Daily Archives: June 17, 2013

Do Not Seek Christian Unity

The Key to True Unity

The key to true unity is to make sure that unity is never the goal. I don’t think that unity can be a goal of Christian faith and practice. I think unity is a result of Christian faith and practice.

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WWIII Begins: Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid Syria – U.S. urges allies to supply arms in conflict

Nightmare: US urges Britain and France to join in supplying arms to Syrian rebels as MPs fear that UK will be drawn into growing Sunni-Shia conflict. The civil war in Syria could wage for a decade, with terrorist bombing rampant and erupting across the country from warring Islamic sects.

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Eugene Peterson: “Nothing disembodied, nothing impersonal, nothing in general”

Theology is about God, and God is Spirit — so why the adjective [“spiritual” theology]? Maybe because we have accumulated a lot of experience in the Christian community of persons treating theology as a subject in which God is studied in the ways we are taught to study in our schools—acquiring information that we can use, or satisfying our curiosity, or obtaining qualifications for a job or profession. There are, in fact, a lot of people within and outside formal religious settings who talk and write a lot about spirituality, things of the spirit or the soul or “higher things,” but are not interested in God. There is a wonderful line in T. H. White’s novel of King Arthur (The Once and Future King), in which Guinevere in her old age becomes the abbess of a convent: “she was a wonderful theologian but she wasn’t interested in God.” It happens.

So—spiritual theology, lived theology—not just studied, or discussed, or written about; not “God” as an abstraction but God in a participating relationship; not God as a truth to be argued; not God as a weapon to be wielded in the culture wars. Rather, the conviction that everything of God that is revealed to us is to be lived relationally in the dailiness of our human lives on this local ground on which we have been placed. Nothing disembodied, nothing impersonal, nothing in general.

– Eugene Peterson


Rotting, Decaying And Bankrupt – If You Want To See The Future Of America Just Look At Detroit

Eventually the money runs out. Much of America was shocked when the city of Detroit defaulted on a $39.7 million debt payment and announced that it was suspending payments on $2.5 billion of unsecured debt, but those who visit my site on a regular basis were probably not too surprised. Anyone with half a brain and a calculator could see this coming from a mile away. But people kept foolishly lending money to the city of Detroit, and now many of them are going to get hit really hard. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has submitted a proposal that would pay unsecured creditors about 10 cents on the dollar. Similar haircuts would be made to underfunded pension and health benefits for retirees. Orr is hoping that the creditors and the unions that he will be negotiating with will accept this package, but he concedes that there is still a “50-50 chance” that the city of Detroit will be forced to formally file for bankruptcy. But what Detroit is facing is not really that unique. In fact, Detroit is a perfect example of what the future of America is going to look like. We live in a nation that is rotting, decaying, drowning in debt and racing toward insolvency. Already there are dozens of other cities across the nation that are poverty-ridden, crime-infested hellholes just like Detroit is, and hundreds of other communities are rapidly heading in that direction. So don’t look down on Detroit. They just got there before the rest of us. (Read More….)

Immigration law mandate: Biometric ID cards to become mandatory

Buried in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the Senate are obscure provisions that impose on Americans expansive national identification systems, tied to electronic verification schemes. Under the guise of “reform,” these trample fundamental rights and freedoms.


The Government’s Spying Is Not As Bad As The Whistleblower Said … It’s WORSE

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”


The Making of a Totalitarian State

For someone who understands Bible prophecy, there is nothing humorous about our government acting like Big Brother. The Bible warns that in that last days the Antichrist will have total control of the citizens of planet Earth. If the NSA PRISM program is not part of the Beast’s 666-mark system, it will at least be a prototype of the network he sets-up.

“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one can buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

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Soros and Evangelicals Unite

Founders of Evangelicalism Would be Ashamed of This Union

According to the Arizona Republic, the George Soros funded National Immigration Forum, which advocates virtual open borders, is paying for a $250,000 national radio ad campaign with prominent Evangelicals urging legislation to legalize about 11 million illegal immigrants. The ads are timed to influence the upcoming debate starting this week in the U.S. Senate over legislation that would legalize first and later seek greater enforcement measures in the future.

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The Christian and Patriotism

Kevin T. Bauder

[This essay was originally published on July 8, 2005.]

Patriots come in more than one variety. Some patriots honor their nation more than they honor God. That kind of patriotism is arrogant, idolatrous, and immoral. Other patriots, however, are motivated by a sense of gratitude at the patrimony they have received from their homeland. They display their gratitude in ordinate ways, remembering that every nation, like every person, is finite and flawed. Such patriotism is not only permissible; it is probably implied by the fifth commandment.

Let me identify myself as a patriot of the second sort. The citizens of the United States are constituted as a people by an idea. This idea has been established and articulated in the founding documents of their republic (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights) and in other significant statements (the Mayflower Compact, Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Association, the Federalist Papers, the Gettysburg Address). This idea involves the rule of law, limited government, separation of powers, guarantees of important freedoms, and individual responsibility and accountability. I believe that the constitutional republic of the United States is almost as close as one can get to an ideal government of, by, and for sinful people. I love the idea and honor the symbols that represent it: the National Anthem, the Fourth of July, the flag. I wear the uniform in the auxiliary of one of the nation’s armed services. And yes, I pledge allegiance to the flag.

Let me say it plainly: I love these United States. What factors should help us decide whether to honor and celebrate the United States (or any other nation) in our church services?

Read More Here: http://www.centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/in-the-nick-of-time-archive/463-the-christian-and-patriotism

Pop Culture Isn’t the Source of Theological Truth

Zwinglius Redivivus

It strikes me as more than odd that some ‘theologians’ are more interested in talking about the ‘subtle themes of redemption’ in films than in talking about scripture.  The very ‘theologians’ who talk most about theological themes in pop culture tend to be the ones least familiar with what scripture says, and means.  What they don’t realize is that pop culture isn’t the source, or even a source, of theological truth.

‘Theologians’ who draw their material from the well of pop culture are drawing mud and trying to convince people that their buckets are filled with sparkling pure spring water.

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School prayer: 50 years after the ban, God and faith more present than ever

School prayer was banned by the US Supreme Court 50 years ago, but there is probably more presence of religion in public school environments – through club ministries, classes, after-school and interfaith programs, and faith-based services – than ever.


Why Truth is Worth Fighting For – John MacArthur

Who would have thought that people claiming to be Christians—even pastors—would attack the very notion of truth?

But they are.

A recent issue of Christianity Today featured a cover article about the “Emerging Church.” That is the popular name for an informal affiliation of Christian communities worldwide who want to revamp the church, change the way Christians interact with their culture, and remodel the way we think about truth itself. The article included a profile of Rob and Kristen Bell, the husband and wife team who founded Mars Hill—a very large and steadily growing Emerging community in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to the article, the Bells found themselves increasingly uncomfortable with church. “Life in the church had become so small,” Kristen says. “It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working.” The Bells started questioning their assumptions about the Bible itself—“discovering the Bible as a human product,” as Rob puts it, rather than the product of divine fiat. “The Bible is still in the center for us,” Rob says, “but it’s a different kind of center. We want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it.” “I grew up thinking that we’ve figured out the Bible,” Kristen says, “that we knew what it means. Now I have no idea what most of it means. And yet I feel like life is big again—like life used to be black and white, and now it’s in color.”

One dominant theme pervades the whole article: in the Emerging Church movement, truth (to whatever degree such a concept is even recognized) is assumed to be inherently hazy, indistinct, and uncertain—perhaps even ultimately unknowable.

Each of the Emerging Church leaders profiled in the article expressed a high level of discomfort with any hint of certainty about what the Bible means, even on something as basic as the gospel. Brian McLaren, for instance, is a popular author and former pastor who is the best-known figure and one of the most influential voices in the Emerging Church movement. McLaren is quoted in the Christianity Today article, saying at one point: “I don’t think we’ve got the gospel right yet.… I don’t think the liberals have it right. But I don’t think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy.”

Elsewhere, McLaren likens the conventional notion of orthodoxy to a claim that we “have the truth captured, stuffed, and mounted on the wall.” He likewise caricatures systematic theology as an unconscious attempt to “have final orthodoxy nailed down, freeze-dried, and shrink-wrapped forever.”4

That is very popular stuff these days. McLaren alone has written or coauthored about a dozen books, and his utter contempt for certainty is a motif he returns to again and again. In 2003 Zondervan and Youth Specialties teamed up to start a line of products called Emergent/YS. They publish books, DVDs, and audio products at a prolific rate, with titles ranging from Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith to Adventures in Missing the Point, an aptly titled collaboration of Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo.

The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body.

But that is not authentic Christianity. Not knowing what you believe (especially on a matter as essential to Christianity as the gospel) is by definition a kind of unbelief. Refusing to acknowledge and defend the revealed truth of God is a particularly stubborn and pernicious kind of unbelief. Advocating ambiguity, exalting uncertainty, or otherwise deliberately clouding the truth is a sinful way of nurturing unbelief.

Every true Christian should know and love the truth. Scripture says one of the key characteristics of “those who perish” (people who are damned by their unbelief) is that “they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). The clear implication is that a genuine love for the truth is built into saving faith. It is therefore one of the distinguishing qualities
of every true believer. In Jesus’ words, they have known the truth, and the truth has set them free (John 8:32).

In an age when the very idea of truth is being scorned and attacked (even within the church, where people ought to revere the truth most highly), Solomon’s wise advice has never been more timely: “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23).[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2007). The truth war: Fighting for certainty in an age of deception (ix–xii). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What Will We Be Like in Heaven? – John MacArthur

To celebrate the publication of the updated and revised version of John MacArthur’s book The Glory of Heaven, we are posting a blog series adapted from the climactic chapter of the book. Throughout church history, not much focus has been given to the topic of what believers will be like in heaven—that ought to make these articles all the more interesting, provocative, and enlightening for you and your family. –GTY Staff


Most of us understand the concept but have a hard time envisioning anything truly perfect. Everything in our earthly life experience is flawed, imperfect.

And for those who know and love the Lord, the imperfections we are most deeply aware of often tend to be our own. I’m not speaking of the frailties of our bodies—though we feel those all too well. But the imperfections that trouble us most are not that superficial. The real problem is sinfulness that comes straight from the heart (see Mark 7:21–23).

Of course we have a tendency to be more tolerant of our own imperfections than the failings of others. We try to cover ourselves, but in our hearts we know all too well that we are woefully and sinfully imperfect. What Christian cannot echo the sentiment Paul expresses in Romans 7:24: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

We’re not alone in this. The entire universe suffers the effects of human sin. Paul also writes, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:22). That’s why all we can know on earth is imperfection. All creation agonizes under the cruel effect of sin’s curse, waiting for the consummation of all things, when the curse will finally be removed.

At that time, everything will be perfect. Pain, sorrow, and the groaning of creation will finally be no more. “The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10).

Not only that, but we shall be gloriously perfected. The whole person—body and soul—will be made completely new, flawless. As the apostle John wrote, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

We can’t envision it now—“what we will be has not yet appeared”—but we will finally be wholly and completely Christlike. This is the very purpose for which God chose us in eternity past: “to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:4). He has already begun His good work in us, and He will faithfully “bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). And when we see Christ, we will instantly and summarily be made utterly perfect, because we shall see Him as He is.

Heaven is a perfect place for people made perfect. Perfection is the goal of God’s sanctifying work in us. He’s not merely making us better than we are; He is conforming us to the image of His Son. He is making us fit to dwell in His presence forever. The utter perfection of heaven is the consummation of our salvation. It is the purpose for which He chose us before the foundation of the world.

Being conformed to the image of Christ is not something that will begin when this life ends. God is already performing His sanctifying renovations in the lives of His people on this side of eternity. We will explore that in greater detail next time.


(Adapted from The Glory of Heaven; all Scripture quotations from the ESV unless otherwise noted.)

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130617     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Outline of a Biblical Case for the Historical Adam

The Domain for Truth


The topic of the historicity of Adam as the first man is a hot topic today in theology since some Evangelicals have come out to deny the historicity of Adam. The following is an outline from a bigger series I have going through a Biblical view of man.  I hope the following is helpful to think about how various genre that is unquestionably literal found in the Bible interprets the meaning and genre of Genesis 1-3 literally.

Purpose: To consider the arguments for the historical Adam as the first man God created.

I. Special Creation of Adam and Eve according to Genesis 1-2

a. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing…

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What is the Light of the Gospel?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.  (2 Corinthians 4:1-2 ESV)

In our church we have been studying the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament for the last several weeks and our teaching pastors have done a fine job of relating God’s truth there to the Gospel and the New Covenant truths from the New Testament. As always, we have been looking at why it is vital to know what we believe and why we believe it. In light of that we have also looked at the disturbing truths from God’s Word that show us clearly that his Truth is not…

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Hassan Rouhani officially wins Iranian presidency, meets with Khamenei. What it means. How to pray. Insights from an Iranian Christian leader.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

UPDATED:It is now official: Hassan Rouhani has officially won Iran’s presidential elections. But make no mistake — he is not the moderate the media and Western politicians are portraying him as. He is a Radical Shia cleric who is loyal to the Ayatollah Khamenei. But he has been chosen because he will try to provide a new face of the regime, one that will appear to be more pragmatic and willing to cooperate with the West, in contrast to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I’ve asked some Iranian Christian leaders their views of Rouhani, and how we can best pray for the people of Iran.

Here’s what one leader — Dr. Hormoz Shariat, “the Billy Graham of Iran” — sent back to me:

1)      Dr. Rouhani is absolutely in the pro-regime camp. He is loyal to the Ayatollah Khamenei and is committed to obeying his wishes and orders. Through the election of Rouhani…

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Anti-pornography initiative launched at SBC

HOUSTON (BP) — An initiative seeking commitments from 1 million men to live pornography-free lives was launched at the SBC annual meeting June 11-12 in Houston.

Named “Join One Million Men,” the initiative calls Christian men to commit to sexual purity and, specifically, to protect themselves and their families from the devastation caused by pornography. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) jointly sponsored the initiative along with Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla.

“Internet pornography is the perfect trap because it hooks men and then men don’t know what to do,” Dennis told Baptist Press. “Even if they’re wanting out of it, they don’t know what to do, because if they tell anybody, there’s jeopardy.

“I am hoping that this will be the launch, the discussion-starter for pastors to go back and start having some hard discussions with their men,” Dennis said.

The Join One Million Men website (join1millionmen.org) includes a place for men to register their porn-free commitments as well as a place for women to register their commitments to pray for the purity of men in their lives.





1. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: “1 a: an act of revealing or communicating divine truth b: something that is revealed by God to man…..” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)


2. Pardington: “Revelation may be defined as a supernatural communication from God to man, either oral or written. The term is usually understood of a written communication.” (Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 29)


3. Bancroft, “Revelation simply means the ‘disclosure of truth.’ It is initiated in the divine love and grace of God on behalf of His creatures. Revelation can be defined as the demonstration and sharing by God of His person, will, and redemptive activity.” (Taken from the book, Elemental Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Copyright 1977 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permisssion of Zondervan Publishing House. p 13)


4. Bancroft, “Horne says revelation is ‘a discovery afforded by God to man of Himself, or of His will, over and above what He has made known by the light of nature, or reason.’“ (Taken from the book, Christian Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Second revised edition Copyright 1976 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. p 25)


5. Buswell, “The word ‘revelation’ is of Latin derivation and means ‘unveiling’ It is the translation of the Greek ‘apokalypsis’.” Usually the word ‘revelation’ refers not to the unveiling, or making visible, of an object or a person, but to the making known of a truth. In Christian theology the doctrine of revelation is the doctrine of God’s making Himself, and relevant truths about Himself, known to man.” (Buswell, “A Systematic Theology Of The Christian Religion”; p 183)





Through nature: (Romans 1) This is probably the major source of revelation aside from the written word.


Through our intellect: We can know something of Him by looking at nature and comprehending that information.


His activities among the nations: As we see nations rise and fall we can know that some higher power is working. During the 1990’s when the communist block fell into pieces, it was evident that something far above, economics, politics, or freedom was in progress.


The revelation from intellect and God’s working with the nations is quite subject to man’s faulty reasoning, so should be relied upon lightly.


Might I combine some of the thoughts from the previous definitions into one definition? Revelation is God’s gracious showing of Himself to mankind through nature and the written Word.




1. God Revealed Through Vocal Communication: Samuel heard the Lord. He thought it was Eli speaking, thus it must have been audible, 1 Samuel 3:1-14. Several others in the Word are mentioned as having vocal communication with God as well. I will just list some of these with references for your further study. Adam, Genesis 3:9-19; Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3; Moses, Exodus 20:1-17; Joshua, Joshua 1:1-9.


2. God Revealed Through Dreams: Daniel 2:1-2 where Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which Daniel interpreted for him. It was a prophecy from the Lord via a dream. Consider Jacob, Genesis 28:12; Solomon, 1 Kings 3:5 & 9:2; Joseph, Matthew 1:20; 2:13,19,22; Wisemen, Matthew 2:12.


3. God Revealed Through Visions: The vision is similar to the dream, however the person having the vision seems to be awake. Again, I will just list people and references. Jacob, Genesis 46:2; David, 1 Chronicles 21:16; Daniel, Daniel 2:19 where he receives the interpretation for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; Ezekiel,Ezekiel 1; Cornelius and Peter, Acts 10:3-16; Paul, Acts 16:9; John, Revelation 1:1.



4. God Revealed Through Trances: The trance seems to be a supernaturally-imposed sleep during which information is given. Acts 10:10 and 11:15 mention the trance of Peter when the sheet of animals came down to the rooftop, indicating that it was right and proper to accept Gentiles into the church.


5. God Revealed Through Inner Communication: This is a communication between God and man without auditory information. We pray — He directs and reveals Himself to us by prayer and Bible study. Phil 3:15 “Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” There is indication of this communication in the Old Testament as well. The workmen that were moved to work on the tabernacle would be one example.


6. God Revealed Through Appearances: These were appearances or manifestations of God accompanied by an audible voice. Exodus 2:1-4:17 where Moses records the incident of the burning bush.


7. God Revealed Through Written Communication: This takes on two forms.


a. The handwriting of the Lord. Daniel 5:5 where the man’s hand wrote on the wall for Belshazzar’s benefit. The Ten Commandments also would fit into this category.


b. The written word of the Old Testament was quoted at times in the New Testament to show the fulfillment of prophecy.


8. God Revealed Through Events: I’m sure that the people heard a very clear warning when Ananias and Sapphira died, as well as when Herod was eaten by worms. (Acts 5 & 12:20ff respectively.)


Other examples of this: History as recorded in the Word; History (Biblical) as it is being proven by archaeologists; As God directs history, Alexander fell — Hitler fell — only God’s help allowed the west to win WW II.


There are some other items that probably fit here that could be classified as nonverbal revelation. Moses, burning bush; Moses/Israelites, thunder and quakes at Sinai; Israel, darkness and quake at the cross; Aaron, budding rod; Elijah, calling down fire from heaven; etc..


9. God Revealed Through Theophanies: A theophany is an appearance of God to man. We tend to view these as in the form of man or angel, though the burning bush, the pillar of fire, the pillar of smoke and others were also theophanies. Abraham, Genesis 17:1,22; 18:1; Isaac, Genesis 26:2; Jacob, Genesis 32:30; Moses, Exodus 3:2-6; 33:11; Gideon, Judges 6:12,14-18; Elijah, I Kings 19:7.


10. God Revealed Through Nature: I have never seen a good study done on this subject. We know from the Word that it is true, but a listing of some of the ways we can see God in nature has some good possibilities for witnessing to the doubter of God. A few items that might help someone get started on this study: The infiniteness of God can be seen in the vastness of the universe, the creativity of God can be seen in the symmetry of nature, the variety of God can be seen in the millions of different faces we have seen. All of these shadow a higher power that must exist.


Nature declares His handiwork, Psalm 19:1-3; declares invisible things of God, Romans 1:20; and is God’s witness, Acts 14:17


11. God Revealed Through Angels: They announce things to man, and direct people, thus making God known. This shows one of the functions of the angelic host. Lot, Genesis 19:1ff; Mary, Luke 1:26-37; Peter, Acts 12:7-10.


12. God Revealed Through The Conscience: Man has a conscience and knows right from wrong. This must come from God — man wouldn’t devise such a thought system on his own. He would consider all things right so he could indulge himself in all things.


13. God Revealed Through Miracles: These reveal the presence and power of God. They accomplished good. They were “Practical or benevolent” according to Thiessen. (Thiessen, Henry C.; “Lectures In Systematic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949, p 36)


14. God Revealed Through Man: Romans 1:18,19 Our very construction indicates God, as does the inner consciousness of God. It must be a great struggle for the atheist, before their heart is hardened to fight against that inner consciousness that God has placed within all of mankind.


15. God Revealed Through Preservation: Chafer mentions that the preservation of the creation is a display of His power, love, concern and plan. Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10.


16. God Revealed Through Providence: He is working on His plan and is carrying that plan to its end. This is seen when someone comes to the Lord for salvation; this is seen when we see a kingdom crumble; and this is seen when we see a baby born and grow into a man or woman of God.


17. God Revealed Through Other Ways: Lots and the Urim and Thummin were methods of knowing God’s will, in the Old Testament.




1. God Revealed Through The Written Word: The entirety of the Bible is God’s revelation to man, so that man can know God and know about God. It is given that we might know God’s will for our everyday lives. 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 15:4


2. God Revealed Through Jesus Christ: The direct expression and manifestation of God in physical form. John 1:1-5; Hebrews 1:2


3. God Revealed Through The Prophets: They warned and warned and warned of God’s coming destruction. They also gave information of the judgments, of God’s longsuffering, of God’s righteousness, of His love for His name, of His love for His people and many other items concerning God. All of the Old Testament prophetic books; Hebrews 1:1; Numbers 12:6-8; John 9:29


4. God Revealed Through The Holy Spirit: He is our Help, John 14:16,17; He is our Guide, John 16:7-15; He was the link between God the Father and the authors of Scripture when the Bible was given.




1. It Was Progressive: God in Hebrews 1:1,2 tells us that He communicated to man through the prophets, and now through His Son.



Since the apostles stopped receiving revelation, there has been no further revelation.


Adam did not know all that we know, nor does the Old Testament contain all that the Lord has for man. The revelation has been progressing through time, from Adam unto the close of the Revelation given to John. Noah knew more than Adam, and Paul certainly knew more than both Noah and Adam.


Romans 16:25,26 state,


“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”


For new information to be made known then there had to have been progressive revelation.


2. It Is Permanent: 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of when the “perfect” is come. Many believe this to be the Word of God and more specifically the canon after revelation ceased. Isaiah 40:8 declares, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever.” There have been societies and political systems that have attempted to wipe the Bible and knowledge of God from the face of the earth, yet none have succeeded. In Communist Russia it is reported that the cross was still evident on the landscape, even though the government tried to eliminate God from their system that did not allow for a supreme being.




To understand revelation we must use our thinking ability. We must analyze the facts of revelation and reason out what we are studying. Reason, however, can be had apart from revelation. Revelation brings you to God while reason can only bring you to knowledge of what you study, or to a knowledge of God. Reason alone cannot produce a moral man nor a godly man. Revelation alone, on the other hand, can most certainly produce a moral man and a godly man.





The Word of God is God’s message to mankind. The content of this message is the revelation of God. This content was revealed in different ways. As the writers of Scripture penned their message they were inspired, or moved along in their work, by the Holy Spirit. Inspiration was the vehicle by which the information was transmitted from God to the writer and ultimately to mankind. We will see inspiration in detail later in the study of Bibliology.




Strong mentions, “Man’s intellectual and moral nature requires, in order to preserve it from constant deterioration, and to ensure its moral growth and progress, an authoritative and helpful revelation of religious truth, of a higher and completer sort than any to which, in its present state of sin, it can attain by the use of its unaided powers.” (Strong, Augustus H.. “Systematic Theology”; Valley Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907, P 111. Strong p 111ff has a very detailed study on revelation and deals extensively with miracles as a type of revelation.)




1. Full Of Variety: There is poetry, there is prophecy, there is history, there is doctrine and there is devotional information. All types of information, given within the context of almighty God and His value system.


2. Partial: An infinite God could never reveal all that He knows to finite beings in the first place, and the volumes it would take to hold even a small portion of God’s knowledge would send the earth out of orbit. We have the information that He desired for us to have. It is sufficient for our daily lives and our knowledge of Him.


3. Complete Concerning Information Covered: It is complete as far as it goes on those facts, but certainly not complete on what God knows of the subject.


4. Progressive: The Lord revealed His Word in steps which mankind could handle. He didn’t just dump everything on Adam at once, for Adam had no need of much of the information. Just one example of unnecessary information would be the tribulation. Can you imagine the stress Adam would have had if God had started talking about the tribulation on one of those garden walks?


5. Redemptive In Nature: The Word is an account of man bringing on a need for redemption, and God preparing a way of redemption.


6. Final: There will be no further revelation until we see Christ, and He again begins to reveal things to us. The new revelations, of the Mormons and other isms, are not really revelations to add to the Bible but perversion to lead people astray.


7. Without Error: The Bible is without error. Many over the years have attempted to cast doubt upon the Word by using improper scientific information. This information was believed by many, yet science has proven itself wrong many times over, and in the process proven the Bible to be correct many times over. For years the Genesis account of Sodom and Gomorrah was questioned, because the cities had not been found, yet in recent years they have found ruins under the Dead Sea that may well be these two cities.


8. A Gift Of Love: God in His great love did us a great favor. Can you imagine the frustration of looking into the night sky and knowing there was a God — a creator — and never in your life knowing anything else about Him? His revelation allows us to know Him on a personal basis.




We can know what God wants of us because He has communicated to us through the Bible — His revelation of Himself to us. If the Bible is His revelation to us, then we should study the Word so that we may know what He has said.


God can be known. We have the Word of God for all of mankind — why don’t we give it to them the world over? One of the great sins of Israel was not giving forth the knowledge of God to the nations around them. This was the great sin of the Church for many years until the modern missionary movement. The sad commentary now, in this day, is that we are reverting to the premodern missionary movement mind set. Missions is in a serious decline today in our churches.


He desires that we know Him, other wise why would He have bothered revealing Himself to us? If His Word is final, and we know it has the answers, why do we go to the books and the super preachers for our answers? The Sword of the Lord sent out over one million pounds of books in 1988 or 1989. That cost over a million dollars in postage plus all of the retail prices of all those books that probably have never been read, and that are probably drawing dust on the shelf.[1]



Miscellaneous Bible Questions: Christian dream interpretation? Are our dreams from God?

GotQuestions.org is not a Christian dream interpretation service. We do not interpret dreams. We strongly believe that a person’s dreams and the meaning of those dreams are between them and God alone. Does God still speak through dreams? God spoke to people many times throughout the Scriptures in dreams. Examples are Joseph, son of Jacob (Genesis 37:5–10); Joseph, the husband of Mary (Matthew 2:12–22); Solomon (1 Kings 3:5–15); and several others (Daniel 2:1, 7:1; Matthew 27:19). There is also a prophecy of the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28), quoted by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:17, that mentions God using dreams. So the simple answer is, yes, God can and does speak through dreams.

However, there is a difference in how we apply that truth today. We must keep in mind that the Bible is finished, having revealed everything we need to know from now until eternity. This is not to say that God does not work miracles or even speak through dreams today, but anything God says, whether it is a dream, vision, impression, or “still small voice,” will agree completely with what He has already revealed in His Word. Dreams cannot be put into a place of authority over the Scriptures.

If you have a dream and feel that perhaps God gave it to you, prayerfully examine the Word of God and make sure your dream is in agreement with Scripture. If so, prayerfully consider what God would have you do in response to your dream (James 1:5). In Scripture, whenever anyone experienced a dream from God, God always made the meaning of the dream clear, whether directly to the person, through an angel, or through a messenger (Genesis 40:5–11; Daniel 2:45, 4:19). When God speaks to us, He makes sure His message is clearly understood.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Creation: Does Genesis chapter 1 mean literal 24-hour days?

A careful examination of the Hebrew word for “day” and the context in which it appears in Genesis will lead to the conclusion that “day” means a literal, 24-hour period of time. The Hebrew word yom translated into the English “day” can mean more than one thing. It can refer to the 24-hour period of time that it takes for the earth to rotate on its axis (e.g., “there are 24 hours in a day”). It can refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk (e.g., “it gets pretty hot during the day but it cools down a bit at night”). And it can refer to an unspecified period of time (e.g., “back in my grandfather’s day …”). It is used to refer to a 24-hour period in Genesis 7:11. It is used to refer to the period of daylight between dawn and dusk in Genesis 1:16. And it is used to refer to an unspecified period of time in Genesis 2:4. So, what does it mean in Genesis 1:5–2:2 when it’s used in conjunction with ordinal numbers (i.e., the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the fifth day, the sixth day, and the seventh day)? Are these 24-hour periods or something else? Could yom as it is used here mean an unspecified period of time?

We can determine how yom should be interpreted in Genesis 1:5–2:2 simply by examining the context in which we find the word and then comparing its context with how we see its usage elsewhere in Scripture. By doing this we let Scripture interpret itself. The Hebrew word yom is used 2301 times in the Old Testament. Outside of Genesis 1, yom plus a number (used 410 times) always indicates an ordinary day, i.e., a 24-hour period. The words “evening” and “morning” together (38 times) always indicate an ordinary day. Yom + “evening” or “morning” (23 times) always indicates an ordinary day. Yom + “night” (52 times) always indicates an ordinary day.

The context in which the word yom is used in Genesis 1:5–2:2, describing each day as “the evening and the morning,” makes it quite clear that the author of Genesis meant 24-hour periods. The references to “evening” and “morning” make no sense unless they refer to a literal 24-hour day. This was the standard interpretation of the days of Genesis 1:5–2:2 until the 1800s when a paradigm shift occurred within the scientific community, and the earth’s sedimentary strata layers were reinterpreted. Whereas previously the rock layers were interpreted as evidence of Noah’s flood, the flood was thrown out by the scientific community and the rock layers were reinterpreted as evidence for an excessively old earth. Some well-meaning but terribly mistaken Christians then sought to reconcile this new anti-flood, anti-biblical interpretation with the Genesis account by reinterpreting yom to mean vast, unspecified periods of time.

The truth is that many of the old-earth interpretations are known to rely upon faulty assumptions. But we must not let the stubborn close-mindedness of scientists influence how we read the Bible. According to Exodus 20:9–11, God used six literal days to create the world in order to serve as a model for man’s workweek: work six days, rest one. Certainly God could have created everything in an instant if He wanted to. But apparently He had us in mind even before He made us (on the sixth day) and wanted to provide an example for us to follow.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.