Daily Archives: October 25, 2013

New Post: John MacArthur on Making an Informed Response to Strange Fire

Below are some helpful thoughts from John MacArthur on the aftermath of Strange Fire and how best to respond to the teaching from the conference.

As John mentioned, all the Strange Fire conference audio is now available to stream or download for free. The videos of those same sessions are coming soon, as are the sermon transcripts—free to you for viewing and sharing with others. Order your copy of Strange Fire here through our website, weeks before you can get it anywhere else.

Our goal with all those resources is to deepen your love for Scripture, to help you understand the true work of the Holy Spirit, and to expose the false teachers who twist God’s Word and abuse His people. We hope you’ll be encouraged and uplifted by the teaching from Strange Fire, and that both the teaching and the book will bear much spiritual fruit for years to come.

GTY Staff


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B131025     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (25 October 2013)

minutes to first enjoy your week in review (kind of):

  • Mars Hill Church wants to move its headquarters, and the leaders are not happy about the snag they’ve hit in their plans.
  • Speaking of Mark Driscoll, seminary student Eric Dodson reviews Driscoll’s newest book, A Call to Resurgence. You may remember this as the book that Driscoll was handing out during his  latest publicity stunt.
  • Tim Challies also reviews Driscoll’s book.
  • Mark Driscoll has an invitation for John MacArthur.
  • From one megapastor to another, a lot of people are upset over Steven Furtick’s lavish home. In the midst of this story let’s not forget that it is Furtick’s twisting of Scripture and abuse of God’s Word that ought to upset us most. Sometimes the things that make the headlines are merely symptoms of the underlying disease.
  • Following the Strange Fire conference, Phil Johnson appeared as a guest on Michael Brown’s radio show (Brown was a vocal opponent of the conference). If there’s one thing I learned after listening to the show it was this: Michael Brown has written a lot of stuff and spoken a lot of places and he wants you to know it. It really is unfortunate that Brown’s self-promotion (in my opinion) obscured what was otherwise an interesting conversation.
  • Al Mohler recently spoke at Brigham Young University.
  • Jerry Jenkins likes poker.
  • As the friend who sent this to me said, this is wrong on so many levels.
  • At Pyromaniacs, Dan Phillips is sharing his thoughts about Strange Fire.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Grace to You’s Christmas sale has already begun. 25% off!
  • Tom Pennington makes a biblical case for cessationism:

Source: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/10/this-n-that_25.html

[New post] TV Has to Be at Least 42 Percent Gay?

Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, describes the ways in which Hollywood continues to promote homosexuality. He points out that radical homosexual and lesbian activists insist on indoctrinating young children with “gay” propaganda through movies and TV. The problem, says Bozell, is that “Gay characters never face any real opposition to the gay agenda on these so-called ‘inclusive’ programs.” He begins:

The media elites glowed as they reported a judge had forced New Jersey to become the 14th state to honor and celebrate the “gay marriage” concept. When homosexuals marry in Hoboken, the gay left will be — should be — thanking Hollywood.

http://cnsnews.com/commentary/l-brent-bozell-iii/tv-has-be-least-42-percent-gay

“Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #4)”

Settled In Heaven Blog

SIH STSTA ICON“I Create Evil”

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].(Isaiah 45:7)

[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…”(Habakkuk 1:13) 

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:  (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures.  On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”.  Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:  then…

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New Post: Peace of Conscience Before God

Over the past few weeks Dr. Joel Beeke and I have been teaming up to work our way through a portion of his massive new work A Puritan Theology. We have not been reading the whole book, but just the final eight chapters which deal with practical theology, the “so what?” of systematic theology.

This week we read chapter 57 which discusses the Puritans and casuistry. I asked Dr. Beeke a few questions related to the Puritans and this strange word that I had never encountered before.

Read More Here: http://www.challies.com/reading-classics-together/peace-of-conscience-before-god

New Post: Lives Destroyed

The past two years have been devastating. I have watched the lives of four Christian friends destroyed for want of care. These are men I have loved and respected. All of them had families, loving wives, and children. Three of them were pastors and another was a nationally recognized professional at the top of his field.  And all of them were consumed by their lusts. Everything in their lives destroyed because they chose to play with fire. For each of them it started small. One look at a website or the brush of someone’s hand. And now the three pastors are out of the ministry, one sits in prison, and two of them are separated from their children and wives. The professional’s wife is exploring divorce. All of them have lost their homes, their jobs, their friends, their churches, their reputations, their lives. Sin is deadly. As Christians, we must be busy about the business of the mortification of sin. We are to employ ourselves with all our strength by the power of the Spirit. Here are a few thoughts on mortification:

Read More Here: http://info.alliancenet.org/christward/lives-destroyed

Bible Summary / Survey: Book of Joshua

Author: The Book of Joshua does not explicitly name its author. More than likely Joshua the son of Nun, the successor of Moses as leader over Israel, penned much of this book. The latter part of the book was written by at least one other person after the death of Joshua. It is also possible that several sections were edited / compiled following Joshua’s death.

Date of Writing: The Book of Joshua was likely written between 1400 and 1370 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: The Book of Joshua provides an overview of the military campaigns to conquer the land area that God had promised. Following the exodus from Egypt and the subsequent forty years of the wilderness wanderings, the newly-formed nation is now poised to enter the Promised Land, conquer the inhabitants, and occupy the territory. The overview that we have here gives abbreviated and selective details of many of the battles and the manner in which the land was not only conquered, but how it was divided into tribal areas.

Key Verses: Joshua 1:6–9, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 24:14–15, “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Brief Summary: The Book of Joshua continues the story of the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt. The book chronicles the approximately 20 years of Joshua’s leadership of the people after Moses anointed him at the end of Deuteronomy. The twenty-four chapter divisions of the Book of Joshua can be summarized as follows:

Chapters 1–12: Entering and conquering the Promised Land.
Chapters 13–22: Instructions for distributing the portions of the Promised Land.
Chapters 23–24: Joshua’s farewell address

Foreshadowings: The story of Rahab the harlot and her great faith in the God of the Israelites gives her a place with those honored for their faith in Hebrews 11:31. Hers is a story of God’s grace to sinners and salvation by faith alone. Most importantly, by God’s grace she was in the Messianic line (Matthew 1:5).

One of the ceremonial rituals of Joshua 5 finds its perfect fulfillment in the New Testament. Verses 1–9 describe God’s commandment that those who were born in the wilderness were to be circumcised when they came into the Promised Land. By so doing, God “rolled away the reproach of Egypt” from them, meaning that He cleansed them from the sins of their former life. Colossians 2:10–12 describes believers as having been circumcised in their hearts by Christ Himself, by whom we have put off the sinful nature of our former lives without Christ.

God established cities of refuge so that those who accidentally killed someone could live there without fear of retribution. Christ is our refuge to whom we “have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us” (Hebrews 6:18).

The Book of Joshua has an overriding theological theme of rest. The Israelites, after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, finally entered the rest God had prepared for them in the land of Canaan. The writer of Hebrews uses this incident as a warning to us not to let unbelief keep us from entering into God’s rest in Christ (Hebrews 3:7–12).

Practical Application: One of the key verses of the Book of Joshua is 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” The Old Testament is replete with stories of how the people “forgot” God and His Word and suffered terrible consequences. For the Christian, the Word of God is our lifeblood. If we neglect it, our lives will suffer accordingly. But if we take to heart the principle of verse 1:8, we will be complete and able to be of use in God’s kingdom (2 Timothy 3:16–17), and we will find that God’s promises in Joshua 1:8–9 will be ours as well.

Joshua is a prime example of the benefits of a worthy mentor. For years he remained close to Moses. He watched Moses as he followed God in an almost flawless manner. He learned to pray in a personal way from Moses. He learned how to obey through the example of Moses. Joshua apparently also learned from the negative example that cost Moses the joy of actually entering the Promised Land. If you are alive, you are a mentor. Someone, somewhere, is watching you. Some younger person or someone that you are influencing is seeing how you live and how you react. Someone is learning from you. Someone will follow your example. Mentoring is far more than the words that are spoken by the mentor. His or her entire life is on display.[1]

 


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

Questions about Cults and Religions: Witnessing to Hindus—What Is the Key?

The problem with witnessing to the Hindu is that he sees himself as a believer. While trying to witness to a Hindu, we must remember that we are involved in spiritual warfare which can only be won by sincere and focused prayers. So that is the place to begin. Pray regularly for the one to whom we are trying to present Christ. Because his beliefs about God and man are diametrically opposed to what we are trying to present from the Bible, our words often convey a totally different concept to his mind and therefore one has to be extra careful that we are communicating to him properly. To a Hindu the word “God” does NOT communicate much because to him everything, visible and invisible, is god or manifestations of god. To him god is an unknowable and unknown force and not a person. We might say that the Hindu calls nature god. So to begin by telling a Hindu that God loves him does not make much sense as he himself is a part of god!

Another thing to remember, as we try to reach Hindus with the Gospel, is that the word “Christian” is a grossly misunderstood word by our Hindu friends. To them “Christian” equals “beef eater” and that is an obnoxious thing to them. Cow is one of their favorite gods and to eat beef is one the most offensive things a Hindu can conceive of. So, in trying to reach a Hindu for Christ, never introduce yourself as a “Christian.” Rather you can introduce yourself and say, “I am a disciple of Christ and I wish to introduce my ‘Guru’ to you.” Then you will have a welcome hearing as Christ is accepted and venerated as a “Guru par excellence” by most Hindus.

Probably the best place to begin is to talk about Jesus of Nazareth. To a Hindu all avatars (incarnations of god) are mythical and non-historical. But the Bible presents Jesus as a historical person who lived and died in a specific time and place and historians confirm this. Much more than His life, the resurrection of Christ must be emphasized as there is nothing comparable in Hindu thinking at all. Thus we must present Christ as a unique person of history, indeed the creator God Himself, who came to settle the sin problem of humanity. His resurrection is the proof that He was indeed God in human form.

To a Hindu sin is a serious matter. He believes in transmigration of the soul so that the debt of sin can be paid back. In fact, the Puranas (Hindu religious books) say that a person has to be re-born millions of times to pay back the negative karmas (actions) of one life. And there is no guarantee that in the next birth there is no sin at all. So to a Hindu, moksha (salvation) is almost unattainable, even though one works very hard for it. The good news the Hindu needs to understand is that Christ paid the penalty for our sins, once for all time (Hebrews 7:27), and that salvation is a free gift based on the work of Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Moksha (salvation) to a Hindu is becoming lost in the “ultimate reality” thus losing identity forever by becoming one with it. But the Bible talks about being with a personal God all through eternity enjoying Him forever. This is something unique to biblical faith, and it must be presented as God’s own way for all men who will choose to live for Him here and now on earth. So each person has to decide where he/she will spend eternity. By coming to Christ, salvation can be received as a free gift by repentance and by faith based on His atoning work. May that be the portion of all Hindus most of whom earnestly work towards getting moksha. May the Lord help them to see the truth of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.[1]

 


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

Questions about the End Times: What Will Be the End Times One World Religion?

The one world religion described in Revelation 17:1–18 as “the great harlot” will be part of the end times scenario. The term “harlot” is used throughout the Old Testament as a metaphor for false religion. The actual identity and makeup of the religion has been debated for centuries and has resulted in a number of different views among Bible commentators and theologians. There are convincing arguments for the one world religion being Catholicism, Islam, the new age movement, or some form of religion not even invented yet, and an internet search will produce many more possibilities and theories. There is no doubt that some sort of one world religion under the false prophet will be a part of the end times, perhaps made up of a number of different religions, sects and isms that are around today.

Revelation 17:1–18 gives us several characteristics of the one world religion. The false religion will dominate all the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” of the earth (Revelation 1b, 15), meaning that it will have universal authority, no doubt given by the Antichrist who rules the world at that time. Verses 2–3 describe the harlot as committing adultery with the “kings of the earth” referring to the false religion’s influence among the world’s rulers and influential people. The reference to being drunk with the wine of her adulteries may refer to those who are drunk with the power they receive from worshiping the false god of the false religion. Satan frequently ensnares those whose lust for power drives them away from the worship of the true and living God. The alliances forged by the false religion will unite church and state as never before.

Verse 6 describes the harlot as being “drunk with the blood of the saints” and the blood of those who testify of Jesus. Whether they will be martyred at the hand of the Antichrist or by being systematically starved, believers who are on the earth during the tribulation will experience the wrath of the harlot and her power source, the Antichrist. Those who oppose the worldwide religion will be killed and those who refuse to worship the Antichrist by accepting his mark will be unable to buy and sell, thereby making survival very difficult (Revelation 13:16–17).

Eventually, the harlot will lose favor with the Antichrist who will want to receive the world’s worship for himself. He will not share the adoration of the world with the prophets and priests of the false religion, no matter how obsequious or fawning they may be. Once the Antichrist gains the world’s amazed attention by his miraculous return from the dead (Revelation 13:3, 12, 14), he will turn on the false religious system and destroy it, establishing himself as God. The deception, Jesus tells us, will be so great that, if it were possible, even the elect would fall for it (Matthew 24:24).[1]

 


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

The term election defined

Reformedontheweb's Blog

Chapter I

WHEREIN THE TERMS COMMONLY MADE USE OF IN TREATING OF THIS SUBJECT ARE DEFINED AND EXPLAINED.

HAVING considered the attributes of God as laid down in Scripture, and so far cleared our way to the doctrine of predestination, I shall, before I enter further on the subject, explain the principal terms generally made use of when treating of it, and settle their true meaning. In discoursing on the Divine decrees, mention is frequently made of God’s love and hatred, of election and reprobation, and of the Divine purpose, foreknowledge and predestination, each of which we shall distinctly and briefly consider.

III.-The term election, that so very frequently occurs in Scripture, is there taken in a fourfold sense, and most commonly signifies (1) “That eternal, sovereign, unconditional, particular and immutable act of God where He selected some from among all mankind and of every nation under heaven to be…

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New Post: Myths about the Strange Fire Conference

As the smoke continues to clear from the Strange Fire Conference, the internet has continued to blaze with various responses from digital evangelicalism. There have been many helpful responses, including Clint’s and Eric’s right here at The Cripplegate, as well as exceptional reflections from Tim Challies, Tim Raymond, and Fred Butler, outside the gate. You don’t want to miss Grace To You’s “Where do we go from here?” post over at their place. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point our readers back to the work that has been done on this issue here at The Cripplegate, well in advance of this conference. That’s especially the case because I continue to see objections being made that have long been answered. The post on What Cessationism Is Not is probably the most beneficial for many critics at the moment.

Strange Fire

There have also been numerous responses from the Charismatic side of the aisle. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of their responses has produced way more heat than light (though there have been some notable exceptions, which has been encouraging; it’s nice to know that there are some who have understood the purpose of the conference). Rather than engaging the substance and the merits of the biblical arguments offered in the conference, they’ve sought to isolate what were admittedly strong statements from the conference, literally taking them out of their context, and to sensationalize them by interpreting them in the worst possible way. For all the criticisms of how the conference painted with too broad a brush, they’ve picked up a few broad brushes of their own, as the substance of the biblical argumentation is being ignored while the entire conference is dismissed as unloving and divisive.

This is how they’ve chosen to advance the narrative of the conference. And it’s an ingenious strategy, because it shields people from having to deal honestly with the substance of the theological arguments that were presented. Unfortunately, the result of that less-than-accurate narrative has been that several myths about the Strange Fire Conference have been floating and flourishing around the interwebs. I thought I’d take a post to address just a few of them.

Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/myths-about-the-strange-fire-conference/

New article: Crime Is Getting Worse: Violent Crime In America Increased By 15 Percent Last Year

If your neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be, then you have something in common with the rest of the country. All over America, crime is on the rise. According to a government survey that was just released, violent crime in the United States increased by 15 percent last year, and property crime was up by 12 percent. If violent crime keeps increasing at this rate, it will approximately double in just six years. But as I wrote about the other day, when the next major economic downturn strikes it will probably greatly accelerate the growth of the crime rate in this country. Desperate people do desperate things, and as you will read about below, there are people out there that are already stealing entire truckloads of food. In the future, when people are extremely hungry or crazy for their next drug hit, they won’t think twice about invading your home or pulling you out of your vehicle. The rise in crime that we are witnessing right now is just the beginning. It is going to get a lot worse than this. (Read More….)

New Article: 25 Stats That Prove That The American Dream Is Being Systematically Destroyed

The 25 statistics that you are about to read are solid proof that the middle class in America is being systematically wiped out. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world. It seemed like almost everyone owned a home, had a couple of nice vehicles and could provide a very comfortable lifestyle for their families. Sadly, that has all changed. In America today, prices are rising at a very brisk pace but incomes are not. There aren’t nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore, and most of the jobs that are being “created” are jobs that pay very little. The largest employer in America is Wal-Mart, and the second largest employer is actually a temp agency (Kelly Services). In a desperate attempt to make ends meet, millions of American families endlessly pile up more debt, and millions of other American families find themselves forced to turn to the government for help. At this point, more than 49 percent of all Americans receive benefits from the federal government each month. The percentage of Americans that cannot financially take care of themselves is rising every single year, and our independence is being whittled away as we become increasingly dependent on the government. Unfortunately, our politicians continue to stand aside and do nothing as our jobs are shipped overseas, inflation steals our purchasing power and the middle class continues to shrink. The following are 25 stats that prove that the American Dream is being systematically destroyed… (Read More…..)

New Article: Obamacare Operator Fired After Taking Call From Hannity

On the top of Thursday’s broadcast of his radio show, Sean Hannity revealed Erling Davis, the Obamacare operator he called early in his Monday show, got fired. Hannity quizzed her on how well the law is being received by applicants and she revealed no one liked it. Hannity had Davis on his show today and revealed he will give her a year’s salary of $26,000 and help her find a new job….[view article]

New article: Report: Church Giving Reaches Depression-Era Record Lows

Collection plates are growing even lighter as Protestant church member giving reached new lows in 2011, and tithing probably will not recover from the recession, according to a new report by Empty Tomb, a Christian research group.

Read More Here

New article: Report: Iran may be month from a bomb

Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month, according to a new estimate by one of the USA’s top nuclear experts. The new assessment comes as the White House invited Senate staffers to a briefing on negotiations with Iran as it is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions against Iran.

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=12833

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New article: Fort Hood soldiers say Army warned them off tea party, Christian groups

Don’t donate to the tea party or to evangelical Christian groups — that was the message soldiers at a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood said they received from a counter-intelligence agent who headed up the meeting.

Read More Here

New article: Obamacare website: Does it violate privacy rights?

…the Obamacare website violates a federal privacy law – a characterization that prompted one Democrat to say, ‘I will not yield to this monkey court!’ “buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: ‘You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.’ ”

Read More Here

New article: Obamacare Website Contractors Point Fingers Back at Obama Admin.

Contractors who built the web portal for the Obama administration’s health insurance marketplace said Thursday the site’s crippling problems trace back to insufficient testing and changes that government officials made just prior to going live.

Read More Here

New article: Democrats ‘wholly own’ Obamacare catastrophe

The congressman explained, just as the loss at the Alamo led to the creation of Texas, the losing battle to stop Obamacare has become a victory, because now the Democrats have to explain why their health care law has become such a disaster.

Read More Here