The God Man

THE GOD MAN

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

The Lord Jesus was in Heaven while He spoke to Nicodemus upon Earth! How was this possible?

Here we see the mystery of godliness: “God was manifest in the flesh…”! (1Timothy 3:16). As man, Jesus was upon Earth speaking to Nicodemus. But as the eternal God, He was reigning from His throne in Heaven!

As a man, He limited Himself to the time/space continuum. But as God, His eternal presence continued to “fill heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 23:24).

As Son of man, He came to do the will of His Heavenly Father, and save His people from their sins (John 6:38; Matthew 1:21), by means of His death on Calvary’s cross and resurrection from the dead.

As the eternal Son of God, He ascended to Heaven and “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3), from which He intercedes as our High Priest and shall return the second time to receive us to Himself! (Hebrews 9:24-28).–Elder Tim Cunningham–July 23, 2018

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Regeneration

Regeneration–by Elder David Montgomery–July 17, 2018

Regeneration means to restore life; to bring life from death. If you ever watched “Doctor Who” you should be very familiar with regeneration because he’s done it like 18 times or so. Anyway, the act of regeneration is what gives spiritual life to people who did not have it before. This is very important, for without spiritual life you will never know God. Jesus said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” If anyone wants to see anything spiritual, and that include Heaven above, they MUST be born again. And by the way…the expressions regeneration, born again, new birth, born from above and quickened all mean the same thing.

The question was asked in part one: How can I move away from a dead and depraved state over to an alive and non-depraved state. The answer is—I can’t. The reason is very simple: a dead person cannot do anything; they can’t move, talk or even think. For a dead thing to become alive again, a greater force us must act upon it …a living force…no, not Obi Wan’s force! This is a divine force—a power from above—the same power that breathed life in Adam’s nostrils is the same one that breathes spiritual life into us. And that force and power is GOD.

Paul said in Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath he quickened (made alive or born again), who were dead in trespasses and sins” Who did the quickening? The Lord did. We were dead in depravity but through the act of “regeneration,” we are now alive in Jesus Christ. The capability is now in us to see the Kingdom of God, to enter the Kingdom, to believe, have faith and hope, exhibit love and kindness. That capability was not there before but now it is. You are born again…you are alive. Wow! Living is such an excellent concept!

Some might say…So tell me how to get born again and I’ll get started right now. Not so fast! Let me ask you something: How much input did you have when you were born physically? Did your mother check it out with you to see if you were ok with the idea? I highly doubt it and I also highly doubt that you sent a mental email to her saying, “Hey Ma! I’m checking outta this place, all right?!” By the way, do you even REMEMBER when you were born? You don’t? So why would you think that you would have anything to do in getting born again? The fact is—you had nothing to do with it…you were totally passive…it was all done by God. You didn’t ask God to get born again nor did God ask you for permission. This is one major point where Primitive Baptists differ with many other denominations for most of them believe a doctrine where the sinner has some part in regeneration.

Some advocate the doctrine of “Gospel Regeneration” which teaches that a person has to believe the gospel in order to get born again. This cannot be true for how can a dead person believe anything? Consider the following analogy…

I love to discover and investigate cemeteries. Yes, this is weird but I like being weird. There is so much history in these places—I have been to the graves of many notable people of secular and church history. Sometimes I will be driving down the road, see a cemetery and pull in to see if there is anything of interest. The folks are real friendly there; they don’t mind you coming in and never give you a hard time when you leave. Sometimes as I wander among the graves, I think about the Resurrection and before too long, I’ll get to preaching, sometimes even out loud. Some of my best sermons have been preached at cemeteries. But, if any one of those dead folks ever cried out “AMEN” then I am getting the heck out of there! (Sorry, seen too many zombie flicks). But that isn’t gonna happen. Why? Because they’re dead! Well, if a physically dead person can’t respond to the gospel, then it stands to reason that a spiritually dead person cannot respond as well. Spiritual life MUST precede any spiritual response just as physical life MUST precede any physical response. That just makes good horse sense. Mr. Ed would agree with it.

Primitive Baptists believe in Holy Spirit Regeneration. The Holy Spirit comes down and kindles the pilot light in us. Where once was death and depravity is now life and righteousness. The Holy Spirit is like the wind—it comes and goes when and where it pleases. We can’t tell the wind when to start blowing, where to blow, when to stop, etc, and it is the same with the Holy Spirit. Jesus made this analogy Himself in John 3:8, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

So what if I believe the gospel but I am not born again? Go back and re-read this article, then read 2Timothy 1:10, and then write your name 1000 times. Belief is a sign of life…it confirms that you have been born again, it is not the cause of regeneration but an effect of it.

So what if I am born again but do not believe the gospel? Go back and re-read this article, then read Romans 3:3, and then write your name 10,000 times and stop worrying it. Belief is a wonderful thing and you should believe, it will bring great happiness and joy to your life; but just as belief does not cause regeneration, unbelief does not cancel it. God’s grace is not dependent on your obedience.

But, Brother David, why do I still sin? Because your body is still depraved—it was not born again—but there is now something inside you that is good, clean, and spiritually conscience. Yes, now, you have a good conscience. Now you can understand what is right and what is wrong. Now the potential to do well is inside you. Jesus would often tell repenting sinners, “Go, and sin no more.” They can do it because they have the Holy Spirit inside them, they are alive and well. One of these days, on the Last Day, our bodies will be regenerated and then we will be totally sinless: soul, body and spirit. Praise the Lord! He has taken us from Total Depravity to Total Righteousness. I wonder how that is going to feel? What a day that will be!

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Climbing a Waterfall

Climbing The Face of a Waterfall …….
I have heard of the perseverance of the Salmon as they face many obstacles as they go on their journey to their spawning grounds. They are strong and never give up on their effort and thus they are “Overcomers” and are victorious to make it through very hard times and still accomplish their goal. They are the only fish known to be able to climb the very Face of a Waterfall, with all its mighty force coming against them.

Yet, I too, with the blessings of the Lord was also able to … Climb The Face of a Waterfall! It was in the year of 1978, when I was very ill with my heart. My Cardiologists said, if good health was 100%, then my health was 5%. I didn’t know if I was going to survive. Several times my heart went into spells where I felt like I weighed two tons. I had several times when I would suddenly lose consciousness. I felt that death would be a most welcome relief from my sufferings.

Then, I had a dream where I was on a journey and I came to a high and powerful waterfall which I knew I had to climb in order to continue on the way I needed to go. As I looked up at the power of the waterfall, I said, “I’ll never make it through this! It is too great! I could never climb this waterfall! I have gone as far as I can go!” But then, FAITH, beautiful, powerful, overcoming, FAITH moved upon me; filled me. I fell down upon my face with weeping and fervent prayer to the Almighty Father, the Great Giver of FAITH, the Giver of Strength and of Power to Overcome. When I arose from my prayer, courage mounted high in my soul. Without hesitation I dove into the stream and with victory, I climbed up the Face of the Thundering Force of the Great Waterfall, that I needed to climb. I saw myself with grace climb the Face of the Waterfall and arise to my feet victorious at the top.

When I awakened from my dream I knew that with my dangerously poor health that I was facing a most paramount situation. Three times in 1978, I came very close to death, but because of Jesus, I was able to conquer and make it through. Like the salmon, I met many obstacles and powerful forces. And like the salmon, I was able to persevere and climb the waterfall of trials and dangerous sickness and yet make it to the top. Faith makes you strong!

There is power in FAITH! With FAITH we can climb above trials of waterfall force and magnitude. Without Faith we all would give up and say, “I have gone as far as I can go.” But with Faith in Jesus, we can sing with Power and Might:

….I can walk on the water top, … Because of my Lord and King.
….I can climb the Face of the Waterfall, … And with Joy my heart can sing.
….I can go onward through my trials, … With Peace that will never stop.
….Because of Jesus, my Lord and King, … I can Climb to the Mountain Top.

I don’t know the power source of the Salmons great fortitude, but I know that my Hope In Jesus is the Force on which I stand! And when troubles tell me I can’t, my Faith In Jesus tells me … I can! My faith in Jesus gives me Wings to Fly. I can fly above my troubles, fast soaring high. And, mountains of trials, with their powerful height, is easy to conquer, by.. Faiths Great Might. It is nothing to climb, The Face of a Waterfall, when you are holding the Hand of the Creator of All.

~~Our God is Great and Greatly to be Praised! My love and blessings to you all. ~~ Neetcie Buell–July 5, 2018

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Encouragement When Down

Written by Lynn Bruce (Daughter of Elder Sony Pyles): 6-11-2018

Chemo #50 today. This one is shelling my pistachios, because it’s preventing me from spending a week at camp singing hymns with my best beloveds. I have not missed camp in almost 20 years. It’s Christmas in June to me, a little glimmer of heaven on earth. And now my grandbairns are there! I want to whine that it’s just not fair. I awoke this morning at precisely the moment the wake-up hymn is broadcast at camp. The soul knows where it wants to be. But the body needs to be in the chemo chair—fair or not.

Here’s the thing. If I get hung up on things being fair, if I make my happiness depend on that, I’ll stay stuck at the bottom of every hill. The Psalmist knew this. “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.” 🎯“When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me… Until I went into the sanctuary of God…”

Oh my.
I do know this to be true.

True of the actual sanctuary and true of this sanctuary in the rubbled temple that is my body. Where somehow both cancer and Christ dwell together. Where there should be singing!

“But I don’t have a song here today, Lord,” I cried as I parked my car at the chemo lab. “My song is elsewhere, without me.”

And then I heard them. He let me hear them. From the vaults of long memory, I heard the voices of my camp friends, singing for me: “Thus far the Lord has led me on, thus far His power prolongs my days, and every evening shall make known some fresh memorial of His grace. In vain, the sons of earth or hell tell me a thousand frightful things; my God in safety makes me dwell beneath the shadow of His wings.”

Here in the shadow of that wing, I do not have to climb up this hill. I will be carried. And I will be given a song. This too, is not fair. It is far beyond fair. But I realize now that it is not my LIFE that He means to call fair. It is ME. Because when He comes, He will be singing “Rise up, my fair one.” He is fair, so shall we be. Sing on, fair ones.

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Preservation of the Word

Written by Ben Winslett
Thursday, 24 May 2018 08:33
Point to consider: If we found an ancient manuscript of a portion of God’s word, and this manuscript was considerably different than what we’ve recognized as God’s word throughout the centuries, rather than embracing the new text and altering our Bibles, we would keep our current reading. Why?

It is a fundamental tenet of the faith that God keeps His word preserved and pure throughout all generations. This means that the word is preserved through being used by the Church. It is duplicated and distributed, and this is the process through which God has seen fit to preserve His word. The preservation of the scriptures has never been about maintaining a set of “originals”, obviously, because no originals exist! So we use what we have received, being trusted, and not that which is “lost and found,” being suspect.

Chiefly, this is a matter of faith. The church is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” This means the truth is preserved in the church. Libraries, museums, and universities are not Divinely charged with this task. It’s the job of the church. And we trust that God has preserved His word through the duplication and usage within the institution of the church.

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May Communion Meeting

Bethany was blessed once again to have a Spirit filled Communion meeting with outstanding preaching by Elder Ronald Lawrence, good visitation from sister churches and friends, singing, food and fellowship. The weather was threatening but the Lord blessed us not to have any really bad weather and Friday night Elder Lawrence preached a sermon primarily on mercy from the Canaanite woman’s plea to Jesus “Have mercy on me, thou son of David.”

Saturday night we were blessed to have a great supper of fish, chicken and everything else with the fish prepared by Gene York. The food and fellowship was greatly enjoyed and followed by a good congregation and outstanding preaching, as usual, by Elder Lawrence on the subject of “the heart” as the seat of emotion and feeling and only the Lord can change a heart of stone by nature into a heart of flesh capable of spiritual feeling. Elder Lawrence had to leave Saturday night and was blessed with a safe journey home and he wished to thank the church for their hospitality and the opportunity to be with them dring the meeting.

Sunday we were blessed to have a good congregation and after a shirt sermon by the Pastor, Larry Wise, on the subject of the “smitten rock” the church entered into communion with the observance of the Lord’s Supper of the bread and wine as symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. This was followed by the washing of the saint’s feet by the brothers and sisters. Some fathers and sons washed each others feet and some mothers and daughters did the same. We welcome all who participated and especially those who may have been participating for thew first time. Some were unable to participate due to sickness or physical limitations. After communion there was a prayer of thanks and dismissal and each expressed their love for their fellows brothers and sisters by telling of their love for one another and a godly embrace.

Here are a few of the scenes from the meeting and more to follow under the Communion meeting page on church website:

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Deanna Wise’s Mother Falls

SISTER DEANNA WISE’S MOTHER (DIANE BROWNING FALLS:

Sister Deanna Wise’s mother (Diane Browning) fell today (May 9) off a six foot ladder into a pile of lumber and had to go by ambulance to Union County Hospital. She has a broken left wrist, a broken and dislocated right shoulder and possibly arm. She is being put to sleep to put shoulder back in place and will be seeing an Orthopedic doctor afterward. Pray everything will go well in regard to any surgery and recovery from these injuries.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.  He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we are able to ask or think. Eph. 3:20

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Something New

It seems that people today are always seeking something new to entertain their fancies. They want new clothes, new cars, new houses and new ways to worship the Lord. It is evident that people have not learned what Paul had learned. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11). Contentment is a great virtue for the child of God as it brings peace of mind and stability in difficult times. The worship of the Lord in the assembly of saints should be a time of peace and contentment and we are given plenty evidence of the New Testament pattern of worship. It is too bad that people aren’t satisfied as David was with the house of God. David said, “… we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” (Psalm 65:4). David was satisfied with the goodness of God’s house.

People today aren’t satisfied with the goodness of God’s house as something new is continually being added. The apostle John tells us the seriousness of adding anything to the clear instructions in the word of God. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” (Rev. 22:18). By the same token, those that would take away from the book of prophecy will have their part taken out of the book of life (not Lamb’s book of life) and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. The modern worship service doesn’t even begin to resemble the worship service that is recorded in scripture.

They are desiring things new today and they were wanting things new even in the Old testament but what does the Bible say? Jeremiah admonishes the people of God: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jer. 6:16). The old paths are those instituted by God and are found in God’s word. Not only do people want new ways but they want leaders (ministers) to encourage them in their scriptural deviance. Paul writes Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (II Tim. 4:3). Israel of old did not want the prophets to really tell it like it actually was. Israel’s attitude was: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:” (Isa. 30:10).

I see new places of worship sprout up in new areas and they must be disgruntled believers who have become disenchanted and desirous of something new so they will start their own church. The truth is it is not “our church” but the Lord’s church and He has given us a pattern to follow that is complete. As the song says, “If it was good enough for Paul and Silas, it is good enough for me.” David was satisfied with the goodness of God’s house and so should we. ‘There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12). The old adage “the bigger the better” is not always true as Jesus describes what the true kingdom of God consists: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32). Notice it is a little flock; it is not a Mega church. Money is the name of the game in the Mega church and this is only reasonable since they have so many “new” things they have to support.

The church is the ship of Zion and it sails on troubled seas. It will be fine as long as the water stays outside the ship, but when it begins to seep into the ship, it is in danger. The church is in the world; that is true; however, when the world gets into the church, there is danger. Remember it doesn’t take a lot as “a little leaven leaventh the whole lump.” The Bible tells us to prove all things and God’s way has always been proven to be the right and best way. Stick to the old paths and maintain the course and not be led astray with those that are continually seeking something new in the Lord’s house.–April 5, 2018–Elder Larry Wise

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We Know

THANKFUL FOR WHAT WE KNOW:
There are many things that we do not know in this life but it should not hinder our faith in the Lord. We do not know what a day may bring forth so we are to live our lives day by day with a trust in the Lord. We do not know what the future holds for us or our family but we trust in the Lord to provide. However, there are things we can know and of which we can be completely assured. Can we know that we are children of God? The Bible says that we can as we listen to John saying, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. ” (I John 3:14) If we have passed from death (unborn again), to life (born again), we are children of God by birth in addition to being children of God by choice and by purchase. Nicodemus said that “we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles except God be with him.” (John 3:2). Nicodemus knew this much more than by a physical witness because the Lord hath revealed unto him the truth that Jesus came from God but there were many things Nicodemus did not know at this juncture in his life. We don’t know exactly what it will be like in heaven but we can know by faith what the final culmination of all things will be. The apostle John again states, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2). We are thankful for the truth of salvation by grace that makes us free. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).  We can know more by reading and studying the scriptures but what we know now in this life doesn’t compare with what we will know in heaven and immortal glory. So brothers and sisters, we should be extremely thankful for what we know concerning ourselves and the Lord Jesus Christ.–March 3, 2017–Elder Larry Wise
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Ordination–Jeremy Wise

Bethany was blessed with a large congregation to share the occasion of the ordination of Brother Jeremy Wise to the work of the ministry on Sunday January 14, 2018 in spite of the wintry weather. There were 27 ordained ministers and deacons who sat in the presbytery to perform the official work of the ordination. Brother Larry Wise was chosen as moderator of the presbytery and Brother David Wise as clerk to record all the proceedings. Brother Jerry Wise was chosen to question Bro. Jeremy on the articles of faith of Bethany church and his agreement with them and promise to stand by these articles in his ministry to which he agreed on all 13 articles read to him by Jerry Wise and Brother Larry Wise was chosen to deliver the charge as to responsibilities of the ministry. Brother Steve Weaver was chosen to pray the ordination prayer accompanied by the laying on of hands by the members of the presbytery. After the ordination prayer, Bro. Jeremy and his wife, Hillery were asked to sit in from of the pulpit as Brother Larry Wise delivered the charge focusing on the calling to the ministry and responsibilities as a servant of the Lord, a steward of the mysteries of God, a soldier in the army of God, and a student of the word of God. Brief charge also given to his faithful wife Hillery and to the church, Antioch to which he has been called as Pastor.

Brother Jeremy and Sister Hillery were asked to stand in front as everyone gave them the right hand of fellowship and best wishes as they go forward in the service of God amid a hymn that was sung. Elder Joe Nettles dismissed the congregation with a very fervent prayer. 

 

 

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