Thursday, April 19, 2012



(Preached at West End Baptist Church of Newport, TN on April 15, 2012)

Easter comes only once a year; but it should be constantly in our hearts. It was the first Easter that gives us our Christian hope that we still claim today. It truly was, as Hal Lindsey says; “the week that changed the world”

The fact of having a Resurrected Savior gives us our hope of being a resur-rected Saint should it be our lot to die before the soon-coming Rapture of the Church.

That hope that we possess came about when God manifested His Awesome, Omnipotent Power in bringing His Son, Jesus the Christ, back from among the dead ones.

The New Testament Itself tells us that Jesus’ Resurrection is the ground zero, the focal point, the hub, the central axis, the very nucleus of our early Chris-tian belief, our present Christian belief, and our eternal Christian belief.

(1 Corinthians 15:1-6) – “Brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

and after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep”.

(1 Corinthians 15:14-17) – “If Christ is not risen from the dead, then our preaching is empty and so is your faith; and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified that God raised up Christ: Whom He did not raise if the dead cannot rise.

For if the dead cannot rise, then Christ could not rise (because He truly did die): and if Christ is not resurrected, then your faith in vain and you are still in your sins”.

Jesus Himself declared that the Resurrection was the chief sign that He was in fact, God’s Messenger:

(Matthew 12:38-42) – Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, “Master, we would see a sign from You”. But He answered and said unto them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but (except) the sign of the prophet Jonah:

for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Peter tells us that our heavenly hope is firmly based squarely on the Resur-rection:

(1 Peter 1:3-4) - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ac-cording to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

The Resurrection was the event that marked Jesus as God’s Spokesman:

(Acts 2:22-24) - Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man ap-proved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Paul preached that The resurrection was the evidence that everyone should repent and turn to Jesus Christ:

(Acts 17:30-31) - And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath or-dained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

In fact, our resurrection is based repeatedly of Jesus’ rising from the dead:

(1 Corinthians 6:14) - And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

(Philippians 3:21) - Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to sub-due all things unto himself.

(1 John 3:2) - Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Today’s message will ask you one question, in several parts: After we have heard a clear presentation in song and spoken word concerning the Resurrection; what do we do? What do we say? How do we react?


“Hallelujah” is a compound word that translates out to “Praise the Lord”.

A “Hallelujah Life” is one that centers on the Person and the Work of the Resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and everything that person does is dedicated to the Praise and Glory of God Himself.

We are certainly not perfect people; but we can certainly be growing more and more in the Image of God’s Son every day; we can be people “after God’s own Heart”; meaning we can be people who sincerely try to life a life that praises God – that “hallells God” in every way. If we were to read our life history 100 years af-ter we have died, would there be any true and honest “hallelujahs” and “praises” there?

How is this possible in a world like we have today?

Actually, the Christian is the only person who has the right to be happy; he is the only person who knows HOW to be happy; he is the only person who has the key to true happiness and joy.

The Believer has the assurance that God is WITH him and FOR him instead of the alternative. Because of his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he has no fear of death, hell, or dying:

(Romans 8:38-39) - 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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When a person is a Christian, his whole life becomes a doxology of praise to God!


Amen in Hebrew means, “Let it be so”. In Greek, it is generally translated by the word, “Verily”. It is a word that indicates that something important, monumental, influential, notable, prominent, remarkable, stirring, essential, and emphatic is coming.

We must commit ourselves to living a life in such a way that God’s Word is a reality in our lives. We should be able and willing to say “Amen” and become an “Amen” to everyone with whom we come in contact.

To say this means that you will be responsible to allow the Person and the Work of Jesus Christ to move and breathe within you and come out of you. This person tells the world, “I have entered this church to worship; and now I leave this church to serve”.

He says, “I am the best Christian somebody knows and I might even be the only Christian somebody knows; and I am going to live such a way that if they are watching me, they will not see anything that will hurt them – but only help them; nothing that will pull them down, but build them up.


This person goes out into the world to live a thanksgiving life.

We publish a series of booklets under the name of the “Printed Pulpit”; available free from the display over in the hallway beside the secretary’s office; and I put this statement in them: “This material is the product of seventy-one years of living in a Christian home; twenty years under Godly parents; twenty-three years of listening to Godly teachers, many Godly pastors, and numerous Christian workers; fifty-one years of reading and studying the Bible, commentaries, encyclopedia, handbooks, maps and charts, and enjoying preached and published sermons and lessons of others; forty-six years of Christian life; forty-five years of Christian ministry; forty- three years in the pastorate; five years in Bible school; and countless numbers of hours spent in prayer.

No claim is ever made to originality of this – or any message in the “Printed Pulpit” series”.

I sincerely appreciate every opportunity I have had to study under some of God’s best men and women; and I sincere appreciate every comment I receive for the work God has led me to do; but let us never be negligent to thank God for al-lowing us to be His Children.

The Resurrection Afterglow should be shining brightly in our lives where ever we go, whatever we do, whomever we are with.

The New Testament hope moves from the Resurrected Jesus, alive in His immortal body, to the resurrection and immortality of Believers. To be absolutely sure of the former (the Resurrection of the Savior) is to have an absolutely cer-tain basis for the latter (the resurrection of the Saints).

The Resurrection of Jesus is firmly enmeshed in past history; while our res-urrection steadfastly constitutes our future – and both of them are most assured-ly confirmed.

For the earliest Christians, this truth was life-transforming. They went into all the world telling about it – and many of them (most of them, actually) died for it. You have to really believe in something to face a cruel, gruesome, painful death for it. That, in itself, is abundant evidence that the Resurrection really occurred; they didn’t make it up – as was told about them – they believed it happened, and they faced the executioner because of it!

Similarly, the fact that we serve a living Savior should be indelibly engraved into our innermost being!

Alfred Ackley (1887-1960) showed great musical promise at a very young age as a composer and performer. He was later ordained and went on to serve as Pastor of several Presbyterian churches in the United States. He worked for a few years with evangelist Billy Sunday and the Rodeheaver Music Company. He and his brother Bentley wrote the words and/or music for over 4,500 songs; including “I Never Walk Alone” and this one:

1. I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

2. In all the world around me, I see His loving care;
And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair.
I know that He is leading, Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing will come at last.

3. Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him, The Help of all who find;
None other is so loving, So good and kind.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

The reality of heaven needs to be woven into our present lives. Both Jesus Christ and the New Testament writers taught that a heavenly perspective should be applied to our daily beliefs and actions.

Our thought should center on heavenly truths rather than earthly ones:

(Colossians 3:1-3) - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Now, would you turn around and face the rear of the auditorium, please.

Are those doors entrances or exits?

If you said, “Exits”, you would be correct. If you said “Entrances”, you would be correct. They are, in fact, BOTH; hence the name, “worship service”.

If your worship stops at the exit, it is worthless; and if your service stops at the entrance, it is empty. We enter to worship and depart to serve; but we are serving while we are worshiping and we are worshiping while we are serving – and that is the way it must be!



(Preached at West End Baptist Church of Newport, TN - Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012)

John 11:17-27

17 Then when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had lain in the grave four days already.

18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off (about 2 miles):

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

This is Martha acting like Martha. She is not rebuking Jesus; but stating the obvious; which she and Mary had obviously discussed: (John 11:32) – “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died”.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever you ask of God, God will give it thee.

That is remarkable that she believed He could ask anything; but apparently not a resurrection.

23 Jesus said unto her, “Your brother shall rise again”.

24 Martha said unto him, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”.

This was a common belief among the Jewish people.

25 Jesus said unto her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (“Can you grasp this concept?”)

27 She said unto him, Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 20:24-31

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus (“The Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, “We have seen the Lord”. But he said unto them, “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe”.

26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be unto you”.

27 Then said He to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing”.

It is not said that Thomas did in fact touch Jesus; but did believe.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, “My Lord and my God”.

29 Jesus saith unto him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these (“these things”) are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.

Ok! What are we going to do with this Passage and particularly Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life”?

Any good news for us there? This might be an odd Passage to use today; but can we get anything, can we learn anything from it?


Jews of that day traditionally believed that God would raise His people to be with Him in the end times; and that is what Martha said. Jesus startled her and everyone else there that day with His words: “I am the resurrection and the life”.

In Jesus is Life; through Him, the spiritually dead can be ushered into the very presence of Life Itself; but that doesn’t have to be in some far-off, distant “end time day”. No! Wherever Christ is, there is Life; and that was then – and is now – a staggering claim that shakes the devil and all the demons to their very boots. He is Life! He is Lord of Life! He is the conqueror of death! He is Light and in Him is no darkness at all!

He came to give Life! He came to conquer death – in the here and now and the always!

Death is described as an enemy – the last enemy that will be destroyed; and Easter proclaims that this “last enemy” has soundly been defeated – not at the end of history – in the middle of history. Jesus’ Resurrection did not wait until the “end time; but after a brutal death on Calvary, a hasty burial in a borrowed tomb, and a pre-dawn coming forth out from among the dead ones.


We will be baptizing Darla Morgan in the next couple of weeks. Darla was saved in the Cocke County Youth Crusade for Christ of 1979, held at the high school. Some of you will remember that; many of you were involved in that – and the point is – the results are still happening!

That’s the way this thing works. Somebody led Bob Bevington to the Lord; he led me to the Lord; others have been led to the Lord through our ministry, one of them was Mike Winters, who is being used to lead many souls to the Lord in His ministry, and a young man who is serving as a missionary in an area that is so sensitive it can’t even be mentioned, and on and on it goes. That’s the way it works; that’s what it is supposed to do. Our ministry reaches a young man named Jordon, or an older man named R.V., or an even older named Paul – all who wonderful and varied ministries of their own; and souls are being changed. That’s the way it works.

My football coach used to say, “Each man get a man”; and if that were done, all the runner had to do is elude one defensive man and he would score every play. Each man get a man; each Christian make a difference in one person’s life this year!

You are the best Christian somebody knows; and that is the way it is supposed to be. Somebody is watching you and you probably don’t even know it!

A man got on a bus after preaching in a revival meeting; paid his fare; received his change; and took his seat. At the first stop, he approached the driver and told her that she had given him too much change. She smiled and said, “I know! I was just seeing if you practiced what I heard you preach tonight”.

A young kid watched his dad make a call from a phone booth; and when he finished, the dime came back to him. That man called the operator and told her what had happened and asked if he could just put it in the coin slot. That man would not give in and give up his principles for one thin dime. I was that young kid and that man was my dad; and I still remember that and know right where that phone booth was located in Spring City, Tennessee.

That’s the way it is supposed to work – The Resurrected Jesus Christ changes lives – and the changed lives go out and are agents of changing other lives – and on and on it goes.

Make no mistake, we are dying every day; we are living in a dying body physically; and most of us feel it more and more with every passing day.

But we should also feel that we are ALIVE spiritually and feel it more and more with every passing day.

There are situations into which we get that it seems there is no way out! The expression is “Do the crime, do the time”. That’s what Satan does; but there is no situation that has no solution if we allow the Living Christ to live within us and we live in Him – more and more with every passing day – we can find forgiveness for evermore.

The product of the Cross – the Resurrection of our Savior – gives us the opportunity to be forgiven and start all over again. It isn’t easy – who ever said that it would be? But it can be done!

The amazing part of this is that Jesus Christ loved us THEN, loves us NOW, and will continue to love us FOREVER! This goes even beyond the grave!

Resurrection Power is God’s amazing Gift to us now and always! The very same power that assures real and lasting existence for us in this earthly life will still be standing right there when we come to the end of our very short yellow brick road. He is there all along the way; and He will be standing right there at the end; and then new life begins – all because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – which is The Product – the End Result - of the Cross!

God’s Judgment has been brought against death! During those few hours between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, it may have looked bad for the home team; but the end result was just as assuredly fixed as an old time rassling match.

The early preachers never preached the Resurrection as simply Jesus escaping from the grave in a physical sense; but as the return of the Master to His People. They always considered the Resurrection as The Living God in Omnipotent action. That which was behind the Resurrection was what mattered – and that was The First Person of the Eternal Godhead placing His stamp of approval on the sacrifice by the Second Person of the Eternal Godhead. The Deity had to accept the sacrifice for it to work – that is the way it always worked; and we know that God accepted the Sacrifice for our sins because of the Resurrection three days later.

It was God vindicating the dreams for which Christ died.

It was God ratifying the righteousness against the evil powers that stood against Him.

It was God adjudicating the justice against all the satanic opposition he could muster.

It was God testifying to the truth that Salvation was now available to every man and woman, boy and girl who comes to Him in faith, believing!

It was God overcoming the opposition of worldly works and carnal actions.

It was God announcing to the world that Jesus The Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life; and that no man can come to the Father except by Him!

It was God proclaiming to the world that all of Jesus’ Words were – and still are – true.

It was God reporting to the world that Jesus the Christ was far above and beyond mortal man!

It was God broadcasting to the world that Jesus the Christ died for men – all mankind – every man, woman, boy and girl.

It was God publishing to the world that Jesus the Christ demonstrates that all believers – you and I and everyone who has accepted Him as personal Savior will rise again if it be our portion to die before He comes in the Rapture.



(Zechariah 9:9-10)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King is coming unto you (not as a ruthless conqueror, but a humble king): He is just (justice is Messiah’s basic prerequisite to ever having world peace), and having salvation (of what use a political peace to a soul out of tune and touch with God); lowly (in contrast to Alexander or Caesar), and riding upon an ass (the animal of a peaceful king), and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off (skipping over thousands of years, Messiah will destroy all instruments of carnal strife): and He shall speak peace unto the heathen (He will accomplish what peace treaties have never ever been able to do): and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth (His Kingdom will be universal).

(All the words expressing limits to his authority (sea, river, ends) have no definite articles, showing no specific limits)

Beginning in Chapter 9, Zechariah gives us some remarkably precise messianic prophecies of “end times”; such as The King slowly and lowly riding into the Holy City.

Rulers come and go, rise and fall; the strongest of the world’s empires have ascended to seemingly endless heights of earthly power and worldly glory, only to begin that long slide to the end of the rope. The trash heaps of world history are filled with ruins of the empire capital cities and throne rooms whose monarchs once soverignly ruled and reigned with iron fisted authority.

Read the historical accounts and watch the Hollywood portrayal by professional actors and actresses, and see the magnificence of these world dominators; and then travel there and see nothing but ruins and relics of the remains of a once-dominant culture.

The tyrants who sat on these thrones are nothing but faded memories now; kept alive only in ancient historical accounts and television programs on Discovery and History Channels.

The fate of these dictators and potentates was sealed from the start; their time was firmly on the track that must come to an end; but the awesome power of “Yeshua Ha Meshiach” was – is – and always will be for all time!

Zechariah 9:10
“… His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth”.

The Lord of Hosts would be – was to be – is – and always will be the Redeemer of His people who are cleansed and sanctified by His shed blood.

When King Jesus entered Jerusalem in what has been called His “Triumphal Entry” (but, in all reality was really His “Royal Entry”); He was entering as Messiah, King; to make a final appeal to His people. But He was rejected and crucified. His actual “Triumphant Entry” was yet to come – and is still yet to come.

“Rejoice greatly; your King is coming unto you”.


His coming was pronounced in the Garden of Eden:

(Genesis 3:15) - And I will put enmity between you (‘o satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; it (the enmity) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

The Psalmist added:

(Psalm 10:16) - The LORD is King forever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

The prophets issued and uttered statement after statement in pronouncement of His coming:

(Isaiah 9:6-7) - For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Turn through the pages of Old Testament Scripture and you will see the light of these Messianic Pronouncements getting more and more intense as the years go by. The burden of the Old Testament is that “The Lord WILL come”.


Shepherds saw a great light and the great choir of angels proclaiming and pronouncing that “The King has come”.

Zechariah had proclaimed it; and His Coming fulfilled that when He rose into Jerusalem. They cried out:

(Luke 19:38) - Blessed be the King that comes in the Name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

The Pharisees told Him to rebuke His disciples for saying such a thing; and He pronounced:

(Luke 19:40) - And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

The time had come for Him to be proclaimed King.

The stone rolled away and the Son of God came forth pronouncing that death could not conquer the King of Life and Death and time and eternity!


His coming into Jerusalem forces us into one of two possible scenarios:

1. We can sing His praises, cast our palm branches at His feet in adoration and praise and pronouncement of “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”; then watch Him be led out the back gate to a hill called Calvary, and hear Pilate’s pronouncement: “I find no fault in Him but you take Him and let Him be crucified”.

2. We can receive Him as King of our lives and dedicate ourselves to Him and to His cause.

Up to this point, He had refrained from being addressed as “The Son of David” – or the promised Messiah-King. But the time was right and He was pronounced as King.

The Pharisees and leaders were indignant but the excitement swelled over and over. They had tried to make Him their King to no avail; and now they could see Him marching in and throwing out the hated Romans and taking the throne – but when that did not happen, their excitement cooled very quickly.

Judas pronounced where He was; the Temple police and Roman guards pronounced that He was being arrested; the High Priest pronounced that He was guilty of blasphemy; the people got caught up in the melee; and Governor Pilate pronounced Him innocent, then guilty and issued his pronouncement that Barabbas should go free and Jesus should be crucified!

Weak-kneed, milquetoast Governor Pilate tried to appease the masses with his pronouncement from the ecce homo arch; “Behold the Man”; and then surrendered to the will of the people, he placed a plaque over His head on the center cross: “This is the King”, written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek (John 19:19).

The pronouncement was officially made; they were crucifying their King. Their pronouncement was “crucify Him, let His blood be upon us and our children”.

Seventy-two hours later (as we will cover next week), the King was pronounced the Son of God with Power:

(Romans 1:4) - … declared (pronounced) to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Fifty days later, the King was pronounced:

(Acts 2:36) - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

… and 3000 souls were saved.

John the Revelator pronounced:

(Revelation 11:15) - … There were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.

And on a higher note:

(Revelation 17:14) - … He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

And on a still higher note:

(Revelation 19:6) - … The voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

This is the hope and change for the Child of God and believer in Jesus Christ. There is no hope except in Him, the King! Every other kind of life is bounced by the limits of this shrinking world; but Christianity – and only Christianity has all its windows open toward the limitless expanse of eternity!

“Hallelujah; the Lord God Omnipotent reigns”.

This is the Christ Who stands at the door to our hearts. What is our response going to be towards Him. Let it be: “Blessed and only King of Kings and Lord of Lords; O merciful Christ, come now. My life belongs to You. Come into my heart and reign – both now and forevermore.”