Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

August 24th, 2021

Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

Have you heard the story about the pastor who had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc., but the kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke, the tree went “bong!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

She replied, “You won’t believe this,” and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, “Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.” She continued, “I watched my child go out into the back yard, get down on her knees to pray, and, really, Pastor, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, a kitten suddenly came flying out of the clear blue sky and landed right in front of her!”

The Prophet Jeremiah was under lock down. He knew the fall of Judah was imminent, yet God promised a restoration. In fact God had him buy land and record the transaction in faith that one day the land would be restored. It was in this dark and confusing time that God came with these wonderful words to Jeremiah: Psst… Wanna Know A Secret?

Call Unto Me

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

 As elsewhere in this book, Call to me does not mean simply to call out or shout the Lord’s name; rather, the meaning is to call upon him for help (see 29:12). If this is not clear, translators can express it directly; for example, “Call my name asking for help” or “Call to me to help you.”

Newman, B. M., Jr., & Stine, P. C. (2003). A handbook on Jeremiah (p. 684). New York: United Bible Societies.

 Chapter 33 followed closely the message of chapter 32 as Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard (cf. 32:1–2). God again identified Himself to Jeremiah by stressing both His power and His character. He is the God who made the earth (cf. 32:17). By revealing to Jeremiah that the Lord (Yahweh) is His name, God emphasized His covenant-keeping faithfulness on behalf of His people (cf. 32:18; Ex. 3:13–15). Jeremiah did not understand how God could V 1, p 1175 restore a nation that was destined for doom (cf. Jer. 32:24–25), so God challenged the prophet to call to Him for understanding. God promised to answer by revealing great and unsearchable things.1

1 Charles H. Dyer, “Jeremiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1174–1175

Jeremiah 32:18 KJV

Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

I Will Answer!

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

In the Day of Trouble

Psalm 50:15 KJV

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalm 91:15 KJV

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

For Increased Intimacy with God

Psalm 145:18 KJV

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth.

Isaiah 55:6 KJV

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, Call ye upon him while he is near:

God Already Heard You

Isaiah 65:24 KJV

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

I Will Reveal Secrets You Need to Know

Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

 God promised to answer by revealing great and unsearchable things. The word for “unsearchable” (be??rô?) means something that is made inaccessible by fortifying it or enclosing it. It is used to describe heavily fortified cities (cf. Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5; 28:52; Ezek. 21:20). God’s plans for the future are inaccessible to ordinary people. Only God can unlock the secrets of the future, and He offered this knowledge to Jeremiah. God would share with Jeremiah “things” the prophet did not know or understand about Israel’s future.1

1 Charles H. Dyer, “Jeremiah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1175.

 Presumably the people of Judah are invited to call upon Yahweh in this critical hour. He will answer and tell them of great things which are inaccessible to men. The context indicates that the inaccessible things concern the future, which was beyond their understanding at that time, but when the day came they would understand (cf. 30:24, etc.).1

1 J. A. Thompson, The Book of Jeremiah, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), 598.

 These “great things” are also described, uniquely, as “fortified.” While the fortifications of Jerusalem are about to fall at the hand of the Babylonian army, the “wall” around the unknown divine plan is opened for the benefit of Jeremiah and his audience.

Keown, G. L. (1998). Jeremiah 26–52 (Vol. 27, p. 170). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

If you, like Jeremiah, are reeling from disappointments and bad news, if you wonder what in the world God is up to, remember Our Covenant Keeping God has left us an invitation to enter boldly into the throne of Grace. Call upon God! He will answer! He will show you mighty, unsearchable things that you do not yet know.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:34 PM August 24, 2021.

August 19th, 2021

The Gospel on Furlough

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Gospel On Tour / Acts 14:21–28

One weekend, three young fellows decided to take a bicycle trip into the countryside. Although inexperienced, they covered forty miles in three and a half hours and congratulated themselves on their good time. The next morning, as they prepared to head back to their starting point, they were met by a good friend, who had just cycled the forty-mile trip that morning and was ready to head back. He was an excellent cyclist, and with him pacing the young cyclists back to town, they made the return trip in just two and a half hours.

In the same way, young Christians need the “pacing” of older believers as they take their first “rides” in Christ if they are to progress as far in the Christian life as they should and as quickly as they can.

As Paul and Barnabas finish their first missionary journey, they do several things in order to ensure the new disciples grow and flourish in their new found faith. They were getting ready for the first missionary furlough.

Preached The Gospel and Made Disciples

Acts 14:21 KJV

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Matthew 28:19–20 KJV

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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.

 Having both evangelized that city and discipled many. They not only preached the Gospel, but received converts, which implies a church-organization Their ministry at Derbe was none the less successful on account of its affording so little historical material, according to the adage that the best times to live in are the worst to write about. They here encountered probably neither heathen flattery nor Jewish persecution; and although they may have performed miracles, these probably produced no ulterior effects and are therefore not recorded. Instead of returning to Syria by the nearest way, i.e. through Cilicia, Paul’s native country, they retraced their steps from Derbe, and revisited Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch in Pisidia, in an order opposite to that of their first journey, and for reasons given in the next verse.1

1 Joseph Addison Alexander, The Acts of the Apostles Explained, vol. 2 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1857), 63–64.

Confirmed The Disciples

Acts 14:22 KJV

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Exhorted them to continue in the faith in spite of tribulation.

 Second, they strengthened (“confirmed”) the believers in the things of Christ and encouraged (“exhorted”) them to continue in the faith. Continuance is a proof of true faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:31–32; Acts 2:42). Paul made it very clear that living the Christian life was not an easy thing and that they would all have to expect trials and sufferings before they would see the Lord in glory.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 460.

Isaiah 35:3 KJV

Strengthen ye the weak hands, And confirm the feeble knees.

1 Thessalonians 3:2–4 KJV

And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 

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.

1 Peter 5:10 KJV

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Organized Churches

Acts 14:23–25 KJV

And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. 

And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 

And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

Ordained – Selected by a show of hands

 The word translated ordained means “to elect by a show of hands.” It is possible that Paul chose the men and the congregation voted its approval, or that the people selected them by vote and Paul ordained them (see Acts 6:1–6).1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 460.

Elder/ Bishop/ Pastor

Titus 1:5 KJV

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Titus 1:7 KJV

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Paul and Barnabas ordained spiritual leaders and gave them the responsibility of caring for the flock. If you compare Titus 1:5 and 7, you will see that “elder” and “bishop” (overseer) refer to the same office, and both are equivalent to “pastor” (shepherd).

 On the return journey, Paul set apart elders in all the little groups of newly made Christians. He showed that it was his conviction that Christianity must be lived in a fellowship. As one of the great Christian fathers put it, ‘No man can have God for his father unless he has the Church for his mother.’ As John Wesley put it, ‘No man ever went to heaven alone; he must either ?nd friends or make them.’ From the very beginning, it was Paul’s aim not only to make individual Christians but also to build these individuals into a Christian fellowship.1

1 William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 130.

Reported Back to their Sending Church

Acts 14:26–28 KJV

And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. 

And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. 

And there they abode long time with the disciples.

 Finally, they reported to their “sending church” on the work God had done (Acts 14:26–28). They had been gone at least a year, and it must have been exciting for them and for the church when they arrived back home. They had, by the grace of God, fulfilled the work God had given them to do; and they joyfully reported the blessings to the church family.

 This is perhaps the first “missionary conference” in church history, and what a conference it must have been! A church officer once said to me, “I don’t care how much money you want for missions, I’ll give it; but just don’t make me listen to missionaries speak!” I felt sorry for him that his spiritual temperature was so low that he could not listen to reports of what God was doing in the difficult corners of the harvest field.

 As you review Paul’s first missionary journey, you can see the principles by which he operated, principles that are still applicable today.

 He worked primarily in the key cities and challenged the believers to take the message out to the more remote areas. The Gospel works in the population centers, and we must carry it there.

 He used one approach with the synagogue congregations and another with the Gentiles. He referred the Jews and Jewish proselytes to the Old Testament Scriptures; but when preaching to the Gentiles, he emphasized the God of creation and His goodness to the nations. His starting point was different, but his finishing point was the same: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 He majored on establishing and organizing local churches. Jesus had the local church in mind when He gave what we call “The Great Commission” (Matt. 28:19–20). After we make disciples (“teach”), we must baptize them (the responsibility primarily of a local church) and then teach them the Word of God. Merely winning people to Christ is but fulfilling one-third of the Commission! It takes the local assembly of believers to help us fulfill all of what Jesus commanded us to do.

 He grounded the believers in the Word of God. This is the only source of strength and stability when persecution comes, as it inevitably does come. Paul did not preach a popular “success Gospel” that painted a picture of an easy Christian life.

 The amazing thing is that Paul and his associates did all of this without the modern means of transportation and communication that we possess today. Dr. Bob Pierce used to say to us in Youth For Christ, “Others have done so much with so little, while we have done so little with so much!” The wasted wealth of American believers alone, if invested in world evangelization, might lead to the salvation of millions of lost people.

 Paul and Barnabas announced that the “door of faith” had been opened to the Gentiles.

 That door is still open, to Jews and Gentiles alike—to a whole world! Walk through that open door and help take the Gospel to others.

 Be daring!

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 460.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:33 PM August 19, 2021.

Something to Brag About

August 18th, 2021

Something To Brag About

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Jeremiah 9:23–24

One of the most effective tools that Satan can use against believers is pride. We often get cocky when we start to think that God needs our talents, our abilities, and our skills in order to further His kingdom. The prophet Jeremiah was given some words from God that will help to refocus us upon the truth. We will see that we should not be thinking about our own skill, but rather on the fact that in spite of our weaknesses, God gives us something to brag about.

Jeremiah 9:23–24 KJV

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Neither let the mighty man glory in his might, Let not the rich man glory in his riches: 

But let him that glorieth glory in this, That he understandeth and knoweth me, That I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: For in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

Do not glory in your own ability.

 Do not glory in your wisdom

  1. You are not wiser than God.

Proverbs 21:30 KJV

There is no wisdom nor understanding Nor counsel against the LORD.

Job 5:12–14 KJV

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. 

He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: And the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. 

They meet with darkness in the daytime, And grope in the noonday as in the night.

  2. Do not measure yourself by your own standard.

Isaiah 5:21 KJV

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

  3. Man’s wisdom blinds him to the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19–21 KJV

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 3:18–20 KJV

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

 Do not glory in your own might.

Daniel 4:30–31 KJV

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 

While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

Daniel 4:37 KJV

Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

 Do not glory in your own riches.

Luke 12:16-21 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 

Glory in your relationship to God.

 Saved though Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:10–11 KJV

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Dead to the world.

Galatians 6:14–15 KJV

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Glory in who God is.

Exodus 34:5–7 KJV

And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Lovingkindness

Psalm 51:1 KJV

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Judgment

Psalm 146:7–9 KJV

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: Which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: 

The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: The LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: The LORD loveth the righteous: 

The LORD preserveth the strangers; He relieveth the fatherless and widow: But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Righteousness

Romans 3:25–26 KJV

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

EDISON COULDN’T MAKE LIFE

Are you extremely proud of your lifetime accomplishments? It was on November 21 of 1877 that Thomas Edison announced to the world that he had invented the phonograph. Edison’s accomplishments are often forgotten. In his Menlo Park, New Jersey fix-it shop he designed the following items: the household light bulb, a motion picture device, the telephone transmitter, stock ticker improvements, the mimeograph machine, the dictating machine and much more. If anyone had a right to brag, Edison did. However, he humbly acknowledged he couldn’t create the simplest form of life.

The Creator of everything and everyone has this perspective on bragging rights. He inspired: 

jer 9.23-24 “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Neither let the mighty man glory in his might, Let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, That he understandeth and knoweth me, That I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: For in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” 

 When you understand how incomparable your Creator is and then realize how your knowledge, talents and wealth are but gifts from his limitless storehouse, then and only then will you discover how few bragging rights you really have.

(AMG Bible Illustrations. 2000. Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.)

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:23 AM August 18, 2021.

The Tie That Binds- The Body of Christ

August 14th, 2021

The Tie That Binds – the Body of Christ

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:12–13

In one of Aesops fables he describes an old man who had several sons, who were always falling out with one another. He had often, but to no purpose, exhorted them to live together in harmony. One day he called them together, and he gathered a bundle of sticks and tied them together and asked each one of them to try to break them. Each one tried as hard as they cold but none of them could break the bundle of sticks. Then the father cut the cord that he tied them together with and told his sons to break them separately. This was done with the greatest ease. “See, my sons,” the old man said “the power of unity!” Bound together by brotherly love, you may defy almost every mortal danger, but divided, you will fall prey to your enemies.


In our passage this morning Paul is expanding on the fact that we all have been given spiritual gifts and have a providentially designed place to use those gifts. This morning as we continue our series “Connected” we will discover that God’s purpose for every New Testament Believer is to be part of the Body of Christ, to be baptized, and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Please have your Bibles ready, and your pen an paper ready because this morning we are going to challenge some presuppositions widely held among Catholics and Protestants. Traditional Baptists have always held to the Biblical position I will be outlining this morning.

Let us not get lost in the weeds as we dig a bit deep this morning. The message of the passage is clear. God has called us to One Body, through One Baptism, to be empowered by One Spirit.

One Body.

1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

The Body of Christ is the Church.

Colossians 1:18 KJV
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Colossians 1:24 KJV
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

The Church is a Called Out Assembly.

Matthew 16:18 KJV
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Assembly

  1. ekklesia (????????, 1577), from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling” (kaleo, “to call”), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens “gathered”

Ecclesia in the New Testament

  1. Used over 100 times
  2. All but 5 uses refer to a specific assembly.
  3. The abstract and general uses find concrete expression in a particular local, visible assembly.

The Church is a Physical Manifestation of the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:25–27 KJV
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

1 Corinthians 1:2 KJV
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The New Testament Generally Refers to Churches, not THE CHURCH. The Universal Church is a Catholic Invention.

Acts 9:31 KJV
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

Acts 8:1 KJV
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 13:1 KJV
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Romans 16:1 KJV
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

2 Corinthians 1:1 KJV
PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

1 Peter 5:13 KJV
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Acts 11:22 KJV
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

1 Corinthians 4:17 KJV
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

There once was a mule who found himself between two haystacks, completely unable to decide which one to eat first. Because of hi, indecision, he didn’t eat either one; he just stood there until he starved.

Many people are like the mule when deciding which church to attend. They wander back and forth, never committing themselves, and meanwhile going hungry.1841

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 63.

One Baptism

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

• Paul was writing to a dis unified church at Corinth.

• The Body of Christ is the Local Church.

Baptized BY the Spirit, not in the Spirit.

› (use baptized by pastor into water)

en used 2768 times in NT.

Translated by 143 times… shows an agent of action.

Matthew 5:34 KJV
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Matthew 5:35–36 KJV
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Matthew 12:24 KJV
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Matthew 12:27 KJV
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

Matthew 14:13 KJV
When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

Baptism and Church Membership are natural after salvation.

Acts 2:41–42 KJV
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

One Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

That Indwells Every Believer at the Point of Salvation.

Romans 8:9 KJV
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

That Endues Believers with Power for a Purpose.

Acts 1:8 KJV
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

That Gives Unique Gifts to Be Used in the Local Church.

1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin had every reason as teammates to be friends, but they were not. Incognito harassed and bullied Martin. He called him a racial slur in a voicemail played by every media outlet in the country. He threatened to kill him and his family. Incognito claimed all of this was just locker room talk. It is the way the guys talk to one another in the NFL.

Apparently, Martin didn’t get the memo. Martin left his lucrative job citing emotional issues and fearing for his life. Though we don’t know all the details, it appears as if Martin has some culpability, as well. He was far too passive in dealing with Incognito’s threatening behavior. As a teammate, it appears, he should have expressed how troubling Incognito’s threats were to him. These two men had many more reasons to get along than to have a toxic relationship. Consider all the reasons they had to be friends.

They were both football players.

On the same team.

Had the same coach.

Both were offensive linemen.

Both played on the same side of the line.

Both were starters.

Both wanted to win.

Both are big dudes.

Both were millionaires.

Yet somewhere along the way one or both of them forgot they played for the same team and began to treat the other like a New England Patriot. They forgot the enemy was in another city. They forgot enemy is on another team.

Similarly, we have many more reasons to honor one another than to dishonor one another.

We have the same owner!

The same Father cheering us on from the press box.

The same Savior who scouted us and forgave us.

The same Spirit within.

The same playbook.

The same purpose.

We are going to same place when life is over

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:25 PM August 14, 2021.

Powerful Perception

August 12th, 2021

Powerful Perception

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Gospel On Tour / Acts 14:8–20

A stranger was walking down a residential street and noticed a man struggling with a washing machine at the doorway of his house. When the newcomer volunteered to help, the homeowner was overjoyed, and the two men together began to work and struggle with the bulky appliance. After several minutes of fruitless effort the two stopped and just stared at each other in frustration. They looked as if they were on the verge of total exhaustion.

Finally, when they had caught their breath, the first man said to the homeowner: “We’ll never get this washing machine in there!” To which the homeowner replied: “In? I’m trying to move it out of here!”

Part of being an effective missionary and soul winner is the ability to effectively communicate to folks who have a different frame of reference than you do. As we dig deeper into the Gospel on Tour, we will see more and more that Paul adjusts his approach to fit the background of his audience. That is why it is important that a communicator of the Gospel have Powerful Perception.

Perceive Ripe Fruit.

Acts 14:8–10 KJV

And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 

The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 

Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

 • Someone who knows his hopelessness

 • Someone who responds to the Word of God

 • Someone who is ready to believe

 • Someone who will respond publicly

 • Someone who will respond joyfully

Perceive Misguided Devotion.

Acts 14:11–13 KJV

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 

And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. 

Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

 • Excited to see the power of God

 • Responded within their limited frame of knowledge.

Local Phrygian legend told of an ancient visitation by Zeus and Hermes to Phrygia. In the story only one couple, Baucis and Philemon, received them graciously; the rest of the population was destroyed in a flood. Knowing some form of the story in their own language, the Lycaonians are not about to make the same mistake ancient Phrygia had made; they want to honor Paul and Barnabas, whom they mistake for gods. People sometimes considered miracle workers as gods.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:9–11

 • Responded like someone who did not know the Old Testament.

 • Honor for the preacher did not equal honor for the preacher’s God.

Inscriptions show that Hermes and Zeus were worshiped together in the Phrygian region. Sacrificial animals were often decorated with garlands before being offered. Temples “outside the city gates” or “just outside the city” (NIV) were quite common in Asia Minor. The lame man had probably been healed at the gate, because lame people made their living by begging, and beggars normally found their best income at such places of transit (cf. 3:2).1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:13.

Perceive The Path to Communicating The Gospel.

Acts 14:14–18 KJV

Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 

And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 

Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 

Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. 

And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.

 • Show clear displeasure for their veneration.

14:14 tore their clothing A sign of severe distress in ancient Near Eastern cultures (compare Gen 37:29; Josh 7:6; Mark 14:63–64).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ac 14:14.

 • Preach repentance from false gods and faith in the true God.

14:15 living God By using this description, Paul and Barnabas distinguish Israel’s God, Yahweh, from any other deity.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ac 14:15.

 • The true God is the Creator

made the heaven and the earth While Jews would know God as Creator, the apostles need to provide the Gentiles with this background.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ac 14:15.

This passage is especially interesting because it gives us Paul’s approach to those who were without any Jewish background to which he could appeal because they were followers of Greek and Roman gods. With such people, he started from nature to get to the God who was behind it all. He started from the here and now to get to the there and then. We do well to remember that the world is the garment of the living God. It is told that once, as they sailed in the Mediterranean, Napoleon’s party were discussing God. In the talk, they eliminated God altogether. Napoleon had been silent, but now he lifted his hand and pointed to the sea and the sky. ‘Gentlemen,’ he said, ‘who made all this?’1

1 William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 127–128.

 • The true God gave a witness of His goodness with rain, seasons, food and gladness.

Although using biblical language, Barnabas and Paul preach to these Anatolian farmers in terms they would not need to know the Bible to understand, emphasizing the God who rules nature, who was already recognized by paganism. Jewish people often pointed to pagan philosophical teachings on the supreme god, which Jews felt contradicted the pagan worship of idols. Jews called idols “vain” (futile), in contrast to the “living” God. Jewish people believed that God allowed a lower moral standard for Gentiles, who had only seven laws to keep; but idolatry, like sexual immorality, was not an issue on which God would permit compromise.

14:17. Phrygia was fertile, and Phrygians especially worshiped the mother goddess who was supposed to provide fertility to the earth. Various philosophers, especially Stoics, believed that nature itself testified to the character of the supreme god. Jewish teachers agreed that nature testifies to God’s character (this is biblical; cf. Ps 19:1; 89:37) and taught that he provides all peoples with health, food and so forth.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:15–17.

Perceive The Power to Keep A Go!

Acts 14:19–20 KJV

And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 

Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

A poisoned crowd stoned Paul

14:19 stoned Paul Paul refers to this event in 2 Cor 11:25 and more generally in 2 Tim 3:11.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ac 14:19.

 • He was surrounded by disciples

 • He was moved(perhaps by his crowd of baby believers) to get up and keep going.

Lystra was a Roman colony, but it was an outpost. Nevertheless, when the people saw what they had done, they were afraid. That is why they dragged what they thought was Paul’s dead body out of the city. They were afraid of the strong hand of Roman justice, and they were trying to get rid of Paul’s body in order to escape the consequences of their riot.

The outstanding feature of this story is the sheer courage of Paul. When he came to his senses, his ?rst act was to go straight back into the city where he had been stoned. It was the great Methodist John Wesley’s advice: ‘Always look a mob in the face.’ There could be no braver thing than Paul’s going back immediately among those who had tried to murder him. An action like that would have more effect than 100 sermons. People were bound to ask themselves where Paul got the courage to act in such a way.1

1 William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 128–129.

 • The next day the two missionaries started in another city. About a 50 mile hike

1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching Perseverance

Sometime go out and watch a stonecutter hammering away at a rock. He might hit the rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Then, suddenly, at the hundred and first blow the rock splits in two. Was it the one blow that split the rock? Only in an immediate sense, for that one blow would have accomplished nothing if it were not for all that had gone before.

Not Every one Can DO That

August 5th, 2021

Not Every one Can DO That

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:4–11

Does anyone here remember taking music class in grade school? When you first join a music class you are given an instrument to play. You really don’t have much of a choice in what you play. The instructor simply assigns you the instruments based on what the school has available and what he/she thinks each kid is most suited for. You take your new instrument home and start learning how to turn squeaks into notes. Then the time comes when you first come together as a band to play. The teacher raises the baton and motions for you to begin and it sounds like a train wreck. You play at different tempos. You play at different volumes. You didn’t watch the conductor and you didn’t listen to each other. You love to hear yourself play so the room is filled with soloists and the result is terrible.

However, over time you learn more and grow in experience. Eventually by the end of high school the band has come together. The instruments begin working together and building on one another and the result is beautiful music for everyone to enjoy.

God has given each person here today an instrument and He has given us as a church a song to play. Maybe you are still trying to figure out what that instrument is. Maybe you are learning how to play it. My prayer is that as each one of us learns that we would become an orchestra making beautiful music to be enjoyed by the community that God has placed us in and the world.

From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, Feeding 5000, 4/30/2010

What are you doing here? You may say that you came to sing some songs, hear testimonies, and hear a sermon. What are you DOING in this church? You see, if you are a born again believer, you belong in a local church. If you have joined this church, then you are to be doing something in this church. God has placed you in THIS church because He has designed you for this church and this church for you. You are here because God intended for you to plug into this body as a perfect fit.

As we continue our series, CONNECTED, we find Paul once again addressing the call for unity along with warning about self righteousness. One of the greatest blessing and challenge within a local church is the fact that every believer has been given unique gifts in order to best fit into that particular local church. The believers at Corinth were bragging about the gifts that they had and becoming jealous over gifts that they did not have. In Chapter 11, we looked at how we are supposed to demonstrate our submission within the local church. We also say that communion was not the same as a church supper. In Chapters 12-14, Paul begins to expose the misuse and explain the proper use and function of Spiritual Gifts. These gifts are not given in order for us to compare ourselves with others. They are not given so that we become jealous over the gifts that we do not possess. These gifts are given to specific people at a specific time, for a specific purpose, enabling the believer to do specific ministries among the people within his church. These gifts are so that when we become a living part within the local Body of Christ, we are a perfect fit.

Not Everyone Has Spiritual Gifts – Just Believers

1 Corinthians 12:1–3 KJV

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Not Everyone Has The Same Spiritual Gift

1 Corinthians 12:4–6 KJV

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

 Different gifts = endowments, abilities, talents given to Christians

  1. Singing

  2. Acting

  3. Speaking

  4. Building things

  5. Fixing things

  6. Skill with numbers

 Administrations = ministries

  1. Pastors

  2. Teachers

  3. Deacons

  4. Christian Leaders

 Operations = works

  1. Soul winning

  2. Counseling

  3. Discipleship

  4. Service – building, maintenance

  5. Music

 All are distributed by the same Spirit according to God’s perfect will

  1. No Christian should become proud because of his God-given gift or assignment

  2. No Christian should become disheartened because of God’s choices, either

  3. Everyone should use his or her God-given abilities to further the cause of Christ

The church is filled with willing people, some willing to work, and others willing to let them.

Not Everyone Had The Same Kind of Gifts – Spiritual gifts differ in purpose and use within church history.

– There is an important play on words in the Greek. It has to do with two different words both translated as “another”:

o allos = another of the same kind

o heteros = another of a different kind

 Gifts of helps – to interpret and understand Scriptures

1 Corinthians 12:8 KJV

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

  1. Wisdom = prudent counsel, instruction, advice

  2. A word of knowledge = intelligence resulting in a clear view of Bible truth and doctrine

  3. These gifts still exist today as related to Scriptures

 Sign gifts

1 Corinthians 12:9–10 KJV

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

 1. The first “another” in verse 9 is heteros

 2. Faith = powerful confidence in God resulting in supernatural demonstration

 3. Healing = supernatural intervention in one’s physical condition

 4. Working of miracles = highly unusual events

 5. Prophecy = direct revelation

 6. Discerning of spirits = supernatural insight into the mindset of others – see Acts 5:1-10

The need for these sign gifts has passed

1 Corinthians 13:8–10 KJV

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 The gift of tongues

  1. “…to another divers kinds of tongues…”  – this is heteros (another of a different kind)

  2. There was a gift of languages and interpretation of the same given to cross language barriers in order to reach the lost with the Gospel

  3. These tongues have ceased – “ceased” = stopped on their own due to lack of need.

  1 Corinthians 13:8-10

 All these gifts are dealt by God’s perfect sovereignty

1 Corinthians 12:11 KJV

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Conclusion:

In 1765 John Fawsett was called to pastor a very small congregation at Wainsgate, England. He labored there diligently for 7 years, but his salary was so meager that he and his wife could scarcely obtain the necessities of life. Though the people were poor, they compensated for this lack by their faithfulness and warm fellowship.

Then Dr. Fawcett received a call from a much larger church in London, and after lengthy consideration decided to accept the invitation. As his few possessions were being placed in a wagon for moving, many of his parishioners came to say good-bye. Once again they pleaded with him to reconsider.

Touched by this great outpouring of love, he and his wife began to weep. Finally Mrs. Fawcett exclaimed, “O John, I just can’t bear this. They need us so badly here.” “God has spoken to my heart, too!” he said. “Tell them to unload the wagon! We cannot break these wonderful ties of fellowship.”

This experience inspired Fawsett to write a hymn. “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! The fellowship of kindred mind is like to that above.”

—H.G. Bosch

Every born again Christian is placed by God into the church that is perfect for them. God gives every believer a set of gifts especially for those churches God knows they will join. It is therefore unwise and unproductive for believers to hop churches. It is not God’s design or intent for any believer to simply attend services. God has given you tailor made abilities to plug into your home church. God has designed you to be a perfect fit.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 8:18 PM August 5, 2021.

The Battle for Iconium

July 29th, 2021

The Battle For Iconium

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Gospel On Tour / Acts 14:1–7

 In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully. Too many people feel it is easier just to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him.

Unfortunately, this is also true when it come to spiritual warfare – we would rather give in to the devil than to fight him.

From a sermon by Mark Schaeufele, A Warrior Messiah, 10/28/2009

As we continue our series “The Gospel on Tour” we see once again that the life of a missionary involves a great deal of spiritual warfare. Paul and Barnabas did not simply preach and go soul winning. They were involved in a move/ countermove strategic battle with the Forces of Darkness.  Later The Apostle Paul states:

2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Tonight let us learn from these first missionaries that sometimes we need to level up rather than giving up when doing the work of the ministry. Let us learn from their tenacity in their Battle for Iconium.

ICONIUM (???????, Ikonion). One of the four major cities the Apostle Paul visited during his first missionary journey. A prominent Christian city in Asia Minor for several centuries. The city dates to the third millennium bc, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. The ancient city of Iconium, known today as Konya, was located in central Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) about 90 miles southeast of Pisidian Antioch. Elder notes that there are no archaeological remains of the ancient site: “Little if anything of the city Paul saw has remained. The old city was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt” (Elder, Archeology and the Bible, 155).

Missions Level 1: Meet Where The Crowd Is

Acts 14:1 KJV

And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

Although Iconium was a wealthy and prosperous town, it was hardly the size of a city like Ephesus or Smyrna. Whereas urban culture in the empire tended to be uniformly Greco-Roman, rural society preserved local language and customs, and a town like Iconium would have its share of both. Traveling teachers would undoubtedly have drawn more attention in a town like Iconium than in larger cities. Because the native language of Iconium was Phrygian, Paul and Barnabas may address mainly the Greek-speaking upper social strata, or they may speak through interpreters (cf. 14:11, 14); but it is more likely that most of the crowd understands Greek, even if it is not their first language.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:1–4.

 • Speak in such a way as to draw a mixed crowd

 • Speak with a clear message so that a mixed crowd gets saved

Counter Attack Level 1: Spread Poison

Acts 14:2 KJV

But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

 • Unbelieving Jews stir up the Gentiles. Perhaps it is the staunch unbelievers stirring up the uncommitted or as yet to be convinced.

 • It is not just against the message but against all the brethren.. all the new believers.

But if some Jews and Gentiles were united in faith, others were united in opposition. For the Jews who refused to believe (literally ‘disobeyed’, since faith and obedience go together, as do unbelief and disobedience), stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers (2) by and unscrupulous slander campaign.1

1 John R. W. Stott, The Message of Acts: The Spirit, the Church & the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 228–229.

Missions Level 2: Dig In For the Long Haul

Acts 14:3 KJV

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

 • They committed a long time

Long time therefore. It seems probable that there were here no forcible or public measures to expel them, as there had been at Antioch (ch. 13:50), and they therefore regarded it as their duty to remain. God granted them here also great success, which was the main reason for their continuing a long time. Persecution and opposition may be attended often with signal success to the gospel.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Acts, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 216.

 • They Spoke Boldly – Powered By The Lord

Acts 4:31 KJV

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Ephesians 6:18–19 KJV

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

 • They Demonstrated the Power of God in Miracles

God also enabled the men to perform signs and wonders as their “credentials” that they were indeed the servants of the true God (see Acts 15:12; Gal. 3:5; Heb. 2:4). Faith is not based on miracles (Luke 16:27–31; John 2:23–25), but faith can be bolstered by miracles. The important thing is “the word of His grace” that performs the work of His grace (Acts 14:26).1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 459.

Counter Attack Level 2: Division Between Light and Darkness

Acts 14:4–5 KJV

But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 

And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,

 • The unbelieving factions Jew and Gentile unite. Folks still refused to believe in spite of being eye witnesses to supernatural miracles.

 • Plan violence

Among the deities that the Gentiles of Iconium worshiped, the most prominent was Cybele, the Phrygian mother goddess; Phrygian mystery cults were also common. But inscriptions testify that the Christian faith spread and Iconium later became a major center of Christianity in Asia Minor.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:1–4.

Missions Level 3 Flee Now Fight Again Later

Acts 14:6–7 KJV

They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: 

And there they preached the gospel.

Iconium was in Phrygia near the border of Lycaonia, which contained Lystra and Derbe. Some people considered flight undignified, but Jewish teachers preferred it to death, unless flight required denying the law of God.1

1 Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Ac 14:6–7.

The result? The city was divided and the Christians were threatened with public disgrace and stoning. Obedient to their Lord’s counsel in Matthew 10:23, they fled from that area into a different Roman district and continued to minister the Word of God.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 459.

 • Preach the gospel where they land

14:6 Lycaonian cities—Lystra and Derbe These cities were, respectively, 18 miles south and 55 miles southwest of Iconium (Acts 14:1).1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ac 14:6.

In warfare, there is always an objective. In many wars, the objective is land. For example, in the Middle East, Israel and the Palestinians are fighting because they both want to have the same land. In Afghanistan we’re fighting because we want to destroy the power base of terrorism. Hitler fought because he wanted to create a “superior” race. The Southern states fought the Civil War because they wanted to be free from the oppression of the Northern States. The Gulf War was fought because the U.S. wanted to end the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, so they could have access to oil. I mention all of these wars, not because I want to say who was right or wrong, but to show that in every war, there is an objective. There is a reason we are fighting the war. And the same is true with spiritual warfare. If we are going to wage war on Satan’s kingdom, we have to know what our objective is. Our objective, our mission is to rescue people from Satan’s grip. To free them from his control. So let us learn to replicate the strategies we saw tonight in the Battle for Iconium.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:29 PM July 29, 2021.

Not Everyone Can Say That!

July 29th, 2021

Not Everyone Can Say That!

Pastor Don Carpenter

Connected! / 1 Corinthians 12:1–3

The world is in a crisis of confusion concerning the character and the nature of God. Just as paganism and polytheism tainted the ancient Near Eastern world, our society is influenced by corrupted views of God. The names have changed, but the false gods they represented have not. Instead of Baal, we have new age philosophy; instead of the Sun god Ra, we have Eastern Mysticism, with its worship of Creation; instead of Asherah, we have the worship of supermodels and the sexuality they represent. Instead of idols made of silver, gold and wood, we have consumerism, materialism, humanism, yoga, meditation, and a host of other philosophies that draw from the same cesspool of idolatry represented by the gods of the Canaanites.”

“Like the prophets of Scripture, our task as spiritual leaders is to call the people away from the confusion polytheism to the clarity of monotheistic God of Scripture. Like Elijah on Mount Carmel, we are called to challenge people to choose between the God of the Bible and the gods of the culture”.

Source: Glenn C. Daman, Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry, pp. 105, 106.

Local churches must shine the light of Jesus Christ and the Gospel in this sin cursed world. Just as the ancient world needed the Church at Corinth to stand against the religious confusion of their day, Torrington needs Evangelical Baptist Church to shine brightly, exposing the religious confusion of our day.  

This morning we are launching a new series about our role in the local church entitled: “Connected”.  In the next few weeks we are going to discover God’s plan for believers to unite and reach a lost and confused world. We will discover things that we share in common. We will discover things that make us unique among the believers. We will discover that we have all been called into a local assembly. We will see that each local assembly is a physical manifestation of the Body of Christ. Most of all we will discover that as believers in Jesus, we are all CONNECTED.

1 Corinthians is a letter written to a well meaning, but wayward church in Corinth. Their two biggest struggles were Christian unity and misuse and misunderstanding of Spiritual gifts. In Chapter 12, the Apostle Paul tackles both issues. He will demonstrate that it is the understanding of how and why Spiritual Gifts are given that will show that we are designed to function as a united Body.

Today, much like the time this letter was written, our society does not want for religion. There are common misconceptions that abound.  

“God is the Father of us all. There are many paths to the same God. God grades on intent and motives, not on strict doctrinal truths.” 

All of these false teachings are corrected when we understand our role as believers. This morning we are going to discover what unites us as believers and what divides us fun unbelievers is what we can correctly claim about our relationships. We will see some things we can declare as believers and we will see that “Not Everyone Can Say That”.

We Are Brothers

1 Corinthians 12:1 KJV

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Adopted to and from the same family

John 8:44 KJV

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Romans 8:15 KJV

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Possession of Spiritual Gifts is a Family Trait

1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Peter 4:10 KJV

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Ephesians 4:7 KJV

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Ephesians 4:8 KJV

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Notice that in the text of your Bible the word gifts is in italics, which means that that word is not in the original. It was added for the sake of clarity; but, very frankly, I don’t think adding the word clarified anything. Actually, it has added confusion. In The Revised Standard Version it is spiritual gifts; in The New English Bible it is gifts of the Spirit; in The Berkeley Translation it is spiritual endowments. The Scofield Reference Bible has a good footnote about this.

The Greek word is pneumatika, which literally means “spiritualities.” It is in contrast to carnalities. One does not need to add the word “gifts.” Back in the third chapter Paul was discussing the divisions among the Corinthian believers, and he wrote, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). That first section is about carnalities because their questions were about carnalities and the things that carnal Christians would be interested in. The carnalities had to do with their divisions, their wrangling about different leaders, about adultery, about going to court against a brother, the sex problem, women’s dress and men’s haircuts, the love feast, gluttony and drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper. That is all carnality, and we can find the same things in the church today. The section on carnalities was corrective.

Now we come to the section on spiritualities, and this is constructive. Paul was glad to change the subject; I think he heaved a sigh of relief when he got here to chapter 12. He was willing to discuss the other problems with them, but he really wanted to talk to them about the spiritualities.

The modern church needs to change the same old subjects which are discussed. In a very sophisticated manner Christian educators say that we should tell our young people about sex. Friend, we had better tell them about spiritual things. There are so many programs in the churches that the young people never get anywhere near the Bible. They have conferences on whatever carnality is the popular issue or the fad for the moment. All of that is a sign of carnality.

In this section Paul will touch on three subjects: the unifying Spirit, the law of love, and the triumph the believer has in the Resurrection. The gifts of the Spirit just happen to be one of the spiritualities, by the way1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: The Epistles (1 Corinthians), electronic ed., vol. 44 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 136–137.

We WERE Gentiles/Pagans

1 Corinthians 12:2 KJV

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Carried Away

When they were lost, they were under the control of the demons (1 Cor. 10:20) and were led astray (“carried away,” 1 Cor. 12:2). But now the Spirit of God lived in them and directed them.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 607.

1 Corinthians 10:20 KJV

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Speechless idols… senseless objects

Habakkuk 2:18–19 KJV

What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; The molten image, and a teacher of lies, That the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

Led by deceivers under demonic influence.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 KJV

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

All That Is In The Past

Ephesians 2:1–2 KJV

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

We Have The Spirit of God

Romans 8:9 KJV

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Therefore we CANNOT call Jesus Cursed.

 1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV)

 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed…

This is a very interesting passage, because it gives us two phrases which were battle cries.

(1) There is the phrase Accursed be Jesus. There could be four ways in which this terrible phrase might arise.

(a) It would be used by the Jews. The synagogue prayers regularly included a cursing of all those who had renounced their faith; and Jesus would fall into that category. Further, as Paul knew so well (Galatians 3:13), the Jewish law laid it down: ‘Anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse’ (Deuteronomy 21:23). And Jesus had been cruci?ed. It would not be unusual to hear the Jews pronouncing their anathemas on this heretic and criminal whom the Christians worshipped.

(b) It is by no means unlikely that the Jews would make Jewish converts who were attracted by Christianity pronounce this curse or suffer excommunication from all Jewish worship. When Paul was telling Agrippa about his persecuting days, he said: ‘By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme’ (Acts 26:11). It must often have been a condition of remaining within the synagogue that a man should pronounce a curse on Jesus Christ.

(c) Whatever was true when Paul was writing, it is certainly true that later on, in the terrible days of persecution, Christians were compelled either to curse Christ or to die. In the time of Trajan, it was the test of Pliny, governor of Bithynia, to demand that a person accused of being a Christian should curse Christ. When Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, was arrested, the demand of the proconsul Statius Quadratus was: ‘Say: “Away with the atheists,” swear by the godhead of Caesar, and blaspheme Christ.’ And it was the great answer of the aged bishop: “Eighty and six years have I served Christ, and he has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” There certainly came a time when people were confronted with the choice of cursing Christ or facing death.

(d) There was the possibility that, even in the Church, someone, half-mad with frenzy, might cry out: ‘Accursed be Jesus.’ In that hysterical atmosphere, anything might happen and be claimed to be the work of the Spirit. Paul lays it down that no one can say a word against Christ and attribute it to the in?uence of the Spirit.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, 3rd ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 125–126.

Therefore we CAN call Jesus Lord.

 1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV)

 …and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Beside this, there is the Christian battle cry Jesus is Lord. In so far as the early Church had a creed at all, that simple phrase was it (cf. Philippians 2:11). The word for Lord was kurios, and it was a tremendous word. It was the of?cial title of the Roman emperor. The demand of the persecutors was always: ‘Say: “Caesar is Lord [kurios].” ’ It was the word by which the sacred name Yahweh was rendered in the Greek translation of the Old Testament Scriptures. When people could say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ it meant that they gave to Jesus the supreme loyalty of their lives and the supreme worship of their hearts.

It is to be noted that Paul believed that it was possible to say ‘Jesus is Lord’ only when the Spirit enabled someone to say it. The Lordship of Jesus was not so much something which people discovered for themselves as something which God, in his grace, revealed to them.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, 3rd ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 126.

 • Therefore we can say that Jesus is the Lord

  • The spiritual / theological understanding of who Jesus is.

  • The personal submission to the authority Jesus has. To say Jesus is Lord is to imply He is YOUR Lord.

  • Only saved folks who possess the Holy Spirit can truly say Jesus is Lord.

  • Not all saved folks always act as if Jesus is Lord, but they can if they choose to.

It is only through the Spirit that a person can honestly say, “Jesus is Lord.” A sneering sinner may mouth the words, but he is not giving a true confession. (Perhaps Paul was referring to things they had said when influenced by the demons prior to conversion.) It is important to note that the believer is always in control of himself when the Holy Spirit is at work (1 Cor. 14:32) because Jesus Christ the Lord is in charge. Any so-called “Spirit manifestation” that robs a person of self-control is not of God; for “the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23, nasb).

If Jesus Christ truly is Lord in our lives, then there should be unity in the church. Division and dissension among God’s people only weakens their united testimony to a lost world (John 17:20–21).

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 607.

So those of us who have trusted Jesus as personal Savior have been united in the things we can say.

 • We can call each other Brother or Sister.

 • We can say that our Pagan thinking is in the past.

 • We can say Jesus is Lord!

Not Everyone Can Say That

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:44 AM July 29, 2021.

Simple Answers to a Complex Problem

July 27th, 2021

Simple Answers to a Complex Problem

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / God’s Sovereignty; Eternity / Ecclesiastes 3:1–15

Why does it seem so stinking hard to understand what in the world God is trying to do? We know God has promised to work all things together for good… but that good seems to be illusive.

Romans 8:28 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We have learned from our study of Daniel that God indeed is in charge. The great preacher and author R.C. SPROUL said “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

So there is the promise, but how does that work when we see the heartbreak of living in this sin cursed world? We know that in God’s eternal mind it all has a perfect purpose, but how can we make sense of it?

The wisest man besides Jesus to ever live grapples with this problem in our passage tonight. We will find that much of the lack of understanding is because of the concept of time. We are temporal, and God is eternal. So let us dig into the truth of this passage and find some simple answers to a very complex question… what is God doing and how can it be good?

God’s Plan and Timing Is Beautiful

Even though man struggles to understand how.

Ecclesiastes 3:10 KJV

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

Everything is By Design and Purpose

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Romans 8:28–29 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

God’s Timing Is Perfect

 Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…

Galatians 6:9 KJV

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Psalm 145:15 KJV

The eyes of all wait upon thee; And thou givest them their meat in due season.

I heard Mike Reynolds, then the Director of Utah Missions, at a meeting in South Carolina telling about leading a Mormon to Christ the first time he witnessed to him. It was such an unusual experience for Mike that he began asking questions about others who had witnessed to the man. He then said, “Something like nineteen other people had witnessed to him before I did.”

“Something like nineteen other people” who had witnessed to him may not know he has professed faith in the Jesus of the Bible. “Something like nineteen other people” may be frustrated because they have not seen the results of their efforts. The truth is, only God knows all the results of all our efforts.

Mankind Is Not Capable of Comprehending God’s Entire Plan.

God has given man a glimpse at the concept of eternity.

 Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV)

 … also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Man was created in the image of God, and was given dominion over creation (Gen. 1:26–28); therefore, he is different from the rest of creation. He has “eternity [“the world,” KJV] in his heart” and is linked to heaven. This explains why nobody (including Solomon) can be satisfied with his or her endeavors and achievements, or is able to explain the enigmas of life (1:12–2:11). God accomplishes His purposes in His time, but it will not be until we enter eternity that we will begin to comprehend His total plan.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 47.

Man is still finite and his comprehension limited

 Ecclesiastes 3:12 (KJV)

 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

Isaiah 55:8–11 KJV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as the rain cometh down, And the snow from heaven, And returneth not thither, But watereth the earth, And maketh it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, But it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

There may indeed be appropriate times for everything, and God does know these times, but, speaking of humans, no one can discover what God is doing. This expression does not arise from a flippant “leave it to God” attitude, but from an agony of desire to know what is going on. But such knowledge is inscrutable. There is nothing (from beginning to end) that human beings can truly fathom.1

1 Tremper Longman, The Book of Ecclesiastes, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 121.

MATT CHANDLER: “Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.”

God’s Plans Are Anchored In Eternity

Ecclesiastes 3:14 KJV

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

God Himself is not even bound by time.

Ecclesiastes 3:15 KJV

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

The Solution: Be A Good Steward of God’s Gift of NOW.

Ecclesiastes 3:12–13 KJV

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Enjoy life

Again Solomon indicated that this ability to enjoy life comes as a gift of God (cf. 2:25). Christian D. Ginsburg properly renders 3:13 as a conditional sentence: “If any man eats and drinks and finds V 1, p 985 satisfaction in all his toil, it is a gift of God” (The Song of Songs and Coheleth, pp. 311–2).1

1 Donald R. Glenn, “Ecclesiastes,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 984–985.

 • Enjoy the fruit of your labor

 • Rest in the truth that God works and lives in the eternal realm

 • Respect the fact that God’s plan is right even though you cannot comprehend it.

 • Realize that we are finite and temporal, God is not and He is in charge.

1 Peter 3:10–12 KJV

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Third, man’s life can be enjoyable now (vv. 12–14). The Preacher hinted at this in 2:24 and was careful to say that this enjoyment of life is the gift of God (see 3:13, 6:2, and 1 Tim. 6:17). “The enjoyment of life” is an important theme in Ecclesiastes and is mentioned in each of the four sections of chapters 3–10. (Review the outline.) Solomon is encouraging not pagan hedonism, but rather the practice of enjoying God’s gifts as the fruit of one’s labor, no matter how difficult life may be. Life appears to be transitory, but whatever God does is forever, so when we live for Him and let Him have His way, life is meaningful and manageable. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, let’s enjoy what we do have and thank God for it.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 48.

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 KJV

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Proverbs 3:1–2 KJV

My son, forget not my law; But let thine heart keep my commandments: 

For length of days, and long life, And peace, shall they add to thee.

“This is God’s universe, and God does things his way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.”

J. VERNON MCGEE

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:22 PM July 27, 2021.

Stay Prayerful

July 22nd, 2021

Stay Prayerful With an Excellent Spirit

Pastor Don Carpenter

Behind Enemy Lines: Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not / Daniel 6

There once was an out of work actor named Daniel

He was so down and out that he’s ready to accept any acting part that came along. One day he saw an advertisement in the paper, ACTOR NEEDED TO PLAY A GORILLA.

I could do that,” Daniel arranged an interview.

The employer turned out to be the local zoo

The zoo had spent too much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat that they can’t afford the gorilla.

So, Until they can get more funding, they’ve decided to use an actor in a gorilla suit. Needing the money, Daniel took the job.

At first, he felt not only dishonest by fooling the customers but also undignified in the ape suit,

But after a few days on the job, he begins to be amused by all the attention and started to put on a show for the spectators – hanging upside-down from the branches, swinging on vines, climbing up cage walls and roaring beating his chest.

Soon, Daniel is drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when Daniel was swinging on a vine to show off to some children, his hand slips and he goes flying over the wall into the lion’s den. He panicked. There was a huge lion not twenty feet away, and it looked very hungry. So the man in the gorilla suit started jumping up and down, screaming and yelling, “Help, help! Get me out of here! I’m not really a gorilla! I’m a man in a gorilla suit! Heeellp!” The lion quickly pounced on the man, held him down and said, “Will you SHUT UP! You’re going to get both of us fired!!!” (from WWW)

This morning as we finish our series “Behind Enemy Lines” we will encounter the real story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

Every once and a while, a believer emerges onto the scene who has an unusual disposition. This believer is plugged into the power of God and has deep roots of integrity. Because of that excellent spirit, he will be promoted and trusted. Because of that excellent spirit, he will be envied and attacked. This believer will respond to this attack like he has in the past, with unchanging conviction and practice.

This morning we are going to study an old hero of the faith, Daniel. He is no longer a kid taking a stand over his diet. He is now a servant in the King’s court who has lived through three different monarchs. Today we will see why God trusted him with a great amount of revelation regarding future events. As we study this story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, we will find that Daniel learned to stay prayerful with an excellent spirit.

An Excellent Spirit Can Be Trusted

Daniel 6:1–3 KJV

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 

And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. 

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

Trusted With Power

  • 120 over the Kingdom

  • 3 Presidents over the 120

  • 1 over all these – Daniel

Trusted with secrets

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 20:6 KJV

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: But a faithful man who can find?

Trusted with truth

Proverbs 14:5 KJV

A faithful witness will not lie: But a false witness will utter lies.

Trusted with relationships

Proverbs 6:19 KJV

A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.

An Excellent Spirit will be Attacked Because of Envy

Daniel 6:4–9 KJV

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. 

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. 

Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. 

All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 

Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

Proverbs 14:30 KJV

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: But envy the rottenness of the bones.

Proverbs 27:4 KJV

Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; But who is able to stand before envy?

 • Daniel was blameless when it came to any real dirt.

Philippians 2:14–15 KJV

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 • The enemy must work to manufacture some kind of dirt.

 • Often the enemy uses flattery to seduce people against the excellent spirit.

Proverbs 20:19 KJV

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

 • The enemy will use personal weaknesses to manipulate opinions against the excellent spirit.

   • Pride

   • Lust

   • Greed

An Excellent Spirit will be Consistent

Unashamed

Daniel 6:10–12 KJV

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. 

Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 

Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.

 Of the memorials in Westminster Abbey there is not one that gives a nobler thought than that inscribed on the monument to Lord Lawrence—simply his name, with the date of his death, and these words: “He feared man so little because he feared God so much.”

Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 283). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Regular – even when evil appears to win

Daniel 6:13–15 KJV

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. 

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

Psalm 74:10 KJV

O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

There will be some unbelievers who really hope that there is reality behind the excellent spirit.

Daniel 6:16–20 KJV

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 

And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 

And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

Difference between a conviction and a preference, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. A preference is a very strong belief, held with great strength. You can give your entire life in a full-time way to the service of the preference, and can also give your entire material wealth in the name of the belief. You can also energetically proselytize others to your preference. You can also want to teach this belief to your children, and the Supreme court may still rule that it is a preference. A preference is a strong belief, but a belief that you will change under the right circumstances. Circumstances such as: 1) peer pressure; if your beliefs are such that other people stand with you before you will stand, your beliefs are preferences, not convictions, 2) family pressure, 3) lawsuits, 4) jail, 5) threat of death; would you die for your beliefs? A conviction is a belief that you will not change. Why? A man believes that his God requires it of him. Preferences aren’t protected by the constitution. Convictions are. A conviction is not something that you discover, it is something that you purpose in your heart (cf. Daniel 1, 2-3). Convictions on the inside will always show up on the outside, in a person’s lifestyle. To violate a conviction would be a sin.

David C. Gibbs, Jr. Christian Law Association, P.O. Box 30290, Cleveland, Ohio 44130

God’s Power is Manifested Through an Excellent Spirit.

Daniel 6:21–22 KJV

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

 • He will deliver

 • He will destroy His enemies

Daniel 6:23–24 KJV

Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. 

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

 • He will get the glory.

Daniel 6:25–28 KJV

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. 

I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. 

He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. 

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

GOD’S WAY ISN’T ALWAYS EASY

We make a terrible error when we think that God makes life easy just because we’re in His will or that the easy way is God’s way. We don’t follow Jesus or God’s will for our lives because it’s the EASY thing to do–we do it because it’s the RIGHT thing to do!

When we follow God’s way, it’s the BEST way, but it may be a DIFFICULT way:

* MOSES chose a path that got him criticism and ungratefulness his whole ministry.

* DANIEL chose a path that took him to the lion’s den.

* The THREE HEBREW MEN chose paths that took them into the fiery furnace.

* STEPHEN chose a path that led to martyrdom.

* PAUL chose a path that led to imprisonment and execution.

* CHRIST chose a path that led to the cross.

All these chose paths that were God’s plan for them–but their paths were not easy. God doesn’t promise us an easy trip, but He does promise to be with us as we follow it!

 Daniel 6:20–22 (KJV)

 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 

 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 

 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me…

Stay prayerful with an excellent spirit, even behind enemy lines.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:49 AM July 22, 2021.