THE SPIRITS SWORD
Mt. Baker church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker Hwy · Bellingham, WA 98226
Volume V, Number 26 - September 23, 2001
Editor..................Joe R. Price
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In this issue:
Joe R. Price
Although many people do not wish to consider it or believe it, the Bible teaches there will be a judgment day when every person who has lived will be judged (Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:2-6; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12-13). Jesus Christ will be the Judge on that day (Jno. 5:26-27; Acts 17:31; 2 Cor. 5:10). Therefore, we should all honor and obey Him now so that our judgment will be unto life rather than unto death (Matt. 25:31-46).
That great day of judgment will be when Almighty God renders His judgment against every disobedience, every vile passion, every faithless act, every neglected duty. It will be a great day of vindication for the gospel and for Christians as the saints of God are ushered into the eternal kingdom (2 Ths. 1:5-10; Rev. 19; 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Rev. 21:1-7, 27). As for sinners, Judgment Day holds only the terrifying expectation of an eternity of utter darkness, agony and suffering because of their sins (Matt. 25:30; Mk. 9:43-48; Rom. 2:5-9; Rev. 20:15; 21:8). Knowing this truth ought to cause us to live holy lives in anticipation of the Lord's return (2 Pet. 3:8-13).
No one needs to worry that their judgment will be unfair. God's judgments have always been and will always be preeminently fair and appropriate (Rev. 16:7). Romans 2:2-11 assures us God's judgments are just. Use the descriptions contained in Romans 2:2-11 to prepare yourself for God judgment of your life:
1. According to truth (v. 2). Since God's word is truth (Jno. 17:17), we
must be in harmony with truth to receive a favorable judgment.
2. Inclusive (v. 3). None shall escape its reach.
3. Righteous (v. 5). God's judgment is just and uncompromising.
4. Individual (v. 6-10). It will be according to each person's life.
5. Impartial (v. 9-11). God looks on a person's heart and life. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35).
Are you ready for the Judgment Day? Are you prepared to stand before God in judgment? Will you hear Him say "well done, good and faithful servant" or "depart from Me, I never knew you!" (Matt. 25:21; 7:23) Become a Christian (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38). Live for Jesus (Rev. 2:10).
Nostradamas, Prophets and Prophecy
Joe R. Price
What the Bible teaches about prophets is clear. And, it is relevant, since many people in this world look to somebody they believe to be a prophet sent from God to guide the affairs of men.
One such "prophet" many turn to is Nostradamus. Some tried to convince people he had prophesied the World Trade Center tragedy. It was a forgery. A fake. But, who was Nostradamus?
"Nostradamus, (1503-1566), French physician and astrologer who wrote Centuries, a famous collection of prophecies published in 1555. The prophecies in Centuries appear in four-line rhyming verses called quatrains. In vague language, they describe events from the mid-1500s through the end of the world, which is predicted to come in AD3797. Many people have interpreted the prophecies in Centuries, connecting certain ones with events that have taken place since Nostradamus's time. The name "Nostradamus" is a Latin name he used in place of his original name, Michel de Nostredame." ("Nostradamus," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001, http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved)
Nostradamus was not a true prophet. He did not have special insight into future events. Like other prognosticators, he spoke in generalities which solicit many alleged fulfillments. How can we be so sure? Because the gospel of Christ teaches us that no one knows when the end of the world will occur (Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:6-7; 1 Ths. 5:1-3). Nostradamus says AD 3797. Somebody is wrong, and we are confident it is not Christ and His apostles.
Here is a brief discussion of what the Bible says about true prophets of God.
A prophet is a spokesman for another. In Exodus 7:1, God told Moses that "Aaron your brother shall be your prophet." A comparison of Exodus 4:15-16 shows that Aaron "shall be your spokesman" since Moses would "speak to him (Aaron), and put the words in his mouth." Aaron would be a mouthpiece for Moses. Similarly, a prophet of God is a mouthpiece of God to speak forth the word of God to man.
True prophets were called by God to their work, and were given the words of the Lord to speak to man. For example, in Jeremiah 1:4-10, God called and commissioned Jeremiah to be His prophet (v. 5). He would speak "whatever I (God) command you" (v. 7). God then put His words into Jeremiah's mouth (v. 9). A true prophet of God did not speak his own will, but the will and words of God. Compare Deuteronomy 18:15-19 for more on the call and work of a true prophet of God.
God put His words into the prophet's mouth through the work of the Holy Spirit. As Peter says, "prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of Gold spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21). True prophets were not moved by the will of man to speak, but by the Spirit of God (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10-13). Neither did the true prophet change his message because of the will of the people (Ezek. 3:10-11).
The work of the prophets of God has been accomplished. They helped reveal to mankind the full and complete revelation of God (1 Cor. 13:8-10; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3). And although there are no longer living prophets, their prophecies remain (in the Bible) to ever give us "edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3).
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
FAILURE & SUCCESS IN GOD'S SIGHT
Scripture Reading: Psalm 122
1. What men count as success & failure is often not God's assessment - 1 Sam. 16:7; Isa. 55:8-9.
2. What does God regard as success? What does God see as failure?
I. WE ARE TRULY A FAILURE IN GOD'S SIGHT:
A. When We Lose Our Own Souls - Matt. 16:26; 19:20-22; Lk. 12:15-21; Eccl. 5:10; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; Matt. 11:28; Acts 2:40.
B. When We Are Disobedient To Him - Heb. 3:16-19; Matt. 7:21-23, 24-27; cf. Josh. 1:7-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Deut. 5:29; 28:1-2; Jas. 1:25; Rev. 22:14.
C. When We Do Not Do What We Can - Matt. 25:15, 24-30; Jas. 4:17; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; Jno. 15:2, 5, 8; Matt. 10:42; Eph. 3:21.
II. WE ARE TRULY A SUCCESS IN GOD'S SIGHT:
A. When We Live By Faith - Heb. 11:6; Mk. 12:41-44 (Rom. 12:1); 2 Cor. 12:7-10; Isa. 53:3-4; Matt. 5:10-12; 1 Tim. 4:8.
B. When, With A Ready Heart, We Do God's Will As We Are Able - 2 Cor. 8:12, 5; Phil. 2:5--Jno. 8:29; Rom. 12:2.
C. When We Resist Temptation & Wait For The Lord To Judge - Jas. 5:7-12; 1:12.
For the complete text of this sermon, visit BIBLE ANSWERS
AT THE CROSS
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
1. The word of the cross is the gospel, God's power to save - 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16.
2. Three things that occurred at the cross:
I. THE AUTHORITY OF THE OT LAW WAS DONE AWAY AT THE CROSS - Eph.
2:14-15; Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:4; Heb. 9:15-17.
A. This Was A Stumbling Block To Jews - 1 Cor. 1:23 (Acts 6:11-14).
B. The End Of The OT Law Continues To Be A Stumbling Block Today:
1. "Jesus came teaching LOM" (MMLJ part of the OT) - cf. Matt. 5:17-18; 4:23; Lk. 16:16.
2. "One eternal covenant" - Jer.31:31-34; Heb.8:6-13
II. THE REMISSION OF SINS BECAME AVAILABLE AT THE CROSS - Heb.
9:22; 10:10, 18.
A. This Was A Stumbling Block to Jews & Gentiles - Rom. 2:17-24 (3:1-2, 9); Lk. 24:45-47; Acts 26:17-18; Acts 17:18.
B. Remission Of Sins Continues To Be A Stumbling Block Today:
1. "Faith only" scoffs at the plan of salvation - Acts 2:36-38, 40-41.
2. "Continual cleansing" crowd mock possibility of apostasy - 1 Jno. 1:7-9.
3. "Unity in doctrinal diversity" brethren scorn "one way" of truth - Jno. 8:31-36.
III. THE CHURCH WAS PURCHASED AT THE CROSS - Acts 20:28; Eph.
A. Stumbling block To Jews To Accept Gentiles - cf. Acts 11:1-3 (Eph. 2:11-13).
B. The Church Continues To Be A Stumbling Block Today:
1. Denominationalists: The church is unnecessary - yet, Eph. 5:23.
2. Brethren who say "preach the cross" not the church! - 1 Cor. 12:13, 20; Eph. 2:13, 16; 1:7
(Current events in the light of Scripture)
Taliban Envoy Says Can't Force Bin Laden to Leave
Friday, September 21, 2001 2:01 a.m. EDT
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The ruling Taliban cannot force Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan as demanded by the United States, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan told the AIP news agency on Friday.
"If Osama voluntarily leaves Afghanistan, he may. Otherwise we cannot force him to leave Afghanistan," Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef was quoted as telling the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press.
A gathering of clerics in Kabul ruled on Thursday that the Taliban should ask bin Laden to leave of his own free will. The multi-millionaire Saudi-born militant has been named by the United States as a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks on Washington and New York.
"The ulema's (clerics') decision was not to forcibly (remove him), or that he must leave Afghanistan," said Zaeef. "Rather the ulema's decision was that he should be persuaded to leave Afghanistan."
President Bush issued an ultimatum to the Taliban on Thursday, saying they risked the same punishment as those they are sheltering unless they handed over bin Laden and his senior aides and closed all his training camps. Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited.
Joe R. Price
Sometimes we hear people say, "I cannot change - that's just the way I am" when confronted with their sin. Maybe you have said it to yourself. But, we know this is not true. When confronted with our sin, everyone one of us has choice: Will I continue in my sin or will I repent, repudiate and reform (cf. Lk. 3:7-14; Acts 2:37-41; 25:24-25).
The power of Christ is greater than the power of Satan. Jesus proved this over and over while on earth, including His dramatic healing of the demon-possessed blind and mute man in Matthew 12:22-30. The "strong man" (Satan) is no match for the Son of God, who cast him out of this man (Matt. 12:24-28). On the cross Jesus cast out the ruler of this world, thereby freeing sinners from Satan's grip of terror (Jno. 12:31; Heb. 2:14-15). Jesus "destroyed the works of the devil" (1 Jno. 3:8).
Now the choice is yours. Will you let Jesus drive out the terror of sin from your heart and life? Will you allow His power to free you from evil? Act in faith (Eph. 2:8). Obey His gospel (Rom. 6:17-18). Repent, be baptized, be saved, and live in Christ! (Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 2:20).
The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA
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