By what power or by what name?

By: Steve Haselden You see a blue light flashing in your rear view mirror.  You heart is pounding, anguish takes over your mind, “was I speeding? What is the speed limit on this street anyway?”  “I’ll show this officer who boss, I’ll take this to court!”  The officer stops behind you, gets out of the cruiser.  You see him in your rear view mirror as he struts up to your car.  You power down your window and gaze up, and all you see is a huge badge on his chest. That badge represents power and authority. Yes, you broke the law by speeding, and the officer has the power with authority to write you a ticket or arrest you. Power is inert, just waiting to be released. A form of quiet and gentle appearance. It cannot be created by itself; a source of potential energy must do so. The biblical Greek word for power is “dynamis” which is translated, “dynamite.”  It means, “force, miraculous power, a miracle itself.” Virtual power has importance and living without it would create problems. Our homes, for instance, would sit in silence; no sounds of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwaves or hair dryers.  Ovens would sit cold and food would spoil in the refrigerator. The blackness of night would be as thick as molasses and daylight the envy of wishes. So power is good when used for our well-being.

Peter and John just healed a man who was lame from his mother’s womb.  An ensuing crowd gathered around them to hear about the mighty miracles of Jesus.  The crowd grew to thousands as he preached until late that evening; some five thousand were saved. These men and women came to hear the Word, but most importantly they believed and received it. They were not in the synagogue sitting on those cold stone benches listening to the Jewish authority read from the Torah.  Astonishment set in, “how can it be that these unlearned men can do such things?” They asked. These leaders had seen the power of God. Watching the things that Jesus did, mighty miracles, healing the sick and the lame walking again. And a new doctrine; one of salvation through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. However, the more they heard Peter preach, the more intolerant they became. “Enough of this, arrest them now,” the religious leaders commanded. Peter and John then spent the night in prison.  The next day they appeared before the religious leaders and were asked a powerful question, “By what power or by what name do you do these things?”Acts 4:7b.
Each day the Church is being asked this same question.  But for some reason we continue to evade the correct answer because of political correctness.  I don’t want to offend anyone, or we’re just afraid to speak the truth.  A powerless faith is a useless one.  Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us.  Peter had nothing but faith to cling to. Our generation is out of control and it seems that people are looking for something or someone with power and a name to believe in. We are witnessing this in our politics this season.  A restless voter looking to have faith in someone with power and authority.  The faithful of old stood up and proclaimed this power.  Can you imagine Wesley, Whitfield, or Edwards being politically correct?  I think not. Yet today, the Church is powerless because we have no faith to release it.  When will we speak with power again?  When will we be the remnant of the voices before us? Maybe it’s time Church, if not now when? We can’t be wrong to go forward and to be faithful.
So carry your candle, and run to the darkness – Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn – And hold out your candle for all to see it – Take your candle, and go light your worldTake your candle, and go light your world,”

By: Kathy Troccoli “Go light your world” Lyrics by Christopher M. Rice

Narrow minded

By: Steve Haselden

Have you ever heard of a statement like “he is a narrow-minded person?” The obvious is we all know people like that.  The Webster’s meaning is: “having or showing a prejudiced mind, as persons or opinions; biased.”  Those of this persuasion cause others to be un-easy around them.  We withhold conversation, or just don’t divulge interests.  Their mind is not subjective.  They have an attitude of I’m right and you’re wrong.  Nothing excites them to re-consider, with crossed arms they are satisfied. You could consider a farmer as narrow-minded. He will not change his way of planting or harvesting his crops. His methods have been refined over the years of famine and prosperity. Yet, he would prefer prosperity any-day, so he has a prejudiced mind. So a position of being narrow-minded is good, but only when truth is welcomed and not error.  We can be narrow-minded about many things in life.  Some could be life long causes, is “Global Warming” true or false, is “Capitalism” better that “Socialism,” the list goes on. But only one narrow-minded position should be considered above all.  This has eternal consequences: that is Heaven or Hell. 

                The bible teaches that Jesus was narrow-minded.  His statements are of God, as He is God in the flesh.  He said nothing softly about His Deity and what is demanded to become one of His disciples.  “I am the way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)  “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:34)  “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)  Jesus was explicit “you must be born again to enter into Heaven.”  These are just a few of the demands that true believers must encounter and live by. Anyone who studies these verses will see that Jesus’ narrow-mindedness  caused Him much grief.  Everyone rejected this theology except the chosen ones.  Here is a very important fact.  Believers in Jesus Christ must be narrow-minded.  Because the way of the world will lead you into the broad way of destruction.  Let’s not follow this path, but be on this journey to that celestial city of God.  Therefore a broken heart excites the potter to make a new one.  Let that heart be yours today.  God’s love is as honey of the bee that never spoils.  He just waits to melt your heart with Grace and leads you to release all of yourself to this never ending love.  So, being a narrow-minded person is not so bad.

Does Grace come with a price?

By: Neil Anderson 

 If you want to know something that is dangerous to your health (spiritual health, that is), this is it. And it is not brand new. It’s older than the New Age collection of pieces of ancient cults revived during the 20th century and the Emerging Church Movement, but younger than the Reformation. It dates from the time of C.I. Scofield and L.S. Chafer, and it flourished under men like Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie, and Charles Stanley.

 The main idea of this ‘gospel’ is that one act of faith (the belief only kind) guarantees eternal security regarding  salvation for one who makes such a profession, regardless of whatever sinful lifestyle he may practice after his one act of faith, saying he believes that Jesus is his Savior [but not his Lord].

 This belief only ‘gospel’ claims that God’s only requirement for salvation is justification by faith, which the proponents of this system say means belief only. According to this way of thinking, belief is faith. Any works of righteousness applied toward sanctification are not of faith but of works. Accordingly, a person’s one act of faith (belief) may become shipwrecked, and the person may deny his faith, but his salvation remains secure. He is just a Carnal Christian and may lose some rewards.

 What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong is that it is not Biblically complete or correct. Is this not a false faith, a miscarriage of a supposed spiritual birth?

 The Bible teaches that God does not justify anyone who will not be sanctified. The so-called positional sanctification at regeneration is only the beginning of a person’s purification process for making him fit for the kingdom of heaven. There will be no persons in heaven who are committed to a life of sin during their physical life.

 Please take note of the following verses.

 Lev 11:44a ‘For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy…’

 1 Pet.1:15-16 “…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

 Heb. 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:”

 Rom. 8:13-14 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” [eternal life or eternal death]

 Heb. 3:14 “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,…”

 1Cor. 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners  will inherit the kingdom of God.”

 Gal.5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

 These verses are directly from the Word of God. God’s wisdom says believe the truth, while man’s wisdom may say otherwise.


New King James Version, © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.