Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

DEMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT??


Author: William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
A new movie currently in theaters bears a title of a theme movement some decades ago: “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” These four words are indeed absolute truth. Still, questions plague nominal Christians about a perceived lack of His appearance in human affairs which gives rise to the question. Men look retrospectively, longing to see another Pentecost; another national revival; another sense of closeness to God as was evidenced a couple of centuries ago. Questions pound concerned minds: Is the Holy Spirit dead? Does God not care anymore? Is His power diminished?
This writer boldly affirms the negative to each one. God still reveals Himself to penitent hearts. Herein is the problem: God has not changed, but man has. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Heb. 13:8. Man, on the other hand insists on remaking God to suit himself. In self-willed worship, many have removed themselves from the immediate presence and working of the Holy Spirit, and in some cases have been turned over to a reprobate mind to meet the just reward of their obstinate determinations, Rom. 1:28.
Re-visit the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. The man in hell was concerned about his brothers, five of whom were walking the same road of life he walked. He knew they were coming to hell, and God knew it. The tormented man’s plea for one to return from the dead to warn them was rejected. Why? The answer: they had (the writings of) Moses and the prophets; they were to hear them! God is not an arbitrary God!
Men today have the completed Word of God. There will be no additions to it or deletions from it. The Holy Spirit of God is intricately tied to it, accompanies its presentation, saves, and blesses those who properly respond to it. Men cannot worship God their way. He will be worshipped in spirit and in truth or not at all. Religious activity does not impress Him! Revisit Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in Sychar. John 4.
But what is that truth in which He must be worshipped? Pontus Pilate asked this millenniums ago, John 18:38: “What is truth?” Let it be forever settled that God is true! As such, He is the author of all that is true. David said, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160. No, the Holy Spirit’s power is neither dead nor diminished, but is ever ready and waiting to receive and bless those who come to God in a contrite heart, and worship Him in truth.

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Confession and Forgiveness


1 John 1:8-10
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.

Denial of sin poses a great hindrance to a close walk with the Lord, and it does not change the truth that we do, indeed, sin.
To God, sin looks much like the little boy who was covered in mud after he played in the mud puddle. Later, when his mother asked him had he played in the mud, he said he had not even gone near the puddle. His mother could clearly see the truth. Even though we may appear to others like a godly person, God sees our hearts. He sees the blackness of sin and its interference with the fellowship He wants with every believer.
Some of the Holy Spirit’s jobs are to make us uncomfortable with sin, to point them out if we are unaware of the sin(s) and help us turn from sin(s). However, before one’s fellowship can be fully restored, we must humbly confess our sin(s) to God. Then, He is faithful and willing to forgive us.
At last, the muddy little lad confessed to his mom that he, indeed, had played in the puddle. She forgave him, but because he lied, he could not enjoy the fresh warm cookies his mother had baked. Oh, the consequences of sin but that is another lesson.

REFLECTION
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10).
Beverly Barnett

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54 – February – 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

James Smith Coleman

Lutheran’s Bible meant immersion

1827 – James Smith Coleman was born on Feb. 23, 1827, and was saved as just a boy in his native Kentucky.  He became known as the “Old War Horse” for good reason.  He refused calls to large city churches preferring to stay in the country ministering as pastor-evangelist to the hill people.  His great-grand parents had become Baptists when they came to America from Germany.  After reading Lutheran’s translation of the scriptures, they knew that the Greek baptizo with the German “taufen,” meant immersion.  James united with the Beaver Dam Baptist Church at age eleven, but at adulthood he forgot his call to preach and became county sheriff.  At a revival meeting the Holy Spirit burdened his heart again, and he resigned as sheriff and began preaching the gospel with great power.  His efforts produced converts every time he graced the pulpit.  He was especially a great debater and often put the pedobaptists to flight with his oratory and effective humor.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 74.

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The Necessity of Christ’s Death


 

Luke 24:26, 44-47

 

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26.

 

 

In the garden, man sinned but it was no surprise to God. He, Jesus and the Holy Spirit already had a plan.

 

From Genesis through Malachi, the need of a Savior was indicated and foretold. The Law required that every detail be fulfilled and yet, it remained unfulfilled by man—that is, until the perfect sacrifice came (Luke 24:44; Acts 4:12; Heb. 4:15).

 

Indeed, God cannot lie, therefore He must fulfill His required justice for sin, honor His Law, secure due regard for His kingdom and make a way of pardon for sinners as He promised. Jesus Christ filled all of these requirements.

 

We can be thankful that Jesus was willing to leave His heavenly abode and be the sacrifice for sinners. And thankful too, that God in His love allowed His Son to bear the burden of sin on the cross, to bear torture, mocking, embarrassment, shame and agony for us. The necessity of Christ’s death was so that “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15), and that we might have life abundant while we live for Him.

 

Friend, the only way that you can benefit from His death, burial and resurrection is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

 

REFELCTION

 

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Peter Learned To Stand


 

Acts 2:22-24

 

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know,” Acts 2:22.

 

Peter Learned To Stand

 

Have you ever had enough and finally had to stand up for the real truth? Peter found himself in this very situation.

 

The filling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost came forty days after Christ’s ascension. The ability to speak a language other than one’s own happened as the result of the Holy Spirit blessing. In God’s plan, the gospel could be spread into multiple nations at one time during this gathering of nations. But someone always has to put a damper on the Lord’s work even when it is going great.

 

Soon the naysayers found fault with the preaching and began to accuse the speakers as being full of new wine or in other words intoxicated. Peter had had enough and he stood up and began to preach. The religious people of Jerusalem thought they had a monopoly on the gospel, but Peter quickly shattered that thought. He reminded them of a prophecy in Joel and preached to them concerning Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

 

Peter dared to preach the truth to a group of religiously nice but lost people and the Holy Spirit convicted their hearts. On that day about three thousand people believed the gospel and were baptized.

 

 

Reflection

 

Our responsibility as believers is to speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit convict.

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Peter’s Love for Jesus


 

John 21:15-17

 

 

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep,” John 21:17.

 

 

Pastors, at times, need the same admonishment that Jesus gave to Peter. As a whole, pastors strive to feed the flock every time they teach or preach. But, are they guilty of viewing the flock as merely church members instead of the lambs and sheep of Jesus and themselves as the undershepherd of Jesus? From time to time we need a reminder of the importance of teaching and preaching relevant, Holy Spirit inspired messages to Jesus’ sheep.

 

Most pastors, like Peter, love Jesus but do they really LOVE Jesus. There is a difference. Pastors like other believers can become cold and indifferent. Their love of Jesus can wane and become stagnant. And, like Peter, they need occasional reminding that they are prone to sin and failure and that the path to rekindling is always open.

 

Early in the morning, still damp from his swim to shore, Peter must truthfully answer Jesus’ question, “Lovest thou me?” His answer was in his actions. It was after that encounter with Jesus that Peter became one of the strongest, most steadfast and influential of all the disciples.

 

 

 

REFLECTION

 

Pastors, do not be discouraged, see the importance of your position and then feed His sheep and His lambs!

 

Beverly Barnett

 

 

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Ye Shall Be Witnesses


 

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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” Acts 1:8.

 

Two words in Christ’s marching orders to the churches are both translated power. In Matthew 28:18, 19, “All power [exousia—authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.”

 

Then, in Luke 24:45-53, He repeated the Great Commission and made it clear, “But, tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power [dunamis—supernatural energy of the Holy Spirit] from on high” (verse 49). We get the word dynamite from dunamis (dunamis—supernatural energy of the Holy Spirit). When Christians go in the authority of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, their lives become forms of worship in Spirit and truth that God records in Heaven. Having authority to witness, they were not ready to witness until they had the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

One wonders, how much of God’s kingdom work is done by talented Christians in the flesh, going in His authority, but without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 1:8 is actually the outline of the entire book of Acts.

 

Paul was educated and talented to the hilt. He could have done God’s business if God would have made the way easier by removing his infirmity.  However, God let him know that He was able to do His own work. All Paul needed to do was surrender and allow God to use him to do it. Paul did not need a miracle. God’s grace was all he needed. Paul went on to allow God to use up his life for Christ’s glory, not for the glory of the great apostle, Paul. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, . . . and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7, 8).

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT - Paul’s life and ministry exemplifies Jesus Christ. Follow Paul’s example.

 

Robert A. Brock

 

 

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126 – May 06 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Preacher, a Missionary and a Soldier

 

Philadelphia saved from the plague

 

One cannot peruse the minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association from 1707 to 1807 without often seeing the name David Jones. He was born May 12, 1736, and he experienced salvation and was baptized May 6, 1758, when he was just turning twenty-two years of age. We gather from the records of an October meeting in 1772 that the early Baptist missionaries were thrust out by the Holy Spirit and provided for by the local churches according to the New Testament pattern at Antioch.  David Jones wrote several circular letters to the churches making up the Philadelphia Association.  These letters revealed the prevailing spiritual condition and welfare of the churches and country. Days of fasting and prayer were often requested. Jones in writing the letter in 1798 mentioned, ”We have been once more prevented assembling in the City of Philadelphia by a dreadful visitation from God.   Whatever may be the natural cause of this complaint, no doubt SIN is the procuring cause; nor can we reasonably expect a removal of the calamity without a suitable reformation among the inhabitants, for which we ought fervently to pray to God; and who knoweth but He may in His great mercy, graciously answer our supplications.”     The minutes of 1800 record that the association met in Philadelphia. The eleventh entry states, “Conscious that the intereposing Providence of God hath preserved the City of Philadelphia, during the present season, from the malignant fever, and caused the earth to bring forth her fruits more abundantly than for some years past, the Association set apart, and recommend, Thursday the 13th of November next, to be observed as a day of thanksgiving by all the churches in our connection.”

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 184-185

 

 

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109 – April 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

The “Great Awakening” was an amazing movement of God’s Holy Spirit of which it has been written, “There are few instances in history of transformations of religious life so profound and so widespread during so short a period.”  Though the movement was experienced primarily in New England, in the course of time, through the ministry of the Separate Baptists, the so-called “Bible Belt” in the southern states of America was the primary benefactor. However, there is no doubt that the “Great Awakening” left its impact in Baptist Churches, and all other religious groups, throughout America.  Revivals had significant role in spiritual and physical growth as revealed in the history of the First Baptist Church of Cape May.  It had never been a large church, as Morgan Edwards reported that there were about 90 families in  the congregation on April 19, 1790, “whereof 63 persons are baptized and in the communion which is here administered every other month.”  There were periods of growth in that work that came during “revival meetings.”  The first such services were called “protracted meetings,” and they were usually held during the winter months when farmhands and fishermen experienced an idle season. One of the secrets of success in these meetings was the fact that they usually began with an appointed day for fasting and prayer.  At times cottage prayer meetings were held prior to the meetings as well.  In 1839, sixty-eight were baptized and united with the church.  In 1849 another 29 converts were saved, baptized, and added to the church.  With the infiltration of German rationalism, revivalism as such began to wane, and today it is tragic to report that many churches are pleased to merely maintain their membership.

 

**(And if one of the maintained would leave due to the preaching of God’s word straight and true, how The membership rants and raves at the pastor, yet there is little or no concern about reaching the lost and bringing them into the flock. ** True revival will cause an “Awakening” of the believers gratitude for his salvation, and an urgency for the salvation of the lost.)

 

**Editors note

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins) p.p.  227   –   228

 

 

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE FRONT ROOM


Editorial
The Elephant in the Front Room
By H. L. Wilkinson

A good brother & preacher, I’m sure, recently hit the nail on the
head when he said NOT using the name “Baptist” to describe our churches
is a “tough, divisive issue that really is an elephant sitting in the room of our
Association.” True, many don’t want to talk about this subject. But we must
if we care to maintain any unity whatsoever in our fellowship. The elephant
has been sitting there awhile & he is not going away on his own, if at all
before more damage is done to our fellowship..

The Name Baptist in Scripture. Baptist is more than a brand name
like Coke or Pepsi. It is a heritage received from God: “There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6). The Holy Spirit chose to
use “Baptist” at least fourteen times in the New Testament with reference to
John. He was a giant, who is referred to more in the Old Testament than to
any figure who would later appear in the New Dispensation other than to
Christ himself (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 4:5, 6). Jesus said: “Verily I say unto
you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater
than John the Baptist: notwithstanding He that is LEAST (microteros =
later) in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he,” (Matthew 11:11). Jesus
was born approximately six months after John the Baptist. So, Jesus Christ
was the only man in history, who was greater than the Baptist!

Many have forgotten about John. This Baptist preacher immersed
Jesus in the Jordan River. And he also baptized the first twelve disciples,
because when a successor to Judas Iscariot was chosen, it was required that
he be “from the baptism of John,” (Acts 1:21, 22). So, a preacher called “the
Baptist” baptized not only the Lord, but also he provided the core material
which the Lord Jesus Christ built the FIRST Baptist Church. So, the Holy
Spirit actually “painted” Baptist on its SIGN, which is any “mark or symbol
having a specific meaning.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary)

The Name Baptist in History. Dr. W. A. Criswell, pastor of First
Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, then the largest Baptist church in the world,
wrote me Aug. 23, 1995: “I am persuaded that the church Christ built & said
would endure to the end is the church to which you & I belong & to whom
we minister. There is no possibility that that church of the Baptist faith &
commitment ever died. It was alive yesterday; it is alive today; & it will be
alive to the end of the age.” (See especially Matthew 16:18. I also suggest you
read a scanned copy of this entire letter below. It may surprise you.)

Of course, Dr. Criswell was writing of the Anabaptists, a GENERIC
name, that the Roman Catholic Church applied to a variety of groups
(Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Donatists, etc) denominated “heretics”
since they refused to recognize Catholic baptisms. Later, these Anabaptists
became known as Baptists. But
we had been called this for many
centuries beforehand. And millions
of our forefathers shed their blood
in Europe, North Africa, Turkey,
Armenia, etc. And later they were
whipped & jailed in colonial America for “the faith once delivered
unto the saints,” (Jude 3).

A strong PARALLEL is
still seen today in the Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. A
man in Murfreesboro once told
me his elderly mother-in-law was
a Holocaust survivor. And she had
the infamous prison identification
numbers tattooed on her shoulder!
How much do you think it would
have taken to have bribed this Jew-
ish lady into having these numbers
removed?
Of course, I don’t really
know, but I doubt if all the banks in
Murfreesboro, TN, would have had
enough cash in them to get her to
do this! This was a bloody sign of
her Jewish heritage, identity. And
so is the name “Baptist” we have
inherited from our forefathers!

Our Name in this New
Millennium? It really seems things
started to change in our work &
elsewhere about twelve years ago.
Do you remember the Y2K scare?
All the computers were going to
lock up at midnight, Dec. 31, 1999.
No one was going to be able to get
water, because they used computers
to control the water supply. The
electricity was going to go off &
many bought generators. Then two
jets hit the Twin Towers in New
York, another the Pentagon & a
third crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Alan Jackson wrote, sang:
“Where Were You When the World
Stopped Turning?”

By this time a new breed of
Baptist preacher had arisen who
knew Rick Warren but not J. R.
Graves. Soon Baptist signs started
to come down where they had been
standing proudly for decades in
places like Smyrna, Franklin, TN &
far beyond. And in the American
Baptist Association, the time proven ideas, methods of Ben Bogard, L.
D. Foreman, Paul Goodwin, Albert
Garner, Roy Reed, I. K. Cross, L. L.
Clover & A. J. Kirkland began to
be courteously, quickly “bowed to,“
but considered “old hat.” And, now
some in our fellowship started leaving the name Baptist off their signs
or more & more de-emphasizing it.
And why? To paraphrase one very
good brother: “We have about TEN
SECONDS to get people’s attention on the church sign or web site
before they go elsewhere.” And still
another: “The name ‘Baptist’ really
turns people off!”

However, a similar “argument” was undoubtedly made back
in the 1950’s by some budding TV
evangelists when Zenith Corporation invented the first remote control called “Lazy Bones.” Now, don’t
get me wrong. I’m not a Five Point
Calvinist, but it seems to me that
most of these “prospects” are just
plain lazy if they are willing only to
give God about “ten seconds.” They
surely can’t say: “I THOUGHT ON
MY WAYS & turned my feet unto
Thy testimonies,” (Psalm 119:67).
And especially one must question
if such “10-second seekers”
really have a divine appointment
with God anything like what the
Ethiopian Eunuch had when he was
saved (Acts 8:27-39). Moreover, we
need to ask ourselves: “Is someone
seeking the True Light or just
looking for Christianity-Lite in
a place that will reaffirm their ill
conclusions?” ( John 1:6-9; Luke
13:3, 5)

Conclusion: “There is
no new thing under the sun,”
(Ecclesiastes 1:9.) In every century
the essential issues of life & death
always remain the same. The world
is still turning even as it was when
Paul & Silas came to Athens &
some complained: “These that have
turned the world upside down are
come hither also,” (Acts 17:6).

The Lord’s churches are
already making an impact around
the world. And we can still turn this
world upside down! But the real
key to success in the fields white
unto the harvest is not so much
found in new technology as plain
old hard work, prayer, preaching
& teaching the Word of God. And
especially like Jesus, we must be
kind to all, show God’s love (1 Cor.
13:1-13)

Now,
just for the record, YES, I do pray
for those with whom I disagree
on this issue. I hope they succeed
in winning many souls to Jesus. I
“forbid [them] not” (Luke 9:49-50)
even as I also pray for my Methodist,
Nazarene, Pentecostal, Presbyterian
& all brethren in Christ to do the
same!

Again, YES the Internet &
other technology have tremendous potential! They should be used
to maximum advantage! But all
that twitters is not gold. And there
is absolutely NO EXCUSE for
throwing The Baptist Flag & much
else we hold dear into the ditch in
an attempt to reach those who have
less attention span than a mosquito.

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