You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Bible Study’ category.

A must read testimony from the site “In the Light of Deception”

Falling Into Deception

Where is truth found?
Simply put, truth is found in the literal word of God alone. Nothing needs to be added or taken from scripture to uncover new truths or to keep current.

 

Early Deception 

Matthew 24:11

11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Matthew 24:24

24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

I became familiar with false teachings at an early age. From six years old to about ten years of age I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. A couple of years after that I attended some Christian churches with my mom. As a young adult, I started on my own quest for the truth. I went to different places of worship including a Catholic church and a Buddhist temple. Because of extended family members, I also became familiar with Mormonism.

After experiencing many kinds of deception, both in my youth and early adulthood, it is a wonder that I became a Christian at all, but I did.

 Within the Walls of Today’s Churches

2 Timothy 4:1-4

4 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

By the time I was 30 I had finally accepted God as my personal Lord and Savior.  It wasn’t an instantaneous transformation, but definitely a work in progress.  At that time my husband wasn’t ready or even looking for a church to attend.  I went to church alone early on in our relationship.  Eventually, he decided to visit a few of them.  We ended up agreeing on a church that his brother and sister-in-law attended and even helped start.  They were one of the first 12 members of the church.  It had now grown and moved into an auditorium at an elementary school.  My husband and I ended up attending the church for 12 years.  We were married by the pastor and also adopted two beautiful little girls through a program presented at the church (a true blessing!).  Needless to say, we were fully invested in the church and their practices.

The church grew very quickly and needed to move into a larger facility.  During this time another church in the area was losing its pastor and the church was looking for a replacement pastor.  Our pastor ended up taking the position and merging both churches together.  With the merge of the two churches came new ministry opportunities.  The church was very involved in the community with outreach programs but was missing the vital ingredient for Christian growth, the bible.  Although bible verses were being used within the topical teachings, the bible was nowhere to be found! Each service had a fill in the blank pamphlet relating to the topic being taught and flashed the scriptures on a large screen.  It seemed there was no need to bring a Bible to church.  At that time, I thought, “Great, this makes things easier.  I don’t have to try to find the scriptures myself and I can keep up with the study.”  Here’s where compromise and biblical illiteracy started to take root and deception quickly took a hold of my life.  It was a slow fade, or maybe it wasn’t.  Perhaps I fell into deception from the minute I walked through the doors of this popular evangelical church?

Before long, a “More Seats, More Story” fundraiser started.  The church was ready to build a new (even larger) sanctuary.  Many people paid into this building fund for months or even years. With this growth came more entertaining music, skits, and many things the world had to offer. Even the youth ministry themed their events around what was popular in the world, like “The Hunger Games”.  Also, small group outreaches were themed after “Happy Hour”.  The church was driven by their “More Seats, More Stories” theme and the idea of reaching people to fill seats in the new sanctuary.  The church opened a café, served popcorn, donuts, pastries, breakfast burritos and coffee.  They had kiosks for ministry opportunities and outreach. They served tacos for the “Happy Hour” theme and had incredibly talented musicians offering worldly music, such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and even a Christmas tribute to Michael Jackson, along with popular trendy Christian music. There were even ice skaters, actors, painters, dancers, and elaborate stage set-ups.  We were immensely entertained and the church grew like wildfire.  The church “Rocked”, but where was God in all of this entertainment?  Did God have a seat in this sanctuary?  Did anyone know about the word of God?  Scripture was being used, but not being taught.

 1 Timothy 6:3-5  

3 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 

There’s a big difference between using God’s word to bring about a pastor’s topics and teaching God’s infallible word to the flock.  Most of the members of this church were falling into compromise and didn’t even know it.  Author’s books were recommended for bible study, such as John Ortberg’s, “It All Goes Back into the Box”and Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”.  There was also the  pastor’s fill in the blank DVD bible study series.  Many authors were quoted during sermons and the word of God was downplayed.  This church was a mess, but many people (including myself) couldn’t get enough of it.

 

Finish article HERE

 

 

 

New Age Books

All six of these books are often promoted as “Christian” but are “New Age” books which preach “Another Jesus”, “Another Spirit”, and “Another Gospel”.

“Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch teaches:
● No Devil
● No Sin
● No Hell
● Man is God
● Universalism
● Relativism
● Reincarnation
● Jesus is one of many Ascended Masters (Lord Maitreya, Djwhal Khul, Melchizedek, etc).

“The Shack” by William P. Young teaches:
● Universal Salvation
● God does not Punish Sin
● Human Heart is Good
● “Do what thou Wilt”
● The Bible is Fallible
● Relativism
● Against Organized Churches
● Redefines Sin
● Heaven is not Accurately Depicted in Scripture
● God is Against Rules.

“The Revelation” by Barbara Max Hubbard teaches:
● Human Nature Good
● Born to be Christ
● You are God
● Separation of God is a Delusion
● If you don’t believe you are God you are Cancer
● 2nd Death is for those Who cannot Evolve
● Christ will not Return until enough People are Linked to Him via (Christ -Consciousness)

“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young teaches:
● Occult/New Age Channeling
● Spiritual Dictation
● Creative Visualization
● Meditation
● Divine Alchemy
● Co-creation with God
● Practicing the Presence
● Jesus Flatters

“The Circle Maker” by Mark & Parker Batterson teaches:
● Insufficiency of the Bible
● Use Witchcraft to get Prayers Answered
● God is Submissive to Man’s Will
● Pray in a Demanding and Arrogant Way rather than Humbly
● Use Visualization Tactics
● “Name it Claim it Theology”
● “Primacy of Man’s Will over God’s Will.”
● Principles Taught in Talmud

“A Course in Miracles” by Helen Schuchman & Marianne Williamson teaches:
● Panentheism (God is everything)
● All is Love
● Recognition of God is Recognition of Self
● No Sin
● No Need for Salvation
● Old Rugged Cross is Useless
● Evil does not Exist
● No Devil,
● We Face Armageddon (in ourselves) No Need for Future Armageddon (collective)
● Meditation.

Beth Moore is an ecumenical charismatic who supposedly receives messages and visions from God. She has been instructed by God to pass these messages to the church. Oh really. While some of her teachings may be correct they are also filled with allegory which spiritualizes text. This often changes the meaning of what the text is teaching. She also teaches men from the pulpit which puts her in direct rebellion to scripture. Her emotional stories really tug at the heart of women who need to beware.

Lauran Breaks Free of Beth Moore: A Testimony

The following testimony was submitted to Pulpit & Pen for publication:

My name is Lauran.  I am a Southern Baptist from Tennessee.  I walked the aisle to accept Jesus at age 5 but I believe I was truly saved 12 years ago at the age of 21.  I am currently the women’s Bible study leader at our church as well as the pastor’s wife.  I have broken free of Beth Moore.

I grew up attending a flagship in Southern Baptist Church in Tennessee.  It was and is one of the most vibrant churches in the convention; its former and current pastors have been the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and both served on the Baptist Faith and Message Committee.  At this faithful church, the Bible was proclaimed as God’s inerrant word.  Growing up in a church like that, I was often involved in Bible study.  One of my favorite Bible study authors was Beth Moore.  I was heavily involved in her studies for years.  I have seen her speak live multiple times, done countless numbers of her studies and own tons of her books.  I’ll never forget the day five years ago when my husband informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.

My husband had stumbled across the profile on Beth Moore at the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM) website.  Incredulously, my Baptist husband read Matt Slick’s negative critique of Beth Moore.  He was surprised to see that CARM, one of the most trusted online sources for Christian doctrine, did not recommend participating in Beth Moore studies.  He knew she was the darling of Southern Baptist women’s studies, a best-selling author at Lifeway.  After studying the article, my husband couldn’t help but agree with Slick’s assessment.  The evidence was right there.  Beth Moore was not a sound teacher.  Sheepishly, he informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.  I was aghast!

“What?!” I exclaimed.  “No Way! Beth Moore is a godly woman.” I had been growing in my knowledge of the word in leaps and bounds over the past few years.  I had even attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary for a degree in Christian education.  It had never been brought up to me in my long Baptist life that Beth Moore, this trusted woman, and leader, might actually be a poor teacher or even a wolf in sheep’s clothing!  I had always just assumed that what she was teaching was biblical. All of the churches I had ever attended had endorsed and done her studies as part of their women’s Bible studies. How could they keep doing her studies if her teaching and actions were unbiblical?!

There was only one way to answer this question.

 

 

Finish HERE 

March 26, 2000                             Coy Wylie

1 John – Living in the Light

How to Test the Spirits

1 John 4:1-6


1. “Discrimination” is a bad word in our cultural vocabulary. Our courts are filled with lawsuits based on discrimination. In a multi-cultural society we are taught to be tolerant of one another. To an extent this is appropriate. Our Constitution states that all men are created equally. Acts 10:34 says, “God is no respecter of persons” (KJV); He does not show partiality. Therefore we are not to discriminate racially, economically, socially or culturally.

2. In this passage, John teaches we must discriminate doctrinally. We must “test the spirits.” We must learn to discern between “the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” These 6 verses are a parenthesis on his discourse about love. Love evidences our fellowship with God but love can never be divorced from truth.

An elementary school class toured a medical facility. A child asked why the doctors and nurses were constantly washing their hands. The nurse replied, “We wash our hands for two reasons: we love health and we hate germs.” The Christian who abides in Christ and walks in the Spirit loves truth and hates error. He discriminates.

3. As Christians, we are called “believers.” However, every believer is also called to be an unbeliever when it comes to error. The Bible not only encourages us to believe but also to not believe. Just as we can inhale and exhale at the same time, we cannot believe truth and accept error. You cannot love until you reject hatred. You cannot pursue righteousness until you abandon evil. John Stott has written, “Unbelief can be as much a mark of spiritual maturity as belief.” (p.157).

4. With this background in mind, let’s examine the command to test the spirits and three criteria by which we test the spirits.


I. The Command to Test the Spirits (v.1).

A. Why We Are to Test the Spirits.

1. John is speaking to believers. He calls them “beloved.” He says we are not to “believe every spirit” but “test” them as to “whether they are of God.” Why? Because there are “many false prophets” who have “gone out into the world.”

2. Historically, the background of this passage is in the era in which the NT was being completed. There was no NT cannon. The apostles were still in the process of writing the inspired books and epistles that make up our understanding of the Christian faith.

3. God delivered His word to the congregations of believers in part by the verbal word of divinely gifted and inspired prophets. We read about the powerful and prevalent gifts in 1 Cor.12 and 14.

4. John warns his readers not to “believe every spirit” but to “test the spirits whether they are of God” because not everyone who claimed to be a prophet was divinely inspired.

5. There was and is the great necessity of critical assessment of spiritual teaching. There are still many false teachers in the world.

B. What it Means to Test the Spirits.

1. Every believer has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. In 3:24, we learned last week that God “have given us… the Spirit.” In chapter 2, John calls the presence of the Spirit “the anointing which you have received from Him…”

2. God has given us His indwelling Spirit but John now points out that there are other “spirits” loose in the world. If we have the Spirit, we ought to “test the Spirits.”

3. Christians often test teaching by how it sounds, the words used, the inflection of the voice, the stories told, if it moves them or makes them feel good. None of these are appropriate tests. “Test” in v.4 means “to approve or examine.” The term was used of gold put in the fire to test its purity.

4. There are two categories of spirits operating in the world. When someone proposes to speak for God, you should “test the spirits” or you might “amen” the wrong spirit! I’ve been in some churches where they would “amen” almost anything.

5. Behind every prophet is a spirit. The great question is does the Spirit of God or an evil spirit lead this teacher. Before we trust any teacher, we must “test the spirits.”

6. Paul wrote in 1 Thess.5:20-22, “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.”

7. Jesus warned in Mt.7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…”

8. Paul warned the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:29, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”

9. Peter also offered this warning in 2 Pet.2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

10. Today there is still a great need for biblical discernment and discrimination. Many believers remain biblically illiterate and spiritually gullible. They naively accept any teaching as truth.

11. In Eph.4:14, Paul says that a sure sign of spiritual immaturity is “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”

C. Failing to Test the Spirits is Dangerous.

Every good parent teaches his children to discriminate, to discern. We teach them to never take candy from strangers or accept a ride from strangers. Why? We know that there are evil people in the world who will take advantage of the naiveté of our kids. Too many of God’s kids have never learned to discern. They don’t discriminate. They are led astray by spiritual candy with a pseudo spiritual wrapper that is nothing more than sugarcoated error. It tastes good and makes them feel good for the moment but leaves them with nothing but empty calories. There is no spiritual nutrition because there is no truth.

1. If you follow the wrong spirit, you will pay a price. The famous circus entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum is quoted as saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Satan has many slick sideshows that sidetrack God’s children and rob them of their spiritual riches.

2. There are “many” false teachers in the world today. The spiritual candy store is full. Satan has all flavors of teachers and preachers ready to fill your spiritual appetite with a sugarcoated experience that will leave you with a bellyache. Test the spirits!

3. Remember when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh? He had a rod that turned into a snake. Satan was not to be outdone so the magicians’ rods turned to snakes too. He knows how to put on a good show, to entice and lure us away from the truth.

4. The reformers insisted that even the most humble of believers has “the right of private judgment.” John is writing to the “beloved,” all Christians. You don’t have to have a seminary degree to test the spirits. You don’t have to attend a spirit-testing seminar. Why? Because the Holy Spirit already resides within you.

5. In this church we wear the name Baptist but our allegiance is to the Bible. Just because it is a Baptist teaching does not necessarily mean it is a biblical teaching. We “test the spirits” and the chief measuring stick is the Scripture!

II. The Criteria for Testing the Spirits (vv.5-6).

A. How Do They View the Son of God? (vv.2-3).

1. The first test is the acknowledgement of the historical incarnation of Jesus, that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” Believers are to test for truth based on a teacher’s attitude concerning the person and work of Jesus. The first question is always “What do they believe about Jesus?” because if you are wrong about Jesus you are wrong about God.

2. In John’s day there was a teacher known as Cerinthus who taught that Jesus became the Messiah at His baptism. The Spirit came upon and at His death on the cross, the Spirit left Him and He died and remained dead, thus denying the resurrection. Cerinthus taught his disciples that Jesus did not come as God but became the Son of God for season. This was a terrible false teaching.

3. Jesus did not become the Son of God. He has always existed as the Son. He was incarnated, came “in the flesh” to be our Savior. Jesus was fully God and fully man. The baby in the manger humanly did not know anything but divinely knew everything. The baby in the manger could humanly be only one place at a time but divinely was omnipresent, equally present everywhere. The baby in the manger was humanly terribly weak and hopelessly dependent but divinely was all-powerful. The baby in the manger was humanly unable to speak but divinely had spoken the worlds into existence.

4. Many religions seek to honor Jesus as a great man or a great teacher but do not recognize Him for who He is. Some of them knock on your door with attractive publications and reverent, religious words but they don’t believe that Jesus is the “express image of His person” (Heb.1:3). They will say He is God’s Son but just for a time, not for eternity. They will agree that He is a great prophet, but they want to put him on the level of Mohammed or Confucius.

5. A teacher must not only acknowledge the incarnation as a historical fact but they must also “confess” Him. They must commit their lives to Him.

6. Satan and his demons acknowledge the historical incarnation but do not “confess” Him as Lord. Evil spirits readily recognized Jesus during His earthly ministry. In Mk.1:24 we read the words of one spirit encountered by Jesus, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are; the Holy One of God!” In Mk.5:7 another said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” James 2:19 remarks, “Even the demons believe; and tremble!”

7. Christian Scientists claim that Jesus was a man who received the Spirit of the Christ. Mormons say Jesus was a man who became god to show us how to become gods. Liberal theologians deny the virgin birth of Jesus and thus deny His incarnation and His deity. All these people fail to “confess” Him as God.

8. There are many people in church every Sunday who believe Jesus is the incarnate Christ but have never truly confessed Him.

9. The one who is led by the Holy Spirit will always “confess” Jesus. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would testify of Him and glorify Him. He said in Jn.16:13-14, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

10. Paul states in 1 Cor.12:3, “No one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

11. John says in v.3, to proclaim anything else about Jesus smacks of “the spirit of the Antichrist.” John has already mentioned the Antichrist in chapter 2. We know there is coming a world leader known as “the Antichrist,” however; “the spirit of the Antichrist” is “now already in the world.”

12. Be careful who you listen to that you do not take false medication.

B. What is Their Relation to the Spirit of God? (v.4).

1. In saying that believers “have overcome them” John is telling us that the false teachers have not succeeded in deceiving us.

2. False teachers are intimidating. They ask, “How can you believe that?” Raise the issue of creation in your biology classroom and watch them go into a frenzy. However, truth is absolute. It is immutable. It never changes.

If I play a B-flat on the piano you will hear a B-flat. A B-flat was a B-flat a thousand years ago and will still be a B-flat in the next millennium. It is absolute. Truth is absolute. Jesus is absolute. Heb.13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

3. Why have we “overcome” them? Not because we are smart, sharp or extremely intelligent, but because of the Spirit is within us. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Although, Satan is great, the Holy Spirit is greater!

We all have insulation in our houses. Insulation keeps the warm air in and the cold air out or visa versa. The Holy Spirit is the God-given insulation in the believer’s life who helps us keep out error. Have you ever heard a sermon or listened to religious discussion and thought, “Something doesn’t sound right?” That is the Holy Spirit filtering out the error and leading you in truth.

C. Are They in Harmony with the Word of God? (vv.5-6).

1. Notice three pronouns in vv.4-6. In v.4 John speaks of “you” or Christians. In v.5 he speaks of “they,” false teachers. In v.6, he speaks of “we” or the God-ordained apostles.

2. Now in v.5 we see that that “they” are heard by the world. The world recognizes its own people and listens to their message. One of the easiest ways to recognize a false teacher is by whether the world is comfortable with him.

3. When you are on the job speak about the truth of Jesus, someone will invariably say, “I don’t want to hear that!” Why? Truth divides. People want to feel good about themselves. Truth always makes them take a hard look at themselves.

4. When I prepare a sermon, I don’t ever ask, “Will they enjoy this message?” My goal is not your entertainment but your edification. Truth always will help you.

In order to survive under the water, you need special equipment. Scuba gear enables a diver to live and function in a hostile environment. In the same way, the Spirit of God and the Word of God enable us to function in the world.

5. When John says, “He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us,” it sounds somewhat arrogant. In effect, he is saying, “You can tell our message is God’s message because God’s people receive it.”

6. I could never say that. It would be prideful and presumptuous for me to say, “Whoever knows God agrees with me and only those who don’t know God disagree with me.” I’ve known a few preachers who’ve come close to that level of arrogance though.

7. John is an apostle; I am a pastor. John personally walked with Jesus. By inspiration, he wrote words of Scripture. To agree with the apostles is to agree with Scripture. Eph.2:20 says the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”

8. Turn the page to 2 Jn.10-11. Churches met in houses in those days. John was saying don’t let him in the church. In this church we discriminate doctrinally.

9. Someone might say, “Truth, truth, truth! Pastor you major on truth, but what about emotion? What about feelings? I want to feel the presence of God.” Amen! I want to feel Him too. He gave me my emotions. I want both spirit and truth. However, I want to be certain what I am feeling. I don’t want to get off into subjective feelings until I am dead on in objective truth!

We can navigate a course by the use of a compass. A compass points to the north because of the magnetic field. Christians can navigate life by responding to the “true north” of the Word of God. We have the Word of God before us and the Spirit of God within us. Let us “test the spirits” and the teaching of anyone who claims to speak for God.


Copyright © 1998 – 2003 Coy M. Wylie. 

This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice.

New American Standard Bible
“But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;”
Matthew 10:17
Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary


10:16-42

Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent’s wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God’s opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God’s love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ’s work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God’s people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ’s disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.

 

The Dead End of Sexual Sin


Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same-sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all.

I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late twenties, I met my first lesbian-lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part.

I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship, and the contours of their/our body. I favored the nesting, the setting up of house and home, and the building of lesbian community.

As an unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and poststructuralism, and an opponent of all totalizing meta-narratives (like Christianity, I would have added back in the day), I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create.

Conversion and Confusion

It was only after I met my risen Lord that I ever felt shame in my sin, with my sexual attractions, and with my sexual history.

Conversion brought with it a train wreck of contradictory feelings, ranging from liberty to shame. Conversion also left me confused. While it was clear that God forbade sex outside of biblical marriage, it was not clear to me what I should do with the complex matrix of desires and attractions, sensibilities and senses of self that churned within and still defined me.

What is the sin of sexual transgression? The sex? The identity? How deep was repentance to go?

Meeting John Owen

In these newfound struggles, a friend recommended that I read an old, seventeenth-century theologian named John Owen, in a trio of his books (now brought together under the title Overcoming Sin and Temptation).

At first, I was offended to realize that what I called “who I am,” John Owen called “indwelling sin.” But I hung in there with him. Owen taught me that sin in the life of a believer manifests itself in three ways: distortion by original sin, distraction of actual day-to-day sin, and discouragement by the daily residence of indwelling sin.

Eventually, the concept of indwelling sin provided a window to see how God intended to replace my shame with hope. Indeed, John Owen’s understanding of indwelling sin is the missing link in our current cultural confusion about what sexual sin is — and what to do about it.

As believers, we lament with the apostle Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:19–20). But after we lament, what should we do? How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?

Owen explained with four responses.

Finish HERE

Daniel’s 70 Weeks

(first published May 26, 2014) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,fbns@wayoflife.org)

Daniel’s “70 week” prophecy is one of the most amazing and important prophecies in Scripture. A Book that foretells the future in detail with perfect accuracy is obviously a Divine Book!

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall beseven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).

The Context

The occasion of this prophecy was Daniel’s prayer that God would have mercy on Israel. The vision is God’s answer. In this vision God reveals to Daniel the time schedule and major events which will lead to the establishment of Israel’s Messianic kingdom.

The purpose of the 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24)

The prophecy pertains to Israel and to the holy city Jerusalem.

1. The prophecy describes the finishing of the transgression and the making of reconciliation. During the 70 Weeks, Israel’s rebellion will be finished, and she will be cleansed from her sin. Israel’s rebellion was the reason for the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC and by Rome in AD 70, and she has never repented nationally. This will happen at the end of the 70 Weeks, and she will be cleansed by the atonement of Christ.

2. The prophecy describes the bringing in of everlasting righteousness. The result of Israel’s repentance and cleansing will be the establishment of Christ’s everlasting kingdom.

3 The prophecy describes the sealing up the vision and prophecy. It will be the fulfillment of all of the Messianic prophecies.

4. The prophecy will result in the anointing of the most Holy. The temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist, but upon Christ’s return a new temple will be built and anointed by Christ’s own presence.

The length of time of the 70 Weeks

The Hebrew term for weeks (shebuah) means “sevens.” The context must determine whether it is a week of days or of years.

1. The weeks which have already been fulfilled show that these are weeks of years rather than of days. We know that by any reckoning, it was almost 500 years from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the coming of Christ. This fits the testimony of Daniel 9:25, which places 69 weeks of years (483 years) between the two events. It is only reasonable to believe that the 70th week shall also be a week of years.

2. The concept of weeks of years was familiar to Jewish thinking (Lev. 25:3-9). There was a weekly sabbath and a yearly sabbath.

3. At the time of the vision, Daniel had been thinking in terms of weeks of years (Dan. 9:2). He was considering the 70 year captivity, which was 10 weeks of years (2 Ch. 36:21).

The events of the 70 Weeks

1. During the first 7 weeks (49 years) Jerusalem was rebuilt in troublous times.

a. The commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was given in 445 BC. The walls were completed the next year, and work of rebuilding the city apparently continued on for another 48 years.

b. This was accomplished “in troublous times,” as we see in Nehemiah. The rebuilding was accomplished in the face of great opposition.

2. The next 62 weeks (434 years) extends from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah.

a. When did the 69 weeks (the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks) end?

It ended when Messiah came as prince (Dan. 9:25). This was when Christ entered Jerusalem on the donkey a few days before the crucifixion and was acclaimed as “the King that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Zech. 9:9; Lk. 19:37-38).

b. When did the 69 Weeks begin?

It began with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25). This was the commandment by Artaxerxes for Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and the city (Neh. 2:1-8). In 536 BC, Cyrus commanded Zerubbabel to build the temple (Ezra 1:1-3), but that isn’t the commandment described in Daniel 9:25.

c. There are some difficulties in determining the exact dates for the beginning and ending of the 69 Weeks.

First, Jews and Babylonians and Persians used different calendars with different months. The Julian or Roman calendar that we use today is different. This is why it is difficult to know exactly what years by our calendar Christ was born and died. Second, the Jewish and Persian calendars were 360-day years instead of the 365-day years on our Roman calendar. This means that the 483 years (69×7) of Daniel 9 was 173,880 days or 476 of our years.

By some reckoning, Artaxerxes’ commandment to Nehemiah was in 445 BC and by other reckonings, it was 444 BC. Sir Isaac Newton set that date at 457 BC, and this date was placed in the margin of the King James Bible beginning in 1701.

Sir Robert Anderson, a lawyer and an investigator with Scotland Yard and a brilliant Bible student, concluded that the commandment was given March 14, 445 BC and Christ entered Jerusalem on the donkey April 6, 32 AD. He documented this position in his 1895 book The Coming Prince.

John Phillips summarizes this position as follows: “We know from Nehemiah 2:1-8 that the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given in March (Nisan) of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, who ascended to the throne of Persia in 464 or 465 BC. Thus the beginning of the prophetic period would be 445 BC. Some commentators actually fix the date at March 14, 445 BC., and claim the support of astronomy for so doing. After sixty-nine of these ‘weeks,’ the Messiah would be ‘cut off’ (69 x 7 = 483 years) bringing us to AD 39. Since the Biblical year is 360 days and not 365 days, the difference (5 x 483 – 2,415 days – 6.6 years) must be deducted, bringing us to AD 32. The Lord’s ministry began in the ‘the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’ (Luke 3:1). This Caesar began to reign on August 19, A.D. 14, so that the Lord commenced His public ministry early in A.D. 29. The first Passover of the Lord’s ministry was in the month of Nisan of that year. Three Passovers later, in AD 32, He was crucified. Sir Robert Anderson contends that this prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled to the very day.”

The important thing to understand is that the Jews of Christ’s day knew how to figure these dates, and they had no excuse for not knowing exactly when Messiah the prince would come or what would happen when He came.

3. After the 69 weeks, the following events will happen (Dan. 9:26).

a. Messiah is cut off, but not for himself. This refers to Christ’s crucifixion and His substitutionary atonement. He did not die for Himself, because death is the wages of sin, and Christ had no sin. He died for man’s sins (Isa. 53:5).

b. The city and the sanctuary are destroyed. This occurred in AD 70 at the hands of the Roman armies under the generalship of Titus.

c. There are wars and desolations until the end. The Hebrew word translated “desolation” is also translated “destruction (Hos. 2:12).

(1) This is a perfect description of the last 2,000 years of Israel’s history since Christ was “cut off.”

(2) Even today, though Israel is back in the land, she has no peace and war and desolations continue, and she will have no peace until she repents and receives her Messiah, Jesus.

(3) It also describes what will happen to Israel just before the return of Christ as recorded in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-18.

4. Between the 69th and 70th week is the interlude of the church age.

a. It is called a “mystery” because it was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets (Eph. 3:3-6). The church age is like a valley that the Old Testament prophets did not see between the peaks of the first and second coming of Christ.

b. During this time, Christ is calling out a people for His name from among the nations (Ac. 15:14-18).

c. Paul describes the church age as the time of Israel’s blindness in Romans 11:25-27.

The 70th week (the final seven years) (Dan. 9:27)

The final week, or seven years, of Daniel’s prophecy remains to be fulfilled.

It is this period that Jesus describes in Matthew 24:3-31.

1. The final week is divided into two parts (Dan. 9:27).

a. At the beginning of the seven years, the Antichrist will make a false peace covenant with Israel.

(1) The Antichrist is a prince of the revived Roman Empire. He is identified as the prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem after Messiah’s death. This was Rome.

(2) Revelation depicts the Antichrist coming on the scene on a white horse, signifying peace, and carrying an empty bow (Rev. 6:2). The horse and empty bow signifies that the Antichrist will have the capability to make war but initially he will come as a man of peace. Five times in Daniel the Antichrist is called a liar and a flatterer (Dan. 11:21, 23, 27, 32, 34). Daniel says by peace he will destroy many (Dan. 8:25).

(3) This is probably when the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt. When he comes on the scene, the Antichrist will be the greatest diplomat the world has ever seen, and he will doubtless solve the “Israel-Palestinian problem.”

(4) It is probable that either the Antichrist or his prophet or both will be accepted by the Jews as their Messiah and by apostate Christians as theirs and by the Muslims as the Mahdi. Both Sunnis and Shiites believe in an Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, who will appear at the end of the world to establish a global caliphate in Allah’s name and rule for a period of time (seven, nine, or nineteen years, according to varying interpretations), ridding the world of evil before the day of judgment. The coming of the Mahdi is believed to coincide with the second coming of Jesus, whom they call Isa, who will join hands with the Mahdi against a false messiah or antichrist.

b. Mid-way through the seven years the Antichrist will break this covenant and exalt himself as God.

(1) The abomination that makes desolate is the desecration of the Jewish temple by the Antichrist. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

(2) This event marks the beginning of the 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:15).

(3) Revelation 6-19 describes the same period of time (the final “week” of Daniel’s vision), and Revelation also divides the time into two 3.5 year periods.

– During the first half of the Tribulation, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will preach for 1,260 days, or three and a half years (Rev. 11:3).
– During the second half, the Antichrist will rule for 42 months, or 3.5 years (Rev. 13:5), and converted Israel shall flee into the wilderness for 1,260 days, or 3.5 years (Rev. 12:6).

__

David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

Way of Life Literature – http://www.wayoflife.org
copyright 2013 – Way of Life Literature

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

by Cameron Buettel

We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the trigger. Whatever the sin may be, there always seems to be a way to excuse, redefine, or minimize it.

That determination to separate who a person is and what he does has also infiltrated the church. The exhortation to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a clever Christian cliché regularly used to deflect people’s responsibility and accountability for their sin. While it’s true that we should both love sinners and hate sin, the cliché distorts those truths by unbiblically severing the two.

Gnosticism Revived

That sort of dualism was prevalent among the Gnostic heretics of the first century AD. The error of the Gnostics was so seductive that the apostle John wrote his first epistle as a direct response to their false teaching. John MacArthur made the following observations regarding the situation facing the church in 1 John:

Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis [“knowledge”]) was an amalgam of various pagan, Jewish, and quasi-Christian systems of thought. Influenced by Greek philosophy (especially that of Plato), Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil and spirit was good. That philosophical dualism led the false teachers whom John confronted to accept some form of Christ’s deity, but to deny His humanity. He could not, according to them, have taken on a physical body, since matter was evil. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1–3 John (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007) 8.

But it was the Gnostics’ personal application of their dualistic views that echoes today in the efforts to separate the sinner from his sin.

The Gnostics’ philosophical dualism also caused them to be indifferent to moral values and ethical behavior. To them, the body was merely the prison in which the spirit was incarcerated. Therefore, sin committed in the body had no connection to or effect on the spirit. [2] 1–3 John, 8.

The cliché of loving the sinner and hating the sin follows the same dualistic reasoning as Gnostic heresies—that we ought to effectively divorce the sinner from the culpability and consequences of his sin.

Worse still, it confuses and corrupts the very concept of what it means to love a sinner. True love does not demand willful ignorance. You wouldn’t simply pretend that a cancer patient was suddenly free from his disease. Nor would you ignore his affliction in hopes that it would go away on its own.

The same holds true for sinners—the most loving thing you can do for them is not to blithely ignore their sin or excuse it away, but to confront it. In other words, you cannot possibly love a sinner if you don’t also hate his sin.

Not Dualism—Dual Responsibilities

I’ll grant that the way we confront sin can vary depending on the nature of the sin and the spiritual condition of the sinner. You might need to show more gentleness with an unbeliever blinded by his own depravity than with a fellow Christian who ought to know better. And even within the church, we need to be measured and considerate with how we confront one another, yet still bold and clear enough to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ.

In fact, church discipline is an essential part of protecting the church’s purity (Matthew 18:15–20). John MacArthur, while commenting on that passage, points out:

A Christian who is not deeply concerned about bringing a fellow Christian back from his sin needs spiritual help himself. Smug indifference, not to mention self-righteous contempt, has no part in the life of a spiritual Christian, nor do sentimentality or cowardice that hide behind false humility. The spiritual Christian neither condemns nor justifies a sinning brother. His concern is for the holiness and blessing of the offending brother, the purity and integrity of the church, and the honor and glory of God. [3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 128.

In response to those who see the confrontation of sin as inherently unloving, John adds:

In the eyes of much of the world and even in the eyes of many immature believers, such action is considered unloving. But discipline given in the right way expresses the deepest kind of love, love that refuses to do nothing to rescue a brother from unrepentant sin and its consequences. Love that winks at sin or that is more concerned for superficial calm in the church than for its spiritual purity is not God’s kind of love. Love that tolerates sin is not love at all but worldly and selfish sentimentality.

To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels. [4] Matthew 16–23, 128.

Some people appeal to God’s unconditional love as if that trumps or invalidates His other attributes, most notably His wrath. But as John emphatically argues, such sentiment amounts to nothing less than a popular form of idolatry.

Belief in a God who is all love and no wrath, all grace and no justice, all forgiveness and no condemnation is idolatry (worship of a false god invented by men), and it inevitably leads to universalism-which, of course, is what many liberal churches have been preaching for generations. Salvation becomes meaningless, because sin that God overlooks does not need to be forgiven. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross becomes a travesty, because He gave His life for no redemptive purpose. Not only that, but it becomes apologetically impossible to explain the common question about why a loving God allows pain, suffering, disease, and tragedy. Removing God’s holy hatred of sin emasculates the gospel and hinders rather than helps evangelism. [5] Matthew 16–23, 130.

We should love sinners. We should hate sin. And we shouldn’t divide those two truths into separate categories. Our hatred of sin should manifest itself in a love that warns sinners—compassionately, but no less clearly—of the dire consequences their sin demands. Short of that, how could we ever claim to truly love them?

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

by Kevin DeYoung

For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

Finish this article at “The Gospel Coalition”

Source HERE

Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?

Updated January 7, 2016 (first published November 19, 2014) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061

“The heart of God was revealed in the amazing words that Jesus spoke from the cross” Unbelievers have long used Israel’s destruction of pagan nations in Canaan as evidence that the God of the Old Testament is unjust and cruel.

“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire” (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).

The following facts must be taken into consideration:

First, God waited 400 years before judging these nations, which reminds us that He is very longsuffering.

“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:13-16).

These nations had the light of creation and conscience, and they also had prophetic light. There were prophets in the region such as Melchizedek and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and his sons. The Canaanite nations could have repented like Nineveh did, and God would have forgiven them (Jonah 3:5-10).

Second, the nations in question were devoted to every sort of vile moral perversion, including homosexuality, rape, incest, bestiality, and the burning of their children.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (Leviticus 18:1-3) … Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: AND THE LAND IS DEFILED: THEREFORE I DO VISIT THE INIQUITY THEREOF UPON IT, AND THE LAND ITSELF VOMITETH OUT HER INHABITANTS” (Leviticus 18:1-3, 19-25).

“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31).

These nations were destroyed for their gross moral wickedness.

“For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (Deuteronomy 18:12).

“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25).

Consider the condition of Sodom and Gomorrah hundreds of years before God ordered the destruction of these nations. The men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and tried to force themselves on the visiting angels (Gen. 19:4-9).

These pagan nations were proud and bold in their sin (Isa. 3:9).

It is not morally wrong for a holy, lawgiving God to punish those who willfully, flagrantly, and unrepentantly break His laws.

Those who charge God with injustice and cruelty for punishing wicked nations are hypocritical, because they themselves believe in law and order and support the punishment of those who commit crimes such as rape, theft, child molestation, and murder, particularly when those crimes are committed against them and their loved ones.

Men are quick to call for justice when they are offended, but they criticize God for exercising justice against sinners.

Three, God’s judgments are warnings to others.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other Canaanite cities are warnings to those who will listen, even to these end times. This is emphasized in Scripture:

“And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6).

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).

Even in judgment, God is merciful. What He loves above all is mercy and what He is above all is a Saviour, but men must repent and turn to Him. That is His requirement, and the Creator has every right to set the rules!

Four, the Lord was merciful to those like Rahab who repented of their idolatry and put their faith in Jehovah God (Joshua 2).

The whole tenor of Scripture teaches that God delights in mercy more than in punishment. He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He “will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Five, God is omniscient.

He knows all things. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what people will do and the choices they make even before they are born and while they are still infants. It seems cruel and unreasonable for God to have children killed with their parents, but God knew what these children would do when they grew up, as He knew in the days of Noah.

Six, it was necessary for those wicked pagan nations to be overthrown so that Israel could be established in that land as a light to the world.

Had they been left alone, Israel would have been corrupted morally and religiously within a very short time (Deut. 7:2-6). The destruction of those nations was actually an act of great compassion on God’s part. The pagan nations that were destroyed deserved what they got by persisting in their sin, and by exercising His righteous judgment on them God was providing blessing for the whole world. Through Israel, God gave the world His divine revelation in the Bible, and through Israel He brought the Saviour into the world to die for man’s sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Those who charge God with injustice and cruelty ignore the fact that God Himself paid the price demanded of His own holy law so that men can be saved. The heart of God was revealed in the amazing words that Jesus spoke from the cross in regard to the people who had so terribly, unjustly abused him: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The God revealed in the Bible is the most compassionate Person in the universe. In fact, He is the source of all true love and compassion, but He is also a thrice holy, lawgiving God, and He cannot be judged by man’s puny, inconsistent standards.

__

David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

a

Blog Stats

  • 1,440,235 hits

Donations

I do not ask or want donations for this blog. God supplies all I need to share His Word and His Way of Salvation. Revelation 21:6 says, “..I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. “