Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

If you attend church, have you ever thought about those who may be sitting around you? Perhaps they, like you, are hurting deeply and may be looking for “… a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – Charles R. Swindoll

I came across this piece by Beverly Palmer who wrote –

Church Is Hard

Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.

Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.

Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.

Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.

Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.

Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.

Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.

Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.

Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.

Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.

Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.

Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.

Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.

Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.

Church is hard for the sinners.

Church is hard for me.

It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress. However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.


Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.

Church is a body.

Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.

Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.

Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.

Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.

Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.

Church is a lesson in faith and trust.

Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.

Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.

Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.

So even on the hard days at church—The days when I am at odds with a friend, when I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.

I’ll remember, He [the Lord] has never failed to meet me there.

Meet The Savior

If you’ve never met the Savior, and have never been told the Gospel (Good News) that Christ died for your sins, was buried for three days and nights, and then rose again bodily from the dead, you need to know and believe these facts and then place your faith and trust in Him alone as the only One Who can deliver you from eternal condemnation and take you to heaven to be with Him forever. We are NOT saved by our good works, but by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

HELP. We’re here to offer assistance to those who are teachable, willing to change, and then grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:18). We’ve been through many “raging rivers” and on “rugged mountain paths.” For many years we’ve been comforted by God through His Word and His people, and so we want to extend God’s comfort to you if you long for it (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached here or through our website:

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When you were a child, you probably were told the story of the three little pigs. The mother pig decided that it was time for them go out and make a living on their own. Each needed to build his own house. The first one made his house out of straw. The second made his out of sticks. But the third one made his house out of bricks. Enter the big, bad wolf.

You know the rest of the story. The wolf ate the first two little pigs after blowing their houses down, but he wasn’t able to blow down the house made of bricks. His problem? He had COPD, the drug companies tell us.

Houses. Each of us is building a life for himself/herself. In the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus talked about two men who built their houses: one on the sand; the other on the rock. One fell, and the other stood firm when the storms of life came on them (Matthew 7:24-27). Friend, are you on the Rock (the Lord Jesus Christ) or on the sand of self reliance, humanism, or the government? The storms of life will come sooner or later, and they will reveal the source of your trust.

Identity. On another occasion, Jesus asked His disciples, “’Who do men say that I am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. ‘He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’”

A Play On Words. “’And I [Jesus] also say to you that you are Peter [Greek – petros – a small stone], and on this rock [Greek – petra – a large massive rock, referring to Himself] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it’” (Matthew 16:13-18). The Apostle Paul referred to Christ as the foundation and the chief cornerstone upon which the true Church was/is being built (Ephesians 2:20). Are you on the Rock (the Lord Jesus Christ)? Have you placed your faith and trust in Him alone, as the one Who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? If you have done this, you’re secure. You may shake on the rock, but the Rock (Christ) never shakes.

Quality. If you have been truly saved, you have a choice to make. You can spend your life doing worthless things that have the character wood, hay, or straw like the foolish pigs did, or you can do good works that have the character of gold, silver, or precious stones that can endure fire, as the wise pig did. (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; See 2 Corinthians 5:10) What crowns, rewards, and praise do you want to receive from the Lord on Judgment day? Salvation and eternal life are offered freely to us (because Christ purchased them for us), but these other things must be earned by our works (See Ephesians 2:8-10).

“The Gates of Hell.” Sheol/Hades is a real place where all the dead, both the righteous and unrighteous, went at the time of their physical death, before Christ’s death for our sins…His burial…His bodily resurrection, and ascension back to heaven, from where He had come (John 3:13; 6:41, 51). He took back to the third heaven all the Old Testament believers, who had been held in the Paradise section of Sheol/Hades, that was in the heart of the earth (Ephesians 4:8-10). Today only unbelievers go the lowest Hades where they suffer in their temporary bodies, souls, and spirits (Luke 16:24; Deuteronomy 32:22).

Jail/Prison. These dead unbelievers will be kept in Hades (the jail house) until the time of their resurrection from the dead at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). They will be judged according to the works they did on earth, to determine their degree of suffering in the lake of fire (the inescapable prison) forever. Some will suffer more than others (Matthew 11:22, 24; 25:30, 41, 46). We hope that you won’t end up in this awful place. There is no purgatory, no reincarnation of the dead, and no annihilation of the wicked dead mentioned in the Scriptures in spite of what the cults and false religions teach.

Consciousness. Those who have died physically are very conscious of their surroundings. (See Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 12:1-6). At the time of their death, all the dead, both believers and unbelievers, receive temporary bodies to house both their souls (emotions – John 12:27; Hebrews 4:12) and their spirits (that relate to their minds – Ephesians 4:23). (See also 2 Corinthians 5:1-10). Only the body that dies goes to the grave until everyone is raised from the dead, each one in his/her own order. The last enemy that Jesus will destroy is death. He will do this by raising everyone who has died from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:26). In which resurrection will you participate? Not sure?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change for the better (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: If this article has helped you, please pass it on to others who may benefit from it. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

Lessons From Pigs:

The three pigs picture all of us in our unsaved condition. We wallow in sin because we have a sin nature that we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve. (See 2 Peter 2:22; Galatians 5:19-21).

Unless our lives get transferred from the sand of self righteousness over to the Rock (the Lord Jesus Christ), by believing on Him alone, through the message of the Gospel, we will be doomed forever (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; John 3:16, 18). When we are saved initially from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1), God gives us a new nature like His (2 Peter 1:4). With it we are able to do things that please God (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 8:8). NOTE: Even though we receive a new nature, we still retain the Old Sin Nature during this life and can do anything we did prior to our being saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25).

As Christians, we have a choice as to what kind of materials we will use to build on “The Rock,” the Lord Jesus Christ. Only if our works have the right character (gold, silver, precious stones) will they be rewarded. Our worthless works (like wood, hay, straw) will be burned up, and we could lose out on crowns, rewards, and praise from God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

Like the big, bad wolf, the devil is headed for disaster in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10). This is also the ultimate destiny of are all unbelievers (Matthew 25:41, 46).

Final Call. “Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober

Scripture verses taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

All rights reserved.

(Acts 16, Philippians – Lesson # 9)

Have you ever wondered how “The Church” and local churches got started? What are churches supposed to be doing? Why are there so many different kinds of churches? What are Christians supposed to believe and how are they supposed to act? Where in the Bible do Christians find their rules for living? Why does it seem like there are contradictions in the Bible?

Before going to the cross to die for our sins, and rise again bodily from the grave on the third day, Jesus said, “I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What did He mean? Did it exist in the Old Testament times, and before the Apostle Paul became a Christian (Ephesians 2:15; 3:1 ff; 5:32; See 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13)? Has the Church replaced Israel because of their rejection of Him as their Messiah (Romans 11)? Can Christians claim promises that were given to the Jews? What about the curses? (Read Deuteronomy 28).

Mosaic Law. It was through Moses that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave to the Jewish nation the Law to regulate their daily lives. It included the Law, the statutes, and ordinances. These were not rules they had to keep to earn their salvation (Galatians 2:16). When Jesus came to earth, He gave the Jews some new rules (Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5-7) to tell them what they had to do to enter the “Kingdom of the Heavens” (Matthew 4:17; See Daniel 2:44, 45).

Rejected. Because the Jews, as a whole, rejected Jesus as their promised Messiah (John 1:11; 18:40; Matthew 23:3-39), He postponed the setting up of His kingdom to a later date (See Matthew 16:20; 23: 36-39). This will take place when He returns to earth after the “Seven years of Tribulation” (Matthew 24:29 ff; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 9:27).

Church. It is also called “Christ’s Body” and it began on the “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2; 10; 11). It will be complete when “all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him and been saved” (John 6:37, 44; Romans 11:25). Then Christ will return for the true Church, and make it His “Bride” and take them to the place that He has been preparing for them (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:9 ff). This event is referred to as “The Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

Steward. The Apostle Paul was the one whom Christ chose to be the “Steward” (Household Manager) of this “Dispensation of Grace” in which we now live (Ephesians 3:1 ff). The Apostles Peter and John, along with Christ’s half-brothers, James and Jude provided supplemental information for New Testament Grace believers to believe and practice.

For/To. All of the Scripture/Bible is for us, but not all of it is directed to Christians. All of it is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (See Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). From the Old Testament we can learn much about the character of God (Exodus 3:14), what not to do lest we suffer the same kind of consequences that the Jews did for their disobedience (1 Corinthians 10). We also can count on God to keep His promises to us as He did with the Jews (Romans 15:4).

Witnesses. Jesus made it clear that He wanted His disciples to be His witnesses and for them to share the Gospel concerning His death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection with other Jews, with the Samaritans, and with the whole world (Acts 1:8). As a result of Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost, 3,000 Jews became Christians (Acts 2:41). But it took some persecution of these Christians to get them to go to the non-Jews.

Persecution. God allowed, a devout Jew by the name of Saul/Paul, before he became a Christian, to persecute them (Acts 8). This caused the Jewish Christians to scatter out and share the Gospel with everyone wherever they went. On his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, Saul/Paul was stricken by a bright light and a voice from heaven that said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me” (Acts 9:4). He soon came to recognize that is was the resurrected Christ who was speaking to him. He became a Christian at that time.

Education. Still being blind, Saul/Paul was escorted to Damascus where he remained blind for three days until Ananias came and prayed for him and his eye sight was restored to him (Acts 9:9-18; See Galatians 4:15). Saul/Paul then proclaimed Christ in Damascus before going out into Arabia for three years to be taught by the Lord Himself (Galatians 1:17). After spending a few days with Peter in Jerusalem, Saul/Paul went back to his home town of Tarsus for the next 14 years (Acts 9:30; 11:25).

How To. It has been suggested that during this time he was learning how to live the Christian life himself before teaching other Christians how to live by “Grace Principles.” (See Acts 20:28.) He related his personal struggle with his sin nature and how he leaned how to overcome the temptations that come from it by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7; 8; Galatians 5:16).

Age. Some believe that the Apostle Paul was about 50 years old when he began his missionary work, along with Barnabas. Having been commended by the Christians in the church in Antioch, they began their first missionary journey into central Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). When the work got hard, John Mark, whom they had brought with them, went home (Acts 13:13).

Stoned. As they went from place to place sharing the Good News (Gospel) concerning Christ’s death for our sins…and His bodily resurrection, they saw some people saved in spite of much persecution. While they were at Lystra, the Apostle Paul was stoned to death (Acts14:19; See 2 Corinthians 12:1-6). But since his work on earth wasn’t done, God revived him and he and Barnabas continued to evangelize the Jews and Gentiles. Today Jesus holds the “keys of death” (Revelation 1:18; See Hebrews 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:14). A few local churches were established along the way.

Account. Returning to their sending church in Antioch, they reported what God had done through them (Acts 14:27). When it was time for them to go back to the area where they had started some churches, Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement about whether they should take with them John Mark who had deserted them on their first missionary trip (Acts 15:36-41). Because of this, Paul took Silas with him, and Barnabas took John Mark with him and they went on separate missionary journeys.

Assistant. When Paul and Silas arrived back at Lystra, they found a young man by the name of Timothy, who had a good report from the brethren (Acts 16:1 ff) . In all likelihood, Timothy had heard about or perhaps witnessed Paul’s being stoned to death and hearing of his restoration back to life. Perhaps this resulted in Timothy’s being saved. So Paul invited him to come along with them as they continued on their missionary trip.

People Groups. Even though Paul had been commissioned to go primarily to the Gentiles (non-Jews), he didn’t neglect the Jews (Galatian 2:7). He tried to visit their synagogues on the Sabbath to proclaim to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on their third day. So when they crossed over the sea, they arrived in Philippi (in Europe), and encountered a lady by the river where there was a place of prayer.

God’s Work. He prepared Lydia’s heart and she received the Gospel message from Paul, and became the first Christian in Europe (Acts 16:14). She, being a wealthy business woman, invited Paul and his companions to stay at her house.

Demon. Later as Paul and Silas were sharing the Gospel with the people in Philippi, a demon possessed girl, who was making her masters much money, was following Paul around while saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us [Greek =“a”] way of salvation” (Acts 16:17; See John 14:6). Irritated by this, Paul cast the demon out of the girl. This resulted in the merchant’s financial loss, and Paul and Silas’ being beaten and thrown in jail.

Rejoicing. Rather than complaining about their mistreatment, even though Paul was a Roman citizen, they sang songs in the middle of the night. God sent an earthquake that caused their chains to fall off.

Question. Fearing for his life, the jailor came rushing in and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30-32) was Paul’s reply. Upon believing, the jailor and his household were baptized (immersed). Read Acts 16 for “the rest of the story.”

Martyrs. While the Apostle Paul and his companions were evangelizing in Asia Minor and Europe, the other disciples of Jesus went elsewhere proclaiming the Gospel. All but the Apostle John were martyred for their faith. (Read John Fox’s “Book of Martyrs.”) Truly “The blood of the martyr’s became the seed of the church.”

The “Book of Acts” continues Dr. Luke’s record of the life of Christ that he began in the Gospel with his name on it. It transitions people from Law into Grace. Believers today have a new set of rules to regulate their lives. These “Rules for Grace Living – Dispensations” can generally be found between John 13 through Revelation 3. (See our “Understanding the Times, Dispensations Chart” for more details.)

What Is A Local Church Supposed To Do?

God’s primary purpose is to glorify Himself (Exodus 8:22; 10:2; Isaiah 49:3; John 17:4; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). This means that He tells us what He’s like and then demonstrates it to us in various ways. In the end, God the Father will be glorified when everyone acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord (i.e. the God/man – Philippians 2:11). This verse doesn’t teach “universalism” or that eventually everyone will be saved (See John 3:18, 36; Matthew 25:41, 46).

The primary objective/purpose of a local church is/should be to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3). Christians can do this by/through –

Worship. Believers today are to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24; Ephesians 4:23; John 14:6). This can be done anywhere at any time. When Christians gather together, they should rehearse the attributes and character of God to remind each other of who and what God is. His attributes include His goodness, righteousness, omnipotence, omniscience, truth, holiness, and love. Meditating on these things will enable us to magnify God in our thinking (Psalm 1:2; 34:3; 1 Timothy 4:15).

Preaching. In order for believers to grow spiritually ( 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), they need to have the Word of God proclaimed and explained to them (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 4:2; Titus 1:9). The Scriptures are to be interpreted normally (literally), historically, grammatically, and contextually. God gave to the Church Pastors/teachers for the edification of believers (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Stimulation. Believers should look forward to the assembly meetings of the church (Hebrews 10:24, 25) so they can use their spiritual gifts with love to assist others in the fellowship (John 13:34, 35; Galatians 5:13; Romans 12:3-9; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10).

Ordinances. There are two ordinances that the Lord gave to the Church: Baptism/immersion (1) to identify us with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3, 4; Galatians 2:20), (2) to be obedient to His command (Matthew 28:19, 20), and for us (3) to have a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism/immersion is not a condition for salvation, but an evidence of it to other people (Acts 8:36-39). The “Lord’s Table,” when observed, is designed to remind believers of the Lord’s sacrificial death until He comes back for us (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Unity. When God saves people today, whether they come from a Jewish or non-Jewish background, they are placed into the spiritual “Body of Christ – the true Church” and are made one “in Christ” (Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Believers are to “keep” (guard/maintain) the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Evangelism. Without the proclamation of the Gospel (that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead) lost people cannot be saved from eternal condemnation in the lake of fire (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:9-17; Matthew 25:41, 45; Revelation 21:8). This particular Good News is the “power of God” unto the salvation of both Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16, 17). A person needs to know the facts of the Gospel, agree with the facts, and then place his/her faith in Christ alone, apart from any good works, if he/she is to be saved (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fellowship. Each local church, under Christ’s headship, may choose to fellowship with other Bible believing local churches as the Holy Spirit leads them (Ephesians 1:22, 23; Romans 8:14). God is opposed to the unequal yoke with unbelievers and with those who teach another Gospel and/or heresies (2 Corinthians 6:14; 11:4, 13-15; Revelation 2:20; 18:4; Titus 3:10).

Conclusion: The Church which is also known as “The Body of Christ” was a mystery in the Old Testament times (Romans 16:25-27). Are you are member in this body and the new creation (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17)? You can become one by placing your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Once you’ve been saved, God wants you to grow spiritually, serve Him by serving others, and making Him known to others within your circle of influence and those whom you encounter in life.

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. Please SHARE this with others who want to know what God says in His Word.

In the town where I live, there are several gyms. I belong to one of them. I go there to try to keep my body in shape and to meet other people. My wife tells me that I spend more time socializing than I do exercising. My dad used to remind me that“bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable in all things” (1 Timothy 4:8). God wants His children to make other disciples (true believers), see them get baptized, and then teach them about Christ’s new commandment (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 13:34, 35; Contrast “old commandment” – Leviticus 19:18).

Body Building. Did you know that God has a “body building” program too. Just before He went to the cross to die for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

Scripture. Many people have strange ideas about the Church that need to be corrected. “All Scripture is [God breathed] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, so that the man/woman of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Within the pages of the 66 books of the Bible we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The additional false teachings of the cults and the unscriptural philosophies of men are to be avoided (Colossians 2:8).

Join. Before you can be a member and exercise in God’s gym (1 Timothy 4:7), you must be spiritually alive (“born again from above” John 3:3 ff; Ephesians 2:1 ff). This takes place when you “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.” Sadly, most people won’t join God’s family because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). What about you?

Strength. When we believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God gives us His life (eternal life – John 3:16) and energizes us. He wants Christians to cooperate with Him in our spiritual development (Romans 6:11-13; 12:1, 2; Philippians 2:13, 4:13; Galatians 2:20; 4:19). God the Holy Spirit is like a coach who shows us what we need to do each day, hour, and moment to develop us and be a model of His grace and for His glory (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:10; 3:20, 21; 5:18; Galatians 5:16, 25). Even the angels watch us as we develop and grow spiritually (Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Hebrews 1:14).

Glory. God is glorified (i. e. made known to other people) when they see the way God deals with us as His children. He disciplines His rebellious children (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16) and continues to illuminate and empower His obedient children (Ephesians 1:17 ff).

Growth. Jesus is building His Church numerically and spiritually. Numerical growth takes place when unsaved people put their faith in Christ alone and become Christians as a result of our sharing the clear Gospel with them (Acts 1:8; 2:41; 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 10:13-17). Spiritual growth usually takes place slowly and over time when new believers are fed with the milk of the Word and then with solid food (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-14). If you’re a true Christian, how much growth has taken place in your life since you’ve been saved? Are you grieving (Ephesians 4:30) or quenching God the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Do you have known sins that need to be confessed to God (1 John 1:9) and to others whom you’ve offended (James 5:16)?

The New Creation. When we become true Christians, we become part of a New Creation” called The Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This New Creation” has one Head – Jesus Christ, and one Body – the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Jesus is the only Mediator between God the Father and man (1 Timothy 2:5). We don’t pray to His mother, Mary or to the saints.

Priests. Jesus is our High Priest and each believer is a New Testament priest (Hebrews 4:14-16; 13:15, 16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6) who is supposed to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16). The True Church is made up of all true believers from the Day of Pentecost until the time of the Rapture (Acts 1:5; 2:1ff; John 6:37; 14:1-3). The True Church has not replaced Israel. God is not finished with the nation of Israel (Romans 11:1 ff). “The time of Jacob’s trouble,” will take place during the last 3 ½ years of the seven year Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15 ff; Revelation 6-19). The surviving, believing remnant (Romans 9:27; Matthew 10:22; 21:9; 23:30; Zechariah 12:10), will see the unconditional promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their believing descendants fulfilled. The Church is unique and was a mystery during the Old Testament times (Ephesians 3:1-12). It is Christ’s spiritual Body and it will become His spiritual Bride at the time of the Rapture when He comes back for His Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Will you be a part of the “True Church” or the “Apostate Ecumenical Church”? Are you sure? Are you “believing in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2; See Matthew 7:21-23)?

Help. We’re here to spiritually assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached through our website: If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share it with others who may benefit from it too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Sing along – “O give me a church where folks in the lurch / Are encouraged, then healed from above; / Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, / And the truth is modeled in love.” [1]  Would you like to attend a church like this? Will you ever find one? Let’s spend a few minutes thinking about the church.  But first –

A typical American family was driving home from church one Sunday. Dad was fussing about the sermon being too long and sort of boring. Mom said she thought the organist played too loudly during the second hymn they sang. Sis, who was a music major in college, said she thought the soloist sang about a half a note off key during most of her song. Grandma said she couldn’t hear very well – since they were sitting toward the back. When they pulled in the driveway, little Willie, who had listened to all of this, started to fuss about the woman who sat in front of him with that big hat. Then he paused, nudged his dad, and said, ‘But, Dad, you gotta admit, it was a pretty good show for a nickel.’ Ouch!” Is the church you attend in the entertainment business or what? (See link below)

To help us get a proper perspective of the Church, we need to go to the Scriptures and ask some vital questions: Who…? What…? Where…? When…? Why…? How…?

First Mention. As Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry, after the majority of the Jews (especially the religious leaders) had rejected Him as their Messiah (John 1:11, 12; 6:66; 19:15; Isaiah 53:1), He asked His 12 disciples what others were saying about Him. Some Jews thought He was John the Baptist, others Elijah, or perhaps Jeremiah. Then Jesus asked them who they thought He was. Representing the other disciples, Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus told him that this information was revealed to Him by God the Father. Then Jesus talked about building His Church and told His disciples not to refer to Him any more as the promised Messiah because He was going to postpone the setting up of His kingdom on earth until a future date (Matthew 16:20-23; 21:9; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12:10). This didn’t go well with the disciples, and Peter rebuked the Lord for saying that He was going to the cross to die. The Lord in turn had to rebuke Peter for opposing God’s plan.

Meaning. The Greek word for “church” means “a called out assembly.” (See Colossians 1:18.)  God the Father, who is sovereign, chose some people from the human race to become the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Bride-groom (John 6:37; 2 Corinthians 11:2). These people are not to be confused with Old Testament believers from Adam up until the time of Abraham, or with the nation of Israel, or the millennial believers who will trust in Christ as Savior in the future. Today, God sees humanity in three categories: the Jews, Gentiles (non-Jews), and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32). Contrary to what many people think, the church doesn’t refer to buildings.

Members. The “True Church” began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:1 ff) and will be complete when Jesus Christ returns at the time of the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). Initially the Church consisted of Jews. Then Samaritans (half-Jews) and Gentiles (non-Jews) were added to the Church (See Acts 1:8; 8:5-25; 10:1-11:18). All of them were saved the same way by believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). No one is saved by his/her good works or by faith plus good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

History Of The Church. The seven local churches mentioned in Revelation chapters 2, 3 were actual churches that existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation. The messages to them were to be used to test the true condition of the angel (i.e. messenger, Pastor/teacher) and the church in which they found themselves. Each individual in these 7 churches also was to examine himself/herself to see what things they needed to change so they could be well pleasing to God. But there also seems to be a prophetic element that shows the progress of the spiritual state of the Church until the Lord returns for His Bride, the True Church (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:32). “It can be seen that [the church of] Ephesus (2:1-7), though a local church in the apostle’s day, is typical of the first century as a whole; [the church in] Smyrna (2:8-11) characterizes the church under persecution, e.g. from A.D. c. 100-316; [the church of] Pergamos (2:12-17), ‘where Satan dwells’ (2:13; compare 2:14, 15, and notes), is suggestive of the church mixing with the world, e.g. in the Middle Ages; [the church of] Thyatira (2:18-29) reveals how evil progresses in the church and idolatry is practiced; [the church of] Sardis (3:1-6) is representative of the church as dead, yet still having a minority of godly men and women, as during the Reformation; [the church of] Philadelphia (3:1-7) shows revival and a state of spiritual advance; and [the church of] Laodicea (3:14-19) is illustrative of the final state of apostasy which the visible church will experience.” [3] 

The Harlot Church. This future church will bring together apostate Christendom and the false religions of the world and will promote the One World Religion/Church and the One World Government of the Antichrist (Revelation 17, 18). The formative stages of this church seem to be in the making. It will take over and incorporate the religions of man shortly after the Rapture of the True Church.

Questions. Have you placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day? Are you depending on any of your good works to get you into heaven (Titus 3:5)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? If you have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5), have you been baptized (immersed) to let others know that you are a true Christian (Galatians 2:20; Acts 8:13, 35-38; 10:47, 48; 16:30-34)? Have you dedicated your body to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you involved in and are you being fed spiritually in a Bible believing local church that interprets the Bible normally, literally, historically, and grammatically? Do you have a desire to grow spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)?  Do you know what you spiritual gift is and are you using it with love (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13)? If not, would you like to know so that you can serve God by serving others (Galatians 5:13; 6:10)?  

Help. We want to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). If you have questions and/or comments, contact us through our website:  If this article has helped you, please let us know and then share it with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” or “Youtube.”

[1]  C. R. Swindoll, Growing Deep In The Christian Life, Multnomah Press, p. 371.   


[3] – Adapted from the NKJV Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 1720.

Purpose of local church

Essentials For Spiritual Growth”

1 Peter 2:1, 2

New born babies need a lot of love and care. They need milk right away to help them grow and develop properly. They need to be cuddled and have their diapers changed too.  Raising a child properly isn’t easy (Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). This is true in the physical and spiritual realms. Just as good parents take care of their new baby, so the Christian who brought another person to Christ for salvation needs to be involved in the new believer’s life (1 Thessalonians 2:7-11).

Church. The new environment should include a good, Bible believing, local church where Christ is honored, the Word of God is preached with authority (2 Timothy 4:2-5), and the Gospel is proclaimed clearly (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31). Don’t forsake the “true” church (Hebrews 10:24, 25). There are many “apostate churches” that are really like the “synagogues of Satan” (Revelation 2:9; 3:9, 14-19). If you can’t find a good church near you, why not help to start one? The early Christians met in homes (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2). “O give me a church where folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above; where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – Chuck Swindoll

Dirty. The Apostle Peter told Christians to to put off malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking (1 Peter 2:1). This is not what a person has to do before or in order to get saved (as the “Lordship for salvation” teachers say), but these are things that a Christian needs to put off once he has been saved. We aren’t saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  “[Christians] can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Too many Christians act independently of God. Do you know how to overcome this and other temptations that come from the devil? (We’re currently teaching Christians how to do this during our Wednesday night Bible Studies. Some people who live in other communities and states are linking up with us by phone for these classes.)

Enemies. By learning about our three spiritual enemies (the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system) and then applying the truth to our lives, we will be able to have victory over the things mentioned above that need to be put off. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The way of escape is found in Scripture but many people don’t want to take/make the time to study about it (2 Timothy 2:15). Are you a convenient or a committed Christian?

Milk/Meat. The writer to the early Hebrew Christians was disturbed by their lack of spiritual growth. Even though they had been saved for a number of years, they were still like infants drinking only milk (Hebrews 5:12-14). They should have been enjoying solid food (spiritual steaks). How knowledgeable are you in the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:18)? How much of the truth is being applied to your daily life (James 1:22; 2:18-20; 4:17)? Are you enjoying the abundant life that Jesus came to give to Christians (John 10:10; See Galatians 5:22, 23)?

Primer. If you are a Christian, how well informed are you with the “Ten Basic Bible Truths”? Would you like some help learning them? If so, click here: Do you know how you should interpret the Bible by using the “normal” (literal, historical, grammatical) method (Ezra 8:8) rather than the “allegorical” method that was devised by the devil (Genesis 3:1) which lets one read into the Scripture almost any idea that comes to his mind? Satan’s method of interpreting the Bible is being used in many “apostate churches” today. Would you like a FREE “Dispensations Chart” that is a result of a normal interpretation of the Scripture? If so, ask how you can get one. It could change your life as it did mine.

Questions. Are you sure you would go immediately to heaven if you died right now (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Read Matthew 7:21-23)? Why should God let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? Do you think you’d have to go a purging place first? Who came up with this idea, and why? Have you been “born again from above” (John 3:3-6; Titus 3:5)? Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13)? How long have you been saved (Hebrews 5:12-24)? Are you a carnal or spiritual Christian (1 Corinthians 2:15-3:4)? Are you steadily growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18)? Do others see Christ living through you (James 2:18-20)? What is impeding your spiritual growth (Romans 6:14; Ephesians 4:30)? Is God pleased with your progress (2 Corinthians 5:9)? Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2)? Are you interested in the salvation of others, especially those in your circle of influence (2 Timothy 2:10)? Are you loving the present world system or God and His children (1 John 2:15-17; 4:20, 21)? Are you serving God and others with gladness or sadness (Psalm 100:2; 1 Peter 4:10)? What needs to change with God’s help (Philippians 4:13)?

Help. If you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17) we invite you to contact us for more information or help. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this information has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  Please share this information with others too (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel:

Clear Gospel – Audio:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.

Dispensations Chart:


 John 7:10-25

Ask the average person what he/she thinks about Jesus and you will probably get a lot of different answers. But if we are to make it into heaven, it is vital that our faith is resting in the Christ of the Scriptures, not the Christ of the cults or in any other religious leader or in our good works. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (See John 14:6). The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The Apostle Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

One Way. Contrary to what people are being told today, there are not many paths to God. We don’t all worship the same God.  Not everyone eventually goes to heaven (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8). Atheists are people who don’t believe in God (Psalm 14:1).  How sad (Psalm 19:1ff; Romans 1:12-32). Some people don’t know if God exists (agnostics). The Apostle Paul rebuked the demon possessed girl for proclaiming that Jesus was “a way” of salvation (Acts 16:17). The “Christs of the cults” don’t measure up to what the Scriptures teach. They derive their concepts of God and Jesus Christ from the extra Biblical teachings of false teachers.

False Christs. Are you trusting in the “Wafer Jesus” who didn’t finish the work of salvation? Is your Jesus the “Brother of Lucifer” or “Michael the Archangel”? Perhaps you’re trusting in the “Universalist Jesus” who won’t send anyone to hell.  The “Modernist’s Jesus” wasn’t born of the Virgin, Mary? Are you trusting in the “Prosperity Jesus” who promises wealth to the contributors, or the “Self Esteem Jesus” who never calls men sinners?  Maybe you’re relying on the “Charismatic Jesus” who says, “Let’s put on a show”, or the “Contemporary Jesus” who says, “Let’s all get together.”  If you haven’t noticed it, there is a big push for all religions to get together and form a “One World Church.”  It’s theHarlot, Apostate Church” described in Revelation 17, 18.  Don’t be a part of it if you’re a true Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14; Revelation 18:4).  

Warning. Before going to the cross Jesus warned about the false Christs that would come (Matthew 24:5; See 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Anyone who denies the Lord Jesus Christ’s full Deity (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30; Colossians 2:9), His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), His bodily resurrection, and His coming back to earth with a real, glorified body of flesh and bones (but with no blood) is an Antichrist (2 John 1:7; See Luke 24:36-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 50).

Children. We aren’t all the children of God either. All of us start out in this life in the devil’s family. This is why Jesus said that we all need to be born again from above (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:23).  He said these strong words to some religious leaders, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He is a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for his is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). The Apostle John made it clear that all unsaved people are children of the devil (1 John 3:8-10).

Descendants.  Yes, we all came from Adam and Eve and then through Noah and his three sons (Genesis 4:1ff; 8:15ff). The ethnic groups and languages came about after the universal flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8) and as a result of God’s confusing the languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:7). The continents came into existence during the days of Peleg (Genesis 1:9, 10; 10:25).  This is when the high mountain were formed.  Folks, we didn’t come through the evolutionary process (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7). (We invite you to watch this video:

Nature. We all have a sinful nature (disposition) that was passed down to us from our first parents, Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5). However, those who get transferred out of the devil’s family into God’s family still retain their old sin natures and will have it until they die or the Rapture takes place (1 John 1:8; 3:2). This is why there is a struggle that Christians have between their two natures.  Even the Apostle Paul admitted to having this problem (Romans 7:15-25). But believers receive a new nature from God when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (2 Peter 1:4; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  With this new nature we can please God (Romans 8:8; 2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1).  Do you know how to overcome your old sin nature  (Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-14)?

Views. There are a lot of wrong views about Jesus. Some people of Christ’s day believed that He was just a good man and teacher (John 3:1; 7:12). But if He wasn’t fully God in human flesh (John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11), how could He be a good man and claim what He did about Himself? He claimed that the Old Testament was written about Him (John 5:39, 46). He claimed to be the bread of life, who could satisfy the hunger of all who come to Him (John 6:35). He claimed that whoever believes in Him would have rivers of living water flowing from his innermost being (John 7:38). He claimed to be the Light of the world (John 8:12). He claimed that before Abraham was born, He existed (John 8:58). No good man, who was not God in human flesh, could say such things without being considered a deluded megalomaniac.” John Stott

Other Views.  Other people believed that He was a deceiver who misled the common people (John 7:12). The Jewish leaders were surprised that Jesus knew so much of the Old Testament Scriptures without having gone through their schooling (John 7:15; Luke 2:47). Those who hated Him called Him demon possessed (John 7:20; 8:49). John the Baptist was also accused of having a demon (Matthew 11:18). Many people then and now don’t believe that Jesus Christ was/is equal to God the Father. One of cults today believes that Jesus was the first One whom God the Father created and from whom all other things were created. This cult adds the word “other” to the text in Colossians 1:16. No, all the fullness of the Godhead resided in the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9). In no way was/is He inferior to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. There is only one God who exists as Three Persons. They share the same essence and attributes (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 5:18; 8:58; 10:30).

Words/Works. Jesus made some bold statements. He told the people that His doctrines (teachings) came from God the Father (John 7:15). He said and did everything that God the Father wanted Him to say and do (John 5:19). His words and works were designed to glorify God the Father (John 7:18; 17:4). Because He said and did only what the Father wanted Him to say and do, the religious leaders wanted to kill Him (John 7:1, 19, 25) and stone Him (John 8:59). However, it wasn’t in the plan of God for Jesus to be stoned to death. He was to be crucified as the prophet David foretold (Psalm 22; Philippians 2:8). He would die as the Just One for us, the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8).

Brothers. Jesus’ half brothers didn’t initially believe on Him during His earthly ministry (John 7:5). But when Jesus made a personal appearance to James after His bodily resurrection, he became a true believer in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:7). He wrote the Epistle of James to some Jewish Christians. His other brother Jude also wrote a short letter to believers.

Salvation.  Growing up with Jesus, as His half brothers and sisters did (Matthew 12:46; 13:55, 56), or in a Christian home and knowing Bible stories won’t save you or anyone else. God has no grandchildren. Each person must decide for himself/herself to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior through the message of the Gospel. Have you done this yet? If not, why not now?

Hope. Is your hope of gaining entrance into heaven based on your good works, or your faith plus your good works, or in anyone other than through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures (Romans 4:5)? If so, STOP! Get saved God’s way today (Acts 4:12; 16:31)).

Evidence. If you’re sure of your salvation (Romans 8:16; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13), do other people know that you are a Christian by the way you live and talk? Have you been baptized/immersed (Matthew 28:19, 20)? Would others say you are growing in the Lord (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18)?  Do they see theFruit of the Spirit” being displayed in your life (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Are you serving God by serving others in a Bible believing local church first (1 Peter 4:10; Galatians 6:10; John 13:34, 35)? Are you assembling with other believers regularly (Hebrews 10:24, 25) and edifying them (1 Thessalonians 5:11)? Are you sharing the Gospel with unbelievers so they can be saved (Acts 1:8)? If not, what needs to change?  When?  Please read James 4:17.

Help. If you need spiritual help, you can reach us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We invite you to listen to some of our messages on the Internet too.  Thanks for telling your friends about the articles that help you.

One of the saddest things for a parent is to see his/her child fail to develop and become a well balanced individual (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) who can produce children of their own and repeat the cycle. Some people grow up physically but don’t develop emotionally or spiritually as they should.

Grow. For us, as Christians, to become the people that God wants us to be and do the works that He planned for us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10), we need to keep growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18). When we placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit put us into Christ’s Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12,13). He wants us to work with other believers for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31; See 2 Corinthians 6:14) and the good of others.

Assemble. In order for there to be harmony and cooperation in the Body/Church, each maturing believer needs to assemble regularly with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24, 25). This relationship should be positive and uplifting (1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17; 4:2-4). Therefore, let us –

Love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34, 35; 15:12, 17; Romans 13:8). The commandment in Old Testament times was to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; See Matthew 7:12). The New Testament command for Christians to follow is to love fellow Christians as Christ has loved us (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 5:22, 23; 6:10). This is not possible unless a Christian is rightly related to God and has his/her known sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9).

Honor and prefer one another (Romans 12:10). The natural tendency is to love ourselves (Ephesians 5:29; 2 Timothy 3:2). But the way to have true JOY is to put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last (Philippians 4:4; Galatians 5:22; John 15:11; 16:24).

Bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). These would be those burdens brought on us by outside sources (Matthew 23:4; Luke 11:46; 1 Peter 5:7). Some burdens we bring on ourselves (Galatians 6:5-10).

Forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Don’t confuse judicial forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14) with family forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; 2 Corinthians 2:7, 10).

Teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16; Romans 12:7). Be careful to distinguish truth to be believed (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6) from truth to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; Ephesians 3:1-12; James 1:22; 2:14-20). Consider our “Dispensational Chart” to help you in this area. [1]

Comfort one another with God’s Word (1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11).  Being human, it’s alright for a Christian to sorrow when a fellow Christian is taken from us to heaven.  Keep in mind that they are better off in heaven than we are who are left on this earth.  But we should not sorrow as others who have no hope (John 11:21, 31; 20:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Stimulate one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24, 25). Consider the spiritual sacrifices that God accepts today (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16) and the priorities we should have in life toward other people (Galatians 6:10; See Matthew 10:5; 15:24-28; 28:19, 20).

Obey. Have you been obeying these “one another” commands from the Lord? What areas need your attention? Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But we can do all things [that He planned for us to do] through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). The question is, Will we practice these things in our lives?

Christ is the only Head of the Church. (Ephesians 1:22) If you’re a true Christian, will you do your part in making the Bible believing church you attend a place where folks in the lurch are encouraged then healed from above, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love? – Chuck Swindoll

Thankful. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone, Who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, thank Him for saving you and making you a part of His Body, the Church. “In Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13) we all have equal standing regardless of our wealth, race, social standing, or our education (Galatians 3:28).

Help. We’re here to offer assistance to those who are teachable and willing to change when they are presented with the truth from God’s Word (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Dispensations Chart


If you’ve ever studied a catechism, you probably know that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 16:11). God’s primary purpose is to make Himself known to His creatures through His creation (Psalm 19:1), through His written Word (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16 17), and through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). When He saves someone, He usually leaves him/her here on earth for a little while to bear witness to His power to transform our lives into a Christ likeness (Galatians 2:20; 4:19; Isaiah 64:8). Let’s consider –

The Jews In Israel

Having chosen them, not because of their size (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8) but for reasons fully known only to Himself, God gave them the honor and privilege of bearing witness for Him as the heathen people from other nations traveled through Israel on their way to Africa, Asia, or Europe. These foreigners could have witnessed the magnificence of the God of the Jews who dwelt between the cherubim in the Temple built by King Solomon (Isaiah 43:10, 12; 44:8). But rather than drawing the heathen to the true and living God, the Jews began to live like their heathen neighbors (Isaiah 2:8; Jeremiah 44:17ff).

As a result of this, God withdrew His presence from the Temple and the Shekinah glory cloud departed (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:23). Ichabod (i.e. “the glory has departed”) could have been written over the Jewish nation (1 Samuel 4:21). It would be about 400 more years before the glory of God would be seen in the rebuilt Temple when the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ made His appearance in the Temple as a baby for the first time (Luke 2:34, 41-50). Because the Jewish people disregarded the Old Testament Prophets and their warnings, God used enemy nations to deport them to foreign lands (Luke 11:49-51; Daniel 1:1, 2).

Even though there have been other deportations and holocausts in the past, there will be an even greater holocaust in the future (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff). It may not be far off. God has not permanently forsaken the Jewish nation and He never will (Romans 11:1ff). The believing remnant will be restored to the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendents (Romans 11:5; Genesis 15:18-21).

The Shekinah glory of the Lord’s presence will be seen again during the millennium. The people living on earth during this time will be able to see Christ every day as the light from His presence shines down on the earth from the heavenly New Jerusalem in the second heaven (Matthew 24:29ff; Ezekiel 44:4; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4ff; Revelation 21:22ff). This is where He and the Church will be residing for 1,000 years.

The Christians In The World

The true Church began on the Day of Pentecost and will come to its completion at the Rapture when all whom the Father has given to the Son have come to Him (John 6:37; Acts 2-1; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). It is made up of all true believers from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds (Galatians 3:28). We have been given the privilege and opportunity to bear witness for God in a sinful world (Acts 1:8).

In spite of the divine power that has been given to us from the Holy Spirit, and being indwelt by Christ (Colossians 1:27), and having the modern tools of technology, the church as a whole is not making much progress in the evangelizing of the lost people in the world with the Gospel concerning Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Why? False teachers are presenting to people around the world other gospels and other plans of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4). But they have no saving power to transform lives (Romans 1:15, 17). What is the Gospel [1] and how are people saved (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9)?  Don’t be misled yourself and don’t mislead others whom you’re trying to win to Christ.

When we, as Christians, stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Bema Seat Judgment, I often wonder how I personally will measure up to what God expected of me (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). I like to ask myself the questions posed by Dr. Howard Hendricks: “Is the Lord well pleased? Is the Work well done? Is the Word well used (i.e. being applied to my life)? Each Christian needs to be examining his/her life by the standard of God’s Word that is addressed to Christians (1 Corinthians 11:28; Titus 1:9).

Do you know if you will receive the Crown of Rejoicing for having had a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20)? What about the other four Crowns you and I can earn?

The 144,000 Witnesses Among The Nations

These men will be Jews who come from the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8). Don’t worry. God knows where all the Jews are and to which tribe they belong. They will be dispatched during the Tribulation to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom (i.e. the rule of the heavens over the earth – Matthew 4:23; 16:20; 24:14) throughout the whole world. This is necessary because of the Church’s failure to do what she was supposed to do.

During Christ’s days on earth His disciples were to go only to other Jews (Matthew 10:5ff). But during the seven years of the Tribulation, these Jewish witnesses will go to Jews and non-Jews (Matthew 24:14). Daniel prophesied that the Messiah (God’s Anointed One) would come to rule over the whole earth. It will begin with 1,000 years and then go on into eternity (Daniel 9:24-27; See Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 61:1-3; Revelation 19:16ff; 20:1-6).

When Jesus stood before Pilate He said, “My kingdom is not of [i.e. out of] his world” (John 18:36). It will be a literal kingdom on/over the earth for 1,000 years. It will be completely different than the kingdoms of men (Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, Roman, or the revived Roman empire – Daniel 2:36-43; 7:1-8).

The responses of the people to the 144,000 Jewish witnesses in giving them some food to eat or water to drink will indicate whether they believe in their message concerning Christ and His coming Kingdom or not (Matthew 25:312-46). No one ever was or can be saved by his/her good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Our good works are the evidence we provide to other people who can’t see our faith (James 2:19, 20). God knows and can see our faith when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ through the message of the Gospel (Acts 16:31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 4:3, 16; 10:16).

The Millennials In The Kingdom

The first generation of those who enter the Kingdom of the Heavens will be saved people (Matthew 25:34). But they will have children who will need to believe on Christ to be saved. God has no grandchildren. Every one will have an innate knowledge of God (Jeremiah 31:34) and there will be no need to evangelize others. But knowledge alone is not enough to save someone. There must be a transfer of trust from one’s self to Christ alone.

Because of the severe penalties associated with sinful behavior during the millennium, most of the unbelievers will comply with the rules of the Kingdom (Matthew 5:29, 30). It’s hard to imagine that people who will be living on a Paradise like earth would even think about not believing on Christ and obeying Him.

During the millennium the devil will be bound in the Abyss (Revelation 20:1-3). The world system that was devised by the devil, will have been abolished (1 John 2:15-17). Even though the sin nature of man will be curbed, by virtue of having his every need supplied, the unsaved people will still long for the day when they can make one last stab at God and throw off His rule over them (See Psalm 2). They will join the devil when he is released out of the Abyss at the end of the millennium.

This will be the last time there will ever be a rebellion against God. Jesus will cast all these rebels into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Matthew 26:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:7-9).

Then He will raise up all the other unsaved dead people who will stand before Judge Jesus at the Great White Throne (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 15:24). These unsaved people will be judged according to their works done on the earth to determine the degree of suffering they will experience in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10-15). We certainly hope that you won’t be among those to whom Jesus says, “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41)!

The Real Problem

No matter what kind of rules for living (dispensations) that God imposes on all or some of mankind, unaided man always fails the tests because he has a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23). Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But “[You and I as Christians] can do all things through Him who strengthens [us]” (Philippians 4:13).

Every Christian who walks (orders his life) by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) has the potential to live a life that pleases and brings glory to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 10:31). The choice is yours. What will you do?

If you, as a Christian, have any known sins that haven’t been confessed to God, confess them to Him now and to others if you have sinned against them (1 John 1:9; James 5:16). We’re all sending verbal and non-verbal messages to others all the time. What is the message that other people are getting from you and me? What needs to change?


We don’t have all the answers to life’s questions. But we are happy to share what we know with others who sincerely want to know and do God’s will. We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Thanks to all of you who are forwarding the articles that help you to others.  We want to bless you so you can bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

[1] Clear Gospel:

Audio of Clear Gospel:

Social Gospel:



“In every church in every corner of the world there are individuals who have ‘staked’ their place and their seat among the gathering family of God … and Lord, help the individual who ‘takes’ their place. In my Jacksonville church one couple even went so far as to purchase their own hymnal engraved with their names, made some back cushions again with their names on them and two little footrests with their names. If anyone sat in their seats – visitor or member – they would simply declare out loud, ‘Well, we cannot worship today because someone is sitting in our seats!’  They were an extreme case I know, but every church has their own set of peculiar apples in the bushel.” – Jim Martin

Irate At Church

   “One day, a man went to visit a church. He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near him. The driver got out and said, I always park there! You took my place!’
    “The visitor went inside for Sunday school, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, That’s my seat! You took my place!’
    “The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing. After Sunday school, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, ‘That’s where I always sit! You took my place!’
    “The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing. Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, ‘What happened to you?’
“The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, ‘I took your place.’” – Original source unknown

Yes, Jesus, the God-man, left the ivory palaces of heaven and came down to this sin cursed earth to die for our sins…and rise again bodily on the third day. He took our place on that cross. But knowing these facts and giving mental assent to them won’t save you or me. We must transfer our trust from ourselves and our good works over to Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Have you done this yet? If not, why not “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and your will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Need assurance? Read 1 John 5:13.

What’s really important to you? Is it your parking spot, your pew at church or something else? What if Jesus came unexpectedly to your church? What if He came to your home? Would you welcome Him?  Think about this – He’s omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

   “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother [a fellow Christian], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 John 4:20, 21).

Help. If you need spiritual help from God’s Word, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or go to our website at  If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”