Daily Archives: June 22, 2013

Some Good Thoughts from Spurgeon

Zwinglius Redivivus

We have many things in our possession at the present moment which can be shaken, and it ill becomes a Christian man to set much store by them, for there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies; change is written upon all things. Yet, we have certain “things which cannot be shaken,” and I invite you this evening to think of them, that if the things which can be shaken should all be taken away, you may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken, which will remain. Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present salvation. You are standing at the foot of his cross, trusting alone in the merit of Jesus’ precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a…

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Jesus among other gods

I once had the privilege of preaching the gospel in a Church in Kerala, India. The name of the Church was the “Church of Mor Thoma” which means “Church of Thomas” and by all historical accounts, was founded by the Apostle Thomas. “Doubting Thomas” as he is often called, was the first man to take the gospel to India and died as a martyr for his faith in the resurrected Christ.

While I have visited India numerous times, Dr. Ravi Zacharias was actually born and raised there, home to Hinduism with its more than 330 million gods. Here he speaks in Australia on the uniqueness of Christ among other religions. – JS

Questions about Angels and Demons: Are demons fallen angels?

When exactly God created angels is open for debate, but what is known for sure is that God created everything good because God, in His holiness, cannot create something sinful. So when Satan, who was once the angel Lucifer, rebelled against God and fell from heaven (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28), one third of the angelic host joined his insurrection (Revelation 12:3–4, 9). There is no doubt these fallen angels are now known as the demons.

We know that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, according to Matthew 25:41: “Then He will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” Jesus, by using the possessive word his makes it clear that these angels belong to Satan. Revelation 12:7–9 describes an end-times angelic battle between Michael and “his angels” and the devil and “his angels.” From these and similar verses, it is clear that demons and fallen angels are synonymous.

Some reject the idea that the demons are the fallen angels due to the fact that Jude verse 6 declares the angels who sinned to be “bound with everlasting chains.” However, it is clear that not all of the angels who sinned are “bound,” as Satan is still free (1 Peter 5:8). Why would God imprison the rest of the fallen angels, but allow the leader of the rebellion to remain free? It seems that Jude verse 6 is referring to God confining the fallen angels who rebelled in an additional way, likely the “sons of God” incident in Genesis chapter 6.

The most common alternate explanation for the origin of the demons is that when the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were destroyed in the Flood, their disembodied souls became the demons. While the Bible does not specifically say what happened to the souls of the Nephilim when they were killed, it is unlikely that God would destroy the Nephilim in the Flood only to allow their souls to cause even greater evil as the demons. The most biblically consistent explanation for the origin of the demons is that they are the fallen angels, the angels who rebelled against God with Satan.[1]

 


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

Questions about False Doctrine: Is the ‘Conversations with God’ series Biblically sound?

The book that started it all, Conversations with God, Book 1: An Uncommon Dialogue, spent over two and a half years on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and in 2006 a movie based on the book was released. “Conversations with God,” or “CwG,” is the brainchild of Neale Donald Walsch. In 1995, Walsch released the first book in the series, followed by eight more books, all written as dialogues between Walsch and “God.” The basic premise of the series is that God is “speaking” to everyone all the time and that Walsch began listening. He wrote Book 1 while struggling with thoughts of suicide and questions over the meaning of life.

Walsch claims divine inspiration for his books, saying that God literally spoke to him (“over my right shoulder”), and he wrote down what he heard as if taking dictation. However, in an April 7, 2000, interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Walsch admitted that he couldn’t be sure that it was God speaking and that the books could have been the product of his own subconscious.

In his books, Walsch says the voice told him that God is everything and everything is God. Therefore, we humans are “God.” Everyone around you is simply “you” in a different form, and we are all “God.” Here, Walsch is repeating one of Satan’s original lies, “You will be as God” (Genesis 3:5).

Walsch also claims that all life is eternal. Death is “the great illusion.” There is no judgment, no punishment, and no hell, for there is no reason for any of that—there is no sin. After death, a person goes to a different level of existence in order to “continue the evolution of the human soul.” This teaching is in direct conflict with Hebrews 9:27 and many other passages of scripture that teach the reality of judgment after death.

Walsch’s defense of Hitler’s actions are in line with his teaching of relativism: Hitler might be called “evil,” but only “within the context of our human experience.” And Hitler was commissioned by God “to show humanity to itself for the purpose of lifting humanity above what it had become and what it had sunk to” (Larry King interview, op. cit.). Therefore, in Walsch’s world, Hitler was just another thread of the tapestry and was necessary to help us move forward.

According to Walsch, there is no right way to live or one way to come to God. There are many ways, and all of them are equally valid. All the gods of various religions are really the same “God.” Of course, the One True God disagrees with Walsch: “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).

Walsch insists in Book 1 that words cannot communicate truth. Instead, truth comes as each individual consults his or her own feelings. Everyone is right, and no one is wrong; contradictory “truths” are not a problem in Walsch’s faulty logic. It’s interesting for a man who has given the world nearly 3,000 pages of words to state that words cannot communicate truth. What, then, is he communicating?[1]

 


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

Questions about Family / Parenting: Does God expect all of us to have children?

It’s really not a matter of whether God “expects” us to have children, since He is sovereign and omniscient and knows who will and who won’t have children. The question is really one of whether or not having children is a requirement for Christians and whether or not we can have a fulfilled, obedient life in Christ without children.

The Bible does tell us that children are a blessing from God. Psalm 127:3–5 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” God blesses parents with years of enjoyment with their children that can hardly be compared to anything else. God declares that children are a blessing. But this does not mean that God withholds blessings from those without children. It simply means children are to be looked upon as a blessing, not an inconvenience.

There are times when God deliberately keeps someone from having children, no matter how desperately she wants them. Hannah longed for a child, but the Lord had “closed her womb” until such time as He saw fit to allow her to conceive Samuel, the Lord’s prophet (1 Samuel 1:1–2:21). Sarah, too, was forced to wait many years (she was 90!) before God blessed her with Isaac (Genesis 15:15–17; 21:1–7). From these and many other examples, we can see that God is in sovereign control of all circumstances of life, including the birth of children.

Even though God has declared children to be a blessing from Him, there is nothing in the Bible that states every married couple must have children. Perhaps the best course of action for those who don’t want children, at least at the moment, is for the couple to examine their motives for their decision. Only the couple can say for sure whether their motives and attitudes are unacceptable in God’s sight. Selfish motives, for example, would certainly not be pleasing to Him. Neither would putting careers and the pursuit of worldly gain ahead of having a family be pleasing. The only way we can really displease God with our decision about children is by an ungodly attitude—not trusting him to take care of our situation. We must place our faith in Him and rely on Him to guide us through all situations and decisions that arise in life.

If the question is whether or not to have children because of career dreams, the biblical answer is to put the family (including having children) before careers. A woman’s priority should be her home and family, although working outside the home is certainly acceptable, as long as home and family take precedence over outside pursuits. The Proverbs 31 woman certainly had outside interests, including real estate and agriculture (vs. 16). But her home and family were always cared for in an exemplary fashion. She rose early, stayed up late and did whatever was necessary to see they were well-fed and well-clothed. She was a woman whose children and husband praised her. Taking her example, women are not to forgo having children merely to pursue a career.

In the end, the decision to have or not have children rests with the couple and God and is one that should be carefully and prayerfully considered, especially before a couple takes any irreversible steps to permanently prevent childbearing. There is no biblical injunction that requires anyone to have children, so although children are a gift from God, He can and does bless those who walk with Him by faith, whether or not they are parents.[1]

 


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

Questions about Theology: How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?

Certainly, since God knows everything, it would have been possible for God to base His predestination and election of individuals upon His foreknowledge of the future. In fact, that is the exact position that many Christians believe, as it is the Arminian view of predestination. The problem is that it really is not what the Bible teaches about predestination, election, and foreknowledge. In order to understand why the view that “God made His choice based on merely knowing the future” is not what the Bible teaches, let’s first consider a couple of verses that speak to the reason God elected or predestined people to salvation.

Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God “predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” According to this verse, the basis of our being predestined is not something that we do or will do, but is based solely on the will of God for His own pleasure. As Romans 9:15–16 says, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Similarly, Romans 9:11 declares regarding Jacob and Esau, “Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls.” Then again in Ephesians 1:11 we see that people are “chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” From these and many others passages, we see that Scripture consistently teaches that predestination or election is not based upon something that we do or will do. God predestined people based on His own sovereign will to redeem for Himself people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. God predetermined or predestined this from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) based solely on His sovereign will and not because of anything that He knew the people would do.

But what about Romans 8:29 where it says that those “He foreknew, He also predestined”? Doesn’t that seem to say that predestination is based upon the foreknowledge of God? Of course, the answer is yes, it does teach that predestination is based on the foreknowledge of God. But what does the word foreknowledge mean? Does it mean “based upon God’s knowledge of the future,” meaning God simply looks down through the future and sees who will believe the gospel message and then predestines or elects them? If that were the case, it would contradict the verses above from Romans and Ephesians that make it very clear election is not based on anything man does or will do.

Fortunately, God does not leave us to wonder about this issue. In John 10:26, Jesus said, “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.” The reason some people believe is that they belong to God. They were chosen for salvation, not based on the fact that they would one day believe, but because God chose them for “adoption as sons in Christ Jesus’ before they ever existed. The reason one person believes and another person does not is that one person has been adopted by God and the other has not. The truth is that the word foreknew in Romans 8:29 is not speaking of God’s knowing the future. The word foreknowledge is never used in terms of knowing about future events, times or actions (God’s omniscience). What it does describe is a predetermined relationship in the knowledge of God whereby God brings the salvation relationship into existence by decreeing it into existence ahead of time.

The word know is sometimes used in the Bible to describe an intimate or personal relationship between a man and a woman. In a similar sense, before God ever created the heavens and earth, and a long time before we were ever born, God knew His elect in a personal way and chose them to be His sheep, not because they would someday follow Him but in order to guarantee that they would follow Him. His knowing them and choosing them is the reason they follow Him, not the other way around. The issue really is not whether or not God knows who will believe, but why some believe and others do not. The answer to that is God chooses to have mercy on some and others He leaves in their sinful rebellion.

The following quote by John Murray is excellent in dealing with this issue: “Even if it were granted that ‘foreknew’ means the foresight of faith, the biblical doctrine of sovereign election is not thereby eliminated or disproven. For it is certainly true that God foresees faith; He foresees all that comes to pass. The question would then simply be: whence proceeds this faith, which God foresees? And the only biblical answer is that the faith which God foresees is the faith He himself creates (cf. John 3:3–8; 6:44, 45, 65; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29; 2 Peter 1:2). Hence His eternal foresight of faith is preconditioned by His decree to generate this faith in those whom He foresees as believing.”[1]

 


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

Theology: INSPIRATION

We decided that God has revealed information to man in our study of revelation. Now we must go a step further and study inspiration. The question might come up as to why inspiration is important. It is important to us because we know there is revelation, but we don’t know what part of the information is revealed and what part is man’s writings. Inspiration helps us distinguish between revelation and non-revelation.

 

Those writings that are inspired are from God Himself, while other writings are from all other sources. Before I am classed a heretic, let me explain that all of the Bible is inspired, is the Word of God, while all other books are the non-revelation.

 

We will look at the method of inspiration as well as the extent of inspiration.

 

DEFINITION

 

1. Inspiration is the divine influence which renders a speaker or writer of scripture infallible in the communication of the scripture from God to man.

 

2. “The theological use of the term inspiration is a reference to that controlling influence which God exerted over the human authors by whom the Old and New Testaments were written. It has to do with the reception of the divine message and the accuracy with which it is transcribed.” (Chafer, Lewis Sperry; “Systematic Theology”; Dallas, TX: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947, Vol I, p 61)

 

3. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary states, “a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him to receive and communicate sacred revelation” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.) Note “believed to qualify” — that is some statement of doubt.

 

We need to understand that inspiration was caused by the Holy Spirit via the human author’s, and that it resulted in a revelation of God to man.

 

 

John R. Rice sets forth probably one of the wisest pieces of logic that I have run across to this point in time on this topic.

 

“There are only two honest and intelligent positions to take:

 

1. That the Bible is what it claims to be, dictated by the mouth of God, the infallible and perfect Word of God that cannot be broken.

 

2. That the Bible is merely the work of men, claiming to be what it is not, that the Bible is false and not true, and with no binding authority on mankind, no direct and authoritative revelation from God.” (Rice, John R., “Verbal Inspiration Of The Bible And Its Scientific Accuracy”; Wheaton: Sword of the Lord Pub., 1943, p 5)

 

The term “inspiration” is found twice in the Bible: Job 32:8, “The inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”; 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”

 

The term means “God-breathed”: It is the Greek word theopneustos — “theo/God, pneus/breath, tos/the “tos” ending indicates the end result of what precedes it. Thus the result of the process is God breathed. Possibly a more technical way to put it would be Outspiration, for God breathed it out.

 

THE WHOLE OF THE BIBLE IS INSPIRED

 

1. At the writing of 2 Timothy 3:16 the Old Testament was certainly indicated. The Old Testament was complete at this time and Paul was attributing inspiration to it.

 

2. 2 Timothy would also relate to any New Testament books written prior to 2 Timothy. This covers all but John 1, 2, 3, Revelation, Jude and possibly Hebrews. (It depends on who you believe wrote Hebrews and when you think that it was written.)

 

3. 2 Peter 3:16 states that Paul’s writings were scripture. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

 

 

4. Paul validates Luke by quoting Luke with Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Timothy 5:18.

 

“For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the grain; and, The laborer is worthy of his reward.”

 

Deuteronomy 25:4 mentions, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the grain” is a quote from Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7 states, “The laborer is worthy of his reward.”

 

5. 2 Peter 3:2 mentions, “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior;” This places the words of the apostles on the same plain as the prophets. This includes the writings of Matthew, John, Peter and Paul. That includes the following: The entire Old Testament; All books written before 2 Timothy; All of Paul’s writings; Luke; Matthew; John; Revelation, 1 & 2 Peter; Since Mark was one of the earlier books it would be validated; and if Paul wrote Hebrews it would be included.

 

James and Acts are the only books not given validity by Scripture itself. If Luke is valid it would be assumed that Acts, written by Luke would also be valid.

 

Thus we see that the Scriptures declare themselves to be the Word of God and all is inspired by Him. Now, let us move on to the discussion of inspiration.

 

VERBAL PLENARY INSPIRATION

 

Verbal, plenary inspiration is a very necessary doctrine. Verbal indicates that every single word is inspired. Plenary means that every part is from God. Every word and every part of the Word of God is the inspired Word of God.

 

2 Peter 1:21 states,

 

“For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

 

Moved is the term “Phero” which means to “bear” or “uphold.” It is used in Acts 27:17, “Which, when they had hoisted it, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, struck sail, and so were driven.” In this verse the term driven is used of a ship driven by the wind.

 

I have always been drawn to pictures of the old Tea Clipper ships that roamed the Seas many years ago. They are so graceful being driven by the wind under full sail. The sailers worked with the wind to produce the transportation of their product. The authors of Scripture were borne along by the Holy Spirit to set down the record that God desired us to have, yet within the confines of their own writing style, time and emphasis.

 

The tense of the term in 2 Peter is passive showing that the ship was driven by the wind — something that was acting on the ship, thus when we apply this to the authors of Scripture, we can see that they had nothing to do with the influence. They were carried along as the sailors of the ship were driven by the wind. The sailors were free to do what they would on the ship but the wind and the sea determined their course. The authors of scripture were carried along and their course was determined by the Holy Spirit yet they were free to use their own style and language.

 

The fact that God and man were involved in the production of the Bible gives us the term of “dual authorship” which you may run across from time to time.

 

VERBAL

 

PLENARY                                      BREADTH OF THE WORD

 

 

DEPTH

 

Some might wonder what difference it makes if we have a verbal plenary inspiration. We need to consider this for a moment.

 

1. Some today would have us believe that there are new revelations being given. Verbal Plenary Inspiration must be proven for them, or we can not know they are false.

 

 

2. Some today would have us believe that the Bible has mistakes and errors in it. Again, Verbal Plenary Inspiration refutes that thought.

 

3. Some today would have us believe the Bible is only the work of intelligent men who tricked the world with a hoax. Again, the Verbal Plenary Inspiration refutes that thought.

 

The Fact Of Inspiration:

 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17

 

The Nature Of Inspiration:

 

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21

 

Not by private interpretation. It isn’t from the writer’s thoughts, nor is it from their own research, although both may be involved in the gathering of the information. The gathering of information is not the end result however (Luke the historian, for example gathered information for his writing). It was by the words of men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

 

The Result Of Inspiration: I would like to list a quote from Unger. (It is broken into paragraphs for ease of presentation and understanding.)

 

In speaking of the “verbal, plenary inspiration” he mentions the “dynamic view.” Beware. Dynamic view according to some is the same as the mystical view. Use Verbal plenary.

 

“This view holds that the superintendency of the Holy Spirit rendered the writers of Scripture infallible in their communications of truth and inerrant in their literary productions.” This is required for the Scriptures to be the very Word of God.

 

“Yet it leaves room for the fullest play of the personality, style and background of the individual authors.” This is needed because of the vast difference in writing style and even languages involved in the entirety of the Word. (There are three languages involved, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.)

 

“By verbal inspiration is signified that in the original writings the Holy Spirit led in the choice of each word used (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:13; John 10:34-36)….” (“the choice of each word,” may make some nervous. If this is the case then how can style of the individual come into play? To say that the Holy Spirit chose each word, you would have to state that the Spirit, understanding the author’s style assisted in the choice of each word.)

 

“By plenary inspiration is meant that the accuracy which verbal inspiration insures is extended to every portion of the sacred revelation, so that it is as a whole and in all its constituent parts, infallible as to truth and final as to divine authority.”

 

“This is the traditional teaching of the Church, and is that doctrine set forth by Christ and the apostles.” This teaching preserves the dual authorship of Scripture (the divine and the human) in perfect balance, ascribing to each that consideration which is accorded in the Bible.” (Taken from: “Unger’s Bible Dictionary”; Unger, Merrill F.; Copyright 1957, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 528)

 

THEORIES OF INSPIRATION

 

1. Dictation Theory: When I consider this theory, I am reminded of the idea of padlocking someone’s mouth so that they can say nothing.

 

In this line of thinking, they tell us that the Holy Spirit took the message from God and imposed it upon the writer, and that the writer just recorded the words, much as a stenographer would record the words of an employer.

 

In short, man opened brain, and God poured it in. It then flowed out through the man’s hands. This is disproven by the many styles of writing that we have in the Scriptures. The styles fit the life and times of the author. Not only are there different styles but there are different historical backgrounds involved in the scriptures.

 

 

If dictation were the method, then the texts that speak of the author’s great love, or remorse over sin would become phoney and empty if the person penning the words weren’t involved (The Psalmist, Daniel in his prayers, etc.).

 

Fundamentalists are accused of holding to this mode of inspiration but most do not. Most hold to verbal, plenary inspiration. There may be a few very strong “sovereignty of God” men that hold to the dictation theory.

 

2. Partial Inspiration Theory: This theory allows my mind to imagine the Sunday School teacher getting up to teach the class and presenting an overlay of Scripture. He has marked only three verses in red and mentions that these are the only verses that are inspired in that portion of the Bible, and that is what will be studied for the day. Ridiculous? Yes.

 

This theory originated in answer to the problem that many think that the Bible has errors of history and nature in it. They felt that they had to devise a theory that would allow for those errors. (Heaven forbid that they take the Bible by faith and prove the historian and scientist incorrect — which has been done in most if not all of those “error” passages.)

 

This position holds to two authors as we believe, however is limited to only the doctrinal parts of scripture, and not the other areas such as history and science.

 

If only the doctrinal parts are inspired then why carry all the uninspired around with us? Let’s just rip all that uninspired stuff out and have smaller Bibles.

 

The problem arises — which sections are doctrinal and which are not. When Christ turned water into wine — was this section doctrinal or historic? It could be teaching miracles thus doctrinal, or trying to explain science, and not inspired. Who is the judge?

 

This view and the concept view are held by New and Young evangelicals. These people are probably Christians, however they are far afield of fundamentalism, and in reading some of their writings they seem more political than spiritual in emphasis.

 

3. Conceptual Theory: The concept that God wanted to communicate was given to the author and the author was then free to put the concept into his own words and record those words as the Scriptures. This position even allows for the author to make up a story to show the concept. This is the basis for the thought of some that Jonah is “just a story”.

 

This idea that God gave a concept and the man put it to words, is not a logical theory. How can one being communicate with another being without the words being important. They suggest that Jonah being in a fish, or not being in a fish is not the point. It was a story. It needn’t be true — only that the reader know that he was punished for his wrong doing.

 

The Jews killed after David’s sin of numbering the people is only to show the result of sin. It didn’t really happen. No one really died.

 

Example: I want to communicate something to you. There was a man driving down the road and his car suddenly swerved out of control into a deep lake. The car began to sink. Luckily he was able to climb out of the window. What point was I trying to make? If you guessed that the building is on fire and you should climb out a window, you are right. Wouldn’t the phrase “FIRE” have communicated the facts more readily? This theory can only lead to great confusion.

 

4. Intuition Theory: The men that authored the scriptures were functioning only on insight which they had, and there is no divine author or interference.

 

Now, to put that into perspective, let’s assume that I have great insight into things, and indeed I feel that I do. In fact I think that I should author a book based on my great intellectual insight. Now, how many of you would like to base your eternal destiny on that book when it is written?

 

5. Illumination Theory: The men were inspired and given much illumination and they recorded their own thoughts and words as they saw fit.

 

6. Dynamic Theory: Some list this as the same as mystic, while others as verbal plenary, and some believe that both the men and words were inspired. God supernaturally inspired the man to write the words.

 

 

7. Limited Inspiration Theory: This is the theory held by many Young Evangelicals. The Bible is inerrant in the matter of salvation, but it has errors in the historical and scientific areas. The next logical step is to question the Bible in the matters of salvation. If part is false then how can we determine which is true?

 

8. Neoorthodox Theory: The Bible gives witness to God, however it has errors due to the infallibility of it’s writers.

 

9. Natural Inspiration Theory: This view would have us believe that God sought out gifted men to write His message to man. Some men are great writers of poetry, some are great artists, some are great politicians and some are just great writers of things that inspire people to do things. The writers of scripture were only men gifted in this area.

 

If this theory be true then we can look to the great novels of man such as Giant, the Caine Mutiny or Hawaii for general guides for our lives.

 

Indeed, if this theory be true then there are no guides for our lives.

 

10. Mystical Inspiration Theory: This idea might be called the mystical zap theory as well. God mysteriously zapped the authors of Scripture and they wrote. God empowered the authors to write. This was some mystical empowerment to record God’s Word. I personally don’t feel comfortable using the results of a persons “mystical high” to guide and pattern my life. Indeed, I do not want to trust my eternal destiny to such theories.

 

11. Degrees Of Inspiration Theory: Some parts are more inspired than others. When God spoke from the burning bush, or wrote the ten commandments — that’s really inspired. When Luke records the remembrances of Mary there was much less inspiration involved. If this be true then who is the judge of which is the “really inspired” and which is the “not so inspired”? There would be no basis for truth if this theory were true. Can we sin a little if its not “really inspired” then sin lots when its not so inspired? If this theory was true I’d probably use the not so inspired part of the Scripture for devotions.

 

12. Verbal Plenary Inspiration: God in some manner moved the author along as he wrote. The author used his own style of writing, yet the Holy Spirit was moving him along so that the result is God’s Word — true and complete. There were a number of methods by which He communicated with man. We have discussed these but will mention them again. Verbal communication, Dreams, Visions, Trances, Theophanies and Written communications.

 

The doctrine of inspiration would seem to be directly related to that information which the writer put into writing from verbal communication, however Scripture would also bear out the fact that other forms of communication were also inspired, and were also God’s own message.

 

This is the only view that allows for differences of style and language. It is the only view that allows God to communicate with man in a logical, real manner.

 

THE IMPLICATION OF INSPIRATION

 

The Bible is the Word of God:

 

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.” Exodus 20:22

 

The words of God Himself. God has spoken to man.

 

The Bible is perfect, settled, and eternal: “The law of the Lord is perfect…” Psalm 19:7; “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89; “Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160

 

The Bible is from God:

 

“Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Jeremiah 1:9;

 

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.” Jeremiah 30:1,2

 

The Bible is a message to man:

 

 

“But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God” Ezekiel 327

 

The Bible is a unit:

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17,18

The Bible will stand: “The scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35 The Bible is inspired: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2

Timothy 3:16

 

The Bible is not from man:

 

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21

 

Miscellaneous texts that relate to the subject: 2 Samuel 23:1,2; I Kings 16:1; Jeremiah 13:1; Ezekiel 1:3; Ephesians 3:1-10 indicates Paul considered that he spoke from direct revelation; Hebrews 1:1,2; John 10:34-36; Matthew 1:22; 2:15,23; 4:4,7,10; 8:17;12:17.

 

SOME THAT HAVE HELD TO THE INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE

 

John R. Rice, Charles H. Spurgeon, B. H. Carroll (Who said, “Any talk about revelation without inspiration of the words is fool’s talk,”), D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, Wesley, Finney, A.J. Gordon, Chapman, Billy Sunday, and many others.

 

Application of the doctrine of inspiration:

 

1. This is God’s complete word and revelation. Nothing else will follow so we shouldn’t look for it, nor desire it.

 

Even Though you may have seen the commercials on television that there is more information about the life of Jesus. It is called another testament of Jesus, and is available by calling an 800 number. Yes, it is the Mormon’s.

 

 

They are not the only group that feel inspired revelation continues. Many Charismatics feel that the messages while speaking in tongues is revelation.

 

2. This is God’s complete word and we have no need of psychology nor the other ologies of our day to be able to live and walk with our God.

 

3. The word is complete and trustworthy. When a seeming contradiction comes up in your study, you may have confidence that it isn’t a mistake. You may have a confidence that you will find an answer to the problem if you are diligent and seek after an answer. Example: 2 Samuel 24:1 mentions that God moved David to number the people. This numbering resulted in the loss of life for many Israelites. The term “moved” can be translated tempted. With James 1:13 we might see a contradiction. “Let no man say when he is tempted I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” The answer: Read 1 Chronicles 21:1 and see that God allowed Satan to tempt David. Add to this the information from Job that God allows Satan to test man, and you have no hint of contradiction.

 

4. If this is the complete word then we can find many things that will help us with everyday life situations. If it were only concepts then why bother.

 

5. A proper view of inspiration will lead to a proper theology and doctrine.

 

Example: If you hold to Verbal, plenary inspiration you will hold to a literal six day creation. If you hold to some of the other theories you will hold to other ideas. (Six days, six ages, or just that God created.)

 

The Bible is the inspired Word of God, our trusted companion in life. (Yes, the double meaning was intended.)[1]

 


[1] by Stanley L. Derickson. DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

5 Questions to Help Apply Scripture

Using the three-step Bible study process—observe, interpret, and apply—you’re bound to learn new things about God.

The observe phase doesn’t require any tools beyond a copy of the Scripture itself. (If you’re in search of one, we have a recommendation for you.) The Faithlife Study Bible app is perfect for the interpret phase, with its built-in study notes, multimedia resources, and infographics. When you reach the application phase, use the acronym SPECT to quickly identify truths to apply:

  • Is there a sin for me to forsake?
  • Is there any promise to claim?
  • Is there an example for me to follow?
  • Is there any command for me to obey?
  • Is there anything to be thankful for today?

These simple questions help you quickly examine a passage from multiple perspectives. Let’s use them on today’s Verse of the Day. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

http://blog.faithlife.com/blog/2013/06/5-questions-to-help-apply-scripture/

Why I Find Your Pride So Annoying

C.S. Lewis: There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking of is Pride. . . .

Read More here –  http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/06/19/why-i-find-your-pride-so-annoying/

Bono on Jesus: Is the Lead Singer of U2 the New C.S. Lewis?

Bono is a fascinating book, especially for U2 fans. The paperback (400 pages) is only $11.00 and you can get a used copy for less. What follow are some excerpts where Bono talks about Jesus. Some have been so impacted by his answers that they are calling him the new C.S. Lewis. From Bono:

Read More Here:  –  http://frankviola.org/2013/06/21/bonoonjesus/

Doctrine of Salvation: Conversion

The Domain for Truth

st-paul-conversion

Please see the last post on the series, “Doctrine of Salvation,” The Gospel/General Call and Effective Calling

Conversion is an important term and the exact naming convention does not always appear in other translations of the Bible.  In the OT, it is directly related to the Hebrew sub, which is a frequently used verb that conveys the idea of turning back, to go back, come back, or to return.  It is also related with the Hebrew niham, which means that a person is sorry or has regret.  In the NT, there are two principle words that must be considered.  The two key words or terms are: epistrepho (“to turn” ).  The other word is metaneo.   The cognate of metaneo indicates a change of mind, a renewal of mind, heart, and a heartfelt repentance.

The word conversion can be defined as the willingness of a sinner to respond…

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How not to rush your children to recite the “sinner’s prayer”.

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

[This article was first posted in March 2012] It is true that for many believers, fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations has no greater joy than seeing their loved ones come to faith in Christ. Few experiences bring greater joy to Christian parents than seeing their children come to faith in Christ. But how does one evangelize one’s children?

The process of evangelizing one’s children, however, can be a daunting task. For many parents, the questions are as practical as they are disconcerting: How should I present the gospel to my children? What’s the best approach to take? How do I know if I’m doing it right? Pitfalls, both real and imagined, intimidate virtually every parent who contemplates this responsibility. On one hand, there’s the danger of leading children to think they are saved when they are not. On the other, there’s the risk of discouraging…

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Mass Carnage: Stocks, Bonds, Gold, Silver, Europe And Japan All Get Pummeled

Can you smell that? It is the smell of panic in the air. As I have noted before, when financial markets catch up to economic reality they tend to do so very rapidly. Normally we don’t see virtually all asset classes get slammed at the same time, but the bucket of cold water that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threw on global financial markets on Wednesday has set off an epic temper tantrum. On Thursday, U.S. stocks, European stocks, Asian stocks, gold, silver and government bonds all over the planet all got absolutely shredded. This is not normal market activity. Unfortunately, there is nothing “normal” about our financial markets anymore. Over the past several years they have been grossly twisted and distorted by the Federal Reserve and by the other major central banks around the globe. Did the central bankers really believe that there wouldn’t be a great price to pay for messing with the markets? The behavior that we have been watching this week is the kind of behavior that one would expect at the beginning of a financial panic. Dick Bove, the vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, told CNBC that what we are witnessing right now “is not normal. It is not normal for all markets to move in the same direction at the same point in time due to the same development.” The overriding emotion in the financial world right now is fear. And fear can cause investors to do some crazy things. So will global financial markets continue to drop, or will things stabilize for now? That is a very good question. But even if there is a respite for a while, it will only be temporary. More carnage is coming at some point. (Read More….)

The Waste List: 66 Crazy Ways That The U.S. Government Is Wasting Your Hard-Earned Money

Why did the U.S. government spend 2.6 million dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly? Why did the U.S. government spend $175,587 “to determine if cocaine makes Japanese quail engage in sexually risky behavior”? Why did the U.S. government spend nearly a million dollars on a new soccer field for detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay? This week when I saw that the IRS was about to pay out 70 million dollars in bonuses to their employees and that the U.S. government was going to be leaving 7 billion dollars worth of military equipment behind in Afghanistan, it caused me to reflect on all of the other crazy ways that the government has been wasting our money in recent years. So I decided to go back through my previous articles and put together a list. I call it “The Waste List”. Even though our politicians insist that there is very little that can still be cut out of the budget, the truth is that the federal budget is absolutely drowning in pork. The following are 66 crazy ways that the U.S. government is wasting your hard-earned money… (Read More….)

32 Facts That Show How Men Are Being Systematically Emasculated In America Today

What is wrong with men in America? Why isn’t our country producing lots of strong, independent, hard working men of character like it once did? Well, many believe that it starts at a very young age. When compared with girls, boys in the United States get lower grades, they are much more likely to get into trouble at school and they are much more likely to be put on behavior-modifying drugs. When it comes time to pursue a higher education, most of our young men are ill-prepared to do that. Today, nearly 60 percent of the students enrolled at U.S. colleges are women. And of course it has become much more difficult for men to find good jobs. In fact, less than 65 percent of all men have a job right now. Without a good job, a man is not considered to be “marriage material”, but a large percentage of our young men don’t want to get married anyway. Society has told them that it is okay to be a “slacker”. Today, far too many of our young men are far more interested in their various addictions (beer, drugs, sex, video games, gambling, etc.) than they are in starting a family. But the truth is that men are far more happy when they have a purpose. When men are raising families, starting businesses or doing something to transform society they feel fulfilled. (Read More….)

20 Signs That The Pharmaceutical Companies Are Running A 280 Billion Dollar Money Making Scam

NOTE: Medications truly help many people but there is a sinister side to the industry as well.

If you could get 70 percent of Americans addicted to your drugs and rake in $280 billion a year in the process, would you do it? If you could come up with a “pill for every problem” and charge Americans twice as much for those pills as people in other countries pay, would you do it? If you could make more money than you ever dreamed possible by turning the American people into the most doped up people in the history of the planet, would you do it?

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What the Supreme Court Ruling on Genes Means to You

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that naturally-occurring DNA may not be patented. The methods by which genes are isolated may be patented, as may applications of knowledge gained from genetic research. But the Court found that genetic materials themselves are “products of nature” that may not be patented. However, synthetically created “strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)” are “patent eligible,” since they do not occur naturally.

Why does this ruling matter to you today?

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Are businesses bracing for U.S. to fall like Rome?

At some point, every thinking man and woman has thought about it. The United States, so big and so powerful, at some point has to fall just like ancient Rome. Some view it as inevitability; others view it as a cautionary tale that prevents us from plummeting to our downfall.

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Torn between two loves: Marxism and Islam

Could Barack Obama’s ambivalence in Syria be because of torn affections between the Russians and the Islamists? Radical, I know, but consider this:

According to Dreams from My Father, President Obama’s mom and dad met in Russian class at the University of Hawaii. Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was a Communist, his mother exposed early to the teachings of Marx and Margaret Mead. His mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a member of the Communist Party, editor of a Communist newspaper in Chicago and later a Communist activist in Hawaii during Obama’s formative years. He was identified on the FBI’s Watch List as a “Stalinist agent.”

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