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How many strange phenomena happened when Jesus died on the cross-- -The veil of the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom. There was a great earthquake and the tombs broke open, with the result that many of God's saints were raised from the dead -Matthew 27-51-52-, though they did not walk out and appear to people until after Jesus' resurrect…
 
Palm Sunday demonstrates how fickle popularity can be. The Lord Jesus is welcomed as a hero, the crowds shouting that he is the long-awaited Messiah of Israel -Luke 19-37-38-. - -Not all are happy -Luke 19-39-, particularly the worldly profiteers of the Temple, the family of the High Priest -Matthew 21-15- Mark 11-18- Mark 15-10-11-.- -But the leas…
 
As we continue to study what the Bible says about the Abyss, we consider that the Bible indicates that heaven is -up,- and hell is -down,- as we saw when we looked at Romans 10-6-7.--While we speak of heaven as up, and hell as down, the Bible hints that those who have died are aware of what is going on here on earth -Revelation 6-9-10-, and part of…
 
David composed Psalm 68 to celebrate the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant in Zion. --Psalm 68-1 quotes Numbers 10-35, citing the very words proclaimed when the Ark set out. While God is omnipresent -Psalm 139-7-12-, there are places of his special presence -Psalm 16-11-. And the Ark not only symbolized God's special presence- it was where God com…
 
Following his death on the cross, the Lord Jesus in his spirit proclaimed his victory over Satan and his minions -1 Peter 3-22-. This proclamation was not an offer of salvation or some kind of second chance for salvation- rather, it was a declaration of defeat to spiritual forces of wickedness -1 Peter 3-18-21-.----These imprisoned spirits are thos…
 
Continuing our study of Bible prophecy, we returned to look at the Abyss again.----In Romans 10-7, the Lord Jesus is mentioned as coming up from the Abyss ---------. This is the place that the -free-range- demons begged the Lord not to send them to join their imprisoned compatriots -Luke 8-31-.----It is the Pit, Sheol --------- that the pre-Christi…
 
What is the abyss of Revelation 20-1-----Why are some spirits currently confined in the abyss and some not- -Luke 8-31-----In 2 Peter 2-4 some fallen spirits are confined to Tartarus, being -kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day- -Jude 6-.----Before the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus -2 Tim…
 
After healing the lame man on the Sabbath, Jesus is hatefully attacked -John 5-5-16-.--As he loosens the tightness of the Sabbath, he affirms that he is the Son of God -John 5-17-18-.--He then points to the divine pattern of life -John 5-19-23- and affirms that the believer's Day of Judgment has come and gone -John 5-24-.--He shows the similarities…
 
What was Satan's status before the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ-----He continued to have access to the throne room of God -Job 1-2- Zechariah 3-1-5-, and he had moved in to replace Adam when Adam sinned -Luke 4-6- 2 Corinthians 4-4-.----What happens when Satan is cast out of heaven-----The Bailiff removes him from the Court because he …
 
Total depravity does not mean that people are as bad as they can possibly be- it means that every part of a human being is affected by sin. Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, no human being is fully rational or completely sane. Adam lost more than a gift of super added grace- he lost his ability to reason accurately and to be fully in touch with rea…
 
Holy Scripture is the only rule of faith and life. The word -rule- takes us back to the Greek word, -canon- -------, meaning a -straight rod.- It corresponds to a ruler or yardstick, a standard for measuring things. In other words, in Christianity we have a yardstick by which to measure ideas- Holy Scripture. We believe in a completed or closed can…
 
The context of Isaiah's prophecy of the Prince of Peace takes us back to the trials of God's people under the Midianites. --There was no rejoicing over the harvest, and those rejoicing over the spoils were the Midianites and Amalekites, not Israel -Isaiah 9-3- Judges 6-2-5, 11-.--All that changed when God raised up Gideon, a most unlikely deliverer…
 
Galilee was the place where the Assyrian Empire had repopulated the Holy Land with pagan gentiles. It was the site of the Via Maris, the great highway connecting Mesopotamia with Egypt -Isaiah 9-1-2-.--It was a place of occult practices and necromancy -Isaiah 8-19-, where people had rejected God's written Word for nonsense -Isaiah 8-20-, and where …
 
The Virgin Mary ceased to be a virgin in the technical sense when she gave birth to the Lord Jesus Christ.----After her 40 days of purification, she and Joseph consummated their marriage and had children together.----Mary was probably 12-years-old or so when she entered into the marriage covenant with Joseph, but they did not consummate their marri…
 
Every scribe discipled in the kingdom of heaven has the key to understanding the Scriptures- the LORD Jesus Christ himself.- -Sadly, without that key, the Tanakh is a closed book, and people cannot see the Hebrew Bible's ultimate redemptive theme -Luke 24-25-27- 2 Corinthians 3-14-16-.- -The scribe trained in the kingdom of heaven is also able to b…
 
In the parable of the dragnet, the Lord Jesus teaches us to cast a very big, broad net to bring in as many people as possible -Matthew 13-47-.----Evangelism is the calling of every Christian, and as we meet people we should judge each of them as -elect- in a judgment of charity, even though many of those brought into the kingdom will finally be exp…
 
Our Lord gives two parables about the progress of the kingdom.--In Matthew 13-33, the kingdom is compared to the way leaven works in a huge amount of flour- It works by quietly transforming the dough.--In Matthew 13-31-32, the progress of the gospel is also illustrated. It begins very small and grows into something really big. --We must never forge…
 
The parable of the wheat and tares contains many truths.--The Church as we see it is different from the Church as God sees it. The -Visible- Church contains both true Christians and false.--The false believers are compared to tares that an enemy has sown among the wheat -Matthew 13-25-28-. They are not the children of God but the children of the de…
 
In the parable of the sower, it is very clear that the first two types of soil represent people who never truly believed -Matthew 13-19-21-, while the fourth type of soil illustrates healthy, growing believers -Matthew 13-23-.--The third type of soil represents something else -- in my opinion a true believer who allows anxiety over money and other …
 
Continuing our look at last things, we turned our attention to the Lord's parables about the Kingdom of Heaven.--We began by examining the context of these parables- in a house, on a boat, and back in the house, as well as Jesus' comments regarding his family.--We looked at the purpose of parables- hiding truth from all but Jesus' disciples.--Final…
 
Jewish believers had been bedeviled with strange teachings obsessed with the dietary rules of the ceremonial law. But the heart is to be established by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ -Hebrews 13-9-. He is the sum and substance of the whole of Scripture, never changing and always reliable -Hebrews 13-8-. We are right with God by his bl…
 
As we continued our study about the Beast and his number, we considered the idea that the book finds a partial fulfillment in the church at the time John wrote the book and in the waves of Roman persecution that continued on until the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313. --We considered Polycarp who refused to offer incense to the Roman emperor. Before he w…
 
Revelation 12-14 is the central vision of the book. It begins with the birth of the Lord Jesus and ends with his return in glory.--Satan is the Dragon of Revelation 12-9, and it is he who manipulates the megalomaniacal Herod the Great to try to kill the Lord Jesus Christ at his birth. --The Lord ascends to heaven. Satan is thrown out, a defeated, r…
 
This message demonstrates that Antiochus Epiphanes is the little horn of Daniel 8-9-11. --In Daniel 2-32, 37-38, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is represented as the head of gold- in Daniel 7-4, he is a lion with a human heart.--In Daniel 2-32, 39, The empire of the Medes and Persian is represented as the chest and arms of silver- in Daniel 7-5, it is a…
 
The Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2-3-4 is not identical to the Beast of Revelation 13-1-2.----The Beast out of the Sea is an amalgam of the world empires foretold in Daniel chapters 2 and 7. The Man of Sin is an individual who comes out of that system of empires, as is evident in Daniel 7-8, but he is not identical to it.----As we attempt to ident…
 
The Man of Sin has had many forerunners in history, from Antiochus Epiphanes to Gaius and Nero.----Gaius, -Caligula- --Little Boots-- had ordered the commander of all Rome's armies in greater Syria to install a statue of himself in God's holy Temple in Jerusalem. When he delayed, Caligula ordered him to commit suicide. However, Caligula was assassi…
 
As we begin a study of Bible prophecy, it is essential that we take an approach that rejects unproven speculation. The Bible is the only ruler for measuring truth, and we must be skeptical about everything else -2 Timothy 3-16-17- Matthew 15-7-9-.--Furthermore, the Bible is not a piece of abstract art, where everyone's opinion about its meaning is …
 
Once again we looked at the brief creedal statement in 1 Timothy 3-16.----We reflected on Jesus' baptism with water when his Father spoke from heaven and the Holy Spirit baptized him with power -Matthew 3-16-17-.----God's name was never Jesus. Jesus was the name that God took when he became a real human being. It is identical to Joshua.----The bapt…
 
This sermon explores the importance of short summaries of the Christian faith as found, for example, in 1 Timothy 3-16, a verse is part of a larger context dealing with how we are to act in God's house -- not the building in which people meet, but God's people and how we are to conduct ourselves as we worship -1 Timothy 3-14-15-.--Paul is quoting a…
 
As we continued our look at the relationships people were to have with each other in early Christianity, we turned to the relationship of children and their parents -Ephesians 6-1-4- Colossians 3-20-21-.--The fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise -Exodus 20-12- Deuteronomy 5-16- Ephesians 6-2-3-.--As we ponder why this is so, we…
 
Living as we do in a fallen world, we look to the example of how the church of the first century served God in a hostile environment.----We continued our examination of the relationship of men and women from the week before in 1 Peter 3-1-7 and Ephesians 5-18-26, and turned out attention to 1 Corinthians 11-3.----There we discovered the absolute eq…
 
Why has God not sent relief from the contagion, chaos, and crimes related to COVID-19-----Are the prayers of huge numbers of professing Christians being hindered as we continue to live under this pandemic- -1Peter 3-7-----As we continued to reflect on how the first century church coped in dealing with the often hostile authorities under whom they l…
 
Civil authority has been established by God for two purposes- To restrain evil by means of force, including deadly force -1 Peter 2-14- Romans 13-4-, and to create a climate where law-abiding people receive a measure of the fruit of their labors -1 Peter 2-14- Romans 13-3-4-.----We must always obey authority whether that authority is just or unjust…
 
The church of the first century had to grapple with a harsh and unjust world, where believers often suffered under the oppressive authority of cruel and unjust people.----Nowhere was this truer than in the case of slaves and their masters, some of whom were crooked and cruel.----Yet Peter teaches slaves to submit both to kind and cruel masters -1 P…
 
The Lord Jesus Christ forbad the use of exalted titles such as -reverend,- -vicar,- and -father- because all believers are brothers and equal before God.--But he did establish gifts and functions to serve the body of Christ.--In taking care of those who could not take care of themselves, those who were charged with the responsibility of teaching th…
 
In this message we explore the duty of the Church to take care of her own people in 1 Timothy 5-3 and following. But believers are warned to take care of the material needs of their own families first so the church can take care of those who are truly in need- -If anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially for his immediate famil…
 
We pick up where we left off last Lord's Day with the two commands of Ephesians 5-18, the one negative -- Do not be drunk -- the other positive -- Be filled with the Spirit.--Both are present tense imperatives, implying regular action. --We examine how being filled with the Spirit is unlike being under the influence of alcohol and yet also similar.…
 
We continue to look at Early Christianity, focusing today on how the first Christians worshipped.--We looked at the roots of Christian worship in the Jewish synagogue, looking at Luke 4-16-21 and Acts 13-14-16. Then we compared Ephesians 5-18-21 with Colossians 3-16-17.--We compared and contrasted being filled with the Spirit with being filled with…
 
This sermon examines what it means to be outside of the fellowship of the church, by which we do not mean the building, but the people of God.--When people are saved, God the Father delivers them from Satan's dominion of darkness and places them in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus -Colossians 1-13-.--When people commit grievous sin and refuse to repen…
 
In Romans 16-1-15, Paul sends greetings to various Christians living in Rome. There are a surprising number of women in his list, two of whom stand out- Priscilla -Romans 16-3- and the mother of Rufus -Romans 16-13-.--This Rufus is most likely the son of Simon from Cyrene, who was compelled by the Romans to carry Christ's cross -Mark 15-21-.--Paul …
 
We must hold fast to the -regulative principle- as understood by the New Testament. This is the foundation of Christian Liberty, because only the Bible can bind a person's conscience. If what the preacher says doesn't flow out of the biblical text, he has no right to impose it on other people, and it has no place in the pulpit. --It isn't enough th…
 
Looking again at Peter's words, we focused on 1 Peter 5-3, where church leaders are warned not to -lord it over- those for whom they are responsible. All elders -1 Peter 5-1- are bishops -1 Peter 5-2-, and all bishops are elders.--We looked at the example of Diotrephes -3 John 9-10-, a wicked tyrant, accountable to no one, who used church disciplin…
 
Peter demonstrates great humility when he speaks to the elders of the Church and refers to himself as a fellow elder -1 Peter 5-1-.--After all, he had been the first to confess the Lord Jesus as the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi, the remains of the temple of Pan, the very gates of hell -Matthew 16-13-18-.--That is why Peter was granted the privilege…
 
Using John 2-18-21, this sermon seeks to establish that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead sometime between sunset on Saturday, April 8th, and sunrise on Sunday, April 9th in the year AD 30. Please read the pdf as you listen.----In reflecting on that truth, we discover this is the ONLY event in the life of our Lord we can know precisely.----W…
 
Many denominations, including the Presbyterian Church in America -PCA-, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church -EPC-, and the Anglican Church in North America -ACNA-, have called for today, Good Friday, April 10, 2020 to be a Day of Prayer and Fasting over the COVID-29 virus.--In this Good Friday message, we consider God's solution to the poisonous sn…
 
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