Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Thieves, Part 2 of 2

Christ stooped to notice this sin-stained, condemned thief agonizing beside Him; the man opened his mouth in faith and confessed Christ. Jesus honored this confession of genuine faith by assuring the man: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise,” Luke 23:43. Consequently, this repudiates the doctrine of soul sleep, since Jesus told the thief plainly that today (that is, this very day) he would be with his Savior in Paradise; not unconscious in the grave until the resurrection.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to take a little time to share with you the importance of the One who we celebrate on Christmas Day: Jesus Christ. Did you know that Jesus is the only Person in history whose being born into the world was foretold literally thousands of years in advance?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two Thieves, Part 1 of 2

Both men were condemned and given over to death. Both hung on a cross much like our Lord’s and were facing a just punishment for their sins. Both, at first, derided Jesus along with the unruly mob that stood there to relish His agony; yet one thief perished in his sin and the other was saved. Why?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Law of Love, Part 2 of 2

Yet even the believer who has nothing to show for his faith will be preserved by God, though all his works will be burned up before this judgment seat, 1st Corinthians 3:11-15. Paul realized that he could have his works burned before the judgment seat, if he was found to be disapproved in what he did, 1st Corinthians 9:24-27. Let all that we do be done in love, we are told. Love is the motivator that undergirds the Christian faith. First, it was God’s great love toward us, in that He sacrificed His own Son to redeem us, John 3:16-17; 1st John 4:19. Such love, we are told, should find a response in our hearts that purifies our walk, our works, our lives, 1st John 3:3.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Law of Love, Part 1 of 2

During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told His listeners, “Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am come not to destroy but to fulfill,” Matthew 5:17. The law, of course, was the Jewish Law, the Mosaic Law given by God through Moses to Israel. Both the Law and prophets foretold of Christ, and in Him was their fulfillment found.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 6 of 6

Finally, men use Matthew 18:19 and a smattering of other verses in isolation to preach the “health and wealth” gospel. Out of context from the many other verses that speak about prayer’s purpose and place, there are a handful of verses such as this, taken at face value, that seem to plainly teach in clear language that man may ask for what he wishes, and God will grant it. Yet we know that this is not so.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 5 of 6

Acts 2:38 plays off of Mark 16:16. Mark 16:16 reads: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Verse 17: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will…speak with new tongues.” Note that unbelief brings condemnation; failure to be baptized is not mentioned.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 4 of 6

Here are a smattering of verses which preach salvation by faith alone, over and over again stressing that faith is the sole criterion set forth by God for the reception of the infinite gift of eternal life. Why so many? I am attempting to demonstrate that Baptismal Regeneration is not derived from Scripture, but forced into the gospel message. This is not “rightly dividing the word of truth,” but “private interpretation."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 3 of 6

There is a distinct and profound difference between water baptism (a Christian ordinance) and the baptism of the Spirit (renewal or rebirth when the Holy Spirit is received by faith).The renewing of the Holy Spirit is what John the Baptist referred to as the baptism of the Spirit. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” Matthew 3:11. Jesus stated the same when He said to His apostles, “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now,” Acts 1:5. In light of these Scriptures, we turn to certain key passages and scrutinize them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 2 of 6

As we proceed deeper into Old Testament revelation we read in Jeremiah 4:3-4: “Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.” As with so many things which God taught in the Law, the physical act of circumcision carried a far deeper connotation. In Jeremiah 9:26 the prophet writes: “all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Refuting Baptismal Regeneration, Part 1 of 6

Is water baptism essential for salvation? This is a question that causes much division in Christendom. Some say water baptism is absolutely essential and that it coincides with faith; one must believe and be baptized to be saved, Mark 16:16. Others teach that water baptism is one of numerous sacraments given by God to impart grace to a recipient, and by means of this imparted grace the recipient may receive eternal life. In my own learning regarding Scripture, I believe and am convinced that water baptism is not necessary for receiving eternal life. I address this issue for one reason: if water baptism is essential for salvation, then anyone who teaches that a person may be saved without it is preaching another gospel, Galatians 1:8-9. Likewise, if water baptism is not essential, then everyone espousing its preaching is guilty of adding to the gospel, Revelation 22:18.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Contending for the Faith, Part 2 of 2

Now, what does it mean to contend for the faith? Did Jude want us to debate, argue, or even become violent if necessary to win our point? We’ll exclude the last choice out of hand, since our Lord’s teachings clearly revealed that we are to refrain from violence when it comes to matters of preaching the gospel. Faith should not, and cannot, be coerced. Coerced love or loyalty is entirely backward, false, and hypocritical. As the old saying goes: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Contending for the Faith, Part 1 of 2

It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 1:3. Jude’s exhortation possesses a unique Greek phrase, “epagonizomai.” In English the phrase is rendered “earnestly contend for,” and it simply means “fight.” I pose to the reader two questions:

#1: What is “the faith” we are fighting for?

#2: What does Jude mean when he exhorts us to fight?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Hard Questions

“If God is perfect and all-powerful, why is there sin in the world? Why must one believe the gospel to be saved? Why does God not save everyone? Better yet, why did He allow this present world to be like this?” Have you ever been personally challenged with these questions? I have, and they challenged me to plumb the depths of my faith to reason Scripturally for a suitable, logical, intelligible, answer. I wanted to explain to this person why these things were so; not explain them away in a broad-side effort to defend God’s character without extending sympathy to a hurting person who is having genuine difficulty reconciling God’s holy character as revealed in the Bible to the everyday sin-filled world we live in.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eleven, Part 4

11:12 Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah
In the previous verse we learned that Shem lived 600 years; 350 years less than his father Noah. He was 100 when he begot a son. The son begotten to him, Arphaxad, was a mere 35 when he had his first son, and lived only 438 years. The lifespan of men was decreasing, and this drop in longevity was immediately noticeable after the Flood. In three more generations the life expectancy of mankind was hovering around two hundred years of age (in Peleg’s case). By Joseph’s day the life expectancy had plummeted further—110 years of age—if his age at death was any indication, Genesis 50:26.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eleven, Part 3

11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language
If we look back at verse 3 we will see our Lord using the same language the people did when they considered how to cast off His yoke from them. This verse also briefly reveals a conversation within the Godhead as God speaks to Himself, saying, “let us go down.” The plurality of God was an ill-concealed mystery in the Old Testament that was brought to full light with Jesus Christ. One of the most profound and simple passages in the Old Testament that testifies of God’s triune nature is in Isaiah.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eleven, Part 2

11:4 whose top may reach unto heaven
In the King James or New King James versions of the Bible the words “may reach” are italicized. This indicates that those two words were not in the original Hebrew text. The verse then reads: “whose top heaven.” Many skeptics have ridiculed this passage for its apparent foolishness. “Were they trying to build a tower all the way to Heaven?” No; they weren’t. They were building the tower, in fact, to worship the host of heaven in the form of astrology. This chapter of Genesis bears the origins of modern (and ancient) astrology. The tower as described in verse 3 was a ziggurat. These pyramidic structures permeated the ancient world from Egypt to Peru, and all bear uncanny resemblance one to another. Archeologists have studied these ziggurats extensively and discovered the signs of the Zodiac engraved atop many.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Thoughts

This is a letter I received months ago regarding a conversation I had with my mother. She wrote partly to unbelievers as an exhortation, partly to believers as an admonition, and entirely to the glory of God, for His exaltation. I love listening to her talk; would that you could hear it in person; she is animated and alive with the Spirit of God. The rest of the Post is entirely her. God’s blessings!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eleven

We come at last to the final chapter of our study on Genesis. As per usual, before we commence grooming the word of God I would like to begin with a few words in defense of His inerrant word. There are many Christians today that regard the opening chapters of Genesis as allegorical or (worse, if possible) mythological.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For the Love of Christ Compels Us

I was musing very recently about Jesus’ ceaseless care for the Jews, and for anyone else that crossed paths with Him during His ministry on earth. It was said that even when He went to find rest apart from the crowds that they followed Him, and when He saw them He had compassion on them. If I could ask Jesus to sum up what He was doing for the crowds with this kind of tireless ministry, I wager He might have said, “Loving them.” For Jesus, love was a constant state of selfless, self-sacrificing, self-abasing action that transformed Him into a servant to meet the needs of all who encountered Him. Now that, I have to say, is an amazing picture of love.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Faith, Hope, Love, These Three…

Why abide faith, hope and love? More so, why is love the greatest of these three? The statements regarding faith, hope, and love are found in 1st Corinthians 13, a surprisingly controversial chapter of the New Testament. It is controversial in the sense that many within the body of Christ do not want to read what Paul clearly says concerning the fate of certain gifts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 6

There is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved, Acts 4:12. Faith in Jesus provides redemption for sinful men that no amount of good works or lawful living will ever do, Acts 13:39. Solely by the grace found in Jesus Christ are we saved, Acts 15:11. It is as clear as glass: the gospel is the message of the Coming One who would undo the sinful state of man’s present condition by His victorious death, Romans 5:17-19; 1st Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 5

Joel speaks of the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will follow the Lord’s arrival, Joel 2:27-32. Micah predicts the very town that the Messiah will hail from, and that the Messiah is the eternal God, Micah 5:2. Zechariah talks not only about the Messiah’s entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, but how the Messiah will be pierced by those He offered Himself to; in fact He would be pierced by God! Zechariah 9:9; 12:10; 13:7.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 4

Later, the prophet Balaam would predict the Coming One’s appearance as still afar off but certain. “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel,” Numbers 24:17. The prediction of the forthcoming star by Balaam may have been witnessed by the wise men from the East. They asked, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him,” Matthew 2:2.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 3

God also revealed to Abraham an important lesson about sacrifice in his old age. When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on an altar, Isaac asked about the absence of the sacrificial lamb on their trek. Abraham replied, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering,” Genesis 22:8. And so He did: “…Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son (Isaac),” Genesis 22:13.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 2

Certain sites on the internet proclaim that there was no gospel prior to Jesus Christ crucified. While it is fine to pose such a question, to confirm this without searching diligently for the truth reveals a deliberate ignorance. To answer the question, we must look back to the beginning. The gospel was proclaimed in Eden as soon as mankind fell.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Everlasting Gospel, Part 1

It is the simplest message one can convey: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall live.” Or is it? The gospel of Jesus Christ has suffered many attempted revisions, amendments, and deletions, yet in its simplicity and purity it is a potent vehicle to reveal divine, inspired truth to fallen man. It is the only truth about God’s method of dealing with fallen man that there is.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Genesis Chapter Ten, Part 4

10:24 and Salah begat Eber
In the lost city of Ebla, a monumental archaeological find of the last century in northern Syria, discoveries have been made that seem to indicate the founder of the city was a man named “Ebrim,” a name that bears remarkable resemblance to the term “Hebrew,” or the name Eber. Tablets in Ebla also make mention of the five cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar; they even name them in biblical order and refer to them as “the cities of the plain.” Secular records confirm the historicity of these five cities that were destroyed by God for their wanton sin and sexual deviance.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Genesis Chapter Ten, Part 3

10:9-10 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord…and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…in the land of Shinar.
The phrase “mighty hunter before the Lord” essentially means “an arrogant hunter before the Lord.” He was defiant to God’s face. Note that verse 10 tells us that the BEGINNING of his kingdom was Babel. Nimrod would aptly be described by the prophet when he wrote, “He is a proud man, and he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, and he is like death and cannot be satisfied, he gathers to himself all nations, and heaps up for himself all peoples,” Habakkuk 2:5.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Genesis Chapter Ten, Part 2

10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah
The Hebrew word for “generations” is “toledoth,” and in the Greek is rendered “genesis;” hence the name of the first book of Moses. This word appears in our study of Genesis chapters 1-11 in 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, and 11:10, 27. Some postulate that due to the numerous appearances of the word “toledoth” that Genesis was recorded by several authors who were present when the events recorded occurred. Yet Jesus may have inferred to Moses being the sole, inspired author of Genesis when He said, “Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man,” John 7:22. Circumcision, of course, was introduced during the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:10. Ultimately, this passage is revealing that through Noah (and his sons after him) all human life was perpetuated.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Genesis Chapter Ten

Before beginning with Genesis 10 I would like to examine the prophet Habakkuk’s writing. Habakkuk, in case anyone does not know, wrote when the Chaldean (Babylonian) army was invading Judah. In the third chapter the prophet offers a prayer to God, and the Holy Spirit records his words for our mutual learning.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 11

There is “another Jesus” and a “different gospel” according to Paul, 2nd Corinthians 11:4. It is ministered by false prophets whose gospel and power are provided by Satan, who himself can beguile people as an “angel of light,” 2nd Corinthians 11:13-14. Satan too can use power, signs, and LYING wonders to deceive, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9. This is one more of many reasons why sound doctrine is the foundation of Christian experience; a church that strays from this course is destined to inherit a false gospel and another Jesus whom Paul did not preach.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 10

Are all churches apostate? Of course not, but many are drifting (or have drifted) partially or completely into it; I can’t help but believe denominational segregation has aided in weakening the body of Christ against an infiltration of false doctrine. Are all church schisms evil? Paul wrote, “For first of all when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you,” 1st Corinthians 11:18-19.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 9

The church is in a woeful state of morass and suffers from myopia; we have let go of the faith that is in Christ that brings life, power and godliness; we have reached out for the ring of worldly conformity in some futile bid to bring the unsaved into a building so that pews might be filled. We cannot hold both, Matthew 6:24; James 4:4. The church is not for the unsaved, like the Bible is not for the unsaved.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 8

Too many search for salvation that drifts away from Jesus under the unspoken (or even unrealized) assumption that humanity exists in an “as-is” condition. To explain: there was no Fall, no breach between us and God that God Himself must reconcile if we hope to return to Him. Or, if there was a Fall, we are not without innate righteousness that can be refined and magnified, via works and/or obedience. Christ is demeaned simply because we neglect and forget the necessity of obtaining His righteousness by grace through faith via the new birth. Only Christ’s righteousness is an acceptable righteousness to be clothed in before a holy God.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Evolution's Religion

Is Evolution a religion?

I pose the question due to the fact that so many proponents of Evolution label followers of ID (Intelligent Design) as religious. ID, in case you are unfamiliar with it, assumes the presence and guidance of a rational mind that was the causation of organic life. The argument, broken down simply, goes like this: since it is nigh inconceivable that inorganic matter spawned organic life, and that non-intelligent blind chance and chemical processes produced intelligent coded information, Evolution has failed to explain the origin of life. Evolution cannot even take its first step, really. A hypothetical "cosmic egg" was said to have contained the elements of the universe within it, and then it exploded or "hatched" perhaps, and the universe went rushing outward, and has been rushing outward since. The Big Bang is what this theory is called.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 7

Paul reminded the Corinthians that it was the message of the cross that possessed the power to save; not denominational allegiance. He compelled this church to be of the same mind, which implied a mutual growth in spiritual maturity that would put away carnal thinking and divisive behavior. Not only that, but he wanted them to have the same judgment; that is, purpose or resolve. Paul asked “is Christ divided?” Today He is, as dozens of churches and sects claim His name, oft-times excluding one another for doctrinal issues that are secondary to the matter of one’s salvation. If believers have Christ in common they have all things; a proper view of the deity of our Savior is the criterion that separates Christians from non-Christians.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 6

The Christian’s life after being saved is no longer about staying saved, but about being sanctified, Hebrews 10:14; John 15:1-8. The language of Hebrews is too strong to suggest anything less: “For by one offering He has perfected forever (past tense; continual tense) those who are being (present tense) sanctified.” I know that some want to make much of Jesus’ words in Revelation 2-3 which speak of the overcomer, using these verses to suggest that faithfulness equates into salvation’s retention. Yet did John not write: “For whoever is born of God overcomes (same Greek word) the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1st John 5:4-5.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 5

Likewise Catholicism has taught for centuries that the Lord’s Supper (the Eucharist) is truly Christ’s body and blood brought to the altar by the invisible “miracle” of transubstantiation. Luther and Calvin never divorced themselves from such idolatrous notions during the Reformation. This shouldn’t shock us too much, since both men were devout Roman Catholics all of their lives before “Protesting” about certain activities the Roman Church “indulged” in.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 4

Another Point of Confusion: Conditional Salvation

I have said much about this topic in prior Posts, so I will not reiterate the Scriptural arguments I previously set forth against this doctrine. But I find a link between the belief in water baptism/the Lord’s Supper being essential for salvation and conditional salvation. The link may be more simple than I thought; that link being legalism. It is not my intent to impugn anyone, but rather to point out. Let us consider: Either Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sin was perfect or it was not. If it was perfect then sin (not sins; but the entire issue of sin in a legal sense) was dealt with forever at the cross. John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus would take away the sin (singular) of the world, John 1:29. These were not individual sins that Jesus paid for; Christ was made sin for us so we might become the righteousness of God in Him, 2nd Corinthians 5:21; of course also paying for our “sins” as well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 3

Peter’s discourse (Acts 2:38) follows Jesus’ command from Mark 16:16. Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” No mention that failure to be baptized condemns. Everyone who believes is saved; so it is logical also to simply say everyone who believes and is baptized is saved. I fail to see why the emphasis falls on baptism rather than faith. Jesus never baptized anyone, John 4:2; a strange practice if water baptism was necessary. Peter preached, “Repent, and let everyone 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,” Acts 2:38.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Simply Christian, Part 2

Two points of confusion: Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

God’s plan of salvation was in place before the world was founded and before time began, 2nd Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2. Circumcision was the water baptism of the Old Testament; a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, Genesis 17:10. Yet before circumcision was given to Abraham Eber, Shem, Noah, Enoch, Abel, et al. were saved. The patriarchs prior to the Flood were saved solely by grace through faith in God, plus nothing else. All of the Old Testament saints were saved by God without water baptism; the concept was foreign to them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Simply Christian

When we consider the Christian church today, what do you suppose is the conversation piece that tends to surround its members? I would wager when Christians meet, they tend to have this question on their mind: “What denomination are you?” Save for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to preserve the integrity and purity of the gospel, I personally believe denominational boundaries have caused considerable harm to the name of Christ and His professing children. The goal of this Post is not to deride denominations, but to urge a recollection of who genuine believers belong to.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 4

9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem
Shem is where the term “Semite” originates; the Semitic people are descendants of Shem. Here Israel is especially in view. Japheth was the father of the Greeks, the Romans, and more: in other words, he was the father of a vast portion of the Gentile world. This prophecy came to pass at Pentecost. Though Gentiles had been saved by coming to faith in God during Old Testament times, it was a peculiar occurrence of the New Testament era, that when Peter preached in the power of the Holy Spirit on that first day of the church age that people from every nation under heaven was present, Acts 2:5.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 3

9:17 this is a token of the covenant
“Token” in this verse simply means “sign” or “symbol.” This Hebrew word was the same used to describe the “mark” God gave Cain, Genesis 4:15. God gives tokens or signs when He covenants. For Abraham it was the sign of circumcision, Genesis 17:11. Water baptism is the symbol in the New Testament, 1st Peter 3:21. The term “like figure” in 1st Peter is the Greek “antitypos,” which means “copy or representation.” Physical baptism represents the inward act of spiritual regeneration, Colossians 2:11-12.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine, Part 2

9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require
God is clearly telling Noah and his sons that human life is sacred; it is not to be abused or destroyed unnecessarily. Human life is valued above animal life or the lifeless mass of our planet. Animals are to be preserved and cared for (Proverbs 12:10) and the planet is not to be ransacked, but cared for by us; stewards charged with the responsibility (Revelation 11:18). Yet God cares for man over these, and it was for men that Christ died and rose again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Genesis Chapter Nine

9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons
The same was said of Adam and Eve; they were blessed and sent out to subdue the earth, Genesis 1:28. Note in both instances Adam and Eve were joined by God (in matrimony) as Noah and his sons were already married. The institution of marriage, founded by God in Eden for our first parents, is not to be trifled with. God loves the institution He created and calls it holy, Malachi 2:11. Likewise He hates divorce, Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:4-6. Fornicators and adulterers who belittle God’s institution of marriage will be sorely judged, Hebrews 13:4. God created marriage so that we might have a partner in this life on earth; He likewise created marriage so that one husband and one wife might raise up children to God, Malachi 2:15; Psalm 127:3-4; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Proverbs 5:18-19. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are not God’s desire for intimate human relationships. The nuclear family began in Eden with our first parents was ordained by God.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rudimentary Apologetics, Part 2

Jesus Christ was the perfect, final, and glorious manifestation of God, John 1:1-14; Hebrews 1:1-3. When Jesus came to earth, He came to reveal salvation to men, to redeem men, to reveal the will of the Father to men; all things that could not be learned apart from being instructed. Jesus came to glorify the Father by obeying His revealed will. The Father’s will was that Jesus should suffer death for the sins of the world, so that anyone who believes in Jesus may be given the right to become a child of God. When asking “what is God like?” or “who is God?” we need look no further than Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rudimentary Apologetics

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (apologia) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, 1st Peter 3:15.

Here is the foundation of Christian apologetics. We, the body of Christ, are to have an answer, a defense, a logical and biblical reason for the hope that is in us; not wishful thinking or tilting at windmills. We must know what we believe, and why we believe it to answer those in opposition; and we must not err by being aggressive and arrogant, as Peter cautions. We are to storm strongholds by the Spirit’s power (2nd Corinthians 10:5), but our duty is to take the enemy alive; we are fighting to preserve life!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unbiblical Missionaries?

I had a conversation with a fellow believer not so long ago regarding Christian missionaries. I was startled when I heard him say that he thought the modern concept of missionaries was unbiblical. To clarify, what he meant was that missionaries who leave home (say the United States) and go to Hong Kong (for example) to preach the gospel should support themselves by their own industry rather than burdening a church. He felt that such missions trips were a recent creation (200 years old or so), and that it reflected a poor light on the gospel when someone was living off of the substance of others.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eight, Part 5

8:21 [though] the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth
In a later revelation the prophet Jeremiah writes, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. The answer being: “only God,” Jeremiah 17:10; 1st Samuel 16:7. This is a hard fact to swallow, since we desperately wish to believe that mankind is essentially good by nature, and outside perturbation is responsible for our lawless behavior. Given proper moral, economical and agricultural circumstances man can rise above outside contamination, master himself, and grow into the moral and self-determined creature he truly is within.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eight, Part 4

8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast
In the times before the tabernacle and the temple men would build altars to God, and there sacrifice to Him. Abel (by implication) did this when he offered the firstlings of his flock, Genesis 4:4. Abram did this after God gave him the promise of the land of Canaan, Genesis 12:7. It was there that Abram called on the name of the Lord, Genesis 13:4. Through the mediation of the blood, sinful man could have fellowship with God Almighty, for the shedding of blood atoned for sin. Two more times Abram (later Abraham) would do this; Genesis 13:18; 22:9. Isaac followed in his father’s footsteps and likewise built an altar, Genesis 26:25. Jacob also followed suit, Genesis 33:20; 35:7. Both times Jacob sacrificed offerings in acknowledgment of God’s provision and faithfulness.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eight, Part 3

8:9 then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
The writer of Hebrews says, “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland,” Hebrews 11:14. The dove had been loosed from the ark and from Noah, yet she found no place to perch and rest. The ark offered safety and solace; two things which the world, currently swept by the ravages of the Flood, could not. Therefore she returned to Noah, and Noah took her in. Christians should be as the dove, and as the writer of Hebrews confesses, not growing too comfortable here, but recalling that this earth is a passing thing; as are our lives. When we come to God, finding no rest in this world, He stretches forth His hand and takes us in; within is safety and solace. Charles Spurgeon once lamented that we were like birds chained at the foot too long; once someone has set us free to fly from this world and its cares we don’t want to. How many of us recall the country (state of living) out of which we have been called, and returned to it? The writer of Hebrews later declares, “if they truly called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return,” Hebrews 11:15.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eight, Part 2

8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountain of Ararat.

Contrary to secular skepticism, the ark that bore Noah to safety may indeed still be imbedded on the heights of Ararat in modern day Turkey. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote of its presence during the first century AD. Marco Polo also confirmed its presence in the mountains of Armenia. In 1876 Sir James Bryce, scholar and explorer, climbed Mt. Ararat and discovered at 13,000 ft (2000 feet above the timberline), a piece of hand-tooled wood that he believed was from the ark. George Hagopian (then a 10-year old Armenian boy in 1904) claimed to have also found the ark with his uncle. He described it as a flat-bottom, petrified barge without nails. He also claimed to have returned to the site a second time two years later. A Russian pilot in World War I claimed to see the ark; news which excited the Czar enough to send parties to search for it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Genesis Chapter Eight

A point of interest I would like to draw the reader to before beginning Genesis is a passage in Psalm 104. This Psalm begins with the greatness and glory of God, and then moves on to describe the events of Creation, beginning with a parallel between Genesis 1:3-8 and Psalm 104:2-3: “Who coverest thyself with light as a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind.” This passage agrees with the Genesis account regarding days one and two of Creation. Yet the psalmist adds in verse 4, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” The verb “maketh” in the Hebrew means “to form or create.” In this inspired interlude that parallels the Genesis account do we possibly find mention of the creation of the angelic majesties before the third day?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 7

This final passage (Hebrews 10:32-39) is an exhortation to endurance. We all have need of it. The Jewish Christians in question needed to be reminded that they should be busy in this life learning the will of God, and that will is revealed in His Son. God has spoken to us in His Son, and this is His final word, Hebrews 1:2. Soon enough the enduring Christian will receive the promise, and that promise is Christ's speedy return, the blessed hope on which every Christian throughout the ages (including the Apostles) worked in light of. They wanted to be found in their Master's will and going about their Master's business when He returned. To this end the Holy Spirit uses Habakkuk 2:3-4 to spur the Hebrews into fervent faith and action; the Lord is quickly returning, and those whose lives are lived by faith will reap rich reward.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 6

Hebrews 10:36-39
[36] For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
[37] “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
[38] Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
[39] But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

To overview chapter 10: verses 1-4 describe the insufficiency of animal sacrifice. While animal sacrifice was established to atone or “cover” sin, it perpetuated the memory of man's sinful state before a holy God and anticipation of sin's removal. It was prophesied that the Messiah, the Christ would come and do just that. Verses 5-10 provide the framework for this, quoting Psalm 40:6-8 and applying it to the coming advent of Jesus Christ who would be born as Savior. The Jews knew that the sacrifice of an animal would atone for them; they were saved from their sins by shed blood, Leviticus 17:11. Now a man was born who would save them from their sins by abolishing the system of works in Judaism and establishing a new covenant ratified in His own blood. The offering of Christ before the Father was efficacious once for all.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 5

Hebrews 10:32-35

[32] But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:
[33] partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became a companion of those who were so treated;
[34] for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
[35] Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

The Hebrew Christians were faltering. They needed to be reminded of the efficacy, the purity, majesty and perfection of Jesus Christ. The entire epistle of Hebrews glows with the grandeur of Christ's superiority to angels, Moses, the law, the priesthood, and animal sacrifice. They would be departing from the truth and returning to a shadow of what had already appeared. The cross of Christ was a great burden, and still is for many today; which is largely the reason for so much compromise within the professing church as liberals and universalists try to reconcile the doctrines of the faith with outside influences. The antidote, the writer is stating, is a clear and powerful picture of Jesus Christ as our Mediator, High Priest and Apostle.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 4

Hebrews 10:29-31
[29] Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
[30] For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
[31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The more one knows, the more one is held accountable for that knowledge. Being saved by grace through faith in Christ is infinitely more valuable and efficacious than animal sacrifice; if the Hebrew Christians reverted to offering animal blood on Jewish altars they were, in essence, trampling the Son of God underfoot and insulting the Spirit of Grace; compare with Ephesians 4:30 and 1st Thessalonians 5:19. It would be worse than offering defiled animals in place of unblemished ones, as it was during Malachi’s day, Malachi 1:6-8. Instead, the Hebrews would revert to offering redundant sacrifice after God finished sacrifice with the offering of His Son; it is a rejection of God’s salvation, an insult to His trustworthy name. God has warned that He will judge His people. Peter writes: “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1st Peter 4:17.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 3

Hebrews 10:26-28
[26] For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
[27] but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation that will devour the adversaries.
[28] Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

The next section begins with an ardent warning about living in a state of willful sin after receiving the truth. Verse 19 informs us that through the blood of Christ we have boldness to enter the Holiest. The concept is one of a close-knit fellowship with God; you are dwelling with Him in the Holiest. Verse 26 warns that it is only by this same blood that one is cleansed from willful sin. Since sin separates, a believer who indulges in willful sin is without the Holiest; they retain salvation but must come to Christ for cleansing, so they may walk with Him in renewed fellowship, 1st John 1:7. The writer includes himself in this passage by saying “we,” intending to convey the idea that what he is about to relate could even come upon him through habitual sin. A willful sin would be to continue living in the lifestyle (or to practice the vice) that Christ died to set us free from after receiving salvation by faith.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews, Part 2

Hebrews 10:22-25
[22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
[23] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
[24] And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
[25] not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Our faith in Christ's person and accomplished work of redemption should persuade us to draw near without fear. We must have a true heart, believing in truth the things which we have heard. “Let [the believer] ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” James 1:6-8. Our hearts are sprinkled by the blood of Christ which cleanses from all sin, and we are washed by the water of the word.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Considerate Sequel to Hebrews

After some consideration and meditation on the topic I previously addressed in “A Considerate Look Into Hebrews” I felt it was useful and necessary to speak about the second trouble passage in this epistle. Hebrews 6:4-9 has been used by many teachers to promote 'conditional salvation' or 'falling away' and its partner tends to be Hebrews 10:26-31 especially, with the latter portion of chapter 10 altogether. In that regard, I would like to begin examining carefully and prayerfully Hebrews chapter 10, beginning with verse 19 and working our way toward verse 39 in an effort to expound the true meaning of the passage, and perhaps convince otherwise Bible-believing, God-fearing Christians that their eternal salvation is in no way dependent or incumbent on our conduct; it is entirely a work of grace, entirely a gift of God. Believers are entirely kept by the power and preservation of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. God willing we will progress, and shed light I pray on some well intentioned but Scripturally inaccurate teachings regarding salvation's retention.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Year in Review

Well, my Blog has been around for exactly one year as of today. It has been an enjoyable and learning experience, both as a Blogger and as a Christian. The Blog itself has undergone numerous changes since its inception last year. I altered how many Posts appeared, whether or not they had titles, whether or not I showed my number of followers…I never could rightly decide how my Blog should appear in a finished and satisfactory state.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is Jesus Good? Part 3

So...is Jesus good?

The question, for those who cling to and isolate this verse on a doctrinal island, must be answered “no.” But there is extreme hazard in confining one verse of Scripture as if it was written in a vacuum. The idea of Jesus denying His goodness, and thus denying His deity, was not the purpose of this passage. No, Jesus was endeavoring to extricate the young man from his own flawed view of goodness and works; how neither was acceptable to God. If he did not approach Jesus as Savior (acknowledging Him as God), then it was pointless to approach Him at all. Christ serves no purpose to the one set on redeeming himself through religious activity and moral living.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is Jesus Good? Part 2

The condition of the rich young ruler is to be examined more thoroughly than Jesus’ question. The young man apparently considered himself good since he was following the letter of the law and therefore trusting in his own righteousness which comes from the law. Scripture makes it clear that such righteousness does not save, Romans 3:19-26; Philippians 3:4-11. In this context the young man felt that he and Jesus were equals, both good teachers. Jesus wished to dispel this flawed thinking. If the rich young ruler addressed the Lord merely as a good man, then His answer was that no one was good but God. If the young man came to Jesus in faith, trusting in the Christ’s righteousness and abandoning his own, then he had every right to call Jesus good; because in that light he would also perceive that Jesus was in fact God incarnate. The rest of the passage indicates he did not perceive this, because he went on in an effort to justify himself through obedience to the law.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is Jesus Good?

This is the question raised by the topic of this post. I raise the question out of sincere concern for some who twist this verse, misusing it out of context, to propose the idea that Jesus denied being good, so He denied being God. The truth lay elsewhere, however; Jesus denied being neither, which is clearly revealed if the verse is not wrested out of its context to stand alone without the wisdom and support of the rest of Scripture to give clarity.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grace, Part 2

Philemon 17-19 portrays our position and security in Christ. We are the erring and sinful slave, running away from God. Like Adam, and every descendant since, we are naturally inclined to resist and avoid God, fearing His holiness and ashamed of our inability to measure up to His perfection. Deep within we understand that we cannot meet God’s standard of righteousness so we go about attempting to erect our own in its stead, one that we will be comfortable with. God sent Christ as the perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty our sins deserved, and to open a way back to Him. Now the guilty sinner washed by Christ’s blood in faith, may return to His God without shame, and without attempting to merit what is hopeless: that is, a perfection that God would find pleasing. When we are found and overcome by our Lord like Paul was on the Damascus road we are not only cleansed of our sin due to the value and efficacy of Jesus’ blood, we are adopted into the household of faith by virtue of the One who found us. “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ,” Galatians 4:7.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grace

In the tiny personal epistle of Philemon we find a remarkable gem of spiritual truth buried which I would like to share with you. Paul is having personal correspondence with a fellow Christian named Philemon; the apostle is pleading with the man regarding a certain runaway slave named Onesimus. This slave, whose name means “useless” ran away from his master, encountered Paul, and was converted to Christianity. There is a vivid picture of reconciliation and forgiveness painted in the progression of events, which we would do well to pay careful attention to.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Genesis Chapter Seven, Part 3

7:11 the same day were all the fountains of the deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
The fountains of the deep appear to have been massive underground chambers of water, extremely pressurized by the earth’s crust resting upon them. When the ground rent the pressure was loosed, and out came the water in destructive force, possibly as the earth’s crust began to settle into the previously water-filled chambers. These enormous pockets of water were the storage chambers for the “mist from the earth [that] watered the whole face of the ground (i.e. the whole world,) Genesis 2:6. The result of this eruption was the fountains of the deep, which were likely seen for many miles across the earth, and could easily explain the oceanic trenches, especially the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. For an extremely detailed argument regarding this and related topics, please see In the Beginning, by Walt Brown, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Genesis Chapter Seven, Part 2

7:1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark
Note that God was in the ark, calling Noah and his family within to join Him. A believing father is a strong foundation of truth for his children, and such was Noah. Looking ahead to New Testament times we read about the Philippian jailor who asked Paul what he must do to be saved. Paul replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household,” Acts 16:31. Elsewhere Paul writes about the benefit of a believing parent: “otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy,” 1st Corinthians 7:14. The concept is not one of heredity. A child does not inherit the faith of their parent; common sense and daily life attest to this. But a godly parent living their faith and praying daily for the conversion of their child is a strong witness to the child looking to see the validity of the faith their parent espouses and proclaims.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Genesis Chapter Seven

Before continuing in our commentary on Genesis, I would like to share with the reader some interesting mythology I recently read about, as well as some viewpoints about the theory of religion’s evolution. Basically, since academia at large teaches that Evolution is true, they frame religion in an evolutionary setting, teaching that animism/spiritism is the oldest religion to have “evolved” along with primitive man, followed(in chronological order) by pantheism, polytheism, and finally monotheism.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 8

Scripture is clear about the matter. Conditional salvation is a falsity embraced by every religion from Roman Catholics to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it is not biblical. What comfort, assurance, or hope is in this doctrine? This is not the liberty Christ has called us out to! “[God] has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have (present tense) redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Colossians 1:13-14.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 7

Of this new life, God has spoken in this way, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5. Also, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” Matthew 28:20. And, “I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob,” Malachi 3:6. That many “Christians” do not practice Christ’s commands is an indication they may never have had saving faith. Yet we cannot judge the certainty of another’s salvation because God alone knows the heart, 1st Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:9-10. We are told on the basis of conduct to judge whether or not someone is walking in the faith; but this should only compel us to heed the Apostle’s advice in warning them to test themselves as to whether they are in the faith, 2nd Peter 1:10; 2nd Corinthians 13:5. We are to encourage fellow believer’s to run the race with zeal, looking toward the consummation and the reward, which Christ will give to His faithful servants, Luke 19:12-27.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 6

Another objection I have encountered goes like so: God only seals obedient believers with the Holy Spirit. Also, He can be taken from a believer. I believe this teaching has surfaced due to a tragic and tangled misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit’s activity and function in the Old and New Testament. It is clear that the sealing of the Spirit began at Pentecost in Acts 2, and He has sealed the body of Christ since as part of the new covenant in Christ’s blood. The sealing of the Spirit was our guarantee, a promise of God’s fidelity that what He has begun, He will finish. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that having believed God (past tense) we were sealed; see also Ephesians 2:22. 2nd Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “He who has established us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” “Now He who prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee,” 2nd Corinthians 5:5.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 5

Biblical justification (salvation from sin’s penalty) occurs once; having been done it is finished. Sanctification is the ongoing process of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives as He conforms us into the image of God’s Son. Sanctification can be described as salvation from sin’s power in our daily lives, Philippians 2:12. This is not to be confused with salvation from sin’s presence, which no Christian will experience here on earth; that is glorification and will occur the instant we enter Heaven and are perfected by Christ, 1st John 3:2. John further urges believers that everyone who holds this hope would purify themselves (obey God’s command for holiness,) 1st John 3:3.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 4

This is where conversation generally becomes abrasive: we quote Scripture, but do not reason together whether we have a right understanding of Scripture. I don’t find a single place in the New Testament where Jesus simply quoted Scripture and ceased. He reasoned with His audience. So too did Peter in Acts 2 and 3, as well as Paul in Acts 17. It is a simple matter to step from sound doctrinal teaching to, “desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what [we] say nor the things which [we] affirm,” 1st Timothy 1:7. I am far from immune; if I stray in my doctrinal teaching then I expect (and I pray, welcome) needed correction from mature believers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 3

The new covenant has a new Mediator, and was ratified not with animal blood, but with Christ’s blood. “Not with the blood of goats and calfs, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption,” Hebrews 9:12. Again, the past tense in the verse indicates that our positional salvation is secure; it does not hinge on our obedience through the Spirit, but by Christ’s obedience. “By one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous,” Romans 5:19. If all of our sins were not paid for by Christ (as conditional salvation must maintain), then the first time we sin after being born again we forfeit salvation. Why? “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. “The soul who sins shall die,” Ezekiel 18:20. “You are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all,” James 2:9-10.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security, Part 2

Some biblical writers address the former sins we have been cleansed from, committing them in ignorance; other writers address the reality that believers have assurance that salvation is a permanent investment by our Lord. John writes that anyone sinning (after being saved) has an Advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous, 1st John 2:1-2. Though John presses the point that the new life imparted by the Holy Spirit should result in a radical transformation from the inside out, he concedes that sins will yet manifest in our outer man (the flesh); his goal was to remind and comfort Christians that sin will not separate a believer from his God so far as salvation is concerned. Does it cause severance from fellowship or usefulness? Yes, but not salvation. Christ’s ability to save and preserve His chosen is at stake, John 6:37-40. Verse 39 declares without stipulation: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” Paul also wrote, “[we are] eagerly waiting for the revelation of Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1st Corinthians 1:7-8.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Writer's Journey, Part 2

The last two years of my high-school career found me much in the computer room typing up copious notes for my new gaming world. By this time it was highly refined, filled with so many creatures, places and ideas birthed of my imagination that it had a life of its own. Truly it did consume me, though I would not have termed it so years ago. My junior year was part two of the vampire story for my Cloquet bound friend, and it was entitled Bloodlines: the Next Generation. I know, very classy and original. Well, it flopped a little. It was a B- at full credit, and the teacher critiqued the story, saying that it flowed too quickly and there were too many characters. I was crushed, and my ego was wounded. But never fear, in our senior year I bounced back with the conclusion that would launch a series of writings for me after school ended. It was called The Breaking of the Covenant. It was like no other story I had endeavored before, as I added in a little sensuality and a hero who was himself a vampire. I don’t know the particulars; but my friend told me he couldn’t return my story to me because the teacher had it published in some collection of stories somewhere. Apparently he liked it. If that was so, I was published! ...under my friend’s name, of course.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Writer's Journey

Where to begin? Please bear with me, dear reader, as I walk through details regarding my life in an effort to share with you how Andurun came to be and my inspiration for this labor of love. For anyone reading, the Canticles of Andurun is a fantasy series I am writing; book one of which will be published soon. I wanted to share with everyone the circumstances that molded my writing, and what it took for me to use such a gift for God's glory and not my own.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Question of Eternal Security

The endeavor of this particular Post is to address the erroneous teaching of “falling away” or “conditional salvation.” There is no possibility to make light of this doctrine. Either eternal security is correct and falling away is heresy, or falling away is correct and eternal security is heresy. This is a matter of the position of our salvation in Christ, and nothing short of a detailed, thorough examination of Scripture will suffice to find an answer. It is the Bible we seek our counsel from, and to that end we shall labor to avoid personal attacks. Having said this, let us press forward and see what we can learn concerning the doctrine of “falling away.” I hope to fully address the issue to the satisfaction of the reader.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 9

Further contrasting law and grace Paul says that if a law could have imparted life to men, then righteousness would have been by the law, not grace; but if righteousness truly comes by the law, then Jesus died for nothing, Galatians 3:21; 2:21. Absorb the implications of this passage. If we can have any hand in salvation, then Jesus did not need to die at all. When Jesus was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed the Father, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will,” Matthew 26:39. The Lord requested that if the salvation of mankind could be another way (than by Christ becoming sin for us) then let it pass from Him. But He knew there was no other way; we were powerless, ungodly, and dead in sins and trespasses.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 8

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ made us free, and do not be entangled again in a yoke of bondage…every man who becomes circumcised…he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace,” Galatians 5:1, 3, 4. Here Paul contrasts salvation by works and grace. Are you justified by the works of the law? Or are you saved by faith in Christ alone? If you attempt the former then Christ is of no use to you. Your faith is in your efforts, not Jesus’ Person and finished work. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” Mark 2:17. These righteous were the self-righteous, who wanted to be justified by what they did for God, not by grace. The sick recognized their need of a Savior and clung to Jesus. Likewise Paul tells the church of Galatia that Christ died to make us free from thinking these perverse thoughts (that a man could contribute to his own salvation). Don’t be tangled in that yoke of bondage, was his inspired counsel.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Genesis Chapter Six, Part 2

6:8 Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.This is the first time in the Bible that the word “grace” is mentioned. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Was there something extraordinary about Noah? Not at all. Grace is the absolute unmerited favor of God which He gives to men of His own free will. Nothing we can say or do will ever make us worthy of grace, or compel God to look in our direction solely for our righteousness’s sake. All our righteousness are as filthy rags before a holy God, Isaiah 64:6. This is one reason why the doctrine of conditional salvation falls so shy of the mark. Grace is only found, NEVER earned! Ephesians 2:8-9 clarify this in some of the plainest wording in Scripture: “For by grace have you been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.” Works do not enter the equation with either salvation’s conception or retention. Noah found grace, and was at that point a justified man before God. God’s plan of salvation has been the same from the beginning of time; there is no other method by which He brings sinful men and women before His presence, Ephesians 1:4.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 7

The Pharisees asked a very reasonable question in their time: “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:7. Yet Jesus could and did. All sin is against God, Psalm 51:4. Since we offend God by our sins, He alone must forgive. When you sin against someone, a neutral party cannot forgive you on their behalf. No, the offended party must forgive. Jesus forgives sins on earth because men have sinned against Him! The offended party offers forgiveness, or forgiveness is meaningless. Jesus promised that anyone who came unto Him for forgiveness of sin and eternal life would by no means be cast out, John 6:37. In fact, Jesus promised to give us rest, Matthew 11:28. This rest is free (His gift) and found in Him alone; our only work is to believe: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent,” John 6:29. The will of the Father is that anyone who believes in the Son of God would have everlasting life, John 6:40.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Genesis Chapter Six

6:1 when men began to multiply on the face of the earth
Chapter six begins with an overview or synopsis of man’s current state and numbers on the face of the earth. Chapter 4:16-22 and chapter 5 chronicle the growth of men on the face of the earth since the days of Cain and Abel. Some suggest hundreds of thousands might have been alive by this point; others suggest millions or even a population rivaling today’s world. If that is so, it might agree with our Lord’s words when He said, “But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Matthew 24:37-39.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 6

We need reconciliation; we need God’s mercy. We do not need to attempt to “be a good (fill in your religion’s name here.)” Then our faith is in ourselves and our works. The object of our faith is what makes said faith valuable. Faith in itself is nothing, unless it has an object worthy of resting upon. The very idea of faith, biblically speaking is humble trust, absolute reliance on the trustworthiness of the one who is the object of our faith. Being obedient does not create spirituality; rather, becoming a new creature through spiritual birth gives us the ability to be obedient!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theology Part 3

Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses both believe Jesus to be Michael, the archangel. A peculiar Watchtower doctrine states that He was the greatest of God's creations, directly created by Jehovah and then used to create all else. Yet Scripture states that Michael was not unique. In Daniel 10:13 we read: “Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.” Michael is merely one of a number of archangels, it would seem; this number may include Gabriel who is also mentioned in Daniel. Nor would Jesus claiming to be an angel bother the Jews; angels were part and parcel to their orthodoxy. When Paul was on trial before the Sanhedrin the Pharisees wanted to release him, thinking an angel had given him divine knowledge, Acts 23:9. Why not? Daniel and other prophets were frequented by angels numerous times. Yet the Jews wanted to kill Jesus; not for claiming He was an angel, but for claiming that He was God, John 10:33. As mentioned just prior, Jesus was worshiped by certain Jews. Yet the prohibition in the Mosaic Law was clear: worship of any being other than God Himself would merit the death penalty, Exodus 20:3-6. Later Paul would warn against worship of angels as a false religion, Colossians 2:18. He states in verse 19 that when we let go of the Head (Christ), we become vulnerable to idolatry, and worship created things. Such people exchange the truth of God for the lie (Satan's lie), worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, Romans 1:25. We must then conclude that these Jews (including the original Apostles; see Matthew 28:17 and Luke 24:52) were idolaters worthy of death, or they recognized that Christ was in fact God in the flesh, and worthy of worship. The holy angels abhorred the thought of being worshiped, such as when John attempted to worship an angel, Revelation 19:10. Both Peter (Acts 10:25-26) and Paul (Acts 14:11-14) adamantly refused worship. What should we think of Jesus, who never blushed or felt shame for being worshiped? The Son is greater than the angels—Hebrews 1:4—because angels are ministering spirits, Hebrews 1:14; while Jesus is the Creator of all things, Hebrews 3:3-4.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 5

Heaven is an eternal, literal place of bliss for anyone who is in Christ. Jesus told the apostles before He was crucified, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also,” John 14:2-3. In Jesus’ great priestly prayer He prayed the Father, “I do not pray for these alone (the apostles), but also for those who will believe in Me through their word (all Christians through all time)…and the glory You have given Me I have given them…Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world,” John 17:20, 22, 24.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hell? Yes

I will not form the habit of replying to commentary left on my Blog, but Mr. Rick Lannoye addressed a doctrinal issue that must be answered to. His comment is under “The True God and Eternal Life, Part 4” if anyone wishes to read it. I present my rebuttal on the matter.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 4

In Philippians 2:12 Paul says, “therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Since Paul’s message was always salvation by grace apart from any works, what is he referring to? Sin’s power in a Christian’s life is still very real, since no good thing is in our flesh (see Romans 7:18). Our daily dependence on the Lord, via the power and presence of His Holy Spirit, grants us the victory over sin’s struggle to have its way in us. When Paul says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” he isn’t meaning we aren’t saved, or we have to work to maintain our salvation. The next verse states, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure,” (verse 13). Here is God the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer as His temple, just as the apostle stated. What work then is God performing in us, that we should tremble that it occurs? Titus 2:11-12 states, “For the grace of God has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should liver soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Sanctification is accomplished by our submission to the will of the Lord through His indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul also adds that Christ’s soon return should prompt a believer to want to live a godly life, and be found watching for his Master’s return, Titus 2:13; see also Matthew 24:42.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Signs and Wonders

I would like to take a moment to address the topic of spiritual gifts, especially as they relate to the concept of “spiritual revival.” The idea of a revival is to create or instill a resurgence of vigor into the lifeblood of the church; to renew man’s interest and worship of a holy God. It is to bring to mind our need of the salvation offered through Jesus Christ, His sufficient payment that was made for us at the cross, and the longsuffering of God when dealing with sinful men who constantly reject God’s will for them in their lives. A genuine revival should entail the preaching of the gospel in no uncertain terms, and utterly unadulterated. A revival should stir the blood of every born again believer to remember that we have been cleansed from our old sins and raised to newness of life; we are citizens of Heaven, and as such we should walk circumspectly on this earth, endeavoring on our part to fulfill the Great Commission that our Lord gave us. A revival should accentuate the unity of the Christian church without compromising the truth which is its very cornerstone: that Christ alone is our Savior; that He vouchsafed eternal life for those who believe, and that He dispenses this salvation to whomever He wills by virtue of the convicting and convincing power of God the Holy Spirit. Compromise of doctrinal foundations and truths for the sake of unity must be spurned, because God’s holiness is in all truth, and if we desire the authority and working of the Holy Spirit to enliven and empower our preaching, then we must present the gospel as God intended it to be heard, and leave the reaction of those who hear the word preached to God. He saves fallen men; not us.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Theology Part 2

Before exploring many of the teachings in the New Testament concerning Jesus, I would first like to examine numerous passages in the Old Testament that speak both of God's role as our only Savior, and the prophecies of the Messiah that not only testified of His humanity, but of His eternal deity as God the Son.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 3

Suggesting human works as being plausible to attain or maintain salvation, places us firmly back in law/works, which the Bible forbids. Following the Ten Commandments was Israel’s attempt to attain their own righteousness, if you will. Yet what does God say? “What purpose does the Law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise (of the inheritance) was made…for if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law. But Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those that believe…Therefore the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith,” Galatians 3:19, 21-22, 24. The Law was given to show us the nature of sin, and our inability to save ourselves; instead abandoning this futile hope and casting our faith and trust in God our Savior. The Law was a mirror which revealed how sinful we were; it could do nothing but condemn. Paul is clear that the Law could not save us or sustain us. Present day efforts to work for salvation are law/works. To teach otherwise is to sin against God, who freely pardons those who trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. It is rank unbelief.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life, Part 2

One may question, “If you cease to believe, does that not disqualify you from eternal life?” It is a valid question, and one that the Bible does not fail to answer in simple terms. Romans 11:29 states, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Eternal life is God’s gift to us, and He will never rescind it. Our security in Christ is not measured by our faithfulness, but His, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith (or faithfulness) of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me," Galatians 2:20. This only makes Scriptural sense if one takes into account that Jesus is our life (Colossians 3:4) as well as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We are kept only and entirely by God, 1st Peter 1:5. If you have placed your faith in Jesus alone as Savior, then you are eternally saved, even if you should at some time fall into sin. Why is that? “If we are faithless (or unfaithful), He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself,” 2nd Timothy 2:13. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a seal and a pledge for the day of redemption. We are purchased property, as Scripture plainly declares: we are bought with a price, and we are temples for God the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us (see 1st Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, 20; Romans 8:9). David is inspired to write, “Though [a good man] fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His right hand,” Psalm 37:24. The terms eternal and everlasting would be misleading to say the very least if we could forfeit our salvation. It would nullify the entire idea of the comfort God wishes to bestow upon us. John writes, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and the Lamb!” Revelation 7:10. Clearly salvation’s work is entirely God’s doing, from beginning to end.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The True God and Eternal Life

Revised from 7/12/09 “Deceiving and Being Deceived.”
Greetings,This letter is addressed to those of opposing faiths, who reverence Jesus Christ, but have sadly and profoundly strayed in doctrine, stepping into gross error about the Person of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This letter is written out of love for such people, oft-times honest, diligent, earnest seekers of truth and salvation. I pray the Holy Spirit will bring the light of convicting truth about our blessed Savior, His mission and ministry into clarity for everyone's sake. I encourage you to be a Berean, and to search the Scriptures for the truth. Hell is no place for you, or me, or anyone, not while there is an open door through the mercy of our Father, by the blood of Jesus Christ! Find the narrow gate, and the road which leads to life, which is Christ alone.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Theology

Someone once noted, “A savior that is less than God is a savior incapable of saving.” It is understating the matter to say that if our Lord Jesus was not God incarnate He was unqualified to be savior of the world. Only God has the power, the capacity to save. Did God create the Son and send Him on the Father's behalf to redeem us? Could a finite being, no matter how powerful, redeem every person throughout all of time? And what of the numerous passages in the Old Testament where God reminds Israel (and through them all of mankind) that He alone is Savior, and beside Him there is no other? Did He change His mind, or was He mistaken? Was God unwilling to come to this earth and do what He promised in Scripture? If God did not come through the incarnation to partake of human misery and redeem us from our own sins personally, then we must conclude that He delegated another to do this for Him, who vicariously accomplished the task. In essence, God is still unknowable and remote, never having entered our world, and apparently desirous not to.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

God, Free-Will, and Sin Part 2

God was not caught unaware by sin's development in our first parents. He was not shocked. The Bible plainly states that God made provision for our rebellion and sin by erecting the cross of Jesus Christ before the world was formed, Revelation 13:8; Titus 1:2; Ephesians 1:4. God selected the Jews as a people through Abraham because He needed a people by whom Christ would come according to the flesh, Romans 9:5. He placed the Roman Empire as the head of the known world so that when the time came, Jesus would die the death that had been predicted for Him, John 12:32-33; Deuteronomy 21:23. If evil exists, why has God done nothing about it? The very real fact is that He has. He came in the person of Christ to abolish sin and death, and bring life and immortality through the gospel. The sins of the Old Testament saints were overlooked before the cross, because God looked ahead to the consummation of His payment for their sins, Romans 3:25. The sins of New Testament saints are forgiven in Christ, who is our satisfactory payment, and already suffered the punishment our sins deserve, 1st John 2:2. Christ is the solution for a hurting world, but the world at large rejects the solution God offers and strives for its own, all the while being very liberal in their blame of God for the reality of evil in this world. This is a hypocritical stance, and a poor method to resolve the reality of evil and suffering. Instead of accepting God's explanation for our current state we dismiss Him as though He does not exist. But now the atheist has no moral grounds to stand on. Without the reality of God, good and evil fall completely into the realm of subjectivity. There is no authority to set standards with which to measure either. God was the ground for absolute moral truth; without Him we can have opinions about what we prefer, but we cannot declare anything “good” or “evil” any longer. What is good to someone is evil to another, so now we are reduced to personal preference. If it works for you, do it: the ultimate pragmatic philosophy. But don't do it if it is detrimental to me, because I wouldn't like it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

God, Free-Will, and Sin

Why this world? Why is there evil? Why do the wicked prosper?

These questions and more abound in the modern mind and in the minds of men since time immemorial. One of the simplest, most fundamental questions that can be asked deals with the idea of the reality we live out day by day. If God—that is, the Judeo-Christian God—exists, why too does evil exist? Why is there a physical and spiritual hardship across the globe, even among those who claim to be children of God? This Post is not meant to be an exhaustive treatment on the topic of evil; far from it. I merely wish to convey to the reader something to contemplate when hardship arises, and we look for answers. For more biblical study I would suggest Psalm 73, the Book of Job, Habakkuk, and Ecclesiastes. Though Ecclesiastes does not deal with the exact question, Solomon explores the idea of “life under the sun” and how pointless such a life is.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Genesis Chapter Five

5:1 the book of the generations of AdamThere are proponents who suggest that Genesis was transcribed by numerous ancient authors, beginning here with Adam. Though Moses wrote the book of Genesis, this theory suggests that he merely compiled the books of the various genealogies, having received them from his kinsmen, the Jews. The outcome then was the complete book of Genesis as recorded by its various authors as they lived through the passages described. Accordingly, proponents for this theory point out that Moses is never directly attributed as the author of Genesis in the New Testament. The second theory is divine revelation; that God on Mount Sinai revealed to His servant Moses not only the four books of the Law, but the foundation those books rested on with this book of beginnings. While the idea of numerous genealogies passed down from antiquity is possible, the passages that state, “the generations of” may merely draw the reader’s attention to the fact that the people spoken of in Genesis’s narrative are transitioning.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Discipleship

What is a disciple? A disciple in its most basic and generic sense, is a student or follower. A good example of the word in Scripture appears in John 9:28, where we read, “You are His (Jesus’) disciple, but we (the Pharisees) are Moses’ disciples.” A disciple is someone who endeavors, both in their learning and lifestyle, to emulate the one who is their teacher. In this case, the Pharisees implied that they were students of Moses and the Law Moses provided Israel. This reflected in their demeanor; for as the Law could not be merciful, in that it did not know how, neither were the Pharisees merciful. They were austere in their judgment, sharp in their doctrinal beliefs, and unforgiving of any transgression. John Bunyan, in his classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress, depicted the Law (in the form of Moses) as unyielding. One of the characters, Faithful, was nearly beaten to death by Moses’ character. When he pled for mercy at the hand of the lawgiver, Moses replied, “I do not know how to be merciful!”

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Considerate Look Into Hebrews

Author's note: I have (until recently) held a different interpretation of the passage in Hebrews I am presently discussing. I have since been soundly convinced that my standing was in error. I still preach eternal security, but I now believe Hebrews 6:4-9 teaches something more than I had noticed. In humility I write this, grateful to God for a little clarity, and for His boundless love with which He loves all of His children! Without further ado, I present to the reader my study on Hebrews 6:4-9; I apologize for the length, but it was necessary for the scope of this study. God bless!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Love Redefined...or Defiled?

I won't convince or convert; no soul will be lost,
I've found the answer in my own mind;
“love” is my religion; you can take it or leave it...


I begin this post with a sample of human wisdom recently coined by a very liberal thinker. All I can say in honest response is that “love” not based on truth is delusion— who has authority to decide in their own mind what truth is, so that no soul is lost? Take or leave all faiths being wrong, with no soul being lost? Does anyone critically evaluate their philosophy?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Genesis Chapter Four

The fourth chapter of Genesis deals with the beginning of division among mankind. As soon as there were brothers, there was strife. One of the brothers was a godly man, who heard the word of God, accepted it, and yielded fruit in accordance with spiritual growth. The other heard the word of God, did not understand it, and the wicked one came and took the seed of the message from him. There is much to be learned from Cain and Abel. Abel did what God desired, and approached God in the manner that was commanded, and he was accepted. Cain, who must have heard the same command that Abel had heard, rejected the notion that God only respected one approach of fellowship and worship. He had the idea that any road to God will suffice. He came with an offering of his own election and in the clothing of his own righteousness, and was refused.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Food for Thought

I would like to take the time, as food for thought, to discuss the idea of good works. I have recently heard scathing arguments on the side of atheists who tout that faith in Christ alone to save is absurd, seeing that anyone who claims salvation by faith can behave any way they wish, so long as they confessed this "faith." Conduct doesn't enter the equation, in their opinion, which enflames their belief that man’s good works should logically demonstrate his merit. I am sorry to confess that many who claim to be Christians fall into the category of being unrecognizable followers of Christ, bearing no fruit of the Spirit, as God‘s word calls it. The Bible addresses this spiritual barrenness in believers in great detail, but that is not what I presently desire to discuss.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Genesis Chapter Three

3:1 the serpent was more subtil
The New King James renders the word “subtil” as “cunning.” Here is the first reference of Satan in the Bible. There have been mountains of speculation concerning these passages. Some write them off as ridiculous, “It’s a talking snake; what more need I say?” Some write them off as being ardent skeptics, “It never actually STATES that Satan was that serpent!” It writes them off as myth, “You know every culture and ancient religion in the world has a serpent myth in it.” Now to the first I say, “How about shamans, spiritists and witches with their spirits, animal guides and totems? They don’t seem to find such things ridiculous; in fact they’re deadly serious.” God says of such, “The person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people,” Leviticus 20:6. To the second I would respond, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world,” Revelation 12:9. The Holy Spirit wants to make it clear that the snake in the garden was definitely Satan, either possessing an animal, or simply masquerading as one. Can fallen angels possess animals? I don’t know; why don’t we ask the swine Legion entered when Jesus exorcized them? To the third I say, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (Satan),” 1st John 5:19. Serpents are venerated in pagan religions; not mortified and vilified as seen here in the Bible. The serpent represented eternal life and wisdom, as seen in such symbols of the caduceus. Oh, the serpent said he could bring wisdom, but he lied and brought death.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Genesis Chapter Two

After some debate and prayer about the matter, I decided to insert this prologue for the study of Genesis chapter 2. I know there is heated debate, as there has been for many years concerning the topic of Evolution verses Creation, or Intelligent Design, if you prefer. I know there are men such as Mr. Richard Dawkins who speak with great vehemence and authority about their belief that there is no God, no guiding force that began life, and ultimately the causation of all the universe is unknown or self-caused. Minnesota’s own Mr. PZ Myers went on record about the fallacy of religion, declaring that if you removed the ethical content of the Bible you would only be left with fairy tales. A good number of Evolutionary apologists (such as the men named above) would quickly go on record to say that religion is evil, that there is no God, and Evolution is an irrefutable fact. These are men with extensive scientific credentials, men who have years of learning and experience under their belt. They are some of the most prominent minds of the scientific body today. Yet we are clearly warned in Scripture that there are many men who are, “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 2nd Timothy 3:7. This same apostle, inspired by the Holy Spirit, warned his disciple, “Avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called,” 1st Timothy 6:20.
Evolutionists would lead us to believe that science has proven there is no God, no Heaven, no life after death, no absolute morality. Yet none of these conclusions are in any way scientific, but rather philosophical and metaphysical; realms which science can not breach. The scientist adopting this world-view is holding to the assumptions which tend to walk hand in hand with Evolution. If the universe created itself, and living matter sprang from non-living matter, then there is no need, or room, for God. But the Law of Biogenesis, which simply states that only life begets life, flies right in the face of Evolution’s very foundation: the assumption that non-living material begot living organisms. Non-intelligent material somehow, by pure chance, manufactured intelligently encoded cells and DNA within those cells. How does something nonliving and unintelligent produce life and coded instructions, which imply intelligent manufacturing? Furthermore the first and second laws of thermodynamics disagree with Evolution. The first law of thermodynamics is the law of conservation of energy, and states that the quantity of energy in the universe remains constant, yet its quality diminishes over time. For a universe evolving from primitive and inferior, to complex and superior forms of life, this seems highly counterproductive to Evolution’s goals. The second law is the law of increasing entropy, which tells us that all things are breaking down, wearing out, in short: dying. Joshua, Moses’ successor, seemed to understand this universal scientific law when he declared in his farewell speech: “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth,” Joshua 23:14. If things are truly wearing out, then mankind and the universe at large are on a scale of downward regression, not upward Evolution! The conclusion being, when a scientist inclined toward Evolution begins to speak about God, eternity and related topics, they are no longer teaching science, but preaching religion. It is the religion of Evolution and Atheism. Yes, Atheism is a religion; and Evolution tends to become its doctrine.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Trendsetting in the Church

Oxford defines a “trendsetter” as, “a person who leads the way in fashion or ideas.” But what then is a trend? A “trend,” again defined by Oxford, is “#1 A general direction in which something is developing or changing. #2 A fashion.” Apparently our English word “trend” is derived from the old French, and originally meant “to revolve or rotate.”
All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.