocrisy, of a wealth of facilities, of the church of Laodicaea, and the church of business, and busyness, but so little blessed supernatural activity. Jesus is seeing and hearing all of it, and is marginalized in the very churches where  he is the chief shepherd.

How could this happen? God's people get distracted, lose the fear of God, lose any sense of time and eternity, and lose a sense of eternal judgement. But Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be shouting out the very ways and means of this lack of faith, the lifeless faith void of the empty Pharisees and the scoffers who have lost their way.

But John Bunyan persevered, kept walking on his pilgrimage and Paul persevered because he had a well developed sense of his limited time on earth and his eternity with the Lord.

There was another brilliant writer and reformer on pilgrimage Dante Alighieri, poet and politician from Florence, who walked this earth from May 1263 to Septemebr 1321. He walked his pilgrimage several hundred years before Bunyan. He had a keen sense of his own religiously decadent medieval time and its need, and his own need, to recognize- and then reject sin- and its eternal consequences.

And thus he wrote what has been referred to as the jewel of the Western literary canon, The Divine Commedy. I hope it is still taught somewhere somehow, but I fear it is too politically incorrect, too clear cut in its moral assessments.

This is the imaginary story of Dante as 'the pilgrim" waking up one day in the middle of his life in a "dark wood" ie in sin. He has lost the right way, not because he is particularly evil but because he was particularly human. He knew something wasn't right in himself and in his culture and in his church. And "The Divine Comdedy served for Dante as the supreme formation of his conscience in that he wrote it during the last fourteen years of his life, while exiled banned from Florence for his seperation of church and state ideas. 

His imaginary pilgrimage began in the inferno, in hell, then proceeded to purgatory (that temporary but not in the Christian bible place), and then heaven. Mostly we talk about "The Divine Comedy" as a work of art, and that it is. But though Dante is a chuch loyalist, it is also a reforming treatise for the church and its politics. He wanted his home town of Florence to remain an independent city state (as it had been from early in the 12th century) attached more to the empire than to the papacy (cf Ruth Levush

In other words, he agreed to a degree as much as a loyal Romanist of his day could with Jesus' separation of church and state! "Render unto Caesar..."

For his reformist politics he was sentenced in 1302 by the Florence tribunale, the local council, to exile, after Rome banned mass and communion until Dante's church-state unionist rivals, the Black Guelph's were in power.  Dante asked Rome to lift the interdict and Rome refused and sent in the King of France, Charles Valois upon which Dante and his supporters were banned and politically defeated (cf May 3, 2010).

In his exile he wrote the Divine Commedia. He never returned to Florence and is buried in Ravenna. And yet he is revered today as both the father of the Italian language and to this preacher's gospel mind a great and early reformer of the Roman church. His political-church reform views are similar to the great Chech martyr John Hus, who was born about 50 years after Dante died, martyred at the stake because he said it was more important to obey the Word, than the church, which is a theme of the first third, the Inferno section, of the Divine Commedia. He also shares a lot in common with the first truly freedom loving American religious leader Roger Williams, who championed the separation of church ansd state, and was similarly banned from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and forced to flee for his life to Rhode Island where he eventually founded Providence, perhaps the first place in the world where an independent Christian religion survived various or total co-optation by various Christendoms. Oh thank God for the good old USA where we still enjoy our freedom of religion. 

In my tiny seminary room there was a sink- which I suppose was the one amenity of that cramped room. And on the mirror above the sink was a sticker, probably still there today, that said "Time is short and eternity is long." This is perhaps the chief literary and theological construct of Dante's "Divine Comedy" and the bible itself. There is also a lot of dense Greek mythology and era based ignorance about a born again faith in the Divine Comedy. And I sense his idea of heresy (associated with the sixth circle of hell) is way too connected to what a church says, rather than what the bible, actually says. But then again Protestant churches can also go overboard declaring heresies too. Declaring heresies and heretics and witches and all that is so much easier than being just and living by faith. 

But Dante is exactly right in his keen and prophetic sense that the bible based eternal sovereign judgement of God is to be highly respected- and rest above all the judgements of men. And Dante understood, in the fiery nature of his exile, that God was not going to have any political or religious favorites, not from the church, not from politics, not from the nobility when it comes to eternal judgement. This was sort of radical and progressive for his day.

I have read the first third of this Divine Comedy, the hell part, three times and Dante paints an incredibly realistic portrait of the political and religious time period, of the church politics, and dynastic potentates, and the politicians, and the church leaders, and the religious friars and priests, and kings and queens, emperors and philosophers, of all their sins and of all the various sinners. And the particular detail flavor of their sins, which is admittedly sort of gruesome, even legalistic if not gossipy, as is what circle of hell their unrepentant sins deserved. Each circle of hell was characterized by its particular punishment, and the fitting come uppance (contrapasso, counter punishment), that each sinner  that they received in hell, and the terrible lifeless fellowship of the dead souls, all trapped together in their particular shared hell circle. 

The first of the nine circles, from the least culpable to the most, in Dante's scheme are : N. 1 (Limbo-Paganism) Incontinence, (ie a weak will); 2. Lust; 3. Gluttony 4. Avarice-prodgiality (Excess); 5. Anger; 6. Heresy-Violence; 7. Plain Fraud; 8. Deceitful Fraud; 9. Treacherous Fraud.

Circles 1-6 and their chief sins depict  some idea of being moved to a state of passion that break down an imperfect will, whereas, circles 7-9 depict all manner of fraud and conning that just gets worse and worse. 

Interestingly, in circle 8 of hell, Dante seizes on the church granting indulgeances. This became the subject of Luther's most effective preaching amongst the non biblical teachings of the Roman Church, 250 years later. An indulgeance is a ruling by the church that grants its bearer a shorter time in purgatory (Catholics believed or believe souls need to be purified, penanced from even for confessed and priest absolved sins, whereas Protestants rely on personal repentant faith upon sin and thus have no need for purgatory, which is not in the bible) or even forgiveness of future sins, ususally in exchange for payment.

In Canto 27 Dante tells the story of a deceitful religious conversion of Guido Montefeltro. Though a warrior in his early life, he became a friar, a religious. Guido, as Dante tells it, was recruited by Pope Boniface VIII to give him counsel how to overthrow the powerful and excomunicated Roman Colonna family, filled with Roman church-state Cardinals, who though they lived on Palestrina a mountain fortress east of Rome, and still supported the prior Pope. To induce his willingness to give this deceitful advice, according to Dante, Boniface gave Guido an indulgeance for this future sin.

In other words, Guido believed he could repent of the evil of his deceitful counsel before he gave it, then give it and not put his soul in grave sin, by his deathly sin (1John5,16). What was his advice? "ample promise with scant fulfillment will bring you triumph on your lofty throne."  Canto27,110-11

In other words, his advice was what the Hebrew prophets of the bible call "peace, peace when there is no peace:"

"They dress the wound of my people with very little care, saying 'peace, peace, when there is no peace at all." Jeremiah6,14 Berean Study Bible

Guido was to deceive the Collonna family. But Guido, according to Dante's literary judgements was most deceived, and also particularly self deceived (see appropriate textual note by translator mark Musa in World Masterpieces 3rd ed. Norton, 1973 copyright Indiana U. Press). And thus in hell- because he had allowed himself to believe that the indulgeance, believe the church could forgive a future sin, which only God can do.

This self deceit and failure meant his conversion from his former life as military strongman to friar with the Franciscan rope belt tied at his middle was insincere and deceitful according to Dante, all of this deception made Guido worthy of hell.

(NB Dante and Boniface were on opposite sides of the political independence of Florence obviously colored his treatment of Boniface in the Divine Commedia, but the historical outlines of Dante's work, seem to bear up and also support the biblically based theme of readiness for judgment of this preaching.)

Interestingly, in 1965 Paul The Sixth leader of the Roman church donated a cross for Dante's tomb in Ravenna.

And in Oct. 2020, in the 'year of Dante', proclaimed by the President of the Italian Republic, the present leader of that denomination stated that people could "rediscover" the Divine Comedy (CNA 10.12.2020), and also remarked about a future Vatican publication about the work.) 

And Dante being always brilliant- on June 17th 2008- the Florence City Council life the ban of exile and its death threat if he ever came back. He couldn't reclaim his property and all he lost, after 700 years.

But Dante's Divine Commedia, finished in 1321 at the end of Dante's pilgrimage, enjoys and lives on as sweet smelling incense fruit of the reforming Waldensians one hundred years before him and all reformers then and since.

Oh praise Jesus for Dante's Inferno, and the whole Divine Commedia, despite its biblical and theological defects as to how souls are saved, is an eternal sweet smelling incense offering to God, an intercession for the reformation of the church, for separation of church and state, a scent and intercession that seemingly reached John Hus shortly thereafter and even Martin Luther at the height of the Reformation, and Christian reformers wherever found on piligrimage today. These reformers like Dante all championed the judgements of the Word over the judgement of the empire's church. 

Oh Lord thank you for giving Dante and all the reformers past and present and future a keen sense of our present time and our future eternity, with or without you.

What time is it in your life fellow pilgrim? 

I'm thinking it's abbout time for all of us to get right with Jesus- the first man who knew no sin, who walked among us, as the faithful one, messiah and Lord, on foot or on a humble donkey, looking to gather up his own.

I am Br. Tobin and this is 'The Preaching Hour" Contact us if you need prayer, or deliverance, or your adult full immersion baptism.

And we will carry on this sermon for at least another hour, at some future time, but we'll end this sermon "Some Sense of Time And Eternity- Before It's Too Late" with Ephesians5,15-16:

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." ESV