Sunday Morning Sermon Notes

  • Straight Talk

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12-02-2018   Part 1  

As you know at least twice a year during the Resurrection or Easter Season and during the Christmas Season, it’s good for us to take a break from our current topic to focus on our first love, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ!

So, once again during this special month, during this special season, we are returning back to one of the most important subjects in all the Bible, and that is, “On The Significance and The Importance Of Jesus Christ, His Person And His Ministry, Amen!”

And lately we have been focused upon His ministry, especially His teaching ministry, Him being the most effective teacher who ever was, and that will ever be!

Because He was able to utilize various teaching methods to communicate God’s truth.

For example, on many occasions, Jesus taught utilizing parables as a teaching method that He would used to communicate God’s truth.

This afternoon we want to begin to focus on this last teaching method in which Jesus used quite frequently to communicate God’s truth.

Whether it was with a large group, or a smaller group like His disciples, or one on one with an individual.

The Lord Jesus Christ utilized a teaching method that was very straightforward, sometimes blunt and to the point in telling a person what they needed to hear!

I would like to call it, “Straight Talk!”

Straight talk is honest, direct, or frank communication, or conversation, or discussion.

In other words, straight talk refers to speaking to another person or with others in a very honest, or truthful manner.

Not being afraid or intimidated to share an opinion, an insight, or an observation, or even a different point of view, even if those views make the other person or persons upset or uncomfortable, or they are not in agreement.

Listen, the Lord Jesus Christ utilize this kind of method that was very straightforward, sometimes blunt and to the point in telling a person what they needed to Hear!

So then, this afternoon we want to focus on this teaching method which our LORD used that was indeed straight talk, wet it was effective in communicating God’s truth that was necessary both then, as well as now!

Show you what I mean!

Notice Mark 10:                                                                                                      Vs. 17.  Now as Jesus was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?                                                         Vs. 18.  So, Jesus said to him why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, and that is God!               Vs. 19.  Jesus said, you know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.                              Vs. 20.  But the young ruler answered and said unto Jesus, Teacher all these things I have kept from my youth!                                                                              Vs. 21.  Then Jesus looking at him, and loved him, and said to him, one thing you lack: Go your way, and sell whatever you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and also come take up the cross, and follow Me.                                                                                                              Vs. 22.  But the young ruler was sadden at his words, and went away sorrowful, For Or Because he had great possessions.                                                         Vs. 23.  Then Jesus looked around and said to His Disciples, how hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!                                                         Vs. 24.  And The disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!                               Vs. 25.  In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.                                                                       Vs. 26.  And the disciples were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?      Vs. 27.  But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men it is impossible, but not with God!  Because with God all things are possible!

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk, one on one with this particular individual, will help us to know three important things,                                                                                •God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!                         •God will always expose or reveal our real issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!            •God must save us and not we ourselves!

First, God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!

Mark 10:                                                                                                                   Vs. 17.  Now as Jesus was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?                      Vs. 18.  So, Jesus said to him why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, and that is God!                Vs. 19.  Jesus said, You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.                                          Vs. 20.  But the young ruler answered and said unto Jesus, teacher all these things I have kept from my youth!

God never accepts or affirms our religious self-righteousness!  (Explain)

Now, also see Galatians 2: 16.  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk, both then and now will help us to know three Important Things. Secondly, our God will always expose or reveal our real Issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!

Mark 10:                                                                                                                       Vs. 21.  Then Jesus looking at him, and loved him, and said to him, one thing you lack: Go your way, and sell whatever you have, and give the proceeds to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and also come take up the cross, and follow Me.                                                                                                            Vs. 22.  But the young ruler was sadden at His words, and went away sorrowful, for or, because he had great possessions.                                                           Vs. 23.  Then Jesus looked around and said to His Disciples, how hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!                                          Vs. 24.  And the disciples were astonished at His words.  But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!  Vs. 25.  In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Listen, our God will always expose or reveal our real issues, so that we might humble ourselves and repent!

See Revelation 2:                                                                                                    Vs. 4.  Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.     Vs. 5.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent.

See Revelation 2:                                                                                               Vs. 14.  But I have a few things against you, because you have those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.                                                                                                                Vs. 15.  Thus, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.                      Vs. 16.  Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

See Revelation 3: 15.  I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.                                                                              Vs. 16.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.             Vs. 17.  Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, yet do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.                               Vs. 19.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Listen, Jesus’ straight talk both then and now, will help us to know three important things.

Thirdly, Our God must save us and not we ourselves!

See Mark 10:                                                                                                        Vs. 26.  And the disciples were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, who then can be saved?      Vs. 27.  But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men it is impossible, but not with God!  Because with God all things are possible!

Listen, our God must save us and not we ourselves!

See Acts 4:                                                                                                          Vs. 12.  Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

12-09-2018    Part 2  

For this month, let’s continue this afternoon with our special topic, for this very special season.

For we are focusing upon a specific teaching method that the Lord Jesus would use from time to time, that was very straightforward.  Sometimes, even blunt and to the point, yet very necessary in telling a person or persons, what they needed to hear or know!

So, we are calling this teaching method that Jesus used both then, as well as now, it is simply known as, “Straight Talk”!

Remember straight talk is, honest, direct, or frank communication, or conversation, or discussion.

In other words, straight talk refers to speaking to another person or with others, in a very honest, or truthful manner about someone or something.

Straight talk means not being afraid or intimidated to share an opinion, or an insight, or an important observation, or even a different point of view.  Even if it makes another person or persons upset or uncomfortable, or they are not in agreement.

Listen, the Lord Jesus Christ utilize this kind of teaching method, straight talk that was straightforward, sometimes even blunt and to the point, but always necessary in telling a person or persons what they needed to hear or to know! and whether it was with a large group, or a small group like His Disciples, or one on one with an individual, we focused upon this straight talk teaching method that our LORD used that was one on one with an individual known in the Scriptures as, ”the Rich Young Ruler!”

However, this afternoon, we will focus upon this straight talk teaching method that our LORD.

And last Sunday used both then, as well as now, that was done within a small group of people like His Disciples, who needed to hear and to know God’s truth for them.

Now there is one section in the Gospels, in fact in the Gospel of St. John, chapters 13 thru 16.  For within these four chapters we see the Lord Jesus Christ ministering, preparing, and utilizing this His straight talk teaching method even among His Disciples, that was necessary back then, and is really necessary right now!!

Say something about you and me being modern day Disciples of Christ in our day, in our time!

Then quote Luke 14:                                                                                                   Vs. 26.  If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, spouse and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and their own life also, they cannot be My disciple.                                                                   Vs. 27.  And whoever does cannot be My disciple.                                                        Vs. 33.  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that you have, cannot be My disciple.                           

Therefore, here in St. John 13: 1-17, our Lord begins His straight talk teaching with the Disciples that was needed then, and is badly needed now, and that is, caring for one another is born out of true humility, and not out of selfish ambition, or religious duty.

See St. John 13:                                                                                                           Vs. 12.  So, when Jesus had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again.  And He said unto them, do you know what I have done unto you?                  Vs. 13.  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.                           Vs. 14.  If, I then your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.   Vs. 15.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.                           Vs. 16.   Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; Nor is he who is sent greater than, he who sent him.                                              Vs. 17.   If, you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Listen, caring for one another is born out of true humility, and not out of selfish ambition, or religious duty.

Now see Luke 22:                                                                                                 Vs. 19.  And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, this is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.    Vs. 20.  Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.                                                                  Vs. 21.  But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.                        Vs. 22.  And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!                                                                      Vs. 23.  Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.       Vs. *24.  Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest, this was selfish ambition!                                          Vs. 25.  And Jesus said to them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors.

Vs. 26.  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.                               Vs. 27.  For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as The One who serves.

Also, notice Philippians 2:                                                                                          Vs. 2.  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.         Vs. 3.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.                                                       Vs. 4.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.                 Vs. 5.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,                              Vs. 6.  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,                                   Vs. 7.  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.                                                                                     Vs. 8.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Finally, see St. John 13:                                                                                                   Vs. 34.  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also Love one another.                                                                Vs. 35.  By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

But is this human love or Divine love?

Remember I Corinthians 13:                                                                                    Vs. 4.  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;          Vs. 5.  Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil;                  Vs. 6.  Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;                                       Vs. 7.  bears all things,                                                                                                     believes all things,                                                                                                                hopes all things,                                                                                                               endures all things.                                                                                                         Vs. 8a.  Love never fails, or will not give up, it is always available no matter what!

12-16-2018    Part 3     

Let’s continue this afternoon with our special topic, for this very special season.

For we are focusing upon a specific teaching method that the Lord Jesus would use from time to time, that was very straightforward.  Sometimes, even blunt and to the point, yet always necessary in telling a person or persons, what they needed to hear or know, whether it was with a large group, or with a small group like His Disciples, or even one on one with a particular individual.

So, we are calling this teaching method that Jesus used both then, as well as now.

And it’s simply known as, “Straight Talk!”

And last Sunday, we focused upon our LORD’s straight talk, or talking straight with his own Disciples from St. John, chapters 13 all the way to the end of chapter 16.

In fact, we saw in St. John 13: 1-17, how Jesus taught the Disciples then, as well as us today about the need for Godly humility and divine love that they were to have for one another, and with others!

Now this afternoon let’s consider one more area from St. John Chapters 13 thru 16, as we focus upon another important matter in which our LORD utilized His straight talk teaching method in order to give His Disciples both then and now, the ultimate hope that they would need whenever they were faced with uncertainty or with difficulty! 

Show you what I mean!

See St. John 14:                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.        Vs. 2.  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.                                                                         Vs. 3.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.                                                    Vs. 4.  And where I go you know, and the way you know.                                              Vs. 5.  Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Vs. 6.  Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Listen, our LORD gave His Disciples both then and now, the ultimate hope that they would need whenever they were faced with uncertainty or with difficulty!

For example, a Disciple’s ultimate hope is in the fact that when we have a troubled heart, there is a remedy, there is a cure when we choose to believe in, and trust in Who Jesus Christ really is!

Notice vs. 1.  Jesus said, let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Now remember, a Disciple’s ultimate hope is in the fact that when we have a troubled heart, there is a remedy, there is a cure when we choose to believe in, and trust in Who Jesus Christ really is!    

Notice St. John 14:27,                                                                                              Jesus said, peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Next, a Disciple’s ultimate hope is in the fact that our future life beyond this life.  And our eternal home beyond our current address or residence.   All of this and more, should help us to stay ready, stay focused, be useful, and always grateful because of what Christ has done, is doing, and will do!

Notice vs. 2.  Jesus said, *In My Father’s house are many mansions, rooms, dwelling places. *Jesus said, if it were not so, I would have told you. *I go to prepare a place for you!                                                  Vs. 3.  *And if I go and prepare a place for you, *I will come again and receive you to Myself. *That where I am, there you may be also.

Now remember, a Disciple’s ultimate hope is in the fact that our future life beyond this life.  And our eternal home beyond our current address or residence.  All of this and more, should help us to stay ready, stay focused, be useful, and always grateful because of what Christ has done, is doing, and will do!

Now see II Peter 3:                                                                                                      Vs. 13.  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.                                                                Vs. 14. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.

And lastly, a Disciple’s ultimate hope is in the fact that we can know where Jesus went, and we can know how and who can get us there!

Vs. 4.  And Jesus said, where I go, you know, and the way, you know!                     Vs. 5.  But Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?Vs. 6.  Jesus said to Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through or by Me, Jesus said!

Now See I Peter 3:                                                                                                     Vs. 21.  There is also an antitype which now saves us baptism not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,                   Vs. 22.  Who has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God, Angels and authorities and powers having been made subject unto Him.

So once again our Lord Jesus utilized a teaching method that could be very straightforward.  Sometimes even blunt and to the point.  But, it was always necessary in telling a person or persons what they needed to hear or know, whether it was with a large group, or with a small group like His Disciples, or even one on one with a particular individual.

So, with the time remaining, let’s consider here in Matthew chapters 5 thru 7, as our Lord is speaking unto a very large group of people according to Matthew 5: 1&2.     See vs. 1.  And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up on a mountain or hillside, and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.                                                Vs. 2.  Then Jesus opened His mouth and taught them, saying.   So then, our Lord talks straight before this very large group of people which is seen in Matthew chapters 5 thru 7, as He tells all of then what they need to hear, as well as what they need to know!

Now, notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                 Vs. 13.  Enter by the narrow gate or door; Because wide is the gate or door, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in it.       Vs. 14.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Note: St John 10: 9.  I am the door or gate.  If anyone enters by Me, they will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

 12-23-2018    Part 4   

This afternoon, let’s finish up our special topic for this very special season we are in.

As you know we have been focusing upon a specific teaching method that the Lord Jesus would use from time to time, that was very straightforward. sometimes even blunt and to the point, yet always necessary in telling a person or persons, what they needed to hear or know, whether it was with a large group, or with a small group like His Disciples, or even one on one with a particular individual.

So, we are calling this teaching method that Jesus used both then, as well as now.

And it’s simply known as, “Straight Talk!”

And last Sunday, we focused upon our LORD’s straight talk, or talking straight with a very large group of people.

Here in Matthew chapters 5 thru 7, as our Lord is speaking unto a very large group of people according to Matthew 5: 1&2.

See vs. 1.  And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up on a mountain or hillside, and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.                                                   Vs. 2.  Then Jesus opened His mouth and taught them, saying.

So then, our Lord talks straight with this very large group of people which is seen in Matthew chapters 5 thru 7, as He tells all of then what they need to hear, as well as what they need to know!

Now notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                   Vs. 21.  Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.                                        Vs. 22.  Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?   Vs. 23.  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Let’s notice carefully this straight talk from Jesus about the danger of Spiritual Superficiality that leads to eternal death, that is separation from God forever!

A definition for the word ‘Superficiality’ to consider.

“Content with only the outside, but totally unaware or uninterested about the inside.”

Therefore, spiritual superficiality would include but is not limited to externalism, traditionalism, ritualism, and formalism.

For example, see Matthew 23:                                                                              Vs. 27.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.  Vs. 28.  Even so, you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

But also, spiritual superficiality is being religious, but not having been truly saved and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual superficiality is being spiritual a new ager, but they Haven’t been born of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself!

Spiritual superficiality is being affiliated or identified with a church family, a church denomination, a religious group or movement, but having no relationship with God Himself!

Notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                            Vs. 21.  Jesus is speaking, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but they who does the will of My Father in Heaven.

First, Jesus said, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven!

In other words, it’s not about what you say, but it’s about what you do!  It’s not about how you look, but it’s about what you are!

See Romans 10: 9, That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, or Jesus is Lord, (External).            And believe in your heart (Internal).                                                                             That God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Notice Matthew 7:                                                                                                                Vs. 21.  Jesus is speaking, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, *But they that do the will of My Father in Heaven.

Question: What is the will of the Father in Heaven that Jesus is referring to? Answer: That everyone would trust in, and believe on the Son of God or God the Son Jesus Christ alone.

See St. John 6:40.  Jesus is speaking, and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Remember this straight talk teaching from the LORD is about the danger of spiritual superficiality that leads to eternal death, that is separation from God forever!

Next, Matthew 7:                                                                                                           Vs. 22.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?

Again, many will say to Me in that day!  What day?

See Revelation 20:                                                                                                      Vs. 11.  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.          Vs. 12.  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.

And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Vs. 13.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.  And they were judged, each one according to their works.                                                                       Vs. 14.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.                               Vs. 15.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

And lastly Matthew 7:                                                                                                       Vs. 23.  Jesus is speaking, And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Question, Did these individuals in vs. 22&23, lose their salvation?                         Question, Can a person lose their salvation?

Answer, Good news & bad news!

First the good news, you cannot lose your salvation!                                                        But the bad news is, you could have had a false conversion experience like Judas Iscariot! (Explain) 

Now close with these powerful and soul-searching words of Jesus in Luke 13:     Vs. 22.  And Jesus went through the cities and villages, teaching, making His way toward Jerusalem.           Vs. 23.   Then someone said to Him, "Lord, are there only a few who are saved?" And Jesus said to them,   Vs. 24.   Strive, or whatever it takes you must enter through the narrow gate or door, because many I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Why?       Vs. 25.   Because once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, then you being on the outside standing and knocking at the door shall saying, Lord, Lord, open for us!   But He will answer and say to them, I do not know you, where you are from,      Vs. 26.  they will Then begin to say, we ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.         Vs. 27.   But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you where you are from.  Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.                                                                               Vs. 28.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

12-30-2019    Part 2   Sunday

And let us return back to our once a month topical series called, “What We Believe And Why?”

Each month as the LORD leads, and usually on the 4th.   Or, if there is a 5th Sunday in a given month.

We are considering what the Bible says and teaches Us about,                                                          *The Fundamentals,                                                                                                                                           *The Basics,                                                                                                                                                    *The Core Truths                                                                                                                                          For being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, or you would Like to be one day.

So, this morning let's continue to understand what the Bible says and teaches about *How We Can Be A Better witness For our Lord Jesus Christ.  And How We Can Be A More Effective Witness For Jehovah Or Yahweh Almighty?

Now, see Acts 1: 8, Jesus is speaking, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses unto or for Me, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

See the word ‘witnesses’.  Remember, a basic English definition for the word ‘witness’ is someone who can attest to certain facts based on what they saw.  Or, what they heard.  Or, what they know, when concerning a matter.

But interestingly, in vs. 8, in the Greek Language of the New Testament times, the word ‘witness’ also carries another meaning that is quite surprising!

A witness can mean one who is spiritually single-minded, or uncompromising.    Also, in a non-violent way, they are willing to give up everything, even their own life for what they believe, and in whom they believe, a martyr.

Notice Strong's definition of the Greek word, μάρτυς or mártys, which is a witness.

In a legal sense, an historical sense one who is a spectator of anything, e.g. of a contest.

Or, in an ethical sense those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death (a martyr).

Now, see Daniel.                                                                                                                                                   Vs. 15.  King Nebuchadnezzar is speaking.  Now, if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, then good!

But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.  And who is the God who will deliver you from my hands?

Vs. 16.  Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king.   O Nebuchadnezzar we have no need to answer you in a compromising matter, for our minds are made up!                             Vs. 17.  And if this is the case, then our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.                                                     Vs. 18.  But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor, will we worship the gold image which you have set up.

Now notice again Acts 1: 8, Jesus is speaking, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Stop there)!

Listen this word ‘power’ in vs. 8 can mean,                                                                                              •An innate power that is supernatural and not natural, nor human, nor does it come from one’s own self!    •An inward ability or enablement that is supernatural, and that was given, and not earned, learned, nor deserved.

Notice a Strong's definition of the Greek Word, δύναμις Dýnamis, from G1410.  Either (literally or figuratively); a supernatural or miraculous power at work.

Also, Dýnamis from Dýnamai, means, able, having ability to perform.  For the Believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord's inherent abilities given unto whoever he chooses!                                                 For this power through God’s ability is also needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and preparation for glorification).   Dýnamis is a very important term, used 120 times in the New Testament.

Again, Acts 1: 8.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon or into you, (Stop there)!

Actually, the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit, He Himself is the ‘Power’!

And therefore, this power that we are talking about, is not some kind of spiritual force that God uses as well, to get things done!   But in reality, the Holy Spirit Himself is the power in whom we are to be dependent upon!

Question, what is or Who is the Holy Spirit?

Acts 5:                                                                                                                                                                  Vs. 3.  But Peter said Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?                                                                                        Vs. 4.  While it remained, was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!

Question Who is the Holy Spirit?

See I John 5: 7.                                                                                                                                                     For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, The Word, and The Holy Spirit; and these three are One Or Equal.

So then, with the time we have left, let’s begin to consider the primary way we can be an affective witness for the LORD, and that is we should be both a verbal, and nonverbal witness for the LORD!

But what does that mean, what does that look like?

Listen, a verbal witness for God are those opportunities that God arrangers, then He will empower us to share, or minister, or communicate the Gospel message about Jesus Christ to a world that needs to know who He really is, and what He has really done to make a difference in anyone who would believe In Him.

In addition, we are to be, a nonverbal witness for God which is based upon our lifestyle, or our conduct, and our Biblical moral behavior.  For all of that is a witness of a transforming life at work on the inside of us, that is also changing the outside of us as well!

So then, let’s consider first being a nonverbal witness for God.

Listen, to be a nonverbal witness for God which is based upon our lifestyle, our conduct, and our Biblical moral behavior.  For all of that is a witness of a transforming life at work on the inside of us, that is also changing the outside of us as well!

Notice Ephesians 5:                                                                                                                                        Vs. 17.  Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.                                Vs. 18.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.

Now, one of the many powerful results of being filled with the Spirit, when among members within a church fellowship will be,                                                                                                          Vs. 19.   Says, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,                                                                                                  Vs. 20.   Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,       Vs. 21.   Submitting to one another in the fear of God.                                                                        

Next, another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable wives to fulfill a God-designed role within their marriage.                                                                                              Vs. 22.  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.                                                             Vs. 23.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and Christ is the Savior of the body.                                                                                                                                 Vs. 24.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Next, is another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable Husbands to fulfill a God-designed role within their marriage also.                                                                        Vs. 25.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,         Vs. 26.  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,                    Vs. 27.   that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.                                                       Vs. 28.  So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. Vs. 29.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.                                                                                                                                                Vs. 30.  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.                                                   Vs. 31.  For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.                                                                                                                           Vs. 32.  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.                                          Vs. 33.  Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Now in Ephesians 6: 1-3,                                                                                                                                  Is another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable children of all ages to fulfill a God-designed role within their immediate family.                                                                                              Vs. 1.  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.                                                              Vs. 2.  Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise:                           Vs. 3.  That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.                         

•Next, another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable a parent, or parents to fulfill a God-designed role within their immediate family.                                                            Vs. 4.   And you fathers, or parents, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

•Next, another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable employee to fulfill a God-designed role when on the job.                                                                                                   Vs. 5.   Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;                                                                                   Vs. 6.  not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,                                                                                                                                             Vs. 7.  with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,                                                          Vs. 8.  knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.                                                                                       

•Lastly, another powerful result of being filled with the Spirit that can enable employers to fulfill a God-designed role when on the job.                                                                                           Vs. 9.  And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in Heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

01-06-2019  Part 1   Sunday

Well, here we are six days into the New Year of 2019.

But also, have you thought about, that these are the final 12 months, before we begin a new decade?

In fact, in 2020 we begin the third consecutive decade or 10 years.

Remember, since the new millennium began or the 2000’s, we experienced the first decade from 2000 until 2010.

Then, the second decade is from 2010 until 2020.

And Lord willing, we will experience a third decade from 2020 until 2030.                       If you are a child of God.                                                                                                   A committed follower of Jesus Christ.                                                                               A Spirit-filled servant of the Lord.                                                                                     Then everyone of us needs the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence that God will be with us, no matter what!

Notice Matthew 1: 23 Says,

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us!

Praise God Immanuel, God is with us!

However, have you or I ever thought about what does it really mean that God is with us, or with us Is God?

Or, is this another Christian cliché that we some time say to one another, to sound spiritual?

What does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

There is an important theological word, a very important Biblical concept that will help us better understand what it means when we say, “God is with us!”

This word is ‘Omnipresence’.                                                                                            And this compound word has two parts to it.

•The first part or the prefix is ‘omni’, which comes from the Latin that means “all.” “or boundless!”                                                                                                                 •The second part of the word is “presence!”  Referring to existence or manifestation.

Therefore, a good definition of the word omnipresence would be something or someone who is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

For example, here on Earth “air,” or “oxygen,” or “sound,” all three are omnipresent! That is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

However, omnipresence when it is in reference to God means His Divine presence encompasses all creation both seen and unseen so, to say that God is omnipresent is to say that God is present everywhere. Yet God is not totally immersed in the fabric of creation, for that is called ‘Pantheism’.  But God's presence is continuous throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same way at the same time to people everywhere.  At times, He may be actively present in a situation, while He may not reveal that He is present in another circumstance in some other area.  The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest manner (Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 57:15) and present in every situation in all of creation at any given time (Psalm 33:13-14).  Omnipresence is God's characteristic of being present to all ranges of both time and space.  Although God is present in all time and space, God is not locally limited to any time or space. God is everywhere and in every now.  No molecule or atomic particle is so small that God is not fully present to it, and no galaxy so vast that God does not circumscribe it.  But if we were to remove creation, God would still know of it, for He knows all possibilities, whether they are actual or not. God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order of things, in every manner, time and place (Isaiah 40:12; Nahum 1:3). God is actively present in a different way in every event in history as provident guide of human affairs (Psalm 48:7; 2 Chronicles 20:37; Daniel 5:5-6).  God is in a special way attentively present to those who call upon His name, who intercede for others, who adore God, who petition, and who pray earnestly for forgiveness (Psalm 46:1).  Supremely, He is present in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:19), and mystically present in the universal church that covers the earth and against which the gates of hell will not prevail.  Just as the omniscience of God suffers apparent paradoxes due to the limitations of the human mind, so does the omnipresence of God.  One of these paradoxes is important: the presence of God in hell, that place unto which the wicked are departed and suffer the unlimited and unceasing fury of God because of their sin.  Many argue that hell is a place of separation from God (Matthew 25:41), and if so, then God cannot be said to be in a place that is separated from Him.  However, the wicked in hell endure His everlasting anger, for Revelation 14:10 speaks of the torment of the wicked in the presence of the Lamb. That God should be present in a place that the wicked are said to be departed unto does cause some consternation. However, this paradox can be explained by the fact that God can be present because He fills all things with His presence (Colossians 1:17) and upholds everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) yet He is not necessarily everywhere to bless. Just as God is sometimes separated from His children because of sin (Isaiah 52:9), and He is far from the wicked (Proverbs 15:29) and orders the godless subjects of darkness to depart at the end of time to a place of eternal punishment, God is still there in the midst.  He knows what those souls suffer who are now in hell; He knows their anguish, their cries for respite, their tears and grief for the eternal state that they find themselves in. He is there in every way as a perpetual reminder to them of their sin which has created a chasm from every blessing that might be otherwise granted.  He is there in every way, but He displays no attribute other than His wrath.  Likewise, He will also be in heaven, manifesting every blessing that we cannot even begin to comprehend here; He will be there displaying His manifold blessing, His manifold love, and His manifold kindness indeed, everything other than His wrath.  The omnipresence of God should serve to remind us that we cannot hide from God when we have sinned (Psalm 139:11-12), yet we can return to God in repentance and faith without even having to move (Isaiah 57:16).

Listen, in the Bible our God reveals himself in scripture as being omnipresent as one of His primary attributes concerning His nature and His essence!

Notice Proverbs 15: 3.                                                                                                       The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

See Psalm 139: 7-10.                                                                                                           Vs. 7.  Where shall I go from Your Spirit, or where shall I flee from Your presence?      Vs. 8.  If I ascend to Heaven you are there!                                                                      If I make my bed in Sheol or Hell, you are there!

Also, note: Rev. 14: 9-11 & Rev. 20: 11-15                                                                    Vs. 9.   If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.    Vs. 10.   Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Now again, God has revealed Himself in scripture as being omnipresent, capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

See Jeremiah 23: 23&24                                                                                                   Vs. 23.  Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?                            Vs. 24.  Can any hide themselves in a secret place that I shall not see them saith the LORD.

Do not I, the LORD, fill Heaven and Earth saith the LORD?

Now notice Isaiah 7: 14.                                                                                      Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Well, here we are six days into the new year of 2019.

But also, have you thought about, that these are the final 12 months, before we begin a new decade?

In fact, in 2020 we begin the third consecutive or 10 years.

Remember, since the new millennium began or the 2000’s, we experienced the first decade from 2000 Until 2010.

Then the second decade is from 2010 until 2020.                                                         And Lord willing, we will experience a third decade from 2020 until 2030.                       If you are a child of God.                                                                                                    A committed follower of Jesus Christ.                                                                               A Spirit-filled servant of the Lord.                                                                                   Then everyone of us needs the reassurance, the hope, and the confidence that God will be with us, no matter what!

Notice Matthew 1:23 says,                                                                                                The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us!

Praise God!  Immanuel, God is with us!

However, have you or I ever thought about what does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

Or, is this another Christian cliché that we some time say to one another, to sound spiritual?

What does it really mean that God is with us, or with us is God?

There is an important theological word, a very important Biblical concept that will help us better understand what it means when we say, “God is with us!”

This word is omnipresence.                                                                                            And this compound word has two parts to It.                                                                     •The first part or the prefix is omni, which comes from the Latin that means ‘all.’  Or ‘boundless’!                 •The second part of the word is ‘presence’!  Referring to existence or manifestation.

Therefore, a good definition of the word omnipresence would be something or someone who is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

For example, here on earth ‘air’, or ‘oxygen’, or ‘sound,’ all three are omnipresent!  That is capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

However, omnipresence when it is in reference to God means His divine presence encompasses all creation both seen and unseen so, to say that God is omnipresent is to say that God is present everywhere.  Yet, God is not totally immersed in the fabric of creation, for that is called ‘Pantheism’.   But, God's presence is continuous throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same way at the same time to people everywhere.  At times, He may be actively present in a situation, while He may not reveal that He is present in another circumstance in some other area.  The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest manner (Psalm 46:1; Isaiah 57:15) and present in every situation in all of creation at any given time (Psalm 33:13-14).  Omnipresence is God's characteristic of being present to all ranges of both time and space.  Although God is present in all time and space, God is not locally limited to any time or space.  God is everywhere and in every now.  No molecule or atomic particle is so small that God is not fully present to it, and no galaxy so vast that God does not circumscribe it.  But if we were to remove creation, God would still know of it, for He knows all possibilities, whether they are actual or not.  God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order of things, in every manner, time and place (Isaiah 40:12; Nahum 1:3).  God is actively present in a different way in every event in history as provident guide of human affairs (Psalm 48:7; 2 Chronicles 20:37; Daniel 5:5-6). God is in a special way attentively present to those who call upon His name, who intercede for others, who adore God, who petition, and who pray earnestly for forgiveness (Psalm 46:1). Supremely, He is present in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:19), and mystically present in the universal church that covers the earth and against which the gates of hell will not prevail.  Just as the omniscience of God suffers apparent paradoxes due to the limitations of the human mind, so does the omnipresence of God. One of these paradoxes is important: the presence of God in hell, that place unto which the wicked are departed and suffer the unlimited and unceasing fury of God because of their sin. Many argue that hell is a place of separation from God (Matthew 25:41), and if so, then God cannot be said to be in a place that is separated from Him.  However, the wicked in hell endure His everlasting anger, for Revelation 14:10 speaks of the torment of the wicked in the presence of the Lamb.  That God should be present in a place that the wicked are said to be departed unto does cause some consternation. However, this paradox can be explained by the fact that God can be present because He fills all things with His presence (Colossians 1:17) and upholds everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) yet He is not necessarily everywhere to bless.  Just as God is sometimes separated from His children because of sin (Isaiah 52:9), and He is far from the wicked (Proverbs 15:29) and orders the godless subjects of darkness to depart at the end of time to a place of eternal punishment, God is still there in the midst. He knows what those souls suffer who are now in hell; He knows their anguish, their cries for respite, their tears and grief for the eternal state that they find themselves in. He is there in every way as a perpetual reminder to them of their sin which has created a chasm from every blessing that might be otherwise granted.  He is there in every way, but He displays no attribute other than His wrath.  Likewise, He will also be in heaven, manifesting every blessing that we cannot even begin to comprehend here; He will be there displaying His manifold blessing, His manifold love, and His manifold kindness indeed, everything other than His wrath.  The omnipresence of God should serve to remind us that we cannot hide from God when we have sinned (Psalm 139:11-12), yet we can return to God in repentance and faith without even having to move (Isaiah 57:16).

Listen, in the Bible our God reveals Himself in scripture as being omnipresent as one of His primary attributes concerning His nature and His essence!

Notice Proverbs 15: 3.                                                                                                       The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

See Psalm 139: 7-10.                                                                                                         Vs. 7.  Where shall I go from Your Spirit, or where shall I flee from Your presence?        Vs. 8.  If I ascend to Heaven you are there!                                                                       If I make my bed in Sheol or Hell, you are there!

Also note: Rev. 14: 9-11 & Rev. 20: 11-15                                                                     Vs. 9.   If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.         Vs. 10.  Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Now again, God has revealed Himself in scripture as being omnipresent, capable of being or existing everywhere at the same time at once!

See Jeremiah 23: 23&24                                                                                                Vs. 23.  Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?                            Vs. 24.  Can any hide themselves in a secret place that I shall not see them saith the LORD.

Do not I the LORD, fill Heaven and Earth saith the LORD?

Now Notice Isaiah 7: 14.                                                                                     Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.