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How God Judges a Nation

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Saved, Sin, Trinity on August 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm

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What happens when nation sins against God as a people? When you see God act in time and realize he is a personal God we need to understand His acting on a people as a nation. What causes God to act? Then in His acting does he warn us to repent? Lastly once the rebellion continues and his demands for repentance are ignored how does He act in his sovereign justice towards that people or nation?

 

God’s Provision and plan

 

God at the beginning of creation had a plan and a purpose for man. God and God alone is a pure being. He is, was, and will always be, He describes himself as “I AM” we are dependent and contingent because our being is derived from Him. We are creatures by his design we owe our very existence to Him.

 

Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Gen 1:29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Augusitnes

Something has been not only lost, but wholly lost. It has been lost totally and in its entirety. It is not a partial loss or diminution of power or ability. It is a radical and complete loss. Yet this does not mean that the will’s ability to choose has been lost completely. What has been lost is the ability to will “any good accompanying salvation.” We have already discussed the sinner’s ability to perform works of civil virtue. These deeds conform outwardly to the law of God, but they are not motivated by a love for God. The moral ability lost in original sin is therefore not the ability to be outwardly “moral,” but the ability to incline oneself to the things of God. In this spiritual dimension we are morally dead. The confession declares that the natural man is “altogether averse from that good, and [he is] dead in sin.” This summarizes the biblical description of fallen man. Paul describes the condition as follows: And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).-.-.-. Ephesians 2:1-5 In this passage Paul speaks of the Spirit’s work in “quickening” us or regenerating us from our fallen condition. He uses the image of being “made alive.” This is set in stark contrast to our former condition of being “dead” in trespasses and sins. The sinner is not biologically dead. Indeed the natural man is very much alive. Corpses do not sin. The death in view here is clearly spiritual death.[1]

 

Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

 

Starting with God’s law we have a standard we are required to meet not only as an individual but as a society. We are top teach these to our children and bind them on our hearts. That is to say we are to regard and remember them every day. To live and trust in the Lord and his commands. We are commanded to teach our children the truth of the law you speak of it when we rise, eat, and before we go to bed. Because God it lacks for himself a people who are obedient, we become a society that God can direct to honor himself. The subject we’re dealing with is how God judges and nation as a whole within his divine providence.

 

Deu 11:13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deu 11:18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Deu 11:19  You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

(Job 12:23-25 ESV)

 

We see the next generation after Joshua has died and it didn’t take long for man’s sinful nature

to reveal itself. When man is left to his own natural will (probably described as the anarchy of

the free will) he will only always ever choose evil. Over and over we see in Scripture people

living out their natural will which always ends in enmity towards God and his commands.

 

Jdg 2:11 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.

 

Jdg 3:7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Psa 7:11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

 

In judges we are told the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. From the time frame the last Judge Samuel was instrumental in God appointing a King over Israel. The people rejected God as their King and wanted like to be like the other nations with a visible ruler. God has told them the downfall of such an arrangement and how eventually that would lead to their destruction and slavery.

 

1Sa 12:13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.

1Sa 12:14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.

1Sa 12:15  But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.

1Sa 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.”

 

  1. Evil rulers

When a nation turns its heart and mind from the truth God judges that nation in several ways the first of which in my opinion is with evil rulers. As he appoints kings and rulers through His divine providence his first act against a nation is the appointing of an evil ruler. If the Word is to be believed we see that God operates from His divine will and decrees. The first step in judgment is an evil ruler as the scriptures below illustrate. From Pharaoh to the Pharisees to Caesar God has a ruler in place to act according to his divine prerogatives. It naturally flows from an evil ruler we will receive evil rules.

 

He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.

(Job 12:18 ESV)

 

He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.

(Job 12:23-25)

 

 

The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”

(Isaiah 56:11-13 ESV)

 

 

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.

(Daniel 2:21-22 ESV)

 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

(Romans 13:1 ESV)

 

 

Exo 4:21 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.

Exo 7:2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.

Exo 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt,

Exo 7:4 Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.

Jdg 3:5 So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Jdg 3:6 And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.

Jdg 3:7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Jdg 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.

Jdg 3:12  And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Jdg 3:13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms.

Jdg 3:14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Jdg 4:1 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud died.

Jdg 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.

Jdg 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Jdg 6:2  And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

1Ki 13:33  After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places.

Mat 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.

Mat 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

Mat 14:6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod,

Mat 14:7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

Mat 14:8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”

Mat 14:9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given.

Mat 14:10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison,

Mat 14:11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

Mat 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,

Mat 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

Mar 12:39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

Mar 12:40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Luk 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,

Luk 20:47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

 

  1. Evil Laws

As a result of evil rulers the law that flows from a wicked mind will do its best to destroy the boundaries that God established for his people and their nation.  The further we move from obedience to God the more we need to remake laws and rules to keep that distance. This pattern of behavior repeats itself throughout history in sacred Scripture and in historical accounts, punishing the people who are obedient to God.

 

Exo 5:4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”

Exo 5:5 And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”

Exo 5:6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen,

Exo 5:7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves.

Exo 5:8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’

Exo 5:9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

Exo 5:10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.

Exo 5:11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.'”

 

1Ki 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.”

1Ki 12:13  And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him,

1Ki 12:14  he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

1Ki 12:15  So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

1Ki 12:16  And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents.

Est 3:8  Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them.

Est 3:9  If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.”

Dan 3:3  Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Dan 3:4  And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

Dan 3:5  that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

Dan 3:6  And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”

Dan 6:12  Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.”

Dan 6:13  Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”

 

1Ti 1:6  Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,

1Ti 1:7  desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

1Ti 1:8  Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,

 

  1. Removal of discernment

One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment

Deu 28:20  “The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

 

Jdg 21:25  In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

He leads priests away stripped and overthrows the mighty. He deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders.

(Job 12:19-20 ESV)

 

Pro 1:2  To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight,

Pro 1:3  to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

Pro 1:4  to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—

Ecc 8:2  I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.

Ecc 8:3  Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases.

Ecc 8:4  For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”

Ecc 8:5  Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.

Ecc 8:6  For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.

Ecc 8:7  For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?

Ecc 8:8  No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will

wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

1Ki 3:9  Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

1Ki 3:10  It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

1Ki 3:11  And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,

1Ki 9:6  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,

1Ki 9:7  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

1Ki 9:8  And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’

1Ki 9:9  Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.'”

1Ki 11:4  For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

1Ki 11:5  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

1Ki 11:6  So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.

1Ki 11:11  Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jer 7:26  Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

Jer 7:27  “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

Jer 7:28  And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

Eze 12:2  “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

Luk 12:56  You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Luk 12:57  “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

Joh 8:43  Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

Rom 3:10  as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;

Rom 3:11  no one understands; no one seeks for God.

Rom 3:12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

1Co 2:14  The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2Co 12:7  So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

Heb 5:11  About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,

 

 

  1. Removal of Common Grace (restraining of evil)

 

Gen 20:6  Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.

Deu 9:4  “Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you.

Deu 9:5  Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Deu 31:18  And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

Deu 28:28  The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind,

Deu 28:29  and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.

 

2Ki 19:27  “But I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.

2Ki 19:28  Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come into my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.

Psa 32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psa 32:9  Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Psa 32:10  Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.

Psa 76:10  Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.

Psa 103:10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

 

Psa 145:8  The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Psa 145:9  The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

1Sa 25:32  And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!

1Sa 25:33  Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!

1Sa 25:34  For as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.”

Isa 44:17  And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

Isa 44:18  They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.

Isa 44:19  No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”

Isa 44:20  He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

 

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

Psa 81:10  I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psa 81:11  “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.

Psa 81:12  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

Jer 7:26  Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

Jer 7:27  “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you.

Jer 7:28  And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

 

Jer 46:28  Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

Eze 20:44  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”

 

Nah 1:3  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Dan 9:18  O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.

 

Mat 5:45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Mat 24:10  And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Joh 7:43  So there was a division among the people over him.

Joh 7:44  Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

Joh 7:45  The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”

Joh 19:11  Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Rom 1:17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Rom 1:19  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Rom 4:16  That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

Rom 4:17  as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Rom 9:15  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Rom 9:16  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

 

Tit 3:4  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,

Tit 3:5  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

 

  1. Destruction

Gen 6:5  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 6:6  And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

Gen 6:7  So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

 

 

Exo 4:22  Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is my firstborn son,

Exo 4:23  and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.'”

Num 32:13  And the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone.

Deu 1:35  ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers,

Deu 30:15  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

Deu 30:16  If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

Deu 30:17  But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,

Deu 30:18  I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.

 

Jos 11:18  Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

Jos 11:19  There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle.

Jos 11:20  For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses.

Jos 11:21  And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities.

Jos 11:22  There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.

1Ki 9:6  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,

1Ki 9:7  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

1Ki 9:8  And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’

1Ki 11:9  And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice

1Ki 11:10  and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded.

1Ki 11:11  Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.

Jer 5:3  O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.

Eze 14:7  For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself.

Eze 14:8  And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

 

Mat 24:1  Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.

Mat 24:2  But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Mat 24:3  As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.

Mat 24:5  For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.

Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

at 24:15  “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Mat 24:16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Mat 24:17  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,

Mat 24:18  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.

Mat 24:19  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!

Mat 24:20  Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.

Mat 24:21  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

Mat 24:22  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Rev 2:20  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

Rev 2:21  I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

Rev 2:22  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,

Rev 2:23  and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

 

 

A proper response

 

Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

 

Job 42:6  therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

 

Psa 7:12  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow;

Eze 18:30  “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.

 

Joe 2:11  The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it?

Joe 2:12  “Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

Joe 2:13  and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

Mat 3:2  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mar 1:15  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Mar 6:12  So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.

Luk 13:3  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

Luk 16:29  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

Luk 16:30  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

Luk 16:31  He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.

Act 2:37  Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Act 2:38  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Act 2:40  And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Act 2:41  So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Act 3:19  Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

Act 3:20  that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

Act 3:21  whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Act 17:30  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

Act 17:31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Rev 2:16  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

 

[1] Sproul, R. C. (2005-06-01). What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Kindle Locations 1756-1762). Baker Book Group – A. Kindle Edition.

 

 

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Response to Advanced Onset Calvinism

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Trinity on April 16, 2016 at 6:42 am

Recently Read this article

Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.

Don’t panic.

DN-No need for panic the cure is what you are dealing with not the symptom.

It gets better.

DN-Correct though careful study and prayer start with the 5 Solas

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.

  • A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.

DN- that is the cage stage of the cure find a brother who is reformed, he will help you through the excitement of finally finding the truth.

  • A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.

DN- This would be over reaction that turns into Hyper-Calvinism slows ruins the cure too much of a good thing.

  • A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.

DN- And add RC Sproul, James White, Alistair Begg, John MacAuther and the like.

  • A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.

DN- The symptoms you describe are usually in response to “Who So Ever” “My Free Will” “Robots” just to be clear your parents are still Godly just wrong in tradition. In respect we illustrate the truth in Scripture and it confronts tradition.

  • A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.

DN- Arrogance is a sign that everyone needs more Holy Spirit and Scripture. It’s not just those of the reformed view but Armenians as well.

  • Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.

DN- This is actually evidence of a need to prove you’re a hipster and it’s not limited to Calvinists mostly 30 somethings that feel they need to prove something.

  • Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.

DN- This is more symptom not cure I’ve been to many SBC, Non-Denominational gatherings that should have had a casket not an altar.

  • Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.

DN- I am a natural cynic Reformed or not, but not standing on the Trinity is denying the very nature and essence of Christianity the others not limited to reformed gatherings. This one should be big and defended, without it you get the modern church, “forget the doctrines that divide us we just want the words of Jesus” “Love Wins” that sort of ilk.

  • Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.

DN- This illustrates the arrogance in everyone including those synergists who hold their smugness as bag of freewill honor claiming that God needed their corporation in achieving His purpose.

  • An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.

DN- Much like Steve Gaines at Bellevue for Semi-plagians, Armenians.

  • The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.

DN- Actually Romans 8 and 9, and still waiting for a full exigent from any Arminian that doesn’t wonder all over Scripture running references and spouting philosophical rhetoric.

  • Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.

DN- Love Sproul, Piper, White, MacArthur, etc. no need for lines in the sand and far from frustrated.

  • Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.

DN- Sounds more like the crew at Biola and the William Lane Craig crowd.

  • Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.

DN- I believe Jacob Arminius had the same beard just saying. The collar kept it shorter a newer fashion statement.

If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.

DN- Please by all means seek out someone who read the books from the John 3:16 conference, and quotes a book about Calvinism versus actually studying the view. First question you must ask, “Have you actually read The Institutes of the Christian Religion?” Second question “Can you define the 5 Solas?” last question “If not can you direct me to someone who actually has so I can talk to them?”

But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.

DN- If by normal you mean returning to the emotional turmoil of seeing people, quote a “sinners prayer” at the altar, baptized and receiving their get of hell free card, I hope not for the sake of the Gospel.

Until then…sorry.

 

Approximately 1 out of every 4 Christians will encounter adult onset Calvinism (commonly known as AOC) during their life, either personally or in someone close to them. It can be a scary thing to encounter, especially if you’re not familiar with the symptoms. The person you once knew and loved is suddenly a completely different person.

Don’t panic.

DN-No need for panic the cure is what you are dealing with not the symptom.

It gets better.

DN-Correct though careful study and prayer start with the 5 Solas

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.

  • A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.

DN- that is the cage stage of the cure find a brother who is reformed, he will help you through the excitement of finally finding the truth.

  • A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.

DN- This would be over reaction that turns into Hyper-Calvinism slows ruins the cure too much of a good thing.

  • A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.

DN- And add RC Sproul, James White, Alistair Begg, John MacAuther and the like.

  • A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.

DN- The symptoms you describe are usually in response to “Who So Ever” “My Free Will” “Robots” just to be clear your parents are still Godly just wrong in tradition. In respect we illustrate the truth in Scripture and it confronts tradition.

  • A growing level of arrogance that is directly inverse to the number of blog posts you write about humility.

DN- Arrogance is a sign that everyone needs more Holy Spirit and Scripture. It’s not just those of the reformed view but Armenians as well.

  • Constant cravings for cigars and microbrews, even though they make you incredibly sick.

DN- This is actually evidence of a need to prove you’re a hipster and it’s not limited to Calvinists mostly 30 somethings that feel they need to prove something.

  • Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.

DN- This is more symptom not cure I’ve been to many SBC, Non-Denominational gatherings that should have had a casket not an altar.

  • Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.

DN- I am a natural cynic Reformed or not, but not standing on the Trinity is denying the very nature and essence of Christianity the others not limited to reformed gatherings. This one should be big and defended, without it you get the modern church, “forget the doctrines that divide us we just want the words of Jesus” “Love Wins” that sort of ilk.

  • Being so smug you begin to panic that you won’t be able to adequately manifest all the smugness.

DN- This illustrates the arrogance in everyone including those synergists who hold their smugness as bag of freewill honor claiming that God needed their corporation in achieving His purpose.

  • An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.

DN- Much like Steve Gaines at Bellevue for Semi-plagians, Armenians.

  • The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.

DN- Actually Romans 8 and 9, and still waiting for a full exigent from any Arminian that doesn’t wonder all over Scripture running references and spouting philosophical rhetoric.

  • Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.

DN- Love Sproul, Piper, White, MacArthur, etc. no need for lines in the sand and far from frustrated.

  • Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.

DN- Sounds more like the crew at Biola and the William Lane Craig crowd.

  • Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.

DN- I believe Jacob Arminius had the same beard just saying. The collar kept it shorter a newer fashion statement.

If you or someone you know begins experiencing these symptoms, go to a pastor IMMEDIATELY. It won’t make the slightest bit of difference, because you were predestined to be a Calvinist, but still, you should probably see a pastor.

DN- Please by all means seek out someone who read the books from the John 3:16 conference, and quotes a book about Calvinism versus actually studying the view. First question you must ask, “Have you actually read The Institutes of the Christian Religion?” Second question “Can you define the 5 Solas?” last question “If not can you direct me to someone who actually has so I can talk to them?”

But don’t worry. After 5-6 years, these symptoms will subside and you or your loved one will return to being a mostly normal person.

DN- If by normal you mean returning to the emotional turmoil of seeing people, quote a “sinners prayer” at the altar, baptized and receiving their get of hell free card, I hope not for the sake of the Gospel.

Until then…sorry.

 

 

What is Wisdom?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Saved, Sin on December 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm

What unbelievers and those that deny God think of as wisdom is actually foolishness as Scripture illustrates.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 ESV (18) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (20) Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (22) For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The mind of the unbeliever and an unbelieving world are blinded, they have a false or so-called knowledge. Once again TV is promoting a program that examines the Secrets of the Christian Faith, Bible, Jesus excreta to prove how our faith is a myth based on mythical understanding. The world cannot accept that Jesus rose form the dead much less that He was born of a virgin! God sent his Son into creation so he could live as we are and we could become what He is a Son of God through Jesus the Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

This error in thinking comes from a rebellious dark heart that wants on to rebel against the Sovereign God and his perfect wisdom and knowledge.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 ESV O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” (21) for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.

An unbelieving world made up of God hating rebels deny that Christ will intervene in the cosmic process returning to judge men and determine their eternal destines

2 Peter 3:3-7 ESV knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (4) They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (5) For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, (6) and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. (7) But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Christians are not ??

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Saved on January 19, 2014 at 7:31 am

“Christians are not to destroy error by force, but should work the salvation of men by persuasion, instruction, and love” – St. Chrysostom
“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, ‘What must we do to be saved?” Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Don’t use John 3:16. Such drastic action is needed because we have a gospel hardened generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding why they need to be saved.”
“A person repents when he comes to the place where he discovers that the will of God is the government of his life and the glory of God is the reason for his life. He only has repented who has changed his mind about his reason for being.”
― Paris Reidhead
“If you have no opposition in the place you serve, you’re serving in the wrong place.” – G. Campbell Morgan
“My soul! I beg you to pray for the men of God who are preaching a Christ Who is holy and is very offensive; instead of the nice Jesus that everybody loves today. God’s children need to pray for the men of God to have broken hearts and open doors.” – Rolfe Barnard
“If you feel that you can follow a few little rules or some clever gimmicks to make you a mature Christian, then you have fallen into a subtle trap of legalism.” – J. Vernon McGee
“Most church members live so far below the standard, you would have to backslide to be in fellowship with them.” – Vance Havner
“Now, mark this: by this shall you know whether you are a child of God, or not; by the respect that you have to your Father’s Word. If you have small respect for that Word, the evidences of a bastard are upon you.” – C.H. Spurgeon
“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.” – George Whitfield
“The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” – Jonathan Edwards
“Let us beware of loving the world more than Christ. Entreat people to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to count the cost.” – J.C. Ryle
“Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus ‘Lord,’ but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law.” – Ray Comfort
“If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew. Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?” – Billy Graham
“Why grow we weary when asked to watch with our Lord? Up, sluggish heart, Jesus calls thee! Rise and go forth to meet the Heavenly Friend in the place where He manifests Himself.” – E.M. Bounds
“A spiritual awakening is no more than God’s people seeing God in His holiness, turning from their wicked ways, and being transformed into His likeness.” – Lewis Drummond
“Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.” – Tertullian
“Satan tempts to sin under a pretence of religion. He is most to be feared when he transforms himself into an angel of light. He came to Christ with Scriptures in his mouth.” – Thomas Watson
“The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“God’s patience is infinite. Men, like small kettles, boil quickly with wrath at the least wrong. Not so God. If God were as wrathful, the world would have been a heap of ruins long ago.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh
“O, God of wonder, enlarge my capacity to be amazed at what is amazing, and end my attraction to the insignificant.” – John Piper
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” – Corrie ten Boom
“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” – A.W. Tozer
“Christian living is not a method or technique. It is the principle of an exchanged life.” – Major Ian Thomas
“The one thing we are missing is pentecost. how we have forgotten this in our churches.” – Bill McLeod
“I think we, every one of us, ought to be humiliated or humbled every time we pick up the book of Acts and read the glory that attended the life of that first church.” – Art Katz
“George Mueller, nothing. The Lord Jesus, everything. In himself worse than nothing. By grace, in Christ, the son of the King.” – George Mueller
To close these excerpts from those who God entrusted with the good news of the Gospel!
Borrowing from George Mueller: Dan nothing. The Lord Jesus everything. In myself worse than nothing! By grace, in Christ, the son of the King!!
The greatest way to express God’s love to a lost soul is to show how great the sin is using the Law!
Romans 7:12-13 ESV
(12) So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
(13) Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
Galatians 3:24 ESV
(24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

We or Me in the Godhead?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christianity, Saved, Trinity on December 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

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John 14:23 ESV

(23)  Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

 

John 14:23 AMP

(23)  Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.

 

With this statement and after the resurrection is there any doubt regarding the members of the Godhead?

 

Jesus makes a declarative statement we are to keep his (Jesus) word and his (Jesus) Father will love that person (us) and “we” will come and make “our” home with him (us). The first question that comes to mind is who is the “we and us” in the scripture? Jesus is speaking 1st person and making definitive statements regarding his words and placing them in reverence with the Father. Second he gives a result of keeping that word with a promise of the two persons coming to indwell that creature that is obedient. Unless you hold to one of two beliefs then this scripture is fatal to a Unitarian view.  First this statement would lead to a polytheistic understanding if taken from the context of scripture and monotheism. We and “our” are plural definitions of God and his Son. In Unitarian and Oneness thinking you have a rather large hurdle to overcome and trying to explain this as an office, function, manifestation or title takes away a direct promise from Jesus himself. Jesus wasn’t confused or confusing when he promised the Father would love the person who kept his word. Then to add even more to the reward we would have an indwelling of the Father and the Son as believers who are obedient.

 

(RWP)

Joh 14:23

If a man love me (ean tis agapāi me). Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive, “if one keep on loving me.” That is key to the spiritual manifestation (emphanizō).

We will come (eleusometha). Future middle of erchomai and first person plural (the Father and I), not at the judgment, but here and now.

And make our abode with him (kai monēn par’ autōi poiēsometha). See Joh_14:2 for the word monē (dwelling, abiding place). If the Holy Spirit “abides” (menei, Joh_14:17) in you, that heart becomes a temple (naos) of the Holy Spirit (1Co_3:16.), and so a fit dwelling place for the Father and the Son, a glorious and uplifting reality.

(John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible}

Jesus answered and said unto him,…. This answer is returned, and these words are spoken, for the further confirmation and explanation of what was before said:

 

if a man love me, he will keep my words; by his “words” are meant not his doctrines, but his ordinances; the same with his commandments, Joh_14:21, which he has said, ordered, and commanded to be observed, and which are observed by such who truly love him, and that from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory: and for the encouragement of such persons as before, he says,

 

and my Father will love him: which is to be understood not of the love of the Father, as in his own heart, which is not taken up in time, but was in him from all eternity; nor of the first discovery of it to his people, but of greater manifestations of it to them, and a quicker sense of it in their hearts, and also of some other effects of it, to be enjoyed by them in an higher manner; such as larger measures of grace, more communion with him here, and eternal honour and glory hereafter:

 

and we will come unto him: I who am now going away, and my Father to whom I am going, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, I have promised to pray for: hence a proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, of a trinity of persons, of there being neither more nor fewer than three; since neither more nor less can be collected from the context; and of their distinct personality, or it could not be said with any propriety, “we” each of us “will come unto him”; not locally and visibly, but spiritually, by affording our gracious and comfortable presence, the continuance of which is promised next:

 

and make our abode with him; which denotes habitation; for the saints are the dwelling places or temples of the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and the constancy and perpetuity of their residence in them, not as a wayfaring man, but always, though this may not be always discerned by believers; and is a wonderful instance of the grace and condescension of God to dwell on earth with sinful men; and a far greater one it is, than if the most mighty potentate on earth should take up his abode in a poor despicable cottage with the meanest of his subjects.

 

 

 

If we are to understand scripture as being in context then the verses describing the Godhead make sense in the orthodox Trinitarian teaching:

 

 

Romans 1:20 ESV

(20)  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

 

 

 

 

Romans 1:20 KJV

(20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

 

Romans 1:20 AMP

(20)  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], [Ps. 19: 1-4.]

 

Acts 17:29 ESV

(29)  Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

 

Acts 17:29 KJV

(29)  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

 

Colossians 2:9 ESV

(9)  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

 

Colossians 2:9 KJV

(9)  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

John 14:24-31 ESV

(24)  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

(25)  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

(26)  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

(27)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

(28)  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

(29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

(30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

(31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

The repeated references to the distinction between Father and Son has to mean more than a plan or idea!

 

Jesus told Mary at the tomb Do not Cling

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Sunday School, Trinity on December 19, 2013 at 5:37 am

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

I cannot add any insight better written or better understood! In the resurrection the Triune God reveals His glory!

I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God; God was his Father, not by creation, as he is to angels, and the souls of men, and therefore is called the Father of spirits; nor by adoption, as he is to the saints; nor with respect to the incarnation of Christ, for, as man, he had no father; or with regard to his office as Mediator, for as such he was a servant, and not a Son; but he was his Father by nature, or with regard to his divine person, being begotten of him, and so his own proper Son, and he his own proper Father; which hold forth the natural and eternal sonship of Christ, his equality with him, and distinction from him: and God was the Father of his disciples by adopting grace, in virtue of the covenant of grace made with Christ, and through their spiritual relation to him, as the natural and eternal Son of God: God the Father is the God of Christ as man, who prepared, formed, anointed, supported, and glorified his human nature; and in which nature, he prayed to him as his God, believed in him, loved and obeyed him as such; wherefore the Jew (o) very wrongly infers from hence, that he is not God, because the God of Israel was his God; since this is spoken of him as he is man: and he was the God of his disciples, in and by the covenant of grace made with Christ, as their head and representative; so that their interest in God, as their covenant God and Father, was founded upon his being the God and Father of Christ, and their relation to, and concern with him; and which therefore must be firm and lasting, and will hold as long as God is the God and Father of Christ: this was good news to be brought to his disciples; which, as it carried the strongest marks of affection, and expressions of nearness of relation; and implied, that he was now risen from the dead; so it signified, that he should ascend to God, who stood in the same relation to them, as to him; when he should use all his interest and influence on their behalf, whilst they were on earth; and when the proper time was come for a remove, that they might be with him, and with his God and Father and theirs, where they would be to all eternity.

(o) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 58. p. 446.

I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God—words of incomparable glory! Jesus had called God habitually His Father, and on one occasion, in His darkest moment, His God. But both are here united, expressing that full-orbed relationship which embraces in its vast sweep at once Himself and His redeemed. Yet, note well, He says not, Our Father and our God. All the deepest of the Church fathers were wont to call attention to this, as expressly designed to distinguish between what God is to Him and to us—His Father essentially, ours not so: our God essentially, His not so: His God only in connection with us: our Father only in connection with Him.
Accordingly, either the words, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father,” had this meaning, that by this woman the Church of the Gentiles was symbolized, which did not believe on Christ till He had actually ascended to the Father, or that in this way Christ wished Himself to be believed on; in other words, to be touched spiritually, that He and the Father are one. For He has in a manner ascended to the Father, to the inward perception of him who has made such progress in the knowledge of Christ that he acknowledges Him as equal with the Father: in any other way He is not rightly touched, that is to say, in any other way He is not rightly believed on. But Mary might have still so believed as to account Him unequal with the Father, and this certainly is forbidden her by the words, “Touch me not;” that is, Believe not thus on me according to thy present notions; let not your thoughts stretch outwards to what I have been made in thy behalf, without passing beyond to that whereby thou hast thyself been made. For how could it be otherwise than carnally that she still believed on Him whom she was weeping over as a man? “For I am not yet ascended,” He says, “to my Father:” there shalt thou touch me, when thou believest me to be God, in no wise unequal with the Father. “But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father.” He saith not, Our Father: in one sense, therefore, is He mine, in another sense, yours; by nature mine, by grace yours. “And my God, and your God.” Nor did He say here, Our God: here, therefore, also is He in one sense mine, in another sense yours: my God, under whom I also am as man; your God, between whom and you I am mediator
One at the head, and the other at the foot. The fact that Matthew mentions only one angel does not contradict John’s story. Both angels did not speak to Mary at once; this was done by the one who was commissioned for it. There is not much to Augustine’s allegory that the position of these angels indicates the course of the future preaching of the gospel, from the place where the sun rises to the place where it goes under. In this place, it is more worth-while to notice the auspices under which Christ ushered in the glory of his Kingdom. When the angels honored Christ’s grave [with their presence], they exhibited his celestial majesty. But they did so without abolishing the ignominy of the cross.
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Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), Jn 20:17.
Augustine of Hippo, “Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John,” in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series: St. Augustin: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. John Gibb and James Innes, vol. 7 (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 438.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. John 20:17.
This does not seem to agree with the account in Matthew (28:9): for he writes openly that the women embraced the feet of Christ. Now, since Christ allowed himself to be touched by his disciples, why did he forbid Mary? The answer is easy, if we only remember that Jesus did not repel them until they overdid their desire to touch him. When it was a matter of removing doubt, then surely he did not forbid them. But when he saw that they held on to his feet, he calmed their excessive zeal, and corrected it. They clung to his bodily presence, because they knew only an earthly way of enjoying him. The truth is that Jesus did not forbid them to touch him until he saw their stupid and excited desire to keep him here on earth. Let us note therefore the reason he gave for the prohibition: for I am not yet ascended to the Father. By these words, he commanded the women to control themselves until he was received into heavenly glory. Finally, in this way, he pointed out that the purpose of his resurrection was quite different from their fancy about it. He was come to life again not to triumph in the world, but rather to ascend to heaven and to take possession of the Kingdom which had been promised to him; to reign over the church at the right hand of God, by the power of his Spirit.…
I ascend unto my Father. With the word ascend, he confirms what I have said before. For certainly he rose from the dead not to linger awhile longer on earth, but so that, having entered the heavenly life, he might draw the faithful to him. In short, with this word the apostle forbids us merely to stop with resurrection. He bids us to go forward until we arrive at the spiritual Kingdom, at heavenly glory, at God himself. Therefore this word, ascend, is very emphatic; Christ stretches out his hand to his own, so that they may seek their happiness nowhere but in heaven. For where our treasure is, there also must our heart be (Matt. 6:21). Now, Christ declares that he is about to ascend on high; therefore, let us also rise with him, if we would not be separated from him. Furthermore, when he adds that he will ascend, he quickly dispels the sadness and anxiety of his disciples because he was to leave them behind. He wants them to know that by his divine power he will always be with them. Ascend indeed implies distant places; but even though Christ is absent bodily, because he is with God, his spiritual power, which works everywhere, shows clearly that he is present with us. Why indeed did he ascend to the Father, except, seated at his right hand, to reign in heaven and on earth? Finally, with this statement Jesus intended to commend the divine power of his reign, so that his bodily absence might not trouble his disciples.
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom. 1:4.
If you prefer, “designated” to be the Son, etc. (definitus). He means that the power of the resurrection, by which he was pronounced the Son of God, was as it were a decree; as in Ps. 2:7, I have this day begotten thee. “Begotten” in this verse means actually “made known.” Some find in this verse three evidences of the divinity of Christ: his power for working miracles, the witness of the Spirit, and his resurrection from the dead. I prefer to put the three together into one as follows: Christ was designated the Son of God when he rose from the dead, by an open exercise of true heavenly power, which was the power of the Spirit; but the knowledge of this power is sealed in our hearts by the same Spirit. The language of the apostle agrees well with this interpretation. The power with which he was declared, or the power which shone forth in Christ, that is, in his resurrection, was God’s own power; and this proves that he was God. The same point becomes clear in another place where Paul confesses that Christ’s death revealed him as subject to the infirmity of the flesh, and extols the power of the Spirit in his resurrection (2 Cor. 13:4). But this glorious work cannot be known by us unless the Spirit himself impresses it upon our hearts. The very fact that Paul calls the Spirit the Spirit of holiness, shows that in his mind the same wonderful efficacy of the Spirit revealed in the resurrection of Christ from the dead is to be seen in the witness which individual believers know in their hearts. He means that as the Spirit sanctifies, he shows and ratifies the power which he exercised once before in raising Christ from the dead. The various titles which Scripture gives to the Spirit fortify the present argument. For instance, our Lord calls him the Spirit of truth, because he effects truth in believers (John 14:17).
Besides, the power shown forth in Christ’s resurrection was his own as well as God’s; as is evident from the sayings: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19); and, No one takes my life; of myself, etc. (John 10:18). For he did not beg his victory over death (to which he yielded by the infirmity of the flesh) from another, but achieved it by the working of his own Spirit.
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Joseph Haroutunian and Louise Pettibone Smith, Calvin: Commentaries (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1958), 169–171.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:22 “He breathed on them” This is a word play on the term “breathed.” The Hebrew ruach and Greek pneuma can mean “breathe,” “wind,” or “spirit.” It was used in the OT of God’s creative activity in Gen. 2:7 and the revitalization of Israel in Ezek. 37:5, 9. The pronoun “them” refers to a wider group than just the Apostles (cf. Luke 24:33).
© “Receive the Holy Spirit” This is an AORIST ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. How this relates to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost is uncertain. Jesus fulfilled everything that He promised the disciples at this first appearance. It is related to Jesus’ equipping them for their new ministry assignment as the Spirit equipped Him at His baptism.
This verse was used in the early church’s fight over the question of the Spirit proceeding from the Father or from the Father and the Son. In reality all three persons of the Trinity are involved in all the acts of redemption.
In A Theology of the New Testament, George Ladd summarizes the possible interpretations of this passage:
“This passage raises difficulties in the light of the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, which may be solved in one of three ways. Either John did not know about Pentecost and substitutes this story so that it becomes in effect the Johannine Pentecost; or there were actually two gifts of the Spirit; or Jesus’ breathing on the disciples was an acted parable promissory and anticipatory to the actual coming of the Spirit at Pentecost” (p. 289).
___________________________________________________________________________
Robert James Utley, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, vol. Volume 4, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 179.

John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any” These are two THIRD CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCES with an which is usually used with SECOND CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCES, not ean. This mixed condition heightens the contingency which relates both to those who share the Gospel and to those who respond by faith. Someone with the gospel knowledge chooses to share it and someone hears it and chooses to receive it. Both aspects are required. This verse does not give arbitrary authority to clergy, but wonderful life-giving power to believing witnesses! This authority was evidenced in the mission trip of the seventy during Jesus’ life.
© “their sins have been forgiven them” This grammatical construction is a PERFECT PASSIVE INDICATIVE. The PASSIVE VOICE implies God’s forgiveness, available completely through gospel proclamation. Believers have the keys of the kingdom (cf. Matt. 16:19) if they will only use them. This promise is to the Church, not individuals. This is theologically similar to “the bound and unbound” of Matt. 18:18.
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Robert James Utley, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, vol. Volume 4, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 179.
The resurrection of Jesus reveals to not only the disciples but to us as his followers what our mission is. This small section of Scripture contains so much in regards to our hope and our own resurrection to be with the Father because of the Son. Jesus introduces how the Holy Spirit will be joined to our lives. There is a lot of speculation concerning Jesus breathing on the disciples and the coming Pentecost 50 days later. This action suited the Father’s plan as the Son accomplishes the sending of the Spirit and gives us the application of the role of the Spirit. What hope! What victory! If we truly have received the Holy Spirit our only recourse is eternal gratitude by sharing with others this gift given us by our Heavenly Father. Our mission is to glorify the Father through the Son by the Spirit! The Spirit teaches us to glorify the Son because that is his role as well. Because of the gift of God his eternal Son whose death and resurrection honored the Father we join with the Spirit in giving glory to the Son. Praise! Glory! Honor! Hallelujah! Amen.

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Saved, Trinity on November 7, 2013 at 7:37 am

Jesus had a couple of hard sayings in the Gospels, the disciples were facing the loss of their shepherd. One of the most striking statements that Jesus said it is recorded in all of the Gospels is that he will not drink again until the new kingdom of God is at hand. He tells the disciples as the living father has sent me I live. When we participate in the Lord’s supper the final touches the infinite in a solemn act of worship. The taking of the bread and drinking of the why signify our participation in the crucifixion of Jesus. A divine idea or a manifestation or even a mode cannot offer its flesh and blood as a propitiation for sin because it lacks personhood.

Mat 26:29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus defines himself with the personal pronoun I, and proclaims this you will not drink of the fruit of the vine until we are in his Father’s kingdom. This statement is repeated in all of the Gospels in almost the exact same words. Jesus has since of himself and a sense of his Father in that they were both distinct yet coexisted together.

Until the day I drink it new with you, in my Father’s kingdom: Mark says, “in the kingdom of God”, Mar_14:25; and Luke, “until the kingdom of God come”, Luk_22:18; and both the Syriac and Persic versions read it here, “in the kingdom of God”; by which is meant, something distinct from the kingdom of the Son, or of the Messiah, which was already come; and appeared more manifestly after the resurrection of Christ, upon his ascension to heaven, and the effusion of the holy Spirit, and the success of the Gospel, both among Jews and Gentiles; and which will be more glorious in the latter day: and when all the elect of God are gathered in, and have been presented to Christ by himself, he will then deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all; and then the kingdom of the Father will take place here mentioned, and which is no other than the ultimate glory; so called, because it is of the Father’s preparing and giving, and in which he will reign and dwell, and the saints with him, to all eternity; which must not be understood to the exclusion of Christ, for it is called his kingdom also, Luk_22:30, in this state, Christ will drink new wine, not literally, but spiritually understood; and which designs the joys and glories of heaven, the best wine which is reserved to the last: which is sometimes signified by a feast, of which wine is a principal part; by sitting down as at a table, in the kingdom of heaven, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Mat_8:11, and expressed by “wine”, because of its refreshing and exhilarating nature, in God’s presence is “fulness of joy”; and by “new wine”, because these joys are the most excellent, because they are always new, and never change; they are “pleasures for evermore”: to “drink” hereof, denotes the full enjoyment of them, which Christ, as man and mediator, and his people with him, shall be possessed of; and is different from the superficial “taste of the powers of the world to come”, Heb_6:5, which hypocrites have, and those real prelibations of glory which saints have in this life; there being a difference between drinking and tasting, Mat_27:34, and this will be social; Christ and his true disciples shall be together; and drink this new wine together; or enjoy the same glory and felicity in the highest measure and degree, they are capable of; and which society therein will yield a mutual pleasure to each other, as the words here suggest. The Jews often express the joys of the world to come, by such like figurative phrases: they make mention of, יין דעלמא דאתי, “the wine of the world to come” (g); and of שכר רוחני, “a spiritual drink”, in the last days, which is called the world to come (h): and so they explain (i) after this manner, Isa_64:4. “Neither hath the eye seen, O God”, &c., זה יין, “this is the wine”, which is kept in the grapes from the six days of the creation; of which they often speak in their writings (k).

(f) Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c. 8. sect. 10. Piske Toseph. Pesach. art. 328. (g) Zohar in Lev. fol. 17. 2. (h) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 3. 4. En Israel, fol. 30. 1. (i) T. Bab. Berncot, fol. 34. 2, & Sanhed. fol. 99. 1. (k) Targum in Cant. viii. 2. Zohar in Gen. fol. 81. 4. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 30. 3.
John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible

Mat 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Mat 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Luk 22:15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
Luk 22:16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Luk 22:17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.
Luk 22:18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Mar 14:25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Mar 14:26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mar 14:27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Mar 14:28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Joh 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Joh 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

How would this statement making sense when Jesus says the living Father sent him and he lives because of the Father. The only way we use creatures can feed is if the sacrifice is killed. It Jesus is anything less than a person the only logical conclusion let is that we also kill the Father. Even worse if Jesus is in Aion, eternal idea, manifestation, then what died on the cross rather than who!

John 6:57
As the living Father hath sent me,…. Into the world, to be the Saviour of it; not by local motion, but by assumption of human nature; and not against his will, or as having superiority over him; but by joint consent and agreement: the first person in the Godhead is here styled, “the living Father”; not because he is the Father of spirits, of angels, and the souls of men; and the Father of all men by creation, and of saints by adoption; and the Father, or author of all mercies, spiritual and temporal; but because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this character is peculiar to him: he is indeed the living God, and has life in himself, and is the fountain of life to others; but not in distinction from, and to the exclusion of the Son, or Spirit; but then none but he is the living Father, who ever did, and ever will, live as the Father of Christ:

and I live by the Father; which is to be understood of Christ, not as God, but as Mediator, and as man. As Mediator he was set up by his Father, as the head of life to the elect; and was intrusted by him with a fulness of life for them; and was sent to open the way of life unto them, and bestow it on them. As man, he had his human life from God, and was preserved and upheld in it by him; and he laid it down at his command, and at his death committed his soul or spirit to him; and which was restored unto him, and is continued with him. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, “for the Father”, or “because of him”; and may design either that near union and conjunction of Christ with him, by virtue of which they live the same life; or else his living to the glory and honour of his Father, as he did, and does:

so he that eateth me; in a spiritual sense, by faith. The phrase of eating the Messiah was a familiar one, and well known to the Jews; though these Capernaites cavilled at it, and called it an hard saying.

“Says Rab, the Israelites shall “eat” the years of the Messiah: (the gloss on it is, the fulness which the Israelites shall have in those days:) says R. Joseph, it is certainly so; but who shall “eat him?” shall Chellek and Billek (two judges in Sodom) אכלי לה, “eat him?” contrary to the words of R. Hillell, who says, Israel shall have no Messiah, for אכלוהו, “they ate him” in the days of Hezekiah (y);”

that is, they enjoyed him then; for he thought that Hezekiah was the Messiah; but that was the doctor’s mistake. The Messiah now was, and to be enjoyed and eaten by faith in a spiritual sense, and everyone that does so,

even he shall live by me: such have their life from Christ; he is their food, on which they lived; and by him they are continued, upheld, and preserved in their spiritual life, and are by him brought to the life of glory: or they live “for”, or “because of” him, as the above versions render it; they derive their life from him, and because he lives, they live also; and they live to his glory, and will do so to all eternity.

(y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. & 99. 1.
John Gill Exposition of the Whole Bible

John 6:56-57

One who partakes of Christ enjoys a mutual abiding relationship with Christ. He remains (menei) in Christ, and Christ remains in him. Menō; is one of the most important theological terms in John’s Gospel (cf. comments on Joh_1:38). The Father “remains” in the Son (Joh_14:10), the Spirit “remains” on Jesus (Joh_1:32), and believers “remain” in Jesus and He in them (Joh_6:56; Joh_15:4). The implications of this “remaining” are many. A believer enjoys intimacy with and security in Jesus. Just as He has His life from the Father, so believers have life because of Jesus.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary.

Joh 6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Joh 6:59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
Joh 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”

This is a hard saying and who can listen? It’s clear that Jesus is focused on the cross getting ready to face the great humiliation and glorious resurrection. Jesus is instructing us through the ages to remember is sacrifice for the glory of the Father and the benefit of the elect. And in the clearest of understanding we see that Jesus has his life in and of the Father but distinct in his existence. Scripture clearly teaches us here that the Father decrees the Son accomplishes in the Spirit applies. From the Father through the Son by the Spirit we have salvation by our triune God, one in essence three in person!

GOD’S Freewill does he have one?

In Apologetics, Christianity, Saved on April 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I have come to realize that Christianity is messy it isn’t a neat little thing we do to receive some kind of reward! It is recognizing that only love can drive obedience, and love comes from someone else bestowing on me that thing I could never do, have or want till love lifted me!

16 So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17 from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. 20 For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

We see so many instances of God choosing a people and his devoting a people to destruction with no opportunity for mercy illustrated in scripture something must give. Let me illustrate

1. Isreal was chosen by God they were never given an opportunity to not be his people.
2. The use of the term harden in so many occasions has to have a definitive impact and meaning regarding Gods will.
3. Some SHOULD receive no mercy, there is a people who do receive Gods mercy his choosing.
4. Based on the newer testament Paul tells us some vessels (people) are devoted or created for destruction without hope of repentance (mercy).
5. God will harden whom he will harden and have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
6. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and he is not a man that he should lie or (my words) confuse justice and fairness. His justice is just so if God has a free will, we are born dead in sin and trespass, seperated from God only doing and being evil, jugded by the law condemned to die: where exactly does our choosing God enter in the equation?
How is it we rise above the sin and rebellion that so permeates our life arriving at least to a moral neutral gound allowing us to choose or accept Gods gracious offer of redemption? Then what about those who were never given a chance to repent? In order for free will to be free there must be a knowledge that God doesn’t have, he can’t know your choice or it can’t be free, (predestined is the same as foreknowledge).

Romans 8:29
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Romans 8:30
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:5
5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Ephesians 1:11
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

God is sovereign, he has a will, he has all knowledge past, present and future that plays out in time (he is not bound by time but gives it for us to mark) so that He is glorified, his plan works his way, and since we are born judged and condemned his rescuing us from judgement illustrates his mercy. I have no merit, he has no reason but his own to rescue me from the wrath to come. Praise be to God, his mercies are never ending and His glory is revealed in his love for his own, that while I was a sinner hostile and alienated in mind, Christ died for me, sought me, bought me and now without any thing good in me I am his!

Colossians 1:15-17
The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Colossians 1:18-23
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Should women prophesy / speak in church?

In Apologetics, Christian, Christianity on January 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

I read this article and thought it shuold be posted good stuff…

Jamin Hubner

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 34 As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. (1 Cor. 14:26-37, ESV)

When women are told to be “silent” and that they “are not permitted to speak,”[1] Paul is obviously not making an absolute blanket statement since, within the same letter, the Apostle plainly acknowledges women praying and prophesying in the church (11:5, 13). As John Frame cleverly puts it, “If [Paul] disapproved of [women] praying and prophesying as such, it would be like saying, ‘If you rob a bank, be sure to wear a coat and tie.’”[2]But what does verse 34 mean? Many scholars conclude on the basis of the previous context that Paul is talking about weighing prophecies, not just women speaking at church in general.[3] Women were objecting to certain prophecies which was either inappropriate in and of itself, or inappropriate because women were just acting too disruptively in the uses of these exciting gifts of the Spirit.

This interpretation has merit, but it also creates problems. For example, verse 35 (“if they desire to learn”) indicates “that the women did not understand what was being said and that they were asking questions to learn, not that they were passing judgments on what they heard.”[4] Also, would Paul really compress the whole enterprise of “evaluating prophecies” into the single word “speaking”?[5] Would the Corinthians have even known that “speaking” meant “weighing prophecies”–especially since Paul does not avoid explicitly using the terms “weighing” and “testing” prophecies elsewhere (e.g., 1 Thess. 5:20-21; 1 Cor. 14:29)? It seems somewhat unreasonable, as perhaps the position is itself if Paul is mainly addressing tactfulness and maturity.[6]

Ciampa and Rosner provide a different conclusion given the historical background of Hellenistic tradition and women speaking. They reveal that nonevaluative questions asked of prophets, and not merely prophecy and the weighing of prophecy, was “the most common mode of engaging prophets in the Hellenistic world.”[7] Their study is one of the most scholarly and insightful on this subject, so it is worth quoting at length:
Witherington rightly sees that ‘it is very believable that these women assumed that Christian prophets or prophetesses functioned much like the oracle at Delphi, who only prophesied in response to questions, including questions about purely personal matters. Paul argues that Christian prophecy is different. Prophets and prophetesses speak in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, without any human priming of the pump.’ Perhaps some women were especially likely to treat their Christian prophets as they would other prophets in their world, by peppering them with questions such as “Will my child be a boy or a girl?” or “Should I employ this slave or that?” They may also be asking questions that are not part of the weighing of the prophecies but are motivated by a desire to understand the content of the prophecies or the way in which the prophetic ministry works.

We should assume that unless there was a clear reference in the Corinthians’ letter to Paul to a particular kind of women’s speech in worship that was creating a problem in the church, the Corinthians would have found Paul’s statement that women are not permitted “to speak in church” just as unclear as modern readers. Although it is stated without qualification, it clearly cannot be understood in any absolute manner.[8]

They go on to demonstrate through primary sources of first and second century literature that it was “considered scandalous for a married woman to carry on a conversation with another woman’s husband,” and that (for Plutarch), “a woman’s personal speech is as much an exposure of herself as nakedness.”[9]

Therefore, they conclude that the “speaking” in 1 Corinthians 14:34 refers to
nonliturgical forms of speech (i.e. they could speak as they participated in the use of gifts and in formal ways, but not in mundane, trivial, or merely ordinary conversation.) Even more likely is the suggestion that what was being prohibited was for women to approach and ask men in the congregation questions about things they were not understanding.[10]

How then is the text applied?
Paul’s suggestion that the women ask their own husbands at home reflects that cultural context where a man could be expected to be better informed/educated than his wife and was understood to be the proper channel of information to the wife. Here, at home contrasts with in the church at the end of the verse, highlighting the private rather than public venue for the questions, in keeping with much ancient Greek thinking about the place of women in society. In modern Western societies neither of those conditions normally hold. In many societies today women are no less prepared to ask appropriate questions than their husbands, and it is considered just as perfectly normal and appropriate for them to participate in public dialogues as it is for men. There is no longer any shame or disgrace associated with such engagement; rather, it would be considered shameful for a woman to be restricted from open participation in public conversations. The principles underlying Paul’s counsel, that women (and men) not act disgracefully in public, or in ways which reflect a lack of respect for the dignity of their spouses, may well call for a different set of concrete behaviors in our churches than would have been expected in first-century Corinth [e.g., like headcoverings in 1 Cor. 11]…women should show respect for order and for others (especially their husbands) in the worship setting.[11]

Keener has a similar view in his Background Commentary:
Most likely the passage [1 Cor. 14] addresses disruptive questions in an environment where silence was expected of new learners–which most women were. It also addresses a broader social context in which women were expected not to speak much with men to whom they were not related, as a matter of propriety. Paul thus upholds church order and avoids appearances of social impropriety; he also supports learning before speaking. None of these principles prohibit women in very different cultural settings from speaking God’s word.[12]

This interpretation isn’t far off from complementarian perspectives on 1 Timothy 2. Notice Köstenberger’s summary: “Paul obliges the women to learn in a quiet, low-key way, as opposed to assuming control with unsolicited remarks and arguments.”[13]

In this particular interpretation, it should be noted that Paul is remaining consistent with the instruction he gives in the general context: he is addressing the way that women are speaking in the church, and not providing an absolute, universal statement about any particular practice in general. Paul does not forbid women from prayer/prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 (or in chapter 11 for that matter). Rather, he forbids the wrong manner in which these New Covenant believers were praying and prophesying. That’s the reason for the prohibition.

There is a third major view of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 that deserves attention. Given the variable translation of γυνή (woman/wife), Paul might not have even have been talking about generic women in the first place, but wives instead (similar to those who interpret 1 Tim. 2:12 as being “wife” and “husbands”). This was already alluded to by Ciampa and Rosner:
In Paul’s world (whether in Jewish, Greek, or Roman contexts), an unexplained reference to a woman’s submission would normally be understood to refer to her submission to the authority of her husband. The following verse’s statement that “they should ask their own husbands at home” also brings to mind a behavior inconsistent with this manner of respecting the husband…[14]

Garland combines this view with the previous on weighing prophecies:
The situation that best fits the adjective “shameful” is one in which wives defy convention by publicly embarrassing their husbands through their speaking. In the context, it is likely that Paul imagines a wife joining in the process of weighing what is being said during the congregational scrutiny of prophecy (14:29). They either raise questions or contradict their husbands or other senior male relatives.[15]

After several pages of thorough analysis, Garland concludes in a way similar to Ciampa and Rosner:
I conclude that Paul’s instructions are conditioned by the social realities of his age and a desire to prevent a serious breach in decorum. The negative effect that wives publicly interrupting or contradicting their husbands might have on outsiders (let alone the bruising it would cause to sensitive male egos) could not be far from his mind. Paul may fear that the Christian community would be “mistaken for one of the orgiastic, secret, oriental cults that undermined public order and decency” (Schüssler Fiorenza 1984: 232), in which women exercised more prominent roles.[16]

Any of these three major views (and their combinations) is possible. But what seems clear enough is that Paul is not expecting women “to remain silent at all times,” but “thinking of particular instances where different kinds of participants in the worship meeting should refrain from speaking.”[17]

________________________________________

[1] Gordon Fee and others see the verse so difficult to harmonize with Paul’s theology in 1 Corinthians that they believe it’s an interpolation, and shouldn’t be considered authentic Paul. See Gordon Fee. The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 706-7. However, since there is essentially no textual evidence for this claim whatsoever, it is remains unaccepted by most scholars.

[2] John Frame. The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2008), 635.

[3] See Wayne Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy (Wheaton: Crossway, 2000), 245-55; D.A. Carson, Showing the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1996), 129-31 and “Silent in the Churches” in RBMW, 140-153; James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 185-94; James B. Hurley, “Did Paul Require Veils or the Silence of Women? A Consideration of 1 Cor. 11:2-16 and 1 Cor. 14:33b-36,” WTJ 35 (1973): 217; Walter Liefeld, “Women, Submission and Ministry in 1 Corinthians,” in Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Mickelsen (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1986), 150; Simon J. Kistemaker, 1 Cor. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994) 512; William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles (WBC; Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000) 118; Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 140–53; Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, NIVAC (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 281. Many or most of these works stem from Margaret E. Thrall’s 1 and 2 Corinthians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965).

[4] See James Greenbury. “1 Cor. 14:34-35: Evaluation of Prophecy Revisited.” JETS 5, no. 4 (2008): 721-31. I disagree with several assertions in this essay, such as Greenbury’s view of NT prophecy and that the evaluation of prophecies in 1 Cor. 14 may not actually be audible.

[5] “First, the word ‘speak’ in 1 Corinthians 14:34 has no implication within the word itself or in its immediate context (14:34-35) to support identifying it with the concept of prophetic evaluation. Second, the idea of two levels of speech in the church – prophecy and the judgment of prophecy – with the understanding that one is higher than the other and is for men only has no clear or implied support elsewhere in Paul. In fact, Paul’s own definition and defense of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1-25) implies directly that prophecy itself is authoritative speech of the highest level in the church.” David M. Scholer, “Women in Ministry,” The Covenant Companion, February 1984, 13-14, cited in Ruth Tucker, Women in the Maze (Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 1992), 123.

[6] “The obvious need for tact and restraint would hardly require a rule prohibiting women from any participation in the (tactful) weighing of prophecies.” Ciampa and Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 724-5.
[7] Ibid., 724.

[8] Ibid., 725.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ciampa and Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 725-727.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Keener, “Learning in the Assemblies,” 171. Craig S. Keener. “Learning in the Assemblies,” in Recovering Biblical Equality, ed. Ronald Pierce and Rebecca Groothuis (Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 2005), 171; “We conclude from these passages that women were permitted to pray or prophesy but not to ask questions.” James G. Signountos and Myron Shank. “Public Roles for Women in the Pauline Church.” JETS 26, 3 (September 1983): 283-295.

[13] Köstenburger and Wilder, Entrusted with the Gospel, 234, emphasis mine.

[14] Ciampa and Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 722.

[15] Garland, 1 Corinthians, 668.

[16] Ibid., 673.

[17] Ciampa and Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, 720.

Is there any non-Biblical historical evidence of any person, living with the name Jesus

In Apologetics, Christianity on September 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Is there any non-Biblical historical evidence of any person, living with the name Jesus, the Son of Mary, who traveled about with 12 followers, healing people and the like? There are numerous historians who lived in and around the Mediterranean either during or soon after the assumed life of Jesus. How many of these historians document this figure? Not one.

Really? So you have studied the writings of Plimy the younger, Tacitus, Josephus, and the Dead Sea scrolls not including all the Biblical evidences. Provide some evidence from the 1st century that He didn’t exist.

You would think that a guy who rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven for all eyes to see and performed the wealth of miracles acclaimed to him would have made it into the historical record. It didn’t because once the evidence is weighed, there are very high odds that the figure known as Jesus, did not even exist.

Don’t go to Vegas on those odds you’ll be broke. Secular history records his existence and crucifixion.

Christianity, along with all other theistic belief systems, is the fraud of the age. It serves to detach the species from the natural world, and likewise, each other. It supports blind submission to authority. It reduces human responsibility to the effect that “God” controls everything, and in turn awful crimes can be justified in the name of Divine Pursuit. And most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth but use the myth to manipulate and control societies. The religious myth is the most powerful device ever created, and serves as the psychological soil upon which other myths can flourish

Never judge a theology including Atheism on its abuse but on its truth content!

  1. 1. What about the Atheist myth, that we’re just an accident of the random collision of atoms. “The atheist is not able to escape the inexplicability of an impersonal first cause, to say nothing of the awe-inspiring capacity of the ‘raw material’ from whence it all ‘evolved’.” It creates an insurmountable problem, because the turning of hydrogen into thinking and purposive beings is scientifically undemonstrated and philosophically devoid of merit. The more we learn of our origin the more questions it brings us not concrete answers.
  2. 2. How does evolutionary theory come into conflict with the Second law of Thermodynamics? A fundamental law of biology must come operate in direct opposition to a fundamental law of physics. How do biological systems climb the ladder of intricacy and order, while the natural world descends into entropy and disorder? Entropy is an irreversible process, heat death always increases moving into randomness not order.
  3. 3. How do we account for evil? Where does it come from and why do people suffer? , “How do I explain evil now, as an atheist? How do I answer the problem of evil from a materialistic worldview? Morality is either the product of a social contract or a trick of evolution. That is the best materialism can do. Your own answer to the problem of evil, then, is that there is no problem of evil. Morality is an illusion. Whatever is, is right. Nothing more can be said. “What is the atheist Bertrand Russell going to say when kneeling at the bed of a dying child? ‘Too bad’? ‘Tough luck’? ‘That’s the way it goes’?” No happy ending? No silver lining? Nothing but devastating, senseless evil? Which worldview has the best resources to make sense of this challenge? The answer is not atheism. The answer to evil is God, in Jesus, on a cross, at Calvary.

CS Lewis said “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else.”

Which of these make the most sense?

  1. 1. The universe’s ex nihilo (out of nothing) origin: Is it uncaused (or self-caused) from nothing or caused by a powerful Being independent of the universe?
  2. 2. The universe’s fine-tuning or bio-friendliness: Does it drive from mindless, deterministic causes or from an intelligent-Being?
  3. 3. The emergence of life: Did it originate from nonliving matter or from living, active personal Being?
  4. 4. The vast array of beauty: Is its source impersonal, deterministic causes or a creative, imaginative Being?
  5. 5. Moral values/obligations, human dignity, and human rights: Is their foundation valueless material processes or a supremely valuable Being?
  6. 6. Consciousness/ awareness: Did it emerge from mindless material processes or from a supremely self-aware Being?
  7. 7. Free will/ moral responsibility: Are these accounted for by deterministic processes or by a freely creating Being?

The first response is a good stigma will beat a dogma every time in the short run. But if we take a good hard look at the evidence it might suggest otherwise. The truth is these things don’t just happen naturally; nature itself was produced a finite time ago an event that couldn’t be predicted by natural law. What we are actually describing is the un-caused cause, “something” outside the universe that brought it into existence. The problem is not with the historical evidence; it’s with very questionable philosophical assumptions like “Dead people just can’t come back to life!’ or “Universes just don’t pop into existence from nothing!” If God exists then we have the most reasonable evidence for all these and much more. We can infer with good evidences a supernaturally inspired Big Bang and a bodily resurrection on the first Easter.

As we take on the challenges that are brought against the Christian faith, we must be able to respond appropriately concerning the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As an example of the reliability of the Bible even if we didn’t have the Greek manuscripts, we could almost reconstruct the New Testament just from the citations of the early church fathers. This is very early in the primitive church’s life pre AD -325. According to Daniel B Wallace one of the foremost early manuscript scholars out of the 5600 Greek manuscripts, the10000 Latin and 5000 other language copies we have of the New Testament less that 1 percent of the variations are significant. Most involve word-order changes, articles with proper nouns, and slight spelling differences, not exactly the stuff of renouncing the Faith and vilifying the Faithful. As with other ancient historical documents, we should assume the New Testament is reliable unless otherwise shown. The Bible’s portrayal of an unsafe, untamable Jesus, who reaches out to the reader from its pages and asks the same question Pilate asked at His mock trial;

(Mat 27:22a ESV) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”

The best understanding and most accepted historical evidence for the resurrection is found in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, based on this portion of Paul’s writings we find the most accepted letter in the New Testament, we find, the 12 apostles, Jesus’ brother, 500 eyewitnesses and last Paul himself who had persecuted the early church all claiming to have seen the risen Christ. Many other factors provide excellent proofs of the integrity and honesty of the New Testament writers, such as the “criterion of embarrassment” and the “criterion of authenticity”. If Jesus’ actions or sayings would have caused difficulty or embarrassment for the early church, then why include them in your narrative if you’re inventing them?

  1. 1. Why include women as first witnesses of the resurrection, since they weren’t considered reliable witnesses (e.g., Matthew 28)?
  2. 2. Why include “strange” events such as Jesus’ cursing a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14) or his allowing unclean spirits to enter swine, which destroyed them (Luke 8:32-33)?
  3. 3. Why mention that Jesus’ family believed he was out of his mind (Mark 3:2 1)?
  4. 4. Why insert sometimes “unimpressive” ministry results (Mark 6:5-6; John 6:66)?
  5. 5. Why include what enemies said about Jesus—e.g., implications that he was illegitimate (Mark 6:3, “son of Mary”)? Why not paint a rosier picture?
  6. 6. Why a shamed, humiliated, crucified Messiah—unless he rose from the dead? Martin Hengel (b. 1926) notes, “The discrepancy between the shameful death of a Jewish state criminal and the confession that depicts this executed man as the preexistent divine figure who becomes man and humbles himself to a slave’s death is, as far as I can see, without analogy in the ancient world.”
  7. 7. Why record the blunders, disputes, selfishness, and misunderstandings of Jesus’ disciples? As Craig Evans says, this “is hardly the creation of the early church.”
  8. 8. Why call Jesus “King of the Jews” when he didn’t physically rule in Israel?
  9. 9. Why invent stories that don’t really help your case? Most Jews expected Messiah to come as a king, a political deliverer, a shepherd over Israel—not a miracle-worker. So why pile up signs and wonders?
  10. 10. Why present Jesus as not knowing the time of his return (Mark 13:32)
  11. 11. Why should Jesus submit to John’s baptism (Mark 1:4-11)?

Some last facts:

  • ·Writing with passion doesn’t entail unreliability.

  • ·The fabrication thesis doesn’t hold under scrutiny. If we can confirm historical claims where verifiable, we should then give the benefit of the doubt where we can’t verify.

  • ·The gospel writers are aware of (archaeologically confirmed) Jewish customs and places; use Aramaisms; and utilize credible eyewitness testimony.

  • ·Early Christian communities didn’t invent and project onto Jesus various sayings and deeds mentioned in the Gospels. Rather, their well-known controversies aren’t even addressed in the Gospels.

  • ·We have good reason for arguing that Acts was written before Paul’s death; so Luke was written earlier, and Mark before that.

  • ·In 1 Corinthians and Galatians (early, undisputedly Pauline), we can see the tradition Paul received from James/Jerusalem goes back to the earliest church’s preaching.

  • ·Why would the early church invent potentially negative and embarrassing Jesus-events/-sayings? These reinforce authenticity, not invention.

Faith in Christ isn’t necessarily about the facts, it’s about will! If you bend your knee and your will and utter “Thou will be done He says so be it! “ The same is true for your own will!

Jesus made the claim of deity and to be the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God”. If by His claim one of the evidences is the resurrection this is a very powerful argument to prove His claim. The scriptures are one of our best sources to prove this. About 95% of NT scholars agree with the facts about the resurrection and there are other facts that argue these facts are true. (Specific scholars can be named for more detailed research.) Based on Gary Habermas and his “minimal facts approach” the 4-7 best attested facts will provide the basis of our argumentation so we can keep it simple and concise. There are at least 20 or more facts available starting in 1 Corinthians 15 let’s take a look.

(1Co 15:1-26 HCSB) Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you–unless you believed to no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective. However, I worked more than any of them, yet not I, but God’s grace that was with me.

Therefore, whether it is I or they, so we preach and so you have believed. Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”?But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.

For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at His coming, the people of Christ. Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death.

For many modern critics Paul is “in”, while the gospels are “out”. Interestingly enough 1st Corinthians is written much earlier that the gospels. It was probably written around AD 54-57 and within 27 years of the crucifixion. There would be plenty of eye witness’s accounts and not too difficult for those to remember correctly the actual occurrences. A modern example would be WW2, Korean and Vietnam veterans telling their experiences and relating to those of us who were not there what happened. We are more than willing to accept their eye witnesses’ accounts as factual and would be highly disrespectful and ignorant to accuse them of lying. We can agree that Paul was an eyewitness to what he thought was a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus.

“Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. “ (1 Cor. 15:8)

Paul was in Corinth in approximately AD 51 and preached the gospel.

Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you–unless you believed to no purpose. (1 Cor. 15:1-2)

Paul passed on what he received, and many critics will say it was from Peter and James in Jerusalem in AD 35. Considering the time frame is less than 3 to 5 years from the resurrection this is almost unheard of in ancient history to be this close to the event in question.

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: (1 Cor. 15:3)

Gal 1:18-20 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, and I stayed with him 15 days. But I didn’t see any of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. Now in what I write to you, I’m not lying. God is my witness.

The disciples believed they had seen the risen Jesus at a time when they were hiding in fear for their lives, dumbfounded by the event s that had just taken place. Scared of their immanent arrest and death, once again we cite critics who will grant that they believed this as well. Remember if critics admit this, we claim lairs don’t make martyrs, and this is one of the most important facts.

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. (1 Cor. 15:3-5)

Paul also speaks of the 500 other eye witnesses who are still for the most part alive and appeals to the reader they know some of them. This would provide a hostile witness refutation by the very people who if this was a fantasy or legend could and would dispute it.

Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (1 Cor. 15:6)

The concept of believing they had seen a resurrected Jesus has been posited and accepted. What can move us from believing this to being a fact they really saw the risen Jesus?

These four facts are foundational moving us from belief to fact:

  1. 1. He died by crucifixion
  2. 2. The disciples believed that has seen the risen Christ
  3. 3. They were transformed so that they were willing to die for their faith
  4. 4. Saul, as a skeptic and persecutor was converted and believed he too had seen the risen Christ.

We have for consideration three more facts:

  1. 1. We have early reports of the resurrection
  2. 2. James, Jesus’ brother was a skeptic and converted
  3. 3. The resurrection is central to Christian Belief. We examine most closely those beliefs closet to our hearts. So, Paul and the disciples checked it out carefully.

Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”?But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ–whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

If we take the information presented and draw some conclusions we are left with at least 2 main reasons. 1. The information and facts provide us with arguments for the resurrection. 2. This is the best explanation of the data: other theories fail to explain away the resurrection. We are left with “they really saw the risen Christ.”

What first century data supports any theory contrary to the sightings of the risen Christ?

The only one is listed in the New Testament: the disciples stole the body and is refuted by the early eyewitnesses.

Conclusion yes I believe based on the facts and by personal experience Jesus rose from the dead, and offered me new life. I will one day resurrect if I am not first raptured. Believing in the risen Christ requires repentance and faith leading to salvation. The Christian faith is the only religion that offers people to test it. “Come and see”

The statement, “There is no God” is an absolute statement. It would imply existing for all time and eternity having all knowledge of all things and the ability to speak from the entire universe in making such a decree. The unfortunate result is by default you become God and you defeat your very decree.

Francis Crick halfway through his book The Origin of the Genetic Code begins to spell nature with a capital N and elsewhere speaks of natural selection as being “clever” and as “thinking” of what it will do. Sir Fred Hoyle, the English astronomer, attributes to the universe itself the qualities of God. For Carl Sagan the “Cosmos,” which he always spelled with a capital letter, obviously fills the role of a God-substitute. Though these men profess not to believe in God, they smuggle in a God-substitute through the back door because they cannot bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces.

In a remarkable address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1991, Dr. L. D. Rue, confronted with the predicament of modern man, boldly advocated that we deceive ourselves by means of some “Noble Lie” into thinking that we and the universe still have value. If we are to avoid “the madhouse option,” where self-fulfillment is pursued regardless of social coherence, and “the totalitarian option,” where social coherence is imposed at the expense of personal wholeness, then we have no choice but to embrace some Noble Lie that will inspire us to live beyond selfish interests and so achieve social coherence. A Noble Lie “is one that deceives us, tricks us, compels us beyond self-interest, beyond ego, beyond family, nation, [and] race.” It is a lie, because it tells us that the universe is infused with value (which is a great fiction), because it makes a claim to universal truth (when there is none), and because it tells me not to live for self-interest (which is evidently false). “But without such lies, we cannot live.”

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