Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Come, Lord Jesus

In Rev.22:13-21 we see four reasons to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and live holy lives:

1. Because of who He is [vs. 13, 16] - The exalted, majestic, glorious Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Because we will miss heaven if we don’t [vs. 14-15] –

Heaven is exclusively for those who have been cleansed from their sins in the blood of Christ and whose names are written in the Book of life of the Lamb [13:8].

3. Because Scripture is true [vs. 18-19] - Because this book is true, it must be proclaimed calling sinners to repentance and faith.

4. Because Christ is coming back [vs. 20-21]. The return of Christ is certain!

Here we have the last recorded words of Jesus in Scripture.

His coming is imminent as Revelation and the rest of Scripture teaches. “I come quickly” is used three other times in Revelation [3:11; 22:7, 12, 20]. All these in there context refer to the rapture. His second coming is referred to in Rev. 1:7.

Wiersbe says, “The word “quickly” could mean either soon or suddenly. The hope of a sudden return would not excite the same anticipation or watchfulness as the hope of a soon return. If suddenly, this means events will rapidly take place at his coming.” Either way this has to be the rapture!

The word “Amen” means “verily, truly, certainly.” It’s as if John is giving a hearty confirmation of the imminent return of Christ.

Paul was a pre-tribulation Pre-Millennialist as well, “We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” [1 Thess. 4:15].

All true believers [Christians] are those who love His appearing.

2 Tim. 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Peter was pre-Trib- Pre-millennial as well…

1 Peter 1:7-9, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

The world scoffs [2 Peter 3:4] and says all things continue as they are, but things are not continuing as they are. If the certainty of Christ’s return to judge the lost does not motivate them to repent, then nothing will.

The Lord of glory, as Scripture says, offers heaven to those who, in light of His return, accept His gracious invitation to come to Him.

This book is full of eternal hope for believers and fearful judgment for the lost. In light of His revelation in the Book of Revelation, those who come to Him, say “Even so [yes or absolutely], come Lord Jesus.”

Revelation begins with grace [1:4] and ends with grace [22:21].

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bethlehem Star

John MacArthur’s comments on “The Bethlehem Star”

Gen. 1:14-15

These luminous bodies were given to separate and secondly to dominate. They literally dominate our lives. Now some have suggested that when He says "signs" here He might mean something else. Well, I'm glad you suggested that, it just doesn't say that in the Bible and I'd rather kind of stick with what God wrote here. People say, "Well, you know, this could refer to land and sea navigation by the stars." Well it could. You know, we line up instruments with the North Star and so forth. And some have even suggested that this could be a veiled reference to the star of Bethlehem which was a sign to the Wise Men...Matthew 2. Some really get carried away and see in the stars some astrological sign. Boy, our culture is really drowning in that bunk, that there's some kind of zodiac out there and these stars are actually deities, or forces or powers that give out messages that have great impact on people's lives. That is pagan. That is ungodly. It is unbiblical. It is pseudo-science. It is ridiculous at best. It is demonic at worst.

And some Christian teachers have even come along and they've said, "Well, it says that they're for signs. And they say there's the gospel preached up there in the constellations." That is a contrived and biblically unacceptable concoction.

Genesis tells us what the signs were. They were signs to indicate seasons and days and years. And in that way they dominate our life. They control human life. They control human enterprise.

Matthew 2

And I don't want to take the time to go over that all, let me just remind you that what we basically saw was that these men were Persian king makers who were coming because they were aware of the birth of the anticipated king that they had no doubt heard about from such as Daniel and others of the Israelites who had lived in their land since the time of the Babylonian captivity, and these Persian king makers were very anxious to look for a king because they did not have a king, the king at the time was deposed and they wanted a great monarch to rise to the throne of the east in order that they might pose a threat to the great Roman Empire of the west, so their feelings were both political and spiritual, and we saw that they came into town and they were immediately confronted with a most Interesting character by the name of Herod, and we're going to see more about him tonight.

Now, they kept asking, where is He that is born King of the Jews? You know it must have shocked them a little bit every time they asked that question, to get a response of ignorance from everybody.

They must have assumed that these people would have known that. I mean after all, they were the Jews, and certainly they would know when their King was born, and where He was born. But two things hit me out of that verse as I read it, and I want to answer those questions because they were the two ones that struck me.
Question number one, what was the nature of the star? "We have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."

What was the nature of the star? So I did some reading this week and last week, to try to find out what the star was, you won't believe the suggestions. First of all, some people say it was a genuine, real, honest to goodness star. Some say it was Jupiter, because Jupiter is called the king of the planets. Some say, and this was Kepler's theory that it was the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of the fish. And some say it was just an erratic comet. Some say it was a low hanging meteor, and some say it was the star of destiny in the heart of mankind. That's a lot of dribble if ever I heard it.

You want to know what it was...I'll tell you what I think it is. Look at Luke 2:9 and maybe this will help to answer a question you've probably had since you were a little kid, if you're still a little kid you've still got it. Luke 2:9, here's a good key, here we are not at the wise men incident but at the shepherds, and they were the first to come, and they were of Israel. And they are a sort of a picture of the remnant. "There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, an angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were very much afraid."

Now what was shining in the sky when the shepherds saw it? What was it? It was the glory of the Lord. And if you go back into the Old Testament and you studied the concept of the glory of God, you will find that the glory of God is manifest as light, right? Over and over and over again in the Old Testament the glory of God is manifest as light, when God radiates His presence He transforms it into ineffable light. When the glory of God appeared at the daytime it was like a cloud of light, when it appeared at night it was a pillar of fire, when the glory of God descended on the tabernacle it was as light, when Moses went up into the mountain, and he said, show me Thy glory, God hid him in a rock and God showed him His glory manifest as light, and it was so much light that it got on his face and when he came down the mountain side and spoke to the people his face was lit up.

The glory of God is blazing light. And when Jesus revealed who He was, and revealed His glory on the mount of transfiguration, He pulled back His flesh and they beheld His what? His glory, as transparent light. And when Jesus comes the second time out of heaven, He will come in blazing light, and Revelation says, God will turn out all the lights of heaven, all the stars will fall, all the suns, all the moons, everything goes pitch black, heaven rolls up like a scroll, and when it's pitch black then Christ comes revealed as blazing light, and people cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them to hide them from the face of His glory.

Now all that just to remind you that God's glory is manifest in the Scripture as light, as light. He told Moses he couldn't look upon His face and live, held be consumed in it. It'd be like standing ten feet from the sun only it would be like a million, million suns.

And I believe that it was the glory of the Lord that shone that night when God's glory was as ... was descending to earth, it was God's glory descending on the earth, coming in the form of a man, and I believe that that glory of God is the thing that the wise men saw.

Now let me give you a little more support on this because I think it's kind of interesting to trace this thought.

The chief word in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for star is the word kôwkâb, not that that's important just a point of contact with the Hebrew. But it has a basic meaning, and its basic meaning is to shine or to blaze forth, to shine or to blaze forth. Now sometimes the word kôwkâb is used of a real star, sometimes it's used to speak of just a regular star, sometimes it's used to speak of an angel, sometimes it is used to speak of men. So it doesn't necessarily always mean a real star, it can mean anything that blazes, anything that shines, in an incredible way.

In fact in Numbers 24:17, a most interesting Scripture. It says, and this is a Messianic prophecy. "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: (now listen) there shall come a kôwkâb out of Jacob and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel." That's Numbers 24:17. That is a Messianic prophecy, there will come a blazing forth, there will come a shining One, there will come a star. And people I believe that the prophecy there is, that none other than the glory of God incarnate is the star, the blazing.

Matthew 24:30, "Immediately after the tribulation (verse 29 says) of those days the sun's dark and the moon doesn't give its light," that's what I told you, all the stars fall out of heaven and everything goes black and then v. 30, "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man," now mark that phrase out, "the sign of the Son of man." In other words, whenever the Son of man is about to show up there will be a sign pointing to Him.

Now do you know what a sign is for? The sign is to point you to something that you want to see. You're driving on the road, and the sign says, Roscoe Boulevard three quarters of a mile. The sign is not Roscoe Boulevard but it's there to point you to Roscoe Boulevard, it has a function, its purpose is to point you to something. And the Son of man has a sign, "the sign of the Son of man in heaven;" oh, interesting, that sign is in heaven, and what is it? "They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Now here is His kôwkâb, His blazing forth. And although kôwkâb, the Hebrew word is not used in the New Testament it is the same idea. I believe that this sign of the Son of man is nothing more and nothing less than the Shekinah glory of God Himself, God revealing Himself in ineffable glorious light. In fact, it even tells us, I think it's Revelation 1:16 that, that the Son shines, the Son of God, shines as if He were the sun in its strength.

Somehow, now watch this, somehow connected to Jesus Christ is this incredible blazing glory of God, it is His sign in the heavens, He is a spirit, He is a spirit being, He is also in a sense a physical being in the glorified body that He has from His resurrection, but there is a sign that goes with Him, and it is blazing glory, and one day on the mount He showed it to His disciples. And one day when He returns the sign of His coming, the sign of the Son of man in heaven will be there, blazing glory in the heaven.

Well, you know what I think? I think He had the very same sign the first time He came too. I just think it was the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And the sign of the Son of man in heaven is not a star, it's not an astral body, it's not a conjunction of planets, it's not, thoughts of human destiny rattling around in somebody's mystical mind, the sign of the Son of man is nothing more and nothing less than the Shekinah glory of God revealed in light, blazing, dazzling in the heavens.

I would add this thought, verse 2 says, "We have seen (watch this) his aster." His blazing. The word astēr incidentally people, the word is translated star here, but it is used of other things than stars. So He has His own ... and again it means a blazing forth or a shining. "We have seen his shining in the east." We have seen His kowkab, His aster, His blazing, His glory.
And the very fact that it's His star means it's something very special. It has appeared. That's an interesting word. "We have seen his star in the east."

His star. Verse 7, Herod says I want to know the time the star appeared. And the word phainō in the Greek means that which lights up. What, what time was it when that thing lit up? And the word ... the same word, interesting thought, the same word is used with lightning. Lightning is a form of astēr, sometimes it's translated as a star in the sky, sometimes it's translated as lightning, sometimes as the shining forth of something, and here it is a shining forth. We can't push it any further, we can't make it mean a real star, and there is the sense in which Herod says, when did this particular shining forth light up? And even that is sort of a hint that it was something that never existed and was called into existence only because Jesus was coming, and so I believe this was His astēr, the sign of the Son of man, in the heavens. It was there at His first coming, and beloved it'll be there at His second coming. It's His sign, it's His star, and it’s not some astral body.

The pseudoscience of astrology could never predict the Lord, they weren't looking in their little puny deals and seeing, well look there, there's old Saturn and whatever doing their thing, it must be that He's being born, no, no. What they saw was something they never saw before, and they knew that it had to be something unique and they tied it together with what the Old Testament said and what Daniel had told them. No astronomical research gave them their direction, God revealed Himself. It was no different than the pillar of fire in the Old Testament.

And you remember the pillar of fire and the cloud, in the Old Testament stood over the Holy of Holies? Well in this it tells us that whatever this star was it went and stood over the house where He was born. Now you tell me how a literal star would ever do that. Can't do it, it's none other than the sign of the Son of man.

You say, well, well if it was such a blazing magnificent glory of, of Christ's sign in the heavens, how come only the wise men over there in Persia and nobody else saw it? Now that's a fair question, that's the second question I asked. How come God is so selective? Well, you know He ... that's nothing new for God, He can make everybody in the world blind to something if He wants to.

In Exodus chapter 14, 1 found a good parallel, 14:19 says, "And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them;" now they're going to go through the Red Sea, so the angels been leading them down to the Red Sea, once they get to the Red Sea he goes around the rear, gets behind them. You say, to push? No, I'll show ya what: "the pillar of cloud (of cloud, here's the glory of God, the pillar of the cloud) went from before their face, and stood behind them."

Now behind the Israelites you've got the pillar of cloud, God's glory, and you've got the angel of the Lord, and who's the angel of the Lord? Jesus Christ. "And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these, so that the one came not near the other all the night." You know what happened? Israel saw it as light and the...and the Pharaoh and his army saw it as what? Darkness. And it was the same thing. There's something about God revealing what He wants to reveal just to those to whom He wants to reveal it. And that's all I can say about it. How did they connect it with Jesus Christ's birth? I don't know, I really don't know, except that God made it so obvious that they knew, that they knew.

Now do you want to know something very fascinating people, this may shake you up a little bit, might mess up your Christmas story next year. But do you know in nowhere in the Bible does it ever say they followed the star to Bethlehem, from Persia? No. It doesn't say it led 'em to Jerusalem, it doesn't say it went anywhere, not at all. "We have seen his star (where?) in the east." They saw the star in the east, and it didn't need to tell them where to go they knew where the Jewish Messiah was supposed to be, they knew the royal city was Jerusalem, they knew that's where all Jewish kings reigned, they knew exactly where to go they didn't need some star to guide them, and when they saw His glory, and God made it so evident and obvious as He always does when He reveals what He wants to reveal to whomever He wants, that they didn't even ask a question, they got on their horses and they went, and they went right to the right place.

And Matthew doesn't give us all the bits and pieces and details of how they saddled a Persian horse and how many miles and how it was and where they ate and all of that, because this isn't the story of these people it's the story of Jesus Christ. And they have a place only in so far as it's related to Him. So the details aren't there.

But it - it's incredible to me how God works things out when He wants to get His things done, He gave these Magi, God fearing Gentiles way off in Persia, king makers, His sign and they knew that it was His sign and they knew where to go to Jerusalem.

And the emphasis of Matthew is so beautiful, he says in verse 2 that they said, "we have seen his aster in the east, and are come to worship him." They knew that He was to be worshiped, to worship Him, they knew there was no other one as worthy as this one, and they were right. Here you have it, pagans who had nothing to guide them but smatterings of Old Testament prophecies, nothing to guide them but their own science mingled with its funny superstitions, and yet they are the true seekers of God.
And when the sign came with all of their misgivings and lacks in knowledge, they were enthusiastically embarking on a journey to seek a king they had along time waited for.

But the Jewish hierarchy, with the Pentateuch in their hand, studying it everyday, with the prophecies in their hand, reading them everyday, ruled by a, a bitter and evil man named Herod were content to be totally indifferent to what was happening five miles away. And here again we see Matthew's constant attitude of condemnation toward the officials of Judaism, and his constant sensitivity that God is opening the church, He's opening the Gospel to the Gentiles.


Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

The Book of Romans tells us that God justifies guilty, condemned sinners by grace through faith in Christ alone.

Chapters 1-3 tell us why we need to be saved- we are sinners separated from a Holy God. Chapters 4-5 tell us how we can be saved by grace- thru faith in Jesus Christ. Chapters 6-8 tell us how we can live as Christians and have victory over indwelling sin.

In chapter 5:1-11 Paul shares with us the blessings or benefits of salvation or justification. I want to focus on the first one, peace.

Millions today searching for peace but no peace can be found. They search in possessions, power, popularity, pleasure, places, but true lasting peace can only be found in a person, God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Man’s sinful rebellion against God and His laws sets us as enmity with God, hostile toward Him. But thru justification the war is over when we are declared right with God thru faith in His Son. Faith in what? The gospel!

So believers have been reconciled to God thru faith in his Son. We have peace with God and that makes the peace of God possible. You can’t have true peace till you come to God by faith in His Son.

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Works give evidence of salvation they don’t earn salvation. We are saved and kept saved by divine achievement. We are not saved by human achievement or human effort.

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lesson # 6 "The Seventh Day"

Review our Lessons:

Lesson # 1: “Before Creation” Gen. 1a
Lesson # 2: “God Created” Gen. 1:1b-2
Lesson # 3: “God Formed” Gen. 1:3-13 [Day 1-3]
Lesson # 4: “God Filled” Gen. 1:14-23 [Day 4-5]
Lesson # 5: “God Filled” Gen. 1:24-31 [Day 6]

Review our Creation Days:

Day 1- Earth, Light, and Time
Day 2- Water and Sky
Day 3- Plant Life
Day 4- Sun, Moon, and Stars
Day 5- Fish and Fowl
Day 6- Land Animals and Man

TT- God created in six literal days and rested [ceased] on the seventh day.

What does this seventh day rest speak of? There are 3 reasons this day is holy or unique as indicated by 3 verbs in this passage

1. The verb “finished” [v. 1].
2. The verb “rested” [v. 2].
3. The verb “blessed” [v. 3].

“God finished…God rested…God blessed.”

1. God Finished His Work [v. 1].

Four times in the first 3 verses God states that the entire work of creation was completed in six days. On the seventh day God ceased from creating.

Creation is not a evolutionary process still in process.

At the end of each day God stated “it was good.” Now after the sixth day God said, “It was very good.” [1:31].

Six days earlier nothing existed, now after the six days we have it as it is now.

The six days of work and seventh of rest that God would require of his covenant people.

Ex. 20:9-11; 31:16-17

2. God Rested From His Work [v. 2].

Having finished or ending his work, God rested. What does this mean?

1. God did not get tired and rest [Isa. 40:28; Ps. 121:4]. God rested from all his work [v. 3].

2. God ceased His creative activity. This does not mean he does not uphold his creation or Lord’s over his creation.

3. There is no mention of a rest for Adam. No Sabbath rest is instituted here but later in the law.

4. The Old covenant priestly and ceremonial commandments were abolished in the New Covenant because they were fulfilled in Christ.

5. There is not statement regarding the seventh day as with the other six days, “and the morning and the evening were the # day.” God has given a permanent rest from his creative works.
6. Sabbath Laws given at Sinai pertained to national Israel not Christians [Ex. 31:16-17]. God gave the Sabbath to Israel as His special covenant sign (Ex. 31:12-17).

3. God Blessed the Seventh Day [v. 3].

God hallowed the seventh day as a memorial. He made a permanent reminder of the glory of creation.

MacArthur says, “To reject the six-day creation is to un-bless the seventh day.” If everything evolved from nothing by chance and creation was spread over long ages, there is no seventh day.

What does this mean for us?

Saturday is the completion of creation when God rested. Sunday reminds us of our Sabbath rest in Christ.

Saturday celebrated his finished work in creation while Sunday celebrates his finished work in redemption thru Jesus.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lesson # 5 "God Filled" Part 2

Gen. 1:24-31

Review our Lessons:

Lesson # 1: “Before Creation” Gen. 1a
Lesson # 2: “God Created” Gen. 1:1b-2
Lesson # 3: “God Formed” Gen. 1:3-13 [Day 1-3]
Lesson # 4: “God Filled” Gen. 1:14-23 [Day 4-5]
Lesson # 5: “God Filled” Gen. 1:24-31 [Day 6]

Review our Creation Days:

Day 1- Earth, Light, and Time
Day 2- Water and Sky
Day 3- Plant Life
Day 4- Sun, Moon, and Stars
Day 5- Fish and Fowl
Day 6- Land Animals and Man

6. Day Six [vs. 24-31].

1. The Creation of Beasts [vs. 24-25].

God filled the skies with heavenly luminaries and flying birds. He filled the seas with fish. Now on the sixth day, the apex of creation, God filled the land with animal life and man.

“Cattle” refers to animals that could be tamed [domestic] and “beasts” to wild animals or the dinosaurs like Behemoth [Job 40:15].

The word “living creature” some suggest means animals have a soul “breathing creature.” Nephesh in the Hebrew.

The animals were formed out of the dust of the earth like man [vs. 24a, 2:7]. Both go back to the dust of the earth after death [Ecc. 3:19-20].

Animals and humans are different. Both have a soul but only man was breathed into the nostrils and had a living spirit being and bore the image of God [2:7].

2. The Creation of Man [vs. 26-28]. 4 thoughts

A. God created man in His image [vs. 26-27; 3:22; 11:7].

Here we see a deliberation among the eternal Godhead. God was not speaking to the angels because they were not created in the image of God “our image our likeness.”

Note 2:7, the word “formed” suggests a divine design and a divine designer. Adam means “taken out of the ground”; but his life came from God.

We note several truths here:

1. Man was created by God.

We were not a product of chance or at the top of the evolutionary ladder.

2. Man was created in God’s image.

We can have a relationship with God. We have minds, emotions, wills, and inner nature that enable us to know and worship God.

This image was marred by sin and the fall [Eph. 4:18-19], but can be renewed thru faith in Christ “new man.”

B. God created Him to have dominion [vs. 26-27].

Adam and Eve were given stewardship over God’s creation [Ps. 8:6-8; 15:16].

Adam lost dominion when he sinned and now sin reigns over the earth. Jesus the last Adam gains back what the first Adam lost.

C. God told them to replenish the earth [1:28].

Replenish means to fill the earth with people. This command was primarily to Adam and Eve, because God has not made everybody to have children.

This is not a command to you and me to bear as many children as we can. It was to the heads of the human race God gave this command.

D. Man was a vegetarian until after the flood [1:29-30; 9:1-4].

During the Millennium, beasts will again be vegetarian [Isa. 11:7].

Next Week- the Seventh day [2:1-4].

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lesson # 4 "God Filled" Part 1

Gen. 1:14-23


Lesson # 1: “Before Creation” Gen. 1a
Lesson # 2: “God Created” Gen. 1:1b-2
Lesson # 3: “God Formed” Gen. 1:3-13 [Day 1-3]

Day 1- Earth, Light, and Time
Day 2- Water and Sky
Day 3- Plant Life

What God formed He now fills and habitats His creation [vs. 14-31]. God had created 3 “spaces” and will now fill land, the seas, and the sky.

3. God Filled [vs. 14-31].

4. Day Four [vs. 14-19].

God spoke by divine fiat. God spoke it and it instantly happened.

The Latin word is Fiat. God created by divine fiat. Each of the creation days begin with God speaking “And God said,” [v. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29].

There is a correlation between days 1-3 and days 4-6:

Day 1- light; Day 4- Luminaries
Day 2- The firmament and the waters below; Day 5- birds and fish
Day 3- dry land; Day 6- land creatures.

God created two great lights and placed them in the heavens with two mains purposes:

1. To divide the day from the night.
2. To be for signs, seasons, days, and years.
3. To give light upon the earth.

Let’s examine these:

1. Separation- Separate day from night [v. 14b].

God had already separated light from darkness [v. 4], but now placed these permanent markers.

2. Regulation- Control the signs, seasons, days, and years.

Signs means “beacons or signals.” This could be navigational signs.

We know it does not teach astrology because that is forbidden in Scripture.

The main sign was for times and seasons. They determine the length of a year, a day, or a month, and seasons.

3. Illumination- Give light upon the earth. The sun radiates light while the moon reflects light for illumination for night.

These heavenly bodies were never intended to be worshipped, but used for these 3 intended purposes.

Let’s talk about the sun and moon just a minute:

1. The Sun.

The sun is a ball of flame that measures 865,000 miles in diameter which is about 109 times the diameter of the earth.

It would take more that a million earths to fill it. The surface temperature of the sun is estimated about 10 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, with the core temperature at 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

The earth is about 93 million miles from the sun.
The light we see at 6:00 am is light that left the sun about 5:51 am at your location.

2. The Moon.

The moon circles the earth and completes a full orbit every 27.3 days. The same side of the moon always faces the earth.

The moon controls the oceans tides by the gravitational pull. High and low tides are caused as the earth bulges slightly both toward and away from the moon and this affects the water level of the oceans.

Verse 16: “He made the stars also.”

These were for another sign: To give a visible reminder of the power and majesty of God.

Rom. 1:19-20, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (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:”

Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”

Psalm 8:3, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;”

5. Day Five [vs. 20-23].

On day 2 God created the firmament and now he fills it with birds and fish on day 5. God populates the seas and sky.

Psalm 104:24-25, “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (25) So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.”

Verse 21: God created the marine animals and the birds on the same day. Evolutionists claim that birds evolved from reptiles and took millions of years.

Notice in v. 20 that the birds did not have to learn to fly thru evolution, but God created them to fly.

Verse 22: God blesses what He made; this is the first time this is stated in Scripture.

God blessed them to reproduce abundantly. God also blessed Adam and Eve [Gen. 1:28; 5:2], the Sabbath Day [2:3], and Noah and His family [9:2].

They were created first, and then given the ability to reproduce. Evolution says they transmitted and mutated from a lesser life form and evolved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lesson # 3 "God Formed"

Having looked at “God created” [vs. 1-2], we now move to the second section in our outline, how “God formed” His creation.

In the first 3 days God made the uninhabited earth productive. The last 3 days He filled the uninhabited earth.

2. God Formed [vs. 3-13]. Day 1-3.

1. Day One [vs. 1-5].

Verse 3: God spoke light into existence out of the darkness [v. 2]. The Hebrew says, “Light be.” Nobody can tell us what light is but we do know what light does.

The Latin word is Fiat. Each of the creation days begin with God speaking “And God said,” [v. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, and 29]

Q- How can there be light before the sun and moon were created on the fourth day [v. 16].

The light came from God himself who is light.

John 1:4-5, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

The New Jerusalem will enjoy light with no sun or moon.

Rev. 22:5, “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

It is probably here that the earth’s axis began. Light is a form of energy with gravity, electro-magnetic fields, and nuclear force.

Verse 4: God spoke light into existence then separated the light from darkness. Darkness was not a creation like light but the absence of light [v. 2].

The first day of creation, God set forth the principle of separation. Light from darkness, and the day from night [v. 14], but later separated the waters above from the waters below [vs. 6-8], and land from the waters [vs. 9-10].

Verse 5: Note than word “day.”

The Hebrew word is “Yom.” It refers to a 24 hour period [evening and morning.]

Q- Did God create in six literal 24 hour days or are these ages of long periods of time. Are these Solar Days or Ages?

Actually there are two popular views:

(1) The literal solar-day view in which the days of Creation are understood to be solar days (which we now calibrate as twenty-four hours).

(2) The day-age view that understands the days to be long ages. This view, of course, accommodates the geologic ages easily.

The Bible teaches six literal 24 hour days: Why?

1. The qualifying phrase “evening and morning” attached to each of the six days of Creation supports the meaning of the days as twenty-four-hour periods.

Proponents of the day-age idea reply that evening and morning is a figure of speech for beginning and ending.

Each “evening” saw the completion of the work of that age, which was followed by the “morning” of renewed activity.

But evening and morning, each occurring more than 100 times in the Old Testament, are never used to mean anything other than a literal evening and literal morning, ending or beginning a solar day. Notice the phrase in Dan. 8:26 referring to solar days.

2. Moses believed it to be literal 24 hour days. Ex. 20:11; Ex. 31:17 state that God made everything in six days. In both these passages, these are the words God spoke directly to Moses.

3. When the numerical adjective is used before day [Yom] it means 24 hour days.

Sometimes a day can mean a longer period of time such as “the day of the Lord,” the “day of judgment.”

2. Day Two [vs. 6-8].

God put an expanse between the waters that surrounded the earth and called it heaven or the sky or expanse.

The lower waters became water bodies on and under the earth. The upper water was vital in the flood.

Gen. 7:11-12; 9:11-15

The atmosphere was now inhabitable with air.

3. Day Three [vs. 9-13].

Verses 9-10: God made the earth and the seas.

Here we have the first mention of being good. Probably because it was now ready for man.

Many believe the water was in one place and the dry land also in a large continent later broken up in the flood [Gen. 7:11].
Psalm 104:5-9

Verses 11-15: Plant life created.

God created plants and trees with the seeds in them. Full grown and producing with the appearance of age. Adam was an adult and trees had rings.

“After its kind” or “species” with no mention of evolution yet. Evidently, God created several kinds of plants and trees already preprogrammed with DNA and genetic information.

Next week- God fills [1:14-31; 2:7].

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lesson # 2 "God Created"

Last week in our introductory lesson we saw what God was doing before creation “In the beginning God…”

1. God existed eternally.
2. The Eternal Godhead was in communion.
3. The Eternal Godhead planned redemption.

Tonight we begin to move thru the creation process. God created the entire universe and then formed and filled it, all in six-24 hour days.

1. God Created [vs. 1-2]. “Heavens and earth”
2. God Formed [vs. 2-13]. “Days 1-3”
3. God Filled [vs. 14-27]. “Days 4-6”

1. God Created [vs. 1-2].

Verse 1b: “created the heaven and the earth”

In the dateless past God brought the universe into existence out of nothing.

Ps. 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”

Heb. 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

God declares his creation in six days and begins to explain how he did it.

Note the word “create.” This is the Hebrew word “Bara” and is used in 1:1, 21, and 27. The word can refer to create out of nothing or with something. The word “asa” is used in 2:2, 8, and 19. It is the word formed.

God created everything by the spoken Word. Matter is not eternal but spoken into existence by God.

Scientists say there are five things necessary for existence- time, force, action, space, and matter. Beginning that’s time, God that’s force, created that’s action, heaven that’s space, and earth that’s matter.

Heaven in verse 2 is plural in the Hebrew. There are 3 heavens mentioned in the Bible:

The first heaven is the home of the birds, clouds, and the atmosphere [Dan. 4:12]. Sky

The second heaven is the home of the sun, moon, planets, and stars [Ps. 19:1]. Stellar

The third heaven is the home of God, angels, and departed saints [2 Cor. 12:2].

Verse 1 refutes 6 popular world philosophies:

1. Atheism- God exists.
2. Pantheism- God is separated from his creation. God is not all.
3. Polytheism- there is one God.
4. Materialism- Matter has a supernatural origin and was not eternal.
5. Naturalism or evolution- God created.
6. Fatalism- A personal God who freely chose to create with a purpose and plan.

Verse 2: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

v. 2 describes the conditions that existed before God formed and filled the earth. Verse 1 describes the creation of the universe. Verses 3-31 describe the process of creation by which God formed and filled what was void.

God created and it was chaos, dark, formless, and empty. God made no mistake and there was no catastrophic judgment between verse 1 and verse 2. Creation vs reconstruction.

Gap proponents say “was” means “became.” They say between v. 1 and v. 2 were chaos from judgment and what we have in v. 2 is a reconstruction of creation. The gap could be millions of years.

What we have in v.2 is just the beginning of creation as God progresses in his creation. God then formed it and filled his creation.

Gap proponents put the fall of Satan, geological ages, pre-Adam race which Lucifer ruled over from the Garden of Eden and a judgment between v. 1 and v.2.

There are two great arguments that refute the gap concept:

1. You can’t have death or judgment before sin [2 Cor. 15:21; Rom. 5:12].

2. Ex. 20:9-11; 31:17-

God created in six 24 hour days and verses 1 and 2 are included in the 6 days, not million or billion of years between them.

Let’s define some words in v. 2

“Without form, and void” means not finished in its shape and uninhabited by creatures [Isa. 45:18]. Gap proponents fail to read the rest of verse.

“Darkness” can refer to sin and judgment, but it just means there was no light yet. Evening was part of the days God declared good [v. 5]. In Ps. 104:19-24 darkness can be good.

“Deep” is the water that covered the earth before dry land was formed. The earth’s surface was like a vast sea with no land.

What about angels? Angels were created before creation.

Job 38:4-8, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. (5) Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? (6) Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; (7) When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (8) Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?”

Who are the Sons of God? [Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Gen. 6:2, 4

Ps. 148:2-3, “Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. (3) Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.”

Next week we will begin to speed up as we look at the rest of day 1 thru day 6.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lesson # 1 "What was God Doing Before Creation

I am currently teaching through the Biblical account of the six creation days contained in Gen. 1:1 - 2:3 on Wednesday nights. Here are my notes and others will be added each week.

Lesson # 1- "What Was God Doing Before Creation?"

Gen. 1:1a, "In the beginning God..."

God simply states His creation as fact without any defense. So there is no need to mention evolution because it carries no credence with God.

I will not present evolution or study creation and evolution side by side, but simply present creation as God presents it. Genesis chapter 1 teaches us that God created the entire universe and then formed and filled it all in 6-24 hour days.

The “beginning” of Gen. 1:1 apparently refers to the beginning of the Creation of the world. Young earth creationists fix the time as 4004 B.C., and no further than 10,000 b.c. Evolutionists suggest 4,500,000,000 B.C.

The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that it is by faith that we understand that the ages were framed by the Word of God and that what is seen was not made out of visible things (Heb. 11:3).

The ages refer to all the periods of time as well as all that they contain. Since obviously there were no human spectators to Creation, and since the first man was placed in an already existing universe, we must accept by faith whatever God has revealed about Creation. Otherwise we will know nothing with certainty about Creation. We have an eyewitness account.

“In the beginning God” [the dateless past before time and creation], God does not explain His existence; neither does He explain His creating work. He just states, “In the beginning God.” So that is how we will conduct our study of the six days of creation.

Someone said, “God created heaven for those who believe verse 1, and hell for those who don’t believe verse 1.

It basically comes down to believing one of two beliefs, either one believes in Eternal matter or Eternal God.

Q- What was God doing before creation? What was God’s purpose in creation? What was before Genesis?

1. God eternally existed in His glory.

God is eternal; He has neither beginning nor end. He is totally self-sufficient and self existent. He needs nothing outside Himself to exist.

God needs nothing, the universe, the earth, or man. But He chose to create them.

Ps. 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

1 Tim. 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

2. The Divine trinity existed in communion.

There is one true God who exists in three persons: God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Warren Wiersbe says, “This does not mean that one God manifested Himself in three different forms, or that there are three Gods; it means that one God exists in three persons who are equal in their attributes and yet distinct in different offices and ministries.”

Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 2:32-33, Eph. 4:1-6

Note the name “God” which is ELOHIM in the Hebrew. This name speaks of God’s almighty power. This is in the plural noun and can be translated “Gods.”
This identification of Elohim as Creator refutes several serious heresies that we will look at next week.

The Holy trinity was involved in creation. Note the “let us” statements in the in the Book of Genesis and a few others.

Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Ps. 2:7

What was happening before creation? God existed eternally, the Holy Trinity existed eternally in communion, and also the Holy Trinity planned the plan redemption.

3. The trinity planned redemption.

The trinity took counsel in eternity past and planned salvation. Salvation was not an afterthought, but a predetermined plan.

Eph. 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

Rev. 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Rev. 17:8, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

We were chosen by the Father and given to the Son. The death of Christ on the cross and our belief in Him secured this transaction.

God created a world that He might share His love with man who He made in the image of God.

According to Eph. 1:3-14; the plan of salvation included the Holy Trinity. We were chosen by the Father [vs. 3-6], purchased by the Son [vs. 7-12], and summons and sealed by the Holy Spirit [vs. 13-14].

Someone said, “Try to explain these things and you may lose your mind; but try to explain them away, and you will lose your soul.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Election and Eternal Security

John 6:37-40, "All the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine will, but the will of him that sent me. 39. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40. And this is the will of him that sent me, and every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

What quick nuggets of truth about divine election and eternal security of the true believer can we learn from this passage as we "let the Scripture speak."

1. Election- Believers are a love gift to the Son and all will come [v. 37a].

This transaction took place in eternity past [John 17:6, 8,11-12; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8;17:8].

Here we see both the sovereignty of God in salvation and human responsibility in hearing the gospel and believing.

All those given to the Son in eternity past will come to the Son in time.

2. Eternal Salvation- The repenting believing sinner who comes to Christ is eternally secure in Christ v. 40].

Our security is not in us but in Christ. He is the one who does the persevering work.

There is no such thing as a true believer losing salvation by quit believing.

We sin and undergo the correction of the Lord because we are children [Heb. 12:5-11]. Correction proves Son-ship.

We are eternally secure because we have been elected.

We have everlasting life given to us by the Son and the Father. We have a guaranteed bodily resurrection at the rapture or the resurrection of the just.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Collection for the Saints

“The Collection for the Saints" 1 Cor. 16:1-4

The believers at Corinth, as carnal as they were, asked Paul about the collection he was taking for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Paul answered their question and gave directions.

One of the most important ministries Paul had during his third journey was the gathering of a special “relief offering,” for the poor believers in Jerusalem.

Even though this was a special missionary offering, from Paul’s instructions we learn some basic principles that relate to Christian stewardship or giving.

1. Giving is to be particular [v. 1]. “For the saints”

This offering was for the saints in Jerusalem. He wanted to achieve three purposes in this offering:

1. For one thing, the Gentiles owed material help to the Jews in return for the spiritual blessings the Jews had given them.

2. At the Jerusalem Conference years before, Paul had agreed to “remember the poor,” so he was keeping his pledge. Paul not only preached the Gospel, but he also tried to assist those who had physical and material needs.

Why was there such a great need in the Jerusalem church? It is likely that many of the believers had been visiting Jerusalem at Pentecost when they heard the Word and were saved.

This meant that they were strangers, without employment, and the church would have to care for them.

In the early days of the church, the members had gladly shared with each other but even their resources were limited. There had also been a famine and the relief sent at that time could not last for too long a time.

Acts 11:28, “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.”

3. Paul’s greatest motive for taking up the offering was to help unite Jewish and Gentile believers. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles, and this bothered some of the Jewish believers (Acts 17:21-25).

The primary purpose of giving is for the support of the saints.

Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:17

2. Giving is to be an act of worship [v. 2a]. “First day of the week”

Each member was to come to the Lord’s Day gathering prepared to give his share for that week. The early church met on the first day of the week in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (The Holy Spirit came on the church at Pentecost on the first day of the week.)

Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

It is tragic when church members give only as a duty and forget that our offerings are to be “spiritual sacrifices” presented to the Lord

Phil. 4:18, “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

3. Giving is to be systematic [v. 2a] “Upon the first day”

Some teachers have suggested that many people were paid on the first day of the week during that time in history. But even if they were not, each believer was to set aside his offering at home and then bring it to the assembly on the first day.

Paul did not want to have to take up a number of collections when he arrived in Corinth. He wanted the whole contribution to be ready.

If today’s church members were as systematic in their giving as they are in handling their other financial matters, the work of the Lord would not suffer as it sometimes does.

Statistics tells us the average Christian gives 2.7% with 20% being tithers.

4. Giving is to be personal and individual [v. 2a]. “everyone of you”

Paul expected each member to share in the offering, the rich and poor alike. Anyone who had an income was privileged to share and to help those in need. He wanted all to share in the blessing.

“Lay by him in store” means treasury, storehouse, cellar, or chest, a place were valuables are stored. It’s seems to be saying, “Put aside in the church treasury these offerings.”

To equate this with the OT temple treasury in Malachi 3:10 is a gross misinterpretation of God’s Word.

The storehouse in the OT is different from what Paul intends in 1 Cor. 16:2. “Storehouse” refers to a special room or rooms in the temple for keeping produce and grain.

The OT required giving of 3 tithes which totaled about 23% annually to fund the national government of Israel, take care of public festivals and provide welfare.

5. Giving is to be proportionate [v. 2b]. “As God has prospered him”

Paul did not mention any special proportion for this special offering. Certainly the tithe (10 percent of one’s income) is a good place to begin our stewardship, but as the Lord gives us more, we should plan to give more.

The trouble is, too many saints, as they earn more, gain more financial obligations; and then they do not have more to give to the Lord. As the old saying goes, “When your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep is your downfall.”

Paul made it clear in 2 Corinthians 8-9 that Christian giving is a grace, the outflow of the grace of God in our lives and not the result of promotion or pressure. An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand. If we appreciate the grace of God extended to us, we will want to express that grace by sharing with others.

6. Money is to be handled honestly [vs. 3-4].

The various churches involved in this special offering appointed delegates to help Paul manage it and take it safely to Jerusalem.

It is unfortunate when Christian ministries lose their testimony because they mismanage funds entrusted to them. Every ministry ought to be businesslike in its financial affairs.
Paul was very careful not to allow anything to happen that would give his enemies opportunity to accuse him of stealing funds (2 Cor. 8:20-21).

There were no “chapter breaks” in the original manuscripts, so the readers would go right from the resurrection to money. Doctrine and duty go together; so do worship and works. Our giving is “not in vain” because our Lord is alive. It is His resurrection power that motivates us to give and to serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is There Hope for Israel?

Luke 13:35, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate:and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, 'Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD.'"

Israel’s house has been left desolate. The nation has no king or priest, no temple or sacrifice

Hosea 3:4-5, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: (5) Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”

Verse 35a: The people had been given many opportunities to repent and be saved, but they had refused to heed His call.

“House” refers both to the “family” of Jacob (“the house of Israel”) and to the temple (“the house of God”), both of which would be “left desolate.” The city and temple were destroyed and the people were scattered.

But the nation has God’s promise that she has not been forsaken.

Rom 11:1, “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Rom 11:2, God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

Foreknew? proginosko (G4267), "to know beforehand," is used (a) of the divine "foreknowledge" concerning believers, Rom. 8:29; Israel, Rom.11:2; Christ as the Lamb of God, 1 Peter 1:20 "foreordained").

Not foresight but foreordination. It speaks of a predetermined plan or relationship.

Deut. 7:6-8

There can be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) is seated on David’s throne (Is. 11:1).

There is a future for Israel. The time will come when their Messiah will return and be recognized and received by the people. They will say, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”

Ps. 118:26, “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.”

Some of the people used these words at His “triumphal entry” (Luke 19:38), but they will not have their fulfillment until His coming in glory.

Zech. 12:10, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

Zech. 14:4, “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

Is there hope for Israel? “God has not cast away His people which He foreknew or foreordained.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I Love Teaching At Suwannee River Bible College

1. The college was founded, and is led by, men who are committed to expository preaching. Thank you Pastor Brad Bailey and Pastor Chad Bailey!!!

2. Those enrolled are committed to knowing and growing in God's Word.

3. It is refreshing to see teachable, hungry, and skilled students setting at the feet of the teacher with a desire to be fed.

4. Teaching at the college makes me study more thoroughly.

5. It is good to see men and women reaching for the goal [Diploma,Degree]and the satisfaction of having achieved something really worth while.

6. It is rewarding to have the privilege of investing in the lives of men and women, the whole counsel of God's Word.

7. I love the fellowship after the class as iron sharpens iron over a great meal.

8. The goal is to impart truth and valuable experience into the lives of faithful men who will be able to pass it on to faithful men.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ten Truths about Tongues

1. Tongue? “Glossa” means known language they have not studied [Acts 2 and 1 Cor. 12-14]. It was not gibberish or ecstatic utterance.

2. It was a revelatory gift- sign to Jews that the messiah had come. It was a sign that Judaism was obsolete; Christianity had taken its place. It was a judgment sign (I Cor 14:21-22; Isa 28:11-12), and to get the gospel out of Jerusalem.

3. Wherever tongues are mentioned in Acts, Jews are present or in the background (Acts 10:46 gentiles 19:6 John’s disciples).Not at the Samaritans (Acts 8:17).

4. Not a sign of the baptism of the Spirit (I Cor 12:13). Not at conversion of the 3,000 (Acts 2:41) or the 5,000 (Acts 4:4).

5. Not a sign of the Spirit-filled Christian (Eph 5:18; I Cor 12:30).

6. Not a sign of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

7. Listed near the last of the gifts in 4 listings in the New Testament.

8. In I Corinthians 12-14 Paul addresses a carnal Church about the misuse of the gift- pride and pagan worship practices resulted in Corinthian chaos. Paul only mentioned tongues in this letter.

9. Paul said it would come to a quick end (I Cor 13:8).

10. Paul was multilingual, he was a schooled man.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Answering the Cults

1. What to say to a Mormon?

A. Refuting Mormons belief [Doctrines and Covenants Sect. 130:22] that God is material, a man with a body like us who progressed to Godhood.

God is a Spirit [John 4:24]. No man has seen God in his full manifestation and lived.

• God is a spirit that does not have flesh and bones [Luke 24:39].
• God is not a man [Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29].
• God is invisible [Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:27].

2. What to say to a Jehovah Witness?

A. Refuting Jehovah Witness as to the Deity of Jesus and the Trinity-

Jesus is God - Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Gen. 1:1; John 1:1; 10:30; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:10-13; 2 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Tim 1:1; 1 John 1:2; 4:2-3; 5:1; Rev. 1:8; 21:6 Jesus was not just a perfect man but he is the God-man.

The Trinity in the O.T. - Gen 1:1-2, 26; 3:22; 11:7; 19:24; Isaiah 6:8; 9:6; 48:16; 63:10; Psalm 45:6-7; 110:1

The Trinity in the N.T. - Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; Jude 20-21

B. Refuting JW’s that Jesus is first created being-

John 1:1- they say was “a God,” not “was God.” Jesus was co-equal, co-existent, and co-eternal with the Father- John 1:14; 5:17-18; 8:56-59; 10:30-33; Col. 1:15-20; 2:9

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Biblical Separation

The Bible teaches that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

The Bible also teaches that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. Separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

Further, the Bible teaches that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2), and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why Sign Gifts Have Ceased

Why the Sign Gifts Have Ceased

1 Cor. 12: 28-31, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? (30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

1 Cor. 13:8-10, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

1 Cor. 14:1-28

2 Cor. 12:12, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”

Eph. 2:19-22, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Heb. 2:3-4, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; (4) God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Jude 3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is a Christian?

Christians are believing sinners who follow Jesus Christ, having repented of their sins and having placed faith in Jesus believing He is the Eternal Son of God come in the flesh, who died in our place on the cross paying the sin debt of all who believe.

We believe salvation is by grace alone thru faith in Christ alone. Human merit or human effort can’t save us.

We believe Jesus was buried and rose in a bodily resurrection on the third day. We believe all the Scriptures teach about His Person and Work.

We believe Jesus is building his church thru the gospel invitation from the Scriptures and the saints to all mankind.

We believe lost people must hear the gospel, be convicted of their sins, and believe the gospel.

Then they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, placed in the body of Christ, and worship and serve him here on earth till they go to heaven by death or rapture.

They are new creations in Christ and give evidence of their salvation by their transformed life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What is an Apostate?

The word apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia, which is translated “falling away’ in 2 Thess. 2:3. The word is closely related to the Greek word for “divorce.’

Apostates are those who fall away from the true faith, abandoning what they formerly profess to believe. The term describes those whose beliefs are so deficient as to place them outside the realm of true Christianity. For example, a liberal denomination that denies the authority of Scripture or the deity of Christ is an apostate denomination.

True Christians do not apostatize. Those who fall away into apostasy demonstrate that their faith was never real to begin with [1 John 2:19].

Monday, March 14, 2011

Questionable Matters

Doubtful or Questionable Matters?

1 Cor. 8:1-13; Romans 14:1-23

1. Is this activity or habit necessary? Is this an added weight to
my Christian life?

2. Is it helpful and useful, or only a desire?

3. What would Jesus do?

4. How will this affect others?

5. Is my testimony helped or hindered?

6. Will unbelievers be drawn to Christ or led away from Christ?

7. Will this help me mature in Christ?

8. Will this glorify God?

9. Will this violate Scripture?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Who was the Twelfth Apostle?

Should Peter have waited in choosing an apostle until after Pentecost? Who was the 12th apostle, Matthias or Paul?

1. Jesus had already breathed on them and imparted the Spirit (John 20:22), but at Pentecost they were filled with power and baptized into the body of Christ. So Peter was spiritually endowed and qualified to act before Pentecost.

2. Peter referred to several Psalms and was led by the Spirit of God and Jesus had opened their minds to understand the scriptures (vv.16-20). They spent much time in prayer before the casting of the lots.

3. Some say Paul was the twelfth apostle because Matthias is never heard of again. Neither is the others mentioned after 1:13 except Peter and John.

4. Paul did not meet all the qualifications of the other eleven (1:21-22). He was called by Jesus, he saw the resurrected Lord, and he performed signs and wonders, but he did not walk with Jesus from His baptism to His ascension. He was an apostle, but not counted with the twelve.

5. Paul made it clear he was not to be mentioned with the twelve (I Cor. 15: 5, 8-9).

6. The 12 apostles were to go to Israel, Paul to the Gentiles [Eph. 3:8; 1 Cor. 15:9].

7. God gave his approval by empowering Matthias in Acts 2.

8. Evidently the choosing of the twelfth apostle had to take place before Pentecost.

9. The Lord never rebuked Peter as he did on other occasions with the Apostles when they were in error. It seems hard to believe that the Lord would have allowed such a crucial error at the beginning of the church considering his action in Acts 5.

Consider these Scriptures on Paul.

Acts 9:15-16 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.

1 Corinthians 15:5-9 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Galatians 1:15-17 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Revelation 21:12-14 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


For some reason my heart has really been burdened for true Biblical preaching. In fact, I often read again my books on preaching over and over. I believe when they lay my body in the grave, I still will not have learned to preach. We never arrive, though we strive. I want to be known as a preacher that was committed to text-driven preaching.

I especially like the following books: "Expository Preaching" by John MacArthur, "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon Robinson, "Preaching with Bold Assurance" by Hershael York, and "Power in the Pulpit" by Jerry Vines.

My hearts desire is to find the "big Idea" in the preaching unit and to convey the author's intent from the passage. I want to preach the text saying what the author said. There is much more I could say on building and amplifying the main points, but you get the point. Who are we to pull a verse out of context and come up with our own outline? Most preaching misses the point intented by the author and takes it out of context. Bro. Gordon Pittman taught me years ago that context is king. "Three rules of interpretation" he would say, "context, context, context." One thought struck me, "The passage can't mean now what it did not mean then."

So I continue to develop God's gift under the Spirit's enablement, and each day I pray that I will be a better expositor and not an entertainer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Parable of the Soils

Luke 8:4-15

Why did Jesus tell this parable? Jesus uses this parable to encourage his disciples that not all will believe and there will be many false professors. We are not to be discouraged by the small harvest. The fault is not with the sower if he is sowing. The fault does not lie with the Seed. The problem is with the soil.

In our text we see 3 components of the parable of the soils- the Sower, the seed, and the soils. Jesus teaches the disciples and us that there are different responses to the gospel [v. 1].

1. The Sower [v. 5a].

The Sower is Jesus Christ, but also represents any of God’s people who share the Word of God.

John 4:35-38 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

To sow means “to scatter or broadcast.” Note that the Sower “went out” to sow. Note also that he purposed to sow. Note the phrase “some fell.” Evangelism is done outside the church building with “as you go’ witnessing” and no special targeting of a certain kind of people.

2. The Seed [v. 5b].

The seed is the Word of God that imparts spiritual life and produces spiritual fruit. The seed must be planted before it can give an increase. When a person hears and understands the Word, then the seed is planted in the heart. What happens then depends on the nature of the heart.

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

3. The Soils [vv. 5c-8, 11-15].

The seed must have the soil and the soil must have the seed. The soil is the human heart. The fertile heart can hear the gospel, understand and believe the gospel, and produce a spiritual harvest.

Jesus described 4 different kinds of hearts or responses to the gospel. Three of the four hearts did not bear any fruit. The proof of salvation is fruit and not merely hearing or making a profession.

A. The Hard Heart [vv. 5, 12]. “wayside”

This soil represents the person who hears the Word but immediately the devil snatches the seed away.

How did the heart become hard? The “wayside” was the path that run thru a common field, separating the plots; and the foot traffic hardened the soil. The heart had been hardened by the things of the world- pride of life, lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes.

Hard heart with no conviction, self- satisfied and self sufficient.
Unconcern about spiritual matters. Calloused or stiff-necked heart.

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

B. The Shallow Heart [vv. 6, 13]. “rock or stony”

This soil represents the emotional hearer who responds initially with joy, but does not continue because there is no root. Shallow evangelism is a breeding ground to shallow heart. There is no conviction of sin, repentance, or dying to self, no commitment.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

“for a while believe” when testing and persecution come because of the word, it withers away. The shallowness of the false Christian is exposed.

Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

C. The Crowded Heart [vv. 7, 14].

This soil represents the person who does not repent and “weed out” the things that hinder the harvest. The cares, riches, and pleasures of this life choke it out from bearing fruit. Heart is infested with thorns, and cares and riches choke it out. Never able to take root. Preoccupied with problems, prestige, power, position and possessions.

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

D. The Good Heart [vv. 8, 15].

This soil represents the person who hears, understands, receives, and believes the word to bear fruit. This person is truly saved and bears fruit.

What makes good soil? Heart prepared by the Spirit of God. (John 16:8-11).

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.