Authority

Jesus: There’s Something Special About That Name

A while back I read a story about a North Carolina “pastor” who was asked to be the honorary chaplain during a session of his state’s legislature. People being invited to lead prayer for governmental bodies happens all the time, but something else happened that sadly seems to be occurring more and more often – his invitation was vetoed after his prayer was “reviewed” because he refused to leave out the name of Jesus at the end. I would’ve done the same thing, because when it comes to Christianity, the Bible is clear…there’s something special about the name of Jesus!

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” (Matthew 18:4-5)

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29)

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41)

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)

And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (Acts 2:21)

Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 19:4-5)

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” (2 Timothy 2:19)

I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” (1 John 2:12)

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”” (Matthew 1:21)

Whether people want to hear the name or not, there is authority, promise, rewards, encouragement, boldness, good will, salvation, holiness and so much more found only in the special name of Jesus. EA

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By What Authority?

While Jesus was giving the people a public lesson in the temple, the religious leaders of the day came to Him and asked where He got His authority to teach what He taught. He responded by asking, “…I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” (Luke 20:3,4).

Even a visitor to Judea would know to whom John gave credit concerning the message he preached and the baptism he administered. Jesus’ interviewers knew the answer too; but because of this group’s stubborn pride and traditions they did not want to answer their own question by answering Jesus’ (just read vs. 5-7).

The baptism that Jesus and the rest of the people had submitted to received its authority from the same place that had given Jesus the authority to teach what He taught the people – Heaven.

There is nothing wrong in asking someone where they have “received their authority” to teach whatever is being taught spiritually. As a matter of fact there is everything right with it (1st John 4:1) as long as the person asking the questions is asking with the right attitude and intention (Luke 20:20).

Some people get offended by being asked that question while others can get offended by the answer they receive; but the possible offence must not take priority over the importance of having the proper authority in religious matters. Christians are exhorted to do what we do with the right authority to do it:

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

When it comes to salvation, to worship, to church relationships, to morality and to whatever facet of the faith that falls in-between, we should be willing to ask “by what authority” is this being done or taught, while at the same time being willing to accept the answer when the proper authority is given. If our answer is determined by the “authority” of a manmade council, a manmade creed, a manmade tradition, a manmade synod, a manmade catechism or a manmade head of the church, then our authority is coming from the wrong place (1st Peter 4:11). EA

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

Bible Questions and Answers – Women Preachers in the Lord’s Church?

“Dear brother Clem: Is it scriptural to have women preachers in the church? Some of them have very good Bible knowledge. – L.H., OH”

The Bible says, very plainly, “Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34). Another passage that deals with this is 1 Timothy 2:8, 11-12, “I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing … Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.” In context, these two passages prohibit women from being preachers in the Lord’s church.

In 1 Corinthians 14, God is speaking of the assembly of the church, and says that women are to “keep silence.” In the previous verses, He has given instructions about how men are to speak in the church assembly, but He gives no such teaching about women speaking. He simply says that they are not to speak. In 1 Timothy 2, in a public setting, men pray or teach. But God has placed some restrictions on women in a public setting (vs. 11-12). Theses restrictions are not upon men, but only upon women.

Notice the wording: “I permit not a woman to teach.” The Greek word for “to teach” in this passage is from “didasko,” which means a lecture or a sermon or discourse. It is the word from which we get “didactic” which applies specifically to a sermon – in which the speaker has control of the material in the assembly. Thus, in a public setting, a woman is not allowed to teach, or preach. That many women in the Lord’s church have a great knowledge of the Scriptures is certainly true. But more than that is necessary for a good sermon. A good sermon begins with God’s stamp of approval, and He has not approved women for the pulpit in the Lord’s church.

I know many people will argue this, for the denominational world has seen many women preachers. But if we are to be governed by what God has said, we just cannot do it. It is not a question of a woman’s ability nor her knowledge. The question hinges only on God’s authority. And He does not authorize women preachers. – Clem Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 61, Number 30 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.

The Awesome Power of God

I grew up in a time period when the word “awesome” meant neat, cool and great; but that is not the original meaning behind the word. The word awesome obviously comes from the root word “awe.” It means “overwhelming respect and reverence.” With that context of the word one can understand how the word “awesome” can apply to the power of God.

The first three verses of the short book of Zephaniah remind me of the word awesome and the scope it has when it is applied to God. They say, “The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. “I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land,” says the Lord; “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” says the Lord.”

What a way to introduce a sermon! If a statement like that does not grab your attention and demand your respect then I don’t know what will. God’s prophet is talking about some awesome power there, a power that was going to be revealed in “the day of the Lord.” (Zephaniah 1:14,18; 2:2; 3:8)

God could easily accomplish what was written then and do it just as easily today. I sometimes think about how sensitive our world can be. America has the best agriculture system in the world, but even it is sensitive at best. Our beef supplies can be ransacked by “mad-cow disease.” Our poultry can easily become the prey of the “Asian bird-flu.” Our fruits and vegetables can become tainted with salmonella. Floods in the mid-west can show us how quickly our corn crops can be taken away. Take all of this and factor in the fact that a severe drought can effect all of the above and we quickly realize that God is still the One that blesses our nation and fills the grocery stores.

Now back to Zephaniah’s admonition. Judah knew about the awesome power that God possessed. They knew about the flood of Noah’s day. The early generations of their fathers saw first-hand the effect that God’s hand could have on a nation. They watched the “mighty” Egypt suffer in every point of its economy due to the mightier plagues that were sent by God through Moses. (more…)