(ctrl) and (+) magnifies screen if type too small.              me         quotes             scripture verse             footnotes       Words of Jesus      Links

9/27/2023     Yesterday     Tomorrow

Habakkuk - Zephaniah 1-3

Habakkuk 1

Habakkuk 1:1     The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

2  O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3  Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4  So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.

The LORD’s Answer

5  “Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6  For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
7  They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
8  Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
9  They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
10  At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
11  Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12  Are you not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13  You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
14  You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15  He brings all of them up with a hook;
he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
so he rejoices and is glad.
16  Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,
and his food is rich.
17  Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?

Habakkuk 2

Habakkuk 2:1     I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

2 And the LORD answered me:

“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3  For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.

4  “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.

See the  Habakkuk - Zephaniah 1-3  panel in the right column above videos and listen to Brett Meador  The Just Shall Live By Faith.  It is one of the best messages I have ever heard.   Refernces   Romans 1:15,   Romans 3:9-18,   Galatians 1:1,   Galatians 6-9,   Galatians 2:16 and 19-21,   Galatians 3:1-3,   Galatians 3:10,   Galatians 3:21-25,   Galatians 5:1-6,   Galatians 5:10-12

5  “Moreover, wine is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

6 Shall not all these take up their taunt against him,
with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
for how long?—
and loads himself with pledges!”
7  Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8  Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.

9  “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to set his nest on high,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
10  You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
11  For the stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.

12  “Woe to him who builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
13  Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts
that peoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14  For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

15  “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze at their nakedness!
16  You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
The cup in the LORD’s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter shame will come upon your glory!
17  The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.

18  “What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes speechless idols!
19  Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
and there is no breath at all in it.
20  But the LORD is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.”

Habakkuk 3

Habakkuk’s Prayer

Habakkuk 3:1     A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

2  O LORD, I have heard the report of you,
and your work, O LORD, do I fear.
In the midst of the years revive it;
in the midst of the years make it known;
in wrath remember mercy.
3  God came from Teman,
and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covered the heavens,
and the earth was full of his praise.
4  His brightness was like the light;
rays flashed from his hand;
and there he veiled his power.
5  Before him went pestilence,
and plague followed at his heels.
6  He stood and measured the earth;
he looked and shook the nations;
then the eternal mountains were scattered;
the everlasting hills sank low.
His were the everlasting ways.
7  I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
8  Was your wrath against the rivers, O LORD?
Was your anger against the rivers,
or your indignation against the sea,
when you rode on your horses,
on your chariot of salvation?
9  You stripped the sheath from your bow,
calling for many arrows. Selah
You split the earth with rivers.
10  The mountains saw you and writhed;
the raging waters swept on;
the deep gave forth its voice;
it lifted its hands on high.
11  The sun and moon stood still in their place
at the light of your arrows as they sped,
at the flash of your glittering spear.
12  You marched through the earth in fury;
you threshed the nations in anger.
13  You went out for the salvation of your people,
for the salvation of your anointed.
You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,
laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah
14  You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,
who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,
rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.
15  You trampled the sea with your horses,
the surging of mighty waters.

16  I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the LORD

17  Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18  yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19  GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Zephaniah 1

Zephaniah 1:1     The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

2  “I will utterly sweep away everything
from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
3  “I will sweep away man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds of the heavens
and the fish of the sea,
and the rubble with the wicked.
I will cut off mankind
from the face of the earth,” declares the LORD.
4  “I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal
and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,
5  those who bow down on the roofs
to the host of the heavens,
those who bow down and swear to the LORD
and yet swear by Milcom,
6  those who have turned back from following the LORD,
who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him.”

The Day of the LORD Is Near

7  Be silent before the Lord GOD!
For the day of the LORD is near;
the LORD has prepared a sacrifice
and consecrated his guests.
8  And on the day of the LORD’s sacrifice—
“I will punish the officials and the king’s sons
and all who array themselves in foreign attire.
9  On that day I will punish
everyone who leaps over the threshold,
and those who fill their master’s house
with violence and fraud.

10  “On that day,” declares the LORD,
“a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,
a wail from the Second Quarter,
a loud crash from the hills.

11  Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!
For all the traders are no more;
all who weigh out silver are cut off.
12  At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
and I will punish the men
who are complacent,
those who say in their hearts,
‘The LORD will not do good,
nor will he do ill.’
13  Their goods shall be plundered,
and their houses laid waste.
Though they build houses,
they shall not inhabit them;
though they plant vineyards,
they shall not drink wine from them.”

14  The great day of the LORD is near,
near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter;
the mighty man cries aloud there.
15  A day of wrath is that day,
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16  a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the lofty battlements.

17  I will bring distress on mankind,
so that they shall walk like the blind,
because they have sinned against the LORD;
their blood shall be poured out like dust,
and their flesh like dung.
18  Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the LORD.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Zephaniah 3

Judgment on Judah’s Enemies

Zephaniah 2:1     Gather together, yes, gather,
O shameless nation,
2  before the decree takes effect
—before the day passes away like chaff—
before there comes upon you
the burning anger of the LORD,
before there comes upon you
the day of the anger of the LORD.
3  Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the LORD.
4  For Gaza shall be deserted,
and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;
Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon,
and Ekron shall be uprooted.

5  Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast,
you nation of the Cherethites!
The word of the LORD is against you,
O Canaan, land of the Philistines;
and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left.
6  And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures,
with meadows for shepherds
and folds for flocks.
7  The seacoast shall become the possession
of the remnant of the house of Judah,
on which they shall graze,
and in the houses of Ashkelon
they shall lie down at evening.
For the LORD their God will be mindful of them
and restore their fortunes.

8  “I have heard the taunts of Moab
and the revilings of the Ammonites,
how they have taunted my people
and made boasts against their territory.
9  Therefore, as I live,” declares the LORD of hosts,
the God of Israel,
“Moab shall become like Sodom,
and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,
a land possessed by nettles and salt pits,
and a waste forever.
The remnant of my people shall plunder them,
and the survivors of my nation shall possess them.”
10  This shall be their lot in return for their pride,
because they taunted and boasted
against the people of the LORD of hosts.
11  The LORD will be awesome against them;
for he will famish all the gods of the earth,
and to him shall bow down,
each in its place,
all the lands of the nations.

12  You also, O Cushites,
shall be slain by my sword.

13  And he will stretch out his hand against the north
and destroy Assyria,
and he will make Nineveh a desolation,
a dry waste like the desert.
14  Herds shall lie down in her midst,
all kinds of beasts;
even the owl and the hedgehog
shall lodge in her capitals;
a voice shall hoot in the window;
devastation will be on the threshold;
for her cedar work will be laid bare.
15  This is the exultant city
that lived securely,
that said in her heart,
“I am, and there is no one else.”
What a desolation she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
Everyone who passes by her
hisses and shakes his fist.

Zephaniah 3

Judgment on Jerusalem and the Nations

Zephaniah 3:1     Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled,
the oppressing city!
2  She listens to no voice;
she accepts no correction.
She does not trust in the LORD;
she does not draw near to her God.

3  Her officials within her
are roaring lions;
her judges are evening wolves
that leave nothing till the morning.
4  Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men;
her priests profane what is holy;
they do violence to the law.
5  The LORD within her is righteous;
he does no injustice;
every morning he shows forth his justice;
each dawn he does not fail;
but the unjust knows no shame.

6  “I have cut off nations;
their battlements are in ruins;
I have laid waste their streets
so that no one walks in them;
their cities have been made desolate,
without a man, without an inhabitant.
7  I said, ‘Surely you will fear me;
you will accept correction.
Then your dwelling would not be cut off
according to all that I have appointed against you.’
But all the more they were eager
to make all their deeds corrupt.

8  “Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD,
“for the day when I rise up to seize the prey.
For my decision is to gather nations,
to assemble kingdoms,
to pour out upon them my indignation,
all my burning anger;
for in the fire of my jealousy
all the earth shall be consumed.

The Conversion of the Nations

9  “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples
to a pure speech,
that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD
and serve him with one accord.
10  From beyond the rivers of Cush
my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones,
shall bring my offering.

11  “On that day you shall not be put to shame
because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
in my holy mountain.
12  But I will leave in your midst
a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,
13  those who are left in Israel;
they shall do no injustice
and speak no lies,
nor shall there be found in their mouth
a deceitful tongue.
For they shall graze and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid.”

Israel’s Joy and Restoration

14  Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17  The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18  I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19  Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20  At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the LORD.

ESV Study Bible

What I'm Reading

Four Truths About the Universe You Can Share with Your Kids to Demonstrate the Existence of God

By J. Warner Wallace 9/25/2017

     If you’ve raised your children to believe Christianity is true, you probably want them to continue to believe it’s true, especially through their critical university years. There are good reasons to be concerned for young Christians once they leave our care. Statistically, most will walk away from the Church (and their belief in God) during their college years. What can we, as parents, do to address this growing problem? How can we help them know that God exists?

     As a cold-case detective, parent, and prior youth pastor, I have a suggestion: master the case for God’s existence and start sharing it with your kids at an early age. Sounds simple, right? Maybe, or maybe not. If your kids asked you to defend the existence of God right now, what would say? What evidences would you provide? Are you ready to make the case for what you believe, even as the world around us often makes the case against God’s existence? Don’t panic, you don’t have to be a theologian, philosopher or scientist to defend the truth. All you need to be is interested.

     It’s not hard to be interested when the spiritual fate of our kids is hanging in the balance. Make a commitment to investigate the case for God’s existence so you can communicate it to your kids. The Apostle Paul was correct when he said that God’s “invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” (Romans 1:20). We’ve written God’s Crime Scene for Kids to help you and your children investigate everything “that has been made.” Along the way, you’ll discover four truths that will help your kids demonstrate the existence of God:

     Our Universe Requires a Divine “First Cause | Scientists have determined that our universe is not infinitely old. In fact, they now believe that everything in the universe, all space, time and matter, had a beginning in the distant past. Everything that begins to exist must have a cause. What could account for the beginning of the universe?

     One thing is certain: whatever caused the cosmos must be something other than space, time or matter (since these didn’t exist prior to the beginning of the universe). That means we’re looking for something non-spatial, non-temporal, non-material, and incredibly powerful. Sounds a lot like God, doesn’t it?

Click here to go to source

James "Jim" Warner Wallace (born June 16, 1961) is an American homicide detective and Christian apologist. Wallace is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and an Adjunct Professor of Apologetics at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He has authored several books, including Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, in which he applies principles of cold case homicide investigation to apologetic concerns such as the existence of God and the reliability of the Gospels.

Performing Abortion is “God’s Work?” The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion

By Albert Mohler 5/15/2017

     To the utter consternation of the abortion rights movement, the issue simply will not go away. Decades after they thought they had put the matter to rest with the Roe v. Wade decision, America’s conscience is more troubled than ever, and near panic appears regularly to break out among abortion activists. Such a panic is now underway, and the defenders of abortion are trotting out some of their most dishonest arguments. One of the worst is the claim that Christians have only quite recently become concerned about the sanctity of human life and the evil of abortion.

     In fact, one of America’s most infamous abortion doctors, Dr. Willie Parker of Mississippi, has made such a claim in his new book, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. Parker, who refers to himself as a Christian, writes: “If you take anti-abortion rhetoric at face value, without knowing much about the Bible, you might assume that the antis have Scripture on their side. That’s how dominant and pervasive their righteous rhetoric has become. But they do not. The Bible does not contain the word ‘abortion’ anywhere in it.”

     This is the same argument we so often confront on sexuality issues. We are told that Jesus never said anything against same-sex marriage. The disingenuous nature of this argument is fully apparent when we look to a text like Matthew 19:3-6. Jesus makes abundantly clear that God’s intention “from the beginning” is that humanity, made male and female, should united in marriage and “the two shall become one flesh.” As Jesus continued, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” That should settle the matter.

     Similarly, Dr. Parker claims that the Bible does not even mention abortion as a word, which is quite true but irrelevant. The Bible consistently reveals life as God’s gift and mandates the protection of human life, made in God’s image, at every stage of life and development.

     As you might expect, Dr. Parker would not change his argument even if the Bible did condemn abortion by name. Why do I say this? Dr. Parker’s words speak better for themselves: “As an inspired document, the Bible is full of guidance for me about justice and love. But as a historical document, the Bible is a ruthless, unsparing record of the historic misogyny of the early Jewish and Christian people.” Later in his book he attributes the pro-life position to preoccupation with regulating sexual behavior and “a rigid reading of Scripture that invites no questioning or interpretive consideration.” It is only by undermining the Bible’s authority that he can make his pro-abortion argument.

Click here to go to source

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

     Albert Mohler Books |  Go to Books Page

The Coming of the Kingdom part 37

By Dr. Andrew Woods 05/19/2015

We began scrutinizing New Testament texts that "kingdom now" theologians employ in an attempt to argue that the kingdom is a present reality in order to show that none of these passages teach a present form of the kingdom. We have examined the typical texts from the Gospels,  Acts, Paul's letters, the general epistles, and  Revelation that are typically used by "kingdom now" theologians. At this point, we largely find ourselves in agreement with the following statement by Craven. Concerning a present, spiritual establishment of the kingdom, Craven notes, "There is no critically undisputed passage in the Scriptures which declares, or necessarily implies, even a partial establishment in New Testament times." [1] We then began to take a look at some other miscellaneous arguments used by "kingdom now" theologians. In the last two installments, we noted how "kingdom now" theologians often appeal to alleged New Testament silence regarding a future earthly reign of Christ. There, we exposed the logical and biblical fallacies associated with such inadequate argumentation. We now move on to examining yet another miscellaneous argument commonly emanating from the "kingdom now" camp.

Jesus' Present Inactivity?

Typical of "kingdom now" theologians is the idea that if Christ is not ruling now in regal fashion from David's Throne in heaven over a present, spiritual form of the Davidic Kingdom, then this means that Jesus is inactive at the present time. In other words, a lack of a present enthronement of Christ translates into the conclusion that Jesus is presently doing nothing. Progressive Dispensationalist and "kingdom now" theologian David Anderson exhibits this very mindset when he says:

But clearly Jesus did not set up a natural theocratic kingdom with Himself as the king ruling from Jerusalem on earth before His resurrection. So, what happened to the kingdom He promised? It was postponed, many NT interpreters suggest... But if the premillennial view just espoused is true, that leaves the question concerning the present ministry of Christ. What is He doing right now?...But classical or revised dispensationalists should also recognize the already eschatology of  Hebrews. Christ is not passive on the throne. He is reigning. He has subjects. And because He is the forerunner, there are many present blessings which belong to the eschatological age which can be enjoyed now because the Davidic Covenant with some of its blessings has been inaugurated. [2]

Is the mindset valid that says if Jesus is not reigning now as king then He is presently doing nothing? Just because traditional Dispensationalists resist the idea that the present age should be characterized as the Davidic Kingdom, this does not mean they also believe that Jesus is somehow inactive or doing nothing at the present time. This mischaracterization represents a "straw man" argument since traditional Dispensationalists have long categorized the present, active ministry of Christ as His "Present Session" rather than His Davidic reign. While not corresponding to what the Old Testament predicts concerning the Davidic reign, traditional Dispensationalism has long recognized Christ's "Present Session" as an active session in which Christ, while at the right hand of the Father, is involved in numerous activities. [3] As Waterhouse well states, "The Bible teaches that Christ is now at the right hand of God in glory ( Acts 7:56; Col 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 12:2 ). He is not in the least inactive." [4]

Acts 7:56 (NASB95) and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,  and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Hebrews 8:1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Chafer explains the reasons for widespread ignorance concerning Christ's present, heavenly ministry:

The present ministry of Christ in heaven, known as His session, is far-reaching both in consequence and import. It, too, has not been treated even with a passing consideration by Covenant theologians, doubtless due to their inability – because of being confronted with their one covenant theory – to introduce features and ministries which indicate a new divine purpose in the Church and by so much tend to disrupt the unity of a supposed immutable purpose and covenant of God's. Since, as will be seen, certain vital ministries of Christ in heaven provide completely for the believer's security, the present session of Christ has been eschewed by Arminians in a manner equally unpardonable. This neglect accounts very well for the emphasis of their pulpit ministrations. The Christian public, because deprived of the knowledge of Christ's present ministry, are unaware of its vast realities, though they are able from childhood itself to relate the mere historical facts and activities of Christ during His three and one-half years of service on earth. That Christ is doing anything now is not recognized by Christians generally and for this part - truth kind of preaching is wholly responsible. It yet remains true, whether neglected by one or the other kind of theologian, that Christ is now engaged in ministry which determines the service and destiny of all those who have put their trust in Him. [5]
Christ's Present Session

Here is just a small sampling of some of the present activities in which Christ is now engaged. Just as Christ created all things ( John 1:3 ), He currently sustains the very universe that He created ( Col. 1:16-17 ). In His current position of glory ( John 17:5 ), He has also been appointed by the Father as head over all things relative to His body the Church ( Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18 ). In this position, He functions as husband of His bride the Church ( Eph. 5:22-33 ), and occupies the position as the Church's builder ( Matt. 16:18 ). The Book of  Acts, which documents both the birth and growth of the early Church, demonstrates His effectiveness as the Church's architect.  "So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls" Acts 2:41 );  "And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved" Acts 2:47 );  "But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand" Acts 4:4 );  "And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number" Acts 5:14 );  "Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name" Acts 15:14 ).  Acts abounds in both clear ( Acts 2:47; 6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; 19:20; 28:30-31 ) and sometimes less clear ( Acts 1:15; 2:41; 4:4, 31; 5:14, 42; 8:25, 40; 11:21; 13:49; 17:6 ) progress reports evidencing Christ's vigorous present activity as the Church's builder.

Beyond this, Christ is the present bestower of spiritual gifts to all members of His body the Church. According to  Ephesian 4:7-12, "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men'...And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ." These spiritual gifts, which are sovereignly bestowed by God ( 1 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4 ), are Spirit - empowered abilities for the express purpose of serving Christ primarily within the context of His local Church ( 1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Pet. 4:10-11 ). In addition, Christ is active in His present position as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek ( Heb. 6:20 ) in continually interceding for the saints. The ministry of intercession that He began during His earthly ministry ( John 17:9, 20 ), He now continues at the Father's right hand ( Rom. 8:34 ). Thus,  Hebrews 7:25 explains,  "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Moreover, when the Christian sins ( 1 John 1:8 ), Christ as High Priest is also active in forgiving such sin as the believer confesses it to Him ( 1 John 1:9 ). Christ does so not for the purpose of restoring the believer's position or standing before God, which is inalterable, but rather for the purpose of restoring the believer's fellowship with God. Chafer explains, "The effect of the Christian's sin upon himself is that he loses his fellowship with God, his joy, his peace, and his power. On the other hand, these experiences are restored in infinite grace on the sole ground that he confesses his sin ( 1 John 1:9 )." [6] It is in this sense that Christ also presently functions as our advocate ( Heb. 9:24; 1 John 2:1 ) or defense attorney. Thanks to the righteousness provided by His shed blood as applied to us, He is active in pleading our righteous cause to the Father in the midst of Satan's perpetual accusations hurled against the saints ( Rev. 12:10 ). In sum, Christ presently pursues an active session through His ongoing roles as the sustainer of the universe as well and the church's head, husband, bestower of spiritual gifts, and builder. His present activity is also evidenced in that He continually intercedes for and advocates on behalf of the believer.

Christ's Present Session Is Not The Kingdom

Despite the many activities associated with Christ's current ministry in His present session, these should not be confused with His Davidic rule and future kingdom. As noted in prior installments, the activity of God in and through the Church bears little resemblance to the conditions that the Scripture anticipates regarding His future terrestrial rule. [7] Even the key event that began the Church Age, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the Church on the Day of Pentecost ( Acts 2 ), fails to precisely harmonize with predictions regarding the Davidic Covenant. Charles Ryrie asks, "If Christ inaugurated His Davidic reign at His ascension, does it not seem incongruous that His first act as reigning Davidic king was the sending of the Holy Spirit ( Acts 2:33 ), something not included in the promises of the Davidic Covenant?" [8]

Continue Reading (Part 38 on Sept 28 web page)

[1] E.R. Craven, "Excursus on the Basileia," in The Revelation of John (A commentary on the Holy Scriptures ... by J.P. Lange ... Tr. from the German, rev., enl., and ed. by P. Schaff) (New York: Scribner, 1874), 95.
[2] David Anderson, The King-Priest of Psalm 110 in Hebrews.
[3] L.S. Chafer, Systematic Theology (4 Volume Set).
[4] Steven Waterhouse, Not By Bread Alone: An Outlined Guide to Bible Doctrine.
[5] Chafer, 5:273-74.
[6] Ibid., 5:277.
[7] See parts 9 and 10 of this series.
[8] Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism.

     Dr. Andrew Woods Books

Note I copied this article from The Bible Prophecy Blog.

Dr. Andrew Woods Ministry Page, YouTube Channel, and Church.

Not a Sales Pitch

By Joe Carter 5/01/2014

     As I was sitting alone in the cafeteria one afternoon, far from home, overwhelmed and lonely on a campus of twenty thousand coeds, an older student walked up, smiled, and asked if he could join me. He took a seat as I prepared to engage him in what I expected would be a heady discussion of politics, philosophy, or science. Thrilled to have the company, I was mentally preparing for anything he threw at me.

     Glancing up from his plate of spaghetti, the first thing he said was, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?”

     Stunned, I was completely at a loss for a response. “Um, yeah, actually I have,” I finally managed in reply.

     “Oh,” he said. “OK, that’s good.” He wore a look of minor defeat. He had chosen the wrong table; he had hoped to share the gospel with a non-Christian. We chatted politely while I finished my burger. He ate quickly and excused himself. I never saw him again after that day.

     I’m sure he sincerely wanted to serve God by witnessing in that cafeteria. Sharing the gospel is good, but the way he asked about my salvation sounded more like a sales pitch than a serious inquiry. The least my fellow student could have done was ask my name and show interest in me as a person before asking me what was actually a very valid question.

     For many years afterward, I would think of that day whenever I heard the word evangelism. The term derives from the Greek word evangel: good news. How odd, then, that so much evangelism appears to be about selling Jesus and hoping that you can convince the non- Christian to “buy into” salvation.

     Good news doesn’t have to be sold. Bad news has to be sold, but not good news. Growing up, I was taught that above all I needed to close the deal when it came to evangelism. I was taught to get the non-Christian to say the “sinner’s prayer” or “walk the aisle” as soon as possible, by whatever means possible, because tomorrow he may die. That is, I had to make the sale now.

     When I began to seriously read the gospels, though, I noticed something strange. People constantly flocked to Jesus despite the fact that he never passed out a single tract. He would walk up to people, say “follow me,” and the next thing you know they’re giving up their lives to follow Him around the countryside. He wasn’t a traveling salesman.

     Christians are called to share the gospel with others and rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit for His work in their lives, while at the same time never treating the gospel like a sales pitch. Some Christians — particularly new ones enthused by their budding faith — are eager and willing to share the gospel. Others have a more difficult time, and many don’t do it at all. Yet I suspect the average Christian’s hesitancy to share their faith has little to do with timidity or lack of courage. Many believers won’t hesitate to explain why they support a particular politician or cause, even unpopular ones. Why, then, do they become tongue-tied when the topic turns to why they align themselves with the Creator of the universe?

     I suspect much of the fault lies with our misunderstanding of faith. In our age, the term has become almost synonymous with an irrational — or at least non-rational — acceptance of beliefs for which we lack evidence. Rather than claiming that we possess both innate and experiential knowledge (that is, what philosophers call a “justified true belief”) about God, we imply that we have a wishy-washy trust that something is out there — though we can’t prove it. When we Christians posit such a weak-kneed picture of God, it’s no wonder that nonbelievers don’t feel the need to take us seriously.

     But our faith isn’t fideism. It isn’t blind. The good news isn’t an invitation to make an irrational decision but the story of a person who lived, died, and yet lives still. We are not sharing news about an idea but about a being who is fully God and fully man. While nonbelievers may not have experiential knowledge of this person, they are made in the image of God, and so they have a certain capacity to recognize Him. That is the common religious foundation we share with them.

     Our evangelistic mission, therefore, is simply to share with others the good news that they too can know what we know. In my experience at the cafeteria, it wasn’t that the student’s question was wrong; rather, his means were wrong. He treated the gospel like a sales pitch.

     God might use prayer cards or gospel tracts to bring the lost to salvation. He might use young men looking to win the souls of people they don’t bother to get to know to bring about redemption. But I suspect Jesus would prefer we introduce Him as a person rather than attempt to sell Him as a novelty. I think He’d rather we recognize His good news needs only to be shared, and that it never needs to be sold.

Click here to go to source

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition, the editor of the NIV, Lifehacks Bible, Hardcover: Practical Tools for Successful Spiritual Habits, and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. He serves as an elder at Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter.

By John Walvoord (1990)

The Certainty of Divine Judgment

     Hebrews 9:27–28. A Christian living in this present age of grace is nevertheless reminded that it is part of God’s righteous government that every individual will be judged. Normally, this is after his death: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (vv.  27–28 ). The coming judgment for all men makes most clear the necessity of entering by faith into the grace of God, which is provided through the death of Christ. Though judgment is certain, those who have entered into grace at the present age will find that their judgment is a gracious judgment and will consist for the believer in an evaluation of his life and service as a basis for reward, as brought out in the doctrine of the judgment seat of Christ ( 2 Cor. 5:10 ).

The Promise of Eternal Sanctification

     Hebrews 10:14–18. In keeping with the earlier discussion of the new covenant, the superiority of the sacrifice of Christ to the sacrifices in the Old Testament is emphasized. As  Hebrews states,  “Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (v.  14 ). As fulfilled by Israel in their millennial restoration, the new covenant provides that God  “‘will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’ Then he adds:  ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more’” (vv.  16–17 ). Because the one offering of Christ is sufficient for time and eternity, the conclusion is,  “And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” (v.  18 ). Accordingly, a Christian in the present age is not required to bring the offerings that the Jew had to bring in the Old Testament under the Mosaic covenant. The Mosaic sacrifices were a temporary covering, looking forward typically to the sacrifice of Christ. Now that the sacrifice of Christ has taken place, they are no longer necessary.

The Promise that Christ Will Come

     Hebrews 10:37. As the Christian looks forward to relief from the present persecutions and difficulties, the promise is given,  “For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay’” (v.  37 ). The reference, no doubt, is to the rapture of the church when every Christian, whether living or dead, will be caught up with the Lord. Necessarily, this will end the conflicts and problems of this life and constitute a part of the certain hope of a Christian as he looks to God to solve his problems.

The Promise of Future Judgment on the Earth

     Hebrews 12:26. In reviewing God’s judgments in the past, a reminder is given that there is a future judgment coming,  “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens’” (v.  26 ). Prophetic Scripture enlarges on this in both the Old and New Testaments and describes the terrible judgments, including earthquakes, that will shake the earth prior to the second coming of Christ. This will be part of God’s program of judgment on the wicked and will also end in the blessing and rescue of those who are saved. A reminder of the fragile character of our present world is also a reminder that eternal things that belong to the Christian faith are not subject to change or destruction.

The Immutability of Jesus Christ

     Hebrews 13:8. In considering the past, present, and future relating to the Christian faith, this reminder states,  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (v.  8 ). Though there is progress in doctrine and progress in experience and history records many changes, Jesus Christ in His deity is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Though in the incarnation, He partook of a human body, soul, and spirit, which continues throughout eternity after His resurrection, in His deity Jesus Christ is the same, having the same attributes, the same glory, and the same power. Christians, accordingly, in their faith in Christ are putting their confidence in things that cannot be changed because they are related to the person of Christ. Taken as a whole, prophecies of the book of  Hebrews serve to support and clarify the Christian faith as being God’s answer to the need of man in time and eternity.

Prophecy In The Epistle Of  James and  1 and  2 Peter

     The epistle of  James is largely devoted to practical Christian living and emphasis on moral and ethical teachings. Two mentions of the coming of Christ as related to the Christian life are included.

The Promise of the Crown of Life

     James 1:12. Those who will trust in the Lord in a time of trial are especially blessed:  “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (v.  12 ). Believers will be rewarded in heaven for their faithfulness to the Lord. Often these rewards are characterized as crowns ( 1 Cor. 9:25; Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4; Rev. 2:10; 3:11; 4:4, 10 ). The persecutions may bring humiliation and suffering on earth. The fact that we have eternal life will be a crown that will set us apart as belonging to the Lord.

Waiting Patiently for the Lord’s Coming

     James 5:7–8. A comparison is made between believers waiting for the coming of the Lord and the farmer waiting for his crop to mature. Just as the harvest is certain ahead, so the coming of Christ will climax our earthly work:  “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (vv.  7–8 ). As  James made clear, while we are waiting for the Lord’s coming, we should be faithful in enduring suffering and be abundant in our service for the Lord. Especially, we should be engaged in prayer, recognizing that God hears and answers prayer (vv.  13–18 ).

Prophecy of the Certainty of Our Inheritance

     1 Peter 1:4–5. In keeping with the “living hope” given Christians “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (v.  3 ), they have a future inheritance that is being kept for them: “and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you” (v.  4 ). Meanwhile, as Christians are waiting for their inheritance, God protects them:  “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (v.  5 ). This inheritance is certain because of God’s promise in grace. Peter went on to say that persecutions and trials in Christ demonstrate the genuineness of a believer’s faith.

Prophecy of Persecution, which Will Refine Faith

     1 Peter 1:7. On the one hand, our inheritance is certain because of God’s promise; on the other hand, it is certain because our faith is demonstrated through persecution:  “These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (v.  7 ). Though persecutions for the time being prove difficult in any Christian’s life, he may be encouraged by the fact that his faithfulness under these circumstances proves the genuineness of his faith and therefore his right to receive the reward that will be his in heaven. His persecutions will also be cause for praising Jesus Christ.

Prophecy that the Word of God Will Remain Forever

     1 Peter 1:25. In contrast to that which is temporary, as illustrated in grass and flowers in the field, the statement was made,  “the word of the Lord stands forever” (v.  25 ). The Christian may observe that our present world is decaying and will not endure forever. By contrast, the things that belong to our Christian faith will never cease to be true and will be supported by the Word of God, which stands forever.

The Promise of the End Being Near Fulfillment

     1 Peter 4:7. In the brief statement,  “The end of all things is near” (v.  7 ), the fact that life will not go on forever should be an encouragement to Christians who are going through deep trouble. A Christian’s pilgrimage on earth is temporary and soon may be cut short by the rapture of the church. This should serve as a stimulus to faithful service and endurance where persecutions and trials may be the lot of an individual Christian.

The Promised Welcome into God’s Kingdom

     2 Peter 1:11. In making sure that our faith in Christ is real, a Christian is reminded,  “You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (v.  11 ). Though the world may not always welcome Christians and their testimony, and there may be opposition and even a martyr’s death, as in the case of Peter, it is still true that we can anticipate, either through death or through rapture, that we will be received and publicly acknowledged as a part of God’s kingdom.

Prophecy that Apostate Teachers Will Come

     2 Peter 2:1–22. As Peter neared the end of his life, he was overwhelmed by the evidence of corruption in doctrine and departure from the faith on the part of those who were apostates, that is, people who outwardly claim to be Christians but actually have no Christian faith. Accordingly, those who read his second epistle, written shortly before his death, are warned that these teachers will not only reject the truth themselves but will bring in teachings that are radical and destructive.

     These false teachers were described:  “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping” (vv.  1–3 ).

     In dealing with heresies, Peter was not describing minor deviations from the faith but that which was essential to salvation and hope. The false teachers will be guilty of  “even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them” (v.  1 ).

     Of significance in this passage is the word for “redemption,” translated “bought,” and is used even of these false teachers. Scholars debate whether it includes all men. This is one of the central passages that demonstrate when Christ died, He died to make the whole world savable, dying even for those who do not turn to Christ and reject His proffered salvation. The condemnation of the wicked is all the greater because Christ died for them, and they rejected that He provided for them in grace.

     The condemnation of the false teachers was seen in the light of God’s judgment on the angels, for whom there was no grace or mercy:  “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) — if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment” (vv.  4–9 ).

     Accordingly, if Christians are tormented by the terrible sins of the unsaved world, as Lot was in his day, they can rest assured, with Lot, that God’s judgment in His proper time will take care of the wicked.

     The utter lack of moral character of the wicked was described further in that they  “slander celestial beings” (v.  10 ), in their  “slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord” (v.  11 ), and their blasphemy in essential doctrine  “that they do not understand” (v.  12 ), though  “they are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you” (v.  13 ). Though it is true that their  “eyes” are  “full of adultery” and  “they seduce the unstable” (v.  14 ), they will be judged in God’s time and brought into proper punishment for their deeds.

     Comparison is made between these false teachers and Balaam, a prophet of God ( Num. 22 ) who was hired to curse Israel though he was kept from it ( 2 Peter 2:15–16 ). These false teachers  “are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them” (v.  17 ). Their winning oratory and their promise of freedom are not supported, and those who follow them will become  “worse off at the end than they were at the beginning” (v.  20 ). This scathing denial of apostate teachers reflects God’s approach to this important aspect of modern life where many reject the Word of God and substitute the religions of men instead. Peter assured believers that though in this life we may suffer persecution and trial, in the end the righteous will triumph and the wicked will perish.


Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times

The Necessity of Dispensationalism

By Charles C. Ryrie

     One of the evident features of the history of Christian doctrine is the fact that the church generally focused its discussions on one area of theology at a time. In our own day the area is eschatology, and discussions of eschatology are being heard in all groups. In conservative circles these discussions are raising questions in another field — dispensationalism. This is not to say that the liberals are unaware of the growing prominence being given to dispensationalism, but it is to affirm that evangelicals are having to give their attention increasingly to the dispensational question. This is shown by John Wick Bowman’s pronouncement that the Scofield Bible because of its dispensational teaching “represents perhaps the most dangerous heresy currently to be found within Christian circles” (“The Bible and Modern Religions. II. Dispensationalism,” Interpretation, 10:172, April, 1956).

     Recent and current interest in eschatology is only one of the reasons for the increased interest in dispensationalism. One ventures to predict that if current discussions concerning the rapture question continue, post-tribulationists will be forced to do more than just reiterate the usual arguments against pre-tribulationism, for they will of necessity have to reckon with the entire dispensational approach to the Scriptures. They will be forced to deal with that which they recognize — namely, that pre-tribulationism is “an essential element” in dispensationalism (George E. Ladd, The Blessed Hope (A Biblical Study of The Second Advent and The Rapture)).

     In addition, the rise of ultra-dispensationalism has focused increased attention on the whole question. The proponents of this view have propagated it widely and in doing so have accomplished at least two things. They have added to their own numbers, and they have done those of us who consider ourselves true dispensationalists the service of causing us to present more detail concerning our position in order that we may distinguish it from their teaching.

     Too, those who embrace covenant theology have contributed and doubtless will continue to contribute to the discussion of dispensationalism. The many individuals and groups which follow the covenant theology tradition will surely not stand by if discussions of the dispensational question increase in the coming days, and by that very participation the whole matter will be brought into more prominence. Therefore, because of the increasing interest in eschatology and especially in pre-tribulationism, because of the aggressiveness of the ultra-dispensationalists, and because of the ever-present protagonists of covenant theology, one can scarcely agree with the idea that “the trend today is away from dispensationalism — away from the Scofield notes … (“Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” Christian Life, 17:18, March, 1956).

     This article is not an answer to anybody. Neither is it a redefining of the dispensational position, for the author does not feel it needs redefining — the able exponents of this and past generations have ably defined it. Rather, it is an attempt to state a basic approach to the concept of dispensationalism, for it is felt that if the features which make up this approach are basic enough, then the concept to which they lead will have to be deemed necessary or at least be given considered attention.

The Necessity of Biblical Distinctions

     Though the statement is bold, it may be stated without fear of controversy that there is no interpreter of the Bible who does not recognize the need for certain basic distinctions in the Scriptures. The theological liberal, no matter how much he speaks of the Judaistic background of Christianity, recognizes that Christianity is nevertheless a different thing from Judaism. There may be few or many features of Judaism which in his mind carry over into Christianity, but still the message of Jesus was something new. Therefore, the material of the Old Testament is distinguished from that of the New.

     The covenant theologian for all his opposition to dispensationalism also makes certain rather important distinctions. In fairness, it must be said that his dispensational distinctions are viewed as related to the unifying and underlying covenant of grace. Nevertheless, within his concept of this covenant he does make some very basic distinctions. Berkhof will serve as an example (Systematic Theology). After rejecting the usual dispensational scheme of Biblical distinctions, he enumerates his own scheme of dispensations or administrations, reducing the number to two — the Old Testament dispensation and the New Testament dispensation. However, within the Old Testament dispensation Berkhof lists four subdivisions which, although he terms them “stages in the revelation of the covenant of grace,” are distinguishable enough to be listed. In reality, then, he finds these four plus the one New Testament dispensation or five periods of differing administrations of God. Thus the covenant theologian finds Biblical distinctions a necessary part of his theology.

     The dispensationalist finds his answer to the need for distinctions in his dispensational scheme. The word dispensation (oikonomia) is a Scriptural term and is found in  Luke 16:2–4; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2, 9; Colossians 1:25; and  1 Timothy 1:4. It simply means an administration or arrangement. Now the dispensationalist uses the word theologically as a title for the distinctive administrations of God throughout the entire Bible. For instance, under Moses God administered the world in a distinctive way; therefore, he calls that administration (not period necessarily) the Mosaic dispensation. To say that it is not valid to use the word this way because the Bible never uses it in specific connection with certain of the dispensationalists’ dispensations is of no consequence. Do we not use the word atonement of the work of Christ on the cross even though it is never used that way in the Bible? Certainly freedom must be granted to use a term theologically which may not be used in that way Biblically as long as the theological use is not un-Biblical.

     Thus it is clear that all interpreters feel the need for distinctions. Obviously this does not prove that the dispensationalists’ distinctions are the correct ones, but it demonstrates that the concept of the necessity of distinctions is very basic to the proper interpretation of the Scriptures, and it shows that in a certain sense every Christian is a dispensationalist. Chafer correctly observed that “any person is a dispensationalist who trusts the blood of Christ rather than bringing an animal sacrifice” and “any person is a dispensationalist who observes the first day of the week rather than the seventh” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dispensationalism). Therefore, dispensationalism is based on a valid and basic approach to the Scriptures in the necessity for Biblical distinctions.

The Necessity of a Philosophy of History

     The Scriptures per se are not a philosophy of history but they contain one. It is true that the Bible deals with ideas, but with ideas that are interpretations of historical events. This interpretation of the meaning of historical events is the task of theology, and it is a task that is not without its problems. The chief problem is that both covenant and dispensational theology claim to represent the true philosophy of history as contained in the Scriptures. The problem is further complicated by the fact that if a philosophy of history is defined as “a systematic interpretation of universal history in accordance with a principle by which historical events and successions are unified and directed toward ultimate meaning” (Karl Lowith, Meaning in History: The Theological Implications of the Philosophy of History), then in a certain sense both systems of theology meet the basic requirements of the definition. However, the way in which the two systems meet these requirements proves that dispensationalism alone is the valid system. Notice that the definition centers in three things: (1) the recognition of “historical events and successions” or a proper concept of the progress of revelation; (2) the unifying principle; and (3) the ultimate goal of history. Let us examine both systems in relation to these three features.

     Concerning the goal of history, dispensationalists find it in the establishment of the millennial kingdom on earth while the covenant theologian regards it as the eternal state. This is not to say that dispensationalists minimize the glory of the eternal state, but it is to insist that the display of the glory of the God who is sovereign in human history must be seen in the present heavens and earth as well as in the new heavens and earth. This view of the realization of the goal of history within time is both optimistic and in accord with the requirements of the definition. The covenant view, which sees the course of history continuing the present struggle between good and evil until terminated by the beginning of eternity, obviously does not have any goal within temporal history and is therefore pessimistic. McClain points up this contrast very clearly when he says of the covenant theology: “According to this view, both good and evil continue in their development side by side through human history. Then will come catastrophe and the crisis of divine judgment, not for the purpose of setting up of a divine kingdom in history, but after the close of history … Thus history becomes the preparatory ‘vestibule’ of eternity … It is a narrow corridor, cramped and dark, a kind of ‘waiting room,’ leading nowhere within the historical process, but only fit to be abandoned at last for an ideal existence on another plane. Such a view of history seems unduly pessimistic, in the light of Biblical revelation” (Alva J. McClain, “A Premillennial Philosophy of History,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 113:113–14, April–June, 1956). Thus in relation to goal in a proper philosophy of history only dispensationalism with its consummating dispensation of the millennium offers a satisfactory system.

     A second requirement of a philosophy of history is a proper unifying principle. In covenant theology the principle is the covenant of grace. This is the covenant which it is alleged the Lord made with man after the fall in which He offered salvation through Jesus Christ. In short, the covenant of grace is God’s plan of salvation, and therefore the unifying principle of covenant theology is soteriological. In dispensationalism the principle is theological or perhaps better eschatological, for the differing dispensations reveal the glory of God as He shows off His character in the differing stewardships culminating in history with the millennial glory. If the goal of history is the earthly millennium, and if the glory of God will be manifested then in the personal presence of Christ in a way hitherto unknown, then the unifying principle of dispensationalism may be said to be eschatological (if viewed from the goal toward which we are moving) or theological (if viewed from the self-revelation of God in every dispensation). Although the dispensationalist’s principle is much broader and therefore less confining, it must be admitted that this alone does not prove it is the more valid one. We must also consider the third part of our definition of a philosophy of history.

     Only dispensationalism does justice to the proper concept of the progress of revelation. Covenant theology does include in its system different modes of administration of the covenant of grace and, although these modes would give an appearance of an idea of progressiveness in revelation, in practice there is extreme rigidity in covenant theology. James Orr, himself a covenant theologian, criticizes the covenant system along this very line: “… it failed to seize the true idea of development, and by an artificial system of typology, and allegorising interpretation, sought to read back practically the whole of the New Testament into the Old. But its most obvious defect was that, in using the idea of the Covenant as an exhaustive category, and attempting to force into it the whole material of theology, it created an artificial scheme which could only repel minds desirous of simple and natural notions” (James Orr, The Progress of Dogma: Being the Elliot Lectures, Delivered at the Western Theological Seminary Theological I897 (Classic Reprint)). Covenant theology, then, because of the rigidity of its unifying principle of the covenant of grace can never show within its system proper progress of revelation.

     Dispensationalism, on the other hand, can and does give proper place to the idea of development. Under the various administrations of God different revelation was given to man, and that revelation was increasingly progressive in the scope of its content. Though similarities are present in various dispensations, they are part of a true development and not a result of employing the unifying principle of the covenant of grace. The particular manifestations of the will of God in each dispensation are given their full yet distinctive place in the progress of the revelation of God throughout the ages. Only dispensationalism can cause historical events and successions to be seen in their own light and not to be reflected in the artificial light of an overall covenant.

     Therefore, a correct philosophy of history with its requirements of a proper goal, a proper unifying principle, and a proper concept of progress is best satisfied by the dispensational system. Like the approach of Biblical distinctions, the approach through the proper concept of the philosophy of history leads to dispensationalism.

The Necessity of Consistent Hermeneutics

On the problem of valid hermeneutical principles much has been written. In relation to the present discussion, the question relates to literal or allegorical interpretation, for if literalism is the valid hermeneutical principle then that is an approach to the Scriptures which if consistently applied can only lead to dispensational theology.

     It is not within the scope of this article to rediscuss the entire matter of allegorical and literal interpretation. It must suffice to show that only dispensationalism consistently employs the principles of literal interpretation. Covenant theologians are well known for their stand on allegorical interpretation especially as it relates to the prophetic Word, and they are equally well known for their amillennialism which is only the natural outcome of allegorizing. Pre-millennialists who are not dispensationalists also have to depart from literal interpretation at certain points in their eschatology. For example, Ladd in order to add support to his post-tribulational view is forced to regard the 144,000 of  Revelation 7 as referring not to literal Israel but to spiritual Israel or the church (op. cit., p. 126). Further, he cannot abide the dispensationalist’s idea of the Jewish character of  Matthew’s Gospel (ibid., pp. 133–34), but he nowhere explains, for instance, how he can interpret in any literal way our Lord’s words of commission to the twelve recorded in  Matthew 10:5–10. Anyone who attempts to interpret literally this commission which forbade the disciples to go to the Gentiles and the commission which commands the same group to go to the Gentiles ( Matt 28:19–20 ) either gives up in confusion or resorts to spiritualizing one of the passages or recognizes a dispensational distinction. If literal interpretation is the only valid hermeneutical principle and if it is consistently applied it will cause one to be a dispensationalist. As basic as one believes literal interpretation to be, to that extent he will of necessity become a dispensationalist.

The Necessity of Proper Definition

     The usually quoted definition of a dispensation is the one that appears in the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible: “A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect to obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God” (p. 5). The usual criticism leveled against this definition is that it is not true to the meaning of oikonomia since it says nothing about a stewardship and emphasizes the period of time aspect. The criticism may be somewhat valid, for a dispensation is primarily a stewardship, administration, or arrangement and not a period of time. Age and dispensation are not synonymous in meaning even though they may exactly coincide in history. A dispensation is basically the arrangement involved, not the time involved; therefore, a proper definition must emphasize this.

     In addition, it is obvious that dispensationalists teach that at least certain features of certain dispensations overlap. Perhaps that idea would more accurately be expressed by saying that each dispensation builds on the preceding ones. Obviously, that means that similar or even the same principles which obtained during former ones are sometimes included in the succeeding one. If a dispensation is an arrangement or economy, then some details of the various arrangements will be the same. Thus, dispensations supersede each other in the sense of building on each other in line with the idea of progress of revelation and the philosophy of history which climaxes in an ultimate goal in time. Therefore, the ideas of dispensations ending, superseding, building, progressing, and having similar and different features must also be included in the definition.

     In the light of the foregoing discussion, is it possible to formulate a proper definition of a dispensation? We suggest this one. A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose. If one were describing a dispensation, he would include other things such as the ideas of testing, failure, and judgment, but we are seeking a definition, not a description. The definition proposed, though brief and perhaps open to the criticism of oversimplification, seems sufficiently inclusive. In this theological use of the word economy the emphasis is put on the Biblical meaning of the word. Economy also suggests the fact that certain features of some dispensations may be similar. Although socialistic and capitalistic economies are quite different in their basic concepts, nevertheless similar functions of the economy are performed in both systems. Likewise, in the different economies of God’s running of the affairs of this world certain features will be similar. However, the word distinguishable in the definition points out the fact that there are some features which pertain particularly to each dispensation and which mark it off as a different economy. The particular features will distinguish, though the distinguishable dispensation will not be dissimilar in all its particulars. Finally, the phrase the outworking of God’s purpose in the definition reminds us that the viewpoint in dispensationalism is God’s. These are economies instituted and brought to their purposeful conclusion by God. The distinguishable feature is put there by God, and the purpose is God’s.

     Using this definition in light of the above explanation, let us apply it first to the usual dispensational scheme and second to the problem of ultra-dispensationalism. It is not difficult to justify most of the usual seven dispensations on the basis of this definition. If one is a pre-millennialist, then the distinguishable economy of God in the millennium during which Christ is visibly present is easily recognized. This present dispensation whose principal, not exclusive, characteristic is grace also is easily justified by the definition. The same is apparent with the Mosaic dispensation of the law, and the point need not be labored. It is the time between the beginning of creation to the giving of the law that gives rise in some minds to the question of the validity of all the dispensations which are said to belong to that period. However, before the fall of man the arrangement was certainly distinguishably different from that after the fall.

     Already we have accounted for five dispensations: innocence, whatever name should be given to that which obtained after the fall and to the time of Moses, the law, grace, and the millennial kingdom. The very fact that it is difficult to find a suitable name to cover the entire economy from the fall to Moses ought to make one examine carefully the validity of trying to view that entire period as having only one dispensation operating during it. It should be apparent that up to the time of Abraham God’s administration concerned all nations, whereas with Abraham He began to single out one nation, and in the singling out He made a very distinctive covenant with Abraham. Therefore, the distinguishable characteristic of God’s dealing with Abraham in promise seems sufficient to delineate the dispensation of promise. The only question that remains is whether or not the dispensations of conscience and government are valid. Suppose there is only one dispensation during this period, what will it be called? If there are two, what are the distinguishing features that justify two?

     The problem is complicated by the fact that the revelation of Scripture covering this long period is very brief, but from what is revealed we must seek an answer. It seems to this writer that there is sufficient warrant in God’s new arrangement for human government in the time of Noah to distinguish a dispensation at that time (cf.  Gen 9:6 with 4:15 ). If this be agreed with, then there are seven dispensations, and one must admit that the more one studies in the light of a basic definition the conclusion is that there are seven dispensations. It seems to be somewhat fashionable these days to avoid this conclusion or at least to minimize the earlier dispensations, but if one has a consistently workable definition and if one applies it throughout all history, then it seems hard not to conclude that there are seven.

     But what of the ultra-dispensationalists who insist on dividing the present economy of grace? Is something distinguishably different being done since Paul that was not done from Pentecost to Paul? (It matters little for purposes of this discussion whether the ultradispensationalists’ dispensation of grace or of the church begins in  Acts 9, 13, or  28. The point is that a separate dispensation is made of the Jewish church and of the Pauline church.) What the ultra-dispensationalist fails to recognize is that the distinguishableness of a dispensation is related to what God is doing, not to what He reveals at the time. It is certainly true that within the scope of any dispensation there is progressive revelation, and in the present one it is obvious that not all of what God was going to do was revealed on the Day of Pentecost. These are eoonomies of God, not of man, and we determine the limits of a dispensation not by what any one person within that dispensation understood but by what we may understand now from the completed revelation of the Word. Actually we today are in a better position to understand than the writers of the New Testament themselves. Ultra-dispensationalists fail to recognize the difference between the progress of doctrine as it was during the time of revelation and the representation of it in the writings of the Scripture. On this point Bernard has well observed that “there would be a difference between the actual course of some important enterprise — say of a military campaign, for instance — and the abbreviated narrative, the selected documents, and the well-considered arrangement, by which its conductor might make the plan and execution of it clear to others. In such a case the man who read would have a more perfect understanding of the mind of the actor and the author than the man who saw; he would have the whole course of things mapped out for him on the true principles of order” Thomas Dehany Bernard, The Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament). The distinguishable feature of this economy is the formation of the church which is His body. This is the work of God; therefore, the question which decides the beginning of this dispensation is, When did God begin to do this? not, When did man understand it? Only by consulting the completed revelation can we understand that God began to do this work on the Day of Pentecost ( Acts 1:5; 11:15–16 {Acts 11}; 1 Cor 12:13; Col 1:18 ), and therefore whether Peter and the others understood it then does not determine the beginning of the dispensation. The distinguishable feature of this dispensation is the formation of the church, and since that began at Pentecost there has been only one economy since that day. The ultra-dispensationalist can offer only the distinguishing feature of a Jewish church as over against a Gentile church which is the body of Christ, but such a distinction has no validity since there are Jews in today’s Gentile church and since the baptism of the Spirit first occurred at Pentecost. Thus the same economy has been operative since the Day of Pentecost.

     We have tried to show in this brief discussion the validity of dispensational theology. It is based on the valid necessity for Biblical distinctions, it alone most fully satisfies a proper philosophy of history, only dispensationalism provides the key to consistent literalism, and properly defined it becomes the only valid system of Biblical interpretation.

Dallas Theological Seminary. (1957; 2002). Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 114 (114:243–254).

Charles C. Ryrie      | Books

What Is the New Covenant Church?

By John Tweeddale 5/01/2014

     A churchless Christian is an oxymoron. As John Calvin famously said, echoing the church father Cyprian, “For those to whom God is Father the church may also be Mother.” While the notion of “mother church” may jolt some readers, a moment’s reflection will demonstrate the biblical rationale behind it. Under the new covenant established by Christ, the church is critical for the Christian life; without it, exhortations to worship, discipleship, missions, and fellowship would be meaningless. Indeed, an individual would be hard pressed to accommodate the gaggle of “one another” passages that populate the pages of the New Testament apart from participation in a local church.

     Most importantly, the church is central to the work of Christ. The great mystery of the gospel is that the Son of God left His Father in heaven in order to take for Himself an unworthy bride here on earth. He shed His blood for her. The church is not on the margin of God’s plan of redemption but at the center of it.

     Given the importance of the church to the Christian life and the work of Christ, we need to think carefully about the question of who comprises the church. One helpful answer is found in the Westminster Larger Catechism, which states, “The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion, and of their children” (Q&A 62). At least three aspects of this definition deserve our consideration.

     First, the visible church is the outward manifestation of God’s people on earth. The Westminster Divines (pastors and theologians) make a helpful distinction between the visible church as we see it and the invisible church as God sees it. These are not fundamentally two different churches, but one church seen from two vantage points. The visible church is known by those who claim the name of the triune God in baptism, who call themselves Christians by profession of faith, who sit under the preaching of God’s Word, who gather around the Lord’s Supper, who receive pastoral oversight from godly elders, who engage together in the grand work of the Great Commission, and so on.

     The invisible church, however, is not defined by those who simply profess faith in Christ but by those who actually possess it: those who have been elected, regenerated, justified, adopted, sanctified, and ultimately glorified in Christ. Not everyone who joins the ranks of the visible church belongs to the invisible church. The principle reflects Paul’s assertion that not all Israel is true Israel.This side of heaven, the visible church will always consist of wheat and tares.

     Second, the visible church is a universal society. In the New Testament, the most common word for church (Greek ekklesia) is never used to refer to a physical place, like the tabernacle or temple. Rather, the emphasis is on a company of people whom God has called out of the world and into a covenant relationship with Himself.

     The church is not like other social, professional, or even religious societies. It is not owned by any college, corporation, or commune, nor does it take its marching orders from any tribe or tradition. Ultimately, the church is not yours, theirs, or mine, but Christ’s. The church, therefore, is not a building made with brick and mortar, but a charter comprising a people from every tongue, tribe, and nation — a worldwide society of sinners who “profess the true religion” of one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God (Eph. 4:4–6).

     Finally, the visible church comprises believers and their children. While few, if any, would object to the visible church consisting of believers, some may hesitate to include children. However, throughout the Bible, children have always been an integral part of the covenant community.

     Think of the development of Scripture’s plotline along the coordinates of God’s covenant of grace with His people. At each juncture, there is a clear emphasis on their children: Adam’s seed, Noah’s family, Abraham’s descendants, Israel’s offspring, and David’s dynasty. At no point were covenant children excluded. But that was the old covenant, you might say. What about the new covenant? Hasn’t the pattern of including children changed with the inauguration of Christ’s church? The short answer: no.

     Jesus adamantly declared that little ones were not to be hindered from the kingdom of God. At Pentecost, Peter continued a practice that stretches back to Abraham of applying the sign of the covenant to believers, their children, and anyone else who joins the covenant community. Likewise, Paul, who describes children in households with at least one believing parent as federally holy (1 Cor. 7:14), deliberately directs instruction to children in the churches of Ephesus and Colossae. To suggest that children have been excluded from the new covenant church is not only a misreading of the biblical narrative but, even worse, is to take away a privilege that was granted to them under the old covenant.

     The Westminster divines offer a compelling definition of “church” based upon cogent biblical evidence: the visible church in the new covenant, whether universal or local, is a society of God’s people, consisting of those who profess faith in Christ and their children.

Click here to go to source

     Dr. John W. Tweeddale is academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla.

Encourage Leaders with Faithful Graciousness

By Jared Wilson 5/01/2014

     It is hard to pin down what is difficult about pastoral ministry for people unfamiliar with it. Many laypeople see their pastor once or twice a week during Lord’s Day worship or a church activity. A few may see him more frequently if they are involved in volunteer ministry or are being discipled or counseled personally by the pastor. So while we sometimes joke about the congregation that thinks their pastor works only one day a week — and even then, he’s just talking — the stereotype of the pastor who “gets no respect” is regrettably a very real thing.

     And this is difficult to talk about for pastors. It is difficult to explain to their own congregations how pastoral ministry can be so difficult. It can be and often is a great joy. But it is difficult in ways that are hard to express because doing so runs the risk of appearing as complaining, shaming, or nagging. The pastor may find it not difficult at all to exhort his congregation in submission to God, faithfulness in service, and joy in discipleship. But exhort them to submit to himself and his fellow elders? In faith? With joy? Well, that’s something else entirely. Out of all the biblical texts the Christian may hope his pastor neglects to teach, Hebrews 13:17 may sit near the top of the list:

     Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

     We may assume, based on all of the Bible’s instructions on such matters, that the author of Hebrews is not instructing Christians to submit to sin. This caveat is embedded in all the New Testament’s words on our submission to each other. So let us set aside immediately the “but” we want to bring up about immoral or abusive leaders. Set aside as well the image of the perfect pastor custom-tailored to your way of thinking, quite easy indeed to submit to. Think instead of the imperfect, unpolished, ordinary pastor. Think of your pastor. Think of your leaders. Hebrews 13:17 says to obey them and submit to them.

     When we think of submission, we often think in terms of ruling and overruling, of conflict and wielded authority. I want to encourage you to think of obedience and submission differently in this context. Certainly, it does mean that when sin is evident, when you are in need of confession and repentance, you ought to obey your leaders’ rebuke and submit to their biblical discipline. But assuming such a circumstance is not the case, think of obedience and submission this way: encouraging your leaders with faithful graciousness.

     Faithful graciousness means consistently and diligently choosing to glorify Christ with your words and deeds rather than satisfying your own wants and needs. Faithful graciousness is a way of Christian living that contributes to the overall peace and harmony of a church body. It means not nitpicking. It means not complaining about personal preferences. Faithful graciousness is intentionally and quietly minding one’s own business, having a productive presence rather than a critical spirit (1 Thess. 4:11). Faithful graciousness works toward being low-maintenance, not working at any of those puny-hearted and petty things that cause pastors to groan (1 Tim. 5:13).

     Certainly, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But what we really want is grace. The way to align with God’s will is through the humble encouragement of your pastor by faithful graciousness. The benefits are mutual.

     Hebrews 13:17 reminds us that our leaders will have to give an account. Do we want them to have to bring to the Lord in prayer our selfish neediness, our unwilling submission, constant criticisms, and questions? Or do we want them to go to the Lord in great thanksgiving out of the joy of being our leaders? I want those in authority over me to be able to say, “Oh, Lord, thank you for the gift of Jared! What a great joy it is to lead him,” rather than “Oh, Lord, help me with this guy. He’s so difficult.”

     In the short term, disregarding commands like Hebrews 13:17 is a great way to gets lots of attention and, perhaps, even lots of satisfaction. In the long run, however, it is spiritually dangerous. Giving your leaders cause for groaning is “no advantage to you.” In the end, obediently submitting to our leaders by living lives of faithful graciousness in the church is a commitment of faith in God because He has placed these leaders in your church. By submitting to God-appointed authorities, we submit to God. No, the pastor isn’t perfect. No, he doesn’t always get things right. Yes, he too is a sinner — just like you. But when we know this and submit anyway, we give God glory and our pastor grace. This is good for us. We may not be immediately interested in our leaders’ joy, but if we are interested in our own spiritual advantage, we will repent of our selfishness and seek our leaders’ joy.

     Let it be a great joy to our pastors to have us as their sheep. Let us give them great cause to “boast of us” in Paul’s godly way (2 Cor. 8:24; 1 Thess. 2:19). Your leaders probably won’t tell you to do this. They will fear that it will seem self-seeking or self-pitying. And this is all the more reason why you should obey and submit to them, encouraging them tremendously with your commitment to faithful graciousness.

Click here to go to source

     Rev. Jared C. Wilson is director of content strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and managing editor of For the Church. He blogs at The Gospel Coalition. He is on Twitter @JaredCWilson.

Read The Psalms In "1" Year

Psalm 106

Give Thanks to the LORD, for He Is Good

13 But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.
14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
15 he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.

16 When men in the camp were jealous of Moses
and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD,
17 the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 Fire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.

19 They made a calf in Horeb
and worshiped a metal image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

ESV Study Bible

The Continual Burnt Offering (1 Corinthians 6:19)

By H.A. Ironside - 1941

September 27
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.    ESV

     God wants us to realize that the body, which is such a wonderful evidence of His creative power and wisdom, should be used for His glory. To abuse the body by destructive habits is to displease the Lord, and is self-inflicted wrong.

     The salvation purchased for us by Christ’s atoning death is threefold. Spirit and soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23) have all been bought by the blood of Christ and all are to be devoted to His glory. We cannot grow in grace if we are indulging in sinful and fleshly lusts of any kind. Carnality is the bitter foe of spirituality. The body and its appetites are to be kept in subjection by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 9:27). Only thus can there be success in the Christian race (Hebrews 12:1) The body is to be yielded to Christ (Romans 12:1), and not to be polluted by that which would impair its usefulness under the guise of Christian liberty (Galatians 5:13).

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

I have been “bought with a price”—
A price no pen can compute;
The wondrous grace of the Buyer
Forbids my soul to be mute.
Redemption, the price of my pardon,
Unties the string of my tongue—
The praise of my gracious Redeemer
By me shall ever be sung.
I have been “bought with a price”
Th’ Eternal was willing to die,
That I a poor worm of the dust
Might share His glory on high.
Oh, wonder of wonders, that He,
The Creator of heaven and earth,
Should assume the form of a servant—
Like sinful mortals have birth!

The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God

  • Alleles,' Genes'
  • Genotyping, Transgenics
  • mRNA, Regulation

#1 Jason Tresser  Biola University


#2 Jason Tresser   Biola University


#3 Jason Tresser   Biola University


     Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

UCB The Word For Today
     A prayer for peace
     (Sept 27)    Bob Gass

     ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.’

(Is 26:3) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. ESV

     Here is a prayer for peace: ‘Lord, Your Word says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” Your Word says, “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11 NIV 2011 Edition). Your Word says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV 2011 Edition). Your Word says, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV 2011 Edition). Today I need this peace which transcends understanding to settle my nerves and calm my mind. Instead of thinking about my fears and worries, help me to focus on Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your healing power, Your overflowing resources, and Your forgiving heart. Take up residence within me and fill me with Your peace. Show me what’s robbing me of it. I really want to know, Father, so I can be specific in what I need to confess, what I need to commit to, and what I need to change. I open myself to You now. Teach me the secret of lasting peace. I thank You now for whatever it will take to help me receive the peace You have so generously offered to me. Your Word says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15 NIV 2011 Edition). Today I want to be ruled by Your peace instead of my fears and worries. So, I give all my concerns to You, trusting You to work them out for my good and Your glory. In Jesus’ Name I pray: Amen.’

Is 47-49
Col 1

UCB The Word For Today
American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     Crying “no taxation without representation,” he instigated the Stamp Act riots and the Boston Tea Party. After the “Boston Massacre,” he spread Revolutionary sentiment throughout the Colonies with his Committees of Correspondence. He called for a Continental Congress and signed the Declaration. Known as “The Father of the American Revolution,” Samuel Adams was born this day, September 27, 1722. Samuel Adams wrote: “He is the truest friend to… liberty… who… will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power… who is not a… virtuous man… If we would… enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.”

American Minute
The Soul of Prayer
     by P.T. Forsyth, (1848-1921)

     CHAPTER II / The Naturalness of Prayer

     We touch the last reality directly in prayer. And we do this not by thought’s natural research, yet by a quest not less laborious. Prayer is the atmosphere of revelation, in the strict and central sense of that word. It is the climate in which God’s manifestation bursts open into inspiration. All the mediation of Nature and of things sinks here to the rear, and we are left with God in Christ as His own Mediator and His own Revealer. He is directly with us and in us. We transcend there two thousand years as if they were but one day. By His Spirit and His Spirit’s creative miracle God becomes Himself our new nature, which is yet our own, our destined Nature; for we were made with His image for our “doom of greatness.” It is no mere case of education or evolution drawing out our best. Prayer has a creative action in its answer. It does more than present us with our true, deep, latent selves. It lays hold on God, and God is not simply our magnified self. Our other self is, in prayer, our Creator still creating. Our Maker it is that is our Husband. He is Another. We feel, the more we are united with Him in true prayer, the deep, close difference, the intimate otherness in true love. Otherwise prayer becomes mere dreaming; it is spiritual extemporizing and not converse. The division runs not simply between us and Nature, but it parts us within our spiritual self, where union is most close. It is a spiritual distinction, like the distinction of Father and Son in heaven. But Nature itself, our natural selves, are involved in it; because Nature for the Christian is implicated in Redemption. It “arrives.” It is read in a new script. The soul’s conflict is found in a prelude in it. This may disturb our pagan joy. It may quench the consolations of Nature. The ancient world could take refuge in Nature as we cannot. It could escape there from conscience in a way impossible to us, because for us body runs up into soul, and Nature has become organic with spirit, an arena and even (in human nature) an experience of God’s will. It groans to come to itself in the sons of God. Redemption is cosmic. We do not evade God’s judgment there; and we put questions about His equity there which did not trouble the Greek. It we take the wings of the Morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the earth, God still besets us behind and before. We still feel the collision of past and future, of conduct and conscience. If we try to escape from His presence there, we fail; the winds are His messengers, the fires His ministers, wars and convulsions instruments of His purpose. He is always confronting us, judging us, saving us in a spiritual world, which Nature does not stifle, but only makes it more universal and impressive than our personal strife. In Nature our vis-a-vis is still the same power we meet as God in our soul.

     The voice that rolls the stars along
     Speaks all His promises.

     Our own natural instincts turn our scourges, but also our blessings, according as they mock God or serve Him. So Nature becomes our chaperone for Christ, our tutor whose duty is daily to deliver us at Christ’s door. It opens out into a Christ whose place and action are not historic only, but also cosmic. The cosmic place of Christ in the later epistles is not apostolic fantasy, extravagant speculation, nor groundless theosophy. It is the ripeness of practical faith, faith which by action comes to itself and to its own.

     Especially is this pointed where faith has its most pointed action as prayer. If cosmic Nature runs up into man, man rises up into prayer; which thus fulfils Nature, brings its inner truth to pass, and crowns its bias to spirit. Prayer is seen to be the opening secret of creation, its destiny, that to which it all travails. It is the burthen of evolution. The earnest expectation of the creation waits, and all its onward thrust works, for the manifestation of the sons of God. Nature comes to itself in prayer. Prayer realizes and brings to a head the truth of Nature, which groans being burdened with the passion of its deliverance, its relief in prayer. “Magna ars est conversari cum Deo.” “The art of prayer is Nature gone to heaven.” We become in prayer Nature’s true artists (if we may so say), the vehicles of its finest and inmost passion. And we are also its true priests, the organs of its inner commerce with God, where the Spirit immanent in the world meets the Spirit transcendent in obedient worship. The sum of things for ever speaking is heard in heaven to pray without ceasing. It is speaking not only to us but in us to God. Soliloquy here is dialogue. In our prayer God returns from His projection in Nature to speak with Himself. When we speak to God it is really the God who lives in us speaking through us to Himself. His Spirit returns to Him who gave it; and returns not void, but bearing our souls with Him. The dialogue of grace is really the monologue of the divine nature in self-communing love. In prayer, therefore, we do true and final justice to the world. We give Nature to itself. We make it say what it was charged to say. We make it find in thought and word its own soul. It comes to itself not in man but in the praying man, the man of Christian prayer. The Christian man at prayer is the secretary of Creation’s praise. So prayer is the answer to Nature’s quest, as God is the answer to prayer. It is the very nature of nature; which is thus miraculous or nothing at its core.

     Here the friction vanishes, therefore, between prayer and natural law. Nature and all its plexus of law is not static, but dynamic. It is not interplay, but evolution. It has not only to move, but to arrive. Its great motive power is not a mere instinct, but a destiny. Its system is not a machine, but a procession. It is dramatic. It has a close. Its ruling power is not what it rises from, but what it moves to. Its impulse is its goal immanent. All its laws are overruled by the comprehensive law of its destination. It tends to prayer. The laws of Nature are not like iron. If they are fixed they are only fixed as the composition is fixed at H20 of the river which is so fluid and moving that I can use it at any time to bear me to its sea. They are fixed only in so far as makes reliable, and not fatal, to man’s spirit. Their nature is constant, but their function is not stiff. What is fixed in the river is the constancy of its fluidity. “Still glides the stream, and shall for ever glide.” The greatest law of Nature is thus its bias to God, its nisus to return to His rest. This comes to light chiefly in man’s gravitation to Him, when His prodigal comes home to Him. The forwardest creation comes to itself in our passion for God and in our finding of Him in prayer. In prayer, therefore, we do not ask God to do things contrary to Nature, though our request may seem contrary to sections of it which we take for the whole. We ask Him to fulfil Nature’s own prayer.

     The atmosphere of prayer seems at first to be the direct contrary of all that goes with such words as practical or scientific. But what do we mean by practical at last but that which contributes to the end for which the world and mankind were made? The whole of history, as the practical life of the race, is working out the growth, the emancipation of the soul, the enrichment and fortifying of the human spirit. It is doing on the large scale what every active life is doing on the small—it is growing soul. There is no reality at last except soul, except personality. This alone has eternal meaning, power, and value, since this alone develops or hampers the eternal reality, the will of God. The universe has its being and its truth for a personality, but for one at last which transcends individual limits. To begin with the natural plane, our egoism constructs there a little world with a definite teleology converging on self, one which would subdue everybody and everything to the tributary to our common sensible self. On a more spiritual (yet not on the divine) plane the race does the like with its colossal ego. It views and treats the universe as contributory to itself, to the corporate personality of the race. Nature is here for man, man perhaps for the superman. We are not here for the glory of God, but God is here for the aid and glory of man. But either way all things are there to work together for personality, and to run up into a free soul. Man’s practical success is then what makes for the enhancement of this ego, small or great. But, on the Christian plane, man himself, as part of a creation, has a meaning and an end; but it is in God; he does not return on himself. God is his nisus and drift. God works in him; he is not just trying to get his own head out. But God is Love. All the higher science of Nature which is the milieu and the machinery that give the soul its bent to love, and turn it out its true self in love. All the practice and science of the world is there, therefore, to reveal and realize love and love’s communion. It is all a stage, a scenery, a plot, for a denounement where beings mingle, and each is enriched by all and all by each. It all goes to the music of that love which binds all things together in the cosmic dance, and which makes each stage of each thing prophetic of its destined fullness only in a world so bound. So science itself is practical if prayer end and round all. It is the theory of a cosmic movement with prayer for its active end. And it is an ethical science at last, it is a theology, if the Christian end is the real end of the whole world. All knowledge serves love and love’s communion. For Christian faith a universe is a universe of souls, an organism of persons, which is the expression of an Eternal Will of love. This love is the real presence which gives meaning, and movement, and permanence to a fleeting world of sense. And it is by prayer that we come into close and conscious union with this universe and power of love, this living reality of things. Prayer (however miraculous) is, therefore, the most natural things in the world. It is the effectuation of all Nature, which comes home to roost there, and settles to its rest. It is the last word of all science, giving it contact with a reality which, as science alone, it cannot reach. And it is also the most practical things in all man’s action and history, as doing most to bring to pass the spiritual object for which all men and all things exist and strive.

--- Forsyth, P. T. (1848-1921).

The Soul of Prayer
Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams

It is folly to sacrifice truth
for the sake of outward union.
--- John A. Broadus

Racism is man's gravest threat to man -
the maximum hatred for a minimum reason.
--- Abraham Joshua Heschel

What do they know-all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.
--- Isaac Bashevis Singer

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.
--- William Temple

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     5. When any persons entered into the temple, its floor received them. This part of the temple therefore was in height sixty cubits, and its length the same; whereas its breadth was but twenty cubits: but still that sixty cubits in length was divided again, and the first part of it was cut off at forty cubits, and had in it three things that were very wonderful and famous among all mankind, the candlestick, the table [of shew-bread], and the altar of incense. Now the seven lamps signified the seven planets; for so many there were springing out of the candlestick. Now the twelve loaves that were upon the table signified the circle of the zodiac and the year; but the altar of incense, by its thirteen kinds of sweet-smelling spices with which the sea replenished it, signified that God is the possessor of all things that are both in the uninhabitable and habitable parts of the earth, and that they are all to be dedicated to his use. But the inmost part of the temple of all was of twenty cubits. This was also separated from the outer part by a veil. In this there was nothing at all. It was inaccessible and inviolable, and not to be seen by any; and was called the Holy of Holies. Now, about the sides of the lower part of the temple, there were little houses, with passages out of one into another; there were a great many of them, and they were of three stories high; there were also entrances on each side into them from the gate of the temple. But the superior part of the temple had no such little houses any further, because the temple was there narrower, and forty cubits higher, and of a smaller body than the lower parts of it. Thus we collect that the whole height, including the sixty cubits from the floor, amounted to a hundred cubits.

     6. Now the outward face of the temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely to surprise either men's minds or their eyes; for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight, and, at the first rising of the sun, reflected back a very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun's own rays. But this temple appeared to strangers, when they were coming to it at a distance, like a mountain covered with snow; for as to those parts of it that were not gilt, they were exceeding white. On its top it had spikes with sharp points, to prevent any pollution of it by birds sitting upon it. Of its stones, some of them were forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and six in breadth. Before this temple stood the altar, fifteen cubits high, and equal both in length and breadth; each of which dimensions was fifty cubits. The figure it was built in was a square, and it had corners like horns; and the passage up to it was by an insensible acclivity. It was formed without any iron tool, nor did any such iron tool so much as touch it at any time. There was also a wall of partition, about a cubit in height, made of fine stones, and so as to be grateful to the sight; this encompassed the holy house and the altar, and kept the people that were on the outside off from the priests. Moreover, those that had the gonorrhea and the leprosy were excluded out of the city entirely; women also, when their courses were upon them, were shut out of the temple; nor when they were free from that impurity, were they allowed to go beyond the limit before-mentioned; men also, that were not thoroughly pure, were prohibited to come into the inner [court of the] temple; nay, the priests themselves that were not pure were prohibited to come into it also.

     7. Now all those of the stock of the priests that could not minister by reason of some defect in their bodies, came within the partition, together with those that had no such imperfection, and had their share with them by reason of their stock, but still made use of none except their own private garments; for nobody but he that officiated had on his sacred garments; but then those priests that were without any blemish upon them went up to the altar clothed in fine linen. They abstained chiefly from wine, out of this fear, lest otherwise they should transgress some rules of their ministration. The high priest did also go up with them; not always indeed, but on the seventh days and new moons, and if any festivals belonging to our nation, which we celebrate every year, happened. When he officiated, he had on a pair of breeches that reached beneath his privy parts to his thighs, and had on an inner garment of linen, together with a blue garment, round, without seam, with fringe work, and reaching to the feet. There were also golden bells that hung upon the fringes, and pomegranates intermixed among them. The bells signified thunder, and the pomegranates lightning. But that girdle that tied the garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of various colors, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of fine linen and blue, with which colors we told you before the veils of the temple were embroidered also. The like embroidery was upon the ephod; but the quantity of gold therein was greater. Its figure was that of a stomacher for the breast. There were upon it two golden buttons like small shields, which buttoned the ephod to the garment; in these buttons were enclosed two very large and very excellent sardonyxes, having the names of the tribes of that nation engraved upon them: on the other part there hung twelve stones, three in a row one way, and four in the other; a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; a carbuncle, a jasper, and a sapphire; an agate, an amethyst, and a ligure; an onyx, a beryl, and a chrysolite; upon every one of which was again engraved one of the forementioned names of the tribes. A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the sacred name [of God]: it consists of four vowels. However, the high priest did not wear these garments at other times, but a more plain habit; he only did it when he went into the most sacred part of the temple, which he did but once in a year, on that day when our custom is for all of us to keep a fast to God. And thus much concerning the city and the temple; but for the customs and laws hereto relating, we shall speak more accurately another time; for there remain a great many things thereto relating which have not been here touched upon.

     8. Now as to the tower of Antonia, it was situated at the corner of two cloisters of the court of the temple; of that on the west, and that on the north; it was erected upon a rock of fifty cubits in height, and was on a great precipice; it was the work of king Herod, wherein he demonstrated his natural magnanimity. In the first place, the rock itself was covered over with smooth pieces of stone, from its foundation, both for ornament, and that any one who would either try to get up or to go down it might not be able to hold his feet upon it. Next to this, and before you come to the edifice of the tower itself, there was a wall three cubits high; but within that wall all the space of the tower of Antonia itself was built upon, to the height of forty cubits. The inward parts had the largeness and form of a palace, it being parted into all kinds of rooms and other conveniences, such as courts, and places for bathing, and broad spaces for camps; insomuch that, by having all conveniences that cities wanted, it might seem to be composed of several cities, but by its magnificence it seemed a palace. And as the entire structure resembled that of a tower, it contained also four other distinct towers at its four corners; whereof the others were but fifty cubits high; whereas that which lay upon the southeast corner was seventy cubits high, that from thence the whole temple might be viewed; but on the corner where it joined to the two cloisters of the temple, it had passages down to them both, through which the guard [for there always lay in this tower a Roman legion] went several ways among the cloisters, with their arms, on the Jewish festivals, in order to watch the people, that they might not there attempt to make any innovations; for the temple was a fortress that guarded the city, as was the tower of Antonia a guard to the temple; and in that tower were the guards of those three 14. There was also a peculiar fortress belonging to the upper city, which was Herod's palace; but for the hill Bezetha, it was divided from the tower Antonia, as we have already told you; and as that hill on which the tower of Antonia stood was the highest of these three, so did it adjoin to the new city, and was the only place that hindered the sight of the temple on the north. And this shall suffice at present to have spoken about the city and the walls about it, because I have proposed to myself to make a more accurate description of it elsewhere.

          The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)
Proverbs 25:25
     by D.H. Stern

25     Like cold water to a person faint from thirst
     is good news from a distant land.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers

                The “go” of renunciation

     Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.
--- Luke 9:57.

     Our Lord’s attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said—‘Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!’ ‘Fancy bringing about a north wind that froze him and turned him away discouraged!’ Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord’s answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.

     v. 58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigour of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. ‘Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head.’

     v. 59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs.

v. 61. The one who says—‘Yes, Lord, but …’ is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.

My Utmost for His Highest
Sailor's Hospital
     the Poetry of RS Thomas

                Sailor's Hospital

It was warm
  Inside, but there was
  Pain there. I came out
  Into the cold wind
  Of April. There were birds
  In the brambles' old,
  Jagged iron, with one striking
  Its small song. To the west,
  Rising from the grey
  Water, leaning one
  On another were the town's
  Houses. Who first began
  That refuse: time's waste
  Growing at the edge
  Of the clean sea? Some sailor,
  Fetching up on the
  Shingle before wind
  Or current, made it his
  Harbour, hung up his clothes
  In the sunlight; found women
  To breed from--those sick men
  His descendants. Every day
  Regularly the tide
  Visits them with its salt
  Comfort; their wounds are shrill
  In the rigging of the
  Tall ships.
        With clenched thoughts,
  That not even the sky's
  Daffodil could persuade
  To open, I turned back
  To the nurses in their tugging
  At him, as he drifted
  Away on the current
  Of his breath, further and further,
  Out of hail of our love.

Selected poems, 1946-1968
Do you see America here?
     The Teacher's Commentary

     The first ruler of the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam I, had set up a false worship system that counterfeited the sacrifices, the priesthood, the worship center, and the annual worship festivals established in God’s Law.

     I understand what Paul said about new moons and festivals, but do you ever think how Christianity has set up counter practices to those established by God in the Old Testament?

     A little homework will reveal that Catholicism claims replacing Friday at sundown till Saturday at sundown with Sunday worship is the seal of its power. Consider that.

     Christmas and other holidays have replaced the original Jewish feasts and festivals. Ultimately God says to walk uprightly and do justice. We are to love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as our self.

     The Old Testament practices did not have the power to save, but we do well to remember that neither do Christian practices have the power to save.

     All that we do for show, for others as well as our selves (Bible on the coffee table or dash board of the car, church attendance, tithing, etc.), have no substance whatsoever in God's economy. God judges the heart, the motivation, the intention behind what we do.

     Each ruler of Israel continued this evil, and some actively promoted idolatry. The kings also promoted a materialistic life. Thus Hosea was right when he charged Israel’s rulers, saying, “All their leaders are rebellious” (9:15.)

     In the days of Hosea Israel was a prosperous nation. Her aggressive ruler, Jeroboam II, multiplied his country’s territory and defeated her enemies. Control of trade routes brought unexpected wealth. Yet the political life of Israel was marked by murders, intrigues, and many other evils. The wealthy oppressed the poor, and those in authority accepted their bribes. In every significant way, Israel was a land whose people had proven completely unfaithful to the Lord.

     Now the prophet moved from his own experience with Gomer to show the parallels that existed in the Lord’s relationship with Israel.

     Sins denounced (Hosea 4–8). Among the violations of God’s laws that called out for judgment were cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery (4:1–2). The people even practiced ritual prostitution in conjunction with their adultery (vv. 4–14). The arrogance of this people was so great that they could never find God (5:1–7). Surely a terrible time of wrath would come (vv. 8–12).

     Hosea contrasted Israel’s words and her verbal repentance with her actions. It was what she did rather than what she said that demonstrated the nature of her heart attitude. And what marked Israel’s lifestyle? Deceit and thievery (7:1–2), and royal drunkenness and intrigue
(vv. 3–8). To such a people “repent” was an empty word, and whatever this people said they simply had not returned to God (vv. 9–16).

     As a result, judgment would come like a tornado and tear up God’s people (8:1–14.

The Teacher's Commentary
Searching For Meaning In Midrash

     Is this story of Moses and Joshua simply an adult fairy tale, in which an imaginative storyteller tries to fill in the blanks of a rather sparse biblical account? Or is there something here much deeper and more profound that goes beyond the death of Moses?

     In 1969, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, medical director of the Family Service and Mental Health Center of South Cook County, Illinois, published her classic work On Death and Dying (Scribner Classics) . The book had a tremendous impact on doctors and nurses, therapists and clergy, as well as on patients and their families. It helped people to understand that terminal illness is a process and that patients go through different stages from the time of diagnosis until death. Recognizing the various stages can assist all involved to better help the dying person. Not every patient goes through each one of these steps, and not necessarily in the specific order. But these stages form the paradigm that shows us the way.

     The first stage is denial, the refusal to believe the diagnosis. Then comes anger, usually toward God or the doctors, or both. This is followed by bargaining, where the patient tries to make a deal with God for a second chance. The fourth stage is depression, when a sense of great sadness and loss takes over. The final stage is acceptance.

     When we read our Midrash in light of Dr. Kübler-Ross’s paradigm, we are amazed to find that Moses himself goes through each of these five stages. Just prior to our text, the Midrash tells us the following: “When Moses knew that he was to die that day, what did he do?… He wrote thirteen Torah scrolls, twelve for the twelve tribes, and one for the Ark.… Moses said, ‘Since I am busy with Torah, which is life, the sun will set and the decree will be canceled.’ ” A classic example of denial, as Moses thinks, “If I am involved in a sacred task, then nothing will harm me.”

     In our Midrash, we see an angry Moses who yells (at God?) that jealousy is even more disturbing than death. The bargaining process takes place at the beginning of our text above: “I’ll relinquish my position of leadership if You only will let me live.”

     Depression seems implicit in Moses’ having to walk on the left of Joshua, the traditional inferior position of a student, and when he is shut out from the presence of God. The final stage, acceptance, is clearly stated: “When he accepted that he would die.…”

     Most interesting is the fact that Dr. Kübler-Ross posits that throughout the process of dying, hope is often to be found. Hope—a belief in a better future, or of healing, or of peace. This is precisely how our Midrash ends—with Moses being reassured about his place in the people’s future.

     No, our Midrash is not a fairy tale for adults. Almost two thousand years ago, the Rabbis presaged some of the most brilliant and significant psychological insights of the twentieth century, helping people even then to make sense not only of life, but also of death.


     Our existence is finite.… So whether or not we live with images of continuity—of immortality—we also have to live with a sense of transience, aware that no matter how passionately we love whatever we love, we don’t have the power to make either it, or us, stay.

     So writes Judith Viorst in her work Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow . At one time or another, in fact, at many moments of life, each of us is destined to experience loss. It may be loss of life or of love, of possessions or of innocence. None of us is exempt.

     Early in his life, Moses faced loss when he left Pharaoh’s court, where he was nurtured, in order to reestablish bonds with his ancestral people. Yet, it was only in facing his own death that Moses truly understood the nature of loss. In seeing what Joshua had gained and how Joshua lived, Moses understood that there are more difficult, and more powerful, feelings than loss. Jealousy, anger, detachment, these hurt much more than the prospect of death. Why else would Moses pray for a hundred deaths?

     By then, Moses knew that mourning is not only about death. We also mourn for ended relationships, for opportunities lost, for ideas that died on the drawing board. We, like Moses, can pray to God for “not one bit of envy”:

•     “Let my youth die and, with it, my childish notions of the
     world. And let me not be jealous of those who still have
     the zeal of youth and the naïveté of their younger years.”

•     “Let me accept the fact that certain friendships will pass
     with the passage of time. Let me relish those times we
     shared together and not resent the years we had simply
     because they are over.”

•     “Let me mourn the end of my child’s needy years, and let
     me accept the fact that my children no longer need me
     the way they once did. And let me rejoice in their
     independence, as well as in my own, for that is how it’s
     meant to be.”

•     “Let me lament—but not for too long!—for the concept
     that was brilliant, that would have gotten me the Nobel
     Prize and wealth beyond description, the concept that I
     had but I never followed up on, the idea that was mine but
     which someone else brought to fruition. And let this not
     stifle me from thinking and imagining in the future.”

•     “Let me experience a hundred deaths of opportunity, of
     ideas, of relationships without feeling envy, anger, or

Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living
Take Heart
     September 27

     So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.
Genesis 22:14.

     As Abraham and Isaac traveled up the hill, the son bearing the wood and the father the knife, the boy said, “Where is the lamb?” (
Gen. 22:7), and Abraham, steadying his voice, said, “God himself will provide the lamb” (Expositions of Holy Scripture Volume 1) When the wonderful outcome of the trial was plain before him and he looked back on it, the one thought that rose to his mind was of how, beyond his meaning, his words had been true. So he named that place by a name that spoke nothing of his trial but everything of God’s provision.

     It is true that we may cast all our anxiety about all outward things on him in the assurance that he who feeds the ravens will feed us and that if lilies can blossom into beauty without care, we will be held by our Father of more value than these. But there is a deeper meaning to the provision spoken of here. What was it that God provided for Abraham? What is it that God provides for us? A way to discharge duties that seem impossible for us and which, the nearer we come to them, look the more dreadful and seem the more impossible.

     And yet, when the heart has yielded itself in obedience and we are ready to do the thing that is enjoined, there opens up before us a possibility provided by God, and strength comes equal to our day. Some unexpected gift is put into our hands that enables us to do the thing of which nature said, “My heart will break before I can do it,” and in regard to which even Grace doubted whether it was possible for us to carry it through. If our hearts are set in obedience, the farther we go on the path of obedience, the easier the command will appear, and to try to do it is to ensure that God will help us to do it.

     This is the main provision that God makes, and it is the highest provision that he can make, for there is nothing in this life that we need so much as to do the will our Father in heaven. All outward needs are poor compared with that. The one thing worth living for, the one thing that in being secured we are blessed, and being missed we are miserable, is compliance in heart with the commandment of our Father and the compliance wrought out in life. So, of all gifts that he bestows on us and of all the abundant provision out of his rich storehouses, is not this the best, that we are made ready for any required service?
--- Alexander Maclaren

Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers
On This Day   September 27
     Staring in the Mirror

     When King Louis XIV waltzed into his ornate chapel to worship and be worshiped, he often heard Jacques Benigne Bossuet, one of the most eloquent French Catholics. Bossuet, born in Dijon on September 27, 1627, had discovered the Bible, opened it to Isaiah and was gripped. Running to his father, he read him chapter after chapter. In time, Bossuet learned the Bible almost by heart.

     Bossuet also gained a reputation as an orator, keeping fellow students in rapt attention during addresses. Eventually he was appointed court preacher at Versailles. His RS Thomas were “unexcelled upon earth.” It was said, “Bossuet is the most powerful, the most truly eloquent speaker that our language has ever known.”

     He was also blunt. In some RS Thomas, he addressed the king by name; and on one occasion he earnestly implored Louis to abandon his adulteries and return to his wife. Unfortunately, Bossuet’s eloquence did little good. The nobility sat listening to him, dressed in powdered wigs, high-heeled shoes, and gaudy costumes. They wept during Bossuet’s messages, but left unchanged. Here, for example, is an excerpt from one of his RS Thomas that should have made an impact. As it was, the nobility listened and cried and nodded and went their way as before:

     The honour of the world makes us attribute to ourselves all that we do, and ends by setting us upon pedestals like little gods. Well, proud and self-complacent soul, thus deified by the honour of the world, see how the eternal, the living God abases Himself in order to confound you! Man makes himself God through pride, God makes Himself man through humility! Man falsely attributes to himself what belongs to God; and God, in order to teach him to humble himself, takes what belongs to man. This is the remedy for insolence! This alone can confound the honour of the world—that Hill of Calvary, that Cross of Shame, Jesus Christ the Incarnate God, our Pattern, our Master, our King.

     Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave.
James 1:22-24.

On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes
Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - September 27

     “Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord!” --- Deuteronomy 33:29.

     He who affirms that Christianity makes men miserable, is himself an utter stranger to it. It were strange indeed, if it made us wretched, for see to what a position it exalts us! It makes us sons of God. Suppose you that God will give all the happiness to his enemies, and reserve all the mourning for his own family? Shall his foes have mirth and joy, and shall his home-born children inherit sorrow and wretchedness? Shall the sinner, who has no part in Christ, call himself rich in happiness, and shall we go mourning as if we were penniless beggars? No, we will rejoice in the Lord always, and glory in our inheritance, for we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” The rod of chastisement must rest upon us in our measure, but it worketh for us the comfortable fruits of righteousness; and therefore by the aid of the divine Comforter, we, the “people saved of the Lord,” will joy in the God of our salvation. We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit unto him: we are his members, and though for awhile we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet we are even now blessed with heavenly blessings in him. We have the earnest of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy for ever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward. Truly is it said of us, “Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?”

          Evening - September 27

     “My Beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.” --- Song of Solomon 5:4.

     Knocking was not enough, for my heart was too full of sleep, too cold and ungrateful to arise and open the door, but the touch of his effectual grace has made my soul bestir itself. Oh, the longsuffering of my Beloved, to tarry when he found himself shut out, and me asleep upon the bed of sloth! Oh, the greatness of his patience, to knock and knock again, and to add his voice to his knockings, beseeching me to open to him! How could I have refused him! Base heart, blush and be confounded! But what greatest kindness of all is this, that he becomes his own porter and unbars the door himself. Thrice blessed is the hand which condescends to lift the latch and turn the key. Now I see that nothing but my Lord’s own power can save such a naughty mass of wickedness as I am; ordinances fail, even the Gospel has no effect upon me, till his hand is stretched out. Now, also, I perceive that his hand is good where all else is unsuccessful, he can open when nothing else will. Blessed be his name, I feel his gracious presence even now. Well may my bowels move for him, when I think of all that he has suffered for me, and of my ungenerous return. I have allowed my affections to wander. I have set up rivals. I have grieved him. Sweetest and dearest of all beloveds, I have treated thee as an unfaithful wife treats her husband. Oh, my cruel sins, my cruel self. What can I do? Tears are a poor show of my repentance, my whole heart boils with indignation at myself. Wretch that I am, to treat my Lord, my All in All, my exceeding great joy, as though he were a stranger. Jesus, thou forgivest freely, but this is not enough, prevent my unfaithfulness in the future. Kiss away these tears, and then purge my heart and bind it with sevenfold cords to thyself, never to wander more.

Morning and Evening
Amazing Grace
     September 27


     Anne Ross Cousin, 1824–1906

     And I—in righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness. (Psalm 17:15)

     What beautiful pictures of Christ and our relationship to Him as His bride are portrayed for us in this lovely hymn text which was inspired by the dying words of a 17th century Scottish preacher. The colorful imagery enhances the truths of these very thoughtful lines.

     “And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s Land” were the final triumphant words spoken by Samuel Rutherford, a forceful evangelical preacher who suffered much persecution in Scotland for his support of the non-conformist movement. His open opposition to the state church resulted in banishment from his pulpit and home. When his courageous loyalty to Christ continued throughout his life, Rutherford was eventually charged with high treason, which could mean being beheaded. Already on his death bed, however, he sent, back this message: “I behoove to answer my first summons, and ere your day for me arrive, I will be where few kings and great folks come.”

     Two hundred years after the death of Rutherford in 1661, his victorious life, writings, and final words so impressed Anne Ross Cousin that she was moved to write this remarkable text. Mrs. Cousin describes vividly the glories of heaven. Her wonderful closing proclamation that “the Lamb is all the glory” is a fitting climax to the hymn’s vibrant exaltation of Christ and His eternal abode.

     The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks; the summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes. Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day-spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
     O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above: There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
     O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine! He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.” I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand, not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.
     The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face; I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace, not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand: The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

     For Today: John 17:3; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 3:14–21; Hebrews 12:2

     Learn to say—“My goal is Christ Himself, not joy, nor peace, not even heaven—but Himself, my Lord.” Even now, as we anticipate the joy of “Immanuel’s land” and the sight of our Savior’s face, let us look away from ourselves and the cares of life and focus on the author and finisher of our faith.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions
The Existence and Attributes of God
     Stephen Charnock


     2. This doctrine will teach us patience under such providences as declare his unchangeable will. The rectitude of our wills consists in conformity to the Divine, as discovered in his words, and manifested in his providence, which are the effluxes of his immutable will. The time of trial is appointed by his immutable will (Dan. 11:35); it is not in the power of the sufferer’s will to shorten it, nor in the power of the enemies’ will to lengthen it. Whatsoever doth happen hath been decreed by God (Eccles. 6:10), “That which hath been is named already;” therefore to murmur or be discontented is to contend with God, who is mightier than we, to maintain his own purposes. God doth act all things conveniently for that immutable end intended by himself, and according to the reason of his own will, in the true point of time most proper for it and for us, not too soon or too slow, because he is unchangeable in knowledge and wisdom. God doth not act anything barely by an immutable will, but by an immutable wisdom, and an unchangeable rule of goodness; and, therefore, we should not only acquiesce in what he works, but have a complacency in it; and by having our wills thus knitting themselves with the immutable will of God, we attain some degree of likeness to him in his own unchangeableness. When, therefore, God hath manifested his will in opening his decree to the world by his work of providence, we must cease all disputes against it, and, with Aaron hold our peace, though the affliction be very smart (Rev. 10:3). “All flesh must be silent before God” (Zech. 2:13); for whatsoever is his counsel shall stand, and cannot be recalled. All struggling against it is like a brittle glass contending with a rock; for “if he cut off and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?” (Job 11:10.) Nothing can help us, if he hath determined to afflict us, as nothing can hurt us, if he hath determined to secure us. The more clearly God hath evidenced this or that to be his will, the more sinful is our struggling against it. Pharaoh’s sin was the greater in keeping Israel, by how much the more God’s miracles had been demonstrations of his settled will to deliver them. Let nothing snatch our hearts to a contradiction to him, but let us fear and give glory to him, when the hour of judgment which he hath appointed is come (Rev. 14:7); that is, comply with the unchangeable will of his precept, the more he declares the immutable will of his providence. We must not think God must disgrace his nature and change his proceedings for us; better the creature should suffer, than God be impaired in any of his perfections. If God changed his purpose he would change his nature. Patience is the way to perform the immutable will of God, and a means to attain a gracious immutability for ourselves by receiving the promise (Heb. 10:36), “Ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

     3. This doctrine will teach us to imitate God in this perfection, by striving to be immovable in goodness. God never goes back from himself; he finds nothing better than himself for which he should change; and can we find anything better than God, to allure our hearts to a change from him? The sun never declines from the ecliptic line, nor should we from the paths of holiness. A steadfast obedience is encouraged by an unchangeable God to reward it (1 Cor. 15:58): “Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.” Unsteadfastness is the note of a hypocrite (Psalm 78:37): steadfastness in that which is good is the mark of a saint; it is the character of a righteous person to “keep the truth” (Isa. 26:2). And it is as positively said that “he that abides not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God” (2 John 9); but he that doth, “hath both the Father and the Son.” So much of uncertainty, so much of nature, so much of firmness in duty, so much of grace. We can never honor God unless we finish his work; as Christ did not glorify God but in finishing the work God gave him to do (John 17:4). The nearer the world comes to an end, the more is God’s immutability seen in his promises and predictions, and the more must our unchangeableness be seen in our obedience (Heb. 10:23, 25): “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” The christian Jews were to be the more tenacious of their faith, the nearer they saw the day approaching, the day of Jerusalem’s destruction prophesied of by Daniel (Dan. 9:26), which accomplishment must be a great argument to establish the christian Jews in the profession of Christ to be the Messiah, because the destruction of the city was not to be before the cutting off the Messiah. Let us be, therefore, constant in our profession and service of God, and not suffer ourselves to be driven from him by the ill usage, or flattered from him by the caresses of the world.

     (1.) It is reasonable. If God be unchangeable in doing us good, it is reason we should be unchangeable in doing him service. If he assure us that he is our God, our “I Am,” he would also that we should be his people; his we are. If he declare himself constant in his promises, he expects we should be so in our obedience. As a spouse, we should be unchangeably faithful to him as a Husband; as subjects, have an unchangeable allegiance to him as our Prince. He would not have us faithful to him for an hour or a day, but “to the death” (Rev. 2:10); and it is reason we should be his, and if we be his children, imitate him in his constancy of his holy purposes.

     (2.) It is our glory and interest. To be a reed shaken with every wind is no commendation among men, and it is less a ground of praise with God. It was Job’s glory that he held fast his integrity (Job 1:22): “In all this Job sinned not;” in all this,—which whole cities and kingdoms would have thought ground enough of high exclamations against God, and also against the temptation of his wife,— he retained his integrity (Job 2:9): “Dost thou still retain thy integrity?” The devil, who by God’s permission stripped him of his goods and health, yet could not strip him of his grace. As a traveller, when the wind and snow beats in his face, wraps his cloak more closely about him to preserve that and himself. Better we had never made profession, than afterwards to abandon it; such a withering profession serves for no other use than to aggravate the crime, if any of us fly like a coward, or revolt like a traitor; what profit will it be to a soldier, if he hath withstood many assaults, and turn his back at last? If we would have God crown us with an immutable glory, we must crown our beginnings with a happy perseverance (Rev. 2:10): “Be faithful to the death, and I will give thee a crown of life;” not as though this were the cause to merit it, but a necessary condition to possess it: constancy in good is accompanied with an immutability of glory.

     (3.) By an unchangeable disposition to good, we should begin the happiness of heaven upon earth. This is the perfection of blessed spirits, those that are nearest to God as angels and glorified souls, they are immutable; not, indeed, by nature, but by grace; yet not only by a necessity of grace, but a liberty of will: grace will not let them change; and that grace doth animate their wills that they would not change; an immutable God fills their understandings and affections, and gives satisfaction to their desires. The saints when they were below, tried other things, and found them deficient; but now they are so fully satisfied with the beatific vision, that if Satan should have an entrance among the angels and sons of God, it is not likely he should have any influence upon them; he could not present to their understandings anything that could either at the first glance, or upon a deliberate view, be preferable to what they enjoy and are fixed in. Well, then, let us be immovable in the knowledge and love of God. It is the delight of God to see his creatures resemble him in what they are able. Let not our affections to him be as Jonah’s gourd, growing up in one night and withering the next. Let us not only fight a good fight, but do so till we have finished our course, and imitate God in an unchangeableness of holy purposes; and to that purpose, examine ourselves daily what fixedness we have arrived unto; and to prevent any temptation to a revolt, let us often possess our minds with thoughts of the immutability of God’s nature and will, which, like fire under water, will keep a good matter boiling up in us, and make it both retain and increase its heat.

     (4.) Let this doctrine teach us to have recourse to God, and aim at a near conjunction with him. When our spirits begin to flag, and a cold aguish temper is drawing upon us, let us go to him who can only fix our hearts, and furnish us with a ballast to render them steadfast. As he is only immutable in his nature, so he is the only principle of immutability, as well as being in the creature. Without his grace, we shall be as changeable in our appearances as the chameleon, and in our turnings as the wind. When Peter trusted in himself, he changed to the worse; it was his Master’s recourse to God for him that preserved in him a reducing principle, which changed him again for the better, and fixed him in it (Luke 22:32). It will be our interest to be in conjunction with him, that moves not about with the heavens, nor is turned by the force of nature, nor changed by the accidents in the world; but sits in the heavens, moving all things by his powerful arm, according to his infinite skill. While we have him for our God, we have his immutability as well as any other perfection of his nature for our advantage; the nearer we come to him, the more stability we shall have in ourselves; the further from him, the more liable to change. The line that is nearest to the place where it is first fixed, is least subject to motion; the further it is stretched from it, the weaker it is, and more liable to be shaken. Let us also affect those things which are nearest to him in this perfection; the righteousness of Christ that shall never wear out, and the graces of the Spirit that shall never burn out; by this means, what God is infinitely by nature, we shall come to be finitely immutable by grace, as much as the capacity of a creature can contain.

The Existence and Attributes of God

Habakkuk - Zephaniah 1-3
     JD Farag

Habakkuk 1:1-5 Lawlessness
J.D. Farag

J.D. Farag

Habakkuk - Zephaniah 1-3
     Skip Heitzig

Micah 1-7; Nahum 1-3; Habakkuk 1-3
Calvary Chapel NM

Zephaniah 1-3; Haggai 1-2
Calvary Chapel NM

Skip Heitzig | Calvary Chapel NM

Habakkuk - Zephaniah 1-3
     Paul LeBoutillier

Habakkuk 1-3
When the works of God
don’t make sense
Paul LeBoutillier


Zephaniah 1-3
Prophecies of the Great Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom
Paul LeBoutillier


Paul LeBoutillier

Habakkuk-Zephaniah 1-3
     Jon Courson

Habakkuk 2:4
Nothing But Faith
Jon Courson

click here

Habakkuk 1-3
Jon Courson

click here

Zephaniah 1
Jon Courson

click here

Zephaniah 2-3
Jon Courson

click here

Zephaniah 3:9
Jon Courson

click here

Zephaniah 2:1-7
The Gaza Prophecy
Jon Courson

click here

Jon Courson | Jon Courson

Habakkuk-Zephaniah 1-3
     Paul LeBoutillier

Habakkuk 1-3
Paul LeBoutillier

Zephaniah 1-3
Judgment, Joy and Final Restoration of Israel
Paul LeBoutillier

Paul LeBoutillier | Calvary Chapel Ontario, Oregon

Habakkuk-Zephaniah 1-3
     Brett Meador | Athey Creek

Brett Meador | Athey Creek

Habakkuk 2:2
Write The Vision


Habakkuk 2:4
The Just Shall Live By Faith


Habakkuk 1-3


Zephaniah 1:14-15


Zephaniah 1-3



When God Doesn’t Make Sense
Gary Hamrick

When God Sings
Gary Hamrick

Habakkuk P1
David Pawson

Habakkuk P2
David Pawson

Being Anchored in Christ

Chad Miller

Renewal and Restoration

Steven Morrow

You Are the People of God

I'Ching Thomas

Becoming Kingdom Investors

Alan Barnhart

John 16:12-15

The Spirit Bears With You
Steven Porter

Stress Out

Adele Calhoun

Being Active in God's Healing

Adele Calhoun

The Grace of Giving

Kevin DeYoung


Being Anchored in Christ

Chad Miller

Renewal and Restoration

Steven Morrow

You Are the People of God

I'Ching Thomas

Becoming Kingdom Investors

Alan Barnhart

John 16:12-15

The Spirit Bears With You
Steven Porter

Stress Out

Adele Calhoun

Being Active in God's Healing

Adele Calhoun

The True Lion King

Kevin DeYoung


The Word and Wisdom

Kevin DeYoung


How Should We Then Live?

Derek Wells


Overview: Zephaniah

Ken Johnson

Overview: Habakkuk

The Bible Project


Unlocking the Old Testament
David Pawson

Habakkuk Part 1

David Pawson

Habakkuk Part 2

David Pawson

Unlocking the Old Testament

Part 55 - Zephaniah
David Pawson

Worship in Word and Sacrament

Ligon Duncan | Ligonier

Esther: For Such a Time As This

John MacArthur

1 Thessalonians 4

Ken Johnson

Feb 17, 2020

Galatians 1-2 and

the Testament of Asher

Ken Johnson

Feb 10, 2020

A closer look at the Habakkuk

Commentary (pHab)
Bible Facts


Enoch's 10 Week Prophecy

Bible Facts


Live Q and A with Ken Johnson

Bible Facts


Enoch's 10 Week Prophecy 2

Bible Facts


Habakkuk: Live By Faith
Worship By Faith
Nathan George