Daily Archives: August 10, 2013

Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That 09 August 2013

  • Mark Batterson says “there are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet.” Uh huh. Okay. . . so what’s wrong with the way that God describes the gathering of the saints in His Word?
  • Do I need to point out the incredibly disturbing irony that this guy is a psychology professor?
  • Here’s an update to the update on the whole Michael Brown/Strange Fire/John MacArthur hullabaloo.
  • And while we’re on the topic of strange fire, what exactly is the true ministry of the Holy Spirit today? Steve Lawson explains.
  • Maybe I just should have stayed away from Twitter altogether this week. It’s like it turned into bizarro-world. What does this even mean?
  • Speaking of ecumenism, the pope is still talking (the ‘reign’ of this pope gives me just one more reason among thousands why I am so thankful I never was caught up in the Roman Catholic system.)
  • A key sign that you are maturing as a pastor.
  • Later this year, James White will be debating Chris Pinto over Pinto’s claims that the Codex Sinaiticus is a 19th century forgery. Here’s an interesting article in anticipation of that.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Clay Aiken is set to play Joseph in the so-called ‘Bible-based’ play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. So. Many. Jokes.

Source: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/08/this-n-that_9.html

He Will Abundantly Pardon

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, A leader and commander for the peoples. 5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know, And a nation which knows you not will run to you, Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel; For He has glorified you.” 6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.  (Isaiah 55:4-8 NASB)

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not editable. It is not open to change. No matter how much anyone  wants it to be otherwise, it is unchangeable…

View original post 2,341 more words

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: Did the Israelites in the book of Exodus cross the Red Sea or the Reed Sea?

The Hebrew word translated “red” in some 23 Old Testament verses dealing with the Exodus is the Hebrew word suph whose root is thought to be of Egyptian origin and meant a reed, especially the papyrus. So while it is true that the Hebrew words yam suph can be translated “Sea of Reeds” or “Reed Sea” the question that must be asked is which is the best translation of the passage to correctly convey the meaning of the Hebrew passages? Also we must take into consideration whether these passages most commonly translated “Red Sea” are in fact referring to what today is known as the Red Sea or are they, as some liberal scholars try to assert, really referring to a marshy area by the Rea Sea or possibly some smaller, shallower lake nearby. This is crucial because if it was not the Red Sea, this would have allowed the Israelites to cross without God’s miraculous intervention of parting the Sea, while stopping the heavier Egyptian chariots causing them to become stuck. This is really the crux of the debate: did God miraculously intervene, as the Bible says He did, or was the crossing by the Israelites simply a natural event?

When we look at the many different passages in the Scripture where the term yam suph or Red Sea is used, it becomes very clear that it is correctly translated as the Red Sea and is indeed referring to the large body of water commonly called the Red Sea or Gulf of Suez. The only way that one could look at these verses and believe they are speaking of some shallow lake or marshy area is if one has a preconceived bias towards that translation, ignoring not only the historical evidence but most importantly the scriptural context. The Scriptures give us a pretty clear understanding that the body of water the Israelites crossed was a large and deep body of water, and the only one in that area fitting that description is the Red Sea.

One evidence that Red Sea is the correct translation and the correct body of water is found in the Greek Septuagint from 200 B.C. This is the earliest translation of the Hebrew Bible known and the words yam suph are consistently translated with the Greek words eruthros thalassa or Red Sea (see also Acts 7:36; Hebrews 11:29). Therefore the historical evidence is that these words in the Bible do refer to the actual Red Sea and not some lesser body of water. Further evidence comes from the context of the passages themselves. First, the sea had to be deep enough to drown the Egyptian army and destroy their chariots. Those liberal scholars who want to say this is referring to some shallow, marshy area have to throw out the context of the passages or believe that a whole Egyptian army can be drowned in a couple of feet of water. Also, in 1 Kings 9:26 we see King Solomon building a fleet of ships on the shore of the Rea Sea in the land of Edom, hardly practical if the body of water known as the Red Sea is merely a marshy area or small shallow lake. Clearly, the body of water yam suph refers to can be none other than the Red Sea.

The context of the passages and the way the words yam suph have been translated throughout history make it clear that the Israelites did indeed cross the Red Sea, a 1,350 mile long body of water extending from the Indian Ocean. In some places, the Red Sea is more than 7,200 feet deep and more than 100 miles wide. While the Israelites would have crossed the Red Sea in what is now known as the Gulf of Suez, this is the large body of water God supernaturally parted, and He used it to destroy the Egyptian army and allow the Israelites to pass safely through, just as the Scriptures describe.[1]

 


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

Questions about Creation: Does the Bible teach that the earth is flat?

Many a skeptic claims that the Bible depicts a flat earth. Scriptural references such as Revelation 7:1 are cited, which speaks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth.” However, this passage makes reference to the cardinal directions as seen on a compass—i.e. north, south, east and west. Terminology to a similar effect is used today when we speak of the sun rising and setting each day, even though we know that it is in fact the earth which orbits round the sun.

Another passage often referred to is Psalm 75:3, which speaks of God holding the pillars firm. However, the psalms are written in the poetry genre. Rather than referring to literal pillars, this rather is representative of God guaranteeing the earth’s stability. Even when the moral order of the world seems to have crumbled, God will not fully withdraw His sustaining power.

In contrast to the supposed “flat earth” verses, there are numerous Scriptures that clearly indicate otherwise. The earth is described in Job 26:7 as being suspended over empty space, implying a spherical figure. This notion is further entertained in Isaiah 40:21–22, which refers to “the circle of the earth.” This is further supported by Proverbs 8:27 (NKJV) which speaks of God drawing a circle on the face of the deep. From a “bird’s-eye-view” of the ocean, the horizon is seen as a circle. Such an observation indicates that where light terminates, darkness begins, describing the reality of day and night on a spherical earth.

The round earth is further supported by Jesus in Luke 17:31, 34: “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back … I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.” This would seem to indicate the phenomena of day on one side of the globe while darkness abides on the other.

In conclusion, the curvature of the earth is certainly a biblical concept, and there is little or no basis for the charge that the Bible teaches a flat earth. The Scriptures that seem to present a flat earth can all easily be explained when correctly interpreted and understood.[1]

 


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

Questions about the Holy Spirit: Is the Holy Spirit a “He,” “She,” or “It,” male, female, or neuter?

A common mistake made with regard to the Holy Spirit is referring to the Spirit as “it,” which the Bible never does. This is because the Holy Spirit is a person. He has the attributes of personhood, performs the actions of persons, and has personal relationships. He has insight (1 Corinthians 2:10–11). He knows things, which requires an intellect (Romans 8:27). He has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11). He convicts of sin (John 16:8). He performs miracles (Acts 8:39). He guides (John 16:13). He intercedes between persons (Romans 8:26). He is to be obeyed (Acts 10:19–20). He can be lied to (Acts 5:3), resisted (Acts 7:51), grieved (Ephesians 4:30), blasphemed (Matthew 12:31), even insulted (Hebrews 10:29). He relates to the apostles (Acts 15:28) and to each member of the Trinity (John 16:14; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). The personhood of the Holy Spirit is presented without question in the Bible, but what about gender?

Linguistically it is abundantly clear that masculine theistic terminology dominates the Scriptures. Throughout both testaments, references to God use masculine pronouns. Specific names for God (e.g., Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai, Kurios, Theos, etc.) are all masculine gender. God is never given a feminine name, or referred to using feminine pronouns. It should be noted, however, that masculine pronouns throughout history have been used for the collective sense of humanity, referring to both male and female. The Holy Spirit is referred to in the masculine throughout the New Testament although the word for “spirit” by itself (pneuma) is actually gender neutral. The Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine in Genesis 1:2. But the gender of a word in Greek or Hebrew has nothing to do with gender identity.

Theologically speaking, since the Holy Spirit is God, we can make some statements about Him from general statements about God. God is spirit as opposed to physical or material. God is invisible and spirit (i.e. non-body)—(John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17). This is why no material thing was ever to be used to represent God (Exodus 20:4). If gender is an attribute of the body, it seems that a spirit does not have gender. God, in His essence, has no gender.

Gender identifications of God in the Bible are not unanimous. Many people think that the Bible presents God in exclusively male terms but this is not the case. God is said to give birth in the book of Job and portrays Himself as a mother in Isaiah. Jesus described the Father as being like a woman in search of a lost coin in Luke 15 (and Himself as a “mother hen” in Matthew 23:37). In Genesis 1:26–27 God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness,” and then “God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Thus, the image of God was male and female—not simply one or the other. This is further confirmed in Genesis 5:2 which can be literally translated as “He created them male and female; when they were created, he blessed them and named them Adam.” The Hebrew term “adam” means “man”—the context showing whether it means “man” (as opposed to woman) or “mankind” (in the collective sense). Therefore, to whatever degree humanity is made in the image of God, gender is not an issue.

Masculine imagery and revelation is not without significance, however. A second time that God was specifically said to be revealed via a physical image was when Jesus was asked to show the Father to the disciples in John chapter 14. He responds in verse 8 by saying, “The person who has seen me has seen the Father!” Paul makes it clear that Jesus was the exact image of God in Colossians 1:15 calling Jesus “the image of the invisible God.” This verse is couched in a section that demonstrates Christ’s superiority over all creation. Most ancient religions believed in a pantheon—both gods and goddesses—that were worthy of worship. But one of Judeo-Christianity’s distinctives is its belief in a supreme Creator. Masculine language better relates this relationship of creator to creation. As a man comes into a woman from without to make her pregnant, so God creates the universe from without rather than birthing it from within … As a woman cannot impregnate herself, so the universe cannot create itself. Paul echoes this idea in 1 Timothy 2:12–14 when he refers to the creation order as a template for church order.

In the end, whatever our theological explanation, the fact is that God used exclusively masculine terms to refer to Himself, and almost exclusively masculine terminology even in metaphor. Through the Bible He taught us how to speak of Him and it was in masculine relational terms. So, while the Holy Spirit is neither male nor female in His essence, He is properly referred to in the masculine by virtue of His relation to creation and biblical revelation. There is absolutely no biblical basis for viewing the Holy Spirit as the “female” member of the Trinity.[1]

 


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

Music Video: Your Great Name – Natalie Grant

Lost are saved, find their way
At the sound of Your great name
All condemned, feel no shame
At the sound of Your great name

Every fear has no place
At the sound of Your great name
The enemy, he has to leave
At the sound of Your great name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up, that all the world
Will praise Your great name

All the weak find their strength
At the sound of Your great name
Hungry souls receive grace
At the sound of Your great name

The fatherless, they find their rest
At the sound of Your great name
Sick are healed and the dead are raised
At the sound of Your great name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up, that all the world
Will praise Your great name, oh, Your great name

Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty
My Savior, Defender, You are my King
Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty
My Savior, Defender, You are my King

Jesus, the name of Jesus
You are high and lifted up and all the world
Will praise Your great name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us
Son of God and Man
You are high and lifted up, all the world
Will praise Your great name
Your great name, Your great name
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

Music Video: Christ Has Risen – Matt Maher

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love

And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down

In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

Sing it, o death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He’s alive, He’s alive

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Rise up from the grave

GodLife: The Wonder of Praying

Scripture: “So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)

Every now and then, a person in the news will capture my attention. When this happens, I try to pray for them. People pay attention to celebrities; they have a lot of power to influence others — for good or for evil. I pray that those famous people will come to know the Lord and respect His ways, so they themselves can receive God’s blessing, and because of their influence, share it with others.

Read more

Just for You

What kind of life-offering do you hope to present to God: do you want to influence many for Him, or just a small circle of friends and family? Click the link to learn more about how God can work to manifest big dreams in our Articles for Growth series.

Personal Help

Do you need guidance in praying for God to bless your five people and for them to share in His eternal inheritance? We have trained followers of Jesus who can help you figure it out! Click here to share your story with us. You will hear from someone shortly.

Prayer Points

Will you pray this week:
• God will help you minister to five people • God will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding • You will consistently have a positive influence on others • You will give thanks to God that He wants us to pray for people to know Jesus as their Savior. • The five people you pray for will accept salvation

GodLife Family

Where can you go online to discuss praying for your friends and family? Visit the GodLife Facebook Page where we can gather daily to share our stories, to express ourselves, and to pray for one another!