He Is Risen!

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10:1-18

He Is Risen Indeed!!!

Let God!

In Scripture the word let is a word of consequence.   Let can mean to permit or allow but it implies submission in its biblical context.  

Is God sovereign?  Yes!  Is man responsible?  Yes!

God’s purpose is to transform Christians into the image of His Son.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).  God is sovereign and He will accomplish His purpose.

Man is responsible.  Transformation takes place as we submit to God in obedience.  We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells Christians from the moment we trust in Christ.  The enabling power of the Holy Spirit makes our submission and obedience possible.

The following saying is attributed to Ken Collier (The Wilds of North Carolina): Only two choices on the shelf, serving God or serving self.  We must die to self.  The apostle Paul said, I die daily.  Dying to self is already made possible for the believer.  Paul writes; I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).  We must consider this to be so.

Believers have been made dead to sin.  God gives us commands, but He has already provided the means to perform them. The means to perform are accessed by faith.  Faith is a firm persuasion or conviction brought about by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).

What makes you and I think that we can live the Christian life without making the Word of God (our source of faith) the most integral part of our daily walk with the Lord?

Faith is a gift from God that comes from His written Word.  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

……let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…..

If all of this seems foreign to you, perhaps you have not let God have His way with you in salvation:

Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart

If you are tired of the load of your sin,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If you desire a new life to begin,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

Just now, your doubtings give o’er;
Just now, reject Him no more;
Just now, throw open the door;
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If it’s for purity now that you sigh,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
Fountains for cleansing are flowing nearby,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If there’s a tempest your voice cannot still,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If there’s a void this world never can fill,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

If you would join the glad songs of the blest,
Let Jesus come into your heart;
If you would enter the mansions of rest,
Let Jesus come into your heart.

Lelia N. Morris, 1898

Copyright Status – Public Domain

It Is Finished!

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.  John 4:34

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.  John 5:36

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  John 17:4

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.  John 19:30

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24

The Book Entitled “Panosian”

I just recently finished reading Panosian.  This book is full of history and testimony’s of God’s provision and protection.  It is a record of mankind at his worst and God’s Providence in the midst of it.

 Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You writes: Among all the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to believers, there is none more useful and variegated than the gift of teaching.  Dr Panosian is a brilliant teacher with an extraordinary ability to make historical figures come alive.  Now, we have the remarkable story of his life and the amazing Providence that prepared him for such a unique ministry, skillfully brought to life in writing by another gifted teacher, Pastor Chris Anderson. 

Historical Background – Chapter eight, page 41.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909.  To return to the Roman analogy, Hamid is the “Nero” of the Armenian tradgedy.  It was Hamid who was in power in the 1890’s when the persecution of the Armenians escalated from isolated murders to a sweeping ambition.

Once the strongest regime in the world and a threat which very nearly spilled into Western Europe, the Ottoman Empire tottered on the verge of collapse by the time of Hamid’s rule, earning the infamous nickname “the Sick Man of Europe.”  The economy was a wreck.  Poverty was rampant.  Government corruption was unchecked, starting with the maniacal sultan.  Turkey’s many humiliations created two great hungers:  (1) for the Turkish majority to flex its collective muscles, and  (2) for someone to serve as a scapegoat for the failing empire.  The Armenian minority was a convenient victim that served both purposes. 

British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone dubbed Hamid “the Bloody Sultan” and “the Great Assassin”.  In the late nineteenth century Hamid’s Turkey faced what would become known as “The Armenian Question” – a debate over how the country should handle its Christian subjects.  Only the sultan had any real authority to address the question, and his answer was, utter annihilation. 

The Lions Den – Chapter nine, pages 46 & 47

The massacres came to Antakya in the fall of 1910.  One fateful day changed forever the lives of countless Armenians, including Ed Panosian’s grandparents, Sarkis and Emma Momjian, and their four children……..

Sarkis Momjian, like countless thousands of his countrymen, had been murdered in his own home (in front of his wife and children).  His crime was twofold: being an Armenian instead of a Turk and trusting in Jesus instead of Allah………..

Emma Momjian was pregnant at the time of her husband’s murder.  She herself was very nearly killed……….Panosian tells the story as it was passed on to him: “My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was very evidently pregnant; and one of the Turkish soldiers said to the other, Let’s rip her open and see if it is a boy.  They did not.  The other soldier replied, Have you no fear of Allah?  – that would have been going too far.  They had just murdered my grandfather, but that would have been going too far”……..

She (Emma) summoned a deep and previously unknown strength, even in her first moments as a widow and single mother.  She quieted the children, first with words of kindness, then with a voice of command that startled even herself.  She ordered them to prepare for the mob’s return.

Dr Panosian’s father; Nazar –  an immigrant – Ellis Island 1913.  Chapter fourteen, pages 75 &76.

Finally, Nazar neared the final inspector.  He heard others being asked questions in his native Armenian tongue.  “From where have you come?  Where are you going?  How will you make your living?  Do you intend to learn English?  Do you have any infectious diseases?  Are you an imbecile?  Were you ever in prison?  Do you have $25 to support yourself until you find work?”

Nazar’s nimble mind was mentally answering the questions before they were even finished: “Turkey.  Detroit.  Cobbler.  Yes.  No.  No.  No.  Yes.  This is easy!  Hurry!”

At last, there was one person in front of him.  Like everyone else, the man was nervous.  He was dressed in his very best, hoping to make a good impression.  But his shirt was drenched with sweat like everyone else’s, and it stuck to his body.  Despite the man’s obvious anxiety, Nazar had observed enough during the endless wait to know that “this” man had nothing to worry about.  He was exactly the kind of person who would thrive in America.  Surely he would get through with no problem.

The inspector, as hot and irritable as everyone else, concluded the interview by asking to see the man’s $25.  The man hesitated, then explained that he had some unexpected expenses during his passage.  He had most of it, and he could certainly get more when he met his American family.  He was just a little short. 

The inspector folded his arms and raised his voice:  “The rule is the same for everybody.  You want to get through, show me your $25.”  He raised his eyes and lectured the crowd.  “Have your papers ready, and “make sure” you have your $25!”  The Armenian man blanched.  Surely he hadn’t come this far only to be sent away for a few dollars.  Tears filled his eyes, and he made a show of looking in his pockets and bags.  Nazar knew people, and he could tell there was no more money to be found.

The Professor – Chapter twenty-one, page 133.

Ed Panosian started teaching at Bob Jones University in 1952, as a graduate assistant.  His formal teaching ministry at the university continued for fifty-two years until he retired in 2004 at the age of seventy-three.  No teacher in the history of BJU has taught more students – an estimated thirty thousand young people.  Panosian has been used of the Lord as a writer, lecturer, and actor.  But he is first and foremost a teacher.

Excerpts from the book Panosian, used with permission.

The Holy Spirit in the Church Today – Be Being Filled With The Spirit – Part IXa – A Study in the Book of Ephesians

Ephesians 5:18

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (debauchery); but be (being) filled (controlled) with the Spirit;

……..be not drunk with wine……

be not – This is a command.  Don’t let it happen!

drunk methusko – This is to become intoxicated, or to lose control of one’s faculties or behaviour.*

wineoinos – This is fermented grape juice.  It would have to be fermented as one cannot become drunk or intoxicated by drinking unfermented grape juice.

excessasotia – This means debauchery, riot or riotous living.*

filledpleroo – This is being filled or to be made full.*  It is continuous action.  It means to be being controlled by the Spirit of God.  It has the idea of a ship’s sail filled with the wind and moving the ship along.

There are many things that compete for the control of a man and many things that can fill a man or woman’s inner being.  Anger, lust, hate, envy, strong and evil desires, covetousness, greed, pride, the love of money, the love of the world, and Satanic influence.

Drunkenness affects every functioning aspect of the human body.  Being drunk affects a man’s walk, his speech, his eyesight, his appetites, his inhibitions, his judgment, his brain, and over an extended period of time, his health, his marriage, and his family.  Drunkenness thoroughly affects every aspect of a man’s being and existence for evil.

Being drunk with wine opens the door to many other sins.  When restraints and inhibitions are dulled and cast aside, the drunkard can dive headlong into debauchery or into what his sensibilities might normally restrain.  Abstaining from alcohol means one would never have to worry about being drunk and the consequences of drunkenness.

In contrast, being filled with the Spirit affects every aspect of the human body,  and the human spirit.  Walking in the Spirit affects a believer’s walk, his speech, his eyes, his appetites, his inhibitions, his judgment, his brain, and over an extended time his health, his marriage, and his family.  Being filled with the Spirit thoroughly affects every aspect of a man’s being and existence for good.

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?

Colossians 3:16-22 is a parallel passage to Ephesians 5:18-6:9.  These passages are essentially the same, except the Colossians passage is a condensed version of the Ephesian passage.  One thing that is rephrased or stated differently in Colossians is the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Colossians passage says we are to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.  In other words, being filled with the Holy Spirit is letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly.

The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture.  He will never lead a believer contrary to Scripture.  God’s Word is living and powerful.  Scripture is called the sword of the Spirit.  We are born again not by corruptible seed, but by incorruptible seed, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.  Hiding His Word in our hearts keeps us from sinning against God.  We can be filled, controlled, or carried along by the Holy Spirit by letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly!

The Holy Spirit will draw us to Scripture.  Satan will drive us away from it.

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

*Definitions are from WE Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

Note:  The word let implies willing submission.

The Christian – A Slave to Righteousness

From The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur, page 224.

For the Christian, the life of slavery to sin is past.  Sin cannot continue to be the chief characteristic of our lives.  Fleshly disobedience interrupts the new life frequently and we do sin.  At times sin may appear to dominate a Christian’s life completely (as was the case when David sinned).  But all true believers still have a new and holy nature. They hate their sin and love righteousness. They cannot live in unbroken sin or hardened rebellion against God and enjoy it. That would be a contradiction of who they are (cf. I Jn. 3:9).