Repent and Believe the Gospel!

Jesus said,"The time is fullfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the Gospel"
The Gospel is that the Word of God became a man; Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, the Son of God, full of grace and truth, and lived in this world with every temptation that you and I face, and yet He never sinned and He gave himself to die on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. God made Him who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He was buried in a tomb, and on the third day the Father raised Him from the dead. He was seen of above 500 witnesses after He arose and He ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. He is there right now, alive, making intercession on our behalf to the Father. He is coming again with all the saints and all the angels in great power and glory and all who live and believe in him will be united with him and thus will we ever be with the Lord. I urge you to seek Him now, during this time while the long suffering of God is waiting, for the Day of the Lord is coming soon. He loves you and He will save you to the utter most if you will put your trust in Him.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

 A Little Leaven

Greetings in the name of Jesus! This is Rob Haymes. This program is called 15 Minutes With Jesus. Today we’re going to talk about A Little Leaven. Let’s turn to 1Co 5:1-13, It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father's wife. And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him who has so done this deed; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves that evil person. Verse 6: Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Let’s turn to Exodus chapter 12, and read about the first Passover; Exo 12:1-15, Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD's Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. Verse 19: Seven days there shall no leaven be found in your houses. Let’s turn to 1 Cor 5 again, verse 7, Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Therefore, because Christ is sacrificed for us, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Let’s turn to chapter 6, verse 9, Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
It is upon us as elders in the body of Christ to stand up and purge out of our fellowships the leaven of malice and wickedness, and to build up the body of Christ in sincerity and truth; to deal with every person walking in sin, and if they will not repent, to put them out from among us. They must be put out until they repent with Godly sorrow for their sins, otherwise the leaven of sin will corrupt the entire body. If you are an elder, and you know there is sin in the house, and you won’t deal with it, you don’t love Christ, and you don’t love the people. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, in 2 Tim 4:2, …reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. Jesus said, in Rev 3:19, As many as I love I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore and repent! Again, I want to remind us of what I just read in verse 9 of 1 Cor 6; know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. In 1 John we read: Little children, let no man deceive you, he that does righteousness is righteous; he that practices righteousness is righteous. He that sins, or he that practices sin is of the devil. Don’t be deceived children. The inclusion of the world, and worldly, sinful people in the church, who will not repent, for the sake of filthy lucre, is a grievous sin against Christ and His church. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth; the place of fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. The apostle John said in 1 John 1, Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. They are Holy, and we too should be holy. God said, Be you holy, for I am Holy; not holier than thou, but separated unto God, separated from that which is unclean; without spot, walking in the light, walking in the truth. If we say we have fellowship with the Lord and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth, John said. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship, one with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. The leaven of self love, self indulgence, malice, and wickedness is darkness that must be exposed by the light of God’s Word through His true ministers in the church. Oh Lord, raise up true elders, raise up true ministers of your Gospel, Father, I pray, in this hour, that are not afraid of men, that are not after money, that are not seeking their own will, but they are pleasing you, seeking to do your will, Father, and they are strong in the Lord, and in the power of your might, speaking the truth, with signs following; I pray for it Father, right now! Raise up your church Lord! Restore your true church; the true body of Christ! Hallelujah! As I said, this darkness must be exposed by the light of God’s Word through His true ministers in the church as they are led by the Holy Spirit to do so. We must have love and courage to obey God and deal with wicked people in the church. Some will come to repentance. Others will refuse, and they must be put out of the church. Many churches are full of leaven because the leaders don’t want to deal with it. They are after filthy lucre, and they fear that if they do, they will offend some of their big donors.
Let’s go to 1 Pet 5:1-4 , The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain, or filthy lucre, but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, and He is coming, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. In the King James it says: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. 1 Pet 5:6, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Micah 6:8, For what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Many would say, Don’t judge! Which is true. We should not judge unjustly, based on our own understanding. But Jesus said, Judge righteous judgement. And I read earlier, the apostle Paul said, Do you not judge those that are within? We must judge sin and lies in the church by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 11:31&32, For if we would judge ourselves , we would not be judged, but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. If we will meet God’s conditions, He will do what He has promised. He doesn’t change, and He is not a respecter of persons. The righteous, the humble shall be exalted. Those who practice lawlessness, if they will not repent, shall be destroyed. If you love people, tell them the truth!
2 Pet 3:17&18, You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Pet 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So if you are an elder, and you won’t deal with the leaven of malice and wickedness in your church, and you let it continue, you are responsible before God for the destruction that follows in people’s lives. We need true elders! 1 Pet 1:22, We must purify our souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned, true, genuine, love of the brethren, and we must love one another with a pure heart fervently. Lev 19:17, You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. If you know that your brother or your sister is in sin, it is not love to ignore it and not deal with it. It is love to confront them in all humility, longsuffering, patience, gentleness, meekness; to confront them. Jesus said, again, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore and repent! Jesus said, in Mat 7:21-23, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

 The Love Of God

Greetings in the name of Jesus! This is 15 Minutes With Jesus. This is Rob Haymes. Today’s program is called The Love Of God. Let’s turn to John chapter 3, verse 13-21, No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 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. God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one begotten of the Father; His only begotten Son, and Jesus loved us so much, and He loved the Father, and He obeyed the Father, and He went to the cross for our sins. The Bible says God made Him who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf. On the cross Jesus became sin; He became sin. All the sin of the human race was laid upon Him; all the suffering, all the evil was laid on Him. He bore it on His own body. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. That is love; that God gave His Son. God gave His Son. He loved us so much that He gave His Son, who never did anything wrong. He was crucified for our sins. He was buried in a tomb, and on the third day the Father raised Him from the dead, justified from all sin, and justified us who will repent of our sins and come to Him with all our heart; repent and turn to Jesus with all our heart; confessing our sins; repenting of our sins; He will forgive us, and He will cleanse us, and He will sanctify us, and we will be baptized into His death, His burial, and His resurrection, through water baptism; raised with Him; justified, just as though we had never sinned. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The Son of God loved us and washed us from our sins in His own Blood ! Thank you Lord! We need a real revelation of the love of God. Self love is the opposite of the love of God. Self love will destroy us, and everyone around us. The love of God gives life. Jesus said, I am come that you might have life, eternal life, and that you might have it more abundantly. It comes from God to us and brings life into us and everyone around us. God loves us and choses us and draws us to Jesus. When we come to Jesus He saves us and washes us and causes us to be born again in Him and He in us. Then He begins to teach us and reprove us, and walk us in righteous paths as we continue in Him. It is His great love for us that He does this to correct us, purify us and prepare us, if we will stay with Him and keep His Words, to spend eternity with Him and with the Father. It is the love of God that causes us to continue with Him. The only way you can stay faithful to Him unto the end is in His love and mercy and grace; God’s graciousness. God loved us and gave His Son. We love Him because He first loved us. His correction and instruction is not to condemn us, but to deliver us out of darkness into His marvelous light; out of the dominion of Satan into the Kingdom of God; out of the lies into the truth; out of the bondage and misery of sin into the glorious liberty of the children of God; to make us sons and daughters of the Living God; to inherit eternal life and all things in Him! He loved us and ransomed us with His own Blood from the dominion of the Devil and our own destructions, to become His servants and to overcome with Him and reign with Him forever. It is the Father’s love to make us His children through the sacrifice of His only begotten beloved Son Jesus.
Let’s turn to 1 John 2:3-5, Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. Let’s go to 1 John 3:14- , We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Verse 16, By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Jesus said, Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. He said, You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you. Verse 23, And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. The Word of God will cleanse you of that old self love that blocks His love from flowing through you. It will not accommodate it. God has things for you to give to others; good deeds, and words of comfort and edification.
Let’s turn to 1Cor 13: 1-13, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Be honest with yourself and God. Come to Him and confess your hatred, your selfishness, your contempt for others, and your unforgiveness, and ask Him to cleanse you and put His love in your heart, by His Spirit, for Him and for other people. Then follow Him as He leads you in righteous paths to break you and cleanse you and teach you His ways. And keep following Him until you see His face! Don’t give up! Don’t let go of Him until He blesses you; until you see His Glory!
Let’s go to 1 John 4:7-21, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. Verse 10&11, In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation, or the atonement, for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. As I said earlier, we need a revelation of God’s love; that God so loved us that He gave His blessed Son Jesus, who, though He was tempted like us in every way, He never sinned, and He willingly went to the cross to pay for all of our sins with His own life; His own Blood. He loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood. So we ought also to lay down our lives for one another; to really love one another, in deed and in truth.
Let’s turn to Romans 8, verses 31-39, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sunday, February 7, 2021


God Gave The Increase


Greetings in the name of Jesus! This is Rob Haymes. This is 15 Minutes With Jesus. Today’s program is called God Gave The Increase. It’s taken from 1Cor 3:1-23, Let’s go there, And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  This chapter tells us what is wrong with the church.  Verse 9, For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Verse 6, I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. Verse 7, So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. We are nothing! It is God who gives the increase.


Let’s go to Acts 2:1-4, When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. We see here, that on the Day of Pentecost, the Lord Jesus, as He promised, sent the Holy Spirit, and the disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, and many people heard the sound and they were gathered together to see what was happening. Let’s go to verse 14-21, But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams, and on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out of my Spirit in those days.  Peter preached the Gospel to the people. Let’s go to verse 32, Peter said, This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles,Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Amen! Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. God gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Peter planted; he preached the Gospel to the people, and then God gave the increase. Three thousand souls were added to the church that day. They were watered as they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine. In verse 47 we read, And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. The Lord added. He gave the increase.


Let’s go to Acts 10. Acts 10 talks about the centurion, Cornelius, who was a righteous man; feared God with all his household, gave alms generously, in verse 2, to the people and prayed to God always. Wow! He was a righteous man. And God sent an angel. The angel told him to go and send for Peter. Peter came, he preached the Gospel, he planted, and the Holy Spirit fell on all those that were gathered together at Cornelius’ house. God gave the increase. They were baptized. Peter stayed there certain days and taught them and they were watered.


Let’s go to Acts 11:19-26, Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, (Greek speaking Jews), preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. I want to read that again, verse 21, And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. We see in Antioch that the hand of the Lord was with them; God gave the increase. The gentile church started in Antioch. They were first called Christians there. The Apostle Paul was sent out from there. There were elders there. If we go to Acts 13:1-5, we see, Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So we see here that God had established the church. He gave the increase. And He established elders, and they fasted, and they prayed, and they laid hands on them and sent them away, verse 4, So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. And you can read on and see how God moved. Paul planted and God gave the increase. This all started with those few men that went to Antioch; and the hand of the Lord was with them, and He gave the increase, and He established the church at Antioch, and much fruit came from it, including the Apostle Paul’s ministry, including all the churches that were established in Asia and in Greece.


Let’s go to Acts 16:13-15, And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us. God opened Lydia’s heart that she attended to the things spoken by Paul. Immediately she believed and was baptized; she and her whole house. God gave the increase. Let’s go to verse 23-33, And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here." Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately, immediately, he and all his family were baptized. God sent the earthquake and the jailer heard the Gospel; Paul planted; and he and all his house were saved and baptized straightway. God gave the increase.


John 15:5, Jesus said that without me you can do nothing. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. He starts the work. He gives the increase as we plant and water in obedience to Him, being sent by the Holy Spirit. As we abide in Him and obey Him, He will move through us. We cannot do anything without Him! 1Cor 3:9-15, Let’s go back there. We see here that every man’s work will be tried, of what sort it is. There is no other foundation that can be laid but Jesus Christ. Verse 12, Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire.  Every man’s work shall  be tried by fire. If any man’s work abides, verse 14, makes it through the fire, he shall receive a reward. Verse 15, If any man’s work shall be burned he shall suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Every work through the flesh is worthless; it is not valuable, like gold, silver, precious stones, and it shall be burned up. Every work initiated by Jesus, our head, our Lord and Master, which we finish in faithful obedience, bearing fruit that remains to God’s Glory, is valuable and precious, and we shall be rewarded. Every man’s work shall be rewarded. 1 Pet 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;  knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. We should pass the time of our sojourning here in fear. Those that work iniquity shall be destroyed. Personal ambition is nothing but a hinderance. It causes us as ministers to work through our flesh which profits nothing, in pride and self glorification. The Bible talks about those who love the preeminence. So what can we do?  We must allow the Lord to break us: Jesus said, whosoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; so that He can work through us by His Spirit; so that we know that we are nothing; as Paul said, in 1 Cor 3, so that we know that all Glory belongs to Him; so that we wouldn’t even dare try to do anything on our own, but we seek Him with prayer and fasting to obey Him as He leads us; He initiates the work; sends us to plant; and He gives the increase; and we water; and the fruit will come forth to His Glory. We truly seek to bring Glory and honor to our God; to His Holy Name, and not to ourselves any more. Then we will have gold, silver, and precious stones that will make it through the fire. The fire is coming, and all of us will be judged according to our works.