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No Sign But the Sign of Jonas!
Volume 5   No. 4                                                                                       April 23, 2003
This message was first written  by Samuel M. Smith  April, 2003 ©2003 Up Way Publications. 
"A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be  given to it but the sign of the Prophewt Jonas." (Matthew 12:39 and 16:4 [see also Luke 11:29]). The Lord Jesus Christ was very specific about the importance of how long He would be dead and buriedbefore He arose triumphant over the powers of darkness and Satan. In fact, between the prophecies before the fact and the references back to the actual time of His resurrection, 

It is precisely due to a lack of such historical and "extra-biblical" knowledge that the totally anti-Christ position of "Good Friday" as the day of crucifixion came into being. Europeans who did not know Jewish law and saw the word Sabbath ignored the fact that it was not just the weekly Saturday Sabbath, but an High Sabbath, in fact the highest of all, the Passover and that came on a date of the year and month rather than a day of the week. This disregard for history causes 9/10 of Christendom to essentially disregard Jesus own prophecy and the confirmation of His apostles in no less than eight (8) references that indicate  He woiuld be in the tomb three days and three nights. If you also are aware that the Jewish day starts at sunset and that it is "dawning toward" the following day at dusk not dawn, it becomes very apparent that Cruicifixion Day, which the Bible says was on the Day of Preparation, was on what we call Wednesday. Thus, crucified at noon, removed from the cross and placed in the tomb before sunset on Wednesday, makes one day to sunset on Thursday, two days to sunset on Friday and three days to sunset on Saturday. Whether you believe the resurrection was in the early daybreak "dawning" or the dawning of the new day at sunset, Jesus said that "...AFTER three days..." and that the ONLY sign to be given to a perverse and adulterous generation was that sign of Jonas.

reaching many thousands of people with their unbiblical and heretical teachings before a few brave preachers of the original Apostles of Jesus Christ's doctrines dared brave the criticism and condemnation of their brethren and to preach the original Apostles' doctrines on the radio. One such pioneer was Nathaniel Urshan with the Harvestime broadcast of the United Pentecostal Church International.

And then in the mid-Twentieth Century, an evmore impressive invention came along. Television. Today, as we progress in the Twenty-First Century, there are many "Christian " television stations, both independent and parts of networks of television stations which preach a shortcut plan of salvation which leaves hearers and viewers living in their sins, strugging to live the way they have been told is a Christian life but without ever having died out to their sins, burying their sinful nature with Christ Jesus in baptism and arising with Him in the resurection power and anointing of Holy Spirit empowered "New Creatures In Christ Jesus."

Today, hundreds of thousands follow the radio and television "ministries" like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Joyce Meyer, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Hank Hanagraaff, Greg Laurie, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, R. G. Hardy, a the list could go on and on.  Some of these men really do bring thousands to a point of believing that they are sinners and need salvation and the pricked heart of Holy Spirit conviction, but then, instead of instructing the new believers as the original Apostles did to "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,"* they are instead told that all they have to do to be saved is to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Since it is much easier to count "success" by this shorcut method of making people believe they are now  born-again Christians, isn't this really a form of unbelief in the real gospel message by those ministers, their staff members and counsellors?

After all, Jesus promised that "And ye shal receive power [dunamis] after thate Holy Ghot is come upon you..." (Acts 1:8) and the Apostle Paul, in Romans 6:4, says, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,  even so we also should walk in newness of life." and in 2 Corinthians 5:17, says, "refore if  man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." These scriptures s that our nature is changed when we become a new creature in Christ. No only willour desires, our "want to" be changed, but also, we 

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Unbelief - It's More Than Meets The Eye!
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will have the power to overcome the wiles of Satan as well as to bring glory to God through being empowered to do miracles of healing and other things. If we do not believe we can be overcomers through our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit, what can we say of ourselves but that we are guilty of unbelief?

Sadly, far too many truly Godly Christian parents, even Apostolic pastors, have children who are anything but godly.  They wring their hands and wonder why. After all, they protected their children from seeing ungodly things on TV,  didn't allow them to wear clothing considered by the church to be unholy, never let them go to movies or "dress out" in shorts for physical education,  never let them go to the public beaches or swimming pools where they might see someone of the opposite sex in scant clothing and lust or be lusted after by others who might see them in scant clothing.  So why did these children go off into sin as soon as they were old enough to go out on their own?

The Bible tells us, through Solomon, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). 'But I DID train up my child in the way I believed he or she should go and they still went bad. Was it in their genes?'' 

Let me ask you, how do you become strong? Do you lie in bed and have someone bring your food to you and you just lay prostrate day in and day out on the bed?  No! That produces exactly the opposite result. Doctors and other health care professionals refer to what happens to people who do not exercise as "atrophy" or the shrinking and weakening of the muscles.  To obtain strong muscles and bodies, you exercise, eat right and get sufficient, but not too much rest. Right?  Now let's apply this to Christian child rearing. How would you expect to develop your child's spiritual muscles?  By keeping them isolated and no allowing them to face test and trials of their faith and their beliefs?  Hardly! This is the sure-fire way to cause them to be spiritually weak and their spiritual muscles to atrophy.  And worse, this is a clear demonstration of your unbelief - in this case, a lack of trust in the Lord to keep and protect your children as they flex and exerise their spiritual muscles.  How can they let their lights shine before men that they may see their good works and glorify the heavenly Father as Jesus commands in Matthew 5:16 if they are never allowed out into the darkness?? How can they learn that "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world?" (1 John 4:4)as being a reality and not just words in a stuffy old book that nobody they know lives by if they are never given the opportunity to overcome obstacles? What if not fear and therefore unbelief is it that makes us as parents refuse to allow our children to exercise faith muscles?

That child will be a powerhouse for God whose parents teach them the right way and then allow that child to flex his or her muscles by doing right when faced with the possibility of doing wrong.  That child will be a powerhouse for God whose parents teach their children the right way and then allow those children to flex their muscles by doing right when faced with the possibility of doing wrong.  Yes, do allow your 

child the opportunity to stumble and fall occasionally but you be there then to pick him or her up and teach them by their mistakes.

In John 15:19, Jesus says, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hateth you." 

And in John 17:15-18, He prays "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou has sent Me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world." Thus, we are IN the world but not OF the world. 

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.
“For Thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” (Psalms 5:11, 12).

“O Lord, my God, in Thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me,” (Psalms 7:1).

The Psalmist boldly declares “And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee.” (Psalms 9:10). We who call ourselves Jesus' name Apostolic Christians claim to know the importance of His name, but how often do w fret and worry about things we cannot control? Don't we know that "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28). So what can we call our fears and doubts?  Unbelief, of course.

We can quote the scripture, “The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my Strength, in whom I will trust; my Buckler, and the Horn of my salvation, and my High Tower"(Psalm 18:2). But then, how often do we lie in bed at night and worry about problems that in the natural seem insurmountable? What is this? What else cane call it but unbelief?

In closing, I have one solution to the problem of rampant unbelief among us Christians.  In this day when we seem so wrapped up in having to go, go, go, we MUST MAKE the time to be holy. We must find time or make time to read our Bibles and pray and seek God's face.  "If My People which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14).  We need to realize that "So then Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17); "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and "The effectual, Fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16b)can and will  bring our unbelief to an end and our victories to the forefront in our lives.

--  S. M. S.
FOOTNOTES: (*See Acts 2:36-39. 
**See Acts 16:29-33.)
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