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Stephane H. Maillet
Stephane H. Maillet
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Welcome

  • All sorts of things, including, yet not limited to... 1. Addiction Classes 2. In-depth look at World Religions, Denominations, and various beliefs both past and present. 3. Christians Online, the science of communication on social media. 4. How to plan a successful evangelistic outreach in your community. 5. Helping our children grow up believing in God. 6. Husbands & wives, the godly roles which must be respected. 7. The single parent and its challenges. 8. ... and more to come.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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The “social gospel’ creates a social club.

Denominations do not believe that the Bible is the sole source of fulfilled revelation for us today. They invoke other elements outside, apart, and separate from God breathe literature. The Bible is simply not enough to change the hearts of men, so therefore we must come up with other ways. These other ways take away from the work of God produced in the hearts of men when they read the Bible (Rom. 10:17). It elevates uninspired men above the ability of the inspired Book. And because of this, they apply other means of evangelism as the bait which attracts mankind to social environments. They never venture deep water. The idea operates in such likeness, “let’s feed them physical food, but never spiritual food. Let us clothe the flesh, but never the mind. Let us have our youth in all sorts of fun and active social activities, but let us never exercise their minds with the word of God. Let people know more about food and sports than the Bible and worship. Let us convert them to a social entourage in the hopes that osmosis for Christ might take place.” 

Sadly, we’ve allowed the practice of denominations to be the standard we embrace as Christians. We believe that the more influence we have in the community as a social club where folks have “fun,” the more “growth” will accumulate. 

Saints, we must certainly try to be social people. People who invest their time with the community. Friendly people. People who display a sense of fun and interaction. People who are attracted to speak with. Approachable. We must, as Paul, the apostle would say, do so “to save some.” But the sole “bait” we should be using to catch fish, is the word of God. The gospel therein. For no other source is a productive branch in Christ. If seven days of the week are filled with social/secular enterprise, and but one hour is spent with the Bible. We will lose the spiritual battle and miss the eternal mark. 

The “social gospel” will never convert souls to Christ our Lord and Master. It will always blossom more lost individuals for the Devil to swallow. How do we get into the community? By publicly proclaiming the word of God with strength, courage, no shame. Yes, this will cause for persecution. Awkward moments. Discouragement and division (Mt. 10:34). But it will also please God and cause for genuine and honest growth. It will attract the right kind of soil (Acts 2:37-47, 8:36-39). 

“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 marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” - Heb. 4:12

SM
addedsouls.com
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Stephane H. Maillet
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"Addiction?"

Why do you think people become dependent on certain sinful lifestyles? Because it tastes bitter? Because of all the destruction and division? The reality of eternal punishment?

No, friends.

Wine, women, and song is the warmth you find under the wing of a dragon. It's the "heaven" you can see and experience now. You'll do anything for it. Love at first feel. Breaking all the rules. Nothing is more important. Your soul. Those you care for. They hold no sway to the priority at hand. This moment of release. The elixir which keeps your dreams young. Them familiar skies, roads, faces, music. The whispering wind. Roots weaned in illusion. The lava which masquerades of peace and freedom. It never goes away. Riders of the storm in a desert of peyote. White horses and a witches brew. Gas trees and woven blurs. Fragments of a broken mind. Bleeding eyes. Thoughts of dream and seismic imaginations. Nothing is more attractive to the flesh. The inner elements of euphoria, nostalgia, and oasis. Desires of myth and excess. The repetitive clinch. The serpents bite. The devil's footprint. A beast in white clothing. It is always waiting for your return.

The many woes behind the curtain of substance abuse.

That "thing" which keeps my people dying. I understand it most well. It's the crippling pain that wakes you up at night. It's the isolated sorrow that lingers in your heart when you must say goodbye. It's the darkness and void left behind. It's the never-ending agony that threatens us when we entertain change.

"Sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll." How did I ever leave the clutches of such a powerful adversary? Pay attention. The cure. By seeking greater power. By filling the void with the truth of Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Young people. Stay away from fornication, alcohol & drugs. Bad company corrupts good morals.

I’ve been the exception to the rule. Most die out there.

Contact me and I'll help you learn the purpose of life (Mt. 6:33).

SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
Public post
TITLE: Be the ONE from the TEN

This past Wednesday we had a wonderful thanksgiving service. And many Scriptures were read which reveal the necessity of thanksgiving from followers of Christ. And one such section of the Bible will be our lesson this morning… 

TEXT: Luke 17:11-19 - the ten lepers. We ask ourselves,… 

Have we ever thanked our employers for having a job?
Have we ever thanked our teachers for educating us at school?
Have we ever thanked our first responders & soldiers? 
Have we ever thanked our parents, family?

When we take the time to sit down with paper and pen, we can come up with a full page of people we should be thankful for. And the Bible is filled with examples of such necessity if we are to be thankful people. And yet our greatest thanks is designated to God the Father, His Son, His Spirit. Let’s go deeper, shall we?  

In this recorded account… 

- Christ is making His way fulfilling His ministry and the prophets. He continues to walk towards Jerusalem. And in this recorded moment He identifies 10 individuals plagued with leprosy. 

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract. ... Leprosy produces skin ulcers, nerve damage, and muscle weakness.”- health line .com 

  • The amount of pain, disfigurement, stench of rot and sorrow, would become common ground for those plagued with this terrible pestilence. If we can discern the amount of medical depravity these poor souls were going through, we can most certainly discern the emergent need to find a cure. And therein have our spiritual lesson this Lord’s day. 

READ TEXT LUKE 17:11-19 

These 10 souls knew who Jesus was, for they believed in Him (Luke 14:1-6 might give us insight into the fact). And so they proceed to beg for Christ’ attention. He is the source of their healing. They’ve apparently seen Him heal leprosy before.
Vs. 14 is most revealing.

Jesus recognized their penitent, submissive, and seeking heart (“when He saw them, He said to them”). He proceeded to give them conditions of an active faith (“Go and show yourselves to the priests”). They obeyed (“and as they were going”) and as a result of a working faith, “they were cleansed.” God told them what to do in order to receive cleanliness. They did what Jesus told them to do. And they were cleansed. Simple. Interesting to note, faith has always been the reason, but obedience has been the necessary bridge to reach the desired result.

- The Old Law demanded those suffering from leprosy be exiled from the community due to uncleanness (READ: Lev. 13:45-46; Num. 5:2-3).

If leprosy would be cured, they had to first show themselves to the high priests in order to have the ability to return to the people (Lev. 14:2-32). So what is the spiritual application God intends for us to learn this day? Twofold.

  1. Can’t have what is unclean, among what is clean. 
  2. We must be thankful for what is made clean. 

So, #1. You do not want any uncleanness infecting the camp/congregation, because it has a way of spreading and bearing fruit, even many years later. 

For example, one summer several years ago as I labored for the Riverview congregation in N.B. Canada. A very kind Christian couple (members of an assembly in the US) came to visit us. They worshipped and had fellowship with us for a few weeks. On the outside surface, we were greatly encouraged to have them with us. But what we were unaware of at the time was their spiritual uncleanness. You see, they secretly warmed up to members who were not properly versed in the Bible (members who had been sitting in the pews for over 30 years mind you). And they introduced dissension to them in a kind and respectful way. Masquerading as an angel of light. These thought that the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were not New Testament books, but Old Testament Books that needed to be done away with. That we no longer need to live under. And so, because these members had a lack of spiritual discernment, they found a tickling ear to know more. And more they received. This Christian couple would give these idle members, false teaching in secrecy. Until two years later, it surfaced its ugly head among us. It was bearing fruit. Separation was taking place, these members had in turn become disciples of error and were further trying to convince others to believe this falsehood. Making those they converted twice the children of hell (Mt. 23:15).

And so, we lovingly tried to study with those infected with this spiritual leprosy, but it was too late. The faithful had not addressed it soon enough. And so these members left the faith, and Brough their children, and their grandchildren with them. These proceeded to “open shop” for themselves and contact everyone to convince them to turn to their doctrines. I think you can understand that this caused much pain, sorrow, and discouragement. I then purposely-educated myself with their false doctrines and proceeded to teach the congregation. So as to never again allow the fold to be snared by such spiritual leprosy. 

If these lost souls would return to Christ, they would have to do so through the proper channels (“show yourselves to the priests”), they’d have to sit down with the leaders and show fruits of repentance (signs of healing). And once fully cleansed they’d be warmly welcomed back into the camp. And we’d thank God! 

The same is told of another example. A fornicating couple, unclean among us. We had to approach them and separate ourselves from their unrepentant behavior. Because if they’re allowed to remain in the fold while fornicating, why can’t I stay here also as a drunkard or adulterer? (see the disease spread?). For they were already separated from God, we just caught up to it. Now if they repent, they must go through the proper channels, and we shall warmly welcome them back into the fold. And thanksgiving shall be extended to our LORD and MASTER.

If you have an honest and humble heart, you’ll understand the spiritual teaching being proclaimed to you this day. And so, back to the account here… 

- Not only were these “malads” (a French word for “sickly people”) scorned in the flesh, they further had to be separated from the location of blessing because they were unclean. 

Application: Outside of the body of Christ, we are separated from Him due to our uncleanness, SIN. Oh, it may not take physical form (though sometimes it does), it most certainly is seen within (“by their fruits, you shall know them”). I’ve seen many Christians who shine bright as a new penny on the outside, but then you realize they are far from faithful within. They are caught up in a spiritual rut, not willing to grow and expand scriptural potential for sake of compromise. 

And just like Jesus tested the faith of these lepers, so He does also with us this day. Can we recognize it? Are we pierced like the Jews of Acts 2:37 who obeyed? Or are we pierced like the Jews of Acts 7:54, who murdered Steven? We move forward… 

Jesus told them to go visit the high priest before they could see the results of their healing. It takes faith to do something before identifying any results. When the doctor says, “trust me, follow this diet.” The image we see in the mirror doesn’t yet tell the tail of results. Yet, we trust in the doctor and follow the diet. And months later the image in the mirror (outward) and bloodwork, inward, tells a different tale. 

When Christ says, “go into that water so I can wash your sins away with my blood.” It takes faith to believe such a thing because we have to look with spiritual eyes. For if we don’t, all we see is water and getting wet. We’ll never see salvation (Mk. 16:16), a new birth (Jn. 3:5). And we’ll keep arguing against Christ pinning His words against each other in trying to justify our lack of faith and thankfulness. 

We move forward and recognize in this account that Jesus remains legal. A law-abiding citizen. For He knows the proper channels necessary, they must go see the high priests. He’s obedient to the law He was born under. 

One of the healed, the Gentile (Samaritan), recognizes the great turn in his life that has taken place. He was once in hopeless uncleanness, and now he is made whole, pure, cured.

This was very strong and forceful teaching from Christ, very offending and controversial, for by implication He’s saying that the 9 who did not return to thank Him, were Jews. He’s telling religious people that they are wrong. 

It what supposed to be understood that the Jews had to give thanks to God for their cleanness (Psalms 107:20-22; 103:1-4; 100:4). But yet here a point is being made, the Gentile is thankful. Another sign pointing to the day when the Greeks (that’s us) would warmly be given the gospel also (Acts 10). And how they would more quickly accept it over the Jews who ultimately brought Christ to the cross (Acts 2:36). - ——— I’ve had more success teaching Bible truth to heathens, than teaching Bible accuracy to most Christians. Because most Christians think they already know it all. They look down on you. Heathens who seek freedom in Christ, are open vessels soaking in the truth in a pure form. And these repentant heathens who come out of a sinful world, can’t get enough of the Bible, they want to know about every spiritual thing imaginable. They want their questions answered. They want to grow in their knowledge. They don’t want to remain surface. They want to lay nets in deeper water. They want to learn to discern error from the truth and defend it. They want to be able to discern fluff from meaty and challenging teaching. And this greatly offends Christians who are idle and apathetic. And that is further why preachers like myself are not welcomed in many congregations these days. 

This Gentile, which returned to Christ in thankfulness. His faith made him well. When Christ said, “go,” he went. His trust in Christ made him act upon the command. Resulting in being healed. He didn’t say, “well those Jews didn’t need to come back, so why should I?!”

Today, we too are dying in uncleanness (SIN - spiritual idleness, apathy, vain worship, the inability to discern error and spiritual threat, fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, denominationalism). The cure remains Christ, He tells us “go,” and we need to “GO.” Only if we “go,” shall we achieve the desired goal,  freedom/forgiveness/salvation. It takes faith (Heb. 11). And there is no thanksgiving to be found outside of Christ. For what are you thankful for? Being lost? 

If you are outside of Christ, it takes faith to repent and be immersed in water so as to be saved (Rom. 6:3-4). If you are in Christ already it takes faith to grow, to go further in the word which challenges our accustomed thoughts which may have been within us for decades. 

Friends, I’m not here with style in order that you follow me. I’m here so that you follow the Bible. Because once I’m gone, those who follow the Bible will continue to do so. Those who follow man will fall. 

If you are the ONE from the TEN, please come forward for salvation or renewal, thanksgiving, and hope, as we stand and we sing. 

SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
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FLESH VS. SPIRIT, which are we led by?

TEXT: Galatians 5:16-26

CONTEXT:

Paul in this section is following up his previous rebuke against Judaism (1-15), for some Christians were still trying to practice Old Testament law (“circumcision”). The church needed to be instructed regarding their error and in turn, be encouraged to pursue practicing the New Covenant. For mixing some sections of the old in with the new create separation from Christ (5). And so, they needed practical instruction to understand and follow. No longer are they to be led by the flesh, but rather the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit). They needed to let go of the world and its desires in order to now practice love and truth. And so, Paul was going to give them specific ways in which that is to be done. 

The idea that Christians should not be led by the flesh, was conveyed to the church in Rome also, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” - Rom. 6:6
And so, in this section of Galatians, we’re going to see two categories…

INTRODUCTION

  1. Led by the Flesh
Allowing the world to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 

  1. Led by the Spirit
Allow the Word of God to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 
And in no way, shape, or form, is this section of Scripture teaching us that we are somehow demonically guided to do evil deeds of the flesh, nor is it teaching we are miraculously guided by the H.S. through sensational mysticism to do the deeds of the word. Both would be a breach of gospel and free-will. Everything here is orderly and sober, we can know it, make sense of it, and apply it to our lives. 

BODY

  1. Led by the Flesh

Fornication - “illicit sexual intercourse, including incest and homosexuality.
Uncleanness - “religious corruption” (Mt. 23:27)
Lasciviousness - “sexual overtones, sensuality, sexy, public indecency.” 
Idolatry - “the worship of false gods, and/or anything more important than God.”
Sorcery - “drug use to enhance sensation in connection with false worship”
Enmities - “hostility towards others, antagonistic, unfriendliness or opposition” 
Strife - “contentious, causing unrighteous arguments and controversy.”
Jealousies - “resentment toward others for what they have.”
Wraths - “explosive display of anger and behavior” 
Divisions - “church splits over unimportant issues and personality clashes.”
Parties - “segment groups which promote heresy.” 
Envyings - “the desire to deprive others of their possessions.”
Drunkenness - “the alteration of one’s normal mind”
Revellings - “noisy, rowdy, wild conduct, usually by drunkenness.”
Such like - “everything above and beyond mentioned in this text.”

  1. Led by the Spirit

Love - “agape, sacrificial” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
Joy - “not earthly pleasure, but deep inner hope of Christ and doing what is good.”
Peace - “knowing that being faithful you can go to heaven one day”
Long-suffering - “doesn’t give up when life gets tough”
Kindness - “sweet & gentle behavior towards others.”
Goodness - “moral excellence according to God’s standard.”
Faithfulness - “trust in Christ and fidelity, commitment, to His teachings.”
Meekness - “strength in submission to God, humble and patient.” 
Self-control - “personal discipline of mind, and body against temptation.”
Against such there is no law - “abide and abound in these virtues.”

CONCLUSION:

We must not try to add anything of our old self into our new self. At what very moment did this transformation of old to new take place? Romans 6:3-4

INVITATION:

If you would like to leave the old self in order to become a Christian. To let go of being led by the flesh in order to now be led by the Word of God. Please come forward as we stand and sing.

SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
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DEMONS: a faithful study 

This effort is designed with love, respect, and kind attention. It is purposed to bring us into a more accurate understanding of the matter. I am well aware that it will challenge your current beliefs, for it also had challenged mine. And it took me many years to fight through false indoctrination and finally humble myself before God and accept reality regarding this topic. And so, all I ask is honest attention, and that we genuinely examine the Scriptures together. Even to the point we deny our past affiliation to erroneous notions, in order to now wholeheartedly and soberly accept the evidence of this case in which I shall present.

A bit of background and personal declaration… 

I was born in 1976, raised in a place called “Scoudouc” New Brunswick Canada. East Coast. Atlantic. The Mariners side of things. Woodsman, fisherman, hunters, truck drivers, factory workers. Working hard, and playing harder. And as I remember growing up in a family and community which welcomed and embraced sensational beliefs, it was common knowledge and culture to nourish our worldview when it came to the topic of supernatural experience (i.e. ghosts, demons, angels, miracles, etc). A people naturally attracted to proponents (those in favor of) mysticism.

From European descent, our religious forefathers passed on to us the tradition of Catholicism (a religious denomination created from apostasy and political influence - 1 Tim. 4:1-3, birth centuries after the church Jesus had built in Jerusalem - Acts 1&2). This, “Universal Church” (Catholic Church) gave us food (grocery) and education (schooling). And so we trusted in their doctrines. And these teachings embraced and encouraged the sensational idea of personal and direct demon (and/or deistic) activity in the physical realm.

And so, it was furnished upon us from birth, that the supernatural has never ceased, and that demons and their possession of human beings were as real as daylight. This, of course, would further promote our thoughts into the mystic. As those living in constant fear that the movies, books, magazines, music, and denominational perspectives were indeed true and real. We exchanged reality for myth and called myth, truth. And billions of souls this day live in constant fiction. The thought that either the Devil or the Holy Spirit can do things to us which scripture has since revealed, ceased.  

It is my greatest endeavor to have you return to God with me, as we step away from the lies we’ve so quickly embraced, understanding full well how warm and comforting it can be under the wing of a dragon. For we must step away from our false sense of security in order to receive the ultimate and complete peace, of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master through His perfect Word, Bible. Who, in Him, we are protected from error. 

And so, we first ask ourselves… 

WHAT DOES THE WORLD BELIEVE ABOUT DEMONS?

Hollywood movies, books, music, and magazines. They portray demons and demon possession with charismatic entertainment. Obnoxious, over the top, and far from Scriptural accuracy (i.e. 1973’s “The Exorcist” - “the most profitable horror movie ever made” - IMDB). We see therein what the world perceives and teaches as demon possession. Fanciful. Attractive to our carnal fears. Ignorance of the unknown. Curious enterprise. Dark charm. And the captivating power of a “soiree noir.” But is that accurate?

And in like manner, the denominational world follows suit with sensationalism (“the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke interest or excitement”). Fear tactics to produce wealth in false religious positions regarding demons, the Devil, possession. 

And these misguided sources (Hollywood & denominations - “demon-nations”) were birth from three defining terms:

  1. Relativism - “no one can ultimately know objective truth”
  2. Pluralism - “no one person is wrong, everyone is right”
  3. Emotionalism - “my feelings are what truly matter, regardless of science, history, facts, logic, reason, Bible.” (i.e. what I’ve personally, religiously, experienced outweighs reality/truth). 

And so, when we experience gruesome, barbaric, and most depraved violence. Our knee jerk reaction is to allocate supernatural activity to the event at hand. Because we’ve been birth into this disposition. It is what makes the most sense to us at this misguided moment in our lives. 

For example, one who is intoxicated with excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. At times will act out in public with a force that can only be subdued with numerous police officers. Was this a supernatural moment? Was this man possessed by a demon? Or can it be scientifically explained through the natural process? I respectfully petition your mind toward the latter of the two.

And as we make progress into this study we shall realize that such cases do not stand in fellowship with the recorded accounts found in the New Testament Bible. And along those lines, we ask ourselves… 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT DEMONS?

Absolutely nothing, if you refuse to foremost respect the fact that the Bible is the sole source of inspired information we have from God this day. Without respecting the authority of the Bible you’ll keep coordinating sensationalism with the 3’ “isms,” instead of God. But for this purpose and study, we shall assume that the audience, respects the authority of the Holy Writ.

We must lay down a foundation. When Christ came to earth some 2000 years ago. It was not out of sheer happenstance (coincidence) - Gal. 4:4-7. It was well crafted by the providence of God in order to introduce His power over evil, to save mankind from their sins (Mt. 1:21).

This He did in order to point people to the teachings of the New Covenant which were prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament. And so God allowed the spiritual realm (demons in this context) to enter into physical reality in order to fulfill His gospel plan. Spoken of elaborately by Zechariah 13. 

People needed to see the power of Jesus in order to be drawn to His teachings. So as to confirm that He and His apostles were from God, and not man. This section of history, where God once again intervened with mankind for the last time on earth, was for a specific people living in a specific time. And this fulfilled purpose is now available to us in witness form, the perfect word of God, the completed Book/Bible. Providence in motion. 

And so, we move into a section of the inspired text. The demoniac accounts in the Country of the Gadarenes will reveal some answers regarding what the Bible teaches about demons: Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-13; Luke 8:26-39

For this study we shall read Mark 5:1-13

King James Version (KJV)

5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he (Jesus Christ) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3a Who had his dwelling among the tombs;

  • Naturally what is unclean would be among the dead, according to Old Covenant (ref. Numbers & Leviticus). In this case, the demoniac is dwelling with darkness, uncleanness, death.

  • b. and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

- supernatural indwelling, possession, and force taking place in this account and context. 

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he (Jesus) asked him (the demon), What is thy name? And he (demon) answered, saying, My (one entity identification) name is Legion: for we (unclean spirits) are many.

10 And he (a demonic entity) besought him (Jesus Christ) much that he (Christ) would not send them (unclean spirits) away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding (unclean animals).

12 And all the devils (deceivers, unclean spirits) besought him, saying, Send us into the swine (allow us to remain with what is unclean), that we may enter into them (the swine).

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine (unclean animals): and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (what is unclean remained uncleaned, sinful, and drowned. It was never born again). 

The world says that demon possession happens behind closed doors in a basement somewhere. It will try to convince us that it takes days, weeks, months, perhaps years to cast out a “demon” by the hand of a priest. 

Yet in this recorded account, we see the opposite. What the Bible reveals as demons and their supernatural possession, is not in fellowship with modern depiction. 

Another important fact is that the so-called demons of the world do not recognize the truth or the source of spiritual authority. This is why modern-day Satanists are spiritual frauds. For one cannot be a true Satanist if he has never known what it is to be a true Christian. Simply meaning, you’ll find stories that alleged demon-possessed vessels feel threatened of denominational figures such as Catholic Priests, Pentecostal charismatics, or certain TV evangelists. Yet how would a demon have fear of what has no spiritual authority? Or for what reason would a demon fear one who is on his side? Jesus knew this fact recorded in Mt. 12. Our sole source of inspired information reveals that even Demons believe (Js. 2:19). They know exactly who the Christ is, and who His followers are. And they can spot a fake (Acts 19:15). And those who had true miraculous gifts were able to discern mental illness from authentic demon possession (Mt. 4:23ff).  

The demons of the Bible were public and defiled. They recognized Jesus as God, having all authority over them. They would remove free-will from vessels they would indwell. They were allowed for a time to wonder the earth and cause problems. And they were well aware that they had chronological stewardship of existence among the physical. 

“Have you come to torment us before the time?” - Mt. 8:29. What time was that? Well, the time in which demons would no longer be allowed to do what they were currently doing. A time when the Word of God would have been perfected, accomplished, completed. A time when the age of miraculous gifts would cease (1 Cor. 13:8). Again, this very accurate truth was prophesied in Zechariah 13. I encourage you to read and study further. 

It is important to note that some who cling to a false agenda, or ignorant teaching, will remove the context from said verses in order to remain under the wing of a dragon (comforted by a lie). They will say that only when Christ returns, miraculous gifts shall cease. But all Scriptures, as a unit of inspired literature, rightly divided, does not lend itself to such a misguided interpretation. 

Please reason with me as we seek further evidence,… 

Mark 16:14-20 

The context. Jesus is speaking directly to His apostles regarding specific people during a specific age. Telling them that gifts of miraculous power would be laid on to believers (i.e. those who have been immersed in water in order to be saved/forgiven of sins by the authority of Jesus Christ, the power of His blood & resurrection - 1Pt. 3:21). And one of the miraculous gifts they would receive would be “cast out demons.”  

READ TEXT

14 Afterward he (the Christ) appeared unto the eleven (the Apostles) as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15 And he (the Christ) said unto them (the eleven), Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name (with the authority of Jesus Christ) shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them (as was promised to them in John 16), and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Important note. To cast out a demon, it took supernatural power (i.e. “gifts of the Holy Spirit” - Acts 2, & 10). These gifts could only be passed on by the apostles, and to those, it was passed unto, they, in turn, could not pass to another. Which is why both demon possession, and the gifts to cast them out, extinguished at the end of the 1st century. Once the perfect had been fulfilled, confirmed, completed (the Bible). This is God’s will.

This spiritual fact is simple if we logically reason together. Demon possession was a breach of the natural order, and also of human free-will. It was permitted for a time in order to confirm the Word (in other words, to write the New Testament Bible by the hands of men who were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit). The transitional period, which was temporary until the perfect word of God was complete (Js. 1:25). 
Necessary implications must observe that if any demon possession takes place today (like so many will advocate), supernatural gifts must still remain available (if not? God has set us up to lose the battle, a battle not yet won), and the Bible is not yet been confirmed (i.e. it has not yet been delivered once for all - Jude 3, it is not yet all-sufficient for life and godliness - 2 Pt. 1:3). And that further implies that Peter was mistaken when he said we’ve been “born again through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pt. 1:23). For how can one be born from something unaccomplished and lacking inspiration and perfection? If we indeed need more confirming of new Revelation? How can we trust our salvation? We can’t. We fall short. We miss the mark. 

With this information now brought to your attention, it is impossible that any other verse/s you might want to go to in order to prove otherwise, be done so without contradiction. For example, once you know repentance is a necessary component unto salvation, no other verse in the Bible should teach against that, right? Same for demons and possession today. So you can know that Ephesians 6:12, and others, are not to be taken out of context in order to sensationally mythify the accuracy of a doctrinal truth. 

Friends, we can’t have it both ways. We cannot believe in physical supernatural demon activity in this current age, and believe the Bible is 100% accurate, perfect, fulfilled, and complete. Either we will endeavor to catch the wind with the world, an impossible task (with all its mysticism and mythicism - 2Tim. 4:4). Or be grounded on the foundation of truth, which is the Bible (i.e. God breath literature - 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  

It is true, that many evil and most wicked things are happening today. Some of the like in which our minds simply can’t fathom. Like the murder of babies. Like sodomy performed on children. And it is also true that the power of suggestion, hypnosis, and the study of personalities can’t lure us into all sorts of false positions. But none of these is a breach of nature, none of these are supernatural demon possessions or activity. They are merely a witness to the amount of depravity humankind can stoop down to, free-will runs amok. 

And so, In one belief, we die eternally and remain vulnerable to the influence of a wicked world. To believe that demons still exist in the natural physical realm, with the power to possess human beings, is to succumb to a deceptive fear which will hinder our salvation.

On the other, we have spiritual security and strength. Reality and truth. We need not fear the supernatural. For it has since ceased. We can trust the complete Holy Spirit-filled word of God, which is alive and changes minds across ages and cultures. We need not anything separate, detached, apart, and severed from the Bible. In this age, God the Father. His Son. The Spirit. All work through the Bible and providence. Nothing is in need of an addition, or subtraction. 

Friends, the supernatural has ceased. Demons exist, no doubt, but they no longer manifest themselves into the physical vessel. 

What remains is love. Love never fails. God is love. And love (agape - sacrificial), mercy, and grace is extended to all who wish protection from sin and its influence. 
Christ said, “whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.” If you trust in Jesus enough to believe, repent, and be immersed in water with His authority, for the reception of remission? You can be saved, and protected from all evil, within the location of all blessings in Christ. Outside of Christ, sin flourishes and has a hold of you. The influence of the Devil still has power over you. Not so, when in Christ. The location of the saved. The acquired citizenship of His kingdom. 

Step away from the “ism’s” of the world. Let go sensationalism. Deny yourself and pick up the cross daily. Be soberly made well with the power of the gospel. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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One Husband. Two Wives. One Child.

Gen. 16:1-6

Bad decisions made by Sarai, Hagar, and Abram. Lack of patience and faith takes place. God suffers their polygamy. Sarai did not anticipate Hagar’s equality with Abram. Strife and division have flourished from these events. All because God was not the sole source of inspired authority in which they sought council. And so, trusting in themselves, and not going through the proper channels. Some disorder and bitter feelings had set in. 

And now it’s time for the LORD to intervene once again among mankind, so as to direct their paths towards His preservation, security, and providence. 

Hagar’s Moment

Genesis 16:7-16

Verses

7.

“Angel of the Lord” = Jesus (2nd person of the Godhead)

Hagar is found traveling back to the area in which she was from. Returning “home” if you will (Egypt). She was out of her place (which was now with Abram & Sarai), and out of the way of her duty (submitting to Sarai & being a wife to Abram), and going further astray (separating herself from the designated area of safety and work). 

APPLICATION: 

Do we not have safety and work to do as citizens of the kingdom of GOD? Most certainly! Do we at times go through very difficult moments due to our lack of faith, patience, and poor decisions? Absolutely! We at times choose to follow our own hearts instead of the Bible, and we suffer the consequences of it (i.e. church splits, divorces, unbelieving children, etc). 

8.

Jesus’ asks Hagar two questions. Not because He does not know the answer but rather because He has plans for her, and she needs to learn something.

Where have you come from?” - On the surface the answer is simple and literal, she just recently came from Abram’s camp, fleeing from the presence of Sarai. But the question, when understood from the idea behind the original language, brings much more depth to the context. The LORD is trying to bring to her attention, a remembrance, the journey she’s been on in her life thus far. She used to be in the hands of the Egyptians, and now she’s in the hands of the blessed (Abram). She was outside the church and needed to go back. The lineage of God’s people. There’s a difference, and so the LORD further asks… 

Where are you going?” - Are you going back to the Egyptians? Hagar needed to think deeply about the ramifications of her current direction in life, away from her designated area of safety, duty, and blessing. She needed to look at the future, both if she decides to return to Egypt (which would be death), or return to Abram’s camp (“church”) to partake in work and blessing. 

APPLICATION:

When we deal with difficult moments in our lives, we must remember from where we come from, and where we are going. This will sober us up, away from our misguided emotions and back into the direction of our LORD. Acting without God’s authority will divide us as the church. Remembering these questions will keep us united and working together (i.e. evangelizing, being benevolent, not forsaking the assembly, giving right and living right). 

9. 

The LORD commands her to go back, and not only go back but submit to Sarai’s authority. The very person she’s currently having a “beef” with.

APPLICATION:

We must repent when we find ourselves straying from the source of discouragement which at times takes place within the church. We must remember that we were much worst off before Christ and that in Him we have blessings and work to do. 

ILLUSTRATION:

Two Christians in the church get into a fight (could be a married couple, family), one decides to leave the church and go back to the world (“Egypt”) because he can’t stand seeing the other. They should remember our LORD’s questions, should they not? Of course! Remembering such will cause repentance to take place, and unity once again.

*Our kids get into a fight, do we adults in reaction start fighting among ourselves, resulting in some falling from grace? Again, let’s remember our LORD’s questions.

10, 11, 12.

And so, on top of verse 9, as a continued consequence to the polygamist context they put themselves in, Hagar’s lineage will be numerous. And though that might be a blessing in one sense, in this case, it will be a curse also. 

The LORD has “given heed” to her affliction. Meaning He took special attention, He took notice of her current situation and used it for His providence. 

The LORD mentions how this child will be a son named Ishmael (name meaning: “God hears” in relation to Hagar’s pain and suffering). 

The LORD further describes the behavior of this child in that he will be untamable, wild, and dangerous. He’ll be fighting against everyone and everyone will be fighting against him. 

13. 

After this declaration, to Hagar. She addresses her perspective regarding the encounter which took place between her and the LORD. She recognized that the LORD had recognized her. 

The LORD revealed Himself to her and instructed her into repentance, “return back to your duty (“church”), under the leadership of Sarai (“Christ”). 

Hagar was amazed that she was able to have direct interaction with the LORD and survive it. She was humbled to have had the LORD’s presence with her. 

14, 15, 16. 

Hagar obeys the LORD, and so the LORD’s will remains on course and Hagar receives blessings. 

And so the LORD intervenes with mankind. He begins by declaring His ability to recognize exactly who Hagar was. Once His presence established, He preaches a sermon. One which utilizes two questions in its fullest capacity, designed to bring forth repentance (“return”). He concludes with the cure to Hagar’s troubles, her submission. And as a result of a perfectly crafted sermon, the desired goal is achieved. Hagar returns to the camp.

With this principle, we can apply the same pattern of inspired instruction to our lives. Have you separated yourself from the church? Think about where you’ve been, and where you’re going. Repent and return. Submit to the authority of Christ and His elders. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? EVERYTHING. 

1 Cor. 13

Context:

Christians in Corinth had been given the ability to perform miraculous gifts. They needed instruction as to how to properly conduct themselves with these gifts. They also needed to utilize them with a righteous mind, intended to be used for the further growth of the gospel and the kingdom therein. 

Verse…

1. Communicating to men with language, void of love & truth. 

Tongues of men” = Supernatural ability allowing one to speak in a known language that they had never learned before. A natural linguistic among mankind, uninspired, common. If this power was not used for the gospel, it became noisy and useless. 
 I’ve never spoken Chinese, I’ve never learned the language. If at this moment I would begin to speak the language (with the understanding of the words I am uttering). This would be miraculous. For it would break the natural law.

Tongues of angels” = a known language that would come from a messenger of the LORD with a purpose to declare direction or command. This language, if not for the further purpose of Christ, is nothing but useless noise.  

This language has absolutely nothing to do with modern-day denominations who claim the gift by incoherent mumblings. God always communicated in an orderly and understandable manner. That’s why Paul made sure they knew what the gift was for, who was to use it, how it was supposed to be used, and the office of interpreter. 
Paul is simply revealing a spiritual fact. It doesn’t matter what kind of known language you speak if it is not backed by agape love, it bears no fruit. If it does not seek to further the cause of Christ, it is noisy and useless. 

2. Communicating to men with powerful display, void of love & truth. 

So not only are verbal communicative skills useless without love (whether from men or from messengers). The same applies to anyone who would have power beyond their ability. If you had powers above and beyond your ability, perfect power and faith like God, without love? Useless. If you could literally move a mountain (an impossible task but for God), without love? Useless, you’re just making noise.

If you’re not proclaiming the right gospel (Gal. 1). If you’ve either removed or added to it. Your talents and opportunities are nothing but deafening, loud and useless, so much so people can’t hear the purity of the true gospel around you, because your noise drowns out the truth. 

How many religious leaders out there, with big names and big money, have millions following and supporting them? Noisy gongs. Who are they converting to Christ? No one. They are useless. Why? They don’t use their influence for the greater good of the kingdom. They are enemies of the cross. 

Paul is making it very clear for these Christians. If you’re not speaking the truth in love, stop your noise!

3. Communicating to men with benevolence, void of love & truth. 

It doesn’t matter how many needy people you help out, feed, lodge, cloth. If there is no purpose to give them gospel truth? Useless, noisy, unproductive. You are producing nothing but a deafening racket.

You can have all the money in the world, without love you are but a sounding brass. It seems to be greatly important, it calls attention to itself, but not to what is important. It has no lasting value. It does not lead anyone to Christ. It does not have the right kind of heart. 

Paul tells the church that anything they do without love is useless. So naturally, Paul is now going to tell them what love looks like. In order to be useful, productive, fruitful. 

4-7. Communicating to men with love, the Bible kind of love. 

“Patient” = You’re suffering long with everyone. Not quick to dismiss someone because of their immaturity or lack of scriptural knowledge.  

“Kind” = Gentle with people. You don’t want to break them. You want to build them. 

“Not jealous” = It does not find joy at the misfortune of others. You pray for their success. 

“Does not brag” = It does not try to build self up while tearing others down.

“Not arrogant” = It does not boast in societal standards (i.e. I’m smarter, bigger, richer, etc).

“Unbecomingly” = Not rude, do nice things to others (i.e. open doors, etc)

“Does not seek its own” = You don’t have to have it your way all the time, allow other people to decide also. You might be surprised at the value of their participation. 

“Not provoked” = Not irritable, being easily annoyed or made angry at everything and everyone. Getting worked up about every little thing that ultimately holds no true spiritual wealth for your faith. 

“Account a wrong suffered” = Taking inventory of the things people have done wrong against me. Holding a grudge till the nth degree. Never letting it go. Waiting for a reason to bring it back up as a weapon.  

“Do not rejoice in unrighteousness” = in words, behavior, and practice which is against doing what is right.

“Love rejoices with the truth” = the truth being preached and practiced, honesty. 

“Bears all things” = puts up with everyone, no one is perfect. 

“Believes all things” = desires to believe the good in others. 

“Hopes all things” = has full trust in the promises of Christ and counting on His faithful followers.  

“Endures all things” = perseverance in the most difficult trials, tests, circumstances. Never give up on Christ and His church. No matter how difficult things may come. 

8. Miraculous Gifts will cease, but love will remain.

Love is the great equalizer, everyone can be the same with love. Back then not everyone had the same miraculous gifts. And so it caused problems. It was not perfect. It was transitional. It was to confirm the word of God. All of the miraculous has since ceased in the 1st century. And now we have the two remain elements, the Bible & love. 

And who better teach us about the Word of God & love, than He who is love (1 John 4:8) and is the word. Jesus Christ (John 1:1). 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16

“If you love me keep my commandments.” - John 14:15

If you want the love of Jesus and His family in your life this morning, you simply need faith in obeying His loving gospel. 

“Whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved. Whoever does not believe shall be damned.” - Mk. 16:16

Without Jesus (who is love) in your life, you are but a noisy gong. Stop being spiritually useless, repent of your sins and allow Him to save you.

Come forward as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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THE LORD'S SUPPER

The Scriptural thought behind “observance” is one of “watching,” being “vigil.” We must be awake and sober.

THE BASIS

The Messianic memorial had an origin (Gen. 3:15). It was to have a designated time of appearance and practice (Gal. 4:4). For it is intertwined with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Birth from the mind of God, and conveyed through the agency of prophets (Luke 24:44). A coming Messiah would free mankind from the bondage of their sins. This orchestrated system of intelligence would be rendered null without the purpose of salvation to all who “ask, seek, and knock” (Mt. 7:7). Christ came and fulfilled His ministry, and this gave birth to a new age which would have a new Law (Gal. 6:2). And this stewardship was transitioned into authority through His death, burial, and resurrection, nailing former ordinances to the cross (Col. 2:14). The memorial which was to be instituted would be a blessing for all citizens of His kingdom. An outward action declaring “ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.”

THE PURPOSE

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man may law down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). Jesus of Nazareth had predestined from His genesis, the forgiveness of sins to all who love Him (Jn. 14:15; Mt. 1:21). Because of this good news, we trust in Him. And therein, our individual accountable selves are to be in proper worship (Jn. 4:24). The emblem of “agape” was shed on a cruel Roman cross. For this reason, we are set free from lawlessness through His blood (Mt. 26:28). In this irrefutable endeavor, we are privy to the partaking of the supper. This meal instituted and administered by the great “I AM” and His Son the Christ our Savior. If it were not for this pivotal moment in history (accomplished through His might) we would be forevermore lost. A tragic and most detestable thought (1 Cor. 15:14). The purpose behind the practice we so traditionally declare is to have Christians remember the death of He who gave Himself willfully. For He “was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is. 53:5). We are feeble creatures, petty and forgetful. We spend our days tampered with worldly influence and temptation. God in His infinite knowledge and power, from His mind, knew He would command finite man to remember the passing of His Son through the New Covenant. The uniting factor found in the source of this nourishment allows us to share with the Lord and our brethren according to First Corinthians 10:16-17. We must understand the purpose of this remembrance and the fact that it is not a common “snack,” but a specific moment of worship as noted in First Corinthians 11:20-22. To partake of bread and wine is to amplify the sacrifice in our minds, the most important memory (1 Cor. 11:23-24). This commemoration proclaims our Master till He returns (1 Cor. 11:25). The impetus of this repast is such that it must be done in a worthy manner, or else we find ourselves heaped in judgment (1 Cor. 11:27-32).

TIME & FREQUENCY

It’s only natural we move along to display the time in which partaking of the Lord’s Supper is practiced. We can trust that if God made certain to establish the basis of the feast and its purpose, He will also reveal the day in which we must revisit the cross. The significance is profound, for it extends depth and accuracy in God’s ability to know all things. He planned it from a system of pattern already weaned throughout the ages, in His people. The memory of deliverance from Egypt. The tradition of the Passover. This program of intelligence tailored a faithful spotlight, paving the way for a more mature worship. Interesting to note - Jesus was murdered and buried on Friday and resurrected on Sunday (Luke 23-24). This day was no serendipity. The unit of chronological measure and God-ordained architecture was orderly. His guidance leaves no stone unturned. We are given precise terms and conditions of obedience. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were to remember the Passover. They were given specific instructions. And so, now under the New Covenant, we can investigate the recorded accounts of our fellow brethren in the first century. For we learn from these, the authoritative fashion in which they partook. Evidence indicates a weekly observance (Acts 20:7). 

CONCLUSION

We are to partake together every Sunday when willing and able. We are to consume in good faith, love, and unity. We are to take of the bread first and then the cup. We are to remember the death of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. And as long as we do this, we declare His truth to a dying world till He returns. This application is to be executed eagerly and with tenacity of conviction. Observance of the Lord’s supper. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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3 ways to evangelize & 3 reasons why

WAYS

1. “Ninja” = leaving gospel material and contact info in various places (i.e. cards, mailboxes, restaurants, with a tip, pinboards all over the community, washrooms, hotels motels, anywhere and everywhere) 

The "ninja" method will be known as a cold transfer to the gospel.

The Ethiopian had gospel material, he had a scroll with the words of the prophet Isaiah, the Bible. He had acquired inspired content through some cold transfer, since he did not yet receive the personal preaching of the meaning of the text he was reading. 

2. “Personal” = one on one bible studies with people, either through building a friendship first or not. This personal approach may have come as a result of your “ninja” efforts, perhaps invitation to worship. 

The "personal" method will be known as a warm transfer to the gospel.

Once Philip the evangelist embarked on the chariot with the eunuch, he was able to make a warm transfer. Philip preached Jesus Christ to this religious man seeking to please God. Philip properly interpreted the Bible so as to reveal Christ through the Old Testament writ.

3. “Public” = this is the open proclamation of the gospel in areas where people congregate (i.e. religious establishments, social media, colleges, universities, shopping centers, markets, festivals, parades, etc)

The "public" method will be known as an open transfer to the gospel.

Once the Ethiopian understood the gospel, he further urged Philip to immerse him in Christ through the water he could see. This was a very public display of gospel obedience. It produced a Christian that day, one who went on his way rejoicing.
 
There is an ocean of example recorded in the Bible regarding men of God openly, publicly, declaring the gospel. The purpose of Christ. The uniqueness of His kingdom, church. The plan of salvation. The spirit and truth of worship. Exposing sin. Calling all to repent. All public and courageous. And this pushed many souls away, but it gathered a few to obedience.

REASONS

1. Reach the faithless = Luke 19:10 “for the son of man came to seek and save those who are lost” – Jesus used all 3 approaches of evangelism in order to save the lost. We would be wise to learn from Him. 

2. Renew the fallen = Luke 15 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

3. Reinforce the faithful = 1 Thess. 4 “therefore encourage each other with these words.” – a message of promise, hope, eternal completion and peace. The hope and strength to persevere (never give up). And the fear of judgment motivating us to evangelize. 

If we grow to learn and utilize this tactical point system strategy to its maxis reach, we shall produce a sizeable crop for our Lord.  If we get snared in the leftist weeds of Pharisaical criticism towards our fellow saints regarding talents/opportunities they may surpass us with, our jealousy and divisive behavior will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Idle. Vain, useless, a stumbling block of discouragement.

May we strive to be sincere, honest, and genuine with our evangelism. It does not need to be perfect, but it most certainly needs to be loving and courageous.  The minute I knew what Mk. 16:16 really meant, I was sharing through all these tools. I may not have known how to defend anything else, but I was proclaiming Jesus to people none the less. Now throughout the years I’ve grown to season my craft. And I know you can also if you try.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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TITLE: The unity of weak & strong Christians.

TEXT: Romans 15:1-7

ILLUSTRATION: Two armies meet for battle, each has a representative.  

On one side we have a warrior, nine feet tall, wearing armor approx. 150-200 pounds, a giant. But he had no wisdom. He never had to trust in anything else but himself and his items of warfare. Like the Egyptians to their horses. He’s a heathen. He has raw strength but a weak spirit. His appearance is strong, no doubt. But he is the weaker one inwardly. Very intimidating outwardly, lacking maturity inwardly and as a result it cost him his life and the defeat of the army that day.

On the other side one much smaller in stature, a youth, but he had wisdom. His experience with trusting God when conquering beasts (bear & lion), gave him the upper hand. Because of his experience in life, though limited in time on earth, grander in knowledge, He had God on his side. And he had the wisdom to know that. In this sense. And this is why David was able to kill Goliath with a sling and a stone (1 Sam. 17). 

We Christians might face outwardly strong adversaries in the religious world, yet with the Bible and a faithful heart, we can persevere and conquer.

There is another interesting perspective in the account of David & Goliath which pertains to the principle we seek expound on this day. David was the outward weaker brother according to his own people the Israelites and his siblings. His inward strength was able to unite the army in defeat of the heathen (Philistines).  David was able to pass judgment on the opinion of his weaker brethren and siblings in order to become selfless and victorious for God, uniting his people. This was the greater objective. 

THESIS: “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.” (Rom. 14:1)

THEME: “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weakness of those without strength and not just please ourselves.” (Rom. 15:1)

INTRODCUTION:

1. The Weak brother
2. The Strong brother
3. Our unity and fellowship in Christ.

BODY:

Romans 14, gives us insight on the interaction which must take place between weak and strong Christians. The weak brother may appear strong on the outside, yet weak on the inside. The weak brother is one who’s opinion, scruple, conscience, is fragile and needs proper attention. He might find offense in things the stronger brother has since studied and settled on.

* Perhaps matters of eating certain foods, and/or practicing certain holidays. The weak brother means well and is convicted in his current positions and he is faithful to God in his liberties. The strong brother must respect that in so much it does not breach the doctrine of Christ our Lord and Master.

The Romans 15, brother, is the stronger one. Perhaps appearing weaker outwardly, yet stronger inwardly. He is the brother who will suffer long the weakness of his fellow saints and in such being selfless to conquer any divisive temptation.
*This of course in no way means compromise regarding matters of salvation (i.e. social drinking of alcohol, MDR, plan of salvation, method of worship, and Christ-like behavior).

1. The strong have responsibility, a higher standard of patience, bearing the weakness of those without strength, and doing so without passing judgment on their opinions, all while remaining selfless, thoughtful of their spiritual wellbeing before our physical wellbeing.

The account of David displays this caliber of spiritual principle very well. David was the stronger brother who did not pass judgment on his brethren when they mocked him and his statement to defeat Goliath, mere opinions, nothing worth hindering God’s victory that day.

2. The effectiveness of this standard and command is one which allows peace between one’s neighbors for the encouragement of the congregation.

3. Christ is given in this context as the example to the stronger brother, the servant, the one who sacrifices himself for the greater good of the kingdom and the unity therein. The book of Psalm is quoted, again Paul writing to Christians in Rome backing up his inspiration with God breathe literature.

4. The source of our strength, perseverance, is found in the instruction of the Old Testament accounts. Through the Old Testament witness we today as Christians never give up on our hope in Christ.

Our law is the New covenant, and our way to live it out properly is found in the education of the Old Covenant. For it delivers the nature of Christ and principle of God for mankind. In this case, His example of strength, selflessness, and unity.

5. How? Through the Word of God, the work of the Holy Spirit! When we read the account of David & Goliath we grow in the knowledge of our Christ-like faith.

6. Why? That we be united, weak & strong together! And not be divided over matters of opinion.

7. As a result of this information, we must accept each other, all different levels of spiritual maturity and conscience, just as Christ accepted us for His glory and kingdom.

CONCLUSION:

David was the stronger brother during the days of Israel and the philistines. And because he did not pass judgement on their opinion of him, he managed to conquer the Giant. He was selfless. And this united Israel during that event.
We are to be united in our efforts for the greater good of the kingdom. Whether weak or strong, we must work together to bring growth, guide the lost of this dying world, to Jesus Christ.

INVITATION:

And we do that with gospel belief and obedience. When the Ethiopian Eunuch had heard the truth of the gospel from Philip the evangelist (Acts , he pointed to water and needed to be immersed in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, therefore being added by God to his kingdom as a citizen.

Once a member of this family, born again into it, given the family name of Christian, you will now learn with us to remain united and grow each day with us for the good of God’s purpose.

If this is your faith this morning, please come forward and be saved by Jesus in the waters of baptism, as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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TWO BUILDERS

TEXT: Luke 6:46-49

THESIS: When we build our faith according to the law of Christ, we spiritually prosper.

THEME: Confusion and division is the result of a foolish builder.

INTRODUCTION:

1. The wise builder Noah builds the Ark (Gen. 6:13-16, 22)

2. The foolish builder The sons of men build a tower (Gen. 11:1-9)

3. What kind of builder will this congregation be? If wise, we shall remain. If foolish, we shall perish.

LET US READ THE ACCOUNT OF A WISE BUILDER: GENESIS 6:13-16, 22

Noah paid attention to every detail. Not out of meritorious work. But out of faith and love for his God. He respected and feared the Lord. That’s why he didn’t build the Ark with any other blueprint and material. That would have been foolish. And it would have resulted in his death.

If we build our faith like Noah we’ll remain in the vessel of safety, the body of spiritual security, the kingdom of provision, the church belonging to Jesus Christ. How? We will obey the strict instructions commanded to us in this New Testament Law of Christ. We shall not deviate or compromise the plan of salvation. We will remain pure in worship with the right mind and doctrine. We shall respect proper Christian behavior and principle. We shall embrace and practice church discipline when necessary to keep His church undefiled. We shall love our God and His people. We shall evangelize and seek to extend benevolence. We shall utilize all our talents for the greater good of His kingdom. Whether that be on the computer, at the voting booth, or a meal with our fellow neighbors.

In this Ark, this kingdom, this church, we receive all spiritual blessings. May we never take that for granted. May we allow His grace to teach us the craft of discernment. Making us wise. Teaching us to reject what is evil, and cling to what is good.

LET US READ THE ACCOUNT OF A FOOLISH BUILDER: GEN. 11:1-9

The problem with the "sons of men," was that they wanted to build for "ourselves." Selfishness and pride. Thinking themselves high and mighty without the need for God. "Even God couldn't sink the Titanic!" God will not be mocked. Punishment and consequence must be administered, righteous justice.

If we build our faith like the sons of men we’ll be separated and confused, no longer productive. Incoherent. “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas.” Unable to understand each other. And is that not what we see today in this religious landscape of denominationalism? All sorts of different teachings, confused and separated. Churches built by men. In their misguided attempts to gain God like status they are divided and lost. None of them teach the unique plan of salvation. None of them practice worship in spirit and truth. And because of that none of them is “good” in the eyes of God. Oh they can build, but what they are building will be uprooted. It won’t last forever.

Let us read Luke 6:46-49

46 - Sons of men (foolish builders)

The Lord brings the “sons of men” a question to the accountability of their foolish and vain construction. They publicly speak praise of Christ. Publicly declare to be a religious people, Christians. They reach for the sky. Yet they refuse to live according to the New Testament Law? They neglect to do what is demanded by God? They do not obey the proper plan of salvation? They do not worship in spirit and truth? They do not live right before their fellow man? “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” – Js. 2:14. Of course not! Dead faith never moved mountains, nor has it ever trusted in Christ.

47, 48 – Noah (wise builder) The wise builder is one who seeks Jesus Christ and His words (Rom. 10:17). He is not a hearer only, but he is a doer of the words Jesus has spoken. Because faith Biblically described, is one of love and action. It is a faith which took much sacrifice. It is not just surface and timid. It is inward and productive, public.

The wise builder will construct a vessel which will conquer the coming challenges. He will dig deep and lay down his foundation on Christ, the solid ground of His Word. He will be reading, studying, listening to faithful sermons and attending the assembly, evangelizing, being benevolent, active in fellowship. And because of his participation in doing things the right way, he will pass on this faith to his children. Who in turn will keep the inspired traditions and remain positioned on a hill in Spencer WI. Being active in this faith will allow us to remain safe and secure when health issues arise (sickness, disease), persecution (hostile people or government), and loss of loved ones (perhaps does passing from this life outside of Christ).

49 - Sons of men (foolish builders) Everything is opposite of the sons of men, the sons of disobedience. They certainly heard the gospel. They had the same opportunity as the wise builder. Yet they refused to do what they read. They did not dig deep. They did not sacrifice much.

And so when hard times came, times of obedience came. They fell and were eternally ruined. Divided and confused. Lost and unproductive. And it is interesting to note that the foolish person can build. He just can’t build anything that will last forever. What he builds is but momentary. It has no deep roots.

CONCLUSION: Two builders. The wise (he who believes and is baptized shall be saved) and the foolish (he who does not believe that shall be damned).

The wise will this day act upon his faith. He will tell others about Jesus. He will obey the gospel and continue to live faithfully.

If you need to respond to the gospel call and have your sins forgiven by Christ, come forward as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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WAS JESUS, "POLITICAL?

Politics: “The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a Nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.” - A.H.D.

We pray for growth. A member suggest an evangelistic direction. "Nah, I'll pass. God will take care of it." We die spiritually.

We pray for work. A friend calls with an opportunity. "Nah, I'll pass. God will take care of it." We die starving.

We pray for healing. The doctors find a remedy. "Nah, I'll pass. God will take care of it." We die of sickness.

We pray for moral leaders. The right candidates are presented. "Nah, I don't vote. God will take care of it." We die of tyranny.

What good is a prayer answered in the hands of an unresponsive and neglectful Christian? Pearls before swine.

May we be doers.

What we tend to miss is the fact that Jesus was very political. We assume "politics" synonymous with corruption for ill gain and vain promises. Not necessarily so. Christ came to promote and establish His kingdom, and the governing rule and regulations therein. He wanted to influence the people into repentance and acceptance of His new Covenant. So, in that perspective, Jesus was a very "political" man indeed, campaigning for his party wherever He may roam. Recruiting for His cause. His promises were just. His law is pure. We'd be crazy not "vote" for Him, right? We have a unique opportunity at this age to make His policies our governing authority. It is with my limited knowledge of the matter our founding fathers tried to achieve this. Changing our government to its foundation, "we the people." And it could be like that if we'd simply allow our minds to understand the proper use of our blessings. Looking at things through spiritual lenses. This unique time and Country. We should get involved. We should use our influence to establish the government of Christ. But such does not happen overnight. We need to unite and take action. Vote for the greater good until the greater good is Christ-like.

These are simply my thoughts and I refuse to bind anything. I love my brethren either, or. But I do think my line of reasoning, though perhaps not explained in its most accurate state, is sober and scripturally principled. I truly believe Christ would think of us wise to participate in politics (according to definition). 

Christ was to fulfill the prophets. He was to set man free from sin. He had to die on that cross, willfully. And He did. None of that removes our responsibility to our fellow man, and the Nation in which he inhabits. If this day, "we the people," would take a vote. And this vote would be either to release the babies (stop abortion), or release the murderers (abortionists). Would we vote? It is my honest opinion that we most certainly should. And I further say that perhaps Christ would count us wise to do so.

“We the people" must move towards the greater good, GOD :)

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Stephane H. Maillet
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“GO FORTH"

“The Lord said go forth,… so Abram went forth.” - Gen. 12:1-4

I once shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with two different persons. One was mixed up in all sorts of religious error. He had every kind of misguided understanding. He kept pursuing denominationalism, but never reality. “Always learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). He rejected the simplicity of the gospel. He rejected the uniqueness of the church. He thought it foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18). He never went forth. He remained lost.

The other person was an atheist. He had not been vapored by the many religious lies of the previous man. And so he was able to read the Bible with unbiased “eyes. What was sad about this man, is that he understood what the Bible plainly said regarding salvation and the Church. His blind spot was unwillingness to accept the truth of it. And so another, never went forth.

What if we simply allow our hearts to let go worldly tradition, roots, and security? Bias and rejection? What if we release all misguided things we’ve ever assumed, perceived, believed regarding God and His Book? What if we are willing to trust in the promise of God, His oath to save us? Can we simply leave everything behind and trust in His Son? If we have a humble, genuine, and honest mind to seek His love and grace? Yes. We shall indeed “go forth.”

The gospel awaits all searching hearts. Jesus said, “whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved.” (Mk. 16:16). And if we have no false religious pollution in our mind, we’ll see the pure public expression of obedience. “Saved by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8-9). It is at that very moment a man is made well with His Savior. The very moment a repentant believer confessing Christ is immersed in water with the authority of God (Acts 8:36). This we do in order to have our sins washed away (Acts 22:16). A loving verse which speaks something every God fearing person will “go forth” with, “why do you delay? Get up and be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” 

You are buried into water for the blood and resurrection of Christ to save your soul (1 Pt. 3:21). Nothing to boast about. Nothing has been merited or earned. Simply submissive to God (Js. 4:7), a new life (Jn. 3:3). Raised from the dead (Rom. 6:3-4). 

Abram sacrificed everything (Gen. 12:1). Left everything behind to pursue God and His guidance (Gen. 12:4). He “went forth.” Will you?

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Stephane H. Maillet
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IMMERSION = A BURIAL

"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," - 1 COR. 15:1-4

"LOOK! WATER!" - Acts 8:36
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Stephane H. Maillet
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IS ALL SIN EQUAL?

1 John 3:4  “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

2 Thess. 1:8-9 “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

This is true. We believe this to be factual. Reality, Bible.

And also we accept, Mt. 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Do children steal, lie? Yes. And so why does God still identify them as pure and innocent? Must they immediately be baptized?  And what of the accountable individual who sins after he or she has been born again? Does God immediately send them to hell?

Why would John say in 1st John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
If all sins is equal in God’s eyes, why are children, and faithful Christians exempt from the eternal consequences?

And what of these few verses, John 19:11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Gen.6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Why did God wipe out Sodom? If indeed all sin is equal in His eyes?  Why would God allow earthly law the justice to decide what laws have been broken deserving of capital punishment, if all sins in His eyes are all equal and deserving of the same sentence? Romans 13

Credible questions to ask ourselves,  Are child molesters equal to adulterers? Would you rather live next to a young couple fornicating, not married, or to a child abuser and pedophile? Are not all sins equal?  These questions deserve answered, and rightly divided Scripture most certainly answers them.

God has a standard of Justice in which He sees all sins as punishable by law, yet His law reflected on this earth must be just. And so that’s why we don’t give 25 with an L, for the young kid who steals a pack of gum from the corner store. Yet things are changing in this wicked and dying world. Because Christians can no longer discern the difference between the greater sin, we allow all sin to be tolerated, and therefore "how dare you speak out against Homosexuality and not against the kid who stole gum. How dare you say we have to vote for adulterers instead of baby murderers?"  Imaging this conversion with your neighbor Joe, Joe’s daughter has been beaten, raped, and murdered by her 8th grade teacher. You approach Joe and say, “hey Joe, sorry to hear about your daughter, I can completely understand, my daughter got laughed at today for praying in public. You know God sees all sins as equal. And because of that you’ll soon get over it.” How do you think that conversation would go? Not well at all. Because it’s unscriptural and illogical, makes no sense.

If we could simply understand how to discern these things, we’d vote for the greater good instead of the greater evil, and we’d make progress in building a Nation for God.

If all sin is equal, why is it that a Christian can lose His salvation? Think about it, really, if such were the case we’d never be able to fall from grace. Because “sin is sin?” No, God identifies willful abitual sinning as greater than the one time sin repented of. And why would you not immediately be separated form God upon that moment of weakness? Because again God knows you’re walking in faith and so He keeps you in His fold washed by the blood of His Son. That would be impossible for Him to do if all sins were equal in His eyes.

All sin is wickedness, true indeed, but not all sin is viewed the same way in His eyes. Sin washed by the blood is seen differently. High handed sin is seen differently. Why did God allow Abraham to bargain with Sodom? Why would God have relented form His judgment if even 10 souls could have been found?

Friends, I beg you, please consider your ability to discern this matter. We can become powerful for Christ if we begin to recognize our spiritual strategies in conquering ground for God. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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GREETINGS,

We wish to extend our warm welcome to all friends and family willing to attend worship with the members of the church which belongs to Jesus Christ, here in Spencer. You are our honored guests. And we pray that what you see and hear this day will challenge your curiosity to know more, and return again one day soon. For there is a reason you have been invited, being one of eternal wealth. And it goes far deeper than the wonderful fellowship we shall experience. There is a call to authority taking place, necessary for all who seek freedom in Christ, authority which calls us to obedience, proper worship and behavior.

None can judge a man’s soul into torment, or paradise. 
ILLUSTRATION:

I once had a co-worker at the factory. And he would fall asleep on the job when the boss was not around. I would have to yell at him (“wake up!”), at times shack him, less he lose his job (i.e. pay cheque, benefits, the ability to provide for the family). Not once did he ever say to me, “how dare you judge me.” More often he would thank me for saving his job. You see, we may not have the authority to fire anyone, but yet still we have the authority to warn of the coming danger and consequence. And to remind each other of the benefits if we indeed remain employed and not fall asleep.

The sermon this morning is titled: A WINDOW INTO THE AFTERLIFE

So many walking this earth wish to have insight into the afterlife, yet they go seeking instruction from the wrong sources (i.e. the entertainment industry, perhaps TV evangelists, etc). Either out of ignorance or because they simply rather believe a lie, than the truth. And therefore sadly come away with a false sense of spiritual security. A false hope in a heaven they will never see.

Text: Luke 16:19-31

The historically recorded account of a moment captured in the afterlife between two men. One man sent to torment, and the other to paradise. It can be trusted as true, and we can most certainly learn a great deal about our lives in this lesson. A lesson that will unite friends and family or divide them.

Thesis: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for *Jesus Christ sake shall find it.” – Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:25).

Theme: “verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house (security and material belongings), or parents, or brothers and sisters, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 18:29-30).

In this recorded account delivered to us through inspired literature, the tale of two men who once lived on this earth reflected their eternal existence.

READ: LUKE 16:19-31

Luke 16:19 - A rich man who lives a comfortable life. Nothing wrong with riches, we had a sister in Christ written about in the Bible who was also wealthy, remember Lydia? (Acts 16:14). But this man in question, trusted in his riches instead of God. And that’s the problem. His riches made him disobedient, never benevolent, never humble and willing to learn.

Verse 20-21 the account of a different man than the first - Lazarus, a man in need of love and care, scrounging for scraps the rich man would accidently drop from his table. This Lazarus, was laid at the rich man’s gate (they would typically beg for alms), to add to the shame he was covered in sores, on top of that, he’s starving for nourishment, so much so he’ll eat the scraps. Even the dogs have more mercy on him than his fellow man, his neighbor, the rich man.

Verse 22 -This verse is interesting because it tells us that Lazarus, the poor man, was cared for after his moment of death. But the rich man was left in the grave. It’s interesting because on earth the rich man was the one being served and cared for, but Lazarus was neglected. 

Verse 23 - And while in the grave he found himself in the land of the dead, in the area in which eternal torment is found and experienced. And to add to his agony, he could see Lazarus now living in paradise, the realm, reality and location of peace, and care. Again, a reversal of circumstance has taken place.

Verse 24 - And this rich man now soberly awakened to his eternal demise, begs for mercy from God, and refreshment from Lazarus. He describes his punishment as agony, extreme pain. - Interesting to note, that this rich man who was used to having everything he wanted from his slaves, still now thinks Lazarus should be put to service. He’s still confused on this reality. He has no authority here. Lazarus is not his servant over here. He doesn’t get to have what he wants here.

Verse 25 - and so the patriarch of God answers his request in a negative form, to teach him this new reality he finds himself living in. During his physical life he could order anyone around, he had all the money and power. Living the good life, not worried about some sick bum begging alms outside the gate. - You see, the roles have been reversed. The rich man gave up eternal wealth for momentary riches. And Lazarus was now the wealthy one, the kind of wealth which never leaves his account dry.

Verse 26 - To add to his punishment, the patriarch Abraham reveals to him the seriousness of his situation. There is a chasm/a wall designed to separate those in torment from those in paradise. Interesting how even in the afterlife we see a wall separating the good from the bad. - Interesting to note that Abraham says “between us and you.” In torment you are alone. Yet in paradise you are among friends. And it would not be paradise if we could see our loved ones in torment, would it? Lazarus needed not be reminded of the rich man’s treatment on earth, nor punishment in the afterlife.

Verse 27-28 - Now the rich man tries to find a way to reach his relatives before they continue to choose the same path which led him to everlasting torment. And interestingly enough he still wants to use Lazarus as a means to this end. He knows his family members knew the poor man at the gate.

Verse 29 - the patriarch Abraham further describes the rich man’s inability to perceive the spiritual reality he now finds himself in. - Abraham tells this rich man that his brothers have the BIBLE, if they’d simply read it, study it, believe it, and obey it, they’d have more than what they need in order to stay away from torment.

Verse 30 - The rich man knows his brothers don’t care much for the Bible, Moses and the prophets therein. And so he further gives his last attempt in saying that if Lazarus appears in-front of them, a man risen from the dead, a man his brothers would recognize as having passed away. Then surely they’d repent.

Verse31 - But Abraham, wise in all spiritual truth, says to him that if his brothers don’t care to believe the Bible (Moses and the prophets therein, which speak of Jesus), then they wouldn’t care to see a man risen from dead either. How many people during the age Jesus walked this earth, saw Him heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, and yet still never believed in Him.

How many today, during the age in which we have the finished, completed, fulfilled Word of God, the BIBLE, which can be read, investigate, proven, trusted, and obeyed,... will reject the information therein, for the reason, to remain in sinful practices and false religious beliefs.

An atheist once said, “if Jesus wants me to believe in Him He’ll appear before me now.” A Christian replied, “He did, and you crucified Him. Now what?” Many fish deny the existence of water.

For some, like the rich man and his brothers, they will never get it, until it’s too late. For a few, however, they will be carried away into paradise just like Lazarus.

What’s the difference between the two in this current age? Simple, the one who “believes and is baptized shall be saved. The one who doesn’t shall be damned.” – Mark. 16:16.

The one who trust in God enough to know that as a repentant believer he can have his sins washed away by the new birth, being born again, of water and the spirit, will certainly come forward for this spiritual occasion. The un-believer will not trust that Jesus will save Him the way He said He would. So this un-believer will continue to find other ways to satisfy his rebellion. Which one are you? Lazarus, or the other guy?

Pay attention...

​READ MT. 25:31-40

The rich man should have believed and obeyed this truth. He should have read his Bible, He would have know that the prophets preached this very faith. And now that you’ve had a window into the afterlife. If you are Lazarus this day, you believe in Jesus and want to be carried away by His angels when you pass from this life unto the other, then you need to be born again (Jn. 3:3, 5), immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38). Saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).

If you wish to do that now, please come forward as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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JOHN’S JURISDICTION

TEXT: Luke 3:1-20

THESIS: The Bible is the Source and System of law and power to make legal decisions and judgments. It reveals to us everything we need to know in order to be made right with God (redeemed, saved, forgiven, sanctified, productive & prepared), and how to worship Him in Spirit (the right mind) & Truth (the right doctrine).  

THEME: Through the ministry of John who immersed people (aka “John the Baptist”), we can retrieve practical information to be practiced in our faith this day. Fruits of repentance and how that looks like. 

The account of two sons, (Mt. 21:28-32)

 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he repented, changed his mind about his rejection of the command given to him by his father, and he went and worked in the vineyard.

 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 

Question, “which of the two did what his father wanted?”

That’s right, “the first.”

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Speaking of John, let’s go find him, shall we? (Luke 3)

The time & Source of John’s ministry (vs. 1-2)

- Specific God determined time in our history when repentance was going to be preached again.
- The Word of God was the Source in which repentance was commanded through the agency of man, this man being John.
- Divine instruction as to what we must do in order to be pleasing to God, repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. 

Question, where should our Time & Source of ministry come from? Now & The Bible. 

The Location of John’s ministry (vs. 3)

- All the district around the Jordan was his current location of ministry, the good news made its way all over the place as a result. 
- It was practical and expedient to have water if you’re going to do some immersing for the forgiveness of sins. 

Question, where is our location of ministry? – Spencer, Marshfield, and surrounding. And here in this temple, church, body of believers. We have water for those who wish to repent. 

The Prophecy of John’s ministry (vss. 4-6)

- Is found in the Bible
- Isaiah (700 years prior)

We Christians were prophesied of as well, “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” – Isaiah 62:2-3

And we see that prophecy fulfilled in Acts 11:26, “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”

The Purpose of John’s ministry (vss. 7-14) – [elaborate on each verse]

- Preach repentance (change of mind)
- Fruits (i.e. don’t steal no more, don’t lie, etc.) 
- Immerse them in water for the forgiveness of their sins
- Look forward to the coming Christ

Question, what is our purpose as Christians? 

- Preach repentance
- Immerse those who do be baptized in water for the forgiveness of their sins
- Remain faithful, looking forward to the coming of our Master Jesus Christ

The Period of Johns ministry (vss. 15-17)

- Until the doors of the kingdom of God would be opened
- Pentecost Acts 2:38

The Prisoning of John’s ministry (vss. 19-20)

- Hostile government rebellious against repentance
- Locked up in jail 
- John is to decrease so as to have Christ increase 

We fulfill our ministry, life on this earth, productive for Christ. These earthly vessels we currently have will go back to the dirt. Our souls to the Maker. 

Are you a sinner in need of forgiveness? What must you do? Change your mind, stop sinning and start working for Christ and His church.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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GAINING GRACE

“For by grace you have been saved through faith” – Eph. 2:8a

Paul the apostle writing to Christians, individuals who had already obeyed the gospel.

Grace is mentioned 156 times in the N.T.  It is intelligently created and designed to set us free from the bondage of God’s wrath. And It is a word commonly used by Christians around the world. But do we accurately understand the depth of the word?

What grace is? Where can it be found? Who can receive it? How to obtain it? Can we keep it?

It is most important we comprehend these various categories pertaining to grace, “because certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped into the church. They are ungodly people, who pervert THE GRACE of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” – Jude 1:4
 
We don’t want to be found guilty of that, using grace as a means to sinful living and division. You see a fire can be used for survival, warmth. And it can also be used to burn the house down. “So, what shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” – Gal. 6:1-2
 
Grace, according to Scriptural description, within the contextual atmosphere, is a tool God uses in order to allow us favor in His sight. Approval and support. Favor that is not merited. We don’t deserve His forgiveness, and we can’t earn it. But His grace, this redemptive equipment He has freely extended through His Son, suffers it our way. “For even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.” – Eph. 2:5
 
Grace is presented to us in such a powerful way, that it can conquer any sinful practice and behavior. This instrument of compassion furnishes our ability for faithful endeavors. It is found in Christ, the sole location of our freedom. Whatever sinful thing you’ve done, or are doing, you can receive pardon for it. For “where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Rom. 5:20-21
 
Grace is also personified in Christ, which acts as a teaching device. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (doing what?) TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly (thinking right), righteously (doing right) and godly (God approved), in this present world;” – Titus 2:11-12
 
Unmerited favor found in Christ, for all mankind. Something you don’t deserve is bestowed upon you because someone died on a cross in your stead. This someone purposely being Jesus, the predestined plan in which His blood washes retrospective to all faithful souls of the Old Covenant, and forward to all living under His Messianic stewardship of time.
 
So that takes care of the “what, where, and who.” But what about the “how?” How do we receive this grace? Since we can’t earn it with meritorious works. Since it is found in a specific God established location? Since all mankind can have access to it? How do I obtain it? How do I gain entrance into this designed and designated location in which His grace is found?
 
It is of most important knowledge that we honestly receive the understanding of inspired writ when it declares grace being in fellowship with obedience. This is key in our reception of His grace. Nowhere in the Bible will you find grace at odds with obedience. An honest student of the Bible will realize that James 2 is not contradicting Ephesians of the same chapter.
 
If we are to obtain the location of grace we must have an active faith. A faith that is not based on meritorious works but rather a submission, obedience, and service of love to Him who first loved us.
 
To know how to obtain His grace we must look into how people of the 1st century where able to receive it. Faith. Trust in Christ.
 
Paul the apostle speaking to Christians in Ephesus. Christians who had received the grace of God back in Acts 19:1-7. Had a very specific moment in which that event occurred and was recorded, and that very moment is when they became citizens of the kingdom of God, the church that belongs to Jesus Christ, the location where grace is found. How? When as repentant believers confessing Christ as their Lord and Master, were immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins.
 
The very moment every single mind in the Bible received grace was through their obedience, their faith in action. Not to meritoriously earn anything, but rather to please God and allow His Son to save their souls.
 
That is why Paul says there is but one baptism in Eph. 4:5. Because he knows that immersion in water is the very point in which a man is forgiven of sins by the power of Christ, made a Christian, added to the kingdom of God, “saved, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” – Titus 3:5
 
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” – John 3:5

Grace is the unmerited favor found in Christ, for all mankind. Something you don’t deserve is extended to you because someone died on a cross in your stead. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13. This someone purposely being Jesus, the predestined plan in which His blood washes away the sins of all who participate in obedience. 
 
How? “When you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.” – Rom. 6:17. The moment you let go self and put on Christ in baptism (Gal. 3:27), born again (John 3:3). When you came up out of that water you were now found in the location of His grace, His kingdom, the Body of His Son Jesus Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places IN CHRIST:” – Eph. 1:3
 
And now free from the bondage of sin we must remain in His grace and not once again go back to our sinful ways, less we fall from His grace, because “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you go back to your old ways; ye are fallen from grace.” – Gal. 5:4.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Eph. 2:8-9
 
A repentant believer confessing Christ as his Lord and Master has nothing to boast about when submitting to the waters of baptism in order to be forgiven of his or her sins. Why is that? Because you haven’t “earned salvation through meritorious works.” You simply love Jesus and want the grace of God to give you peace and purpose in this life. Anyone telling you otherwise has been lying to you!
 
If you want the grace of God, you must be born again of water and the spirit.
 
Now if you’ve done that already but have wavered off the beaten path and find yourself outside the favor of God, you can come back this morning and renew your spirit.
 
Either, or. Please come forward and make it known. 
 
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IN CHRIST WE BREAK NETS
 
Text: Luke 5:1-11
 
Illustration: Two teams. 
 
One has all the major players, top draft pics, trained and ready to destroy their opponent. Giants. Very intimidating. Many cheer them. Most love them. Millions follow. According to the world this team is the bastion of international pride. Breaking all the records.
 
-       But they have a weak spot, their pride and boasting has forced their coach (experienced and wise) to go looking somewhere else. And in their pride, they tell themselves, “we need no coach, we’ll change the moves and do things our own way, we are much wiser than he is. Let him depart from us and find losers to train.”   
 
The other team is the complete opposite, the underdogs. Nothing pretty. Nothing fancy. Certainly, nothing to be intimidated about. Broken. Needy. The world sees them as losers, fools. “Why would they even bother to try?” many would say. They’ve lost every attempt since forever it seems. No confidence. No hope. “We keep trying but nothing ever happens,” they would often express. 
 
-       But on this day a well-known, experienced, and wise coach comes along to recruit them and build a new team. They are grateful, submissive to His authority, experience, wisdom, and care. They are far from perfect but yet hear the words of this coach and become confident and trusting in his ability. He molds them into warriors ready for the battle taking place on the field. And so, they do what He tells them to do. And as a, result… 
 
These two teams come to ahead and a war takes place on the ground. And would you know it? A tremendous upset and surprise takes place. The former “losers” achieve the goal, they win the prize and every blessing that comes with it. And those who tried to do things their own way, came home empty handed. Fell on the way side and never again were able to take the crown. But this team belonging to this coach, gathered many believers. Broke many records. So much so they needed to build bigger stands to accommodate the amount of people coming in. 
 
WHICH TEAM (CONGREGATION) ARE WE?
 
-       The religion of the world and all its denominations may seem intimidating in their strength and numbers. They may masquerade as “winners.” But they have a weak spot. They don’t have a head coach, they trust in themselves and their traditions. They don’t have Jesus and His Word leading them into battle. And so, ultimately, they lose their souls and never become productive. 
 
Now, regarding Luke 5:1-11, context:
 
-       In the previous chapters, we see how our Master’s faith had been galvanized for His ministry after conquering the tempter. His ministry begins and has been stirring up the religious platform. He’s been offending many people with the truth, some of which tried to murder Him for it. He’s also been performing miracles (i.e. casting out demons, healing). All for the purpose of the words He is proclaiming, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He is going to be establishing His church soon and so will be recruiting and training His team.  
 
 
Thesis: The word of God is taught to the people, obedience to His word comes from a submissive heart. The result is productivity and growth for His Majesty. 
 
Theme: Without Jesus, His teachings, and our obedience to Him. We shall never be spiritually successful in anything we do. We will not be provided for, we will lose our nourishment, decay and die. Empty nets for fishermen. Empty pews for our Lord. An embarrassing loss. 
 
-       And sometimes empty pews can have idle bodies sitting as “whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Just like that first team who looked a certain way outwardly, but inwardly where prideful and rebellious to the instruction of the coach. 
 
READ LUKE 5:1-11 – explain each verse, and then recap… 
 
-       The “WORD OF GOD” is proclaimed.
-       The Bible is “TEACHING THE PEOPLE”
-       Those who are listening say, “I WILL DO AS YOU SAY”
-       The results of doing what the Bible says meant “A GREAT QUANTITY OF FISH.” So much so their nets began to break. They had no more room to put them. 
-       They were so amazed at the amount of fish that had been captured, Simon Peter doesn’t feel worthy to be in the presence of Jesus, the one in whom provision is provided. We remain humble and recognize through whom growth comes.
-       “DO NOT FEAR, FROM NOW ON YOU WILL BE CATCHING MEN.” So, now that you’ve seen what can be achieved with Jesus in the boat, for catching fish. Imaging what can be achieved with Jesus and His church, for catching men.
 
         When Christ is in the boat with us, we are successful. When Christ lives in our minds through His Word, we are faithful. When Christ is our head coach, the head of His church, we win souls for Him. When we listen to His words and obey them, we belong to Him. And He teaches us how to gather a people for His kingdom. For His purpose. 
 
This congregation which belongs to Jesus Christ, is going to grow in great numbers. And it will do so because we will listen to His words and obey them. Even when we doubt, even when we are uncertain, in pain, going through health issues, or persecution. We will go out into the field and gather souls for Him. We will become productive and prepared. We will use the talents He has blessed us with, for His glory. We will not burry them. We will use both the digital realm and physical realm. We’ll talk to people in the community. We’ll invite friends & family. We’ll ask those willing, to study the Bible with us. And we will grow. Our faith will grow. And our numbers will grow. Because Christ will be in the boat with us, and His Words will instruct us. This faith heals all mended wounds, and division. It is the cure to a dying world. 
 
CONCLUSION
 
And just as Christ was found in the designated area He so chose in order to extend His words and blessings. So, it is for us this day, we must be in the same boat. We must be citizens of His kingdom. Members of His body. Saints in the church (of) belonging to Christ. Jesus says “whoever believes and is immersed shall be saved.” If you are willing to believe in Him, repent of your past sins, confess Him as your Lord and Master, … you now qualify to be immersed in water with His authority in order to be saved. Born again. Washed. Forgiven. Out of that water He will add you to His kingdom, church. And there together, we in Spencer WI, shall be “IN CHRIST BREAKING NETS.”
 
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Remain faithful. 
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The Widow & the Warrior

The Widow - (1 Kings 17)

         - There was a coming famine in the land during the age of Elijah. No food, no water for several years. And during these times of drought the Lord provided for His prophet. The Lord sent Elijah to go live east of the Jordan, to a brook where water could be found. The Lord also provided Elijah with bread & meat in the morning and evening, through the agency of ravens. 
 
         - But there came a day when the brook ran dry. And the Lord commanded Elijah to go live in a place called Zarephath, where a widow (a woman who had lost her husband) would provide for him. Now when Elijah met this widow at the gates of Zarephath he asked her for water & bread. But because of the famine she said to Elijah, swearing on His Lord, that she only had enough nourishment for this one last meal which was to be between her and her son, and then they’d die of hunger and thirst.

         - But you see, Elijah was there with the power and will of God. And this Source of power has the ability to provide nourishment, even when none seem to be found. And sure enough that widow never ran out of food and drink while a man of God was with them.

         - However, later on in this account, the widow’s son falls sick and dying. She begs Elijah to intercede with His God on behalf of her son. Elijah does so, and the Lord responds by healing her son. She then says “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”

         - Curious how she would not have known that, earlier on. When through Elijah her nourishment never ran dry. We would think she’d have been sold on the power of God during the first miracle. But no, it took another.

         - Interesting how we can do the same, living in this Christian testament. We see God answer prayer time and time again, yet lack faith in His provision the following day (i.e. we don’t have the money, we don’t have the time, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the numbers). FRIENDS, WE HAVE GOD! We have enough of everything He so desires of us in His church.

         - In all instances, PAY ATTENTION TO THE POINT, God saved the widow. She had been set free from the bondage of thirst and famine (starving to death), and also the bondage of loss for her child. She was saved by God through the agency of obedience, brought to her by a prophet.  She received the nourishment (the word of God), and life (her son restored). And though she did not know this, Jesus would use her as an illustration when His time to walk the earth had come.

And now, the Warrior - (2 Kings 5:1-14)

We transition to the account of Naaman, captain of the Army of Aram, a great man, highly respected. A valiant warrior through whom God gave Aram war victory, but there was problem with Naaman. Naaman was a leper, he had leprosy, and so he was very sick and dying.

         - And through the agency of a prophet, and providence of God, instruction was given for Naaman to obey specific orders, if he wished to be healed of the leprosy. He had to dip in the Jordan River, 7 times.

Of course, Naaman was initially furious at the conditions, but after a word from the Lord, he repented and did as he was told, and his health was restored. God saved the warrior. And though Naaman was unaware, Christ would speak of his account in the New Covenant.

And now we move forward centuries into the account of Christ, in... 
Luke 4

Context:
         - In this section of recorded witness (vss. 1-13), Luke writes of Jesus’ temptation taking place over on the Westside of things. Of course Christ conquers His adversary’s agenda. The Devil tried to use emotion and his own interpretation of the Bible to deceive and swindle the Anointed One, the Messiah. However the serpent of old failed miserably. And this account transitions to where,

We begin now reading vss. 14-16, And so this platform gives way to our portion of study this day, Christ returns to the North-side of things in the power of the Spirit. Folks have been paying attention to this man, the Nazarene. One who grew up in hard labor, not thought to be some-kind of eloquent and well versed scholar, yet respected as noble. But none the less Jesus persists in consistency with his attendance to religious people, places, and affairs.  And so they grant him the opportunity to teach in their religious establishments. So He further journeys to Nazareth (where he grew up and was raised) to do what he purposed to do, reading the Scriptures on the Sabbath in the synagogue.
 
Vs. 17, In this instance the scroll (the prophet Isaiah therein) was handed to him for public reading. Well, Jesus receives the Bible, and finds His book/chapter/verse (if you will), because He has something to say to them about what the Bible says,

         - Small excursion, practical practice in the application of this principle: Where did Jesus find His Source of truth? Both when dealing with Satan, and now these religious people?  In the Bible! Question, where do you find your source of religious information? Dreams? Emotional experiences, (aka your “feelings”)? Perhaps Family members? Friends? Pastors and Priests? A man in white robes sitting at the Vatican? A man with nice shiny teeth and wavy hair on TV? Will you trust men with your eternal soul? Or be like Jesus, and trust the Bible? Food for thought, a challenge for your mind (free of charge).

Back to the text...

Vs. 18-19 Jesus here quotes a messianic prophecy about Himself. Speaking of One who would preach the gospel to all who are seeking spiritual freedom, the humble and honest! And just like the day of jubilee was a physical freedom from sin, in the age of Christ the spiritual shackles of iniquity and lawlessness would be broken with the obedience to this good news preached by His Majesty.

         - “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” And the conditions to be met for entrance as citizens of this kingdom would be extended to all who love Jesus.

Vs. 20, This was an authoritative position seeking audience for teaching purposes, and those hearing were paying close attention to what He was saying.

Vs. 21, The Word of God transmitted through the agency of man, the prophet Isaiah, had now, that very day, been quoted and fulfilled. Christ Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One on the verge of teaching them the truth.

Vs. 22 now the people didn’t really understand the depth of Christ’ declaration, but they were all speaking well of Him and the accuracy of His words. So much so they even question and doubt Jesus’ upbringing in Nazareth as a simple carpenter’s son. He speaks like a well versed and seasoned scholar, so how on earth can this man be a carpenter, the son of a carpenter, from Nazareth of all places?

         - Don’t you know if God can give us a mustard seed from Nazareth, it can surely grow in Spencer. Amen?

         - They flatter Him none the less because these Jews think He’s quoting a prophet speaking of a Messiah that was going to come and release them from the physical oppression of the Roman government. That this Messianic prophecy would build an earthly throne in which they would have positions of secular influence and power. Similar in thought with His disciples in Matthew 18, “who then is the greatest in the kingdom?” Sizing their selfish wants according to the world’s standard of judgment.

Vs. 23, And so Jesus recognizes their vain praise and further states the fact that they would indeed wish to hear and see the things He said and done in other districts. The Word had been buzzing around about Jesus and these religious people wanted a piece of the cake. Thinking they had come to the wilderness to find a reed shacking in the wind. Not so!

Vs. 24, Jesus says this because He knows how they are going to act once He tells them gospel truth. “You’re going to hate my preaching, because it’s strong and true, it’s not what you were expecting to see and hear, and in turn you’re going to hate me for it. But I’m not in this ministry to pander my submission upon the rebellious. Rather I’m invested in it for all who will love Me by keeping my commandments.”

         - Remember, Jesus is speaking to His people, religious people who belong to the household of God. It would be like Jesus standing behind this pulpit and telling you what he’s about to tell them.

 Vs. 25-30, what was so offending, what triggered these Jews to violence against Jesus? Can’t you see? Jesus revealed to them that the Messiah they’ve been waiting on was going to be releasing the Gentiles. He’s telling them that God is going to release the Romans and all other heathens and pagans. And He did so with Bible evidence declaring God had saved the widow and the warrior, BOTH GENTILES, HEATHENS AND PAGANS! Very wise of Luke to record this account for the Greeks, don’t you think?

         - These religious people the Jews, wanted to hear and see what Jesus was all about? Well, the Messiah provided. He told them the truth and He miraculously slipped from their murderous midst.

         - When you preach the truth to Christians, members of the church that belongs to Jesus Christ, who have a misguided idea of the prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and His apostles? When you preach to Christians who have a worldly understanding of what a man of God looks like, sounds like, and acts like? When you preach to Christians who have allowed their own emotions and idleness guide them? They’re going hate you. Our own people!

         - This kind of approach and preaching of Christ is spiritually beneficial for two reasons, it gets rid of fake Christians in the assembly and it renews and strengthens into repentance those who wish to remain and grow. This kind of preaching is very hostile to idle cowards in the fold, but it is the breath of life and freedom and courage to all who love Jesus. The Widow & the Warrior.

The Jews thought the Messiah was going to come and release them from the oppression of the Roman Empire. And here Jesus says to them “I’m the Messiah, and the ones I’ve also come to free from oppression are the Gentiles, from their bondage in sin. I came to seek and heal the sick (the Gentiles), not those who think themselves already healthy (Jews).”

CONCLUSION:

God saved the widow from Zarephath with water, and the Aramean Warrior with water also. You want to try and convince me this morning that God can’t save us with water? He can save you too this very moment if you so choose to love Jesus. Here are the very simple conditions.

         - Change your mind, repent, turn towards God. Let go everything you think is so important. Everything you thought you knew about religion. Trust in Jesus, the God of the Bible, confess Him as your Lord and Master when He says you must be born again of water and the spirit, and live faithfully as a forgiven citizen of His kingdom, His church.

“Whoever believes AND is immersed shall be saved. Whoever does not believe shall be damned.” – Mk. 16:16

When you come out of that water, you are safe with God and His Son. You have His church as your family and system of support, priority, responsibility, fellowship, and comfort.
If you want Jesus to save your soul, He will make you a citizen of His kingdom, a congregation in which you see here this morning in Spencer WI. Not perfect, but serving a perfect Master.

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A Kingdom of Bread & Fish: Luke 9:1-27

Citizens of the Kingdom are to receive teaching from His Majesty Christ Jesus. And the King not only delivers the conditions of citizenship, but He has plenty of nourishment to provide for all who are hungry. ARE WE HUNGRY?

The Kingdom of God is a Spiritual Estate. And this Kingdom is visible through the inner eye focused in Christ. ON WHAT ARE WE FOCUSED ON THIS MORNING?

The kingdom of God, of His heavens, is like a merchant (a trader) on a journey seeking fine pearls, and upon finding ONE pearl of great value (unique, prestigious, paramount, supreme), he (this merchant) went and sold all that he had (materialistic things, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, community, self, “all”) and he proceeded to purchase this most worthy pearl. And the reason this merchant did such a thing is simply because he sought first the kingdom that belongs to Jesus Christ. And by doing so he knew all things would be added unto him. He asked, and it was given to him; he sought, and he found; he knocked, and it was opened to him.

In this recorded and inspired account, Luke 9, we read of Jesus giving miraculous power to His twelve, and sending His Apostles on a campaign journey (1-2). God breathed authority and instruction is administered to these sojourners therein (3-5). And in verse 6 “departing, they go on throughout the villages, PREACHING THE GOSPEL.” Following this narrative the Holy Spirit reveals to us of Herod’s perplexity regarding the things he’d been hearing about Jesus Christ (7-9). The text continues and transitions with the return of the Apostles, and the given report (10). With a history of signs and wonders experienced in the chapters prior, Christ, in light of the crowds following Him at this time, begins to speak to them about THE KINGDOM OF GOD(11).

And into our Majesty’s visual sermon we escapade this morning, titled: “A Kingdom of Bread & Fish.” “Now the day was ending (verse 12), and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.”

We can’t provide for these people? Why? Because there’s simply no market in this deserted location?

Friends, the apostles were looking outwardly, and not only outwardly, but selfishly. How so? Not only were they seeking another source of nourishment outside the Great Provider in their midst (Jesus Christ). They also wanted to pass the responsibility of benevolence to the needy in need of their hospitality. Just like fish swimming in fresh rivers of life, instructing their mates to gather buckets of water from a heathens empty and dying well.

Remember. The twelve had been following Jesus, witnessed time and again to miraculous power and provision. And yet at this junction, display dead faith, and believe it wiser to send the needy off with a prayer (“depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” yet they do not give the people the things which are needed for the body). Why not simply turn to the Great Provider who gives abundantly to all who love Him? Why not take responsibility and give them the Master’s provision?

Jesus said to them, “You, give them to eat.” (13a) - A Kingdom of Bread & Fish. A visual and prophetic look into the citizenship of God, and still the apostles miss the mark. And so proceed to insert excuse #2, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” (13b)

I wonder if this was Peter speaking in such ignorance. A fisherman would know the cost of this bounty needed to feed this large crowd, the amount of labor necessary to provide for such an extravagant meal. And through a worldly perception, foolish of Jesus to even suggest such a thing! You see, they were once again looking at the wrong source for answers. This is more than geographical location. This is more than what money can buy. This is something costly, unique, prestigious, and most worthy. Are there no merchants to be found?

Jesus said to them (in His wisdom and patience dealing with finite man). “Have them sit in groups of about fifty each.” (14)

Jesus is teaching them a visual concept of a coming kingdom. And the source of nourishment which is provided for this kingdom comes from God. And what is from God is united in doctrine, autonomous in groups. All across the world there need be no seeker of truth which should find provision in any other location than within one of the congregations belonging to Christ, for He is the King, and we are His “called out ones.” HIS SERMON CONTINUES, THE GOSPEL, THE KINGDOM.

At this point the apostles repent and follow His instructions. They congregate the kingdom into groups of 50. And the apostles proceed to receive from God and give to the people. And the people were satisfied, filled. And after this miraculous display of kingdom things, there still remained more nourishment (15-17)

A discussion follows between the apostles and Jesus which reveals the power behind this coming Kingdom. To which now they are made privy, Jesus Christ. And so the Messiah, the Anointed One, proceeds to prophecy of His fulfillment in the purchase and foundation of this coming Kingdom. (18-22). “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be murdered and be raised up on the third day.”(22)

And so now we will venture forward to see Jesus and His perfect sermon, extend an invitation to all who may seek freedom from the bondage of sin (Jn. 8:32) by the Word of God (Jn. 8:31). An invitation to obey the conditions of sacrifice each individual accountable to God must practice if he or she wishes citizenship into this kingdom.

READ VERSES 22-26:

One must deny himself: let go all he has, practices, and beliefs.
One must pick up his cross daily: be put to shame in persecution, daily.
One must follow Christ: lovingly receive nourishment from Christ, His Words.
One must reject his former life: stop investing in things of the past.
One must invest in being productive for the kingdom: benevolence, evangelize, teach.
One must not be ashamed of his Master and His Bible: Stand up for Christ and defend Him when the world tries to get you to submit to their way of thinking, walking, and speaking.


The gospel preached. The kingdom of God proclaimed, both one with the other, together, united, wed in divine matrimony. And the power, that will purchase and build this kingdom? The blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God! And now Jesus gives them a time period in which His Kingdom, church would come. “I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not die before they see this Kingdom of God.” (27)

And would you know it, not too long after, on the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts, with great power from on high, in Jerusalem, during the Roman Empire, once Christ had died, been buried, and raised from the dead, to walk among 500+ witnesses, and ascend once again into the right hand of the Father. The Kingdom of God was established and its gate was opened to all faithful and active qualifiers willing to obey the conditions of forgiveness and citizenship.

A Kingdom of Bread & Fish, a church that belongs to Christ and receives nourishment from His Words. And here are the conditions extended to all of us this morning as it was for our brethren of 1st century Palestine.

Change your mind about sin. Sin separates you from God and His purpose for you in His kingdom. Change your mind about fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, drug & alcohol dependency, gossip, jealousy, lying, stealing, cheating, violating, swindling, unauthorized divorce, and all other sorts of worldly activities. Change your mind about all the religious filth and charm you’ve allowed your mind to cherish in tradition for decades. Turn away from all these false teaching denominations and the vipers who preach for them. Turn away from everything the world has offered you. Deny yourself and confess Christ as your Lord and Master. What He says from now on you will do.

This narrow path, if you so choose to qualify, takes faith to be immersed in water with the authority of Jesus Christ in order to have Him wash your sins away, and add you to His kingdom, the church that belongs to Jesus Christ. If you have counted the cost of this pearl, and are a seeking merchant ready to sell everything to obtain it, A Kingdom of Bread & Fish, please come forward and meet us as we stand and sing.

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A Coming Kingdom

Luke 9:12-17

Context:

the apostles had been sent on a journey with a mission to preach the gospel, one in which had detailed instruction they had to follow (9:1-11). They returned from their campaign and gave an account of the experience and events that took place. This transitions into a teaching moment from Christ to all those around Him.  And so, Jesus proceeds to speak about the kingdom of God. The very kingdom He was recorded proclaiming in Mt. 4:17. And He does so by giving them a visual lesson. Because when the gospel is preached (Christ Jesus the Messiah, Anointed One, prophesied coming King, Priest, Prophet, Ruler), we also see that His kingdom is part of that good news (His congregation, body, assembly, HIS CHURCH). Hence the book of Acts we see the gospel and the kingdom preached together. 

Now at this time, the apostles suggest that Jesus send the crowd away to find food and lodging. 

- Would the apostles send the hungry to find food and lodging from someone else other than Christ? Would they trust in outsiders, non-believers for their nourishment and security?

- Do we send the hungry to be fed by others outside the fold when we have the source of sound doctrine in our hands? Would we suggest trusting the world and its non-believers for our defense and security? Jesus didn’t think so then, and I know He doesn’t think so now either. 

And so, Jesus has now laid the groundwork, introduction to His sermon. He commands His apostles to feed the flock. It will be the same food (teaching), yet divided among groups (churches). 

And so, 

Jesus tells His apostles, “YOU (personal individual accountability) give them (those in need of nourishment) something to eat (physical food here represents the Word of Christ).” And we know the Bible says that hearing the word of God is where faith comes from (Rom. 10:17)

And of course, the apostles respond with lack of faith. Had they not been hearing His Words? And so they pretty much say to Jesus, “we don’t have enough to give them.”

And Jesus pretty much tells them, “the source of nourishment isn’t coming from you, that’s why you’re failing this test. Look with spiritual eyes. The source of nourishment comes from Me. And haven’t you witnessed enough from Me to know I can provide for seekers seeking to be filled, like you?”

Christ proceeds to instruct the apostles to guide the crowd into a submissive position of reception, ready to receive nourishment (the Word of God). 

In this visual moment of education, we see the kingdom come alive, a picture into the near future (how near? Well, Christ says "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not die before they see this kingdom." (9:27), the churches of Christ (Rom. 16:16). One and the same. Multiple congregations receiving the same united nourishment. United in doctrine. One church divided into multiple assemblies across the world. 

And so the sermon ends with followers fed and satisfied. Matter of fact there is still enough food/nourishment (WORDS) to go around. 

That is why Christ says in verse 26 “whoever is ashamed of Me AND MY WORDS, 

WHERE ARE HIS WORDS IN 2019, 2020, 21, 22, ETC? IN THE BIBLE. IN THE BIBLE. IN THE BIBLE. 

You want to know about Jesus (the gospel) and His kingdom (the church). READ THE BIBLE. STUDY THE BIBLE. 

THANK YOU,
SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
Public post
"The Spirit Intercedes"

To a people who once communicated with God the Father through an old system of Law, now commanded to accept and adhere to a new form of interaction. One which the Spirit and the Son (2nd & 3rd persons of the Godhead) take our weakness (frailty) in prayer, accurately petition (appeal to authority with accurate spiritual language) and deliver it to God the Father. In this new pattern of law and grace, nothing is done “to us,” but rather “for us.” 

Here’s an illustration. You found employment at the factory up the street. And for years you communicated with the boss in his office for all sorts of things. Throughout the years the company has grown in leaps and bounds. A new system of communication has been administered. It is ordered to you that from now on your supervisor will be the one in whom you communicate with for anything and everything. That might not sit right with you initially since you’ve been used to the old way. But you’ve been made to understand that this is the way the Boss now wants it (and you love the boss and trust the boss). And so, whether questions about the work hours, pay-cheques, grievances, and all other various forms of concern and requests. The supervisor is now the person who takes from you and brings it to the boss. The supervisor has all authority in the company so you’re in good hands. He has your back. He’ll defend you if you’re a good worker. He’ll petition for your request because he speaks a language in which the boss will understand and comply with. The supervisor is the Boss’s son, he’s inherited the claim. And Because they know you’re trying to better the company. Knowing that A well-functioning business sells much product. You have a connection with them. So, you proceed to approach the supervisor with various inquiries and request. He takes them to the boss in accuracy and they are answered according to the greater good of the company and those who work hard within it. You want comfy sneakers from the boss so that your feet won’t hurt at your station. The supervisor takes the request from you, approaches the boss in the office and says, “John Smith is asking for a floor mat to place under his work-boots. This will ease his feet and back pain. This will result in greater productivity from him to the company.” And so the boss purchases a floor mat for the employee, separating his feet from the concrete. Now the answer could have also been, “he will get no sneakers for his feet, not any floor mat, for when John Smith gets too comfortable he starts to lack productivity. See how this is making sense?
The saint works in the kingdom of God. Jesus & His Spirit are the supervisors. They take our prayers and petition for them before God the Father. Nothing is done “TO US,” but rather “FOR US.” 

Here’s the blueprint in a nutshell.

1. We, the saints. Pray. 

2. God the Son, and God the Spirit intercedes “FOR US,” they take from us our thanks and request to therefore deliver it to God the Father, the recipient in this direction (going upward). 

3. God the Father has now received the spiritual accuracy of the prayer. It has been petitioned And so He proceeds to deliver a reply according to His will. Which consequently benefits all who love Him. Pay raise, comfy sneakers. 

God the Father understands the spiritual dialect transmitted from the Son & His Spirit. Saints, in our weakness, are unable to directly communicate with God the Father with the necessary “oumph” required from His Creation, hence a mediator, He who intercedes “FOR US.” The Spirit stands besides us and makes an appeal to God the Father on our behalf. Again, nothing is done “TO US” directly, but rather “FOR US,” spiritually. 

Please reason with me. If saints were directly operated on by the Holy Spirit in order to know what to pray, and how to pray. If words and emotions are directly placed in our bodies, minds, mouths. Questions would arise, such as. Why the need for a mediator? Why the need for Christ & His Spirit to intercede? In that fact, why the need for the Bible? If God the Son and/or God the Spirit can literally enter our minds and take over, remove our free-will, and therefore proceed to tell us what to say and how to say it, would that not negate our need for His role to intercede? 
Friends, God the Son & God the Spirit do wonderful things “FOR US. And not “TO US.” 
If we’d simply, honestly, genuinely, sincerely, receive our comfort, help, joy, peace, and understanding from the inspired order, it would greatly surpass our trust in things God never said He’d do. He does “FOR US,” not “TO US.”

This is faith. This is truth. May we together repent from worldly, denominational attempts to sensationalize the works of the Holy Spirit. Let us be sober in our spiritual thoughts and emotions.

If we love God, He will take care of us as needed. And when we pray to the Father, we can know that the Son & His Spirit are there interceding for us.

Thank you,
SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
Public post
Luke 9:46-50 - "Least & Great"

An argument started among Jesus' disciples as to which one of them might be the greatest. They had their hearts invested in the wrong stock. They were thinking of earthly enterprise and secular standards of achievement. They thought that Christ had come to establish a physical kingdom in which one of them would have "greater" rank than another, more importance and praise. Of course, the Master "knowing what they were thinking in their heart," administered the teaching remedy in order to cure the cancer at hand. A child is presented and placed in the desired location God had chosen. This acted as a visual symbol of education. The innocent, humble, submissive, obedient, and benevolent servant will be standing by Jesus' side. And though by Jesus' side is a sub-worthy accomplishment according to the world's barometer. This is where the greatest in the kingdom will be found. 

And so what of us this day living in the Messianic age, thousands of years later? We Christians, members of the church that belongs to Jesus Christ. We can allow ourselves to succumb to the same unhealthy standards, and sadly we do most often. We compete with each other on a secular level. We criticize each other. We cause jealously and division ("we tried to prevent him" vs. 49). Who has the biggest pulpit? Who's the keynote speaker? Who has the fanciest suit? Who has more "likes" on Facebook? Who has the most money? Who has the greatest ministry? Who's the best preacher? Who's from the South? Who speaks English? Who's white? Who's black? Who comes from America? Who gives more money in the offering on Sunday morning? Which congregation has more members? Who has the greater heaven? Who's more important? Which one of us might be the greatest in the kingdom?  

And though it is good and fruitful to be a worker for the Lord. One who's labor reaches many with the gospel. We must remain humble, equal, and united. Let us not prevent each other from being productive. Let us not hinder the assembly over worldly judgments and partiality. 

We are all ONE in Christ. May we wash each other's feet. Give to the needy. Share the good news of Jesus with everyone. Do what is right. Like & share each other's ministries. Whether in a fancy suit or an old pair of overalls. Whether oversees in the mission fields of godless heathens or as the keynote speaker at the biggest lectureship. Whether in the church building cleaning and preparing for Sunday worship, or preaching the Word of God for the congregation. The humble heart of a servant accomplishes much for the kingdom.

SM

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