Daily Archives: June 24, 2014

Facebook and Counterfeit Faith: An Observation

Zwinglius Redivivus

Christianity in America has come to the point where many ‘believers’ think that if they post a few inspirational photos on facebook or talk about prayer a lot or mention God or such things that it makes it ok for them to live with someone they aren’t married to or commit adultery or steal from their job.

Little do they realize that God is not fooled by such false piety.

It is, nonetheless, terribly sad that what the Prophet said to Israel he would say to many now: God is close on their lips but far from their hearts.

View original post

Questions about Theology: What Is the Dispensation of Human Government?

 

After God had worked face to face with the first humans, Adam and Eve (the dispensation of Innocence, Genesis 1:28–3:19), they sinned, and all mankind became a fallen race living on a cursed planet. Conditions changed, and all subsequent families on earth were to do good based on what they knew to be right (the dispensation of Conscience, Genesis 3:23–8:19). Mankind again failed to fulfill their responsibility. So God brought a worldwide Flood to wipe out all but eight people. In the next dispensation, God works in a new way with His creation via Human Government.

Human Government is the third dispensation (Genesis 8:20 to 11:9).

Stewards: Noah and his descendants The Period: From the Flood to the confusion of tongues at Babel, about 429 years Responsibility: To scatter and multiply (Genesis 9) Failure: Refusal to scatter and the building of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–4) Judgment: Confusion of languages (Genesis 11:5–9) Grace: Abraham is chosen—the start of the Jewish race (Genesis 12:1–3)

After the Flood God stepped back from directly judging men until the Second Coming; thus, a human agency known as civil government was divinely appointed to restrain evil and protect man from his own sinful nature. Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives began to repopulate the earth. Shem would become the father of the brown or Mediterranean region dwellers and eventually the Jews (Semitic comes from the Latin word for “Shem”). Ham fathered the black race, and Japheth fathered the Anglo or white race, which would become the Europeans.

Noah and his family had practical knowledge of the failure under the dispensation of Conscience, and God made them responsible to protect the sanctity of human life. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). In this way, God established the orderly rule of mankind for the good of society. Capital punishment is the most potent function of human government, and it presupposes all forms of legislation, organization, and enforcement. In the New Testament (Romans 13), man is still responsible to use this authority to enforce righteousness. In other words, God’s command in Genesis 9:6 has not been rescinded.

Sin (called “lawlessness” in 1 John 3:4) continued in the third dispensation. In fact, the time of Human Government was characterized by great idolatry and moral degradation. The height of disobedience was the rebellion against God at Babel—mankind built a tower to “make ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). Staying in one place was the one thing God told them not to do.

To enforce His command, God divided humanity into different language groups, and His sovereign will to populate the whole earth was accomplished. God also established a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth by water. His grace continued to be shown through His chosen people, beginning with Abraham.[1]

 

 

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

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: What Is the Definition of a Theocracy?

 

A theocracy is a form of government that is led by God or by a person or persons who claim to rule by divine authority. The word theocracy is a compound word using theos (Greek for “God”) and -cracy (“rule, strength or government”). The nation of Israel was to have been a theocracy, but they rejected God’s rule over them, and God gave them human kings instead (1 Samuel 8:4–9). God selected Saul to be the first king of Israel, and he was replaced by David. David ruled by divine authority and, in spite of his failure and sin, was accepted by God. David was promised that God would set up his “Seed” after him and that David’s house would be established for ever (2 Samuel 7:12–16). The Seed (or Son) of David refers to the Messiah, who is the LORD Jesus Christ (Mark 10:47).

We have seen the rise and fall of several so-called theocracies throughout history. One example is the Holy Roman Empire, which comprised German-speaking peoples and Northern Italy during the Middle Ages. The Holy Roman Empire began in AD 800 with the papal crowning of Charlemagne as emperor. The rulers of the Holy Roman Empire saw themselves as overseeing a theocracy in that the power of the government was melded to that of the Roman Catholic Church.

There will not be a true theocracy upon the earth until the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ. During the Millennium, the Son of David will rule from Jerusalem in a just and righteous way (Psalm 72:1–11; Isaiah 11; Revelation 20:4–6). At that time, “the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Creation: What Was the Purpose of the Flood in the Time of Noah?

 

Genesis 6 gives the sad account of the state of humanity prior to the worldwide flood during the days of Noah. Genesis 6:5 states, “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” The level of sin and corruption among the human population was staggering: people thought about doing evil “all the time.” For the strong and healthy individual, an evil lifestyle would have ramifications evidenced by disease and death. But the weak or unhealthy (babies, children, women, and the disabled) would have been immediately put in harm’s way by the evil actions of others.

In addition, “The sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose” (Genesis 6:2). In the Hebrew language, these “sons of God” were “bene elohim.” This term is usually applied to angels (see Job 1:6). Genesis seems to be stating that, somehow, there was a physical union between angels and human women. The unnatural offspring of this union were the “Nephilim” (Genesis 6:4). The word Nephilim is directly transliterated from the Hebrew. The ancient root of the word implies a “fall.” Whatever the word actually means (in some versions of the Bible it is translated as “giants”), Scripture describes the Nephilim as “the heroes of old, men of renown.” Some theologians believe that God could simply not allow this corrupt offspring to exist on the earth, and that was part of the reason for the flood.

What can be understood without question is that the world that was then, the world of Noah, was incredibly corrupt and perverted. Genesis 6:6 tells us that “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.” The Lord’s “regret” is unlike ours. Creating mankind in the image of God was not a “mistake” on the part of the Lord. The Hebrew word nahem can also be translated “grieved.” The depraved actions of mankind grieved God in His most holy heart.

God responded to man’s sin in a holy and righteous manner, but also in a way that salvaged mankind. “So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:7, 8). Yes, all people on earth died except the eight people who were found righteous in the eyes of God: Noah, Noah’s wife, and Noah’s three sons and their wives. Scripture indicates that Noah testified to the world about the coming flood for 120 years. The people who perished in the flood died because they refused to acknowledge God or seek His forgiveness. Noah, on the other hand, is described as righteous, blameless, and obedient in that he “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).

Noah and his family became our ancestors. None of us descend from the Nephilim or the unrighteous line of Cain (since Noah descended from Seth). The polluted, unrighteous population of the world of Noah disappeared from the earth. Mankind was salvaged, and from the line of righteous Noah came the Son of Man, Jesus Christ our Lord, who died to save those who call upon His name.[1]

 

 

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

Heartbreak and Hope

heartbreak and hope

As we see the ways of men being lifted up in their churches and God being diminished, our tendency as contenders for the faith is to be angry and forget that some of these celebrities were once serving God mightily. But the great deception many have now drifted into can also attract any one of us at any time.  We need to approach the growing darkness in the visible church firmly, but with great humility. Mike is going to share his thoughts, and we’ve published them separately.

Read more

Contending with Humility

EgretI have been thinking and praying a lot about how things have gotten to where they are spiritually in America. There is no doubt we are rapidly becoming an apostate nation and “church”. When 55 million children are sacrificed to our personal god of wealth and convenience—and when we sit back and watch marriage be trampled under foot by both homosexual and heterosexual sin—while the church remains silent, even accepting, there can be little doubt we in America are those Paul talked about in Romans 1.

But as we stand up for the truth of God’s Word and point out the growing apostasy in the church, we must do so detached from self-righteousness and arrogance. All of us have contributed to the growing apostasy in this nation.

And as we critique and rebuke leaders who fancy themselves more as corporate CEOs instead of stewards of Jesus’ sheep, we must not be bitter or hateful toward them. And we must be willing to admit that some of these leaders started off doing great things for God.

Read more

Willow Creek’s WCA president now heads Compassion International

Several concerned listeners have asked me in recent weeks to check out the newly-appointed president of Compassion International. After a year-long search, Compassion hired Santiago “Jim” Mellado as its head. As we read his bio, it turns out those concerns are valid red flags that perhaps this international agency may have compassion, but not much discernment. Mellado will formally take his new position in September.

Read more

The War on Christians

 

The international persecution of Christians is growing at an alarming rate. In spite of the htousands of Christians displaced from their homes all over the world, the kidnappings, and the violence, only few get press coverage. These few cases are tragic, but only the surface. The Pew Forum has recently found that Christians have been specifically targeted in more than 150 countries.

06/24/14 Middle East (Weekly Standard) – For at least three reasons, the contemporary persecution of Christians demands attention: It is occurring on a massive scale, it is underreported, and in many parts of the world it is rapidly growing.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that Christians are suffering persecution in more places today than any other religious group; between 2006 and 2012, Pew says, they were targeted for harassment in 151 countries—three-quarters of the world’s states. Similar findings are reported by the Vatican, Newsweek, the Economist, and the 60-year-old Christian support group Open Doors. Most people in the West are unaware of these facts, though that may be changing.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: