Daily Archives: January 11, 2020

January—11 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice; cause me to hear it.—Song 8:13.

Hark, my soul! Is not this Jesus speaking to thee? Listen to thy Lord, for sweet is his voice, and his countenance is comely. But how know I that Jesus is speaking to me in these words of the Song? Search, and see if it be so. What are these gardens the Lord speaks of? Surely the special congregations of his churches. Is not Jesus’s Church one universal Church, of Jew and Gentile, made up of the several assemblies of the faithful throughout the earth? And art thou, my soul, brought into the Church of Jesus by resignation, by adoption, by the special call of God the Father, the purchase of Christ’s blood, the conquest of the Spirit, and the voluntary surrender of thine heart to God? And dost thou dwell in those gardens? Are Jesus’s ordinances thy delight; his holy days thy beloved days; his presence thy joy; his tabernacles amiable to thee? And is it the uniform desire of thine heart, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of thy life; to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple? Oh! the blessedness of such a dwelling! the felicity of the souls who dwell in it! Is it not to all such who keep his Sabbaths, and join themselves to the Lord to serve him? “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”—Isaiah 56:5. My soul! when thou hast answered this inquiry, go on, and make a farther search concerning the companions. But what a large door of examination will open on this ground! The holy Lord himself, in his trinity of persons, has condescended to reveal himself according to the Church’s faith in Christ. And every individual believer, even thou, my soul, poor, and worthless, and insignificant, as thou art in thyself, yet considered in relation to Jesus, even thou, in common with all true followers of Jesus, carriest about with thee evident tokens of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost. Pause, and determine here again: Are these sacred persons companions of thine? Do they walk with thee, and thou with them? Do they hear thy voice speaking of the love of each, the grace, the mercy, the goodness of covenant compassion to poor sinners, in and through the rich salvation of the blood and righteousness of Jesus? But are there not other companions, even fellow-saints and fellow-citizens of the household of God, which may be implied in these words? And do they hear thy testimony concerning Jesus? Can they witness for thee, that thy lips drop as the honeycomb concerning thy Lord, and that his name, his love, his full, free, finished salvation, are the one constant, unceasing subject of thy whole conversation? Dost thou so speak, so live, and dwell upon the precious name of thy Lord; and not only talk of Jesus, but walk with Jesus? And doth Jesus hear thee, and take pleasure in thy edifying conversation, ministering grace to the hearers? Is a book of remembrance written before him, concerning those that fear the Lord and speak often one to another, and think upon his name? And doth Jesus, while he graciously looks on and hearkens, bid thee come to him and say, “Cause me to hear thy voice?” What! are thy praises of Jesus, and thy praises to Jesus, pleasant to my Lord? Doth he, indeed, love to hear thy poor, lisping, stammering tongue? If, while I speak to others of my companions of his blood and righteousness, and of my soul’s joy in him, my adherence to him, my dependence upon him, and my expectation from him, Jesus not only favours the sweet employment, but bids me come to him, and tell himself of all that passeth in my heart concerning him, surely henceforth I will hasten to my Lord, pour out my whole soul before him, and tell him that he is a thousand times more precious to me than thousands of gold and silver. Yea, blessed Lord! night and morning, and seven times a day will I praise thee, and thou shalt hear my voice. Witness for me, ye my companions, angels of light, yea, my Lord himself, if aught but his love and his praise occupy my soul. Thy name, thy love, thy grace, all, all that belongs to Jesus, shall dwell in my heart, and wholly fill it; shall hang upon my tongue in endless commendation of his beauty, and my soul’s delight in him. And even in death may the last trembling sound the companions gather from my lips be of Jesus; the altogether lovely and the chiefest among ten thousand![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 12–14). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

January 11 Streams in the Desert

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” (Isa. 40:1.)

STORE up comfort. This was the prophet’s mission. The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou art sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained. And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the Divine art of comfort. Thou art wounded, that in the binding up of thy wounds by the Great Physician, thou mayest learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere. Dost thou wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow? Wait till ten years are passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art. Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.—Selected.

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.Dr. Jowett.

“They tell me I must bruise

The rose’s leaf,

Ere I can keep and use

Its fragrance brief.

“They tell me I must break

The skylark’s heart,

Ere her cage song will make

The silence start.

“They tell me love must bleed,

And friendship weep,

Ere in my deepest need

I touch that deep.

“Must it be always so

With precious things?

Must they be bruised and go

With beaten wings?

“Ah, yes! by crushing days,

By caging nights, by scar

Of thorn and stony ways,

These blessings are!”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 12–13). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Iranians Riot In The Streets Of Tehran Demanding The Ayatollah Resign After Iran Admits To Killing 176 People When They Shot Down Ukrainian Jetliner — Now The End Begins

Iranians have gathered in the streets of Tehran to demand the resignation of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei after the regime admitted it had mistakenly shot down a civilian passenger plane.

Irate Iranians mobbed the streets of Tehran Saturday, demanding that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei resign immediately after it was learned that Iran lied about intentionally targeting the Ukrainian jetliner, bringing it down with 176 souls on board. It is a sweet irony that in the aftermath of the decision by American president Trump to take out Quds general Qassem Soleimani, the people calling for regime change in Iran are its own citizens. You really can’t stop that Trump Train, can you?

Protesters in Tehran clash with riot police as they demand the Ayatollah RESIGNS and call for regime change after Iran finally admits to shooting down jet and killing 176 people

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: Angry crowds gathered on Saturday night in at least four locations in Tehran, chanting ‘death to liars’ and calling for the country’s supreme leader to step down over the tragic military blunder, video from the scene shows.

What began as mournful vigils for Iranian lives lost on the flight soon turned to outrage and protest against the regime, and riot police quickly cracked down, firing tear gas into the crowd.

‘Death to the Islamic Republic’ protesters chanted, as the regime’s security forces allegedly used ambulances to sneak heavily armed paramilitary police into the middle of crowds to disperse the demonstration.

Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner

Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 was carrying 176 people, at least 130 of them Iranian citizens, when it was shot down by hapless Iranian Revolutionary Guard air defense forces shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8.

Iran for days claimed that a technical failure caused the crash, before admitting on Saturday that its own surface-to-air missiles brought the plane down.

Iran was on high alert at the time, hours after launching ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq in a strike that caused no casualties. That missile strike was in retaliation for a U.S. operation that killed powerful Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

On Saturday afternoon, candlelight vigils at universities in Tehran for the victims of Flight 752 began to turn to protests against the regime. Large protests were reported at the universities of Tehran, Sharif Industrial, Amir Kabir, and Allameh.

At Amirkabir University, protesters chanted ‘Down with the dictator’ and ‘shame on IRGC [Revolutionary Guard], let the country go.’  At Sharif University, crowds of outraged Iranians chanted ‘commander in chief, resign!’ The Ayatollah is Iran’s commander in chief.

‘Our enemy is right here; They lie when they say it’s the US’ protesters were heard chanting in one video.

‘I now believe the word of the Great Satan,’ one protester wrote in Persian on Twitter, apparently referring to the U.S. intelligence reports that blamed Iran for shooting the plane down, which the regime furiously denied at first. READ MORE

Protesters outside Amirkabir University in Tehran demanded the Ayatollah’s resignation over the military disaster

On Saturday afternoon, candlelight vigils at universities in Tehran for the victims of Flight 752 began to turn to protests against the regime. Large protests were reported at the universities of Tehran, Sharif Industrial, Amir Kabir, and Allameh.  At Amirkabir University, protesters chanted ‘Down with the dictator’ and ‘shame on IRGC, let the country go.’ 

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via Iranians Riot In The Streets Of Tehran Demanding The Ayatollah Resign After Iran Admits To Killing 176 People When They Shot Down Ukrainian Jetliner — Now The End Begins

January 11th The D. L. Moody Year Book

He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash; and I went and washed, and I received sight.—John 9:11.

HE told a straightforward story, just what the Lord had done for him. That is all. That is what a witness ought to do—tell what he knows, not what he does not know. He did not try to make a long speech. It is not the most flippant and fluent witness who has the most influence with a jury.

This man’s testimony is what I call “experience.” One of the greatest hindrances to the progress of the gospel to-day is that the narration of the experience of the Church is not encouraged. There are a great many men and women who come into the Church, and we never hear anything of the Lord’s dealings with them. If we did, it would be a great help to others. It would stimulate faith and encourage the more feeble of the flock. The apostle Paul’s experience has been recorded three times. I have no doubt that he told it everywhere he went: how God had met him; how God had opened his eyes and his heart; and how God had blessed him.

Depend upon it, experience has its place; the great mistake that is made now is in the other extreme. In some places and at some periods there has been too much of it—it has been all experience; and now we have let the pendulum swing too far the other way.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 13–14). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Repudiating the Right-Wing Idolatry of Trump and Believing Trump is a Good President are Not Mutually Exclusive — Christian Research Network

Franklin Graham, Greg Laurie, Jack Graham, and a host of other Southern Baptist pastors who surround Donald Trump have endorsed Paula White. This is a serious compromise of the gospel and should be rightly condemned.

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte) I constantly hear from the left-wing progressive branch of Evangelicalism that those who support President Donald Trump are selling out the gospel because we support a man who is immoral and we give credibility to his false testimony of Christian conversion by not calling him out on it….

I want to be abundantly clear that I repudiate the right-wing religious idolatry as much as I do the left. It is distasteful and disgusting to see so many false teachers and right-wing compromisers fawn together over Donald Trump.

And I don’t mind naming names, so I’ll start with a (non-exhaustive) list of some of these. First and foremost, Paula White who is now the chair of Donald Trump’s Evangelical advisory board. Paula White is a false teacher and an idolater and her political fawning over Donald Trump and claiming that Trump is a Christian is disgusting.  View article →

Research

Paula White

Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel

New Apostolic Reformation

via Repudiating the Right-Wing Idolatry of Trump and Believing Trump is a Good President are Not Mutually Exclusive — Christian Research Network

January 11, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Interpretation (12:10–11)

What caused the leaders and the people to recoil in horror from their condemnation of the vine-growers was their realization of what the elements in Christ’s story represented. The man who planted and owned the vineyard represents God (cf. Isa. 5:1–2); the vineyard represents Israel (cf. Isa. 5:7). The vine-growers represent the Jewish leaders, who were responsible as stewards of God’s possession to care for Israel. The journey taken by the owner represents Old Testament history, beginning with Abraham. During that time, God gave His people the law and ordained priests and scribes to teach it to them, so they could obey Him and properly worship Him. The harvest represents the time when God expected to see the spiritual fruit that should have resulted from Israel’s understanding of and obedience to the law. Instead of the fruit of obedient worship and love for God, Israel produced only the worthless grapes (Isa. 5:4) of rebellion and unrighteousness.

The slaves dispatched by the owner represent the Old Testament prophets from Moses to John the Baptist. They were sent by God to denounce Israel’s sin and call the nation to repentance, and so produce a fruitful harvest for God’s honor and glory.

But Israel mistreated and rejected those God-sent preachers. Commentator Alfred Plummer wrote,

“The uniform hostility” of kings, priests, and people to the Prophets is one of the most remarkable features in history of the Jews. The amount of hostility varied, and it expressed itself in different ways, on the whole increasing in intensity; but it was always there. Deeply as the Jews lamented the cessation of Prophets after the death of Malachi, they generally opposed them, as long as they were granted to them. Till the gift was withdrawn, they seemed to have had little pride in this exceptional grace shown to the nation, and little appreciation of it or thankfulness for it. (An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew [New York: Scribner’s, 1910], 297)

The second-century Christian apologist Justin Martyr reports that Isaiah was sawn in half with a wooden saw (Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, a Jew, chap. 120; cf. Heb. 11:37). Jeremiah was constantly mistreated, falsely accused of treason (Jer. 37:13–16), thrown into a pit (Jer. 38:9), and, according to tradition, stoned to death by the Jews. Ezekiel faced similar hatred and hostility (cf. Ezek. 2:6); Amos was forced to flee for his life (Amos 7:10–13); Zechariah was rejected (Zech. 11:12), and Micaiah was struck in the face (1 Kings 22:24). Both the Old Testament (e.g., Jer. 7:23–26; 25:4–6) and the New Testament (e.g., Matt. 23:29–39; Luke 6:22–23; 11:49; 13:34; Acts 7:51–52) rebuked Israel for rejecting and persecuting the prophets.

By creating this riveting parable, Jesus made it clear to those who sought to murder Him that He knew exactly what they were planning to do to Him. He, God’s beloved Son and final messenger (Heb. 1:1–2), was represented by the owner’s son in the parable. Just as the owner’s son was not a slave but his son, so also Jesus was not merely another prophet but the Son of God. The leaders wanted control over the inheritance (Israel in the story). Therefore just as the tenants killed the owner’s son and threw him out of the vineyard, so also would the religious leaders reject and throw Jesus out of the nation, by turning Him over to the Romans, who would kill Him outside of Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders would prove themselves to be “sons of those who murdered the prophets” (Matt. 23:31). They would “fill up … the measure of the guilt of [their] fathers” (v. 32) by killing both the Son of God and the Christian preachers who would proclaim the truth about Him after His death. As a result, “upon [them would] fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom [they] murdered between the temple and the altar” (v. 35).

The vineyard owner’s destruction of the rebellious tenants depicts God’s judgment on Israel in a.d. 70. God was remarkably patient with His disobedient, rebellious people. The prior judgments on the nation had been centuries earlier, at the hands of the Assyrians on the northern kingdom (Israel) in 722 b.c., and the Babylonians on the southern kingdom (Judah) in 586 b.c. The coming destruction of Israel and especially Jerusalem was devastating. Tens of thousands of Jews were slaughtered, and thousands more sold into slavery. The temple was destroyed, bringing to an end the entire religious system of sacrifices, priests, rituals, and ceremonies that depended on it. The religious leaders of the nation had utterly failed in their stewardship, which was taken from them in a devastating judgment, as had happened centuries earlier when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

Not only was the apostate leaders’ stewardship over God’s people taken away from them, it was also granted to the unlikeliest group imaginable—the apostles. Those twelve ordinary despised Galileans, not trained in the rabbinic schools and outside the religious establishment, would become the recipients and stewards of the divine revelation, which they would be enabled to disseminate to the world. Jesus had already given them authority over demons and disease, and to proclaim the gospel (Mark 6:7, 12–13). The next night, in the upper room, He would promise them the divine revelation through the Holy Spirit that would inspire them and their close associates to write the New Testament (John 14:26; 15:26–27; 16:13–14). For that reason, when the early church met, they studied the doctrine taught by the apostles (Acts 2:42; cf. 1 Cor. 4:1; Eph. 2:19–20; 3:1–5; 2 Peter 3:2). All who would subsequently hold to and proclaim the apostles’ doctrine follow in their line.

Although the parable had ended, the death of the Son could not be the end of the story. For the conclusion, Jesus transitioned from the metaphor of a vineyard to that of a building. His question, “Have you not even read this Scripture?” indicted the Jewish leaders for their ignorance of Scripture, for failing to understand the teaching of Psalm 118:22 that the stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The one whom they rejected would become the chief corner stone, a reference to the most important part of a stone building that set the foundation and the correct angles for all aspects of its construction. Jesus, the chief cornerstone in the eternal kingdom of God, supports the entire structure and symmetry of God’s glorious kingdom of salvation. As Peter boldly declared to the Sanhedrin, “He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone” (Acts 4:11; cf. Eph. 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6–7).

To Israel’s leaders in their ignorance, the stone did not measure up. It was a rejected stone, inadequate, imperfect, unacceptable, not to be the head of the corner, unable to support the whole structure and symmetry of God’s glorious kingdom. But they were dead wrong. Jesus is God’s cornerstone, the very one of whom was said two days earlier during the triumphal entry, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11:9). Matthew adds to the account a final word from the Lord: “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust” (Matt. 21:43–44). This was a terrible reiteration of crushing judgment. It was also a prophecy of the church, God’s new people composed of Jews and Gentiles born at Pentecost. Did not the psalmist have this in mind when he wrote, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”? (Ps. 118:23–24).[1]


10–11 The quotation is from Psalm 118:22–23, the same psalm the joyful cry “Hosanna” came from (11:9). The OT image of a rejected “stone” may have been drawn from the construction of Solomon’s temple (Lane, 420): one of the stones was rejected but became the kephalēn gōnias (lit., “head of the corner,” KJV, RSV; “capstone,” NIV; “cornerstone,” TNIV, NRSV, NLT, ESV; “chief cornerstone,” NASB). Plummer, 275, believes the reference is to “a cornerstone uniting two walls; but whether at the base or at the top is not certain.” Some think it refers to a keystone that completes the building and holds it together (TDNT 1:792–93). Whether a cornerstone, a capstone, or a keystone, the metaphor clearly refers to the most important stone in the building. The symbolism intended in the original psalm is uncertain. It may have referred to Israel as a nation, despised by the pagan nations but after her return from exile exalted to the status of nationhood. J. D. M. Derrett (“The Stone That the Builders Rejected,” SE 4 [1968]: 180–86) sees an originally messianic reference, with David as the rejected stone. The Targum on v. 22 reads, “The boy which the builders abandoned was among the sons of Jesse and he is worthy to be appointed king” (cf. France, 462 n. 19).

Here Jesus applies the psalm to himself. The “stoneship” of Jesus, based on this passage (Ps 118:22–23) together with Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16, was a familiar theme in early Christianity. The psalm is cited by Jesus in Luke 20:17 and again by Peter in Acts 4:11 as he confronts the Sanhedrin with the rejection and vindication of the Messiah: “the stone you builders rejected … has become the cornerstone.” In Romans 9:33, Paul combines the image of a foundation stone from Isaiah 28:16 with the stone of stumbling in Isaiah 8:14: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (cf. Lk 2:34). First Peter 2:7–8 combines all three “stone” passages in a catena describing Jesus as the chosen and precious cornerstone (Isa 28:16) rejected by the builders but then vindicated (Ps 118:22), and now a cause of stumbling for some in Israel (Isa 8:14). The stone metaphor thus became a powerful apologetic tool for the early church in defending Jesus’ crucifixion and vindication, and the subsequent failure of many in Israel to respond. Although there is no specific reference to the resurrection in Psalm 118, Jeremias (TDNT 1:793) remarks, “The early community found in Ps. 118:22 scriptural evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Crucified is the rejected stone which in the resurrection is made by God the chief corner-stone in the heavenly sanctuary (Ac. 4:11), to be manifested as such in the parousia.” While the parable therefore itself speaks only of the judgment against the tenants, not the vindication of the son, Jesus’ citation of the psalm confirms that following rejection there will be vindication. By continuing the psalm’s citation to v. 23 (“the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes”), Jesus sets the rejection of the son in the context of God’s sovereign purpose and plan. Though evil human actions will result in the death of the son, God will use this “rejected stone” to accomplish his marvelous plan of salvation (cf. Ac 2:23; 3:18; 4:28).[2]


10–12 The quotation of Ps. 118:22 f. agrees exactly with the LXX form of the text.15 The passage refers to one of the building blocks gathered at the site of Solomon’s Temple which was rejected in the construction of the Sanctuary but which proved to be the keystone to the porch. Introduced with the language of debate, the citation is intended to sharpen the application of the parable to Jesus and his immediate listeners. It confirms the identification of Jesus as the son in the parable and contrasts his despised and rejected status with the glorious exaltation to which God has appointed him. The note of rejection followed by vindication sounded in the first prophecy of the passion (see on Ch. 8:31) is here expressed with the covert, but clear terms of the biblical text. In rabbinic literature the rejected stone of Ps. 118:22 was understood with reference to Abraham, David or the Messiah, while the expression “the builders” was sometimes used of the doctors of the Law. Here the text serves as a warning that God will reverse the judgment of men with regard to his final messenger in a startling display of his power, turning apparent defeat into triumph (cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7).

The representatives of the Sanhedrin who heard Jesus speak would naturally find the clue to his meaning in the explicit allusion to Isa. 5:1–7 and in their own experience of hostility toward him. The parable, with its reflection on the history of Israel as marked by rebellion and unfaithfulness in spite of divine grace, amounted to a biting condemnation of their failure as leaders of the people. They understood its tenor only too well. The emphasis on understanding in verse 12 is new (contrast Ch. 4:11 f., 33 f.) and suggests that the secret of the Kingdom is on the point of being publicly revealed. What is significant is that Jesus himself took the initiative to disclose increasingly the secret of his own person, although the men to whom he directed his words were blinded by rage to the truth. Only the presence of crowds of people prevented them from laying violent hands on Jesus there in the Temple. The conclusion of the account echoes Ch. 11:18 f. and suggests that verse 12 may mark the close of the third day in Jerusalem.

The question of Jesus’ authority introduces a sequence of five conflict situations in Jerusalem (Ch. 11:27–12:37) corresponding to the similar sequence of conflict in Galilee in Ch. 2:1–3:6. D. Daube, however, has suggested that the four accounts which follow show an awareness of the traditional structure of the early Passover liturgy. The sequence of questions proposed corresponds to four types of questions recognized by the rabbis: questions of wisdom, which concern a point of law (cf. Ch. 12:13–17); of mockery, which frequently bear on the resurrection (cf. Ch. 12:18–27); of conduct, which center in relationship to God and men (cf. Ch. 12:28–34); and of biblical exegesis, which often concern the resolving of an apparent contradiction between two passages of Scripture (cf. Ch. 12:35–37). It is only in the Passover eve liturgy that the four types of questions appear in this particular order, and there the first three questions are posed by a wise son, a wicked son and a son of simple piety. The fourth is posed by the head of the family himself. This arrangement sheds light on the sequence of questions in Ch. 12:13–37. Daube’s suggestion is attractive that in this section of the Gospel we are in touch with elements of the tradition which were already associated with the Passover eve celebrations among the Christians in the first decades after the resurrection and may account for the grouping and order of the sequence in Mark’s Gospel.[3]


12:10 / The stone the builders rejected: 12:10–11 contains a quotation of Ps. 118:22–23, which has to do with a stone regarded as worthless by builders but then made the capstone of the building. The original reference was probably to the king of Israel and/or to the nation itself. In rabbinic discussion, the passage was understood variously with reference to Abraham, David, or the Messiah; but here the stone is unquestionably Jesus, who, though not recognized by the builders (the Jewish leaders), will become the King-Messiah over all.[4]


12:10 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22–23 LXX, part of the “stone testimonia,” passages drawn also from Isaiah 8:14; 28:16 (cf. Acts 4:11; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:4, 6–7) with a wordplay of Hebrew ’eben (“stone”) with ben (“son”), “the son is the stone.” Psalm 118 is a thanksgiving hymn celebrating victory over Israel’s enemies, with David as the cornerstone rejected by the establishment. This is similar, with Jesus the Davidic Messiah as the cornerstone. It is debated whether the imagery refers to the foundation stone at the corner of the building (my preference) or either the keystone at the top of the arch or the capstone at the top of the building.7 Most see it as an unimportant point, for the emphasis is on the importance and majesty of Jesus as the “cornerstone” of God’s new temple, the church. Moreover, it is God who has brought this about (the second half of the quotation), and it is “wondrous, amazing” to all who are part of the kingdom community.[5]


10, 11. Have you never read this passage of Scripture:

The stone which the builders rejected

This became the cornerstone;

By the Lord was this done;

And it is wonderful in our eyes?

Jesus surprises his audience, particularly his bitter opponents—the chief priests and the scribes and the elders (11:27, 28)—by reminding them of this passage from Ps. 118 (LXX 117):22, 23. There a similar transaction had been described. Builders had rejected a stone; meaning: leaders, prominent men of other nations, had scoffingly denigrated Israel. Nevertheless, Israel had become in a very true sense the cornerstone, the head of the nations (Ps. 147:20). This, moreover, had not happened because of Israel’s own intrinsic moral and spiritual excellence or because of its own power. On the contrary, by the Lord this wonderful thing had been accomplished. Jesus now shows that the words of Ps. 118 reach their ultimate fulfilment in “the owner’s son,” that is, in himself, the true Israel. He is that stone that was being rejected by the chief priests, scribes, elders, and their followers; at Calvary, by the nation as a whole (“Crucify, crucify!”). See John 1:11. But something marvelous was going to happen: the rejected stone would become the cornerstone: Christ crucified would rise again triumphantly. And what about the nation, namely, the old unconverted Israel, the rejectors of the Messiah? “From you,” says Jesus, the “kingdom of God,” that is, the special kingdom privileges—the special standing in the eyes of God which this people had enjoyed during the old dispensation, to which had now been added the blessed words and works of Jesus—“will be taken away.” Why? Because they had not lived up to their obligations. They had been like the sharecroppers who at the time of the vintage had refused to render to the owner that portion of the vintage that was his due. So, in the place of the old covenant people there would arise—was it not already beginning to happen?—“a nation producing its fruit,” a church international, gathered from both Jews and Gentiles.

Briefly, therefore, the thrust—the one main lesson—of the parable can be expressed in the words of Ps. 2:12: “Kiss [or: pay homage to] the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way; for soon shall his wrath be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.”

As to the subsidiary meaning of the separate items of this parable, to the extent in which a figurative meaning can be attached to them, see N.T.C. on Matthew, bottom of p. 786. In addition to what is said there, note the following:

God’s precept

Among the fruit-producing growths that are frequently mentioned in Scripture three are outstanding: the olive tree, the fig tree, and the grapevine. Sometimes they are mentioned in close succession (Judg. 9:8–13; and, in a different order, Hab. 3:17). Also in connection with the events of Passion Week we are reminded of all three: the olive tree (Mount of Olives, Mark 11:1; 13:3; 14:26), the fig tree (11:12–14, 20, 21; 13:28), and the vine (vineyard, 12:1 ff.).

Their purpose was, of course, to bear fruit. In this respect they symbolize God’s precept for human life: “Herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8). When plants or trees do not enrich their owner with a bounteous harvest, they have failed to reach their goal. Whether they yield worthless fruit (Isa. 5:2), fruit that is unjustly withheld from the owner (the present parable), or no fruit at all (Mark 11:13, 14; Luke 13:6, 7) makes no basic difference. In all these cases God, who distributes his gifts lavishly, fails to receive his due from the hearts and lives thus symbolized. The circle is broken. The blessings poured down by him are not returned to him in the form of happy thanksgivings, surrendered hearts, rescued lives. The precept stands: Bear much fruit. Cf. Gal. 5:22.

God’s patience

In the present parable, when the first servant returns to the owner empty-handed, what does the latter do? At this point the parable becomes very touching, and this not because it is so true to life, but because it is not! In fact, it far surpasses what the average person’s reaction would have been. Unless a person is so very familiar with the parable that for him its keen edge has worn off, he is surprised, perhaps even somewhat shocked, to read that when this servant returns from his errand, he not only carries with him no grapes but in addition shows the evidences of the physical abuse he has received. Nevertheless, the owner does not immediately fly into a rage and punish the offenders. No, he simply sends another servant. And when that one is killed, the owner sends others. Finally, he even sends his own son, whom he dearly loves. And the owner symbolizes God!

This is the God who manifested his longsuffering at the time of the deluge (1 Peter 3:20). He is the God whose throne-chariot, with its accompanying cherubs, “stood still at the door of the east gate of the house of the Lord,” so reluctant was he to leave his chosen Zion (Ezek. 10:18, 19). His marvelous restraint in inflicting punishment is symbolized, in another parable, by the vinedresser’s plea, “Leave that tree alone this year also until I dig around it and fertilize it” (Luke 13:7). He even gives notoriously corrupt “Jezebel” time to repent (Rev. 2:21). Touchingly Peter writes (2 Peter 3:9), “He is longsuffering toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should make room for repentance.” See also Gen. 18:22–33; Isa. 1:18; 55:6, 7; Hos. 11:8; Mic. 7:18, 19; Matt. 23:37.

God’s punishment

The present parable also shows that it is entirely wrong to emphasize God’s love at the expense of his holiness, righteousness, and avenging wrath. Note: “He will come and kill those sharecroppers” (12:9). See also Prov. 29:1; Isa. 5:5–7; 6:1–5; Nah. 1:1–6; Zeph. 1 (the entire chapter); Matt. 23:1–36; John 15:6 Heb. 12:29; Rev. 6:12–17; 14:17–20; 18:1–19:21.

But this outpouring of wrath and punishment does not in any way imply the frustration of God’s plan of salvation. Note that in the parable the owner’s action—or reaction—does not cease when he has killed the wicked sharecroppers. No, he adds … “and give the vineyard to others.” The vineyard must be given away. The house must be filled (Luke 14:23). And see also Esther 4:14; Acts 13:46.

It must not be supposed that what, in its main features, is symbolically described in this parable never actually happened. On the contrary, God did indeed send his “servants”—often called by this very name—to his people Israel. In various ways these prophets were indeed scorned, wounded, and rejected (Matt. 23:29–37; Luke 6:23; 11:49–51; 13:31–35; Acts 7:52). See also N.T.C. on Matt. 5:12. But even then God did actually send his only-begotten, beloved Son (Luke 19:10; Rom. 8:32; etc.). He sent him first of all to Israel (Matt. 10:5, 6; 15:24). He, too, was rejected by the Jews (Mark 15:12, 13; John 1:11; 12:37–41; Acts 2:23; 4:10); exception: the believing remnant destined for everlasting glory (John 1:12; Rom. 11:5). The privileges once granted to Israel were subsequently transferred to the church universal (Matt. 21:41; 28:19; Acts 13:46), a truth whose realization was already foreshadowed when Jesus walked on earth (Matt. 8:11, 12; 15:28; John 3:16; 4:41, 42; 10:16; 17:20, 21). The parable, accordingly, is not an abstraction. It pictures reality.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 9–16 (pp. 167–170). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Wessel, W. W., & Strauss, M. L. (2010). Mark. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 898–899). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark (pp. 420–421). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Hurtado, L. W. (2011). Mark (p. 197). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Osborne, G. R. (2014). Mark. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 209–210). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark (Vol. 10, pp. 474–477). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

January 11 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

January 11.—Morning. [Or January 21.]
“He teacheth my hands to war.”

Genesis 14:1–3; 10–24

AND it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; that these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.

10, 11, 12 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. (All is not gold that glitters. Lot had made a poor choice after all. Those believers who conform to the world must expect to suffer for it. For the sake of gain Lot went to Sodom, and now he loses all at a blow: if we are too careful to grow rich, the Lord can soon impoverish us.)

14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. (If our relatives desert us we must not desert them. Lot left Abram but Abram did not forget Lot.)

15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Thus whether in peace or war faith made Abram the victor; but, alas for poor Lot, his worldly conformity was not cured by his trouble, for he went back again to Sodom to reside in it. He was vexed by the sins of the city, but he loved the ease of its settled life.

17, 18 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. (When we are weary with fighting the Lord’s battles, we may expect that Jesus will appear to our refreshment.)

19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (The Lord Jesus never meets his people without blessing them: his lips are like lilies dropping sweet-smelling myrrh.)

20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (To our great Melchizedek we cheerfully offer of our substance. Melchizedek was rightly a receiver of Abram’s temporals, since Abram had received of his spirituals.)

21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. (He felt no interest in what was passing between Abram and Melchizedek, but broke in upon their holy intercourse with his secular business.)

22, 23, 24 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion. (What the king of Sodom offered was Abram’s due by the laws of war, but he would not take it. Sometimes it is right to waive our rights. Abram felt that God could give him all he needed without his being beholden to the king of Sodom. Faith is royally independent of man. She will not give the world an opportunity to stop her glorying in the Lord. Jehovah All-sufficient is enough for us without our leaning upon an arm of flesh.)

King of Salem, bless my soul!

Make a wounded sinner whole!

King of righteousness and peace,

Let not thy sweet visits cease!

Come, refresh this soul of mine

With thy sacred bread and wine!

All thy love to me unfold,

Half of which can not be told.

Hail, Melchizedek divine;

Great High-Priest, thou shalt be mine;

All my powers before thee fall;

Take not tithe, but take them all.

January 11.—Evening. [Or January 22.]
“He ever liveth to make intercession.”

IT would be unwise to pass by the story of Melchizedek without noticing its typical meaning. This is fully expounded to us in—

Hebrews 7:1–25

1, 2, 3 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abram returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (No ancestors, or predecessors, or successors to Melchisedec are mentioned, and the apostle finds a meaning in the silence of Scripture. Some will not learn from what the Bible plainly says; but the apostle could learn even from what it does not say. In Melchisedec the regal and priestly offices were united, and he received his priesthood not by inheritance, but by an immediate divine ordination. In these things he was eminently a type of our Lord Jesus.)

Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

6, 7 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

8, 9, 10 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

13, 14 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. (Therefore our Lord did not receive the priesthood by descent, but, like Melchisedec, his ordination was direct from God.)

15, 16, 17 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (This is the inspired testimony of David in Psalm 110, where he speaks of the Lord Jesus as his Lord, and salutes him as king and priest.)

20, 21, 22 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (The priesthood of Jesus therefore deals with sure things which cannot pass away or change, since the oath of God confirms them.)

23, 24, 25 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Jesus resembles Melchisedec in being both king and priest, in having no predecessor or successor in office, and in being greater than the Levitical Priesthood. He is a priest for ever by the oath of God, and we who trust in him have this sweet consolation that our Great High Priest ever lives, is always in power, is always accessible, and always ready to perform his office on our behalf.

Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,

We love to hear of thee;

No music’s like thy charming name,

Nor half so sweet can be.

Oh may we ever hear thy voice,

In mercy to us speak;

And in our Priest we will rejoice,

Thou great Melchizedek.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 21–22). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Online Church is an Oxymoron — Wretched

-Episode 2602-

Online Church is an Oxymoron

Segment 1 (00:00) Todd reaches into the Mailbag to answer your questions sent to idea@wretched.org. He answers questions on if we can “attend” an “online church” or not, and if we should affiliate with marijuana products.

Segment 2 (09:09) Todd continues to answer your questions; this time answering questions about baby dedications, working on Sundays, and personalized Bibles.

Segment 3 (17:39) Todd answers a viewer’s question about the “Me Too” movement, giving an explanation as to how Christians should feel and react to abuse.

Wretched Surprise! (24:50) Sermon Sizzler: Voddie Baucham – “God gives us the Body and Gospel”

via Online Church is an Oxymoron — Wretched

Climate Change, the Media, and Culture Wars — CultureWatch

There is plenty of media spin on the climate wars:

Over the course of quite a few years I had a major involvement with the mainstream media, with many hundreds of interviews and the like. Because the MSM tends to be secular left, while I am a conservative and a Christian, it was often a rather tumultuous relationship.

With so much interaction with these folks, I quickly began to learn the various tricks of the trade. I learned how they seek to frame the agenda, push various causes, demonise opponents, misrepresent what you have to say, tear things out of context, and make you seem like a relic of the past.

All that of course is what we would expect from the MSM. What we do not expect is when the Christian media does some of the same. But sadly there are plenty of examples of this in fact happening. And often it comes from the religious left as they seek to discredit or repudiate those Christians who dare to not follow the usual leftist line on things.

I often ignore such folks, but when you are publicly focused on and misrepresented in order to push a narrative or sell a story, then sometimes it is worthwhile responding and seeking to set the record straight. A recent piece in an Australian Christian magazine is a case in point: http://www.eternitynews.com.au/opinion/now-is-the-perfect-time-to-talk-about-climate-change/

The piece was on the environment, and how Christian leaders are getting on board the climate change bandwagon – except for a few reprobate dinosaurs like myself evidently. It was a two-part piece. One gal wrote the main article, which interviewed “ecotheologian” Mick Pope, a proud member of the leftist Red Letter Christians group that includes Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis and Brian McLaren.

The usual spin of the climate alarmists is presented there, including this line: “If we fail to change our approach to climate change, Pope – along with other experts – expects temperatures to continue to rise around four degrees Celsius by the end of the century.” Never mind all the other experts who do NOT believe this to be the case, and have made a solid argument as to why that is so.

And then the editor did a follow-up article supposedly looking at conservative Christians and their views on such matters. He tried to make the case that even conservatives are starting to join the chorus, but that I am the last troglodyte who is still resisting this new Christian consensus!

He writes, “Eternity has noticed that there are fewer and fewer Christian leaders in Australia willing to speak against climate change.” Um, guess what? One can say exactly the same thing about so many other key issues of the day:

-Eternity has noticed that there are fewer and fewer Christian leaders in Australia willing to speak against homosexual marriage.

-Eternity has noticed that there are fewer and fewer Christian leaders in Australia willing to speak against abortion on demand.

-Eternity has noticed that there are fewer and fewer Christian leaders in Australia willing to speak against creeping sharia.

Since when does having a lot of leaders agreeing to something mean it is in line with Scripture? Running with whatever is the latest trend that the world is pushing is usually what so many church leaders will get on board with. Many want to be seen as being with it and cool. Few want to rock the boat and go against the grain of what is currently fashionable.

The editor quotes one conservative Christian, David Robertson, as someone who is more ‘moderate’. But his views are essentially my views. Yet the editor tried to pit him against me, saying this: “The strict denialist view is still represented by blogger Bill Muehlenberg but it has become clear that in Australia, conservative Christianity is not rusted on to the denialist camp.”

Oh good grief. Like I say, this is the sort of treatment I routinely got from hostile secular media folks. That is one thing, but when those claiming to be Christian engage in the same unedifying and un-Christlike silliness, that is very disappointing indeed. In fact, notice all the pejorative language found throughout this one short sentence.

First, I am called a conservative (horror of horrors). But was Pope called a leftist (which he most certainly is)? Not at all. He is just presented as a great Christian voice on this, one who rejects those extreme conservatives such as myself. And I am also called a “strict denialist”. That is a fave leftist way of putting someone in the same category as those who deny the Holocaust.

And then to really thrust the knife in and twist it, I am “rusted on” to this. Wow, I really am an old crusty, rusty dinosaur that we all should ignore – or lock up for my own safety. Hmm, feel the Christian love here! And talk about bearing false witness!

Given that there are over 5000 articles on my site, with at least a hundred of them on the environment, had this editor bothered to read most of these first before writing what he did, he would have found a different take on things. I have said repeatedly in those pieces that yes, humans will have SOME impact on the climate, and of course Christians have a responsibility to be good stewards of planet earth.

And had he actually quoted from me instead of just stereotyping me, then all of his readers could have seen where I REALLY stand on this issue. Since I suspect that 99 per cent of his readers will not click on the link that he provided, let me show folks what in fact I said there, in part:

As to Christian considerations about the environment, a few bullet points can be offered here:

-God has given us dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:28).
-God wants us to be good stewards of the world that he created.
-Because of the entrance of sin into the world, God has pronounced a curse upon the earth (Genesis 3:14-19). This in large measure explains what we are up against.
-Our environmental issues are at root a moral problem – due to human sin – and not something to be fully resolved simply by scientific, technological or economic means.
-While we must care for this planet, we are not to worship creation, but only the creator.
-Undue emphasis and exaggerated concern about the environment can easily lead to idolatry if we are not careful.
-We will one day be living in a new heavens and a new earth, so we must take care of what God has given us.
-Christians can and do differ on the science of climate change, so we need to listen carefully and prayerfully to what is being said, making up our minds based on the evidence, not on emotional alarmism.
-Biblically informed scientific evidence, rather than emotive outbursts from children or movie stars, should be what guides us here.
-Panic over an imminent end of the world or mass extinction is not compatible with the biblical truth that God is in control, and that the end of this world will not occur until God brings it about according to his own purposes and plans.
-Belief in God’s controlling hand over this world does not mean we are fatalists who do nothing. Christians are to responsibly use sensible means to help care for the environment.
-As always, there is an interplay of divine sovereignty and human responsibility that takes place here. billmuehlenberg.com/2019/10/19/christians-climate-and-catastrophism/

I would think that this is a quite balanced and biblically-faithful thing to say – something almost all Christians except those on the far left would fully endorse and go along with. Indeed, I might be biased, but I would have thought that the entire article is fully consistent with biblical teaching and has nothing to do with any sort of extremism.

But just like the mainstream media which always likes to find a bogeyman to attack, and to become the foil for all the “good guys,” it seems that is what we have here with this magazine. They needed someone that they could sink their arrows into as they make themselves out to be the voice of reason and Christian moderation.

Of course it is always easier to take pot shots than to engage seriously with contrary points of view. Because I have dared to join with the tens of thousands of scientists and others who question anthropogenic global warming and the various statist solutions which will radically limit human freedom while doing next to nothing about global temperatures, these folks want to pigeonhole me as an evil denialist, which puts me in the same camp as child-molesters.

It seems that simply running with pejorative terms, misrepresenting those they disagree with, and bearing false witness is how woke progressive Christians prefer to operate here. What a shame. As I say, I fully expect the hostile secular left MSM to routinely do this. I do not expect those claiming to represent Christ to do this.

Which is why I keep saying that CultureWatch and other alternative media sites need to exist. You will NOT get a fair hearing in the secular MSM, and tragically that can sometimes be the case with some Christian media outlets as well.

via Climate Change, the Media, and Culture Wars — CultureWatch

The Enemy Within

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15 (NASB) 

False prophets have infiltrated the Church since the very beginning. Also, disingenuous professors have always plagued churches. There has not been a time when the church has been free from enemies within. However, in our time the church is the sickest it has ever been. False prophets beget false doctrine, the doctrine of demons, for the false believers that flock to them. Sound Doctrine is no longer tolerated. Expository preaching and teaching is ignored or shouted down. This is happening not between Christians and non-Christians, but between professing Christians in the “name” of Christ. The Church has become polluted with the ways of the world, which demands no offense to anyone. If doctrinal disagreements happen, the resultant “debate” soon resembles some sort of all out gang…

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