Saturday, December 31, 2011

First John Chapter Two, Part Four

2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. If our boast is in Christ—that we walk with Him—then John informs us that our spiritual walk should be congruent to our Lord’s while He was on earth. Totally congruent? Of course not, because Jesus was a sinless Man and we are sinners saved by the grace He provided on the cross. But a walk that slowly mirrors our Savior’s more and more as time elapses? Without a doubt.

Monday, December 26, 2011

First John Chapter Two, Part Three

2:3-5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
The law of Christ is this: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Candymaker's Witness

I had this little card with the origin of the candy cane written on it, and since Christmas is right around the corner I felt that it would be a good time to share it. It's an interesting origin for a piece a candy I never gave any thought to. God bless, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First John Chapter Two, Part Two

2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
To word this passage exceedingly clearly, propitiation essentially means “satisfactory payment.” To paraphrase, the verse then reads, “he is the satisfactory payment for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Christ is our advocate in the heavenly places, as the first verse tells us; He stands before God as the One who pleads for His saints when we sin.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

First John Chapter Two, Part One

2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
In the case that any of John’s readers might have misunderstood what he meant a verse prior, the apostle re-states one of the purposes for his letter. He desires that none who assume the name Christian sin. John reminds us of the person of Christ and the importance of our walk with Him as it affects our witness in daily life, and he places that importance as an argument to refrain from sin. John gives the concession that saints will, sooner or later, sin; therefore he writes to the saint who has trespassed that we have an advocate in Heaven: Jesus Christ the righteous.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Have you ever played Connect the Dots? The game is simple. A picture is defined by a series of so many dots, numbered 1 through however many are needed to complete the picture in question. What the person playing the game must do is use a pencil or pen to draw a line from 1 to 2, then from 2 to 3, and so on. Upon connecting the final line segment the picture is complete and you can see what the dots portray.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Raising Cain, Part 3


6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

God is not posing a question of concern presently, but an inquiry as to whether or not Cain has the right to be angry. Is his anger justifiable? Anger is not a sin, but permitting anger to tempt you toward gratifying it is, Ephesians 4:26-27. As Paul states, to follow sin on this course is an open door to give the Devil a foothold in your life. To paraphrase a little God might have been asking Cain, “Do you have any genuine right to be wroth about this?”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Raising Cain, Part 2

Without further ado, let us examine the several verses in question and discern what we can learn from Cain.
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD, Genesis 4:1.

Cain, so far as the Biblical record is concerned, was the very first human being ever born. He was the first to come out of the womb; the first person to be created by sexual union. Adam was formed from the dust, and Eve from Adam’s rib. Both were created mature (so far as we know) so they did not know the travails of infancy and childhood as every generation after them would. They did not know experientially what awaited them.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Raising Cain, Part 1

But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him, Genesis 4:5-8.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Biblical Cosmology

Cosmology simply means the scientific study of the universe's origins and development. To that end the popular cosmology today is Darwinian in its roots; generally a derivative of the Big Bang Theory. But what is the cosmology of the Bible? What does God's word say regarding the universe's origin and development? And as Christians who claim to be worshipers and followers of Jesus Christ, do we choose to believe what that word says regarding these fundamental issues?

Friday, November 25, 2011

First John Chapter One, Part 5 of 5

1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Verses 6 through 10 comprise a unit as John describes walking in the light with Christ. Verse 6 declares that this is where a Christian ought to be. Verses 7 and 9 inform us how we can apprehend this coveted place. Verses 8 and 10 warn us what conditions keep a saint from being in close contact with his God.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First John Chapter One, Part 4 of 5

1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
This enter passage (verses 7-10) comprise a curt answer to certain Christian sects that teach once a person is saved they are no longer capable of sinning. They carry a Biblical truth too far. It is true that a believer can no longer have sin imputed to them in a judicial sense (1st John 3:9) but the practical effects of sin in a saint’s life are all too real, 1st John 5:16. Note the wording of this verse: believers are to pray for erring brothers they see committing sin. Paul’s ordeal as a Christian suffering the spiritual battle of the flesh and the Spirit is vividly outlined in Romans chapter 7; a staunch testimony and clear warning that Christians can and will sin after being saved.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jesus' Mark on History

I have been re-reading a book recently entitled "Evidence for Christianity" by Josh McDowell and found this snippet within that I would like to share. I quite enjoyed it and believe fellow Christians will likewise appreciate the praise given our Savior.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Regarding Infant Baptism

My wife has a tapestry in our garage from her childhood. It has letters sewn on its surface that read: “Gillian Ingersoll, born August 31, born a child of God October 13th.” Her parents attended a Lutheran Church at the time, and when Gillian was less than two months old she was baptized and declared a child of God, as is tradition in the Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and many other churches today. But is infant baptism biblical? That is the only question that ought to really concern a Christian. Without further ado we will explore the New Testament for evidence that points toward or against the practice of infant baptism.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

First John Chapter One, Part 3 of 5

1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. James, in joining John’s depiction of our God, writes, “every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning,” James 1:17.

Monday, November 7, 2011

First John Chapter One, Part 2 of 5

1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life John begins his epistle with simple and candid testimony. Being an eyewitness of Jesus Christ, John was free to use such language since he was a close follower of the Lord both before and after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The apostle states that he heard, saw and touched the Word of life: namely Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First John Chapter One, Part 1 of 5

John the apostle was one of the twelve, called to follow Christ along with Peter, Andrew and James, Matthew 4:18-22. These four men were the first four to be called by our Lord after His baptism, Mark 1:16-20. Although it does appear that Peter and Andrew were disciples before John, John 1:40-42. The fact that the calling of these four is mentioned specifically in the gospel seems indicative of the importance these men had within the budding church while the gospel accounts were being recorded.

Monday, October 31, 2011

An Issue of Contention

I do not normally give room for debate on my blog, but I felt that this issue should be openly addressed and given a full and fair audience with my Christian readership. The topic in question is the issue of what the function of women in the church and the world is, according to the Bible. This was a debate hed between a gentleman who owns the blog "El Shaddai Reigns." While both he and I agree that women are not meant to lead the church or the home our view quickly branched off from one another at this point and we began a lively but unfruitful debate about the matter. One of the reasons I have, after consideration, chosen to air this on my blog is due to the fact that for reasons of his own choosing Alex has refrained from printing my comments so a reader could only see what he was saying to me. I shall post the article that began the debate and then preface each remark so the reader may know who is speaking. I will not otherwise alter any commentary between Alex and myself. Judge for yourselves what the truth of the matter is. I apologize for the length. God bless.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Understand the Times Prayer Request

This prayer request was sent to me via email from Understand The Times International; the organization that Roger Oakland heads, if you know the name. He is a minister, speaker and author who penned books such as Another Jesus? regarding the Eucharist. I am a prayer supporter of his ministry and as such bring forth his prayer requests to my fellow Christians. I hope you will hold Mr. Oakland up in your prayers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Misconceptions, Part 2 of 2

The church only holds what its Lord has passed on to us in terms of truth regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ. He claimed that He alone, being Lord of Heaven, was capable of bringing sinful men and women to His Father. He alone knew the way because He alone is the way, John 14:6.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Misconceptions, Part 1 of 2

What does the Christian Church teach regarding its exclusivity? Do we covet a dogmatic “our way alone” mentality that denies everyone else? Is there a particular denomination in today’s rank and file of the church that is the main gate by which the saints must enter?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Righteousness of the Saints, Part 2 of 2

Matthew 5:19 also hints at our answer. There will be genuine believers saved by God’s grace in Heaven, but they shall be least. Leaders who teach their disciples that obedience is not synonymous with faith are of this type; that teach men to break God’s commandments. James tells us such faith is dead, having no works; that is, a life of faith where said faith NEVER manifests in humble obedience to the indwelling Holy Spirit as He expounds Scripture to us.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Righteousness of the Saints, Part 1 of 2

In Revelation 19:8 we read that the bride of Christ (which is the church) is granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, which are the righteous acts of the saints. Our righteous acts do not merit our entrance into Heaven, but they are to be our adornments, if they were done in God, to magnify our heavenly Husband, Jesus. It is only through the Holy Spirit that a Christian may serve God, and that God should find such service acceptable, Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14; Romans 6:19; 12:1-2. We are saved solely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; works do not enter the equation, Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; 11:5-6; John 3:18, 36; 6:37; 10:28-29; Titus 3:5-7; 1st Peter 1:5; 2nd Timothy 1:9-10; etc. What are these righteous acts the Holy Spirit is speaking of, and will every saint at the throne of God have them?

Monday, October 10, 2011

"180"


Be aware that this is somewhat graphic material, but material well worth watching. Ray Comfort draws an excellent connection between the Holocaust, Hitler, and abortion. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this video.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Did Jesus Not Know? Part 2 of 2

What does this have to do with Mark 13:32 and the fact that Jesus’ audience was Jewish? Does this have any relevance to whether or not Jesus was omniscient or not? Actually yes, because the context of a passage determines how we understand what is being taught. Aside from the section of Matthew that we have addressed it is useful to also look at one more piece of Scripture to get a clearer picture of the Rapture and Jesus’ soon return to take His own to be with Him forever.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Did Jesus Not Know? Part 1 of 2

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,” Mark 13:32.

Here is a confession that has been sand in the eyes of many Christian apologists over the centuries. This verse has been tugged out from the Bible by cults and anti-Christian sects for so many years because it is commonly believed to be a death-knell to the claims of deity Jesus made. There is a common argument made by opponents of Christianity concerning this verse, regarding the truth about Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to this earth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doctrine, Part 3 of 3

We have our marching orders as Christians. A soldier without direct and clear orders is a confused and impotent one. The enemy of the church, Satan, would have it no other way than to beguile us with contrary gospels and faulty doctrine. Paul warned the Ephesian elders that he had not shunned to give them all of God’s counsel, and that with his departure perverse men would come to lead away disciples after themselves, 20:27, 29-30.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doctrine, Part 2 of 3

Clearly, our Lord took doctrine seriously, as anyone giving the New Testament an honest reading would likewise conclude. It is actually very simple: God gave us His written and infallible word to be the basis and ground of our life. It contains the message of our creation, sin’s entrance, the promises and prophecies of the Redeemer, their realization, and the gospel that saves.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Doctrine, Part 1 of 3

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little, Isaiah 28:7-10.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grains of Sand, Part 2 of 2

The apostle warns the Colossians, as he did the Galatian churches (Galatians 5:8) that this teaching does not come from God but from the carnal minds of men, 2:22. We learned in Galatians 5:6 that only by faith in Christ manifesting itself through love is our sanctification affected; the apostle goes on to inform these Christians that this teaching about adding anything to the gospel of grace hinders its efficacy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grains of Sand, Part 1 of 2

I would like to share a pair of analogies that impress an invaluable point regarding a believer’s state or condition after coming to faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. The first was given to me by a pastor/teacher at the Duluth Bible Church years ago. The second is an improvisation of an illustration I took from a wedding ceremony Pastor Ken Anders performed this last August. I hope we find them mutually encouraging. First however, we will take a short stroll through Colossians.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Christian Liberals, Part 2 of 2

This is where Christianity departs from liberal thinking. Liberals want to allegorize Scripture. They wish to broaden the way to God by making Christ a way like flavors of ice cream; don’t like vanilla? Just have cherry instead! They want to dismiss the more “embarrassing” passages of Scripture as mythical. They want to strip Christ of His unique place as God-man and only Savior.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christian Liberals, Part 1 of 2

What is a liberal? Oxford defines “liberal” as “willing to respect and accept behavior or opinions that differ from your own.” To go a step further, what is a Christian liberal? A Christian liberal as far as I understand the concept has ejected certain narrow, limiting and literal views espoused by the majority of the church for the last two thousand years. It is my belief that when the church began in Jerusalem and spread throughout the entire civilized world under the authority of Paul, Peter, John and others that there was no such thing as a Christian liberal; at least not one who would long be tolerated within the professing church.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Testimony at Living Stones

My interview with Living Stones News has arrived,where I share my story about my writing,my faith,and my long walk away from God. I spent a good many years pretending at being a follower of Jesus Christ,fully convinced that a hollow proffession of faith was the only entrance fee required. I had no interest in God,Christ,the Bible or other believers. Everything that Scripture said would become a new love for me in this new life did not; I bore no spiritual fruit.

My writing and my lifestyle were dark,and the worst of it are thing kept between my God and myself;things that He suffered me to endure and learn from. My writing is part of my witness,and I pray to God that my daily life is the better part of that witness,so it can be said of me that no one thinks me to be more than he sees or hears from me. I only hope that what believers and unbelievers alike see in me is a life saved by the Son of God.

To Christ my Lord I give the glory,who bore with me these many years and gave me a wonderful gift that I used to advance doctrines of demons. If you want to read more about my testimony and back story,follow the link to Living Stones News. I am grateful for their willingness to publish my testimony,and I pray that others (parents) find this information useful. Contact me via email if anyone has further questions regarding the subject matter.

Read the Article at Living Stones

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 9 of 9

But what saith it (faith)? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,” Romans 10:8-11.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 8 of 9

Christ is a Savior, and He gives eternal life on the sole condition of faith. When we turn from grace (the unmerited favor of God) to working for our salvation we have become a transgressor and impugn the free gift God offers in His Son. Galatians 2:16-21 addresses Christians who believe they are saved by grace but revert thereafter to the works of legalism. This is folly. Either Jesus is our Savior and deserves the title, or the redemption He provided on the cross was insufficient to save us or keep us saved. Choose. All of the “thou shalt not’s of Scripture have been summed in these words: love your neighbor as yourself, Romans 13:9. Walking in love toward one another fulfills the law’s requirements, Romans 13:10.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 7 of 9

Paul concludes his discourse by informing us that we may walk in the Spirit if the Holy Spirit dwells in us; and that if we do not possess the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are not Christ’s. The next question to arise is simple: how do we know we possess the Holy Spirit? What must occur?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 6 of 9

But someone may now ask: what is the gospel? What is it precisely, and what does it contain? What must I believe? These are fair questions, and the Bible does not leave them unanswered.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen,” 1st Corinthians 15:1-5.

Jesus confirmed this by telling us that our "work" was to "believe in Him whom [God] sent," John 6:29.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 5 of 9

We read “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life,” Revelation 3:10. Isn’t this verse teaching that works are necessary to retain salvation? No, it isn’t. These are various rewards the saints will receive for rendering service to Christ in this life. Rewards come through our obedience, but salvation (which is not a reward but a free gift, Romans 6:23) comes through faith. The crown of life is the martyr’s crown, as the context reveals, which saints who die from persecution receive upon going to be with Christ.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 4 of 9

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Romans 4:2-5.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Personal Prayer Request

It was a strange night for my family last night. My parents live in the same neighborhood as I do, just on the opposite side of Gary, New Duluth. Sunday night at about 11PM a high speed chase brought a man and a woman in a stolen car into Gary, erupting into a firefight with speeds exceeding 80 RPM.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 3 of 9

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith,” Romans 3:25-27.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 2 of 9

Jesus clarifies this indictment when confronted with the rich young ruler who believed his good works would make him acceptable before God. This young man felt that he followed the law from birth without error, and was merely looking to Jesus to confirm and see if he lacked anything apart from his rigid law-keeping. He did not approach Jesus in His native capacity of Savior; the ruler was not looking to be saved: he was looking to ensure that he had done a sufficient job of saving himself. He wanted a famous Rabbi’s opinion about it, and that prompted him to visit Jesus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salvation is of the Lord, Part 1 of 9

I have noticed that one of the strongest trends within the professing church today is a rejection of salvation by grace. Many who profess to be devout, Bible-believing, God-fearing Christians refuse to believe that salvation is accomplished according to Scripture by the simple vehicle of faith. That faith rests upon the nature and credentials of one person namely: Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cult Methodology

I decided to comprise this list for our mutual edification that entails the tactics of cult coercion; that is a cult’s general efforts to bring someone “into their fold.” Not every cult functions or uses every tactic listed below, but some or most appear in their dealings with both those without their sect and (to keep everyone faithful) those within. This list has been compiled by men who study cults and their tactics, and have dedicated their lives to reaching out to those caught in such a sect and extracting them, by the grace of God. It is for those who are part of such a system, and for everyone who ought to be warned about these tactics that I present this list. God bless.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 7 of 7

Two passages of contention:

#1: Acts 13:48, a pro for Calvinism.
The portion of the verse that seems to strongly support Calvinism is, “And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” The KJV uses the word “ordained” in place of “appointed.” The Greek word for “ordained” is “tasso” and can mean either “appointed, determined, or disposed (to a certain position or lot).” In the sense of the latter two uses of the word the verse’s context would entirely alter, and read as such it would suggest that those who were disposed to eternal life believed the gospel. There is another Greek word rendered as “appointed” in Acts 17:26; the word being “protasso.” It literally means “to pre-arrange or appoint before.” Surely, had Luke intended to clarify this verse in Acts to teach predestination as Calvinism explains it this would have been the word of choice.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 6 of 7

When God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, take note that Pharaoh also hardened his own heart first, Exodus 3:19; 4:21. This is in accord with 2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12, which tells us that God sends strong delusion to those who resist His message, so He might destroy those who received not the truth. God hardened Pharaoh in his obstinacy so that He might demonstrate His power in him, but this was not something that Pharaoh, by his volition, hadn’t already chosen for himself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 5 of 7

Regarding again the topic of Total Depravity: True, man is “dead in sins and trespasses” but spiritual death is not the same as physical death. Physical death is the passage of one state into another. The body is inanimate and moldering; the spirit has passed on into an eternal abode. The physically dead can’t speak, think, act, etc. Spiritual death means that your sin has separated you from God, Genesis 2:17; Isaiah 59:2.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 4 of 7

Irresistible Grace is another topic of contention. Were this doctrine true, then believing on Christ (the criterion for salvation according to the New Testament) is mistaken. God quickens someone to eternal life before the gospel can even be heard or believed on; in other words, your choice is removed because according to Calvin, were you left to yourself you would never believe the gospel.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 3 of 7

Calvinism’s doctrine of Limited Atonement does not agree with Scripture, which clearly states that Jesus Christ was the propitiation for the entire world. Anyone may be pardoned on account of Jesus’ merit from His satisfactory payment on the cross. Twisting Scripture to demean certain clear passages so they fit a Calvinist mold is not what I call rightly dividing the Word. The world, used in several verses cited later, means simply that: the entire world, all men.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 2 of 7

One of Calvinism’s boldest claims is that God in fact does not desire all men to be saved, but rather foreordains men to Hell by His sovereign pleasure, or due to the mystery or hidden will of God; an idea contrary to certain passages of Scripture (I will cite those in due time). The Calvinist argues that if it was God’s purpose to save all men (that is, if He desired to save them) they would be saved because what God desires to do He will.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Irresistible God? A Considerate Search into Calvinism, Part 1 of 7

I would like to explore the concept of Calvinism at length, comparing the teachings of John Calvin with Scripture to determine how “Calvinist” Christians truly are. I say this on my own behalf; I always believed that Calvinism possessed theological flaws, but felt that most fundamental Christians were essentially at least “mildly Calvinistic” in their thinking. Upon closer inspection, I humbly confess that this is a wrong assessment of John Calvin’s teachings, and much taught by this alleged Biblical exegete was not Scriptural. Together let us peer into Calvinism as its proponents teach it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Evolution's Social Baggage

I opted today to post an excerpt from an excellent book entitled "In the Beginning" which is a scientific defense of the Genesis creation account and the worldwide flood in Noah's day. I found this passage about the social aspects regarding Evolution thought provoking. I'll leave the rest to the author, Walt Brown, Ph.D.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Sword of Denominationalism, Part 2 of 2

There are other doctrines, to be sure, of greater or less importance. Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the eternal nature of the human soul, the reality of Hell, the reality of the Devil, personal holiness, etc. are all doctrines that a Christian searching God’s word by the light of the Holy Spirit will eventually come to on his own…or not, as some cases go. We are commanded to reach a state of spiritual maturity, and to walk by the same mind; and for anyone who does not possess this understanding, God will reveal even this to you if you are willing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Prayer Request for Heather Leo

Heather Leo is a dear friend, co-worker and sister in Christ who just went in last week for surgery to remove cancer. The surgery was successful, but during the wait between diagnosis and the operation the cancer spread and the doctors were unable to catch all of it. This means that Heather is now going to endure chemo and radiation therapy: the very things she dreaded and was hoping to escape. She is afraid of what's coming because she has had family succumb to this type of cancer, and she needs your prayers. Lift her up to the Lord and ask for His mercy and grace to be displayed in Heather. I will comment on this post when I know more about her condition, God willing, but pray for Heather please. God bless.

"I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting," 1st Timothy 2:8.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Sword of Denominationalism, Part 1 of 2

I have addressed this issue in my series of Posts entitled Simply Christian but I felt it worthy of further consideration. I felt it appropriate to examine the passage of Scripture below in light of denominational boundaries, since this was one of the very first examples of “denominational” differences between followers of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Revelation Chapter Seven, Part 4 of 4

7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God…and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
God dwells among His people in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the image and glory of God, 2nd Corinthians 4:4, 6; Hebrews 1:3. “And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people,” Leviticus 26:11-12. John records that in Jesus Christ God tented, or tabernacled, among men, John 1:14. The word “dwelt” in John 1:14 is the Greek word “skenoo” and means “to spread a tent.” God came as a man and pitched a tent to dwell with Adam’s race. God became like us in all things, Hebrews 2:14.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Revelation Chapter Seven, Part 3 of 4

7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
Here again we see God micro-managing. You will note that Dan and Ephraim are absent among the tribes counted. Joseph replaces Ephraim while Manasseh remains. We know from Ezekiel that Dan is not lost and will be issued land and a place in Israel during Jesus’ thousand years reign, Ezekiel 48:1. Dan was a rebellious house from the first, and never actually occupied the territory allotted them; instead going in and occupying land far north, Judges 18. One of the golden calves of Jeroboam dwelt in Dan in the farthest region of Israel during the era of the northern kingdom of Samaria, Amos 8:14. Apparently Dan’s tribe will not receive the honor of being sealed, but they will survive as a tribe into Millennium.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Revelation Chapter Seven, Part 2 of 4

7:2-3 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
This ascending angel was given charge to conduct this seal of God to those who were going to be protected from further judgments so they might preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and especially the Jews, who must be adequately prepared for their Lord’s triumphant return. This seal may be the name of Jesus Christ, Revelation 22:4.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Devotion

Have you ever wondered about why people break the law so often? Speeders don’t seem to care if the speed limit is 35, 45, or 65; they will always drive 5 to 10 miles over what it tells them to. People litter, jay walk, park where they shouldn’t, etc, etc, etc. Now these are only misdemeanors or petty crimes that I’m listing, but they seem to be ones that people just can’t avoid breaking…unless the police are present to contain their lawless tendencies. People are good at doing what they know is wrong and always having (in their opinion) a good reason for having done so. How many of these people would you think, if questioned, consider themselves patriots?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Revelation Chapter Seven, Part 1 of 4

I have opted to conclude our studies in Revelation with chapter seven, but before we press on to the heart of the matter I would like to detour a moment and examine a scripture that captured my attention some while ago and I think is worthy of some consideration. That scripture verse is this: “For then will I [restore (NKJV)] to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent,” Zephaniah 3:9.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 6 of 6

6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
After thousands of years of patience and forbearance, God finally looses wrath upon this sinful world: the great day of God Almighty has come. The day of the Lord had been a subject of prophecy amidst the men God chose to speak through since the days of Enoch, Jude 1:14-15. The universality of this judgment is indeed global as the language implies: it affects all manner of men from the highest to the lowest; just as the destroying angel in Egypt killed all the firstborn from the lowliest prisoner in the dungeon to Pharaoh upon the throne.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 5 of 6

6:12-14 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
The sixth seal unleashes a great earthquake. It is not the greatest to come, but it moves mountains and islands out of their places. This seems to indicate that our continents suffer a violent shifting due to this global earthquake that changes the position of mountains and islands in the ocean. Apparently Jesuit missionaries in China uncovered an ancient record with similar language to this from an event long since past.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Year in Review

Well, I find myself at the second anniversary of What's in a Name, and I pause to look back on the year since June of 2010 to see what has changed, what I've learned, and what is the same.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 4 of 6

6:7-8 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
The fourth and final rider comes, and he is given power (the Greek word means authority) over a fourth of the earth. With this authority he kills by war or crime (the red rider), famine (the black rider), death (pestilence and disease), and with the beasts of the earth. The fear of man that animals were stricken with after the Flood has apparently been removed, Genesis 9:2. Whereas God once gave all animals into man’s hand for food; now God reverses this fear that He placed in the animals and they come and kill men.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 3 of 6

6:3-4 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
The first rider was given a crown; the second rider is given “power.” The word power isn’t actually in the original Greek, so the verse states that it was given to him that sat upon the horse to take peace from the earth. In fact, a “great sword” was given to him, representing not necessarily war, but violence and unnatural death. The Greek term for “great” is “megas” and means: physically large, intense or violent.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 2 of 6

There is something withholding the Antichrist until it is his time to be revealed. Someone must be removed, or taken out of the way, before the Antichrist can appear. Again, if we infer that the “falling away” is the Rapture, then this someone taken out of the way is the Holy Spirit’s presence in the body of Christ, the church. Recall Paul’s inspired words: “for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (Rapture), and that man of sin be revealed.” We see the Holy Spirit before the throne of God with the raptured saints earlier in Revelation. Now we see that His removal via His indwelling presence in Christians leaves the door open for Satan’s champion to arrive. I am not suggesting that the Holy Spirit is altogether removed; that would be impossible since He is God and omnipresent. No, it is His peculiar presence in the church, the salt of the earth that preserves the world, which is taken away. When the preservative is removed deterioration is immediate.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Revelation Chapter Six, Part 1 of 6

6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
Judgment has begun. John was an eyewitness not only to Jesus Christ’s first advent, humility, crucifixion, death and resurrection; he would also be privy to witness Jesus as Judge over this world. If we go back again to John’s gospel we find Jesus telling His disciples, “If I will that he (John) remain until I come, what is that to you?” John 21:22. John did indeed remain until Jesus came again to visit him; this time with His revelation. It is not only a revelation of judgment on the earth, the nature of the Tribulation that will come on this earth and the kingdom that follows, but it is a revelation of His character. Chapter one of Revelation is most descriptive and informative. John is exiled on Patmos, and on this rocky, isolated isle Jesus visits the disciple whom He loves in glory. The images that John uses to describe Jesus at this point are deliberately taken from the Old Testament prophets; vivid descriptions that the prophets used when they saw the Lord of hosts, Jehovah.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Identity Theft

Imagine if you would if I were in a conversation with you and made mention of someone’s name that you likewise know. Further, let’s say that the someone’s name we both mention is not actually the same person at all—different personality, abilities, perhaps even gender—but we go on for a time until we realize that you and I are not speaking about the same person. This is a common dilemma in many conversations with persons of various religious views. We use the same terminology but do not mean the same person. The names God, Spirit or Jesus are empty so to speak until we fill them with content. The content of the name defines who that person is and who they are not…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Basis for Faith and Morality, Part 4 of 4

Love, and other abstract qualities find their meaning (both by definition and implementation) in the Biblical account. By contrast, Evolutionary thinking so permeates someone’s mind to the point where they give no regard to the powerful and devastating implications it carries. Abortion is certainly in line with Evolutionary thought, though many atheists/Evolutionists find abortion repugnant.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Basis for Faith and Morality, Part 3 of 4

When something dead touched anything in the Old Testament law, that which was touched was always made unclean and unfit for anything useful or good. The corruption of evil in us taints every good deed we would perform, even religious deeds, making them incapable of being received by God, Isaiah 64:6. Only when we receive life and are cleansed by the blood of Christ for remission of sins may we offer to God service that God considers acceptable, Titus 1:15-16.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Basis for Faith and Morality, Part 2 of 4

Scenario 2a: illogical faith
I will set down first the example of blind religious faith for a start, to compare and contrast against historic Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, as founded by Charles Taze Russell, is a good example of blind faith. In the late 1800’s Charles Russell became disillusioned regarding the cardinal doctrines of Christianity: the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, the person and deity of the Holy Spirit, the atonement of Jesus Christ, the reality of an eternal Hell, and the immortality of the soul just to name a few. At odds with what the Christian church espoused and taught, he began a systematic opposition of Christianity that taught God was strictly monotheistic, Jesus was Michael the archangel, the Holy Spirit was an energy source, Christ’s atonement was only for the obedient or righteous, sinners were annihilated, not sentenced to Hell, and when the body died the soul was annihilated.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Basis for Faith and Morality, Part 1 of 4

Faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love,” 1st Corinthians 13:12.

The reason for quoting both the verse above, and using the title I have chosen is to demonstrate the moral, abstract qualities of these very real, very human emotions. Also, I hope to put forward the reality that such concepts cannot properly function, much less exist, in a world divorced of a transcendental power; i.e. God. For the reader’s interest, I will consider the usage of transcendental in this context to specifically identify with “giving value or authority to words that transcends human opinion.”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are You Free?

What is freedom?

Oxford defines freedom as:
1. The power or right to act, speak or think freely.
2. The state of being free.
3. The state of not being affected by something undesirable.
4. A special privilege or right of access.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Revelation Chapter Five, Part 2 of 2

5:6-7 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
John now saw Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, arise from the right hand of the Almighty (Hebrews 1:3) and stand up from his role of intercessor and mediator, to take the scroll from the Father’s hand. The horn is an Old Testament symbol for strength. John was relating not that Jesus had seven horns on his head, but that Christ our Lord possesses omnipotence. The seven eyes indicate perfect sight or omniscience: that He knows all things.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Revelation Chapter Five, Part 1 of 2

5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
This book or scroll (NKJV) appears to be a scroll of judgments to be poured out on the unrepentant earth. It is in the hand of God the Father and He waits for one who is qualified to mete out these judgments. Seven is the biblical number of perfection or completion; so only one who is perfect may open, or even read, the scroll in the hand of the Father.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Date Setting

A fellow employee brought to my attention today that someone was traveling from city to city proclaiming that the Resurrection would occur this coming Saturday, May 21st, 2011. The end of the world was coming, and he had the numbers from the Bible to prove it. He came into Canal Park in Duluth yesterday to preach his message of coming destruction, and now (as I hear it) is in Cloquet doing likewise.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 5 of 5

3:18-19 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

The Lord has reached a point in His sermon to Nicodemus in which He reveals the reason why men would reject Him and the salvation He offers. As Jesus Himself put it: “this is the condemnation.” What might that be? That light (God’s truth, Jesus Christ come in the flesh; John 1:9) has come into the world. But men loved religious invention rather than God’s truth; men loved Satan’s lie over Christ because Satan’s lie promised self-improvement. God’s truth brings first and foremost conviction and condemnation. We are in darkness because we have received and hold as truth that man is a good creature with character flaws; instead of a sinful creature that dimly reflects the image in which he was originally cast. God needs to bring a man to his knees before He can elevate him to any useful position in the kingdom. Christ came presenting the gospel of salvation, but men were more interested in perfecting their own views on God to be interested in what God said about Himself. God’s light reveals sore truth in every life that it shines upon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 4 of 5

3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

For God so loved the world. There is the unfortunate penchant in Scripture to sometimes read into God’s word what we want it to say. Everyone who ever approached Scripture to understand it more clearly is guilty of this; some are far guiltier than others. I think that is in part why Paul wrote that the mature should strive to be of the same mind; both among themselves and with Christ. Anyone who lacked this maturity and thought otherwise would receive clarity from the Lord, Philippians 3:15.

Monday, May 9, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 3 of 5

3:9-10 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Nicodemus asked an honest question that might have been simply the first thing that happened to escape his lips. Remember that this man was a Rabbi (teacher), Pharisee and elder. He was an Old Testament scholar of sorts. But Jesus was showing that behind the Old Testament physical realities there was a spiritual truth lurking that the message was intended to convey. The juxtaposition of physical birth (born of water) and spiritual birth (born of wind), coupled with the unseen activity of said wind left him speechless and fumbling for words. Perhaps Nicodemus was prepared to talk about Sabbath keeping or dietary laws or washings. Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter and began to extrapolate with a series of comparisons that left the Rabbi filled with questions.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 2 of 5

3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
My original understanding of verse five was that “water and the Spirit” meant hearing the gospel followed by regeneration as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within a believer through faith. This is in fact how a man is saved. See Romans 10:9-10; 17; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5. But there is another possibility that this verse suggests that I have been duly considering of late. Nicodemus was clearly stuck in a physical mentality. Jesus said he had to be born again and the Rabbi thinks of coming out of the womb a second time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God Made Me This Way!

This is a famous statement nowadays, and it can be used one of two ways.

#1: God made me in the condition that I am. I am naturally a (fill in the blank); this is the way God chose to make me, you make me ashamed of who I am; you should accept me as such.

#2: I am already a child of God. We are all part of a universal brotherhood of man, and we function under the universal fatherhood of God. I do not need Christianity, because Christianity suggests that I am not already one of God's children, which I am.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

That Most Needful Thing (John 3) Part 1 of 5

Sitting under some convicting preaching about the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the teacher (a gentleman named Bill) touched on a few verses in John chapter 3 that set me to serious thinking. This series of posts is the result of meditating on John 3, and I pray that the results are mutually beneficial. I expounded verses 1-21, which contains the whole of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This section is an amazing passage in which the gospel is clearly, plainly, and vividly given to Nicodemus. Let us see what else there is to see, God willing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Bond of Peace, Part 2 of 2

There are other doctrines, to be sure, of greater or less importance. Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the eternal nature of the human soul, the reality of Hell, the reality of the Devil, personal holiness, etc. are all doctrines that a Christian searching God’s word by the light of the Holy Spirit will eventually come to on his own…or not, as some cases go. We are commanded to reach a state of spiritual maturity, and to walk by the same mind; and for anyone who does not possess this understanding, God will reveal even this to you, if you are willing.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Bond of Peace, Part 1 of 2

Mark 9:38-40 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.


I have addressed this issue in my series of Posts entitled “Simply Christian,” but I felt it worthy of further discussion and consideration. I felt it appropriate to examine this passage of Scripture in light of denominational boundaries, since this was one of the very first examples of “denominational” differences between followers of Jesus Christ.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Messianic Prophecies

I have compiled a list of the Old Testament prophecies regarding Jesus' life, death, and resurrection as it was fulfilled in the New Testament. I pray that anyone viewing these fulfilled prophecies may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing have life in His name, John 20:31. The list is arranged by citing the Old Testament (OT)/then the New Testament (NT), then the subject matter as it was written in the Bible chronologically. Note that some prophecies listed consider both Jesus' first and second advent.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Revelation Chapter Four, Part 4 of 4

Before continuing on I would like to address a few issues. If you are wondering as you read this exposition, “Does he believe Revelation is literal or symbolic?” I at once answer literal, save for the passages using symbolic language; and John makes it clear at those times that he is in fact speaking symbolically. True, I do speak of the elders representing the saints, crowns representing rewards, etc. Allow me to use this comparison in an effort to clear the air. In a knighting ceremony a literal event possesses symbolic meaning. Someone is dressed in finery, comes marching down a hall filled with onlookers, kneels before royalty, receives the dubbing with a sword, etc. Does all of this literally happen? Yes. Does this likewise carry symbolic connotations? Again, yes. Someone totally ignorant to a knighting ceremony would be watching and wondering what in the world this was all about; they would need explanation as to what the events mean from someone who knew about the ceremony.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Revelation Chapter Four, Part 3 of 4

4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
John looks out now and sees the elders sitting about God’s throne. I believe the fact that there are twenty four elders present (two sets of twelve) represents the Old and New Testament saints glorified and resting in their God. They are clothed in white raiment which represents the imputed righteousness which faith in Christ grants, Zechariah 3:4; Revelation 1:5; 7:14; 19:14. They also possess crowns of gold on their heads which represents their triumphant walk of faith in which they, in the power of God, overcame the world, the flesh and the Devil. The robes symbolize their adoption into the household of God; the crowns symbolize their faithful walk with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit on this earth. See Hebrews chapter 11 for a detailed examination of the spiritual fruit yielded in the Old Testament era.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Revelation Chapter Four, Part 2 of 4

4:1 I will shew thee things which must be hereafter
Now John is going to receive a Heaven-bound perspective of events that unfold during the seven-year Tribulation period on earth. He is Raptured to Heaven, stands at the throne of God amidst the elders, saints and cherubim, and sees the One sitting upon the throne, and the Lamb. The judgments being poured out on the earth are about to proceed, and John sees the One commanding their issuance and the source from which the judgments originate. This is the Great Day of God Almighty; this is the day for which the ungodly have been treasuring up wrath in the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Romans 2:5. Make no mistake, God is NOT pouring out wrath arbitrarily on earth with cattle killed here or earthquakes rocking an island there; this is not God’s wrath. He made it clear that when He pours it out, it will be mixed in full and poured out until it is finished, Revelation 16:17; 18:8. When it comes men will hide in caves and cower and civilizations will fall; billions will perish and the very celestial heavens will bear the signs of God’s severe displeasure with sinful man.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Revelation Chapter Four, Part 1 of 4

4:1 After this
To find the proper context for this opening verse in chapter four we should return for a moment to chapter one. As Jesus was about to begin the narration that John would record to send to the seven churches in Asia our Lord told him this: “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this,” Revelation 1:19. The things which John has seen are right before him: the risen and glorified Christ coming to him in the power and majesty of His inherent deity. The things which are regards the church age, or the dispensation of grace. That began the day of Pentecost when the disciples received the indwelling Holy Spirit, the promise from the Father, Luke 24:49; John 16:7; Acts 2:3-4. If the church age is in fact “the things which are” then what could be “the things which will take place after this,”?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unless They are Agreed (Amos 3:3)

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? This is the question God poses to Amos; it is a rhetorical question that God expected Amos to have a ready answer for. The essence of the question is the spirit of a believer's fellowship with the Lord. Can two walk together--can we be yoke fellows with Christ--unless we are agreed with Him? Now, I am not asking, can you truly be saved? If you heard and believed the gospel of salvation you are saved forever; there are literally hundreds of verses throughout the New Testament that testify of this simple, blessed and God-given truth.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Conflicts in Genesis

Evolution is just one of many ways of trying to explain our existence without a Creator (Charles Darwin simply updated a very old belief with some scientific-sounding words). Mankind has been trying to explain life-without-a-creator for thousands of years and none of this caught God by surprise. Since God created our minds He knows how we think; and how we will think when we separate ourselves from Him. God wants us to believe He is our Creator but will not force us. Romans 1:20 tells us that God provided the physical creation so that we could “clearly see” His invisible attributes by looking at what He made.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 7 of 7

3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Here is a picture of our Lord standing at the door of His own church and knocking to be allowed entrance. Jesus our Lord isn’t allowed in His own church! This again is a sad indication of the sorry state of Laodicea’s spiritual condition. They have their Lord outside of the church, and the world within! I heard a song one time that sang about the believer having their Savior still up on the cross, while they reigned on the throne. What was needed was to exalt Christ by placing Him on the throne, while we die daily to sin on the cross.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway on Faith, Fiction, Friends

Greetings everyone! If you are interested in learning more about Dragonsong and a little more about me and my inspiration, click here to visit Glynn Young's blog: Faith, Fiction, Friends. Glynn contacted me and wanted to conduct an interview, which will be in two parts. The first part of the interview is posted today, and part two will follow tomorrow as he asks me a series of questions about the characters and realm of Andurun, and about the events and choices that led to writing this fantasy novel.
Oh yes; Glynn is also conducting a book giveaway. Anyone who registers a comment on the interview (either part) os registered for a chance to win a free copy of Dragonsong! Glynn will announce the winner on April 4th, so check in, read and enjoy, and don't forget to comment on it for your chance to win Dragonsong. God bless!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 6 of 7

3:15-16 thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Laodicea is the only church of the seven in which nothing commendable exists. If this is indeed the spirit of the majority of the churches today—which many believe it is—the boom of “mega churches,” the integration of psychology, casting doubt upon Scripture’s sufficiency, moral laxity toward sexual deviance (adultery, divorce, fornication, homosexuality), a focus on being entertained instead of being taught, et al. is the hallmark of this dispensation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 5 of 7

3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
The word “quickly” in this verse does not mean immediately; it means that when Christ begins to come, when the Day of the Lord arrives, things will happen rapidly. The Rapture of the saints is always imminent; that is, there is nothing stopping our Lord from coming at any given moment. This is why Jesus was so careful to warn us to watch and pray; to be diligent and vigilant, because He would not want to come upon us and find us sleeping.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 4 of 7

3:8 and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
A servant’s position begets a servant’s mentality. The Philadelphian church’s utter reliance on the Lord enabled them with the grace necessary to hold fast the name of Jesus Christ, even in the face of violent opposition and persecution. Like the Apostle Paul, when one lives in this manner—as a servant to Christ and to others—one counts the loss of their life as a little thing. Paul called it gain in fact, Philippians 1:21.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 3 of 7

3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy
The sixth church, Philadelphia, was one of only two churches among the seven that was not admonished for its faults; the first of the seven being Smyrna. After Smyrna the church suffered false teachers in Pergamos, moral and doctrinal corruption in Thyatira, and spiritual deadness in Sardis. Philadelphia is a rejuvenated, vitalized, spiritual and sanctified church, eager to go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thusly, the first title Jesus uses to address this church is “he that is holy.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 2 of 7

3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Jesus warned Ephesus to remember from where they had fallen, and to repent and do the first works. Here is a similar command to Sardis: remember how you have received and heard the truth of their confession; that is, by faith, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 10:9-17. Ephesus left its first love (Christ) and stumbled into the bondage of legalism, the letter of the law. Sardis had forgotten that by faith they stand, Romans 11:20. Their comfortable position made them careless, and they had left off with watching for their Lord and strengthening the brethren through sound doctrine and love.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 1 of 7

Before we proceed I would like to share some thoughts about the over-arching theme I believe is present in chapters 2-3. There are seven churches addressed in total; and seven in the Bible is the number of completion, beginning with the seventh day in Genesis when God rested from His work of creation, Genesis 2:2-3. I believe the seven churches so noted, while being real churches in the first century apostolic era also represent the state of the church through seven distinct ages. This is not a definitive statement, and I also believe that some of every type of church listed in these chapters existed (and exists) throughout the church age; by and large the majority of professing Christendom follows the progression of the churches of Asia. I am proposing a chronological order of the seven churches; the pre-dominant state of Christendom as represented by the particular church of that era.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Myth of Evolution

The following chart will help you better understand the weakness of evidence used to convince people that Darwinian evolution actually happened. We do observe changes in living things, but what caused those changes and what do they mean?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Without the Camp, Part 2 of 2

And the bullock for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall one carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung, Leviticus 16:27

Monday, March 7, 2011

Without the Camp, Part 1 of 2

If a man also or a woman have in the skin of their flesh bright spots, even white bright spots; Then the priest shall look: and, behold, if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh be darkish white; it is a freckled spot that groweth in the skin; he is clean. And the man whose hair is fallen off his head, he is bald; yet is he clean. And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean, Leviticus 13:38-41.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Andurun Explored: A Book Review of Dragonsong.

Greetings friends.

I had recently sent Dragonsong to a book reviewer and magazine editor, Glynn Young, for his perusal and professional opinion. His initial review and impression of Dragonsong has arrived, and here is what Glynn had to say:

"I’ve been reading a new fantasy novel called The Canticles of Andurun: Dragonsong by Ian Thomas Curtis. I’m about halfway through it, and I’m completely enthralled with the world Curtis has created. The sheer imagination involved boggles the mind. A big story like this also requires a very tight control of the fictional world that’s been created, or otherwise the story will get away from the author and the reader. Curtis has pulled it off; it’s an amazing novel. The author blogs at What’s in a Name."

If you want to visit Glynn for the rest of his article, as well as other book reviews and more, you can find him at Faith, Fiction, Friends; his blog dedicated to literary work. I'm glad to know that Dragonsong is being read and enjoyed. As any more book reviews arrive I'll keep you posted!

Update: if you wish to read the full review Glynn gave Dragonsong click here. God bless!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 9 of 9

2:25-26 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations
Verse 25 refers to a believer’s fruit-bearing; the works done in the Spirit as testimony and evidence toward men that we are Christ’s. Donald Barnhouse pointed out three signs of true discipleship:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Prayer Request for Beth Schield



This prayer and donation request
 was given to us at work, and I
 wanted to share the plight of this
 family with everyone so we can
 lift them up in prayer to the Lord.

Dear Sir or Ma'am:

The Lord be with you.

Saint John writes, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another," I John 4:9-11

I write you to encourage you to show your love and mercy to one of our sisters in Christ Jesus, Beth Schield. She is the wife of the Rev. Kirk Schield, in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 8 of 9

2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Here is where we need to carefully follow the moments of the meeting, so to speak. First, note the difference of punishment. Jezebel shall be cast into a bed; a sickbed from which she shall not arise. Paul warns that those who treat sex like a toy receive the punishment “in themselves” which is due, Romans 1:27. Jezebel’s choices will be her demise, and it is God’s will that it be so since she did not repent.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 7 of 9

2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass
Jesus commanded John to write to the Thyatirans in the name of the Son of God, with eyes as a flame of fire and feet like fine brass; both Old Testament references to Yahweh or Jehovah, the covenant God of Israel. The eyes of flaming fire speak of coming judgment (2nd Thessalonians 1:8) and Jesus’ omniscience; His ability to see through every guise and darkness of man (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 4:12-13). His feet like fine brass indicate, in my opinion, power. Read Isaiah 63:1-6 and you will see the Son of God trampling and treading upon the wicked with none to withstand Him, and He trampled them in fury so that their blood stained His raiment. God literally crushed these rebels beneath His heels, as He will one day do with Satan beneath ours, Romans 16:20. Likewise in Daniel 2:44-45 we are given a vision of God coming in great power and literally crushing the kingdoms and governments of the earth beneath Him until no remnant remains of them. Scripture states that our God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:29.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 6 of 9

2:12-13 These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is
The church of Pergamos dwelt in a city that the Lord calls Satan’s throne, NKJV. It was a spiritual epicenter of demonic influence, and in the midst of this there was a godly congregation preaching Christ, doing His works, holding fast His name, and suffering for it. Jesus wanted to remind this burgeoned church that He is the One who holds the sharp two-edged sword. He is the most skillful at employing it, since the sword is the word of God. In the days of His humility Jesus used the sword of the Spirit to deal Satan a terrible blow, when the tempter came to tempt Him with the kingdoms of the world, Matthew 4:3, 9.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 5 of 9

2:10 behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried
While it is Satan casting believers into prison, it is God trying them; that is, trying their faith. Like Abraham’s faith was tried when God demanded his son Isaac to be offered up as a sacrifice, so too were these Christians going to have their faith tested, or refined; God refines and tests His children in the furnace of affliction, Isaiah 48:10. To what end? That “every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit,” John 15:2.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 4 of 9

2:7 To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Here is a plain reference to Genesis, and the tree which dwelt in the midst of Eden, that anyone eating of its fruit would live forever. Man in his sinful state was precluded from this blessing, Genesis 3:22-23. In this first of the overcomer passages, we find a promise given by God. Man in his fallen estate was forbidden to eat of the fruit of the tree of life; man in his renewed state was now allowed by Christ’s merit to partake of what he had formerly forfeit by disobedience.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 3 of 9

2:6 thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Much speculation has gone into the identity of this sect that our Lord first speaks of here. I will not speculate as to who they are, or what they were preaching, but the meaning of their name gives something away about the character their leaders must have possessed. First, the name Nicolas from where the term derives means, “victor over people.” The term Nicolaitans is translated “follower of Nicolas.” Simply put, like certain televangelists and charismatic leaders, they rise up to lead away the flock of Christ after them; they have no genuine intention of bringing people to Jesus, so that our Lord receives the glory of saving them and cleansing them from their sins. Instead they wish to have the adulation that only belongs to God. They overcome the people with the sole intent of hoisting themselves up as some uniquely qualified guru imparting wisdom unavailable elsewhere.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 2 of 9

2:2-4 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

The Ephesians had stumbled into the error of legalism. Listen to their list of sound works. They work and labor, they are patient, they are intolerant of evil, they try false apostles; they have persevered and patiently labored in Jesus’ name. What happened? They became so rigid with the law of God that they left the God of the law. Paul wrote that a man might have mighty spiritual gifts, a generous disposition and a martyr’s spirit; but should he lack love he profits nothing and in fact is nothing, 1st Corinthians 13:2-3.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Revelation Chapter Two, Part 1 of 9

The word “Bible” (Greek, biblyon) simply means “book.” The Bible is the book of God; God’s character and redemptive plan are outlined in its pages. Not simply the final book of the New Testament that we are currently studying, but all of Scripture is a progressive revelation of God’s person and the plan of salvation He offers in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lessons from a Chair

Let us, for the sake of demonstration, look at a common chair. Say you wanted to sit down in your living room. You approach the nearest chair, place your faith in that object, and seat yourself. If it holds you upright, your faith has been well placed; the chair is a worthy object of said faith. If it begins to wobble you realize that you may have to switch seats: that chair is not providing the assurance that it can perform the function it is accredited with. If it falls straightway out from beneath you, and you find yourself sitting on the floor, then the chair was indeed a poor object to trust that it might hold you up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To Judge or not to Judge, Part 2 of 2

Yet this passage in Matthew was not given to teachers (those the Holy Spirit gave the gift of teaching to) specifically; it is addressed to all Christians who attempt to reprove or admonish. If you do not “practice what you preach” as the saying goes, you have disqualified yourself from ministering in this regard to another believer. You, in fact, need the gentle ministry of one who is spiritual, Galatians 6:1! This verse is extremely informative, so it would be helpful in the context of “judging” to quote Paul: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Note that Paul addresses this counsel to believers alone (brethren) and instructs spiritual believers (those in fellowship with the Holy Spirit) to restore the straying Christian to a right relationship with his God; taking care that his sins do not tempt you to do likewise.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

To Judge or not to Judge, Part 1 of 2

Are you a judge with evil thoughts? I have been considering our Lord’s words as recorded in Matthew chapter 7. The chapter opens with the famous verse, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” verse 1. Before we begin examining the passage in question, allow me to explain a part of what really began my interest in better understanding our Lord’s words.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 6 of 6

1:17-18 I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.
The NASB has a footnote for this verse that gives the literal translation of the Greek. When it states “and was dead” the Greek literally says “and became dead.” Our Lord chose to surrender His life, and that is what He did upon the cross. Jesus told the Jews this much when He said “Destroy this temple, and in three day I will raise it up;” “He was speaking of the temple of His body,” John 2:19, 21.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 5 of 6

1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Again, recall the passage from Ezekiel that described the Lord standing in the Heavens above the Cherubim and Ezekiel: “and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about,” 1:27; see also Ezekiel 8:2. The second portion of the verse which speaks of Christ’s voice sounding like many waters hearkens again to the prophet Ezekiel, when he writes: “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory,” Ezekiel 43:2. The progression can be delineated; John describes first Daniel’s Ancient of Days, and now he sees Ezekiel’s God of glory above the Cherubim. Both are pictures of the risen and glorified Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 4 of 6

1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Patmos is a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea, off of Turkey. Emperor Domitian banished John there for his testimony of faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and God.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 3 of 6

1:7 Behold he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
John’s language here hearkens back to the prophet Zechariah. One of the “minor prophets” Zechariah was a prophet of the post-exilic period and had numerous night visions and prophecies regarding the coming Day of the Lord. In one such prophecy, the Holy Spirit testifies: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo,” Zechariah 12:10-11.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bible, Baptism...Beer?

TWO HARBORS, MN -- It was a Sunday during Advent, and inside a small pub a few blocks up from the north shore of Lake Superior, 17 people gathered around four bar-top tables shoved into a ring.

Betsy Nelson, the bar's cook, lit two candles with a cigarette lighter as Addison Houle strapped on an acoustic guitar and sang a slightly off-key rendition of "We Three Kings." Curt "Fish" Anderson sipped a beer as TVs overhead flickered with NFL pregame shows.

"Father, thank you for this time we can share on Sunday morning with new friends," prayed Chris Fletcher, an emergency medical technician, part-time bartender and seminary student who has led this service every Sunday morning at Dunnigan's Pub & Grub since last summer. "We're getting to know you, and getting to know each other better."

Would you attend church in a bar in which alcohol is served during the service?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 2 of 6

1:5 And from Jesus Christ…the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Our Lord was the firstborn from the dead (NKJV) in the sense that when He was resurrected the third day He arose in His glorified body. He has the preeminence; like the firstborn in Jewish custom allotted them a double portion. So was our Lord, the resurrected Man given great glory, John 17:22.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Is Jesus Your Savior?

Here is a rudimentary question: Is Jesus Christ your Savior?

If you have answered “no,” I would kindly ask you to read the Gospel of Salvation page in my Blog and consider whether you would believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive as a present possession eternal life.

If you answer “yes,” please pause for a moment and consider why you answer this way before clicking to read the rest of this post. Why? You will see momentarily; but I ask that you just stop and consider why you believe Jesus Christ is your Savior for a moment.

That being done, please read on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Revelation Chapter One, Part 1 of 6

John, the human author of Revelation, was the final apostle alive by the time the visions of this book had been recorded. James, his brother, had been martyred early in church history (Acts 12); and the rest, including Paul, were killed for their witness of Jesus Christ and His gospel. John was on Patmos for the same reason in his old age.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Canticles of Andurun Has Arrived!

After eight months of correspondence with Strategic Publishing, the Canticles of Andurun Book One: Dragonsong, has finally seen the light of day as of December 28th, 2010. Dragonsong is the first book in a seven book series that tells the tale of a mythical realm named Andurun; and more precisely a continent on this realm known as Kallendaros. In this story the Race of Humans have been brought into subjection by the Dragons. They are fierce and brilliant creatures that were awakened out of the earth by God to punish Humanity for their willful rejection of Him and their constant striving after other gods. For two hundred years, following the fall of their formerly glorious kingdom, Humanity has groaned beneath the burden of the Dragons’ tyranny.
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.