Sparks from the Gospel Anvil
Is it true? Can it really be true that the Lord Jesus Christ can save people from their sin? That is the claim don’t forget that. Now supposing anybody met you on the street or came and stand in front of you and said, “Christ Jesus claims that He can forgive sin on the earth, can you prove it?” What would you say? Would you want to get some theological book down from some theological archive and hunt up some record to prove that the Lord Jesus Christ is able on earth to speak peace to a guilty conscience? If anybody came to me and said, “Can Jesus Christ forgive a person’s sins?” I would say yes He can. When? On the spot! Where you stand or kneel or even sit, how would I prove it? Because He has forgiven me of my sins, once I was blind, now I see; once I was bound but now I’m free; He changed my sighing into a song; my wilderness into a garden in which there grows flowers of Paradise and peace and joy and righteousness in The Holy Ghost. As the poet stated, “ He came in my darkest night and shed around me rays of light”. And look at this for a moment, nobody could do this but Jesus Himself. There is nobody in God’s world that can do that but Jesus, no human fingers can reach the spot of sin and cleanse it totally from within. Nobody but Jesus can speak the authoritative word that will liberate an enslaved spirit. Listen, nobody but the Son of God can remove a guilty stain that a soul that has been smeared by contamination with the world, the flesh and the devil.
When the image and the superscription that He placed there Himself in the beginning-when that has been erased by contamination, only the original Creator can bring back that superscription and that image again. And blessed be the God who can do it. And those cruel Pharisees, when they brought that poor woman and accused her of her sin. They did not know, their eyes were sealed, they did not comprehend the spiritual life and power, and they said, “What will you do with a sinner like that? Moses commanded that she be stoned; what do you say?” Jesus said, “ He that is without sin among you, go on, cast the first stone.” And the Light, which is the Light of the world, just put illumination enough in their guilty conscience to blister them, and they knew they were wrong. And then they began to sink away each and every one of them. And then Jesus said, “Woman, where are thine accusers? Is there nobody?” She said, “Nobody, Lord,” and then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” Nobody, but God could make that statement! Sin is such an ugly thing that nobody but God dare bid it depart. Jesus said that 3 times; He said it to the man that was laying at the pool of Bethseda, He said it to this woman, and in the second chapter of First John the Word tells us, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.”
So this is a Divine Command, but it also tells us if anybody sin, we have an Advocate. But He does not encourage us to sin, but to be sanctified, Holy, Why because the Lord is Holy. I would rather be Charles Smith this side of Calvary with all of the limitations and imperfections and unworthiness and human nature and sin- I would rather be Charles Smith this side of Calvary than I would be Adam in the Garden of Eden on the other side. If I sin, I have an Advocate-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust; He made us out of dust. Like a Father pitieth His children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. Jesus saw beyond the action and looked upon the heart. Someone said to me the other day, you don’t know me I have a good heart, Lies. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9,10) Jesus said, “20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23). Well you may say, “I know it’s my heart!; I had a bad start, a bad beginning.” Well you won’t go to Hell for having a bad beginning, but you will for not receiving the remedy!” the Lord Jesus Christ suffered once to destroy sin, so why do you want to pick it up after attending church services and allow the devil use you as his play thing. Put down the drugs, put down the alcohol, put down the pornography, put down those things that are going against God and His Word and go and sin no more, and receive the remedy which is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lt. Charles Smith is commanding officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.
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Ancient Words: Miracles of Faith
The Reality of Angels
Do you believe in Angels? Do you really believe in Angels? God speaks thru the Ancient Words over 300 times about events with an angel, two angels, and even to a host of angels. We understand from Bible texts that angels exist in the heavenly realms, the 4th dimension, yet can be manifested and seen in our 3rd dimension. Abraham sees 3 men who are angels, Lot sees 2 men who are angels, a 4th man, (who is an angel), is seen in the firey furnace of King Neb. Angels were created beings by God—they are not created creatures like animals—for angels understand God’s commands and do his bidding, they obey his will (Psa 103:20-21 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will). Angels express emotion and feelings (Job 38:7 While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy, Luk 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents). Angels do not die, they are eternal; they do not marry and do not have little angels. The angels, Michael and Gabriel are still living beings today and have been since their creation by God and fulfill their purpose as warring angel and announcing angel.
Angels move from the 4th dimension—heaven— to our 3rd dimension—earth for the express will and glory of our Father, God. Jacob received this vision as he lay his head on the stone for the night (Gen 28:12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it). Jesus many years later reconfirmed Jacob’s dream to Nathaniel (Joh 1:50-51 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man”). We do not worship or serve angels, instead Angels minister to us (Heb 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?).
Angels in the 4th dimension have wings! God instructed Solomon to build the Temple in Jerusalem with specific and detailed instructions. In many ways (if not all ways) the earthly temple was a reflection of God’s temple in heaven. The Temple of God in the 4th dimension (eternal) was expressed in the 3rd dimension (temporal). God told Solomon to construct 2 Angels or Cherubim to guard over the Ark of the Covenant in the Inner Room of the Temple (2Ch 3:10-13 For the Most Holy Place he made a pair of sculptured cherubim and overlaid them with gold. The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the temple wall, while its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the other cherub. Similarly one wing of the second cherub was five cubits long and touched the other temple wall, and its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the first cherub. The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main hall). With a cubit being about 20 inches (elbow to tip of finger), each Angel has a wing-span of over 15 feet. These guardian angels, made from olive trees and overlaid with gold, were God’s blueprint and not Solomon’s. Therefore it is no stretch to conclude that these Temple Court Cherubs were made in the image of real-life Angels in the 4th dimension.
The Apostle John counted the angels in heaven in the most prolific writing within the Ancient Words about angels (Rev 5:11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders). The count is over 100 million!! And they sang as recorded in Rev 5:12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” And the angels joined all creatures in heaven and earth and sang as written in Rev 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” Amen!!
Scott Johnson is pastor at East Faulkner Church of Christ and author of the BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.