We Now Have Online Giving

June 9th, 2021

Click the following link in order to give to our general fund:

https://tithe.ly/give?c=3654242

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CLICK THE CORRECT LINK CORRESPONDING WITH THE DESIRED FUND.

Also please note: This convenience is not free, the church pays for each transaction. You may opt to cover that expense. You can also save by choosing a bank transfer rather than using credit or debit cards.

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Come In From This Cold World!

September 26th, 2021

This sin cursed world can be a cold and cruel place! I want to invite you to come in from the cold this morning at Evangelical Baptist Church 7 Winsted Road in Torrington Sunday Mornings at 11:00. We warm up with old friends, new friends, music, praise and something to think about from the Bible. Come in from the cold!

To The Compromising Church

September 24th, 2021

The Compromising Church

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Jesus Letters / Revelation 2:12–17

A man broke into a house one night, his goal was to take something small and valuable. While he was searching through the stuff he heard a small voice “Jesus is watching you.” He stopped for a moment and said to himself “This must be a voice from my old Sunday school.” So he continued searching, about 5 minutes later he heard the voice again “Jesus is watching you.” He turned his flashlight to the direction and he saw a parrot. He said to the parrot “What is your name?” The parrot replied “Moses” The robber then said “What kind of silly people would name there parrot Moses?” The parrot looked up and said “The same people who named the pit-bull Jesus…. and Jesus is Watching You!”

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/religiousjokes/jesusiswatchingyoujoke.html

Satan blinds us by our own success in the Christian life. We often look at the things we are doing right, swell with a bit of pride and assure ourselves that we are doing well. Jesus is watching. But hold on, He sees it all! I have heard folks over the years try to justify their unbiblical behavior by saying “well, Jesus Knows my heart.” That He does my friend and that is the problem!

Jeremiah 17:9 KJV

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Jesus is watching you and He sees it all. He sees your struggles. He sees your faith. He sees your faithfulness. He sees your compromise. He sees your failure. He sees if and when you repent, Jesus is watching you.

This morning we are looking at another of the Jesus Letters. This one is to the angel (messenger, most likely the pastor) of the church at Pergamos. This church had its huge challenges, its virtues and its shortcomings. The message to the church was both comforting and sobering. Jesus is Watching You.

Jesus, The Living WORD Exposes it All

John 1:1 KJV

IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 KJV

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Revelation 1:16 KJV

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Revelation 2:12 KJV

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Jesus Knows the Good.

Revelation 2:13 KJV

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Dwelling Where Satan Sits

The reason our Lord said that Satan’s throne was in Pergamum was because of the heathen temples there. Of course, all of this is in ruins today. There are markers and some reconstruction going on there now. But in John’s day it was Satan’s throne. As you enter the gate of the city, you see that the first temple to your right is the imposing temple of Athena. Directly above it is the great library. You would see the great temple of Caesar Augustus and Hadrian’s great temple, which covers quite a bit of territory. There are other things that are quite interesting. There is the great altar to Zeus with an idol on it near the palace of the king. It is a very impressive spot, and some folk believe that it was the throne of Satan. Well, I think that it is included but that Satan’s throne is a combination of all of these.

J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5), electronic ed., vol. 58 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 80–81.

Holding fast by Christ’s name

You hold fast my name and you did not deny my faith: this is one compliment, stated first positively and then negatively. To “hold (fast) the name (of)” means to be true to, to be faithful and loyal to the person named. For name see 2:3. The statement you did not deny my faith means “you did not give up your faith in me,” “you did not stop believing in me,” or “you have always been loyal to me.” The genitive phrase my faith is objective: “faith in me,” not “the faith I have” (see the parallel statement in 3:8, “you … have not denied my name”).1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and Howard Hatton, A Handbook on the Revelation to John, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 52.

Has not denied my faith

Romans 3:22 KJV

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

The Christians at Pergamum proved that it was perfectly possible to be a Christian under such circumstances. Even when martyrdom was in the air, they did not flinch. Of Antipas we know nothing; there is a late legend in the writings of Tertullian that he met his death by being slowly roasted to death within a brass bull. But there is a point in the Greek—impossible to reproduce in English—which is extremely significant. The risen Christ calls Antipas my faithful martus. We have translated that as martyr; but martus is the normal Greek word for witness. In the early Church, to be a martyr and to be a witness were one and the same thing. Witness so often meant martyrdom. Here is a rebuke to us. So many are prepared to demonstrate their Christianity in Christian circles but are equally prepared to play it down in circles where Christianity is met with opposition.

1 William Barclay, The Revelation of John, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., vol. 1, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 101–102.

Jesus Knows The Bad

Revelation 2:14–15 KJV

But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 

So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Tolerate the Doctrine of Balaam

The two items for condemnation were the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. “The doctrine of Balaam” is different from the error of Balaam (see Jude 11), which revealed that Balaam thought that God would curse Israel because they were sinners. It is also different from the way of Balaam (see 2 Pet. 2:15), which was covetousness. But here in the verse before us, it is the doctrine or teaching of Balaam. He taught Balac the way to corrupt Israel by intermarriage with the Moabite women. This introduced into the nation of Israel both idolatry and fornication. And during the historical period which the church at Pergamum represents, the unconverted world came into the church.

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5), electronic ed., vol. 58 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 82.

2 Timothy 3:5 KJV

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 • Believers have been seduced to commit fornication.

 • There are those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which Jesus hates.

Tolerate The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was created by those who claimed to have a superior status over the laity of the Church; the laity was the rest of the household of God. This doctrine created a division between the people of God known as the clergy-laity divide and prevented the doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” from being practiced in the Church then and continues today. Those who followed the doctrine of the Nicolaitans assumed superiority over the people. They exercised authority and power over the people using the positional, top down hierarchy system. This doctrine taught that only those who served as the official clergy were the ones who could hear, understand, and knew what God was saying to the people.

Tolerate Rather Than Separate

2 Corinthians 6:14–17 KJV

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

Jesus Knows What Must Happen

Revelation 2:16–17 KJV

Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Repent

1 John 1:9 KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Separate From Unbelievers and their Doctrine

Jude 3–4 KJV

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

If you don’t move them out, Jesus will declare war on them while they are still in the church.

Future Promise is worth present sacrifice.

Revelation 2:17 KJV

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

We must note another thing. The risen Christ calls Antipas my faithful martus and so gives him nothing less than his own title. In Revelation 1:5 and 3:14, Christ himself is called the faithful martus; to those who are true to him he gives nothing less than his own name.1

1 William Barclay, The Revelation of John, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., vol. 1, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 102.

A well-known author once told this story of an account he had with sea gulls: “Several years ago our family visited Niagara Falls. It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river. As I viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, I could see that there were dead fish embedded in the ice. Gulls by the score were riding down the river feeding on the fish. As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls. “I watched one gull which seemed to delay and wondered when it would leave. It was engrossed in the fish, and when it finally came to the brink of the falls, out went its powerful wings. The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water, and I thought it would escape. But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice. The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss.”

How sad that even though the bird had plenty of time to fly away, because it delayed it paid the price. Now think of this story in terms of the Christian life. When we become overly enthralled with the things of this world, they can bring us down and cause our spiritual death. The finest attractions of this world become deadly when we become overly attached to them. If we cannot give up the things of this world and focus on Christ, we cannot be used by Him. Our eyes must be upward on Christ rather than downward on this world.

Beware of the comfortable seduction of compromise. Jesus is watching you.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:24 AM September 24, 2021.

New Adult Sunday School Class Starts This Sunday @ 10 AM!

September 23rd, 2021

What we assume is so often different from what the Bible tells us is true. For instance,

• We think trials bring only pain; God says they bring growth.

• We think the way to get is to keep; God says the way to receive is to give.

• We think the greatest person has the highest position; God says the greatest is a servant.

• We think that when someone hurts us, we should get even; God says that when someone hurts us, we should bless them.

• We think God uses great people; God says He uses insignificant people. In almost every area of life, our natural thoughts run contrary to what Scripture teaches. In fact, a large component of the process of Christian growth is having our minds renewed—transformed from worldly thinking to biblical thinking.

EBC Is Meeting In Person Tonight! 9/22

September 22nd, 2021

Members that had been exposed to COVID have tested negative! Please celebrate with us by joining us for prayer and Bible Study tonight.

Join us Tuesday Nights @ 9:00 For Bible Answers on Facebook Live!

September 21st, 2021

We are a FB live program where we answer your Bible questions and discuss topics that you want to talk about, will be live tonight at 9:00 EST. Please pass this on to your friends! What do you want to talk about tonight?

facebook.com/BibleAnswersCT

Tonight’s Meeting is on Google Meet only

September 19th, 2021

https://meet.google.com/gxd-irzd-ahm

To The Persecuted Church:

September 18th, 2021

To The Persecuted Church:

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Jesus Letters / Revelation 2:8–11

The following are current stories from Voice of the Martyrs.

After holding a rally, radicals in Gujarat state issued a statement to district authorities telling them that if they did not stop church activities in the region, the radicals would take matters into their own hands. The document issued by the radicals listed the names of 56 churches and pastors and gave district authorities three days to act. In response, the police told pastors not to conduct church services or they would risk attack by the radicals — and the police would not protect the Christians. Instead, they said they would arrest the pastors. Several pastors have already been arrested, many of the churches have stopped meeting, and pastors are unable to visit people. “The churches are all in fear and seek prayer for this matter,” a VOM contact wrote. Pray that these Christians will be able to worship and work freely, and pray for the hearts of the radicals and the police to be changed.

____

Rama and Joseph have fled their home in Syria after threats from family due to their marriage. Rama is a former Muslim who now follows Christ, and Joseph is from a Christian background. When Rama’s family learned of their marriage, they complained to a police officer. The officer beat Joseph and warned him to stay away from Rama. The couple then escaped to a neighboring country that also does not recognize marriage between a woman who is legally considered to be Muslim and a man who is not a Muslim. Joseph and Rama have now applied for resettlement to a Western country. Pray for God’s peace in their hearts while they wait. Pray for their resettlement application to be accepted so they can move to a country where their marriage is legally recognized and where they can start a family.

____

Momina Namee, 30, grew up in a Muslim family and was pressured to marry a Muslim man while she was young. Soon after they married, they had a son. But three years after their son’s birth, Momina’s husband suddenly fell ill and passed away. Devastated and a single mother, Momina struggled to get by as her husband had been the provider for the family. One day, two Christian women met Momina on the street and shared the gospel with her. Momina told them that she was a Muslim, and the Christian women asked her address, visiting her often. Eventually, Momina placed her faith in Christ and began attending a Christian church. But when the Muslim woman who provided shelter to Momina find out about her newfound faith, she drove Momina and her son out of the house. Momina was homeless, and her family and relatives stopped associating with her because of her faith in Christ. When Momina’s church leaders heard about her situation, they rented a home for her. Pray that Momina will be able to provide for her and her son as she rebuilds her life. Pray that she can be a faithful witness to Christ to her family, and pray that they will come to faith in Him.

___

Ever since Jesus founded the Church, churches and Christians have faced persecution, and still do today. This morning’s Jesus Letter is one to the Suffering and Persecuted Church at Smyrna. This tender letter has no condemnation but is full of words of comfort. The truth our Savior shared with His beloved sheep in Smyrna, is truth we can embrace too. When all seems hopeless, Jesus offers healing, compassion and hope to those of us who are hurting.

Jesus Applies Salve To A Wounded Church

Revelation 2:8 KJV

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

The healing comes from knowing the Great Shepherd.

Psalm 23:1 KJV

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Shepherd is Eternal

John 1:1 KJV

IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Micah 5:2 KJV

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Revelation 1:18 KJV

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The Shepherd Has Already Defeated Death

1 Corinthians 15:54–57 KJV

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Shows Compassion to a Hurting Church.

Revelation 2:9 KJV

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

I Know!

???????a; ????a; ???????a; ??????a, ??? f: to possess information about1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 333.

I Know Your Works

Psalm 23:4 KJV

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

I Know Your Tribulation

John 16:33 KJV

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1 Thessalonians 3:4 KJV

For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

I Know Your Poverty

2 Corinthians 8:2 KJV

How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

I Know The Blasphemy of Fakers

Romans 2:28–29 KJV

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Jesus Gives Encouragement to a Weary Church.

Revelation 2:10 KJV

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Fear None of Those Things

He Already Knows What Will Happen

People were betrayed to provincial officials by delatores, “informers,” and by the early second century it is attested that Christians in Asia Minor were generally charged only if accused by such informers. By the early second century, Jews in Smyrna were reportedly fulfilling this function against Christians (such as Polycarp). But simply claiming publicly that Christians were no longer welcome as part of the synagogue community was a form of betrayal; Christians who were not seen as Jewish had no protection against civil requirements for participation in the emperor cult.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Re 2:9.

The Devil is on a Leash

The Suffering Has an Expiration

ten days A round number, reminiscent of Dan 1:12. Their testing might literally last for 10 days, or the number may be figurative and indefinite.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Re 2:10.

“Ye shall have tribulation ten days.” There were ten intense periods of persecution by ten Roman emperors (these dates are approximate):

Nero—64–68 (Paul was beheaded under his reign)

Domitian—95–96 (John was exiled during that period)

Trajan—104–117 (Ignatius was burned at the stake)

Marcus Aurelius—161–180 (Polycarp was martyred)

Severus—200–211

Maximinius—235–237

Decius—250–253

Valerian—257–260

Aurelian—270–275

Diocletian—303–313 (the worst emperor of all).1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5), electronic ed., vol. 58 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 76.

Be Faithful Unto Death

Revelation 2:11 KJV

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

1 John 5:4–5 KJV

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Revelation 20:14 KJV

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

You Are An Over Comer that will Not Taste the Second Death

Virtue is like precious odors, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed: for prosperity best discovers vice, but adversity best discovers virtue.

Francis Bacon

1 Elliot Ritzema, 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation, Pastorum Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 9:10 AM September 18, 2021.

You Can’t Steer A Parked Car

September 10th, 2021

You Can’t Steer A Parked Car

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Gospel On Tour / Acts 16:6–10

When I was 15, my dad started to teach me how to drive. We had a 1975 Honda Civic CVCC with manual choke, manual transmission, and rack and pinion steering. I remember when I first sat at the wheel I tried to move the steering wheel and found it to be very hard to turn. My dad said, “Donald, you have to wait until we are moving.” You can’t steer a parked car, it puts too much strain on the parts underneath. The wheel will turn just fine once you learn how to get the car moving in the first place”. Of course, then the slow and agonizing process of trying to teach 15 year old me how to manipulate the clutch, gas and brakes in order to get the car moving began.

I learned an interesting lesson that day on Mennel Road in Grafton Township, Ohio. Our lives are best directed by God when we are already moving somewhere. Tonight we are going to begin to study Paul’s Second Missionary journey. A lot has happened since they had returned to their sending church in Antioch. Bible Scholars believe that during this time, Paul wrote his letter to the Churches at Galatia. This was also when leaders from many churches gathered in Jerusalem to discuss whether or not Circumcision should be required for Gentile believers. Paul and Barnabas were called as witnesses to how folks were getting saved by grace through faith across cultural boundaries. After a consensus on doctrine was had, Paul and Barnabas had a huge dispute about whether or not to take John Mark, a defector from the first Missionary Journey, with them for the second journey. Paul was adamantly opposed to the idea. The argument was so strong, Barnabas took John Mark in one direction, and Paul took Silas in another. 

So in Acts 16, we find Paul and Silas at the beginning of the Second Missionary Journey. Today we will see that they are not content for direction to fall out of the sky, but instead they are going to get moving doing something, because you can’t steer a parked car.

Revelation 3:7 KJV

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Disciple Someone

2 Timothy 2:2 KJV

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Acts 16:1–3 KJV

Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 

Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 

Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

 • Timotheus had a diverse background. One from Paul’s past, one from his future. His mom was a believing Jew and his father was a Greek.

 • Timothy had a good reputation among the believers at Lystra and Iconium.

 • Paul Took Timothy under his wing, circumcising him to remove stumbling block as they tried to reach some that were Jews.

1 Corinthians 9:20 KJV

And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, probably as a helper as Mark had been. There was a problem, however. The Jews to whom Paul would be preaching the gospel would be offended if a man with a Jewish mother was uncircumcised. So Timothy was circumcised. Apparently he had been uncircumcised because of his father’s influence.

This appears to contradict Paul’s thinking in Galatians 2:3–5 where he refused to let Titus be circumcised. The situations, however, were different. In Galatians 2 the issue was the method of justification; here it was a question of not giving offense (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19–23). The Jerusalem Council, of course, had determined circumcision was not necessary for salvation (Acts 15:10–11, 19). In Acts 16 Paul acted as he did for the sake of the ministry; it was a wise move.1

1 Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 398.

Strengthen Ministries that Were Already Started

Acts 16:4–5 KJV

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. 

And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

 • Delivered decrees – the doctrine taught at the Jerusalem counsel.

Acts 15:19–20 KJV

Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 

But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

Acts 15:29 KJV

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

 • Churches were established in the faith

 • Churches increased in number every day.

Search For Open Doors For Ministry

Acts 16:6–7 KJV

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 

After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

 • They were on the move when the Holy Ghost stopped them from going into Asia

 • They were stopped from going into Bithynia

 • They kept moving down to Troas

Finally, at Troas, a seaport city on the Aegean Sea near the ancient site of Troy, God gave positive direction by means of a night … vision to Paul. Macedonia was a Roman senatorial province, corresponding roughly to northern Greece today.1

1 Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 398.

Acts 16:8–10 KJV

And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 

And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

 • God gave a clear direction through a dream of someone from Macedonia asking for help.

 • They went toward Macedonia because they believed the Lord was calling them there. Note Paul and Silas had the what of the call before they had the where.

Christian, if thou wouldst know the path of duty, take God for thy compass; if thou wouldst steer thy ship through the dark billows, put the tiller into the hand of the Almighty.

Many a rock might be escaped, if we would let our Father take the helm; many a shoal or quicksand we might well avoid, if we would leave to his sovereign will to choose and to command. The Puritan said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself, he’ll cut his own fingers;” this is a great truth. Said another old divine, “He that goes before the cloud of God’s providence goes on a fool’s errand;” and so he does.

Charles Surgeon

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:33 PM September 10, 2021.

Pass It On

September 8th, 2021

Pass It On

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

A little boy was leading his sister up a mountain path and the way was not too easy. “Why this isn’t a path at all,” the little girl complained. “Its all rocky and bumpy.” Her little brother kept on up the mountain, pausing just long enough to call out “Sure, but the bumps are what you climb on.”

Christian leaders often get discouraged because they misunderstand their calling. Some fail to understand that they have a responsibility to proclaim the Bible truths that they discover, and others assume that the response of the hearers is somehow a barometer of their own obedience to God. Tonight we will look at God’s calling in the life of the Prophet Ezekiel. We will see that God wanted to make sure that there was one thing that the people had to know. It was not a certain doctrine or a certain warning. The people had to know for sure that there had been a prophet of God among them.

Pass It On In Spite of Potential Rejection

Entrusted with God’s Holy Truth

Ezekiel 2:1–2 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 

And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Psalm 138:2 KJV

I will worship toward thy holy temple, And praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Called to reach your own people.

Ezekiel 2:3–4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 

For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

 1. Rebellious actions against God

 2. Rebellious history with God

 3. Impudent = obstinate

 4. Stiff hearted

 5. Resisting the truth on purpose.

Romans 1:18–24 KJV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

God leaves their free will intact.

Ezekiel 2:5 KJV

And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

They must know that they had God’s anointed prophet among them.

 1. They may not listen to his message.

 2. They may not respond to his message.

 3. They must know that God’s message was given.

Pass it On Boldly

Ezekiel 2:6–8 KJV

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. 

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. 

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

1 Corinthians 4:1–4 KJV

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Be not afraid of the godless people.

 1. They are like scorpions – full of poison

 2. Do not fear their words – inflammatory response to your message, personal attacks.

 3. Do not fear their looks.

Ezekiel 3:8 KJV

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

Speak the Word’s of God, not your opinion.

Your silence would be rebellion.

Pass It On Clearly

Speak God’s words.

Ezekiel 3:4 KJV

And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Many will not listen.

Ezekiel 3:7–9 KJV

But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 

Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

This is done to give them another chance.

Ezekiel 3:10–11 KJV

Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. 

And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Pass On The Warning

Ezekiel 3:17–21 KJV

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 

Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

 A. Trusted with the truth.

 B. Responsible to proclaim that truth.

 C. Not responsible for negative response to that truth.

I heard a story about a guy who applied for a job as an usher at a theater in the mall. As a part of the interview process, the manager asked him, “What would you do in case a fire breaks out?”

The young guy answered, “Don’t worry about me. I can get out fine.”

That’s exactly how many in today’s world respond to a lost and dying world around them. If you asked them “What would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow?” they would probably respond, “Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d be fine.”

But what is all to easy to forget is that you’re an usher! It isn’t enough just to get out yourself. You are responsible for helping others know the way.

SOURCE: From Charles Cockroft’s Sermon: Am I My Brother’s Keeper

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:26 PM September 8, 2021.

YE Are The Body of Christ

August 27th, 2021

YE Are The Body of Christ

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:20–27

This story was related by Donald Grey Barnhouse. Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The highest ranking student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, when he received his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met one another in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. This acquaintance ripened into friendship and a beautiful example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study, and thus the individual deficiency of each was compensated for by the other. After their graduation, they planned to practice law together. No believer is complete by himself, we are to minister to one another, as a family. (Source unknown).

As we finish our series: “Connected” let us review what we have learned. We learned that there is a unique bond between believers and it centers around the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We also saw that there are specific abilities given to specific believers and that centers around the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We saw that Jesus Created the Local Church to be the tie that Binds believers to each other. We saw that the Body of Christ is indeed the local church, not a mystical universal or Catholic body. Today we will see that Paul drives these truths home by showing the feuding church at Corinth that they are the Body of Christ. So look around. God has placed you in this local Body for a reason. We need each other. We all have value. We are fused together by God’s perfect design. YE (second person plural) are THE Body of Christ.

Every Member Is Co-Dependent Within the Body.

1 Corinthians 12:20–21 KJV

But now are they many members, yet but one body. 

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

Romans 12:3–5 KJV

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

 Diversity in the body is an evidence of the wisdom of God. Each member needs the other members, and no member can afford to become independent. When a part of the human body becomes independent, you have a serious problem that could lead to sickness and even death. In a healthy human body, the various members cooperate with each other and even compensate for each other when a crisis occurs. The instant any part of the body says to any other part, “I don’t need you!” it begins to weaken and die and create problems for the whole body.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 609.

 • The eye cant tell the hand he has no need of him.

 • The head cannot say to the feet I have no need of you

 • Body parts need each other. Each part has a specific function but only as it is interdependent WITHIN the Body.

Colossians 3:15 KJV

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

 • So for one member of the church (Christ’s Body) to say about another member, I do not need him/her…would be a false statement.

Every Member Has Value

1 Corinthians 12:22–23 KJV

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 

And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

 • Those members which SEEM to be more feeble are necessary.

 Which seem to be more feeble. Weaker than the rest; which seem less able to bear fatigue and to encounter difficulties; which are more easily injured, and which become more easily affected with disease. It is possible that Paul may here refer to the brain, the lungs, the heart, &c., as more feeble in their structure, and more liable to disease than the hands and the feet, &c., and in reference to which disease is more dangerous and fatal.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 235.

 • Those we THINK are less honourable. upon these we bestow more honor.

Are more necessary. The sense seems to be this. A man can live though the parts and members of his body which are more strong were removed; but not if those parts which are more feeble. A man can live if his arm or his leg be amputated; but not if his brain, his lungs or his heart be removed. So that, although these parts are more feeble, and more easily injured, they are really more necessary to life, and therefore more useful than the more vigorous portions of the frame. Perhaps the idea is—and it is a beautiful thought—that those members of the church which are most retiring and feeble apparently; which are concealed from public view, unnoticed and unknown—the humble, the meek, the peaceful, and the prayerful—are often more necessary to the true welfare of the church than those who are eminent for their talent and learning. And it is so. The church can better spare many a man, even in the ministry, who is learned, and eloquent, and popular, than some obscure and humble Christian, that is to the church what the heart and the lungs are to the life. The one is strong, vigorous, active, like the hands or the feet, and the church often depends on them; the other is feeble, concealed, yet vital, like the heart or the lungs. The vitality of the church could be continued though the man of talent and learning should be removed; as the body may live when the arm or the leg is amputated;—but that vitality could not continue if the saint of humble and retiring piety, and of fervent prayerfulness, were removed, any more than the body can live when there is no heart and no lungs.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 235.

Every Member Is Fused Together By God’s Design

1 Corinthians 12:24–25 KJV

For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

 But God hath tempered the body together. Literally mingled or mixed; that is, has made to coalesce, or strictly and closely joined. He has formed a strict union; he has made one part dependent on another, and necessary to the harmony and proper action of another. Every part is useful, and all are fitted to the harmonious action of the whole. God has so arranged it, in order to produce harmony and equality in the body, that those parts which are less comely by nature should be more adorned and guarded by apparel.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: I Corinthians, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 236.

 • God has designed the body to have no schism.

1 Corinthians 3:3 KJV

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 • God has designed the Members to have the same care for each other

 • One member suffer, all suffer

A Mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a Mouse-Trap Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The Chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The Mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The Pig sympathized, but said, I am very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be Assured you are in my Prayers.”

The Mouse turned to the Cow and said, “there is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The Cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse, I am sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The Farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake was furious and bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a severe fever.

Everyone knows that you treat a fever with a fresh chicken soup. So, the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and relatives came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The Farmer’s Wife did not get well and she died. So many people came to the funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. And, Said, “I warned them about the mouse trap but they did not take my warning into account…”

 • One member rejoice, all rejoice.

 • You(second person plural) are the Body of Christ

 • You are members in particular

Imagine that we are putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle. In turn we each put pieces into place; slowly the beauty of the picture begins to take shape. As we continue putting the puzzle together we talk about what it would be like to be a part of the scene before us. As the final pieces are being put into place we are suddenly confronted with the fact that our picture is incomplete; 4 pieces are missing. How do you feel about all our work together knowing that it will forever remain incomplete?

Now imagine that instead of missing pieces, the puzzle is alive. As the final pieces are being put into place they change shape and refuse to be joined together with the adjoining pieces. Or worse yet we watch as parts of the puzzle we have put together suddenly separate and pieces leave the table. How do you feel knowing that the beauty of the image being put together will never be finished, because the pieces won’t cooperate with each other?

I wonder if that is sometimes how God feels about His church? He fits people together only to find that some are missing, or individuals which He has purposed to join together refuse to be connected or deliberately separate from each other. I know that there have been times when I have had those kind of feelings.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:24 AM August 27, 2021.