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  • Eugene Adkins 6:09 pm on 2017-02-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , John the Baptist,   

    A characteristic worth imitating that John learned from the wilderness 

    John the baptizer was a man accustomed to “wide open spaces” to say the least (Luke 1:80). And I believe several personal characteristics came from his experience of living outside the “city limits” of Jerusalem…or any other area of Jewish pop-culture of the day for that matter. Of these characteristics was the obvious lack of concern for the wants of society.

    With organic locusts and honey on his plate, and a camel-hair coat and leather belt for a wardrobe, I think it’s safe to say John wasn’t worried about keeping up with the Herod’s when it came to cuisine or clothing. John was more interested in God’s desire for his life than he was in trying to get God interested in some worldly desire.

    Am I saying it’s wrong to have a closet with several changes of camel-hair-free clothing or a refrigerator with a steak in it? Nope. I’m not saying that at all.

    What I am saying is that John was more interested in having an effect on his culture for God’s sake than he was in allowing his culture to influence his pursuits in life. And I’m saying that we could all learn the lesson that the wilderness no doubt helped to teach John – we will not take anything with us that our pop-culture considers to be so important when our body feeds the grass and the flowers that the locusts and bees enjoy.

    And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15 NKJV)

    • James Pasley 1:54 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply

      It is so hard to be in the world and not become part of it or at least be influenced by it. I think that is why Jesus prayed for us to have the help from God to be able to do it.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:03 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply

        You’re right. Romans 12:1-2, as well as several other references, shows that a mindset that seeks God’s point of view is necessary to avoiding worldly influence. When we fail to follow God’s leading light we fail all together, plain and simple however sad it is (Ephesians 4:17-24; 5:14-16).

        Thanks for commenting, James.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:04 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply

        Also meant to say that John did what he did because he was focused on being a witness to the light I referenced above (John 1:6-9).

  • TFRStaff 6:32 am on 2017-02-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , John the Baptist, , ,   

    February 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Heroes of Faith) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics you will find:

    • Noah: Obedient Faith in a Wicked World! (Mike Bonner)
    • Abraham: He Who Staggered Not in Unbelief (Cody Westbrook)
    • Barnabas: He Who Met the Need (Don Walker)
    • John the Baptizer: The Most Humble Disciple (Carl McCann)
    • Peter: From a Pebble To a Rock (Clay Bond)
    • Joshua: The Courageous Leader (Bill Burk)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

    Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • Eugene Adkins 10:34 am on 2016-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: John the Baptist,   

    One wild preacher! 

    If you had to name the wildest preacher in the Bible, who do you think it would be?

    I think it would be John the baptizer!

    Think about it: John’s ministry was based in the wild, he dressed wild, he ate wild, he preached a wild message of repentance and he received a wild response from the people!

    Maybe we preachers need to be a little less “civilized” and little more wild like John. Just a thought.

    • docmgphillips 8:15 pm on 2016-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      It is imperative that we hear messages of the love of our Heavenly Father. But…how can we appreciate that great love if we know nothing of the Hell that awaits the unrepentant sinner?

  • John T. Polk II 6:38 pm on 2015-05-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , by-pass Jews, , , John the Baptist,   

    5-11-2015 What God Is Able To Do 

    John the Baptist told the Jews, “do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Matthew 3:9). Under the Gospel of Christ, Jews, “if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again” (Romans 11:23). And to Christians, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). God is able to by-pass the Jews, save obedient Israelites, help Christians serve Him. The issue is never what God is able to do – but what are you willing to do? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 6:01 am on 2015-01-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blessings in Christ, , John the Baptist, ,   

    The Blessed! 

    When John was in prison, he sent some of his disciples to Jesus. Though he acknowledged Jesus was the One he had been given the mission of preparing the way for by the sign shown at His baptism (John 1:32-34), it seems John was desiring some confirmation. Perhaps he had that need because, being in prison, things may not have appeared to be going according to expectations. Personal expectations have a way of causing questions to arise and for some it even leads to discarding entirely the proofs that confirm. Therefore, Jesus sent the followers of John back to relate what they had heard and had observed of the power of Jesus.

    We read. . .

    (4) And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: (5) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (6) And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 ESV)

    Who else had power to do such? On another occasion, some who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah were urged by Him to at least “believe the works” (John 10:38) because it was those works done in His Father’s name that bore witness about Him. (John 10:25) In spite of the personal Messianic expectations held by some, God’s plan was unfolding as He intended and Jesus was to be acknowledged for Who He was and is!

    There are many today who refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Some even claim to be offended when His name is mentioned. They don’t mind prayers being ended with “AMEN”. They may not even mind God being addressed in the prayer because that reference has come to mean different things to different people. However, to bring the Name of Jesus into it narrows things down more than some are willing to accept. Still, it must be learned what the Lord’s place is between us and the Father. (John 14:6) In Him is found the path to blessing both now and forevermore.

    As Jesus stated, blessed is the one who is not offended by Him. Unfortunately some are missing out on the blessings associated with Him now and the hope relative to the place for eternity He has gone to prepare. May our life reveal the difference Jesus is presently making in our life so that others might be drawn to the power that can make all the difference for them as well.


    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

  • Eugene Adkins 6:24 am on 2013-07-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , John the Baptist, , , Sermon Snippet from John 3   

    Sermon Snippet from John 3:22-36 

    I preached a sermon yesterday from John 3:22-36 called, “Relationships, Relationships.”

    One of the relationships that I focused on was the one that John the groomsman and Jesus the bridegroom had.

    John may be better known as a powerful preacher than a humble one. After all, he’d tell people to turn the cat around if they told him he was rubbing the fur the wrong way. But in reality he was as humble as any other preacher we can find in God’s word when it came to his work.

    John understood the necessity of humility in God’s people. He knew that the Lord rewards humility (Psalm 149:4), and humility was something that he wanted his own disciples to pick up on from the beginning when it came to his relationship with Jesus. It was John who mouthed the familiar words which say, “…He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (John 1:27)

    John preached with the power of Elijah but he gave way to the increase of Jesus’ work and popularity with the meekness and humility of Moses. That’s only one reason why Jesus said, “…among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist….” (Matthew 11:11)

    John modeled humility across multiple spectrums in a way that’s worth striving to impersonate when he said, “[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

    When is the last time that we could honestly say in our relationship with Jesus that we have decreased so He could increase? How long has it really been? It’s something worth asking and answering if we, like John, desire a proper relationship with Jesus.

  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2013-05-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , John the Baptist, ,   

    A Demand That Was Too Much 

    As I was studying Luke 3 this week I reflected on the what the Scripture said with regard to what John preached. John the Baptist was a preacher who garnered the attention of the people as he preached in the wilderness (Luke 3:3; Matthew 3:5). John would not be “employed” by most churches today because the message he preached, while intriguing, was one that demanded too much.

    His message was three-fold. First, he was preparing the way for the coming Messiah. John’s preparation was accomplished in the preaching. The imagery of Luke 3:4-6 would not have been lost on the people, especially as he illustrated this in his exhortations to the people when they inquired (Luke 3:7-14). Second, he preached and demanded those who came to him reflect a life of repentance; this, however, was much easier said than accomplished. The word “repentance” means “a change of mind” with regard to the sinful way one lives life, and this change being reflected in a godly life lived. Third, he baptized (immersed) those who came to him “for [with a view to] the forgiveness of sins.”

    Baptism is not for infants and children who do not understand the difference between sins and righteousness. Baptism is for those who do understand; it is interesting to note that those baptized in the book of Acts are all identified as “men and women” (people who understand). More than the candidate for baptism is important here, however, it is the idea of repentance. Those who come to God need to change the way they live life if they would see Him who is Lord over all (cf. Luke 13:3-5). It is serious! RT

  • Eugene Adkins 7:44 am on 2013-04-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , John the Baptist, , Nicodemus,   

    A Line Has Been Drawn 

    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-29)

    When Jesus said“this is the condemnation” the Bible uses the Greek word “krisis” (kree-sis). Krisis means that a separating, a sundering, a trial or a selection has taken place. You can hear our English word “crisis” in that. The technical meaning (which is important because we often only think of it emotionally) of crisis according to Webster is, “a turning point in the course of anything; decisive or crucial time, stage, or event.” Sound similar to you?

    In the context, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that a “krisis” has come – a point in time had come that was separating or drawing a line between the righteous and the wicked, and it’s not turning back.

    Why is this so important for Nicodemus to hear? Because the Pharisees (a group of whom Nicodemus was a member) had chosen their own works in place of God’s works. They had rejected John’s message and baptism! And to whom did John’s message and baptism point toward? The very Light that was being used to draw the line between the wrong and the right:

    There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9)

    To reject John was to reject Jesus, to reject Jesus was to reject God, and to reject God was truly a “krisis” in one’s life that would have great consequences!

    Jesus is God’s dividing line, not because Christianity says so, but because God says so. So what side of the line are we going to stand on?

  • Richard Mansel 9:57 am on 2012-08-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acts 2. pentecost, , , John the Baptist   

    The Church started before Pentecost? 

    I was doing research for a Bible class and came across this startling article. I thought would share.

    The author claims that the church did not start in Acts 2. When I read his theory, I was reminded of Wayne Jackson calling something, “results-oriented dogma.”

    His purpose in the article is to explain the origin of the Baptist Church. Naturally, he finds a way to rationalize his conclusion.

    When did the church begin? Let’s read his explanation:

    (More …)

    • EWELL 1:13 pm on 2012-08-08 Permalink | Reply

      The Baptist church is then NOT Christ’s blood-bought institution, which we already knew from their view of the non-essentiality of baptism.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:07 pm on 2012-08-08 Permalink | Reply

      When John referred to himself decreasing and Jesus increasing I guarentee he had more on his mind than what kind of a sign would appear on a church building. It’s ridiculous to try and justify the name “baptist church” because of the proposed theory presented. Plus, as any student of the Bible should know, baptist isn’t a correct understanding of the word in connection to John. He wasn’t a baptist; he was the baptizer. The word “baptist” today, like many other words from the past, has come to represent something completely different from its original meaning.

      Isaiah 2 definitely points to Acts 2 and all the points made above in the article. It alone makes enough of a point to me.

      John paved the way, but John didn’t build what the road led to (Acts 20:28).

    • Joe Slater 9:32 am on 2012-08-09 Permalink | Reply

      The gentleman wrote, in part: ‘The Greek word for “build” means “build up” and does not refer to the initial beginning of the church.’

      There is just enough truth there to be dangerous. The Greek word can, indeed, mean “build up” as well as simply “build.” As we might expect, however, context makes the difference. Jesus’ illustration of building on a rock does not favor the meaning of “build up.” When He told the parable of the wise man building his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24, 25), was the wise man just strengthening something that was already there? The parallel account in Luke 6:48 shows such a notion to be impossible.

      To my knowledge, the word for build is never used in the future tense in the New Testament with the meaning “build up.” The foolish farmer in the parable said, “I will pull down my barns and will build greater” (Luke 12:18). Obviously he wasn’t going to leave his old barns standing and just build them up. Stephen quotes the Lord as asking “what house will you build for Me?” (Acts 7:49). When the temple was finally built, Solomon started from scratch — he didn’t build up an already-existing temple.

      Prior to Pentecost, the church is spoken of only in the future. At Pentecost and beyond, it is spoken of as a present reality.

      It’s worth noting that by the time Jesus promised “I will build My church,” John the immerser had already been murdered. One renders a disservice to the faithful and noteworthy John by claiming that he started the church or was even in the church that Jesus built.

    • barry 11:27 am on 2013-07-07 Permalink | Reply

      Ephesians 1:19-23
      “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

      A body cannot live without a head. The Scriptures in Ephesians suggest that the church is built upon the foundation of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, meaning that the Church could not exist in the Old Testament or the gospels, since Christ had not yet risen from the dead. In other words, these two events (resurrection and ascension of Christ) needed to occur before the church could be formed. Since these events did not occur in the Old Testament or during Christ’s earthly ministry with the apostles, the Church could not yet have existed. It is foolish to argue for the existence of the Church prior to these two events. The Church simply cannot exist apart from its Head. The Head of the Church is the glorified, exalted, risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. According to R. Newton Flew, Jesus and His Church, the church could not begin until after the ascension.

      The Church could not be formed and exist on earth prior to Christ’s death. The birth of the Church actually follows on the heels of Christ’s death and resurrection. Pentecost actually occurred fifty days after Christ’s resurrection. Pentecost means “fifty” because it came fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:15-22) which typically corresponds to fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. Christ is the firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:23). Ryrie supports this as well. This marks the timing of the Church’s beginning. It began fifty days after Christ’s resurrection. This period of fifty days would include His forty day post-resurrection ministry (Acts 1:3). After the forty days the disciples were awaiting the promise of the Holy Spirit’s arrival to begin the Church which focused on the baptizing ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). Following Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:8) this promise became true (Acts 2:1).

      Jesus prophesied about the future Church
      Additionally, Jesus prophesied about the future Church that He was going to build indicating that this was a new program, new work, and new people that had not previously existed. Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church”. οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, 1st person, future, active indicative singular. This is future and indicates that at the moment He spoke these words, the church was not yet in existence, nor could it be in existence, during His earthly ministry. It was still a future phenomenon and event that would occur after His departure.

      While Jesus was on the earth He said, “I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18). It’s building was obviously future to that statement. Though Jesus taught on earth many principles essential to His will, the church did not begin until after His death, burial, and resurrection. His will or testament became binding only after His death (Hebrews 9:16-17).

      The Church could not exist in the Old Testament or during the gospels, when Christ was on earth, for the simple reason that only after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ was the Church was gifted.

      Ephesians 4:7-9
      “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”

      The Church is not found in the Old Testament nor could it have been formed in the Old Testament (Eph. 3:1-9). Ephesians 3:5 makes a crystal clear statement about the beginning of the Church: “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” The church was a “mystery” in the sense that it was not God’s operating purpose in the Old Testament. It is not a question of the degree of revelation but of the fact of it. It is a completely new revelation and new purpose of God unknown to the Old Testament prophets (see 1 Peter 1:10-12). This means that the Church was formed during the New Testament era, and after the ascension of Christ and the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit occurring to initially form the Church.

      Harper, Louis Keith. 1990. “Old Landmarkism : a historiographical appraisal.” Baptist History And Heritage 25, no. 2: 31-40. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 7, 2013).
      Leonard, Bill J. 2012. “Conviction and contradiction: reassessing theological formation in Baptist identity.” Baptist History And Heritage 47, no. 2: 6-25. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 7, 2013).

      Patterson, W Morgan. 1975. “The influence of Landmarkism among Baptists.” Baptist History And Heritage 10, no. 1: 44-55. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 7, 2013).
      Tull, James E. 1975. “The Landmark movement: an historical and theological appraisal.” Baptist History And Heritage 10, no. 1: 3-18. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 7, 2013).

  • Richard Hill 10:51 pm on 2011-02-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: camel hair, , , John the Baptist, locust   

    Camels, Locusts, and Honey, Oh My! 

    What did this prophet look like? Just how uncomfortable was camel hair clothing as he wandered around those deserted areas? I’ve eaten bugs before, but they were chocolate-covered. Even with that sweet coating they weren’t great. Locusts definitely don’t sound very appetizing. Maybe if you dip them in honey. . .

    Initially, people may have been drawn to see him because of his quirks. I believe what kept them coming back was yet another unique trait. This great man of God did not adjust his message to please his audience. He simply told them what they needed to hear. That alone distinguishes him from the pack.

    God give us more men with the courage of John!

  • Ron Thomas 5:15 am on 2011-02-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , John the Baptist,   

    John did not know 

    For some time I have pondered on the thought that John, the Baptist, did not know the Lord Jesus. “And I did not recognize (know – ESV) him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining — this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'” (John 1:33, NET). Yet, the Scripture declares that to some degree John did indeed know the Lord, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:13-14, ESV). John knew (recognized) Him, but then again he did not. That he knew Jesus is clear from the words of Matthew, but the special way in which he was going to come to know did not occur until after he and jesus fulfilled all righteousness.

    Perhaps we, too, recognize the Lord, but do we know Him?

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:46 pm on 2010-10-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , John the Baptist   

    You can’t please the world 

    … so you shouldn’t even try. That’s the gist of my editorial today on FMag.

    The World Is Never Happy

    Jesus and John approached their audiences differently, but their message of repentance for the coming Kingdom was the same. People played up their differences merely to discount the messengers and discard their message.

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