Daily Archives: January 3, 2014

Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (03 January 2014)

 

  • Is Perry Noble an entrepreneurial genius?
  • Because you can never have too many links to the ridiculous in your weekly This ‘n’ That.
  • Here’s a list of eight kinds of commenters in the Christian blogosphere. Actually, I think my list would look quite a bit different.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • R.C. Sproul’s commentary on the book of John is free this month.
  • If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know this is true.
  • My public school science teachers often showed us videos of well-known evolutionist ‘Billy Nye the Science Guy.’ (Gotta love public school.) Next month, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis will be debating Bill Nye. I’d kind of like to see that.
  • I was looking forward to watching the Tournament of Roses Parade this year. Until I heard about this. Needless to say, I didn’t bother to watch.
  • Contemplating unity and division.
  • Francis Chan appeared this past week as a speaker at IHOP’s OneThing conference. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you already know why that should be a concern.
  • Dr. Michael Brown has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Strange Fire conference and book. He was excited to announce yesterday that he had taped several shows with infamous charlatan Benny Hinn. Is it just me, or does that kind of make it difficult to take any of his criticisms seriously?
  • The Mennonite Church USA has ordained its first openly gay pastrix.
  • The purposes of God in your pursuit of godliness:

 

Read More: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2014/01/this-n-that.html

Free Apologetics Bible Inserts from J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity, former detective, member of Stand to Reason, and a “one dollar apologist,” continues to supply a steady stream of helpful resources through his website ColdCaseChristianity, his podcast, blog, twitter feed, and through speaking. (He’s my first recommendation for a guest speaker at a church or event.) And here’s one of Jim’s many resources he offers at his website: Apologetics Bible Inserts. Topics include: • Evidence for the Deity of Jesus • Evidence for the Resurrection • Evidence for God’s Existence • Evidence for the Reliability of the Old Testament • and more… You can check out the Apologetics Bible Inserts and download them here. Enjoy.

Mark Driscoll, Ergun Caner, and the Scandal of Evangelical Integrity

Truth-telling is a great cause. So great the Lord Jesus described the purpose of his coming – what we are about to celebrate at Christmas – as to tell the truth: “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.”  (John 18:37.) So it should be a shock to us if some Christians today take truth telling lightly.

In this run up to the birth of The Truth-Teller, the American evangelical church has been hit by two controversies challenging its commitment to integrity.

Read More: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2014/01/02/mark-driscoll-ergun-caner-and-the-scandal-of-evangelical-integrity/

Here’s a summary of what we discussed on the Hannity radio show about Egypt, Iran & the Mideast peace process.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

jerusalem-siloutte(Washington,  D.C.) — I just finished a very interesting conversation with Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who was guest hosting for Sean Hannity on his radio show. Pastor Michael Youssef of “Leading The Way,” originally from Egypt, also joined us on the program. Thanks to both of them for the questions they asked and the points they made. I appreciated being included in the conversation.
Here is a brief summary of what we discussed:
  • We talked about the dramatic changes in Egypt this past year, including the counter-revolution last July when the military arrested President Mohamed Morsi and most of the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Now General Sisi and his forces are fighting the Brotherhood throughout Egypt, and fighting against al Qaeda in the Sinai. It’s still not an easy life for Egyptian Christians, or anyone in Egypt.
  • It’s too early to say whether Sisi will prove to be a…

View original post 820 more words

Questions about Parables: What Is the Meaning of the Parable of the Talents?

 

Matthew, in chapters 24–25, records the Lord’s heart of compassion and love mingled with unwavering holiness. This section of Scripture, including the Parable of the Talents, constitutes final warnings, prophecies, and encouragements to His people Israel prior to His departure. He, who is their Lord, is leaving for an undisclosed period of time. He is delegating to them the responsibility, as stewards, to care for His kingdom. The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14–30, impresses on them the weight of that responsibility and the serious consequences of neglecting to understand and apply His instructions. There is also a message to all mankind.

If the talents are talents of gold, the value of what the master entrusted to the stewards would be immensely high, in the millions of dollars. Since the Lord uses only the term “talents” we must make some assumptions, but is seems reasonable to assume that the owner of the talents, the man traveling into a far country, was a wealthy man. He is entrusting his wealth to three men who become stewards of his money. One receives five talents. Another receives two talents. A third steward receives one talent. Each is given a significant amount of money. These are stewards entrusted with the care of the money. The stewards must know the personality and character of their Lord. He expects them to know Him well enough to apply the spirit as well as the letter of His instructions. Those that do are richly rewarded. The others receive severe judgment. The amount given is based on each steward’s ability. The first two understand the spirit and letter of instructions and the character of their Lord. They both use the resources by “trading” to gain a profit. Each of them makes a 100 percent profit. Fear and mistrust of his Lord motivate the third steward. He buries the money in the earth and returns the original amount. The profitable stewards are praised, given increased responsibilities and invited to enter into the joy of their Lord. The untrusting steward is scolded, rejected, and punished.

The application of this parable must be understood within the context of the message of Matthew 24–25. It is first a message to the people of Israel that will live in the last days before the Lord returns. The statement, in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved,” is a key statement. This is the believing remnant that will receive the promise of the kingdom. In Matthew 24:32–34, the Lord states, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” These will be alive when He returns and will have understood and believed their Lord. The application to the people of Israel is graphic and relevant. Those that believe Him will be rewarded in His kingdom. The basis of the reward will be their stewardship of His resources entrusted to them. Those who fear and do not believe will be rejected and judged.

There is also a universal application to all mankind. From the time of the creation of mankind, each individual has been entrusted with resources of time and material wealth. Everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are responsible for using those resources so that they increase in value. As Christians, we have additionally the most valuable resource of all—the Word of God. If we believe and understand Him, and apply His Word as good stewards, we are a blessing to others and the value of what we do multiplies. We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.[1]

 


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

Questions about the Bible: What Is the Book of Tobit?

 

Tobit is part of what is considered the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical scripture and appears in the Old Testament of Catholic Bibles. Except for some Episcopal or Lutheran Bibles, Tobit and other books of the Apocrypha do not appear in Protestant Bibles. Apocrypha means ‘hidden’ and Deuterocanonical means ‘second-listed.’ Books of the Apocrypha were generally written in the roughly 400 years between the composition of the books in the Old and New Testaments, the so-called intertestamental period. Tobit is one of 12–15 books generally recognized as comprising the Apocrypha.

The Book of Tobit, also referred to as Tobias, believed to have been written early in the second century B.C., recounted a story of a man named Tobit and his family exiled to living in Nineveh shortly after the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Tobit and his family strived to love and honor God and act as righteous followers of the law. In addition to being regarded as a book of history, its literary form is regarded by some as a religious novel. However, the teaching of the book is not driven by or relevant to historical events. Rather, it instructs about piety, honoring one’s parents, giving alms to the poor, intercessory prayer, marriage, and following the law.

The story of Tobit revolves around a righteous, law-abiding Jew who did not abandon traditional Jewish beliefs and practices while other Jews living in exile with him were worshipping idols and failing to follow God’s laws. He did many good deeds, including burying Jews according to ritual at some risk to himself, and giving alms to the poor. His family was wealthy. However, one hot night after burying a body, Tobit slept outside and sparrow droppings fell into his eyes and blinded him. He despaired and asked God that he may die. On that same day in Media, Sarah, one of Tobit’s kinsman, prayed to God to take her life also because she was constantly ridiculed for marrying seven times and each time the demon Asmodeus killed her husband before the marriage could be consummated.

With Tobit expecting to die soon, he sent his only son, Tobiah, to Media to return a large sum of money on deposit with a relative. During this trip, Tobiah was unknowingly accompanied by the angel Raphael (who appears only in the Apocrypha, not the Bible). Tobiah was attacked by a large fish, which Raphael tells him to kill and extract its gall bladder, liver, and heart, because they “can be used as medicines.” Upon arriving in Media, he marries Sarah at Raphael’s insistence and uses the fish heart and liver to dispose of the demon and protect the marriage bed. When Tobiah returns home, he applies the gall and restores his father’s sight.

This book was written in Aramaic, a rather common international language used by Jews and many others living during the intertestamental period. For centuries the original text was lost, and the Greek translation served as the primary source for this book. However, in Cave IV at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls discovery), fragments of Tobit were found written in Aramaic and Hebrew, and conform closely to the Greek recension used for current translations.

Several verses in Tobit repeat Old Testament Scripture, such as First and Second Kings, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and many others. Tobit also hints at the birth of Christ described in the New Testament gospels and the end times in Apostle John’s Book of Revelation.

Many have highlighted a few historical and theological errors in Tobit. First, Tobit 1:15 incorrectly notes that Sennacherib was Shalmaneser’s son, rather than Sargon II. Second, Tobit seems to imply that he was alive during the reign of Jeroboam I (about 930 B.C.), but at his death he was reported to be 117 years old. Theologically, Tobit asserts that almsgiving alone “will save you from death,” not, as Paul states in Galatians 2:15 that man is “justified” (saved) “… by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified”. Of course, Jesus, in the famous, widely-known John 3:16 said that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Faith alone, therefore, not works or observing the Law, provides salvation.[1]


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

Questions about Angels and Demons: How Much Power Does Satan Possess?

 

Satan was an angel created by God who turned against God’s authority (Isaiah 14:13) and became the head of a kingdom of evil spirits called demons, his “angels” (Matthew 25:41). His power both in the heavenly realm and on earth is great and should not be underestimated. However, while Satan and his forces are formidable enemies, Jesus Christ crushed Satan’s power, fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. The cross of Christ won the victory (John 12:31). “The prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11), and Jesus will one day destroy Satan’s power completely and purify creation (2 Peter 3:10).

Satan’s power in the heavenly realm / spirit world:
Satan’s power has repute in the spiritual realm (Jude 9), where he has access to the presence of God (Job 1:6). The book of Job provides insight into the relationship between God and Satan. In Job 1:6–12, Satan stands before God and reports that he has been “walking up and down” on the earth (v. 7). God asks Satan if he has considered godly Job, and Satan immediately accuses Job of insincerity—he only loves God for the blessings God gives. “Stretch out your hand,” Satan says, “and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (v. 11). God grants Satan permission to affect Job’s possessions and family, but not his person, and Satan leaves. (The rest of the book is from Job’s perspective, providing an example of how to deal with suffering.)

This is an important passage because it shows Satan’s place in the spiritual realm. He is able to accuse God’s people in His very presence, and Jude 9 shows that even Michael the archangel needs the Lord’s help in overcoming him. However, Satan is obviously restrained from enacting his full fury; he is still a created being under God, and his power is limited.

Satan’s power on the earth:
Job 1 also reveals that Satan does enact evil and cause direct harm on the earth. The most well-known and important of his actions on earth occurred in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 tells of Satan’s temptation of Eve, the “mother of all the living” (v. 20), and her subsequent first sin. It was this act, and that of Eve’s husband Adam, that brought sin into the world, and it is the reason all humankind must be redeemed from sin in order to be with God.

One day, Jesus met a woman who had been “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (Luke 13:11). Jesus attributes the infirmity to Satan, who had kept her “bound” (verse 16). Satan’s power was real, but it was easily overcome by our Lord: “he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God” (v. 13). Jesus’ miracle was a clear demonstration of His authority over Satan.

Since his instigation of evil on earth, Satan has been named as the “prince,” “god” or “ruler” of this world (John 14:30; cf. John 12:31; 16:11; 1 Corinthians 2:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13). He is the enemy of God and truth (Matthew 13:24–30; 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12), and he does everything he can to tempt individuals (Genesis 3; Luke 22:31; Matthew 2:3; 1 Timothy 3:7). and larger groups of people (1 Thessalonians 3:5; Revelation 2:10). He “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). Satan accomplishes this by various means, including appealing to man’s pride (1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Corinthians 4:6), interfering with the transmission of truth (Matthew 13:18–22, 38–39) and placing false believers within the church (1 Timothy 4:1–2; 2 Timothy 3:1–9; Revelation 2:9; 3:9). In John 8:44, Jesus says that Satan “is a liar and the father of it.”

God still grants Satan some authority in this world, which means that his power is not yet completely broken—except in one area: his power of death. Hebrews 2:14–15 says that Jesus came as a man to die in order to “destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil,” a power Satan had held “from the beginning” (John 8:44). The salvation Jesus provides has released us from Satan’s stranglehold. Death has lost its sting (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Satan’s power—the conclusion:
The Bible says that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and we must “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet Christians have a great hope, for Jesus Christ (John 16:33) and our faith in Him (1 John 5:4) have overcome Satan’s evil. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).[1]


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

Stop the Bailout — Now – Krauthammer

Republicans can end Obamacare by stopping the impending bailout of insurance companies.

First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014.

Make it one line long: “Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act are hereby repealed.”

End of bill. End of bailout. End of story.

View Article

What Does It Mean To Walk In The Light

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 ESV)

The Church, the True Church, has always taken the stance that God’s truth is knowable. However, in these “post-modern” times this “stance” has come under considerable attack causing many to question it’s veracity. Also, His truth is as His attributes and character. He is immutable. His truth is never changing. He is Holy. His…

View original post 1,334 more words