Fellowship Christian Church

 
Communion: Lord Supper   Leave Comment
1546812022.jpgIt's important that we understand the Scripture concerning Communion. Paul addresses this issue, [in first Corinthians chapter 11:17-34], and makes it clear that taking Communion is not about how good we are but it's all about what Jesus done for us; therefore, let's always remember to keep the main thing "the main thing" which is to keep our mind and heart focused on the love that Jesus had and has for us. There is no greater love than a man lay down his life for a friend, and that is exactly what Jesus done for us.

When we examine our self before participating in the Communion Service, the worthiness referred to in the Scripture, is not about our righteousness, for we never brought Salvation. Worthiness is about remembrance of Jesus. Staying focused on Jesus and following his leadership is the only worthiness we have.

Jesus told his disciples: This do in remembrance of me.



THE GREATEST PREACHER   Leave Comment
1546810963.jpgTHE GREATEST PREACHER


The more I study the scriptures, the more I am determined to focus on these four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Although all the Scriptures are important these four books of the Scriptures teaches us about the greatest preacher that ever walked the face of the earth. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ, the only begotten son of God.

All the prophets in the old testament prophesied of the coming of this great preacher. Matthew chapter 4 verse 23 refers to Jesus in this way: and Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Jesus is the only begotten son of God. He was born of a virgin. He is the son of God and also the son of man. As well as being born of the spirit of God, he also was of a fleshly body, yet without sin. He was tempted in every respect as you and I but he did not yield to any temptations that was put before him. His purpose for being born in the flesh is that he would be the supreme sacrifice that you and I could also become children of God.

Walking in a fleshly body as you and I, he understands how weak and vulnerable we are as mortals . This makes him an all sufficient saviour.

You may ask why was it necessary for him to be the supreme sacrifice for you and me? When they crucified him, if he had not risen from the grave, we would still be lost in our sin. But by his resurrection, satin was defeated. Now satin can't make us do anything if we are born again as referenced in the Book of John, Chapter 3. God told Nicodemus, you must be born again, that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. We must be born of the spirit of God.

Let's observe closely the teachings of Jesus in the book of Matthew. The red letters indicate the words that Jesus spoke. Matthew Chapter 3 when Jesus came to be baptized of John, John forbade him saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, but Jesus told John to suffer it to be so now: for it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Chapter 4, When Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward ahungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Jesus answer, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The devil tried to tempt him again v.5 & 6 but Jesus said in verse 7. It is written again, thou shalt not temp the Lord thy God.

Verse 8 & 9 show how satin tried to appeal to the fleshly side of Jesus by offering him all the kingdoms of this world if Jesus would fall down and worship him. v.10 Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Verse 17 as Jesus began to preach, he said, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Verse 19 as Jesus began to call his disciples he told Peter and Andrew his brother, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. He also called other disciples. They immediately follow him. Read the rest of the Chapter and how the fame of Jesus spread.

Matthew Chapter 5, 6, and 7 is the words of “Jesus” the greatest Preacher that ever walked the face of the earth.

The depth of this sermon is so great, we need to look closely and truly observe what he is teaching us. At the time of this message Jesus had already proven he was the only begotten Son of God. Preparation had been made for this day and he taught with authority. He spoke in a manner as no man had ever spake before.

Chapter 5, v. 3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

( To me this illustrated humility, it is my opinion, the first step to receive salvation is that we must humble ourselves before God. If we miss the first step, we can't make it to the next step of salvation.)

Chapter 5, v.4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”.

(The word mourn is to grieve. And what more can make us mourn than being lost or alienated from God. The apostle Paul said in one place If in this life only I had hope in Christ I would be among all men most miserable. So when we cry out to God and mourn for the saving of our soul, Jesus promised to send us another comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. And by his word we are comforted.)

Chapter 5, v.5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”.

(meek is to be mild of temper, patient, gentle. I picture Jesus being gentle and very patient. The scripture says in another place that when Jesus was contending with the devil, he didn't bring a railing accusation.)

Chapter 5, v.6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”.

( We know that that our natural body needs food and water to sustain life. We eat natural food and drink water to satisfy our hunger and thirst. It is also important to know that we need spiritual food and spiritual drink to sustain our spiritual life. Jesus told satin, man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He told the woman at the well that if she would ask of him he would give her living water. We need to hunger and thirst after righteousness if we want to be filled with his holy spirit.)

Chapter5, v.7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”.

(Having mercy is having a willingness to forgive. If we expect God to forgive us of our sins, we must be ready to forgive others that have mistreated us. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he said in his prayer forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.)

Chapter 5, v.8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”.

(The word pure is clean, clear, honest, genuine, real. We know nothing is hid from God.With a pure in heart,we confess our sin to God and ask his forgiveness. With a pure in heart we depend on Jesus to save us from our sins.)

Chapter 5, v.9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they are called the children of God”.

(Once we are saved, we become new creatures in Christ. We have a newness of life which gives us a desire to live peaceably and lead others to Christ. How do we know we pass from death unto life? Because we love the brethren.)



Chapter 5, v10. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

(You can rest assured that not everyone will accept us when we stand for the righteousness of Jesus the only begotten son of God. They crucified Jesus for doing good and performing miracles and being the only begotten son of God. There are many non believers that would like to destroy us also if they got the opportunity. Just remember to hold fast the name of Jesus and we are a winner, for through him we have life eternal.)

Chapter 5, v.11 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake”. V 12,” Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”.

(Notice that Jesus uses the word shall, he knew the future as well as the present and the past. We just need to make sure that accusations made against us are false. Jesus teaches us to not get weary in well doing. But to rejoice, Jesus knows the nature of man, so instead of being down hearted as you work for Christ, He teaches us to rejoice.)

Chapter 13, v.13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men”.

(Salt, naturally is important in our life, and Jesus uses this illustration to show us that if we become weak in his spirit, we lose our strength as witnesses for him. Without the Spirit of God strengthening us, our influence as witnesses for him is gone and men won't pay any attention to what we have to say. If we are no different from the world, why would they want to be like us. So it's important for us to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. The book of James says, Faith without works is dead. Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.)
LEADING FOLKS TO CHRIST   Leave Comment
1546811278.jpgLEADING FOLKS TO CHRIST

Where do we start?

It's very important to have knowledge of how to lead a person to Christ. Several factors need to be in place when we are witnessing to someone. And it's also important to realize that every persons circumstance may be a little different.

The first thing we need is the indwelling spirit of the Holy Ghost leading us. Then we need to listen as Paul did in the 13th Chapter of Acts beginning at verse14 when he went into the synagogue at Antioch, after listening to the reading of the law and the prophets Paul was given the opportunity to speak. It was then that he began to speak concerning things they were knowledgeable of and declared to them that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

The following passage of Scripture is a great illustration of how to witness for Jesus. We can't lead someone from one place to another unless we start where they are. You will notice Paul got their attention then he preached to them about Jesus.

Acts Ch 13: 14, 43
14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down . 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying , Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on . 16 Then Paul stood up , and beckoning with his hand said , Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience . 17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. 18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot . 20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony , and said , I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. 23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: 24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said , Whom think ye that I am ? I am not he. But, behold , there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose . 26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent . 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not , nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain . 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher. 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings , how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again ; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise , I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep , and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 37 But he, whom God raised again , saw no corruption. 38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; 41 Behold , ye despisers, and wonder , and perish : for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe , though a man declare it unto you. 42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up , many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Note: The rest of this chapter illustrates: those that want salvation can receive it, but some folks won't receive your testimony. Do as Paul done and don't let the bad keep us from doing that which is the good.

Here is a natural illustration that we might understand: If we're going to lead someone from one city to another city, it will be necessary for us to know their location, then If we know the destination we can find them and lead.

Jesus told his disciples: ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.

It's important we lead by example.


Fellowship Christian Church
James Russell
SIGN OF THE TIMES   Leave Comment
1546811585.jpgSign of The Time

As I was driving my son home one cold day in December, just a couple of days before Christmas. I began to think about the comforts so many of us enjoy today and how short the time is that we have here on this earth, even if we live to be a hundred years old.


According to science, scientists think the world is billions of years old which brings me to wonder, if this is true, how is it that man has been so dumb all these years, it has only been the last couple of hundred years that technology has advanced to the degree as we know it today.

The Scripture emphasizes that in the last days knowledge will be increased. It talks about a time that never was before or that ever will be.

Daniel 12:4, Read whole chapter,

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

We need to note, The time Christ walked the face of this earth in a fleshly body and gave himself the supreme sacrifice for our sin will not happen that way again. Yes he is coming back, but his kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. He made that clear when he told Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. The kingdom Christ was referring to is a spiritual kingdom.

Here are some examples of knowledge being increased: When I think about how short the time has been since the first automobile was invented, the first airplane, the first steam engine, the first computer, the first television, the first electric light, the first microwave, and so many of these have happened so recent, it certainly makes me stop and wonder.

The first powered airplane was in 1903 flown by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk NC. To show how recent this is, in 1903 was the year my father-in-law was born.
Before the first airplane was ever invented, a boy predicted to his school teacher and class mates, that someday men would be flying through the air in machines as big as houses. Only in their wildest imagination could this ever happen, yet today it's a common occurrence. That boy was my grandfather.

Along about 1807 came the invention of the internal combustion engine, but 1886 is probably regarded as the year of the birth of the modern automobile. Here again to show how recent this is, my grandfather owned one of the first automobiles that traveled the roads of Harlan County Ky. To show how crude and slow the first automobiles were, I read an article about the first 200 mile automobile race . Only one car finished the race and it took about 33 hours to complete the race. Compare that to the car we drive today. It is easy to travel 200 miles on some interstate highways in a little less than 3 hours without stopping and without breaking the speed limit. Many of our young folks just take it for granted, thinking this is the way it's always been. I think it's a sign of the times. And of course, at that time, one dollar was worth much more than 10 times that amount now.

Another example is the electric light which we so commonly use today. The inventor Thomas Alva Edison (in the USA) experimented with thousands of different filaments to find just the right materials to glow well and be long-lasting. In 1879, Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free bulb glowed but did not burn up for 40 hours. Edison eventually produced a bulb that could glow for over 1500 hours. To me this is another sign of the times. This event is so recent that my mother shared a story with us which really brings it to reality, and how recent it really is. As she was growing up some folks would either sing or recite this little song. “I'm going down Broadway to see those sight, to see those things they call electric lights, I guess I know what I'm talking about, cause they got em in a bottle and they can't get out”.

Just look at the vast communication we have today: sending messages has gone from pigeon carriers, being trained to carry messages, to instant messaging all over the world by way of telephone, smart phones, and internet, even to the moon. Surely all these things are a sign of the times.

Just think about if for a minute, technology has increased so much that airplanes are now flying faster than the speed of sound and aircraft carriers are large enough for jet airplanes to land on their deck.

Truck's are large enough to haul hundreds of tons. Large buildings are being moved, basically in one piece, from one place to another.

Rockets loaded with enough fuel to launch hundreds of tons and send men to the moon and back.

I admit, knowledge has vastly increased, but some scientist think they are so smart, they want to leave God out of the picture, they don't want to retain God in their knowledge. However, regardless of what they think, you can rest assured that every element that is used in all their inventions and scientific breakthroughs, God created every element from the beginning. Man has only discovered ways to use it or to abuse what is already here.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

You can also rest assured, God will not be mocked. There are millions of things man has not yet discovered and even though the knowledge of the smartest scientist has increased, it is my opinion, their knowledge comparing as a drop of water compared to all the water in the ocean, is probably not a reasonable comparison, of God's creation. God is so great even a drop of water may be giving scientist to much credit.

Here is wisdom, fear God and keep his commandments.

Here is how simple, that all that man thinks he has accomplished can be destroyed in a moments time: if God were to be so minded to simply send a strong ray from the sun and penetrate the magnetic field that he has placed around the earth to protect us, all computers could be instantly eliminated. Or if the magnetic shield around the earth were to be depleted, no longer would we be protected. And of course, almost everything today depends upon computers. If either of these events happen, almost everything we use will be shut down. Power companies will fail to produce electricity. Automobiles are now using computers, air lines use computers, utility companies, hospitals, grocery stores, and the list goes on and on, they all are now depending on computers. Many Doctors offices are now going paperless. Knowledge without wisdom is doomed to failure.

Whether you want to acknowledge the power of God or not, God is in control. He has made a way for us to escape destruction when the time comes for the earth to be destroyed. I may not understand everything concerning what the future holds, and I'm not making a prediction of the end time or how it will be destroyed, but I can tell you how to escape the destruction that is coming. Even if none of thee events happen in our lifetime, you can rest assured we are all leaving this world. For it is appointed to every man once to die and after that the judgement.

Through believing and trusting in Jesus the Christ, the Only Begotten Son Of God, we have a promise of everlasting life. There is no other way to have eternal life except that we believe in the only begotten Son Of God. And this way is so simple that a man though he were a fool should not error in it. And when you pray it is important to understand that God is a Spirit, therefore we must pray with the spirit. Through Jesus we have access to the throne of God.

Be wise, don't be ashamed to accept Christ in your heart today. If you are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of you when he comes after his Church. Pray this prayer from the depth of your heart: “Lord have mercy on me a sinner” for this is the way of Salvation. Acknowledging that we can't save ourself, it is important that we put our complete trust in him and obey his voice as he speaks to our heart. If we will believe:
Romans ch.10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

John ch3 v.1-8
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

May God bless you is my prayer.

Fellowship Christian Church
James Russell
UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURE   Leave Comment
1546812304.jpgStudy Guide: Acts ch. 1 to ch. 5

Understanding the Scripture: By James T. Russell

Many times we read the Scripture without understanding the true message it presents to us. After many years of pastoring our little Church and studying the Bible I came to realize that God will give us understanding if we will seek for the Spiritual meanings.

I personally like the King James Version of the Bible 1611 edition because it has stood the test of time and no individual has the copy right for publishing as do some other versions and translations.

I believe the Holy Scriptures were written by men who were inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to write in order for us to have Spiritual understanding; therefore, the Scripture must be spiritually understood.

Reading the Scripture from a carnal or worldly point of view is totally different than reading and looking for Jesus with a Spiritual view in mind. All the prophets of the old testament prophesied of the coming of Christ but if we read with a carnal point of view we may not pickup on the fact that they prophesied of the coming of Jesus the only begotten Son of God.

Let's look at the book of Acts and understand that Luke a companion of Paul was probably the author. In the 24th chapter of Luke Jesus appears to his disciples and opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures and gives them instruction to tarry in Jerusalem until they would be endued with power from on high. Now lets go to the book of acts chapter one verse 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Verse 8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts Chapter 2 tells of the coming of the Holy Ghost. As they were gathered together they were all with one accord in one place and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now it is important to note that the Spirit gave them the words to say. Now the next few verses give the names of the different places that had different languages but they all heard in the language wherein they were born. Now I'd like to emphasize that we shouldn't get caught up in trying to look at all the names, but rather look at the purpose why they were hearing in their own language. Here is a spiritual point of view: because of Christ salvation is for everyone that will believe in Jesus the only begotten son of God and not just for one group of people only, . This is why they were all hearing in the language wherein they were born. The book of John chapter 3 v.16 says For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Put emphases on the word whosoever, this brings in all nations.

Another point that I want to emphasize is that they, in my opinion, were not speaking in an unknown tongue but were speaking in other tongues although they were not fluent in other languages they spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. because Acts 2 v.11 says, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God, and if we look at St John chapter 6 v. 29 “this is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” Therefore I am convinced they were speaking of Jesus the only begotten Son of God, and we know that God sent Jesus who made himself the supreme sacrifice and brought salvation to us by his resurrection from the dead, to whosoever would believe upon him.

Peter became the spokes person when the news of this event traveled. Some doubters thought they were drunk. But Peter set them straight. He referred to the old scripture, the prophet Joel had prophesied of this event. (I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:) You can go to Acts chapter 2 verse 14 through the rest of the chapter for the rest of Peter's message.

Chapter 3 of the book of Acts brings us to another fact of how God works his marvelous power.
In this passage of scripture is a notable miracle of a lame man being healed. And when we look at this miracle we see how the people wanted to give honor to Peter and John but they refused to take credit to themselves; but, by this lame man being healed by the power of Jesus Christ, it gave them the credentials to preach unto them that the one they had crucified is risen. If ye must know how this man is made whole, it is by the power of Jesus the only begotten son of God, the one they had crucified.

As Peter preaches Jesus to them he refers to the old testament in verse 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken have likewise foretold of these days.

And of course that Prophet that Moses referred to is Jesus the only begotten son of God. In every passage of scripture, God has a purpose. We just need to seek for understanding.

Chapter 4 shows us that Peter and John were imprisoned by the sadducees because Peter was preaching the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Now the sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection; however, many others did believe, the scripture gives the number was about 5,000 men that heard Peter preach Jesus.

And because Peter and John had been put in prison for this notable miracle, the next day they were examined by the rulers, and elders, and scribes, and the high priest, This gave Peter and John another opportunity to preach Jesus to the rulers.

It is amazing how God works:
Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, began to preach this message. Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

If you continue reading chapter 4 you'll find that Peter and John were threatened and commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus anymore, But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. And when they were further threatened they let them go. After they were let go, they gave a report to their own company and when they heard the report, they lifter up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ . For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatening: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

It is important to note: they that were believers began to speak honoring God, and when they had prayed , they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. It was then that they were able to speak the word of God with boldness. The flesh is weak, but the Spirit of God is strong.

Acts Chapter 5 illustrates that we can't be half Christian. We cannot lie to the Holy Spirit of God for he knows our every thought, and the intent of our heart. Attempting to lie to the Holy Ghost cost Ananias and Sapphira lost their life. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.

It is important to notice in verses 15 & 16 that because the power of God was manifested, true believers came by multitudes out of the cities and brought sick folks, and them that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. The true Spirit of God is what it takes to draw our hearts to repentance.

Many folks today are similar to the sadducees and rulers of that day. Don't let opposition keep us from being the witness that Jesus Christ has commissioned us to be.

Verse 17 through the rest of the chapter show us that Peter and John was once again put in prison but the angel of the Lord delivered them, and once again it gave them the opportunity to preach Jesus to the rulers and a great number of people.

God no doubt allows us to be placed in circumstances that we may sometimes feel unpleasant at the time, but remember God has a purpose for all that love him, and we need to be ready to be that witness for Jesus that he has commissioned us to be.

Just remember the things we can't do, God can do. Honor him and praise him for he is worthy.

I encourage every one to read all the Scriptures. There is much more in these chapters than what I have mentioned, this is just some of the high lights that I hope will help us understand Acts Ch:1 through Ch:5.

FIRST SEVEN DEACONS, ACTS CH 6 V.1 TO V.7   Leave Comment
STUDY GUIDE CONTINUED: ACTS CHAPTER 6-V.1 to V.7

The first seven verses in chapter 6 expresses the great qualification of Deacons and the outcome of Deacons doing their job and how Deacons should be chosen.

First of all, the purpose of a Deacon is to minister to the needs of the people. The Scriptures show us the first qualification in choosing a Deacon is to choose a man full of the Spirit. Other qualifications are found in the books of Timothy and Titus, but if a man is chosen without the first qualification, (being full of the Spirit), trouble is sure to follow. Missing the first qualification has caused many Churches great hardship and division. Where there is envy and strife there is every evil work. But when men are ordained as Deacons, here is what should take place as it was with the apostles in verse 6: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. (verse 7) And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of priest were obedient to the faith.

With good Deacons, which are a great benefit to the Church., a Pastor should and can take advantage of his time to continue in prayer, which will enable him to preach Jesus and teach according as the Scripture has stated in these same verses.
STEPHEN ARRESTED AND HIS DEFENSE ACTS CH. 6 to ch. 7 v. 60   Leave Comment
STUDY GUIDE CONTINUED ACTS CH 6 V. 7 to ch.7, v. 60

Verses 8 through 10 of ch. 6 show us the great wisdom and spirit that God had given Steven, which his adversaries were not able to resist.

Now Verse 11 and 12 show how satin works stirring up false accusations, and how Steven was brought before the council. v. 14 and 15. show false witnesses but v. 16 show how the council looked on Steven and saw his face as it had been the face of and angel.

However, the power and purpose of God is much greater than those false witnesses, because now Steven was given the opportunity to preach Jesus using the old scripture and records that the council was familiar with. For he began with the recorded words concerning Abraham and expounded on the history and the generations that followed and declared to the council that the prophets had prophesied of the coming of Jesus the only begotten son of God and that their prophecy was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus and that Jesus now sits at the right hand of the God.

Verse 54 of ch. 7 shows the effect that Stevens preaching had on the council. Although the council was deeply affected by the preaching of Steven, they railed back at him. The scripture says “they gnashed on him with their teeth.

The problem they had was that they wanted to look at the scripture from a carnal point of view and the same thing happens to people today. But Steven being full of the Holy Ghost was able to see Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

Stevens was stoned to death for preaching "Jesus". They stoned Steven, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. v.60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

It is important to note: if we will read the old scripture with understanding, Steven preached to the council, that the old scriptures will lead us to Christ. All the law and the prophets were until John. Now it is important that we accept Jesus as our Saviour and worship him in spirit and in truth, for he is the Son of God. It is important that we press in, dedicating ourselves, trusting Jesus to lead us with his spirit that we may be the witness he would have us to be.

Once again, go back and study the entire chapter. Many bibles will show references that will allow you to find the places in the old scripture that Steven was referring to when he was preaching to the council.
SAUL PERSECUTES CHURCH, ACTS 8 V. 1-4   Leave Comment
Saul Persecutes the Church Chapter 8 V.1 through V. 4

And Saul was Consenting unto his death. And at that time there was great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial,and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul he made havoc of the Church, entering into every house, and hailing men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

It is important to note three major points in this passage of Scripture:
point # 1. At the time when Saul was consenting to Steven's death, he was highly educated in the pharisee religion and was looking at the situation from a carnal point of view. Later in the next chapter you will see how Jesus was revealed to him and his eyes were opened when he received the Holy Ghost. We will have more discussion in the next chapter.

Point #2 While there was great persecution against the Church at Jerusalem, the apostles did not scatter. The Scripture said, except for the apostles, it was necessary for them to abide in Jerusalem and continue in prayer. By this the Church was secure through the Spirit of Jesus and the Holy Ghost abiding with them.

Point #3 Those that were scattered abroad were scattered for the purpose of preaching the good news of Jesus. They were not scattered because they were afraid to preach about Jesus, the risen Saviour. They scattered for the purpose of preaching the message of Jesus and his resurrection every where they went.

This goes back to what Jesus told his disciples in Chapter 1 v. 8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We also will be a witness if we seek to understand his will and worship him in Spirit and in Truth, believing he is a rewarder of them that diligently serve him.
GOSPEL PREACHED IN SAMARIA   Leave Comment
Gospel Preached in Samaria

Acts 8 v.5-25

In this passage of scripture, once again we see how the Spirit of God manifest itself, for the people of Samaria gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

By the power of God as Philip preached, and the miracles he did gave him the credibility necessary for the people to believe. Fulfilling what Jesus had told them in Acts ch. 1 v. 8 they would be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

They first preached to the Jews. (In Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria) These were all Jews. But in Chapter 10 we will see they witnessed unto some of the uttermost part of the earth, Cornelius was a Gentiles. This brings us to the fact that whosoever will truly believe in the name of Jesus and call upon his name shall be saved.

This passage also warns to be aware of those that try to use sorcery. Salvation can”t be bought with money. But teaches us that salvation comes by the preached word of God and repentance, through faith in Jesus Christ. For when Peter and John came and prayed and laid hands on them they received the Holy Ghost. But Simon thought he might purchase this gift with money. Peter said thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money. And instructed him that his heart was not right in the sight of God. And told him to repent therefore of this thy wickedness.

Once again this is just an overview of Acts ch. 8 v. 5-25 read all of these verses. For these verses show how they were witnesses in Samaria as spoken by Jesus in Chapter 1 verse 8. But ye shall receive power,after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

This also shows their purpose for being scattered abroad. Witnessing and preaching Jesus.

Let's also be the witness he has commissioned us to be.
PHILIP AND THE EUNUCH   Leave Comment
Acts Ch. 8 v.26-40

Philip and the eunuch:

As you read this scripture in verse 26 the angel of the Lord told Philip to arise, and go. Two things were said by the angel, first was arise, the second was go. If we are in our comfort zone sitting down or laying down, when the Lord speaks it's time to arise and go the direction the Lord sends us.

Notice in the next verse the eunuch was a man of great authority and had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning. Here is the purpose or a big picture of why the Lord was sending Philip to a desert place. The Lord knew the eunuch would be sitting there reading Isaiah the prophet. Now the Spirit told Philip once again to go near and join thyself to this chariot. When Philip ask him if he understood what he was reading, the eunuch answered , how can I except some man guide me? Then Philip was able to preach Jesus from the same scripture he was reading. Then the eunuch was baptized and Philip was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord. And by Philip being caught away, the eunuch would have to follow Jesus and not follow after Philip.

By the Lord sending Philip to preach Jesus to a man of great authority that was ready to receive the word of God, the eunuch was now able to witness for Jesus to a great number of people.

His great authority for the queen places him in a position to use the word of God which authorizes him to witness for Jesus.

SAUL'S CONVERSION   Leave Comment
SAUL'S CONVERSION

ACTS CHAPTER 9:

It's obvious as we read this passage of scripture that Saul' intention was to arrest anyone believing in the way of Christ, and no doubt he thought he was doing God's service until Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus.

Point #1 I'd like to make is that if we are left to our own devices, looking at the Scripture from a carnal point of view we're pretty apt to make a mess of our lives. Saul was a highly intelligent person concerning the law but at this time he was ignorant concerning the grace of Jesus. Although he was surely honest in his own mind but unable to see the Spiritual side of the Scriptures.

Point #2, It wasn’t until a light from heaven shined upon him and got his attention that he realized something greater than anything he had ever experienced was happening in his presence. This shows us the humbling experience he encountered because he fell to the earth. Not only did a light from heaven shine on him, but he heard a voice say to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Point #3, Here is a step by step progression of a man being saved. First we see the light and realize we're in trouble, then we hear Jesus speak to our heart. It may or may not be an audible voice but we need to know who it is that's speaking to our heart.

Point #4 Saul asks Jesus who art thou Lord? It was then that Jesus revealed himself to saul, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Now that Saul realized that Jesus is truly the only begotten son of God, he ask him the same question that we should ask, what wilt thou have me do Lord?

Point #5, Jesus told Saul to go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now Saul was ready to be obedient. He was no longer leaning to his own knowledge that he had learned as a Pharisee . He arose from the earth, opened his eyes but saw no man. He had to be lead by the hand. This illustrates to me that we also must be obedient to the voice of Jesus and we cant look at someone else but we do need someone that will lead us to Christ. Jesus instructed Ananias to preach to Saul and open Saul's eyes,and as Ananias put his hand on him he received the Holy Ghost. Through trusting in Jesus our Spiritual eyes are opened that we may also receive the Holy Ghost even as Saul.

Point #6 No doubt in my mind, when Saul whose name is changed to Paul, now clearly understood the prophesy of the old Scripture and understood that all those old prophets prophesied of Jesus, because now, not only was his natural eyes opened, but also his Spiritual eyes are open, and now he was filled with the Holy Ghost which authorizes him to be a witness as spoken in chapter #1. The only way we can truly be a witness for Jesus is after the Holy Ghost is come upon us. No man can say Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost. All though he was well versed and had great knowledge of the traditions and the law according to the Pharisee religion, he found a better way and counted all his former knowledge as nothing that he might gain Christ. This is the same attitude that we also must have when we are truly born again.

Point #7, New friends, you will notice that many of Paul's old friends turned against him, but that didn't stop him from preaching the gospel. His new Christian friends are far better. Once he was proven to be a Christian, they loved him with a genuine love, not as the world loves to seek it's own justification. But with the love of Jesus for he first loved us.
Saul Escapes to Jeruslem   Leave Comment
After Saul's conversion and his spiritual eyes were open, his new christian friends helped him escape from his old acquaintances. The following scripture show we become new creatures when the Holy Ghost comes upon us.

19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.

25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

It's important for us to realize that the same God that saved Saul and changed his name to Paul is the same God that saves us today and indwells us with the Holy Ghost.

When Jesus truly opens our eyes as he did for Saul, we are authorized to be a witness for him. Being filled with the Holy Ghost is the only way anything can be accomplished in the Church. The true Church is in the heart of God's people. The building we worship in is not the Church, although I'm thankful God has given us this facility and we have dedicated it for his worship. But the scripture says in another place, (ye are the temple of God).


SCRIPTURE CHALLENGE GROUP   Leave Comment
Memorizing passages of Scripture challenge group: 1st challenge: Memorize John 3-16 through verse 21.
2nd challenge: memorize the Lord's Prayer
3nd challenge: memorize second Chronicles ch.7 v.14
4th challenge: memorize the Ten Commandments.

Here is the big challenge:is anyone willing to put forth effort to try memorizing the book of 1st Peter in it's entirety?

If you want to participate in this challenge, choose a friend and work together. It is more fun to work together and challenge others to compete and encourage them to do the same.

No winners, no losers, just increases our knowledge and exercises our mind. We can be a talking Bible for Christ.

If you are working on memorizing any of the scripture, go to the "contact us" section of this website and let me know how much progress you are making. We won't post your name without your approval.