Born To Bear Witness

Written by Hoyt W. Allen, Jr.

Our Text

"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness ofrepparttar Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light." (John 1:6-8)

"Now this isrepparttar 141345 testimony of John, whenrepparttar 141346 Jews sent priests and Levities from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you.' He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am notrepparttar 141347 Christ.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are yourepparttar 141348 Prophet?' And he answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?' He said, 'I am

The voice crying inrepparttar 141349 wilderness: Make straightrepparttar 141350 way ofrepparttar 141351 Lord, asrepparttar 141352 prophet Isaiah said.' Now those who were sent were fromrepparttar 141353 Pharisees. And they asked him saying, 'Why then do you baptize if you are notrepparttar 141354 Christ, nor Elijah, norrepparttar 141355 Prophet?' John answered them saying, 'I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.' These things were done in Bethabara beyondrepparttar 141356 Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes awayrepparttar 141357 sin ofrepparttar 141358 world! This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water."' And John bore witness saying, 'I sawrepparttar 141359 Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you seerepparttar 141360 Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes withrepparttar 141361 Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this isrepparttar 141362 Son of God.'

Again,repparttar 141363 next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, 'Beholdrepparttar 141364 Lamb of God!' The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus." (John 1:19-37)

"After these things Jesus and His disciples came intorepparttar 141365 land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples andrepparttar 141366 Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He who was with you beyondrepparttar 141367 Jordan, to whom you have testified - behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!' John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, "I am notrepparttar 141368 Christ," but, I have been sent before Him. He who hasrepparttar 141369 bride isrepparttar 141370 bridegroom; butrepparttar 141371 friend ofrepparttar 141372 bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because ofrepparttar 141373 bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.'" (John 3:22-30)

John The Baptist

He is not to be confused with John,repparttar 141374 apostle, who wasrepparttar 141375 son of Zebedee and authored; John's Gospel,repparttar 141376 three letters of John, andrepparttar 141377 Revelation of John.

Johnrepparttar 141378 Baptist wasrepparttar 141379 son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1). His birth was foretold by an angel to his parents, when they were elderly. His birth preceded that of Jesus', who was his cousin. He became a "Hell-fire and Brimstone" preacher. Preaching "repentance torepparttar 141380 Jews." His dress was very crude, that of camel's hair. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. However, even though he was not a "polished" preacher, he drewrepparttar 141381 crowds. He baptized Jesus inrepparttar 141382 Jordan. Due to his straight forward preaching, he ended up having his head removed (Matthew 14:1-12). The name "John" means "Gift of God" and is a Hellenized form for "Jonathan." There is a similarity between John and his Old Testament namesake. They both gave uprepparttar 141383 opportunity to be popular for someone else. Jonathan stepped aside for David, while John stepped aside for Jesus. When we findrepparttar 141384 name "John" inrepparttar 141385 fourth Gospel, it is always in reference to Johnrepparttar 141386 Baptist, and neverrepparttar 141387 Gospel writer. John realized that he was born to witness.

Where Are The Dead?

Written by Stephen Kingery

Death is a subject that most people seem to avoid discussing. It would seem that people fear death because ofrepparttar mystery that surrounds it. Onrepparttar 141344 other hand, whenever someone claims to have had an out-of- body experience, people will listen intently aboutrepparttar 141345 story. Television shows about people who have supposedly died and come back to life with these out-of-body stories are very popular. People are looking for something to comfort them concerningrepparttar 141346 here-after. We know thatrepparttar 141347 comfort lies in Christ. So, lets take a look at whatrepparttar 141348 Scriptures have to say aboutrepparttar 141349 dead and where they are. Our comfort lies inrepparttar 141350 resurrection of Jesus Christ, for He said, "I amrepparttar 141351 resurrection andrepparttar 141352 life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." (John 11:25,26) This Scripture is not referring to eternal life inrepparttar 141353 physical state that we now exist. It is talking about eternal life inrepparttar 141354 spiritual since, in that our spirit shall live on for eternity with Christ if we obeyrepparttar 141355 gospel. However, we shall receive a new body (See John 14:1-4 & II Corinthians 5:1-5).

We must recognize that "death" does not mean cessation of life, but separation. Death inrepparttar 141356 physical since isrepparttar 141357 separation ofrepparttar 141358 soul and spirit fromrepparttar 141359 physical body. Life, inrepparttar 141360 real since, is contained inrepparttar 141361 soul. The capacity to experience love, joy, understanding, loneliness, excitement, and so forth isrepparttar 141362 expression of life. Our physical body is merely a place of residence (a house if you will) for our soul to stay while we are here on earth.

Where does our soul go upon death ofrepparttar 141363 body? To fully understandrepparttar 141364 answer to that question, we must first know where we are before death. Where we go after death depends upon where we are before death.

Those of us living on earth that are ofrepparttar 141365 age of accountability are in one of two places:repparttar 141366 church, orrepparttar 141367 world. The church was founded by Christ, "...on this rock I will build My church, andrepparttar 141368 gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18b) The church is made up of all those who have obeyedrepparttar 141369 gospel and are repentant baptized believers. These that remain faithful torepparttar 141370 end shall live for eternity with Christ as is indicated in John 11:25,26.

Those who have reachedrepparttar 141371 age of accountability and choose not to obeyrepparttar 141372 gospel are ofrepparttar 141373 world. They are subjects of Satan and reside in his kingdom (the world). They are sinners who enjoy and lust after things of this world. They refuse to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Baptism isrepparttar 141374 dividing line betweenrepparttar 141375 world andrepparttar 141376 church. By being baptized (immersion)repparttar 141377 repentant believer comes into contact withrepparttar 141378 saving blood of Christ. Salvation is thus realized throughrepparttar 141379 forgiveness of our sins and we are in Christ.

Where did souls go beforerepparttar 141380 death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Christ? To understand this we must realize that three different words are translated as "hell" inrepparttar 141381 King James Version. These three words are Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. Hades meansrepparttar 141382 abode ofrepparttar 141383 dead, not a place of eternal punishment. We can see this by reading Acts 2:27-31 where it is reported that Jesus went to Hades at death. We also see that Hades will be eventually cast intorepparttar 141384 lake of fire -- Hell if you will -- atrepparttar 141385 last day. (See Revelation 20:14) Gehenna means place of eternal punishment as seen in Mark 9:43-47. The word translated as hell in these verses isrepparttar 141386 word Gehenna. Tartarus is an intermediate state of punishment. "For God did not sparerepparttar 141387 angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgement;" (II Peter 2:4) The word translated as hell in this passage is Tartarus.

Remember that we said that Hades wasrepparttar 141388 abode ofrepparttar 141389 dead. Paradise was a part of Hades. This is indicated byrepparttar 141390 fact that Jesus went to Hades after He died onrepparttar 141391 cross. He toldrepparttar 141392 thief that he would be with Him in paradise. Therefore, paradise must have been a part ofrepparttar 141393 abode ofrepparttar 141394 dead at that time.

So, we see that atrepparttar 141395 time Jesus was crucified, Hades consisted of Paradise and Tartarus. This fact is supported byrepparttar 141396 story ofrepparttar 141397 rich man and Lazarus told by Jesus. This account shows thatrepparttar 141398 dead were either in a place of bliss or paradise (Abraham's Bosom) or a place of torment with a gulf separatingrepparttar 141399 two. Tartarus will eventually be cast intorepparttar 141400 lake of fire -- Gehenna.

When Jesus ascended into heaven He took paradise and allrepparttar 141401 Old Testament faithful with Him.

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