Oct. 15, 2023
Our first little introduction here we’ll go to Acts 18.
We're going to be introduced to a couple in verse 2. After these things, Paul departed from Athens and came to Porto, and found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who came from Italy with his wife, Vassilis. Because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought for, by their occupation.
They were tent makers. So Paul was literally a tent maker and they were tent makers. And so they had a lot in common. And I would picture them doing the normal things. When you have something in common, you talk shop.
I could see him saying stuff like, Do you believe the price of leather up in Ephesus? And, Oh, I'm buying my stuff down in Corinth. I only get there occasionally. The price there is really good if you talk to this little farmer. I mean, things like those techniques maybe. How do you waterproof some of your stitching? What have you been using? That sort of thing.
Can you imagine the scriptural talks they've had around campfires and, usually if you want to work alongside somebody, you can really learn a lot about them. And I bet there was an awful lot of scripture shared during those times.
And, later in the chapter we're going to go to, verse 24, where we're going to meet Apollos.
Verse 24, And a certain Jew named Apollos, born in Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, but, listen to this, knowing only the baptism of John.
Verse 25, And he began to speak boldly in the Synagogue whom, when Aquila and Appis had heard, they took him unto them and expounded unto them the way of God more perfectly. Now, what would that be? Wouldn't that be the gospel of grace? It would. So what would that conversation be like? You know, they pull 'em aside and say, you've obviously been out of town.
Something new is happening and we're taking them aside and they told them what they had learned from Paul. Now Paul, he's been on, we don't know if Paul was around or Paul was available, but they did the job. They knew the words, they knew what he didn't know and needed to know. So, I think that's pretty much what, right now we're without a pastor.
But we've and I've appreciated the men who have stepped up and have filled that role because they know the stuff, they know what they need to know and have been sharing, their particular viewpoint and so I've really, really appreciated that. And as we know, Apollos here, he went on to become a fellow worker and knew grace and so they did the proper thing at the time.
Okay, imagine if you would, I had an encyclopedia, a telephone book. I had a novel and I had an instruction book. Now what do they have in common? Those aren things that you use to learn about various subjects. And I want to proceed with the story before that I use my props.
We had a situation where we wanted to paint our house. Again, miraculously, Kate wanted to paint the house. And, was, that's not my favorite thing. So we searched around, I mean there's advertising. There's things, in the newspaper, things on TV, you can learn about this.
We did some stuff online, and she did a lot more than I did, and we decided on a couple of national brands, and we thought, why don't we call our friend Karen? She's a professional in painting and decorating, wall hanging, and all this kind of stuff. And, she says, can we use brand X or brand Y? And says, well, you're in Wisconsin, why don't you go to Hallman Lindsay?
Who's that? Where's that? And she gave it to us, told us where it was in Oshkosh. Why do we want to use them? We got a national brand and they're approved for use in California. And, well, that's just part of the problem. What do you mean, that's part of the problem? Well, because they make their paints without all the volatiles and the chemicals they they don't want them to pollute as much.
So they make them a certain way so that doesn't happen. Well, that's a good thing, right? Well, you know, because of that, those paints are not going to grab as well. They're not going to cover as well. They're going to come off sooner. And so, you're going to have just painted it with some better paint, it would have lasted beyond that and you would have polluted less.
So, we went down and got the Holman Lindsay because they don't sell in California. They're a regional brand. And they can go by different standards, and so they got a paint that's really effective. So, the usual thing about discovering the world is that it's tough.
There's all kinds of problems with it. One of the things I read about was, food additives, and food, where everybody's food conscious, what you're gonna eat, and what's in a thing, and, Few things, just a few things in a study I did about that there's some of the salad dressings and some other foods have things like no sugar added.
If you're diabetic, that's important. So here are the cases. It said no sugar added, but I checked the ingredients and there was sugar in it. So we asked a guy who was in that industry and he says, Oh, well this company, they don't bottle their own stuff, they don't make it. They buy it on the market and they just put their label on it.
So they don't add any sugar. But, but the sugar is already there from the people who made it. Then there's stuff like the Trans fats, thing to avoid. I like a fella, one of the saints in Florida says, yeah, trans fats, that's one hydrogen molecule away from being a, yoga mat and they're calling it food, so a lot of fried foods, potato chips, what not, might say, contains no trans fats, but behind the scenes, on the legal side, they were able to get the politics to say, if it has Transcribed There's a certain level of trans fats and below that, we can call it no trans fats.
Although they are in there, it's a legal definition, but it's not a real situation. So there's, all sorts of things like that, where we're, in the world trying to find the truth about things and facts. An they're hidden, or you have to go beyond what you see to get, the real truth.
And you think you're doing good things, and saving the environment withmthe paint you use. Andcome to find out, maybe you're not doing that. So the older people here, you remember phone books? And, and how, People you were born in a, in a 21st century, you'll have to talk to some of us with gray hair and we'll tell you about the importance of a phone book, encyclopedias, what have you.
Back in my day when I was on the road, a phone book was absolutely essential. When I went into a new town, I wanted to find out that I was in the gift industry we sold. So some of my customers might be, jewelry stores, department stores, gift shops, drug store in a small town. Various things like that.
So I would grab the yellow pages and find who the possibilities were. Florists were another possibility. And thatwould be how I'd find it and everybody in that town then had a phone that would hang on the wall or would sit on the desk attached to the wall, the address of that phone and the people that owned it was in that book too.
So it was just, you had to have that. If you went, you want to go to a town and find somebody you know. So, there it was. And now, I don't even know if we have a phone book at home. We don't use it, we're just, we're in the 21st century, we're using the computer, you use your phone to look everything up. The encyclopedia set that my parents had, bought for my younger brothers, everybody in town, that loved their kids, according to the world book salesman, would have a set of encyclopedias. But you can't, today, nobody uses those that I know of. I mean, they're still for sale. The World Book still puts theirs out. Encyclopedia Britannica hasn't printed since 2010. They're obsolete. So, there's a lot of books. Okay, yeah, John Deere. Manual.
Absolutely essential, but only if you have a John Deere and only if it's a diesel, the one I have. So it's another thing of limited information. But there is one book that we have here that has unlimited information. Was true when,phone books were in vogue. And decades and years and centuries before that, and it's still going to be good for everyone here, for everyone outside the church.
So this is something to learn about. Now, the thing about this book, that all these manuals and all the information that you try to get out in the world, You don't have to worry about, is this true? Psalms 12, verse 6, The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. And, it means you can depend on it, you see it there, it is true.
And we have the advantage too in this assembly. We know that you have to use right division in 2 Timothy 2:15 to take out a lot of the what, the contradictions, if you will, and things that have to be put in context. But we'll have you turn to 2 Timothy 3. We're alll familiar here with that verse.
2 Timothy 3. Verse 16, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, truly furnished unto all good works. So it's not only true, but for every purpose that God has for it, this is the tool.
One and one is two, one and one is three. One of those is correct, one of them is not correct. But they are both, they're different, but they both can't be correct, and we know that.
But, when we look out at the world, there's an awful lot of religions, an awful lot of, truths out there. But, we know they can't all be right. Now, they could all be wrong. But, we're learning from this book, that you got your best shot at learning about spiritual things. Let's go to 2 Timothy 2. If you didn't turn your page, you're already there, in 2 Timothy 2, verse 24 and 25, And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, aptitudes, patience, and meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves. Part of the thing, the natural man, the atheist, who doesn't believe in God. They believe in God.
But, let's hold off on that thought a moment. This verse kind of tells me we can't really change people's mind. We can't do what the verse says here. We can, in meekness, instruct them, but the problem is, they oppose themselves. And until they stop opposing themselves, unfortunately, a lot of times, this word is unavailable to them.
We'll do a quick one here in Psalms 14:1, the fool has said in his heart, there is no God. And that's where a lot of the people that, I don't know, I suppose Randy, I suppose down at the Farmer's Market, we're gonna run into, we run into a lot of those. But, I've heard arguments like, well, the truth, what is the truth? The truth is out there, it's how you find it, who's got it, everybody says they have the truth.
But scripture may say differently. Turn to Romans 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. I look at that word hold. If you can hold something, how can it be far away? How can it be unavailable? You hold something that is close. from there, I'll just read through, because that which was maybe known of God is manifest in them. For God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even as his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
How do you work with that? I mean, that is, that is the natural man, that is, the position of so many, so many people who need what we have well. I kind of feel sorry for, I mean, the position of people who don't believe in God, then they can't believe in creation. And so, their alternative, the Big Bang.
And I remember when we lived in town, I asked a teacher who taught at Oshkosh West, could you bring back one of the science books? And she brought it back, and I can almost repeat that verbatim from the book what they were teaching in Oshkosh Schools. And it was, And nothing really means nothing.
Speaking of the beginning of everything. In fact, nothing is smaller than the period at the end of the sentence. And already I saw the contradiction. If you got nothing,how can you measure it in smaller than a period? But That's that. And everything that we see came from that period at the end of the sentence.
So, I don't know, you can go through the faith chapter Hebrews 11. There's no way I can get enough faith to believe that. That every, planet, every star, constellation, all life came from that dot at the end of the sentence. But... That's the position you have to, you have to be in because I don't know of any other option for them.
Luke 24, verse 25.
O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. We have been provided. In this part of the book, all the things that we need to know about the world, about what God wants us to know. And yet, we don't believe. I just want to do a couple more before I hit the main part here. Let's do Hebrews 3. We're going to be at verse 12, Take heed brethren lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief and departing from the living God.
These people have an evil heart. If you turn from God, if you turn from the scripture, which was put in I mean, we're aware of this I mean the creation has declared That God is there. And we're called, it's called here that this is an evil heart that, for the people who can't accept that. Now, there are the objections that I'm sure you've, we've all heard probably right after, What would you say the number one is?
The number one objection to salvation through grace, through faith, is probably works. Everybody wants to add works to the salvation methods, but I've also ran into this where people don't want to hear it. I guess their theory is if I don'thear it, how can God hold me responsible for it? And I, that covers all the people who haven't heard, but if you're sitting right there and trying to tell them the gospel, I'm trying to tell you now but, let me move on.
I want to get to the features of Christianity. This was kind of a rough introduction. First we're going to talk about the book. Ecclesiastes 12:12 My center of my Old Testament is kind of like Isaiah, so take a left at Isaiah, go to and, Song of Solomon and then Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes 12, verse 12, And further by these, my son, be admonished, of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of flesh. The pile of books that I had here, the information on finding what's the best paint, everything we do in our life, there's probably a book for it. But, it's endless, it's a waste of time, it has no eternal purpose.
This book is different. So let's talk about this book. This is the, if you're going to, if you're going to find a religion, if you're, if you're an atheist, if you're looking for something, do you, you don't want to look for religions that have, you know, 300 adherents or a book that's only been a thousand copies have been published.
The Bible, when I first started doing this, there was something like six billion, Bibles published. the last time I heard it, there was a seven and a half billion books, Bibles that have been published. It is also the most translated book, translated into more languages than any other book.
And the big thing, the big thing for me for believing this book is that it's the only prophetic book. Now you've heard of guys like Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, where they would make predictions like, you are going to have a good day. And they make them so vague that it could just about fit anything.
But, prophetic part of this proves without a doubt to me that we have the correct book and the correct religion in the world. Every book in the Old Testament was settled by the time of Malachi, and there were 400 years of silence. There were no changes in the middle there, in that intervening time, so that by the time we got to the New Testament era, everything was…
Let's go back to, Isaiah 41, verse 21, we'll start there. Produce your cause, saith the Lord. Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen. Let them show the former things, what they be that we may consider them and know that the latter end of them or declare us things for to come.
Show the things that we are to come hereafter that we may know that you are gods. So everybody wants to know the future. If you guys, if you really know something, Show us some, show us the future and then we'll, then we'll believe you. so I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you a few predictions, a few prophecies from the Old Testament that came true.
We were talking about Jesus that would become, come from the seed of Abraham. He would be the son of Isaac. He'd be the son of Jacob. He is coming from the tribe of Judah. He'd be a descendant of David. He'd be born in Bethlehem. Born in Bethlehem. They could have picked a different town. That'd be like, if you want to have somebody famous, he was born in Van Dyne or Omro.
You know, you'd be better off, why don't you say Milwaukee or New York, but... So that was a big one. He'd be born of a virgin. They would cast lots for his clothing. He'd be buried in a rich man's tomb. He'd be betrayed by a friend. For, and the cost would be 30 pieces of silver. How would they know what even the currency of the time would be?
And how, it's not 29, it wasn't 37. It's 30 pieces of silver. That money would be thrown down in the church, it would pay for a grave in a potter's field. He'd be crucified on a tree. Well, he didn't say crucified, he would die on a tree. Because crucifixion wasn't invented until centuries later by the Romans.
It is a prophetic book to the ninth degree, and in addition to that, it is also the most burnt book. Let's turn to, Jeremiah.
This is one of my favorite stories of this morning, Jeremiah 36.
This is the story of Jehu and the pen knife. We'll start with, verse one, and it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehu. Jehu came the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the Lord saying, take the aero of a book and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel. And against Judah, and against all the nations from the day I spoke unto thee, from the day of Josiah, even unto this day. So he was going to be dictating this book. verse 21. So, the king sent Jahidi to fetch the roll, and he took it out. Of Elma, the scribes chamber and jehu read it in the ears of the king and in the ears of the princess was stood before the king.
Now the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him, and it came to pass that when Ji had read three or four leaves, he cut it out. He cut it with the pen knife, cast it into the fire. That was on the hearth until all the roll was consumed in the fire and was on the hearth.
So, I don't know, are we in danger of there only being 65 books in the Old Testament, or in the Bible? So what were they going to do? They destroyed an original copy of the Word of God. But let's go ahead to verse 27.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, I'm going to come up with a solution here. After that the king had burned the roll and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah saying, take thee again another roll and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah had burned.
So we're going to write it all over again. And replaced that book, but let's go to my favorite part, verse 32. Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book, which Jehoiakim, king of Judah, had burned in the fire.
And, note this. And there were added besides unto them many like words. So he was, not only replacing the original, he's gonna add the part where the king had the words burnt. So that's recorded for us today. So, we're the most published book, the most prophesied book, most burnt book. And, it's also been the most prohibited book to this day. We know about, what's recently happened in China with, some of the pastors and people who were caught with Bibles and, had their problems, I'm not sure that the ones I heard about are all out of the country now, but that is, that kind of thing is still going on and will continue.
Thank you. With all this stuff of, being, the book has been prohibited, it's been burnt, but it still is around, and, it doesn't look like it's gonna disappear. One more thing with, we're gonna do Hebrews 4:12.
My favorite of many I'm sure, For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrows, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When you read this Bible, it reads you.
And it's the truth, and I don't know if I've proven the case, but this is the book, if you're gonna, have a religion, if you wanna do something spiritual, this is the book. Oh, and one more thing that's probably timely. What are people banned on social media for?
For telling the truth or for telling a lie? It's for telling, the truth, right? Some, and I've seen it so many times, where people have been not just political things, but scriptural things, and you have to be careful what you say, because you know how they're going to handle it. So, that is the part one.
Part two, we're going to talk about the people. The people, the Jews of the Bible, have been persecuted starting in the 1100s in our age of grace. They've been, through the Crusades, pardon me, I'm going to do it this way and make sure I get it in. They were, Tsarist Russia, it was against the Jews, if you remember the, oh, what's the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Is there a proper blessing for the Tsar? Yes. May God bless and keep the Tsar, far away from us.
But that was humor made there, but their struggles have been legendary. Not just Nazi Germany, but the communist, the communist Russia and Germany were enemies, but they were both together and hating the Jews. But, the Jews have survived it to this day.
We have what's going on with Hamas that will continue, but God has a purpose for the Jews. I want to cover one more thing here. And we know that the Jews have to be around after the age of grace. So in spite of what's happening there now, they are going to be here. I'm going to talk about the Ashkenazi Jews, somebody known as the European Jews.
There are some facts about them that are just, it's got to be supernatural. They are, amongst the people with the highest IQs, the most geniuses. Some of the highest income people, most Ivy League graduates, most, college faculty members, Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, chess grandmasters, business owners, bankers, lead guys in biology, chemistry, TV, motion pictures, architecture, nuclear science, rocket science, and plumbing.
I made the plumbing part up to see if you're listening. But something has to explain why that is happening. We have a verse for this, Deuteronomy 8. So I hope this can kind of show the proof of this, Deuteronomy 8:17, And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. That's what the man, natural man is going to say, I did this myself. But what does God say? But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.
This is my opinion, that verse and the story of the Ashkenazi Jews, I think there's something supernatural happening here that has caused the Jews to survive all this persecution and not get absorbed into the culture, they're still there, they still know themselves, and they will be around when we're called home to glory.
So, and I will quickly go on, the last part, Jesus Christ, we already know, He is the star of this book. All those prophecies were about Him. He fulfilled them, as, just as the Bible said. In Romans,1:4, I think we got time, we'll get there.. And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. You can go visit the. The starting places, the origin of the various religions, and see the, Buddha's grave, or, whoever, you name them.
You can't do that with Christianity because he's not in the grave. He rose from the dead, he's not there. That is, can be said of no other, no other religion. And um, Hebrews 2:14, we don't have to go there but, He is the destroyer of death and the devil. So he is the, he is life. He is the conqueror of death.
And he left us this scripture which was finished with Paul with, when he penned the last chapter of, 2nd Timothy and then met his, met his death. He left there the instructions. His final instructions for the church, including 2 Timothy 2:15, which tells us that we have to read this book and rightly divide it.
Missing in most of the churches in town. There is a church, I got a picture on my camera, that has on its, on its building by the door, Study to show thyself unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed. And that's where they stop. Not adding, rightly dividing the Word of God. We need to do that. If you have not, if there are people here who believe this book now, or haven't made the decision, in 1 Corinthians 15. This is the best, description of the salvation message that's out there. This is verse 3, For I deliver unto you first of all that which I also received, How that Christ died for our sins according to scriptures, And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scripture.
If you believe that, you are part of him. You will spend eternity with the Lord. And what could, what more could be said? I thank you for your attention. let us pray, with, Lord, thank you for the opportunity you've given me to present these thoughts here in front of the congregation. I hope that these words, hit home and can help us in our, in our walk with Christ.
In whose name we pray. Amen.