Daily Archives: September 4, 2014

Questions about the Bible: What Are the Books of the Bible? What Does It Mean that the Bible Is Composed of Different Books?

 

The Holy Bible is an anthology of writings that includes 66 books in English editions. The Bible consists of two parts, the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament includes 39 books, and the New Testament includes 27 books.

In the Old Testament, there are four major divisions of books. The first division is the Pentateuch, which comprises Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

The second division is called the Historical Books and includes twelve writings: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

The third division is called the Poetical Books (or Wisdom Books) and contains Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and the Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs).

The fourth division is called the Prophetic Books and includes five Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel) and twelve Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

The New Testament also includes four major divisions. The first division is the Gospels, which comprises Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The second division includes the Historical Book, the book of Acts.

The third division is the Epistles. These include the thirteen Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon) and the eight General Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude).

The fourth division includes the Prophetic Book, the book of Revelation.

These 66 books were written over approximately 1,400 years by 40 different authors in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The writings were affirmed by early church leaders (Jewish leaders in the case of the Old Testament writings). The 66 books of the Bible are the inspired words of God that are used to make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20) and develop believers today (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The Bible was not created by mere human wisdom but was inspired by God (2 Peter 1:20–21) and will last forever (Matthew 23:35).

While the Bible addresses many topics, its central message is that the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, came into the world to provide the way of salvation for all people (John 3:16). It is only through the Jesus Christ of the Bible that a person can be saved (John 14:16; Acts 4:12). “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).[1]

 

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

Questions about Angels and Demons: Is Satan in Hell?

 

At the moment, Satan is not in hell. Rather, Satan roams the earth, seeking people to tempt into sin and thus separate from God. First Peter 5:8 states, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” In John 14:30, Jesus called Satan the “prince of this world,” and the apostle Paul referred to him as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2). Satan does not live in hell; he lives and works on the earth and in the heavens circling it.

Satan is the “father of lies,” and he influences and rules the world right now. Satan desires worship (Matthew 4:9), and he uses deceit and distractions to draw man’s focus to himself. The world worships Satan in one way or another, except for those who are of the Kingdom of God and are therefore called out of the devil’s deceptions. If a person is not a child of God, he is by default a child of Satan (see John 8:44; Acts 13:10). First John 3:10 tells us how to distinguish the two: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” James 4:4 explains that anyone who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. The children of God must come out of the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17).

This is important to know, because soon Jesus will return to earth and collect what belongs to Him. He will defeat the followers of Satan and claim His elect for Himself. Ultimately, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Afterward, Jesus will judge unbelievers according to what they have done during their lives. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life is thrown into the lake of fire where Satan and his minions will be by that time (Revelation 20:13, 15). Hell and death are also thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14), so, technically speaking, at no time does Satan reside in hell. But he will be confined permanently in a very hot place that could be called a “hellish” location, to be tormented eternally.

The key takeaway for each person is to ensure that his own name is written in the Book of Life so that he may have eternal life in heaven, rather than eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.[1]

 

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

Questions about False Doctrine: Is the Idea of Chi Compatible with the Christian Faith?

 

Chi (also spelled ch’i or qi) can be defined as “the energy force that gives life to all things.” The idea of chi comes from Taoism, which teaches that there are spiritual and health benefits to developing and strengthening one’s inner chi. This is done through meditation, exercise, and other techniques. Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and some martial arts like Tai Chi have an ultimate purpose of balancing and enhancing one’s chi on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

By definition alone, the idea of chi is not compatible with the Christian faith. A foundational doctrine of Christianity is that God created all things through Jesus (see Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1–4). It is God who gives life, and by God, through Jesus, all things are sustained (see Psalm 147:9 and Colossians 1:16–17).

Some may argue that chi is just a different term for the “life” that God breathed into Adam (Genesis 2:7). But we can’t transplant the term chi into the Christian faith because the philosophy behind chi (Taoism) is also incompatible with Christianity. For example, the Taoist view of “God” is that each person has his or her own definition of what “god” is, and each definition is perfectly acceptable—neither right nor wrong. In the Christian faith, God is not defined by people’s perceptions. Rather, He reveals who He is to us (see Jeremiah 29:13–14). While God is infinite and beyond full human understanding, He has revealed certain things about Himself and is able to be known personally. In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the only way to a real relationship with God (see John 14:5–7).

The idea of chi cannot be separated from the spiritual realm. When one engages with the spiritual realm, he or she will either encounter God or the demonic. In the Old Testament, God forbade Israel to engage in certain occult practices. This was for their own protection; the forbidden practices would have put them in contact with demonic forces (see Deuteronomy 18:9–13).

Seemingly innocent practices, like trying to balance or strengthen one’s chi, may in fact produce some perceived benefits—or at least no “bad” effects—but if those practices are not in line with a biblical worldview, then they are to be avoided. Chi is a counterfeit of the kind of life offered by Christ (see John 10:10).[1]

 

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

You Might Be a False Convert If…

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true falseMost people reading this blog will profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Most may very well be true followers of Jesus Christ. But since most professing Christians in America are not true Christians – given the apostate condition and man-centered theology of American evangelicalism, coupled with the reality the average person on the street cannot communicate the Gospel in a country where nearly 80% of the population professes Christianity (1) (to say nothing of the moral depravity of our nation where 20% of the mothers aborting their children are professing evangelicals (2)) – there is a decent chance that some readers opening up this article will have a false profession of faith and therefore remain condemned under the wrath of God. If so, this article is for them, or perhaps even for you.

I get it. You responded to an altar call when you were 8 years old, or…

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26 awesome Bible verses about God’s love for you

Running The Race

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Isaiah 41:10 ESV

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “

Romans 5:8 ESV

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. “

John 3:16 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. “

Romans 8:35-39 ESV

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…

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Spiritual death comes through Adam while spiritual life comes through Christ alone

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14 NASB)

I cannot count how man times Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have objected to the teachings here on the doctrines of grace through arguments against original sin. That view is totally man-focused and utterly unbiblical. On the other hand, I have many friends who have escaped from the Word of Faith Movement. When we discuss these things on public forums those who see it as their role to…

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