THE SPIRITíS SWORD
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
Mt. Baker church of Christ
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In this issue:
John The Baptist's Final Days (Kent E. Heaton Sr.)
Widows and Orphans in the Philippines (Jim McDonald)
"Going To Church?"
Christ's True Church Today
Noteworthy News: Black Student Receives Death Threats
BAPTIST'S FINAL DAYS
Kent E. Heaton Sr.
John the Baptist was someone who demanded attention by his apparel and by his teaching. As the prophet Amos of his day, John possessed a fire and determination in the great work of God to bring the people to truth. (Matthew 3:1-12)
John's message of repentance was stern and plain to the teachings of God. He would not allow political position or power to cause him to refrain from the truth. In due course, this determination would find him in disfavor with those in power. "For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. Because John had said to him, 'It is not lawful for you to have her.' And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet." (Matthew 14:3-5)
The final days of John were numbered. Herod was a light minded, sensual and vicious man. John taught that marriage is sacred before God and that such a thing existed as an "unlawful marriage." He also taught this law applied to all men - even the tetrarch of Galilee. What Herod had done was sinful and demanded repentance. John sat in prison for preaching the truth.
Herod feared the multitude and would not put John to death. His mind was directed by the whims of the largest influence. The callous feeling of a mans life was the determination of John's future. The real fury against John would be finalized not by the coward Herod - but by the evil of the woman that so hated John. "Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly." (Mark 6:19,20)
Mark records for us that an "opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. And when Herodias' daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, 'Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.'" As John sat in prison, his life was about to be ended by the evil spite of a woman and sensual depravity of a man.
The course of humanity plunged itself into the dark abyss of immorality that the head of a man could be asked for on a platter on just a whim. For John, the executioner came and in a moment cut off his head. As the instrument of death severed the head from the body, the soul, in exaltation of glory, is carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham to rest. As John opens his eyes in eternal life, he finds his work is done and glory awaits him.
As the bloody head of John is carried down the corridor and placed upon a platter, Herodias gleams with satisfaction that her enemy is now dead. Blood fills the platter to overflowing and is first given to the girl and the girl gives it to her mother. The blood of God's servant now stains the hands of those who murdered him.
John is murdered because he taught the truth. John is beheaded because he made no distinction in his message - the law of God applies to all men.
John is killed based upon a whim of an evil woman. The final days of John are a testimony of the faithful servant fulfilling his Father's will - even to the point of death. Sadly, Herod and those like him will meet John again one day but in that day, the judgment will be much worse. The blood stained hands of Herod, Salome and Herodias will not be able to be washed clean in the lake of fire and brimstone. John bears witness of the need to preach the "whole counsel of God," no matter the consequences. (Acts 20:27)
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS
This past October and November I saw many needy widows and orphaned children. In one church alone I was told there are 10 needy widows in it. Unlike the US, the Philippines do not have a welfare system that will take care of such indigents (although some little help is available) and these are left to fend for themselves.
Helping those who are widows and orphans is to practice pure, undefiled religion. $30-$40 a month will not full take care of the needs of such, but it will "gnaw the edge" off their hunger.
If you desire to help these, your brethren, then I will be happy to further examine to make certain that any name given to you is one who is truly needy. You can communicate with these directly, write to them directly, and you will know a joy that comes from. helping your needy brethren. Jesus said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive".
I will be happy to supply names of worthy widows and/or orphans to those who inquire.
Contact: Jim McDonald ∑ P. O. Box 155032 ∑ Lufkin, TX 75915-5032 ∑ (409) 637-0229
For the complete text of the following sermon, visit
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"GOING TO CHURCH?"
(Scripture Reading: Acts 20:7-12)
It is easy to begin speaking like the world, but we want to speak where the
Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent: Neh. 13:23-24; 1 Pet. 4:11.
I. LET'S "GO TO CHURCH!" (Generally means: "Let's go to worship services.")
A. First Of All, Nowhere In The NT Do Christians "Go To Church:" Acts
11:26; 14:27; 1 Cor. 11:17-18, 20, 33; 14:23.
B. Understand What The Church Is ("Called out ones," Acts 7:38; 19:32, 39, 41; Heb. 12:23).
C. In The Bible: To "Go To The Church" Means To Go To The Messiah & Be Saved! - Isa. 2:3; Micah 5:2 -- Acts 2:41, 47.
D. Let Us Speak As The Bible Speaks - 1 Pet. 4:11.
II. WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING WHEN WE COME TOGETHER:
A. Go To Worship God - Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20; cf. Heb. 2:12.
B. Go To Be Edified By True Worship - 1 Cor. 14:26 (Jno. 4:24).
C. Go To Edify Others - 1 Cor. 14:19, 26; Heb. 10:24-25.
III. WHY MORE DO NOT "GO TO WORSHIP SERVICES:" (All show a lack of spiritual interest!)
A. "I'm Too Busy." - Eph. 5:16
B. "It's Boring." - Psa. 122:1
C. "I Don't Like The Preacher." - Rom. 3:23; Gal. 1:10
D. "The People Are Unfriendly." - Prov. 18:24
E. "There Are Too Many Hypocrites There!" - Col. 3:5; Rev. 21:8
F. "All They Are Interested In Is My Money." - 2 Cor. 12:14; cf. Matt. 10:8; 2 Cor. 9:6-10.
For the complete text of the following sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS at: http://www.bibleanswer.com/truechur.htm
CHRIST'S TRUE CHURCH TODAY
(Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:14-22)
The church is a valuable & necessary part of God's eternal plan of human redemption - Eph. 3:10-11.
I. NO CREED BUT CHRIST. [Creed: (credo) - "I believe"]
A. Jesus Christ Is The Object Of Our Faith - Jno. 8:23-24; 20:30-31; Acts 8:36-37.
II. NO RULE OF FAITH & PRACTICE BUT THE REVEALED WILL OF CHRIST, THE NEW TESTAMENT.
A. We Follow Christ's Word In All Things - Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; Heb. 1:1-2. How?
B. The Bible Is Man's Only & All-Sufficient, Infallible Guide Spiritual Matters - 2 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
III. TO ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS ONE'S ONLY "RULE OF FAITH & PRACTICE" IS TO....
A. Wear No Name But Christ's - Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16.
B. Arrange No Organization But The Local Church - 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1.
C. Offer No Worship But That Which Is Authorized In The NT - Jno. 4:23-24
D. Live A Life Devoted To Jesus Christ - Matt. 28:19-20; Lk. 6:46; Jno. 14:15; Rom. 12:1-2.
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
BLACK STUDENT RECEIVES DEATH THREATS
FERNDALE, WA January 27 - Police are investigating a letter that "uses the n-word" and ends with a death threat against a black high school student in this town north of Bellingham.
AN INVESTIGATION under a state law banning malicious harassment was ordered after the half-page note, apparently produced on a computer printer, was received by the student, police said Wednesday. If the offender is a student, he or she will be expelled, school officials said.
The letter named two other black students and Malcolm Oliver, a Bellingham man who led an assembly on Martin Luther King Jr. last week, Police Chief Dale Baker said. Oliver and members of the student's families would not comment Wednesday.
Baker would not release the letter, saying it would be easier to determine who sent it if the exact wording remained known only to investigators, but he described it as "outrageous" and "unconscionable." "It uses the 'n' word and others and compares them to animals commonly found in the jungle," Baker said.
"It goes on to give this person's opinion of their physical attributes and suggests they return to Africa," Baker said.
"It refers to interracial marriages and their (black people's) 'limited mental capacities' and suggests that their death is nearby."
About half a dozen blacks attend Ferndale High School, comprising about 0.5 percent of the student body. (c)2000 Associated Press
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