Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Hardeckers

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

A Child is born, A Son is given,
Hope of Earth and Joy of Heaven!








Thursday, December 22, 2011

180 Movie

I am not advocating any of the bad music or scenes in this relatively short video. The clip is 33:03 min. in length. The interviewer is Ray Comfort, I don't know much about him, never met him, but I appreciate him doing this.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A short study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts (part 3)


     We see that it is the work of the H.S. to convict sinners when they hear the man of God preach (6:10), and it is through the Spirit that prophets can prophecy (11:28).   
     The primary work of the H.S. is empowering believers to be an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ (1:8).  The filling of the H.S. brings “utterance” (1:11; 2:4; 20:23), boldness (4:8; 31).  The subject matter of the utterances is the “wonderful works of God” (2:11).  We see this manifested in Stephen’s martyrdom (6:5, 10; 7:55).  It was a Spirit-filled Paul that rebuked Elymas (13:9).  All God desires for us is to be yielded to Him.  Yielding (i.e. obedience to God and His Word) is the only requisite found in the entire book wherein God is pleased to grant the power of the Holy Spirit (5:32).  Indeed the filling of the H.S. is truly manifest when the Spirit Himself is doing the witnessing through Christians that are yielded to God.  Surrendered Christians are just vessels used of God (20:23).  Even Christ was anointed with power (10:38), how much more do we need the power of God in our lives?  The filling is paralleled with other virtues such as godliness (11:24), honesty, wisdom, faith, and even joy (6:3-5; 13:52).  No wonder the Charismatic movement falsely claims a “fullness of the Spirit” it is because they want to be thought of as being godly.  The difference is that godly Christians don’t pretend to be godly, they just are.  Furthermore, godly Christians bring glory to God and not to themselves.  
      There is also the indelible mark of inspiration attributed directly to the Holy Spirit in the first and last chapter of Acts (1:16 and 28:25).  The Bible is certainly a Spirit-authored book.  Divine causality (God, the H.S.) moved upon “holy men” to create the Sacred Scriptures.  The fact that we have God’s Words in our hands is because of the powerful and miraculous work of the H.S.

Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-6

Matt. 5:3-6
(3)  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(4)  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
(5)  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
(6)  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled

I.      Poor in spirit
A.         This is referring to someone who realizes that they are spiritually a beggar.  In and of ourselves, we have nothing (in truth), but do we know this and believe it and embrace this truth.  A proud sinner can’t make it to Heaven because he doesn’t even see himself as spiritually impoverished.
B.           How amazing that God’s Kingdom is promised to the poor in spirit.  What great contradiction, that the poor inherits a Kingdom!  But that is what happens when a poor sinner comes to God in humility of spirit and casts his soul upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  He hath made us kings and priests! (Rev. 1:6).

II.    Mourners
A.         Only a great tragedy or grief can cause mourning.  When a sinner is convicted or convinced in their heart of their great sin against a thrice holy God, there can be no other heart attitude but that of mourning.  The great sorrowing over sin is felt throughout the person’s being.
B.           Once more, the precious promise from Christ’s lips says: “they shall be comforted.”  What a wonderful promise from God, He shall wipe away our tears, He will give us the oil of joy for our mourning (Isa. 61:3).

III.   Meek and meekness
A.         The idea of meekness isn’t weakness, rather it is being mild or humble.  Meekness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, it is bestowed upon us at the point of Salvation.  And truly, a sinner who is void of humility will never see his need to run to the Saviour.  Very similar to v.5.
B.           Another seemingly contradiction, that the meek inherits what many push and shove, kill and die for.  God turns our ways upside down.  His grace enables us to be what we should be.  We are heirs of the new earth, the new heavens too, but also we become joint-heirs together with Christ and will also be able to be glorified one day. (Rom. 8:17)

IV.   Hungry and Thirsty
A.         No doubt we all have felt hungry and thirsty at some point in our lives.  But the question is, what are we hungering and thirsting after?  In the passage, it says: “after righteousness.”  There is a heart attitude of desiring to see God’s righteousness applied and exacted in that person’s heart, and everywhere else too.
B.           The promise is that “they shall be filled.” That is Christ will alone can satisfy the convicted heart of its desire for righteousness.  Only God can do this work.  It is God who produces that hunger and thirst, and it is God who can meet that need.  (Rev. 22:17)

Personal stuff and DfNB now joins the inventory of Starr Publications

     Merry Christmas!  I love the holiday season.  We have had a full ministry this Christmas season with a two night Christmas Cantata, a Children's Christmas Program, the choir singing at the mall, and now we focus on our Christmas Sunday this weekend, with a special message from our Pastor (Pastor Randy Starr).  This would be like a special "Christmas push" to invite friends and family to church (especially because Christmas falls on a Sunday!).
     Marcia, W.T. and I will be traveling to Ohio to see the "great Grandmas" and others also.  I am still debating about going to Michigan to meet up with Pastor Chris for a book hunter's dream (Grand Rapids: Baker, Zondervan, Eerdsman, Kregel, etc.).  I am already worried about how I am going to handle my library of books when I go to the mission field, and a trip to MI isn't going to help, but then again, there are a few books on my wishlist that need attention.  I will need wisdom on that, for real!
     I do look forward to a hiatus from "blogdom" during the holiday season.  I will at least get to Matt. 5:3-6 done today, since it is already written out, I just need to cut and paste it, and the same with finishing up on the "Holy Spirit in Acts."
     NEWS:  Disciplines for New Believers now joins the inventory of Starr Publications!  This is really neat.  Starr Publications is the personal work and ministry of Pastor Randy and Shirley Starr and they are kind enough to promote my book on their website and inventory.  So now there are six ways that you can order DfNB if you wish:
"Disciplines for New Believers" ($6.00 + s&h) is now available in the paperback format besides the Kindle format.

Six ways to place an order:

1.  You can email me a request at "hardecker-at-gmail.com."

2.  You can tweet me a request @hardecker.

3.  You can phone in an order: 717.880.5011.

4.  You can write me an order:

                                
                                    Bill Hardecker
                                    111 S. Pine St.
                                    Red Lion, PA 17356-2115.

5.  You can purchase the book at the Starr Publications website.

6.  You can purchase the book with "PayPal"  click on the Buy Now button below:

Monday, December 12, 2011

An introduction to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-2 (part 2)


We should distinguish blessings from happiness.  The word translated "Blessed" can also be translated "happy" for sure.  But I think there is wisdom in retaining the word "blessed" instead.  Consider this, not all happiness is a result of God's blessings.  Many people are "happy" in sin, and because of that they are far removed from His blessings.   God’s blessings are bestowed upon us according to His goodness and mercy, and these can be detached from happenings or events or circumstances, whereas happiness always relates to happenings.  It is wonderful to be blessed of God.  And everyone who is blessed of God is truly happy in the proper sense of the word.  We desire His blessings even when it goes against our own fleshly happiness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An introduction to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-2

Matthew 5:1-2
(1)  And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
(2)  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

     This passage belongs to what is commonly called the "Beatitudes" which means a declaration of blessings.  And what a blessing it is indeed that the Lord Jesus Christ allows us to peer into the heart attitudes which are concomitant with those who are made ready for the Kingdom of God.  What great blessing it is indeed that God through His Word, and in here through His Son, would even speak to us.  He could have left us alone to fend for ourselves.  But in His grace and mercy he speaks to us.  Another blessing is that when He speaks to us, He speaks a word of blessing.  Again, he could have spoken words of condemnation.  But the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).  And we are blessed because of this.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A good place to get a copy of the Holy Bible (KJV)

The Christmas season is upon us and many people are thinking of gifts to give to loved ones and friends.  You can't go wrong giving somebody (or anybody) a copy of the Holy Bible (KJV).  A great place to get them from is Local Church Bible Publishers.  This ministry is directed by Dennis Deneau of Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing, MI.  We gladly support Mr. Deneau as a "missionary" in our church.  The Bearing Precious Seed Local Church Bible Publishers team is an outstanding independent, fundamental, Baptist printing ministry, and there is no better way to show support than to patronize them and their "products."  Anyway, I received an insert in their mailer today that highlights an anniversary edition of the KJV.  It is limited and numbered, and it is selling fast, so you may want to order soon.  It is a classic hand size Bible with C.I. Scofield's notes removed ($65.00).  There website is informative for any other books that they sell.  You can click on that website link above of call them at (517) 882-2112.

August Newsletter