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Ancient Historian Josephus had access to documents no longer available today. He said, "The time of this event [that is, the flood] was 2262 years after the birth of Adam, the first man; the date is recorded in the sacred books . . ." (Antiquities, Loeb, 39). Whiston in a footnote says, "Josephus here takes notice that these ancient genealogies were first set down by those that then lived, and from them were transmitted down to posterity; which I suppose to be the true account of that matter, for there is no reason to imagine that men [i.e., Adam and Eve] were not taught to read and write soon after they were taught to speak . . ." (Whiston 1.3.2, fn. 3, no Loeb, writer's brackets). If the sources of Genesis are taken into account (i.e., the toledots) it becomes quite certain that Moses used eye-witness testimonies for his compilation of Genesis, including the Flood narrative.    Genesis is divided into ten sections, each introduced by a superscription embodying the formula 'elleh toledot,'  'these are the generations of . . .' The placing of the entire Genesis narrative in this genealogical framework is a clear sign that the author intended the account to be understood throughout as a real life history of individual men, begotten and begetting. This genealogical line is resumed in subsequent biblical historiography, the Genesis lists being recapitulated and carried forward until the lineage of Adam has been traced to Jesus, the second Adam." (See Luke 3:23-38). http://davelivingston.com/flood2.htm ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                








You do know what would have happened if it had been three wise WOMEN instead of men, don't you? They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought disposable diapers as gifts!

   Nebraska Man was reconstructed from one tooth found in Nebraska in 1923. In 1925, at the famous Scopes Trial, Clarence Darrow held up this very tooth as evidence of human evolution. The London Illustrated News (6/24/1922), out of that one tooth, reconstructed a complete man and woman and published a drawing seen on the front page (pictured at left). The problem with all this is that in 1927 scientists took a better look at that tooth and realized it was the tooth of a peccary - a pig (Science 66:579). This is a case of a pig making a monkey out of a man! http://davelivingston.com/adamcaveman.htm


WHICH JAMES WROTE JAMES? Some readers will recall that in the early days of the Church, about 44 C.E., King Herod Agrippa killed the apostle James, the son of Zebedee and one of the original 12 (see Acts 12:1–2). Thus it must be another James to whom Luke refers in verse 17 of the same chapter, where he records that Peter sent news of his release from prison to someone named James. Though as many as seven different people by the same name have been identified in the New Testament, it is James the brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19) who is the most likely in this case. As we have just seen, Jesus’ brothers were present with the apostles in Jerusalem as the Church began after Jesus’ departure (Acts 1:14). This same James appears later in Acts as the leader of the church at Jerusalem, so it’s reasonable to suggest that he is the author of the New Testament book by that name. As leader in Jerusalem, James spoke with authority to end an internal Church controversy over the circumcision of gentile believers (Acts 15:13–19; see also 21:18). And according to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, the Jewish religious hierarchy put to death by stoning “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” (Antiquities of the Jews 20.200). This would have been around 62 C.E. But was this James also an apostle? While he is never named directly as such in the New Testament, the argument has been made that his family relationship to Jesus accorded him a unique role. Paul, who himself became an apostle but was not of the 12, seems to indicate James’s apostolic function when writing about one of his visits to Jerusalem. He says, “I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19, English Standard Version throughout). But scholars have suggested that this is not an unequivocal statement. An alternate translation says, “Other than the apostles I saw no one except James, the Lord’s brother.” http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=6812 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








Christ’s View of Scripture  By Terry Mortenson   How extensively did Jesus trust and live by the Scriptures, which in His day were only the books of the Old Testament? How did He treat them in comparison to other claims for truth? After all if Jesus is our Savior and Lord, shouldn’t we share the same view?   Jesus trusted the Scriptures completely, and He revealed His trust in a number of ways. One is the way He treated the Old Testament’s accounts. He always treated them as trustworthy facts, even the events that many people today consider myths.   Jesus acknowledged that Adam and Eve were the first married couple (Matthew 19:3-6; Mark 10: 3-9) and Abel was the first prophet and was martyred (Luke 11: 50-51). He believed the accounts of Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24: 37-39), Lot and his wife (Luke 17:28-32), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), Moses and the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14), the manna from heaven (John 6:32-33, 6:49), the miracles of Elijah (Luke 4:25-27), Jonah and the big fish (Matthew 12: 40-41) – the list goes on.   Jesus did not allegorize these accounts but took them as real events that actually happened just as the Old Testament describes. He used these past events to reassure His disciples that the future events of His own death, Resurrection, and Second Coming would certainly happen in time-space reality. Read more of this article in Answers magazine at ANSWERSMAGAZINE.com -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  





Bible Statistics God's word is in print in over 450 languages with over six billion copies in circulation. This figure does not include the various digital versions of the Bible in use by computers, smart phones, etc. The New Testament is available in more than 1,100 languages, with the Gospel of Mark printed in over 2,300. A copy of the Bible is accessible to well over 90% of the world's population. The U.S. Library of Congress houses one of the three complete copies of Gutenberg's 1455 A.D. Bible known to exist.

  DID YOU KNOW?

1. In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. 2. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution, and slaughter. 3. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same. ----------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                     


“What I don't get about angels is why, when  someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.”
- Sarah , age 7

 "Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine-age 5

 "I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4




Basic Buddhism


The current universe has evolved through natural law.Truth has been given through countless ages by various Buddhas or enlightened beings.Gautama Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago, is the teacher for our era.While salvation depends on individual effort, the Buddhist is to take refuge in the Buddha, his teaching (dharma) and the Buddhist community (sangha).The Buddha taught Four Noble Truths: (1) suffering is real; (2) suffering is caused by selfish desire; (3) suffering will cease when selfish desire is eliminated; and (4) selfish desire will cease through following the Noble Eightfold Path.The Noble Eightfold Path that leads to nirvana involves (1) Right View, (2) Right Resolve, (3) Right Speech, (4) Right Action, (5) Right Livelihood, (6) Right Effort, (7) Right Mindfulness, and (8) Right Concentration.All living things are subject to the law of karma, the principle of cause and effect, which controls the cycle of reincarnation.The Buddhist is to abstain from killing, stealing, forbidden sex, lying, and the use of illicit drugs and liquor.There is no God or Supreme Creator.Buddhism is not irrational, pessimistic, or nihilistic. - Source: James A. Beveryley, Basic Buddhism, Christianity Today, June 11, 2001. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Important Factors in Determining the Length of Days


The use of the phrase "evening and morning" is the Hebrew definition of a 24 hour day and is in current use today to mean the same thing. It is used this way more than 100 times in the Old Testament (Tanach) and each time it always means a 24 hour day. If the writer wanted to convey the impression of 6 LITERAL days, how else would he have worded it? Would he word it this way if he really meant "long ages"? Long ages do not have evenings and mornings.Ordinal numbers are used in reference to the days: first, second, third, etc. Ordinal numbers are always used to indicate 24 hour days more than 200 times in the Old Testament and over 100 times in the New Testament. Even today that is how the days of the week are named in Hebrew.In Hebrew, 95% of the time the word yom normally means a 24 hour day. (See a Hebrew lexicon for the meaning of yom). Yom is used 1200 times to mean "day" in Scripture, and 700 times in its plural form to mean "days". Only 5% of the time (about 65 times) is yomused to indicate an indefinite period of time or an event (as in, for example, the "day of the Lord"). Normally, when it is used to refer to something besides a literal 24 hour day, there is usually some indication, such as yom rab, which means a "long time". Another word, olam, is used when "ages" or "aeons" of time are meant.The Sabbath day of rest (the 7th day) must have been literal. Genesis 1:31 - 2:3 states God "rested" -- not "is resting". In Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments equate a 7 day week with the creation week. In Exodus 31:12-17, keeping the Sabbath is to be a sign of a witness to God's creation of the world. http://davelivingston.com/creationdays.htm -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  



Arianism


This doctrine had it roots in Tertullian, who made the Son subordinate to the Father. Origen took this further by teaching that the Son was subordinate to the Father ''in respect to essence.'' The result was ultimately Arianism which denied the deity of Christ. Arius taught that only God was the uncreated One; because Christ was begotten of the Father it meant Christ was created by the Father. Arius believed there was a time when Christ did not exist. Arius and his teaching was condemned at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.36 What God is like, Bible.org, citing Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1989, p. 199         





Essential verses nonessential 
by Matt Slick

It becomes necessary to define those doctrines which separate Christian from non-Christian. It would make no sense to persecute anyone over a doctrine that is not essential to the faith. Such nonessentials, in my opinion, would include baptism of infants, pre or post-trib rapture, worship on Saturday or Sunday, musical instruments in the church, the charismatic gifts, worship styles, dress codes, etc. These kinds of subjects do not affect one's salvation. Unfortunately, the disagreements that arise around these subjects result in denominational fragmentation. Essentials of the faith would include who God is, who Jesus is, and salvation by grace, and Jesus' resurrection. From these subjects we have derived doctrines known as the Trinity and the hypostatic union (Jesus' two natures: God and man). The Bible tells us that these doctrines concerning God, Christ, salvation, and resurrection are essential to the faith. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that Christians know their faith and know how to defend it against the doctrines that compromise the essentials. http://carm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Calling on the Name of the Lord

Matthew 7:21 Jesus says not everyone that calls the name of the Lord shall be saved VS. Acts 2:21 Paul says whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Again in these passages, context means a lot. In the book of Acts, Peter is speaking before a crowd in Jerusalem, challenging them to believe in Jesus since they have been witness to the events of His crucifixion and resurrection. He quotes a passage from the prophet Joel, and tells the crowd that all they need to do is truly believe in Jesus as Messiah and they will be saved. The context of Matthew 7 is dramatically different, though. Jesus starts off that passage by saying "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." He then goes on to talk about how to discern a true believer from a pretender by examining their fruit. That's what leads up to the statement saying 'Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven." The difference is simply one of true belief versus pretense. I think we can safely assume that Peter meant you must call on the name of the Lord sincerely to be saved. http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con110.asp#ixzz2Oxcj5Zi0          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Latter Rain heretics

The Latter Rain teaches that there is a transferable impartation of the "anointing" that can be transferred "by" the laying on of hands "by" the will of man, usually though slain in the spirit. As I have written before, this is heresy. This teaching denies the Triune nature of God, that He is One sovereign God eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you claim you can transfer an impartation or anointing of the Holy Spirit by human hands by the will of men, you effectively deny both the Deity and personality of the Holy Spirit. You deny the Deity by claiming you have the power to transfer the Holy Spirit at will, and you deny the person of the Holy Spirit by treating Him like some kind of "force" or "power" separate from His person. These ideas are New Age ideas wrapped up in a Christian wrapper. Slain in the spirit and the transferable anointing are nowhere taught or demonstrated by the Apostles, prophets or Jesus Christ Himself.
The Spirit is not transferred "by" human hands and will, but sovereignly by Jesus Christ (John 15:26).
Please note that all the passages in Acts and elsewhere, used wrongly by Latter Rainers to try to prove a transferable impartation of the Holy Spirit, use the words "through" and "at" the laying on of hands, not "by" them.
2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Acts 8:18-19 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
There are other instances, but there is no indication that a power transfer took place "by" the laying on of hands or the will of the Apostles.
Acts 19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
The only conclusion possible from all the biblical passages is that this is not some kind of magic that can be learned and bought for a price, as in the story of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:18-19) and in the way Latter Rain, Third Wave false teachers teach it and promote it. True believers wait upon the Lord (Ps. 27:14; 38;15, 1 Cor. 1:7). When hands are laid on for the purpose of sending Christians out for service (1 Tim. 4:14) or praying for healing (James 5;14) and the Holy Spirit chooses to fill a person or heal them, He does so sovereignly, not "by" the laying on of hands or "by" the will of men. None of the Apostles or prophets did this the way it is taught and demonstrated by Latter Rain heretics.

The nail-pierced hands of Jesus reveal the love-filled heart of God.

Works cannot make us right with God

Many religions, even some sectors of so-called Christianity, believe that, if a person can do enough good, they will be approved by God. Dr. Steve Kern writes, “World religions are self-helps on how man can pull himself up to God establishing his own goodness” (Kern, p. 235). Contrary to the beliefs of these false religions, the Bible tells us that man can never do enough to work his way to heaven.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV).
“…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…” (Titus 3:5 ESV).
“…who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace…” (II Timothy 1:9 ESV).
Jesus Christ died on a cross to pay for our sins (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; I John 2:2, 4:10). There is nothing we can do, apart from trusting in Him, that enables us to have our sins forgiven and begin a new life with God. “No other religion in the world teaches our need for God to save us by His finished work. They are all based on man working to develop his own righteousness by good deeds” (Kern, p. 235).
http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-sets-christianity-apart-from-all-other-religions/#ixzz2OIx182u5
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Tritheistic

Present day Mormonism is tritheistic -- but with a twist. Mormonism teaches that there are many gods in the universe but they serve and worship only one of them. The godhead for earth is to them really three separate gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father used to be a man on another world who brought one of his wives with him to this world - they both have bodies of flesh and bones. The son is a second god who was literally begotten between god the father and his goddess wife. The Holy Ghost is a third god. Therefore, in reality, Mormonism is polytheistic with a tritheistic emphasis. Of course, tritheism clearly contradicts the teaching of the Bible regarding monotheism.

The Time of the Crucifixion?

Mark 15:25 Jesus was crucified at the third hour VS. John 19:14-15 says the sixth hour.
Mark figures the time by Jewish reckoning, where the day would start at sundown and be broken into segments. We still see this today as observant Jews start their observance of the Sabbath at sundown. This would make the third hour to be about noon.
The Romans reckoned their time differently and their segments were longer. Ancient Roman sundials show that the daylight hours were divided into twelve equal segments, or hours. However, there were only two major segments, daytime and nighttime, with the hours beginning at sunrise and counted until sunset. Therefore, this makes the sixth hour in Roman time also about noon. John's audience was the Gentile church, so John uses Roman time throughout His Gospel. http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con110.asp#ixzz2Oxdon6qT

The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Didachēmeans "Teaching")

Is a brief early Christian treatise, dated by most scholars to the late first/early second century. The first line of this treatise is "Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the Twelve Apostles"
The text, parts of which may have constituted the first written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian lessons, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. It is considered the first treatise of the genre of the Church Orders.
It was considered by some of the Church Fathers as part of the New Testament but rejected as spurious or non-canonical by others, eventually not accepted into the New Testament canon. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church "broader canon" includes the Didascalia which was based on the Didache.
Lost for several centuries, the Didache was rediscovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia in the Codex Hierosolymitanus. An English translation was first published in 1883. It is considered part of the collection of Apostolic Fathers.
“The Didache of the Twelve Apostles” had been written and widely disseminated by about the year 100, and became increasingly important in the second and third Christian centuries. It is an anonymous work not belonging to any single individual, and a pastoral manual "that reveals more about how Jewish-Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their Judaism for gentiles than any other book in the Christian Scriptures."
The first prayer of the first Congress went as follows:
"O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee."
This prayer went on to say: "Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. … All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior."
Can you imagine a prayer like that being prayed today? Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/4th-of-july-what-does-freedom-mean-to-christians-77626/#6SOoKhZLo8iCK6q4.99
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First Monastic Community

The first monastic community was organized in the Egyptian desert (c. 320) by Pachomius and his
sister, who took charge of a segregated female group on the opposite side of the river from the monks. Thereafter, women are consistently referred to as partners in monastic ventures. Antony, Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, John Cassian, and Benedict of Nursia (to note only a few of the giants associated with the growth of monasticism) all had sisters who practiced the consecrated life. Many more women of the late Roman nobility experimented with the new lifestyle. When Jerome came to Rome in the middle of the fourth century, he found a wide circle of wealthy women, led by Paula and Marcella, who had consecrated their widowhood or virginity to religion. christianhistoryinstitute.org
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WOMEN & CHURCH?

1 Timothy 2:12, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." On its face, this may seem a sexist position. Why can't women teach? Aren't they as knowledgeable as men? Aren't they as smart? This line of thinking takes the passage out of context, though.

The above passage (along with several others) is meant to set down the structure of leadership in the church as an organized body. Before I go into detail on this, let me first explain what it is not saying.

* The Bible does not say that a woman cannot teach a man about Christ. Priscilla, along with her husband, taught Apollos the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:26).

*It does not say women cannot exercise spiritual gifts. The four daughters of Phillip had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:9). 1 Corinthians 14:3 tells us "But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation." Thus prophesy and other gifts can be used between women and men.

*It does not say that women cannot evangelize. Lydia, after being converted, had regular fellowships in her home and evangelized others (Acts 16:14, 40).

God created the world and its systems with an order to them. He has divinely given the responsibility of authority for the church as an organized body to the man, just as the ultimate authority of the marriage relationship rests on the man. This does not make the man superior, only placed in a different role than the woman. The best example of this I can think of is the tribes of ancient Israel. The Levites were chosen out of the twelve tribes to be the priests and to run the house of God, but this didn't mean they were superior to any of the other tribes. That is just the position in which God placed them. In the same way, men are to be the authority in the church. Women are allowed to teach other women, and instruct men. Even Timothy, the recipient of this epistle, was tutored by his mother and grandmother (2 Tim 1:5; 3:15). God also commanded Abraham to listen to the council of his wife in Genesis 21:12. However, since the authority falls to the man, it is he who will be held accountable for improper decisions, such as also happened to
Abraham when he followed bad advice from Sarah in Genesis 16.

So, God is not against women at all. Because each sex has a different role to play, doesn't make one role more important than the other. Men are entrusted with leading the church. Every person in the church has a role, and as is stated in 1 Corinthians 12, all positions become equally important to the mission of glorifying Christ and doing His will. Read more: http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con030.asp#ixzz2OxXskJ5Q -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Facts on Anglicanism,

 A major branch of Christianity, and its American branch, the Episcopal Church:

NUMBERS: 77 million adherents in the 38 Anglican and Episcopal churches around the world. The mother Church of England is the largest branch but many of its 26 million baptized members are inactive. America's Episcopal Church reports 2.3 million members, a notable drop from decades ago. The population has shifted to developing nations, with half of Anglicans now in Africa (17.5 million in Nigeria alone).

 LEADER: Anglicanism's spiritual leader is the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Rowan Williams, who also heads the Church of England. Recognition by Canterbury defines a church as Anglican.

HERITAGE: Anglicanism originated when the Church of England broke with the papacy under King Henry VIII in 1534. These Christians cherish diversity and generally view themselves as standing between Catholicism and Protestantism.

STRUCTURE: Each of the 38 branches is self-governing. Policy guidance comes from the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of all Anglican bishops once per decade. The 38 primates who head the branches (including U.S. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold) confer annually.

BELIEFS: Anglicans worship according to the Book of Common Prayer. The 1888 Lambeth Conference listed four points of unity: The Bible as the ``ultimate standard of faith,'' the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper and the ``historic episcopate'' (leadership by bishops in a line extending to the 1st century apostles).

GAY DIVISION: The 1998 Lambeth Conference voted 526-70 (45 abstaining) that homosexual practices are ``incompatible with Scripture,'' thus opposing same-sex relationships and actively homosexual clergy. The Primates' May meeting declared against same-sex unions. But the Anglican diocese in Vancouver, Canada, authorizes same-sex ceremonies, as do some U.S. Episcopal dioceses. A gay bishop candidate in England stepped aside last month after Nigerians and others protested.
Source: Facts on Anglicanism and Episcopal Church, Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2003
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LUTHER WROTE

You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law and quite another to fulfill it. The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law. But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless. That is what St. Paul means in chapter 3 when he says, “No human being is justified before God through the works of the law."... How can such a work please God, if it proceeds from an averse and unwilling heart? From Martin Luther’s commentary on the book of Romans.
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THE MAKING OF WOMAN, AND INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE. Gen 2:18-25 .

18. it is not good for the man to be alone--In the midst of plenty and delights, he was conscious of feelings he could not gratify. To make him sensible of his wants,
19. God brought unto Adam--not all the animals in existence, but those chiefly in his immediate neighborhood to be subservient to his use. whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof--His powers of perception and intelligence were supernaturally enlarged to know the characters, habits, and uses of each species that was brought to him.
20. but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him--The design of this singular scene was to show him that none of the living creatures he saw were on an equal footing with himself, and that while each class came with its mate of the same nature, form, and habits, he alone had no companion. Besides, in giving names to them he was led to exercise his powers of speech and to prepare for social intercourse with his partner, a creature yet to be formed.
21. deep sleep--probably an ecstasy or trance like that of the prophets, when they had visions and revelations of the Lord, for the whole scene was probably visible to the mental eye of Adam, and hence his rapturous exclamation. took one of his ribs--"She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him."
23. Woman--in Hebrew, "man-ess."
24. one flesh--The human pair differed from all other pairs, that by peculiar formation of Eve, they were one. And this passage is appealed to by our Lord as the divine institution of marriage ( Mat 19:4, 5 Eph 5:28 ). Thus Adam appears as a creature formed after the image of God--showing his knowledge by giving names to the animals, his righteousness by his approval of the marriage relation, and his holiness by his principles and feelings, and finding gratification in the service and enjoyment of God.
Jamieson, Robert; A.R. Fausset; and David Brown. "Commentary on Genesis 2." . <http:// www.blueletterbible.org

The Trinity in Christianity

God is a trinity of persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son. The Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. They all are eternal, divine, and omniscient. Objections to the Trinity are that it is not logical. Logic should not rule Scripture. If it is from God, there will be things in it that are difficult to understand. Additionally, the fingerprints of God are seen all over creation. In Romans 1:20, it says that the invisible attributes of God are clearly seen in creation. Creation is made up of a trinity of trinities: time, space, and matter. Time is past, present, and future. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: time. Space is height, width, and depth. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: space. Matter is solid, liquid, and gas. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: matter. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Education Of Moses by Wayne Blank

Moses is usually known in Bible History for the time of his life from the years during and after the Exodus. That was actually only the last third, the last phase, of his long life - Moses was eighty years old when the Exodus began (Exodus 7:7). Before that, Moses spent approximately the first third of his life in the palace of the Egyptian king, observing first-hand how to govern a nation. He then spent approximately the next third of his life as a shepherd in the Sinai, learning wilderness survival from Jethro, also known as Reuel, who became Moses' father in law after Moses married Jethro's daughter Zipporah. Moses then used what he learned about governing and wilderness survival for the last third of his life as he led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness. The English word educate originated from the Latin words e, meaning out, and duco, meaning to lead (the English word duke originated from the same word, duco). Educate means to lead forth; Moses was purposely lead forth in order that he could lead forth others, many others. http://www.keyway.ca/htm2005/20050314.htm
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DID YOU KNOW?

* The nice part of living in a small town is that when I don't know what I'm doing, someone else does.                      
 * Life not only begins at forty, it begins to show.                                                                                                                        
 * I had to give up jogging for my health. My thighs kept rubbing together and setting my hose on fire.





DIVORCE ERROR?


Deuteronomy 24:1-4 states the following (NAV):

 "When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she find no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, and give [it] in her hand, and sends her out from his house. And she is leaves his house, and goes and becomes another man's [wife], And [if] the latter husband turns against her, and writes her a certificate of divorce, and puts [it] in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband dies, who took her to be his wife; [Then] her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance."

This seemingly contradicts Matthew 19:3-9 where the Pharisees ask Jesus "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?" Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24 and said "What God has joined together, let no man separate." The Pharisees asked the same question as you: "Why then did Moses command to 'give her a certificate and divorce her?' "

 Let's start with a couple of observations: The Pharisees asked Jesus this question for only one reason.. to test Him (vs. 3). This leads me to believe that there was some controversy surrounding their interpretation of Deut 24 already. You notice they don't ask if it is all right to steal and violate the law, but this specific question. Also, their question was very specific, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?" Jesus responds that this is not a true statement, that one should avoid divorce, but even He gives an exception of adultery in His answer as legitimate grounds (vs. 9).

Now, I don't believe that God would violate His word. I also don't believe that this is a contradiction. When faced with a difficult verse, the first thing to do is take those verses in context of the rest of the passage. In Deuteronomy 22, Moses instructs people not to divorce for false charges (vs. 19), and not to divorce her if he has taken her virginity (vs. 28). So, then Moses says when divorce DOES happen ("and it happens" vs. 1)... don't retake her for your wife again. You see, the emphasis is always on the negative. Just as God allowed polygamy or slavery, it did not mean He approved of it. Jesus states the same when He said "Because of the hardness of your heart Moses PERMITTED you to divorce your wives.” By the way, don't let that correction go unnoticed. The Pharisees claimed that Moses commanded them to divorce, but Jesus said he only permitted it. The Pharisees knew that, too, for in Malachi 2:14-16 God states "The Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously... 'For I hate divorce' says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'and him who covers his garment is wrong.' "

God knew Israel wasn't capable of rising above certain social ills of their day. Slavery was deeply entrenched in the economic system of the time, and to try and remove it would have caused more havoc and problems than would have been solved. There were no bankruptcy laws then. So God gave specific commandments to make sure that relationship wasn't permanent or life threatening. God doesn't endorse the institution, but allowed it for a time, until a better way was found. I can also see where God doesn't endorse the idea of pure capitalism (1 Tim 6:5, Matt 19:23, etc), but He doesn't ask us to scrap that system for currently there exists none better.

So, you can see that the commandment didn't change, but rather was strengthened by Jesus' words. To be accurate, in Deuteronomy God said "don't divorce for these reasons, and if you do, and she marries another, don't make claim on her as you wife again." The certificate was a protection for the woman so that she couldn't be charged with adultery, which was a capital offense! What Jesus stated does not contradict any of the above; it just goes one step farther. It's much like the Sermon on the Mount ("You've heard it has been said... but I say unto you" etc.) Read more: http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con010.asp#ixzz0lCJTxTjH  




Angels?  


Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow.Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter. -Sara, age 6                Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else. -Mitchell, age 7   



THE GARDEN OF EDEN. Gen 2:8-17 .     

 8. Eden--was probably a very extensive region in Mesopotamia, distinguished for its natural beauty and the richness and variety of its produce. Hence its name, signifying "pleasantness." God planted a garden eastward, an extensive park, a paradise, in which the man was put to be trained under the paternal care of his Maker to piety and usefulness.     

 9. tree of life--so called from its symbolic character as a sign and seal of immortal life. Its prominent position where it must have been an object of daily observation and interest, was admirably fitted to keep man habitually in mind of God and futurity. 
    
 tree of the knowledge of good and evil--so called because it was a test of obedience by which our first parents were to be tried, whether they would be good or bad, obey God or break His commands.     

 15. put the man into the garden of Eden to dress it--not only to give him a pleasant employment, but to place him on his probation, and as the title of this garden, the garden of the Lord ( Gen 13:10 Eze 28:13 ), indicates, it was in fact a temple in which he worshipped God, and was daily employed in offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise.     

 17. thou shalt not eat of it . . . thou shalt surely die--no reason assigned for the prohibition, but death was to be the punishment of disobedience. A positive command like this was not only the simplest and easiest, but the only trial to which their fidelity could be exposed.
Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary 



Romans 10:4. For Christ is the end
--the object or aim. 
      of the law for--justifying 
      righteousness to every one that believeth--that is, contains within Himself all that the law demands for the justification of such as embrace Him, whether Jew or Gentile ( 
Gal 3:24 ). The commentaries of Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset & David Brown were originally published in 1871.  



 PAGAN INFLUENCE?

 In his A Ready Defense, Josh McDowell outlines four basic fallacies that people often commit when linking Christian accounts with mystery religions. I summarize them here briefly: 1. Combinationism or universalism - This fallacy basically takes all the different mystery sects from 1500B.C. to 500 A.D., amalgamating them together, and saying that they are a coherent belief system from which Christianity borrowed. Many of these religions evolved greatly over that 2000 year time span. To say that Christianity stole this belief or that one when those beliefs weren't necessarily even regarded as part of that system any longer (or had yet to be developed) is ridiculous. 2. Coloring the Evidence - Basically, this error occurs when a critic distorts the teaching of the mystery religion by using Christian-type language to describe a belief - and then claiming that Christianity stole from it because the beliefs read similarly. In reality the mystery practice is usually something completely different in intent or symbolism that the Christian "counterpart". 3. Oversimplification - Many critics will find thing such as a resurrection story and then try to demonstrate how Christianity borrowed from this type of belief. Usually, this is at the expense of many crucial details that really differentiate the myth from the historic Christian account. Also, many of these stories aggrandize the myth more than is necessary. 4. Who's Influencing Whom? - This error happens quite often. It consists of assuming that because there is an element in an Eastern religion as well as in Christianity, the Christians must have borrowed from the Eastern tradition since that religion's founder lived first. The problem is that Christianity was so aggressive in its spread over the Roman Empire and Asia, many of these religions adopted Christian symbology and practice in order to make their religion look more appealing to stop losing converts to Christians. This can usually be discovered by looking into the various practices of those religions and noting that a feature similar to Christianity wasn't recorded or mentioned in any writing until after the Christian era had proliferated. http://www.comereason.org/cmp_rlgn/cmp065.asp#ixzz1rO7gJ7jG

About the Bible

1 -The Bible was written over a 1600 year period by approximately 40 men. The time of the writing was from 1500 BC to AD 100.

2 – The Divisions of the Bible
While the Bible is 1 book, it contain 66 smaller books. The books of the Old Testament were written before the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament covers the life of Christ and beyond.

3 – Chapters and Verses
Each of the books, except 5, are divided into chapters and verses. The 5 which aren’t divided by chapters are Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. These are short books which only have verse divisions.
Chapters were introduced to the Bible in 1238 by Cardinal Hugo de S. Caro. Verse divisions were not added until 1551 by Robertus Stephanus.

4 – The Longest and Shortest of the Bible
The longest chapter if the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with only 2 verses. Incidentally, the middle chapter of the Bible is Psalm 118.
The longest book of the Bible is Psalms with 150 chapters, or psalms. It contains 43,743 words. The shortest book is 3 John with only 1 chapter and 299 words.
The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 with 90 words. The shortest verse is John 11:35 with only 2 words, “Jesus wept.”

5 – The Bible Claims to be God’s Word
There are many books written about and by various religions. But the Bible is the only one which claims to be the actual words of God. Those who believe the Bible also believe that God inspired various people through the years to write down His actual words for mankind. The Bible says more than 3,000 times “thus saith the Lord.” It claims that the words which follow are quotes from God.

6 – The Bible is Historically Accurate
There were several secular historians who wrote about the events of the New Testament at the same time the Bible was being written. Josephus is the most well-known of them. He was a Jewish historian. Tacitus was a Roman historian who would have no benefit from not telling the truth. Both these men, as well as others, can be used to back up the historical accuracy of the Bible.
There are historical discoveries regularly coming to light that continue to support the accuracy of the Bible. Merrill Unger, who compiled a Bible dictionary wrote, “Old Testament archeology has rediscovered whole nations, resurrected important peoples, and in a most astonishing manner filled in historical gaps, adding immeasurably to the knowledge of Biblical backgrounds.”

7 – The Business of the Bible
There are more than 168,000 Bibles either sold or given away per day in the United States according to the Gideons, Wycliffe International and the International Bible Societies.
Historically it has been said that the Bible is the most sold book of all time. It is regularly on various best seller lists.
The Bible has been translated into more than 1,200 languages.

8 – The Bible Never Contradicts Itself
There are no contradictions in the Bible. Various people claim to find contradictions but they have to take verses out of context to do so. When looking at the Bible as a whole and understanding its teachings there are no contradictions. This is amazing when one considers that the Bible was written over such a long period of time.

9 – The Prophecies of the Bible
There are more than 3,200 verses with fulfilled prophecy either within the Bible itself or since the Bible was written. But there are still more than 3,100 verses with unfulfilled prophecies.

10 – The Writers of the Bible
While there were at least 40 different people who wrote parts of the Bible, some were more prolific than others. The Apostle Paul wrote at least 13 books of the Bible. He may have also been the author of the book of Hebrews. Moses wrote the first 5 books.
The Bible attributes more than 3,000 proverbs to King Solomon. These are not all written in the book of Proverbs. However, most of that book is said to be the proverbs of Solomon.

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-amazing-bible-facts/#ixzz1sDTMZg00

Doctrines of the LDS/ Mormon Church

1) God the Father is married and there is a Mother God (Answers to Gospel Questions, Joseph Fielding Smith, Vol. 3, pp. 143-144).
2) All men and women who have ever lived on Earth are the spirit offspring of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Every person was conceived and born in a pre-existent spiritual realm (Mormon Doctrine, p. 589).
3) Black people are black because of their misdeeds in the pre-existence (Three Degrees of Glory, LDS Apostle Melvin J. Ballard, p. 21).
4) Temple ceremonies include Baptism for the Dead, Washing and Anointing for the living and the dead (Mormon Doctrine, McConkie, pp. 72-74, 226-228).
5) Salvation or exaltation, whereby men become gods, is based on one's own good works or merit (Church News, October 8, 1988, p. 23 and The Religion of the Latter-day Saints, Lowell Bennion, LDS Institute of Religion Director, p. 160).
6) The Bible is considered usable, but suspect due to its many errors and missing parts (Articles of Faith No. 8, Ensign January 1989, pp. 25, 27).

Little Known Bible Facts

*         The three magi were never actually at the traditional manger scene     

 *      Moses was four months old when Pharaoh's daughter found him in a basket. Acts   7:20-21      

*     The first translation of the English Bible was facilitated by John Wycliffe, but was completed by John Purvey   in 1388      

*     The number of times the word, "God" appears in the Bible if 3,358, while the number of times the word, “Lord" appears is 7,736.      

*     The words “Don’t Be Afraid” appear 365 times in the Bible the same amount of days in the year.

Movements of Judaism


 Reform Judaism does not believe that the Torah was written by G-d. The movement accepts the critical theory of Biblical authorship: that the Bible was written by separate sources and redacted together. Reform Jews do not believe in observance of commandments as such, but they retain much of the values and ethics of Judaism, along with some of the practices and the culture.   

Conservative Judaism
 grew out of the tension between Orthodoxy and Reform. It began, basically, when a Reform organization threw a dinner serving shrimp. Some more traditional rabbis were offended (shrimp is not kosher; it's like serving pork) and walked out, forming their own movement. Conservative Judaism generally accepts the binding nature of Jewish Law, but believes that the law should change and adapt. Some Conservative synagogues are more liberal than others. Some are Reform with some Hebrew; others are Orthodox with mixed seating.  




 Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.



Sir Isaac Newton

"Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance."


DISCERNMENT

In Christianity, to discern is to...
Identify the true nature of a spirit, doctrine, practice, or group; distinguish truth from error, extreme error from slight error, the divine from the human and the demonic.
Definition from: "A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment" (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1990, page 28) by Robert M. Bowman.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11-

7.Christians, who believe that the Spiritual Gifts are still available today, see the gift of ''distinguishing between spirits'' (discerning whether they are human, from God, or demonic), to be a special form of discernment (revealed, instead of learned):

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. {8} To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, {9} to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, {10} to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. {11} All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.




Similarities in other Religions?

Here is an example of how Christianity can be misrepresented by false linkage to other religions. The terms baptism, resurrection, and sacrifice have specific meanings and unique significance within Christian thinking. These words are also used to describe practices in other religions. Each term expresses a different meaning and significance within the context of each system of thought. So when these terms are used loosely in comparing religions, the casual observer can easily mistake a correlation where, in reality, there is none.

BIBLE FIRSTS

About 180 copies of Gutenberg’s Bible were printed around 1455. Of these only 35 were printed on vellum or treated calfskin. Only 3 of these 35 complete books are known to exist.
The first complete Bible printed in the Western hemisphere dates back to the early 1660s. Known as the Eliot Indian Bible, it was written for distribution among Algonquin Indian tribes and was the first Bible printed in America.



Similarities in other Religions?

Here is an example of how Christianity can be misrepresented by false linkage to other religions. The terms baptism, resurrection, and sacrifice have specific meanings and unique significance within Christian thinking. These words are also used to describe practices in other religions. Each term expresses a different meaning and significance within the context of each system of thought. So when these terms are used loosely in comparing religions, the casual observer can easily mistake a correlation where, in reality, there is none.


BIBLE FIRSTS


About 180 copies of Gutenberg’s Bible were printed around 1455. Of these only 35 were printed on vellum or treated calfskin. Only 3 of these 35 complete books are known to exist.
The first complete Bible printed in the Western hemisphere dates back to the early 1660s. Known as the Eliot Indian Bible, it was written for distribution among Algonquin Indian tribes and was the first Bible printed in America.



Pitch

The origin of pitch is also used to ridicule the account of Noah in the Bible.[29] Pitch is a petroleum residue, we are told, and creationists say that petroleum was formed by the Flood. So, where did Noah get the pitch to seal the Ark (Genesis 6:14)? This old argument stems from ignorance of how pitch can be made. The widespread use of petroleum is a 20th century phenomenon. How did they seal wooden ships hundreds of years ago before petroleum was available? In those days, pitch was made from pine tree resin.[30] A huge pitch-making industry flourished to service the demand.

trueorigin.org
[29] Hayward, Ref. 1, p. 185; Ross, Ref. 4, pp. 153–4.
[30] Walker, T., The pitch for Noah’s Ark. Creation 7(1):20, 1984; online at http://www.answersingenesis.org/. See also: ‘Naval stores’, The New Encyclopaedia Britannica 8:564–565, 15th Ed., Chicago, 1992.



WHERE WAS THEIR LOVING GOD?

Long ago I asked this kind of question and felt certain skepticism about the supposed love of Christ for us. The apostles were Jesus' best friends and they carried on the faith just as he had asked. If the Bible is an accurate portrayal of history and of Christ, I wondered how he could have let them suffer and die as they did.

Christ did love these men, and these men loved Christ. These men could have denied their belief in Jesus and he probably would have forgiven them. But they loved the truth of God literally more than earthly life. Even one denial just to spare themselves from the moment might have become popularized as the "awful truth about Christ", and the worship of Christ then greatly curtailed.

By the apostles' obedience and sacrifice, Christ has allowed their deaths to become an extremely powerful witness to us of his person. They died because they loved Christ, and Christ let them die for him because he loves us. Belief in Christ is that important, and those who died knew it. So it is not God who devalues the apostle's deaths, but us whenever we ignore the truth of Christ for which they surrendered their lives.

The deaths of Jesus' closest followers are speaking to us. Their deaths have become evidence of Christ's deity and ministry on earth. This is evidence of the Bible's believability that no historian, scientist, or skeptic can ignore in clear conscience.



JESUS' APOSTLES: THE GREAT OBITUARY

Here is how many of those closest to Jesus met their end:
• Matthew - killed by stabbing as ordered by King Hircanus
• James, son of Alphaeous - crucified
• James, brother of Jesus - thrown down from a height, stoned and then
beaten to death at the hands of Ananias (circa AD 66)
• John - tortured by boiling oil, exiled to Patmos in AD 95
• Mark - burned during Roman emperor Trajan's reign
• Peter - crucified upside-down by the gardens of Nero on the Vatican hill circa AD 64
• Andrew - crucified on an "X" shaped cross by Aegeas, governor of the Edessenes, around AD 80
• Philip - stoned and crucified in Hierapolis, Phrygia
• Simon - crucified in Egypt under Trajan's reign
• Thomas - death by spear thrust in Calamina, India
• Thaddaeous - killed by arrows
• James, son of Zebedee - killed by sword in AD 44 by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judea
• Bartholomew - beaten, flayed alive, crucified upside down, then beheaded



It is on the way!

Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about.
The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt."
Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about.
He said, "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."



Vicarious Intercession

Beware of thinking that Intercession means bringing our own personal sympathies and concerns into the presence of God, and then demanding that He do whatever we ask. Our ability to approach God is due entirely to the vicarious, or substitutionary, identification of our Lord with sin. We have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”
Spiritual stubbornness is the most effective hindrance to intercession, because it is based on sympathetic “understanding” of things we see in ourselves and others that we think needs no atonement. We have the idea that there are certain good and virtuous things in each of us that do not need to be based on the atonement by the Cross of Christ. Just the sluggishness and lack of interest produced by this type of thinking makes us unable to intercede. We do not identify ourselves with God’s interests and concern for others, and we get irritated with Him. Yet we are always ready with our own ideas, and our intercession becomes only the glorification of our own sympathies. We have to realize that the identification with sin means a radical change of all our sympathies and interests. Vicarious intercession means that we deliberately substitute God’s interest in others for our natural sympathy for them.
Am I stubborn or substituted? Am I spoiled or complete in my relationship with God? Am I irritable or spiritual? Am I determined to have my own way or determined to be identified with Him? Oswald Chambers




Are There No Genuine Renewal and Revival Movements?

History records a number of revivals - movements that sparked renewal among Christians, and in which many non-Christians, drawn by the Holy Spirit, accepted Jesus as Savior. Throughout the world, such events are still taking place as the Spirit guides. In evaluating those events, note where the emphasis is put. Is there a concern for the lost? Is Jesus being magnified? Is Scripture taught? Or do offbeat manifestations, vague prophecies and odd teachings and practices get top billing?

Renewal takes place when we remain in Jesus:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. {2} He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. {3} You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. {4} Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. {5} "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. {6} If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. {7} If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. {8} This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. {9} "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. {10} If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. {11} I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. {12} My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. {14} You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:1-14 NIV http://www.apologeticsindex.org/r02.html


You let the devil leave his bags.

You broke off your relationship with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet.
You let the devil leave his bags.

Problem Teaching Issues

These are some of the problematic teaching and practices promoted within the controversial renewal and revival movements:

* Experience over Scripture. The acceptance of any and all manifestations has continually led to the devaluation of Scripture. Proponents claim that "God is doing a new thing" and this new thing can not be tested by Scripture because "it is not (or not yet!)described in Scripture." Others twist Scripture to try and justify certain manifestations.

* False Manifestations. The Bible clearly describes manifestations of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). But rather than encourages these manifestations - which the Bible says are given "for the common good" (:7) - they promote all manner of esoteric practices, many of which have occult and pagan roots.

• False Teachings. Including acceptance and teaching of Latter Rain heresies, such as the re-establishment of prophets and apostles who (according to many) will have authority to speak words on a par with Scripture, and believing that Christians need to subdue the world before Christ can return.

• Spiritual pride. Dividing the sheep into those "in the river" vs. the "hard to receive" and the "Pharisees."

• Demonizing" critics. Teaching that those who criticize do so because they have a "religious (or Jezebel) spirit," are "Pharisees," are "outside the faith," and - according to some - "in danger of being killed by God."

• Wrong Emphasis on spiritual warfare. Including being overly focused on angels and demons. Also the belief that those "in the river" will go to war with other Christians.

• Lack Of Ministry. When doing "carpet-time" is more important than doing the Lord's work (see Luke 4:18-19), you're not having renewal or revival. Instead, you're just being selfish.

• False ministry. Much that passes for "ministry" within these movements merely emphasises feel-good experiences. In addition, there is much manipulative ministry (see, for example, the "Golden Sword" prophecy and its application)

• False prophecy. Ranging from immature (and unchallenged) interpretation of dreams, weather patterns, and "words", to full-blown "Thus Says The Lord" prophecies furthering someone's agenda rather than originating with God.

• False signs. From the inexplicable appearance of "gold" teeth to reports of angels, "angel feathers," "gold dust," people oozing "olive oil," clouds appearing inside churches, etcetera, these movements go from experience to experience - always failing to test whether what is claimed to come from God does indeed originate with Him, or is evidence of what Scripture refers to as "counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders." (2 Thessalonians 2:9) http://www.apologeticsindex.org/r02.html

What about the Big Bang and Evolution?

There are basically two different beliefs about how the world and everything in it got here. One belief is that everything came here by accident without the help of God. People that hold this view say that before the universe existed, something existed, and the universe was born when that "something" exploded with a big bang.

However there are big problems with the big bang theory such as: -What caused the big bang? No answer -Explosions require something to explode, where did the stuff that exploded come from? No answer -Can an ordered and beautiful universe result from an explosion? No proof, explosions generally cause only destruction and disorder. The theory of evolution is based on a belief that non-living matter like rocks, minerals and water over billions of years can accidentally turn into microscopic living things. Evolution is the theory that these small living things, accidentally turned into things like single-celled organisms, and over more time they accidentally turned into bigger animals, which eventually accidentally turned into people.

Some problems with the the idea of evolution and the spontaneous generation of life: -Not even scientists today can make non-living things into living things, yet some of them say it can happen by accident. -There is no fossil or other evidence of animals that were half animal and half human. -There is no fossil or other evidence of different animal kinds such as dogs and cats having a shared ancestor. The fact is scientists are not always right, scientists once believed the earth was flat, but today we know it isn't. Scientists used to believe the sun revolved around the Earth, but it doesn't. There are already many great scientists who say things like the big bang and evolution couldn't have happened. But like those that said the earth is round they are being made fun of. Many people want to believe the world came into existence by an accident, because they don’t want to believe God exists.

 The Christian belief is that God exists and He created the world and everything in it, just as the Bible says in Genesis. There is much evidence to say that humans and the rest of the world are not a result of accidents but were created and designed by God. Nature is full of order and complex systems that could not have come about by accident. The human body is much more complicated than a car or a computer. But nobody would ever believe a car or computer came into existence by accident. Planets and stars revolve around in the universe like fine clockwork, but nobody would believe a clock was formed by accident in an explosion. Is it not foolish to say something can happen by accident that can't even be accomplished by the non-accidental efforts of scientists? No scientist has ever created a single living cell from non-living material. Terje Ronneberg



BALAAM

In the country of Jordan, at an excavation site known as Deir 'Alla, a fragment of a text from the prophet Balaam was found which dates to at least 800 years before Christ.

The discovery consists of 119 broken plaster fragments inscribed with an ancient text written in
the Aramaic language. One of the fragments is inscribed with the words “Warnings given by Balaam, the son of Beor. A seer of the gods.”

Also included in the text is the Aramaic word “Shadday,” which translated into English is “the
Almighty.” This is consistent with Balaam’s oracles given in the Old Testament.

The Bible in Numbers 24:3-4 says: “The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance
of the man whose eyes are opened, The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down with eyes wide open.”

The present day country of Jordan where the inscription was found, was known as Moab at the
time of Balaam.



God Is the Most Reasonable Uncaused, "First Cause"

We all recognize the logical existence of a "first cause" that is timeless and uncaused, possessing immense power and the ability to choose to cause the universe. These are the characteristics that theists typically attribute to God, even though many naturalists fail to recognize this point. For this reason, God is the most reasonable explanation for the evidence that scientists have collected related to the "first cause" of the universe.
Naturalism offers no reasonable alternative to explain the "first cause" of the universe. The God described by theists, however, is consistent with the evidence and is the most reasonable explanation.


Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

There are many times when we don’t get what we ask for in prayer and then years later are glad that we didn’t get what we first wanted. Has that ever happened to you? As a parent, I’ve had the experience of having to say ‘no’ (or remain silent) to a request made by one of my children, even when I so desperately wanted to make my child happy in the short-term by simply saying ‘yes’. But I knew there was something more valuable in store if I could just help my son or daughter understand the value of waiting, or the danger of actually getting what they were asking for. In those situations, my kids needed to trust my wisdom even if they couldn’t understand my response at the time. I was confident that they would someday understand why I said ‘no’. In a similar way, we need to patiently accept whatever answer we get from God, knowing that we will someday understand why He responded the way He did. http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com

Kenneth Hagin’s Forgotten

Before he died in 2003, the revered father of the Word-Faith movement corrected his spiritual sons for going to extremes with their message of prosperity.
Charismatic Bible teacher Kenneth Hagin Sr. is considered the father of the so-called prosperity gospel. The folksy, self-trained “Dad Hagin” started a grass-roots movement in Oklahoma that produced a Bible college and a crop of famous preachers including Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar and dozens of others—all of whom teach that Christians who give generously should expect financial rewards on this side of heaven.
Hagin taught that God was not glorified by poverty and that preachers do not have to be poor. But before he died in 2003 and left his Rhema Bible Training Center in the hands of his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr., he summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence.
Those who were close to Hagin Sr. say he was passionate about correcting these abuses before he died. In fact, he wrote a brutally honest book to address his concerns. The Midas Touch was published in 2000, a year after the infamous Tulsa meeting.
Many Word-Faith ministers ignored the book. But in light of the recent controversy over prosperity doctrines, it might be a good idea to dust it off and read it again. CHARISMA MAGAZINE


Mormonism:

The doctrine of the forgiveness of sins in Mormonism is that you are saved by grace after all you can do (Article 8 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92). They add to the finished work of Christ on the cross and say that Jesus made it possible for us to be forgiven. Our works must be mixed with the finished work of Christ and then our forgiveness of sins is merited before God. This error is that works play a part in our salvation, our forgiveness of sins. They do not. In Galatians chapters 3 and 5, Paul addressed the issue and condemned the thought of keeping even one part of the Law in order to be righteous with God. Salvation is a free gift, paid for by the blood of Christ.



If evolution?

For those who place trust in the Bible, it should be noted that the Bible always speaks of special creation by God as a fact. If evolution were God's mechanism there would be no reason for Him to hide it in His revelation. Even Jesus Himself refers to the creation (and the global flood of Noah's time) as facts. The listed scripture references (NIV) include:
Col 1:16 "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers of rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
Heb 1:2 "… He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe."
Heb 1:10 "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands."
Jesus said: Mk 10:6 "But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.'"



LOST BOOKS

There is much talk these days about lost books of the Bible. Sometimes people claim that the Bible was edited to take out reincarnation, or the teaching of higher planes of existence, or different gods, or ancestor worship, or "at-one-ment" with nature, anything that disagreed with what the people in power didn't like. But, none of this is true. The "lost books" were never lost.

These so called lost books were already known by the Jews and the Christians and were not considered inspired. They weren't lost nor were they removed from the Bible because they were never in the Bible to begin with. These so called lost books were not included in the Bible for several reasons. They lacked apostolic or prophetic authorship; they did not claim to be the Word of God; they contain unbiblical concepts such as prayer for the dead in 2 Macc. 12:45-46; or have some serious historical inaccuracies. These books were never authoritative, inspired, or authentically written by either the Jewish Prophets or the Christian Apostles.

The Pseudepigraphal books are "false writings." They are a collection of early Jewish and "Christian" writings composed between 200 BC and AD 200. However, they too were known and were never considered scripture. A list of these would be the Epistle of Barnabas, the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, the Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, the The letter of the Smyrnaeans or the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the The Shepherd of Hermas, the The Book of Enoch, the Gospel of Thomas (140-170 AD), the The Psalms of Solomon, the The Odes of Solomon, the The Testaments of the twelve Patriarchs, the Second Baruch, the Third Baruch, the The Books of Adam and Eve.

The Deuterocanonical (apocrypha) books are those books that were included in the Greek Septuagint (LXX) but not included in the Hebrew Bible. The recognized deuterocanonical books are 1 Esdras (150-100 BC), 2 Esdras (100 AD), Tobit (200 BC), Judith (150 BC), the Additions to Esther (140-130 BC), the Wisdom of Solomon (30 BC), Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) (132 BC), Barach (150-50 BC), the Letter of Jeremiah (300-100 BC), the Susanna (200-0 BC), Bel and the Dragon (100 BC), the Additions to Daniel (Prayer of Azariah (200-0 BC), the Prayer of Manassesh (100-0 BC), 1 Maccabees (110 BC), and 2 Maccabees (110-170 BC).1 These pseudepigraphal and deuterocanonical books were never considered scripture by the Christian church because they were not authoritative, inspired, written by either Prophets or Apostles, nor do they have the power of the word of the books of the existing Bible. Therefore, since the books are not lost and were never part of the Bible to begin with, they have no bearing on the validity of the Bible.



Deism


The belief that if there is a god he is not intimately involved with or concerned for man and the world, and that he does not interfere with the laws of the universe. Deism is a religion based on human reason rather than revelation.


Jainism is a religion originating in India (6th century B.C.), teaching liberation of the soul by right knowledge, right faith, and right conduct. Jains practice non-violence, follow a strictly vegetarian diet, and belief in respecting multiple worldviews.


Miracle

A miracle is an out-of-the-ordinary direct and divine intervention in the world. Examples would be the parting of the Red Sea, Jesus walking on water, the resurrection of Lazarus, etc. Some hold that it is a violation of the natural order of physical laws. Others maintain that there is no such violation upon God's part but only a natural manifestation of His work.
They are also known as powers and signs (Mark 9:39; Acts 2:22, 19:11) and mighty works (John 10:25-28). They are a manifestation of the power of God over nature (Joshua 10:121-14), animals (Num. 22:28), people (Gen. 19:26), and illness (2 Kings 5:1014). They are produced by God's power (Acts 15:12), Christ's power (Matt. 10:1), and the Holy Spirit's power (Matt. 12:28).



Amazing facts about creation.

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.
-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.



PROPHETS

“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30-31, KJV)
They prophesy falsely! The bemused twittering that entails prophecy nowadays is evident in almost every church. With no discernment through the Word, how can a believer understand the implications of someone speaking for the Lord things that do not come true?

RICK JOYNER AGAIN!

“The doctrine of the rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the church a retreat mentality, but it will not succeed. Already this yoke has been cast off by the majority in the advancing church and it will soon be cast off by all...
Rick Joyner, The Harvest, 1989/1990 revised booklet on pg.121

DID YOU KNOW?

James Madison, the fourth president, known as 'The Father of Our Constitution' made the
Following statement:
'We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.'

Children in Church?

A little boy was attending his first wedding.
After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?"
"Sixteen," the boy responded.
His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly.
"How do you know that?"
"Easy," the little boy said.
"All you have to do is add it up, like the pastor said,
4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."

If You are Born Again, do you still sin?

The Bible doesn't teach any such doctrine and in fact it teaches the very opposite. One of the primary passages dealing with the believer's (that is, those who are saved) attitude and position on sin is 1 John. This epistle was written to first century Christians and addresses the concepts of sin, believers and nonbelievers. Verses 6 and 7 state "If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not know the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." The above passage shows that those who are believers will not be in habitual sin - with the idea of walking in the darkness having a connotation of intentional, repetitive disobedience.
However, John follows these verses with "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Here, the apostle says that Christians who claim to be sin free are deceiving themselves and he calls into question their very salvation for making such a claim! You see, the idea of being born again means that we should be transformed day by day into the image of Christ. Although we should strive for perfection (Matt. 5:48), it doesn't mean that we'll be perfect. When we're born again we receive a new, godly nature (Eph. 4:24), but our old nature also still exists. Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 7 when he says "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not... For I joyfully concur with God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members." (vss. 18,21) Here we can see how even Paul struggled with sins in his own life, but he knew he was saved and he would be victorious one day.
This is why Paul makes such big deal about God's grace in the book of Romans. He writes "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Rom. 5:8-9) He also says "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand." (vss. 1-2) Paul knows that he cannot stop sinning, but he rejoices in the fact that God will forgive him of his sins through grace. Grace means that we can be forgiven.
So, since Christians are saved, does that mean that they can sin whenever they want? No, it doesn't. Paul makes it clear that Christians don't have a free ride either. Right after he wrote the verses mentioned above, he said "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" John also shows that sin shouldn't be taken lightly, but needs to be confessed by the Christian "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1John 1:9) As I said at the beginning of this letter, Christians should strive for perfection, even though they know they won't attain it. Jesus sums this up best when He said "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15) Read more: http://www.comereason.org/theo_issues/theo015.asp#ixzz1V7rEObe0


My mother taught me WISDOM
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you"

Are There No Genuine Renewal and Revival Movements?

History records a number of revivals - movements that sparked renewal among Christians, and in which many non-Christians, drawn by the Holy Spirit, accepted Jesus as Savior. Throughout the world, such events are still taking place as the Spirit guides. In evaluating those events, note where the emphasis is put. Is there a concern for the lost? Is Jesus being magnified? Is Scripture taught? Or do offbeat manifestations, vague prophecies and odd teachings and practices get top billing?
Renewal takes place when we remain in Jesus:
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. {2} He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. {3} You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. {4} Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. {5} "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. {6} If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. {7} If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. {8} This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. {9} "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. {10} If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. {11} I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. {12} My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. {13} Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. {14} You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:1-14 NIV http://www.apologeticsindex.org/r02.html

You let the devil leave his bags.

You broke off your relationship with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet.
You let the devil leave his bags.

“I DO” commitment is filled with ifs, ands, and buts.

We do as long as it's convenient.
We do as long as it benefits us.
We do as long as it's not painful.
We do as long as they remain beautiful or handsome.
We do as long as they keep their figure.
We do as long as the bills are paid.
We do as long they stay healthy.
We do as long as no one more exciting looks our way.
We do as long as it suits us.
What things or people in life are we truly committed to?
To whom have we really said and meant, "Absolutely."
Is this the way a man and a woman should enter into marriage?
Should they feel that level of commitment?
Should they really believe that the only way they would ever separate is by death?

The Problem of God's Sovereignty


OBJECTION: Christians believe that God is sovereign (He's in complete control), and that God alone calls believers to repentance. Those who choose to believe and accept Jesus as their Savior are predestined by this all-powerful God. If this is true, then humans are just puppets under the direction of an all-powerful God who controls all decisions and dictates the final outcome. The Christian God doesn't allow humans the freedom to choose for themselves.
The Answer Lies in Our Definition of "Free Will" Most of us would like to think that we are free to make any choice possible in any given situation, but if you think about it, you'll quickly recognize that even the choices you thought you were free to make were limited by your pre-existing nature (your inclinations, desires, likes and dislikes). Have you ever cleaned out your closet and discarded an ugly shirt, tie or dress that was given to you as a gift? Why did you throw it away? Every day, as you decided what to wear, you were free to choose that article of clothing, but you never did. Your nature (in this case, your taste in clothing) restrained your choice. In order to understand what the Bible teaches about "free will", we need to distinguish between two concepts of freedom:
"Libertarian" Free Will: This view of "free will" maintains that humans have the ability to choose anything, even when this choice might be contrary to our nature (our inclinations, desires, likes and dislikes). We might call this "Unfettered Free Will". "Compatibilist" Free Will: This view of "free will" maintains that humans have the ability to choose something, but this ability is restrained by our pre-existing nature (our inclinations, desires, likes and dislikes). We might call this "Self-Fettered Free Will".
Our practical experience tells us that we don't make choices that are completely unfettered (unrestrained) by our nature. Many of us would never choose to order an anchovy pizza. Many of us would never choose to purchase a pink car. Many of us would never choose to cut our hair in a "mullet" hairstyle. Our natures (our inclinations, desires, likes and dislikes) restrain us. The Bible recognizes that God is sovereign and that humans are fallen and restrained by a nature that inclines us toward evil and toward the denial of God's existence (Jer 13:23, Mark 7:21-22, Rom 3:9-12, Rom 8:6-8). The Bible also teaches, however, that humans have the freedom and ability to choose the things of God, including the salvation offered through Jesus Christ (Joshua 24:15, John 7:17, John 7:37-39). So, how do we, as fallen humans inclined to deny God, have the ability to choose God? Well it appears that God (in His sovereignty) works at the level of our 'nature' rather than at the level of our 'choices'. God changes our hearts first, so we have the freedom to choose something we would never have chosen before (because our nature prevented us from doing so). You and I then have the freedom to choose within our new nature, and we are, of course, responsible for those free will choices: John 6:65 He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.'
http://www.answersforatheists.com/index/The_Problem_of_Gods_Sovereignty_

What Renewal Is Not

In recent years, some movements have redefined the term "renewal" in such a way that it bears no resemblance to the sanctification process described in Scripture. Their "renewal" produces uncontrolled emotions, is marked by all manner of suspect manifestations, and is accompanied by extra-biblical and un-Biblical teachings and practices.
These movements, which variously label themselves as "revival," "renewal," or "refreshing," have spread through numerous churches in many parts of the world. Known as the Toronto Blessing and Pensacola Outpouring (or Brownsville Revival), and many offshoots, they cite their popularity as evidence of God's work. However, upon examination it is clear that the "renewal" they bring does not promote or result in spiritual maturity, but rather the opposite.
Scripture indicates that spiritually-mature Christians are no longer "... infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming." (Ephesians 4:14 NIV). But as the resources provided here indicate, these so-called "renewal movements" produce such spiritual infants - even among those who formerly were growing in maturity. Lacking discernment, they again need to be reacquainted with the elementary teaching:
(Hebrews 5:12-14 NIV) In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! {13} Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. {14} But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. http://www.apologeticsindex.org/r02.html
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The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only the One who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to a profitable end.

JESUS’ PROPHECY - "JERUSALEM"

Jesus prophesied Luke 19:41-44:
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said: "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and your children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Josephus, a Jewish historian, was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. His account matches exactly with Jesus’ prophecy.
Josephus writes: "When the embankments were finished, they brought forward the battering rams " . . . "Titus (the commander of the Roman army) realized that it would be a waste of time to fight against hopeless men who would soon destroy themselves . . . So he decided to block every possible exit out of the city by building a wall completely around it, in order to force the Jews to surrender or to starve to death.". . . . "After capturing the city wall, the Romans planted their standards on the towers . . . Pouring into the streets, they massacred whoever they came across .. . The Romans set fire to the outside wall of the city and leveled it to the ground." (Jewish War)

Nature of Mary

Anglican/Episcopal -

Anglicans believe Jesus was conceived and born
of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin both when
she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. "They ... have difficulties with
Catholic belief in her immaculate conception - the idea ... that Mary was free
from the stain of original sin from the moment of her own conception ..." (Guardian Unlimited)

 Assembly of God -

Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. (Luke 1:34-38). Though "highly favored" by God (Luke 1:28), Mary was human and conceived in sin.

• Baptist -

 Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. (Luke 1:34-38). Though "highly favored" by God (Luke 1:28), Mary was human and conceived in sin.

• Lutheran -

Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. (Based on the Lutheran confession of The Apostles' Creed.)

• Methodist -

 Mary was a virgin both when she conceived Jesus and when she gave birth. The United Methodist Church does not subscribe to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception - that Mary herself was conceived without original sin. (UMC)

Presbyterian -

Jesus was conceived and born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary is honored as "God-bearer" and a model for Christians. (PCUSA)

Roman Catholic -

 From conception, Mary was without original sin (Immaculate Conception). Mary is the "Mother of God." Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, when she gave birth, and remained a virgin throughout her life. Catechism - 2nd Edition
http://christianity.about.com/od/denominationscomparison/ss/comparebeliefs1_9.htm

WITNESSES

The New Testament accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women alive at the time of the resurrection. Those people could certainly have confirmed or denied the accuracy of such accounts. The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or else were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events. In advocating their case for the gospel, a word that means "good news," the apostles appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection. F. F. Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, says concerning the value of the New Testament records as primary sources: "Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective." http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

History of Crucifixion

Crucifixion was an ancient method of execution in which the victim's hands and feet were bound and nailed to a cross. It was one of the most horribly painful and disgraceful methods of capitol punishment.The word "crucifixio," or "crucifixus," meaning "fixed to a cross."

Crucifixion was not only one of the most disgraceful forms of death; it was one of the most dreaded methods of execution in the ancient world. Accounts of crucifixions are recorded among early civilizations, most likely originating with the Persians and then spreading to the Assyrians, Scythians, Carthaginians, Germans, Celts and Britons. This type of capitol punishment was primarily reserved for traitors, captive armies, slaves and the worst of criminals. Crucifixion became common under the rule of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.). crucifixion comes from the latin


What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection? BY WAYNE JACKSON

The resurrection of the Son of God should be a constant reminder to us of these wonderful biblical truths. We honor our Master’s victory over death—not once a year, but every week! the Son of God. Paul affirmed that Christ is "declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). forgiveness from our sins. Paul contended: "[I]f Christ hath not been raised, our faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17). The reverse of the apostle’s affirmation would be this: if Jesus was raised, sins will be forgiven when we obey the gospel (Acts 2:38; 22:16). the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign. The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth. But the founder of Christianity—sixty years after his death—appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said: "I am the first and the last, and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore" (Revelation 1:17-18). physical death is not the termination of human existence. God, who is the giver of life (1 Timothy 6:13), has the power to reanimate the human body. Christ’s triumph over the grave is Heaven’s pledge to us that we too shall be raised. This is why Jesus is referred to as the "firstfruits of them that are asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20,23). ultimate victory of Christianity over all its enemies. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is depicted as a lamb that had been slain, but was standing again (5:6). This same Lord was "the lion of the tribe of Judah" that had overcome his foes (5:5). Christians too will overcome as a result of the Lamb’s sacrifice and victory over death (cf. Revelation 12:11).



What Happened to Jesus' 'Brothers'?

According to the Gospels, Jesus had several "brothers and sisters" but James and Jude are the only ones mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament—James as a leader of the early church in Jerusalem, and Jude in the short letter bearing his name. Originally, Jesus' family was skeptical of his ministry: "Even his brothers did not believe in him," says John's Gospel. Apparently the Resurrection changed their minds, because they joined Mary and the disciples in the Upper Room to wait for the Holy Spirit.

James, probably the oldest of Jesus' brothers, made the decision at the Jerusalem Council that Gentile Christians did not have to obey ancient Jewish laws. He may have lived an ascetic life and was reported to have spent so much time in prayer that his knees "were like those of a camel." Jewish historian Josephus reported that Jewish leaders stoned James to death. Eusebius said he was thrown from the top of the temple and beaten to death with a club. It is unclear whether this James or another wrote the epistle bearing his name.

Jude's letter of warning about impostors who had infiltrated the church suggests that he, too, became a respected church leader and perhaps a traveling missionary who saw such problems firsthand. Copyright © 1998 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian History magazine.



"Why did the people in Genesis live such long lives?"

It is somewhat of a mystery why people in early chapters of Genesis lived such long lives. There are many theories put forward by biblical scholars. The genealogy in Genesis 5 records the line of the godly descendants of Adam—the line that would eventually produce the Messiah. God possibly blessed this line with especially long life as a result of their godliness and obedience. While this is a possible explanation, the Bible nowhere specifically limits the long life spans to the individuals mentioned in Genesis chapter 5. Further, other than Enoch, Genesis 5 does not identify any of the individuals as being especially godly. It is likely that everyone at that time period lived several hundred years. Several factors probably contributed to this. Genesis 1:6-7 mentions the water above the expanse, a canopy of water that surrounded the earth. Such a water canopy would have created a greenhouse effect and would have blocked much of the radiation that now hits the earth. This would have resulted in ideal living conditions. Genesis 7:11 indicates that, at the time of the flood, the water canopy was poured out on the earth, ending the ideal living conditions. Compare the life spans before the flood (Genesis 5:1-32) with those after the flood (Genesis 11:10-32). Immediately after the flood, the ages decreased dramatically. Another consideration is that in the first few generations after creation, the human genetic code had developed few defects. Adam and Eve were created perfect. They were surely highly resistant to disease and illness. Their descendants would have inherited these advantages, albeit to lesser degrees. Over time, as a result of sin, the human genetic code became increasingly corrupted, and human beings became more and more susceptible to death and disease. This would also have resulted in drastically reduced lifespan.


Mark 15:25 vs. John 19:14-15 -

The Time of the Crucifixion Mark 15:25 Jesus was crucified at the third hour VS. John 19:14-15 says the sixth hour. Mark figures the time by Jewish reckoning, where the day would start at sundown and be broken into segments. We still see this today as observant Jews start their observance of the Sabbath at sundown. This would make the third hour to be about noon.

The Romans reckoned their time differently and their segments were longer. Ancient Roman sundials show that the daylight hours were divided into twelve equal segments, or hours. However, there were only two major segments, daytime and nighttime, with the hours beginning at sunrise and counted until sunset. Therefore, this makes the sixth hour in Roman time also about noon. John's audience was the Gentile church, so John uses Roman time throughout His Gospel.http://www.comereason.org/bibl_cntr/con110.asp#ixzz1bY4OQTl7

TEA WITH DADDY

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me.

I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!'

My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, 'did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?

'

Only One God? • Christianity:

True Christian doctrine is that there is only one God who has ever

existed anywhere, anyplace, anytime. There is no God formed before God;

there will be no God formed after God (Isaiah 43:10). God doesn't even

know of any other Gods (Isaiah 44:8). There is only one God in existence in the entire universe. Just one. This is called monotheism. •

Mormonism:

The god of earth is only one of many, many gods (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 163). This is called polytheism. However, they worship only one of the many gods, the one called Elohim. This is called monolatry. Elohim (as the Mormons like to call the Father) used to be a man on another planet (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Elohim became a God and came to this world with his goddess wife (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443). Mormons have the potential of becoming gods of their own worlds (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354). This contradicts the teachings of Scripture. Mormons are polytheists. Christianity is monotheistic. Mormonism is very wrong. •


In what ways have the discoveries of archaeology verified the reliability of the Bible?

*The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.

*It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.

*The existence of Jesus Christ as recorded by Josephus, Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, the Talmud, and Lucian.

*Forcing Jews to leave Rome during the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54) (Acts 18:2), as recorded by Suetonius. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a009.html

Life’s beginning.

French geneticist Jermoe L. LeJeune, while testifying before a Senate Subcommittee, asserted: "To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence." Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, report to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981, as quoted in Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), 149.


WHAT DO WE HAVE TO OFFER THEM?

When the lame man asked for alms in Acts 3, Peter and John offered him much more! The world is in dire need of a great many things. But their vision only extends to their own physical needs. Peter saw past this and offered something of eternal value.

My question… "What do you offer those hands that are outstretched?" Is it something temporary and carnal, or something eternal and God-sourced? When we reach out to a world in need we had better have the goods. We don’t want to make the world feel better about itself, but to see the "Kingdom come."

Jesus came with divine insight, a healing hand and heaven’s authority. He gave His church the keys to the Kingdom, so we should be continuing all that Christ began. So when we say, "silver and gold have I none," what DO we offer them? Pastor James Steffens – therefudgefellowship.org

 FALSE TEACHING!

In his extremely popular book, "The Final Quest", Rick Joyner postulates four different levels of inspiration ranging from impressions (lowest), to open visions and trance states (highest). In this discussion, Joyner places the epistles of the New Testament at only the

(1) Joyner, Rick "The Final Quest" 1996 Whitaker House (New Kensington, PA) page 10 On page 133 of this same book, Joyner relates an encounter that he had with the apostle Paul that supposedly took place in heaven where Paul tells Joyner that the words in his epistles do not carry truths as powerful as the words of Jesus in the gospels. Essentially Paul says that his letters are not as inspired as the Gospels. second level of inspiration. Concerning this level Joyner writes, "The next level of inspiration is a conscious sense of the presence of the Lord, or the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives special illumination to our minds. This often comes when I am writing, or speaking, and it gives much greater confidence in the importance or accuracy of what I am saying. I believe that this was probably experienced by the apostles as they wrote the New Testament epistles. This will give us great confidence, but it is still a level where we can still be influenced by our prejudices, doctrines, etc."[1] (Emphasis added) http://www.arcapologetics.org/articles/article22.htm MORE FALSE TEACHING! "Jesus was rich and that He left us with an example to follow. That is why Fred drives a Rolls Royce; he is following Jesus' example!" (Fred Price, An Examination Of The Word-Faith Movement, Richard J. Vincent, 1991)


Religion / Science Harmony

The idea of a conflict between religion and science is a product of the evolutionary mind. There is no conflict between the facts of nature and the revealed truth of the Bible. The conflict arises from the evolutionary interpretation of nature and its facts — an interpretation designed to eliminate the need for God and to relegate Him either to non-existence or to impotence after the first moment of creation.

To the contrary, the design and complexity of everything we see in creation cries out, as

Paul wrote to the Romans, about not only the reality of God, but also about His eternal power

and divine nature, which many choose to ignore, preferring a lie ("For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened;" see Romans 1:18ff).

Moreover, many of the founders of the scientific disciplines were Christian creationists

not just by default, but as devoted believers. There are many hundreds, perhaps thousands

of scientists today who also are Christian creationists, contrary to what the evolutionists

would have us believe. http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2003/cm08_02_rp.pdf



THE POISONING OF MUHAMMAD

*From Ibn Sa'd pages 251, 252:

....When the apostle of Allah conquered Khaibar and he had peace of mind, Zaynab Bint al-Harith the brother of Marhab, who was the spouse of Sallam Ibn Mishkam, inquired, "Which part of the goat is liked by Muhammad?" They said, "The foreleg." Then she slaughtered one from her goats and roasted it (the meat). Then she wanted a poison which could not fail. .... The apostle of Allah took the foreleg, a piece of which he put into his mouth. Bishr took another bone and put it into his mouth. When the apostle of Allah ate one morsel of it Bishr ate his and other people also ate from it. Then the apostle of Allah said, "Hold back your hands! because this foreleg; ...informed me that it is poisoned. Thereupon Bishr said, "By Him who has made you great! I discovered it from the morsel I took. Nothing prevented me from emitting it out, but the idea that I did not like to make your food unrelishing. When you had eaten what was in your mouth I did not like to save my life after yours, and I also thought you would not have eaten it if there was something wrong.

Bishr did not rise form his seat but his color changed to that of "taylsan" (a green cloth)..........The apostle of Allah sent for Zaynab and said to her, "What induced you to do what you have done?" She replied, "You have done to my people what you have done. You have killed my father, my uncle and my husband, so I said to myself, "If you are a prophet, the foreleg will inform you; and others have said, "If you are a king we will get rid of you.""......

The apostle of Allah lived after this three years till in consequence of his pain he passed away. During his illness he used to say, "I did not cease to find the effect of the (poisoned) morsel, I took at Khaibar and I suffered several times (from its effect) but now I feel the hour has come of the cutting of my jugular vein."

• Ibn Sa'd biography, the "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir" (Book of the Major Classes), Volume 2. Ibn Sa'd's Sirat contains the most information relative to Muhammad's death.


The Nature of Christ? by Keith Gibson

Modern apostles and prophets show a consistent confusion with regard to the person and work of Christ. For instance Rick Joyner states, "There is a tendency to continue relating to Him as ‘

Joyner’s statement is a complete rejection of the hypostatic union. Orthodox Christianity has understood for centuries that when the Second Person of the Trinity took to Himself a human nature, this was a permanent union. Jesus is forever the God-man, fully God and fully man. Jesus did not come in some sort of rent-a-body that He discarded after the crucifixion. Either Joyner does not understand this or he is denying it. Further, Joyner’s statements have serious implications for the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus for if Jesus is no longer man then in what way did He resurrect? Additionally, the scriptures link the ongoing work of Christ as intercessor to his humanity. (1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 7:23-23 among others) the Man from Galilee.’ Jesus is not a man. He was and is Spirit. He took the form of a servant and became a man for a brief time."[1] [1] Joyner, Rick, "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" 1992 Whitaker House, (New Kensington, Pa) page 59 emphasis in the original http://www.arcapologetics.org/articles/article22.htm


"Can people in heaven look down and see us?"

The Bible does not specifically say whether or not people in heaven can look down on us who are still on the earth. It is highly unlikely that they can. Why? First, they would sometimes see things that would cause them grief or pain, namely, acts of sin and evil. Since there is no grief, tears, or unhappiness in heaven (Revelation 21:4), it does not seem that observing earthly events would be possible. Second, people in heaven are so preoccupied with worshipping God and enjoying the glories of heaven that it does not seem they would have significant interest in what is happening here on earth. The very fact that they are free from sin and experiencing God’s presence in heaven surely is more than enough to captivate their attention. While it is possible that God allows people in heaven to look down upon their loved ones, the Bible gives us no reason to believe this actually occurs.


Luke

Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ. He was a companion of Paul who also was not an eyewitness of Christ's life. But, both had ample opportunity to meet the disciples who knew Christ and learn the facts not only from them, but from others in the area. Some might consider this damaging to the validity of the gospel, but quite the contrary. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts. He obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses and written the Gospel account as well as Acts. The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,

Notice how Luke speaks of "them," of those who had personal encounters with Christ. Luke is simply recounting the events from the disciples. Since Luke agrees with Matthew, Mark, and John and since there is no contradictory information coming from any of the disciples stating that Luke was inaccurate, and since Luke has proven to be a very accurate historian, we can conclude that Luke's account is very accurate. As far as dating the gospel goes, Luke was written before the book of Acts and Acts does not mention "Nero's persecution of the Christians in A.D. 64 or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65)."2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God," (Acts 1:1-3). 1 Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A.D. 62. "Luke's Gospel comes (Acts 1:1) before the Acts. The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date (about A.D. 63) is gaining support constantly."

2 1. McDowell, Josh,
GospelsA Ready Defense, Thomas Nelson Publishers; Nashville, Tenn., 1993, p. 80. 2. Robertson, A.T., A Harmony of the , Harper & Row; New York` 1950. pp. 255-256.


SANTA CLAUS

Santa Claus had his origins in St. Nicholas, the fourth-century bishop of in present-day Turkey. Known for his generosity and his love of children, Nicholas is said to have saved a poor family's daughters from slavery by tossing into their window enough gold for a rich , a present that landed in some shoes or, in some accounts, stockings that were hung up to dry. Thus arose the custom of hanging up stockings for St. Nicholas to fill. And somehow he transmogrified into Santa Claus, who has become for many people the secular Christmas alternative to Jesus Christ.


PROPHESYINGS, FALSE

prof'-e-si-ingz: The distinction between the true and the false prophecy and prophets is very difficult to state. Broadly speaking, the false prophesying related itself to the national ideal independently of any spiritual quality, while the true prophesying ever kept uppermost the spiritual conception of the national life. Among those given to false prophesying were the ones who spoke after "the deceit of their own heart" (Jeremiah 14:13, 14); those who without real prophetic gift borrowed a message and assumed the speech of prophecy (Jeremiah 23:28, 31); and those who sought the prophet's role in order to gain the material gifts which came from the people to their prophets (Micah 3:5). These, when discovered, were counted worthy of punishment and even death. There were, however, false prophesying from men who honestly believed themselves to have a message from Yahweh. These prophecies from self-deceived prophets often led the people astray. The dream of national greatness was substituted for the voice of Yahweh. It was against such prophesying that the true prophets had to contend. The only test here was the spiritual character of the utterance, and this test demanded a certain moral or spiritual sense which the people did not always possess. Consequently, in times of moral darkness the false prophets, predicting smooth things for the nation, independent of repentance, consecration and the pursuit of spiritual ideals, were honored above the true prophets who emphasized the moral greatness of Yahweh and the necessity of righteousness for the nation. In New Testament times false prophesying did much injury in the church. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


Jonah and the Whale

One day, a teacher was talking to her first grade class about whales when a little girl had a question.

Little Girl: "Do whales swallow people?"

Teacher: "No, even though they are much bigger than a person, they have throat pleats that filter their food of krill and plankton.

Little Girl: "But Mrs. Thurston says Jonah was swallowed by a whale."

Teacher getting angry: "Blue whales cannot swallow people."

Little Girl: "Well, when I get to heaven I'll just ask Jonah if he was really swallowed by a whale."

Teacher, still red with anger: "What if Jonah went to hell?" Girl: "Well, then you can ask him."


Can God's face actually be seen (Genesis 32:30)?

In Genesis 32:30 Jacob said, "I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." Mormons sometimes cite this verse with a view to proving that God the Father has a physical body with a face that can be seen.                                                 This is a faulty interpretation. To begin, it is possible for a blind person to speak "face to face" with someone without seeing their face. The phrase "face to face" in the Hebrew mindset means "personally," "directly," or "intimately." Moses had this kind of unmediated relationship with God. But he, like all other mortals, never saw an actual "face" of God. We must not forget the Bible's emphatic statement that "God is a spirit" (John. 4:24). And "a spirit does not have flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). So, again, God does not have a physical face. Being "face to face" with God simply refers to being in God's direct presence in an intimate way. http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qgodface.html

Why did Solomon have so many wives (1 Kings 11:1-3)?

First Kings 11:1-3 indicates that King Solomon had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines, many from lands of which God had previously instructed the Israelites to avoid intermarrying. God knew that such intermarrying would lead to the worship of false gods. Why, then, did Solomon do this?

History reveals that Solomon was very aggressive in his foreign policy. In sealing treaties in ancient days, it was customary for a lesser king to give his daughter in marriage to the greater king (in this case, Solomon). Every time a new treaty was sealed, Solomon ended up with yet another wife. These wives were considered tokens of friendship and "sealed" the relationship between the two kings. It may be that Solomon was not even personally acquainted with some of these wives, even though he was married to them.

In the process of doing all this, Solomon was utterly disobedient to the Lord. He was apparently so obsessed with power and wealth that it overshadowed his spiritual life and he ended up falling into apostasy. He worshipped some of the false gods of the women who became married to him.Moreover, in marrying more than one woman Solomon was going against God's revealed will regarding monogamy. From the very beginning God created one woman for one man (see Genesis 1:27; 2:21-25). Deuteronomy 17:17 explicitly instructs God's people not to "multiply wives." So Solomon sinned in two ways -- (1) he engaged in polygamy, and (2) he violated God's commandment against marrying pagans, which ultimately led to his own apostasy. http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qsolomonwives.html

 

Why couldn't Jesus do miracles in His hometown (Mark 6:4-5)?

In Mark 6:4-5 Jesus affirmed that a prophet is without honor in his home town, and in view of that reality, He could not perform any miracles in Nazareth except for healing a few sick people. The people of Nazareth were apparently plagued by unbelief and paid little attention to the claims of Jesus.

At first glance, one might get the impression that Jesus' miraculous power was utterly dependent upon peoples' faith in order for it to work. That is not the meaning of this verse, however. It is not that Jesus was unable or incapacitated in performing a miracle in Nazareth. (Remember -- Jesus is the sovereign Creator of the entire universe according to John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, and Colossians 1:16). Rather, Jesus "could not" do miracles there in the sense that He WOULD NOT do so in view of the pervasive unbelief in that city.

Miracles serve a far greater purpose, from the divine perspective, than just providing a raw display of power. Indeed, Jesus' miraculous deeds are often called "signs" in the New Testament because they serve to signify His identity as the Messiah. Since the people of Nazareth had already made up their minds against Jesus, and had provided more than ample evidence of their lack of faith in Him, Jesus chose not to engage in miraculous acts there except for a few healings of sick people. He refused to bestow miraculous deeds on a city that had rejected the miraculous Messiah. Unbelief excluded the people of Nazareth from the dynamic disclosure of God's grace that others had experienced.Because of Nazareth's rejection of the person and message of Jesus Christ, He went on to other cities that did respond to and receive Him. We have no evidence that Jesus ever again returned to Nazareth. 

 

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK? 

 Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck. -- Ricky, age 10


Fulfilled Prophecy concerning Jesus

     Though there are other religions that have prophecies in them, none are 100% accurate as is the Bible and none of them point to someone like Jesus who made incredible claims and performed incredible deeds.  The Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born.  Yet, the Old Testament prophesied many things about Jesus.  This is undoubtedly evidence of divine influence upon the Bible.
      Please consider some of the many prophecies of Jesus in the following chart.
Prophecy Old Testament Prophecy New Testament Fulfillment
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18,25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5; 7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Psalm 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1,
Luke 23:33;

Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37      Fulfillment of prophecy can have different explanations.  Some state that the NT was written and altered to make it look like Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy (but there is no evidence of that).  Others state that the prophecies are so vague that they don't count (but many of the prophecies are not vague at all).  Of course, it is possible that God inspired the writers and Jesus, who is God in flesh, fulfilled these prophecies as a further demonstration of the validity of Christianity.


The Canon of Scripture

 

F.F. Bruce

President of I.V.F. (1954-55) and Head of the Department of Biblical

History and Literature in the University of Sheffield

[p.19]

   Our word ‘canon’ goes back through Latin to the Greek word kanon. primarily meaning a ‘reed’ or ‘rod’. The Greek word acquired two secondary meanings: (1) a ‘measuring-rod’ or ‘standard’. and (2) a ‘list’ or ‘index’. Origen, early in the third century A.D., applied the former of these two secondary meanings to the Bible, to indicate that it is the ‘standard’ or ‘rule’ of faith. i.e. the norm by which we are to judge everything that may be commended for our acceptance in the realm of religion. Athanasius, a century later, used the latter of these secondary meanings in reference to the books of the Bible, in the sense in which these books constitute the ‘list’ of writings which the Church reckons as the authoritative documents of divine revelation. When we speak of the Canon of Scripture, this last sense is the one which we intend; but the other sense, in which we regard the Scriptures collectively as the rule of faith, is not excluded.

   The Canon of Scripture, then, is the list of writings delivered to us as the divinely inspired record of God’s self-revelation to men that self-revelation of which Jesus Christ our Lord is the centre. The writings are not authoritative because they are included in the list; they are in the list because their authority has been recognized. For example, the oracles of the prophet Amos were stamped with divine authority as he uttered them in the name of Israel’s God.

   They were written down some time after they were spoken, and it was some time after that that they were included in the canon or list of prophetic writings. Divine authority comes first: canonicity follows authority and is dependent upon it. Similarly, the individual Epistles of Paul bore the stamp of divine authority because he wrote them as the apostle orplenipotentiary of the risen Christ: ‘the things which I write unto you’, he said, ‘are the commandments of the Lord’ (1 Cor. xiv. 37). But it was at a later time, and because of the authority which they already possessed, that these individual Epistles were included in the list of sacred writings. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ivp/canon_bruce.pdf

WHAT?

 

   The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.


Why couldn't Jesus do miracles in His hometown (Mark 6:4-5)?

In Mark 6:4-5 Jesus affirmed that a prophet is without honor in his home town, and in view of that reality, He could not perform any miracles in Nazareth except for healing a few sick people. The people of Nazareth were apparently plagued by unbelief and paid little attention to the claims of Jesus.

At first glance, one might get the impression that Jesus' miraculous power was utterly dependent upon peoples' faith in order for it to work. That is not the meaning of this verse, however. It is not that Jesus was unable or incapacitated in performing a miracle in Nazareth. (Remember -- Jesus is the sovereign Creator of the entire universe according to John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, and Colossians 1:16). Rather, Jesus "could not" do miracles there in the sense that He WOULD NOT do so in view of the pervasive unbelief in that city.

Miracles serve a far greater purpose, from the divine perspective, than just providing a raw display of power. Indeed, Jesus' miraculous deeds are often called "signs" in the New Testament because they serve to signify His identity as the Messiah. Since the people of Nazareth had already made up their minds against Jesus, and had provided more than ample evidence of their lack of faith in Him, Jesus chose not to engage in miraculous acts there except for a few healings of sick people. He refused to bestow miraculous deeds on a city that had rejected the miraculous Messiah. Unbelief excluded the people of Nazareth from the dynamic disclosure of God's grace that others had experienced.Because of Nazareth's rejection of the person and message of Jesus Christ, He went on to other cities that did respond to and receive Him. We have no evidence that Jesus ever again returned to Nazareth. 


Why did Solomon have so many wives (1 Kings 11:1-3)?

First Kings 11:1-3 indicates that King Solomon had hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines, many from lands of which God had previously instructed the Israelites to avoid intermarrying. God knew that such intermarrying would lead to the worship of false gods. Why, then, did Solomon do this?

History reveals that Solomon was very aggressive in his foreign policy. In sealing treaties in ancient days, it was customary for a lesser king to give his daughter in marriage to the greater king (in this case, Solomon). Every time a new treaty was sealed, Solomon ended up with yet another wife. These wives were considered tokens of friendship and "sealed" the relationship between the two kings. It may be that Solomon was not even personally acquainted with some of these wives, even though he was married to them.

In the process of doing all this, Solomon was utterly disobedient to the Lord. He was apparently so obsessed with power and wealth that it overshadowed his spiritual life and he ended up falling into apostasy. He worshipped some of the false gods of the women who became married to him.Moreover, in marrying more than one woman Solomon was going against God's revealed will regarding monogamy. From the very beginning God created one woman for one man (see Genesis 1:27; 2:21-25). Deuteronomy 17:17 explicitly instructs God's people not to "multiply wives." So Solomon sinned in two ways -- (1) he engaged in polygamy, and (2) he violated God's commandment against marrying pagans, which ultimately led to his own apostasy. http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/qsolomonwives.html


Fulfilled Prophecy concerning Jesus

     Though there are other religions that have prophecies in them, none are 100% accurate as is the Bible and none of them point to someone like Jesus who made incredible claims and performed incredible deeds.  The Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born.  Yet, the Old Testament prophesied many things about Jesus.  This is undoubtedly evidence of divine influence upon the Bible.
      Please consider some of the many prophecies of Jesus in the following chart.
Prophecy Old Testament Prophecy New Testament Fulfillment
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18,25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5; 7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Psalm 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1,
Luke 23:33;

Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37      Fulfillment of prophecy can have different explanations.  Some state that the NT was written and altered to make it look like Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy (but there is no evidence of that).  Others state that the prophecies are so vague that they don't count (but many of the prophecies are not vague at all).  Of course, it is possible that God inspired the writers and Jesus, who is God in flesh, fulfilled these prophecies as a further demonstration of the validity of Christianity.


The Canon of Scripture

 
F.F. Bruce President of I.V.F. (1954-55) and Head of the Department of Biblical History and Literature in the University of Sheffield [p.19]

   Our word ‘canon’ goes back through Latin to the Greek word kanon. primarily meaning a ‘reed’ or ‘rod’. The Greek word acquired two secondary meanings: (1) a ‘measuring-rod’ or ‘standard’. and (2) a ‘list’ or ‘index’. Origen, early in the third century A.D., applied the former of these two secondary meanings to the Bible, to indicate that it is the ‘standard’ or ‘rule’ of faith. i.e. the norm by which we are to judge everything that may be commended for our acceptance in the realm of religion. Athanasius, a century later, used the latter of these secondary meanings in reference to the books of the Bible, in the sense in which these books constitute the ‘list’ of writings which the Church reckons as the authoritative documents of divine revelation. When we speak of the Canon of Scripture, this last sense is the one which we intend; but the other sense, in which we regard the Scriptures collectively as the rule of faith, is not excluded.

   The Canon of Scripture, then, is the list of writings delivered to us as the divinely inspired record of God’s self-revelation to men that self-revelation of which Jesus Christ our Lord is the centre. The writings are not authoritative because they are included in the list; they are in the list because their authority has been recognized. For example, the oracles of the prophet Amos were stamped with divine authority as he uttered them in the name of Israel’s God.

   They were written down some time after they were spoken, and it was some time after that that they were included in the canon or list of prophetic writings. Divine authority comes first: canonicity follows authority and is dependent upon it. Similarly, the individual Epistles of Paul bore the stamp of divine authority because he wrote them as the apostle orplenipotentiary of the risen Christ: ‘the things which I write unto you’, he said, ‘are the commandments of the Lord’ (1 Cor. xiv. 37). But it was at a later time, and because of the authority which they already possessed, that these individual Epistles were included in the list of sacred writings. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/ivp/canon_bruce.pdf


Outpouring Addicts?

When an outpouring comes to town, the Hallelujah Addicts come out in force. To them, vigorous manifestations are like an addiction to which they continually crave a fix. This is compounded by those who talk (or sing) about being 'addicted to God'. No matter how the idea is re-framed to answer critics, it's still an addiction to a feeling. God doesn't want you to be a God-addict but a clear-headed follower who chooses to be devoted to God.

Another effect is that the people who are’re-energized' often came from other congregations, but they don't usually go back to re-energize their church. Much of their church-switching is long overdue, leaving places they no longer belonged. But how many workers did the Blessing take from other parishes' valuable ministries? The Charismatic movement arose from people who took it home with them into their own churches and traditions.

Also, there are a growing number of so-called signs that don't relate to any spiritual benefit at all, for example, the appearance of gold fillings in peoples' mouths, or gold sparkles in facial skin. A strange occurrence is not a sign unless it signifies something, and it is not a sign of the Spirit unless something happens directly through it that clearly furthers the gospel-spreading, people-building task of the Spirit among us. What a true sign signifies is God's reign on earth. Healings can do that. Shakeouts that revolutionize lives can do that. Mere 'positivity' or 'self-confidence' can't, nor can getting rid of a headache or a cavity, nor having golden glitter in your skin. God's changes are not cosmetic.


THE BIBLE & FORTUNE TELLERS

   The Bible specifically warns against these practices: "Let no one be found among you who sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritualist or consults the dead. Anyone who does this is detestable to  the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 18: 10-13.
   "Divination is the practice of seeking to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means" (Webster). Fred



The Relatives of our Saviour. These things are related by Hegesippus.

  Hegesippus (Ἅγιος Ἡγήσιππος) (c. 110 — c. April 7, 180 AD), was a Christian chronicler of the early Church who may have been a Jewish convert.

1. Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother according to the flesh.

2. Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only nine thousand denarii, half of which belonged to each of them.

4. And this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised their taxes and supported themselves by their own labor.

5. Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil as evidence of their own labor.

6. And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they answered that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in gloryto judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one according to his works.

7. Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but, despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church.

8. But when they were released they ruled the churches because they were witnesses and were also relatives of the Lord. And peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan.


IRAQ

 

1. The Garden of Eden was in Iraq . 

2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq ... 

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq .. 

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq...

6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq ...

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq . 

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq ...

9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel . 

10. Amos cried out in Iraq .. 

11 Babylon , which is in Iraq , destroyed Jerusalem .. 

12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq .

13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the Fiery Furnace!). 

14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the 'writing on the wall' in Iraq . 

15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq .. 

16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq ...   

17. The wise men were from Iraq ... 

18. Peter preached in Iraq ..

19. The 'Empire of Man' described in Revelation is called Babylon --which was a city in Iraq.

   And you have probably seen this one: Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible.  But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq !

   However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible.    The names used in the Bible are Babylon , Land of Shinar , and Mesopotamia ... The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris And Euphrates Rivers .

   The name Iraq means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.  No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq ..


Why couldn't Jesus do miracles in His hometown (Mark 6:4-5)?

In Mark 6:4-5 Jesus affirmed that a prophet is without honor in his home town, and in view of that reality, He could not perform any miracles in Nazareth except for healing a few sick people. The people of Nazareth were apparently plagued by unbelief and paid little attention to the claims of Jesus.

At first glance, one might get the impression that Jesus' miraculous power was utterly dependent upon peoples' faith in order for it to work. That is not the meaning of this verse, however. It is not that Jesus was unable or incapacitated in performing a miracle in Nazareth. (Remember -- Jesus is the sovereign Creator of the entire universe according to John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, and Colossians 1:16). Rather, Jesus "could not" do miracles there in the sense that He WOULD NOT do so in view of the pervasive unbelief in that city.

Miracles serve a far greater purpose, from the divine perspective, than just providing a raw display of power. Indeed, Jesus' miraculous deeds are often called "signs" in the New Testament because they serve to signify His identity as the Messiah. Since the people of Nazareth had already made up their minds against Jesus, and had provided more than ample evidence of their lack of faith in Him, Jesus chose not to engage in miraculous acts there except for a few healings of sick people. He refused to bestow miraculous deeds on a city that had rejected the miraculous Messiah. Unbelief excluded the people of Nazareth from the dynamic disclosure of God's grace that others had experienced.

Because of Nazareth's rejection of the person and message of Jesus Christ, He went on to other cities that did respond to and receive Him. We have no evidence that Jesus ever again returned to Nazareth.


Fulfilled Prophecy concerning Jesus

Though there are other religions that have prophecies in them, none are 100% accurate as is the Bible and none of them point to someone like Jesus who made incredible claims and performed incredible deeds. The Old Testament was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Yet, the Old Testament prophesied many things about Jesus. This is undoubtedly evidence of divine influence upon the Bible. Please consider some of the many prophecies of Jesus in the following .

Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18,25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5; 7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Psalm 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1, Psalm 22:11-18 Luke 23:33; John 19:23-24
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37


C.S. Lewis On The Finished Work of Christ

by David Candel 

What, then, is the difference which He has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless 'spiritual' life, has been done for us. Humanity is already 'saved' in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work--the bit we could not have done for ourselves--has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us. Remember what I said about 'good infection' One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from Him." (Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, pp. 156-157)

Was C.S. Lewis saying here that everybody is a Christian? No. Was he suggesting that everybody is going to heaven? No. Was he suggesting that since the work of Jesus on the cross includes all mankind, there is no need for us to place our faith in Him? No. 

What he is saying is that the work of the cross is finished whether we believe it or not. We "have to appropriate that salvation" but "the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless 'spiritual' life, has been done for us."

This is the message that we have the joy of proclaiming to everybody! Not a potential gospel of "what Jesus will do for you" but a pure gospel of what has already been done in the man, Christ Jesus, for every person. Yes, people need to believe and receive it, but we believe because it is true. We don't believe so that it can become true.


The Gospels as history - date of authorship

According to the Christian church, the four Gospels were written by the apostles and/or those under the direction of the apostles of Jesus. That means that they were written under direction of eyewitnesses of the actual events. Also, none of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied concerning the temple when He said "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down," (Luke 21:6, see also Matt. 24:1;Mark 13:1). If the gospels had been written after that date and if they were fabrications, then surely they would have contained the account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple which are known historical facts. Yet, Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain no such information. Luke was written before Acts (Acts 1:1). The book of Acts, a history of the Christian church, which doesn't mention the fall of Jerusalem either, nor does it record the deaths of Paul, James, and Peter which all happened in the early 60's. This means that Acts was written at least by A.D. 62 and Luke was written before that. Therefore, the time between the events and the writings is around 30 years. This further means that the eyewitnesses were around who could have corrected any statements written in the gospels. Yet, we have absolutely no corrective or contradictory writings from that time, from anyone, denying the accounts of the gospels. http://carm.org



AGE DATING?

 

Evolutionist William Stansfield, Ph.D., California Polytech State, has stated:

"It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock'." 

 Evolutionist Frederick B. Jueneman candidly summarizes the situation:"The age of our globe is presently thought to be some 4.5 billion years, based on radio-decay rates of uranium and thorium. Such 'confirmation' may be short lived, as nature is not to be discovered quite so easily. There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago, but rather, within the age and memory of man."


MISTAKE?
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.

"How do you know what to say?" he asked.

"Why, God tells me."

"Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"


"What does the Bible say about managing/controlling emotions?"

"What does the Bible say about managing/controlling emotions?" What would humans be like if we never became emotional? Perhaps we would be like "Mr. Spock" on Star Trek, as his responses to all situations seem to be purely logical, never emotional. But God created us in His image and God’s emotions are revealed in the Scriptures; therefore God created us emotional beings. We feel love, joy, happiness, guilt, anger, disappointment, and fear, and sometimes these can be "false" feelings if they are based upon false premises. For example, if we falsely believe that God is not in control of the circumstances of our lives, we may experience the emotions of fear or despair or anger based on that false belief. True or not, emotions are very powerful and real to the one feeling them. The Bible has much to say about the emotions we experience. Our emotions, like our minds and bodies, are influenced greatly by the fall of man into sin. As such, they are tainted by our sin natures. For the Christian, however, the Spirit of God who resides within us is capable of controlling our emotions and not allowing them to control us (Romans 8:9-11). From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The emotions we experience are then His emotions, produced in us so that we exhibit the benefits of His presence in our hearts—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Out-of-control emotions are the product of a heart which is not saturated with Scripture. The way to control our emotions is to control our minds, renewing them by the daily input of scriptural principles, the knowledge of God, and meditation on His attributes. Then the Holy Spirit, along with the Word of God, will bring about appropriate emotions based on truth. When we immerse ourselves in the only means of our sanctification—the Bible—we arm ourselves with the only effective weapon against out-of-control emotions. Then we can control our emotions instead of them controlling us. In themselves, emotions are not unbiblical, but they are indications of what is in our hearts (Luke 6:45).
www.GotQuestions.org


STUFF

Faith is the ability to not panic. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.

As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.



C.S. Lewis On The Finished Work of Christ

by David Candel

What, then, is the difference which He has made to the whole human mass? It is just this; that the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless 'spiritual' life, has been done for us. Humanity is already 'saved' in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work--the bit we could not have done for ourselves--has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us. Remember what I said about 'good infection' One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from Him." (Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, pp. 156-157) Was C.S. Lewis saying here that everybody is a Christian? No. Was he suggesting that everybody is going to heaven? No. Was he suggesting that since the work of Jesus on the cross includes all mankind, there is no need for us to place our faith in Him? No. What he is saying is that the work of the cross is finished whether we believe it or not. We "have to appropriate that salvation" but "the business of becoming a son of God, of being turned from a created thing into a begotten thing, of passing over from the temporary biological life into timeless 'spiritual' life, has been done for us." This is the message that we have the joy of proclaiming to everybody! Not a potential gospel of "what Jesus will do for you" but a pure gospel of what has already been done in the man, Christ Jesus, for every person. Yes, people need to believe and receive it, but we believe because it is true. We don't believe so that it can become true.


The Gospels as history

- date of authorship According to the Christian church, the four Gospels were written by the apostles and/or those under the direction of the apostles of Jesus. That means that they were written under direction of eyewitnesses of the actual events. Also, none of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied concerning the temple when He said "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down," (Luke 21:6, see also Matt. 24:1;Mark 13:1). If the gospels had been written after that date and if they were fabrications, then surely they would have contained the account of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple which are known historical facts. Yet, Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain no such information. Luke was written before Acts (Acts 1:1). The book of Acts, a history of the Christian church, which doesn't mention the fall of Jerusalem either, nor does it record the deaths of Paul, James, and Peter which all happened in the early 60's. This means that Acts was written at least by A.D. 62 and Luke was written before that. Therefore, the time between the events and the writings is around 30 years. This further means that the eyewitnesses were around who could have corrected any statements written in the gospels. Yet, we have absolutely no corrective or contradictory writings from that time, from anyone, denying the accounts of the gospels. http://carm.org



AGE DATING?

Evolutionist William Stansfield, Ph.D., California Polytech State, has stated: "It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock'." Evolutionist Frederick B. Jueneman candidly summarizes the situation: "The age of our globe is presently thought to be some 4.5 billion years, based on radio-decay rates of uranium and thorium. Such 'confirmation' may be short lived, as nature is not to be discovered quite so easily. There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago, but rather, within the age and memory of man."


MISTAKE?

A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon.

"How do you know what to say?" he asked.

"Why, God tells me."

"Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"



We are forbidden to add new teachings that go beyond what God's word teaches:

1Cor 4:6, Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written…

2Jn 1:9, Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God…

Deut 4:2, You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it…

Prov 30:5-6, Every word of God is tested… Do not add to His words, Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.

Rev 22:18, I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book…

Any new prophecy would have to fit within the time frame of the book of Revelation and would therefore add to its prophecy. The one who presumes to do so is given strong warning of the consequences!


What is Synoptic ?

Synoptic : Greek, "of one eye". The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called this because they are similar works to each other, for the most part covering the same events and using most of the same sources. The Gospel of John, however, is very different in the order of events, which events are described, and the point of view taken about the life and ministry of Jesus. Therefore John is a Gospel, but not Synoptic. In modern times, Bible scholars have re-discovered the fact that each Synoptic Gospel has its own very special slant. Though they're not anywhere near as different as John's Gospel is, the Synoptics are each different works with their own vision to share. http://www.spirithome.com/bible-message.html#word

Historic Heresy

"The majority of historic heresy is based on an interpretation of the written not the living word. The 'living word' -- which is the Word in action through the gifts of the Spirit -- is all application and totally subjected in interpretation to the body of Christian truth, not an elevation of subjective over objective truth." Ron Zess

Mormonism& Jehovah Witnesses Salvation

J.W.'s: Forgiveness of sins is by good works and cooperation with God (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 150, 152). They maintain that the sacrifice of Jesus (really Michael the archangel) opened the door that Adam closed. In other words, because of Jesus' sacrifice you are able to cooperate with God and earn salvation. The error here is the same as that in Mormonism listed above. Works do not play a part in our salvation. They come after we are saved, not before, and not in cooperation with anything. To add to the work of Christ is to say that what Jesus did on the cross isn't enough. This is an insult to God. http://www.carm.org/cults/truth.htm


Reincarnation-

Is the belief that the human soul never perishes or dies, it simply passes through a succession of lives. In its basic concept, it had its origin in India sometime near 800 B.C. Reincarnation is vital to classical Buddhism and Hinduism. Although reincarnation has ancient roots, its more modern, popular versions are modifications of the ancient, eastern beliefs of Hinduism.

In the original forms of reincarnation, it was believed that souls transform from life to life in never-ending cycles. It was believed that it was even possible to reincarnate into the form of an animal or plant. Most modern, popular versions of reincarnation limit this never-ending process to the transmigration of the soul into human bodies.

In other words, the law of sowing and reaping is not limited to this present life but rather continues throughout eternity.

For the Christian, Paul promised that death is the means to being in the presence of Jesus, "we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord (heaven). 2 Corinthians 5:8" It is clear that the Bible does not allow for the concept of reincarnation. karma is closely associated with reincarnation. Karma is essentially the law of cause and effect. Those that profess belief in karmateach that the deeds (good or bad) of one's past lives affect this present life. Further, ones present deeds will have ramifications for future lives. karma has resulted in a hopeless, pessimistic view of life. Their lives are seen as dreary, endless cycles of suffering and rebirth. Because of this endless chain of karma, reincarnation does not resolve the problem of evil, but simply points toward the impossible goal of perfection and self-salvation, the ultimate freedom from reincarnation. In modern, western reincarnation, the objective is to join with "ultimate reality," merging with God and becoming God. Modern reincarnation often promotes the divinity of the soul and denies the biblical concept of a sovereign, personal God. karma by emphasizing grace. According to the Bible, atonement and forgiveness may be gained only through the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Salvation is based solely upon the work of Jesus Christ, not upon our own merits. The concepts of reincarnation and karma are in clear contrast to Hebrews 9:27, "For it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment." Paul clearly states that the soul does not transmigrate into another living body, but goes to await judgment. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-r009.html


A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on.

Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?"


Cave Men:

The Neanderthal is often presented as a "pre-human" creature; however, there is mounting evidence that the Neanderthal was just as human as we are. They were simply a variation of human being in the same way that the Pygmy or Zulu is. Their brains were as large or larger than ours, and the evidence that they were intelligent beings is showing up in a variety of places. It might also be pointed out that the book of Job describes humans who lived in very difficult circumstances and dwelt in caves at least part of the time (Job 24:2-12 and Job 30:1-8). The evidence of "cave men" in the Bible is quite clear, but the reason for their mode of living is one of degeneration — not evolution. http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2003/cm08_02_rp.pdf



Did You Know?

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

July 4th Becomes A National Holiday

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism. Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem of the United States.


TAKE AWAY WHAT?

My 4 year old great-grandson likes to take a bath with all his scuba diving equipment, snorkel, fins etc. He calls himself "Baby Diver."

He went to a rehearsal of the Passion play at our church with his mother and I.

He asked his mother why Jesus had to die and Mom answered with, "to take away our sins."

He began to cry and his Mom asked, "Why are you crying?"

He replied, "I don’t want Him to take away my ‘fins!’ – Angelina Argiro


Apostle

Someone sent with a special message or commission. Jesus is called the apostle and high Priest of our confession in Hebrews 3:1. The twelve apostles of Jesus were Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. Paul became an apostle after Jesus' resurrection (2 Cor. 1:1), along with Barnabas (Acts 14:14), and others.Apostles established churches (Rom. 15:17-20), exposed error (Gal. 1:6-9), and defended the truth of the gospel (Phil. 1:7,17). Some were empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform Miracles (Matt. 10:1,8) and they were to preach the gospel (Matt. 28:19,20).

                             

A little boy was overheard praying:

'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.'

 

Pelagianism

The teaching of a monk named Pelagius in the fifth Century. He taught that man's will was and still is free to choose good or evil and there is no inherited sin (through Adam). Every infant born into the world is in the same condition as Adam before the fall and becomes a sinner because he sins. This is opposed to the Biblical teaching that we are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and that we sin because we are sinners. Pelagius said we are able to keep the commandments of God because God has given us the ability. Therefore, there is no need of redemption and the crucifixion of Jesus is merely a supreme example of love, humility, obedience, and sacrifice. This heresy has its relatives in the form of the cults that deny the total dependence upon God and maintain that salvation is obtainable through our own efforts.

 

The Claims and Deeds of Christ

     Christianity claims to be authored by God.  Of course, merely making such a claim does not make it true.  Anyone can make claims.  But, backing up those claims is entirely different.  Jesus used the Divine Name for Himself (John 8:58), the same Divine Name used by God when Moses asked God what His name was in (Exodus 3:14).  Jesus said that He could do whatever He saw God the Father do (John 5:19), and He claimed to be one with God the Father (John 10:30; 10:38).  Likewise, the disciples also called Him God (John 1:1,14; John 10:27; Col. 2:9).  By default, if Jesus is God in flesh, then whatever He said and did would be true.  Since Jesus said that He alone was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one can find God without Him (John 14:6), this all becomes incredibly important.
     Again, making a claim is one thing.  Backing it up is another.  Did Jesus also back up His words with His deeds?  Yes, He did. 


“The Law” (Torah)

This term is used of the entire Old Testament (John10:34Psalm82Isa.1:18).                                                                                                                           

It is used with such terms as the prophets, and writings, again as a title for the entire Old Testament Scripture, but in this way it looks at them in their division (Luke 24:27, 44). 

 It is used ofthe first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).      

The term is used of the entire specific code given to the nation Israel to govern and guide their moral, religious and secular life, and covers parts of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (Deut. 4:8, 44-45).

The term is used of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:l2)



The Lord is My Shepherd

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her second grade class memorize Psalm 23, one of the most quoted passages in the Bible. She gave the children a month to learn the chapter.

One little boy was excited about the task, but he just couldn't memorize the Psalm. Although he practiced and practiced, he could hardly get past the first line. The day came for the children to recite Psalm 23 before the congregation. The little boy was nervous. When his turn came, he stepped up to the microphone and proudly said, "The Lord is my Shepherd and that's all I need to know!"


THREE PERSONS

The Father is called God in the Bible in Matthew 6:26,30. Jesus is called God in Hebrews 1:6 and John 1:1, 14. The Spirit is called God in Acts 5:3-4. All three are classified as God, but we know there is only one God-being. In order for both to be true, He must exist in three persons.

We also look at the attributes that God alone possesses. God is the creator (Genesis 1:1, Job 33:4, Isaiah 40:28). Jesus is called the creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:13,16), and the Spirit is called the creator (Genesis 1:2, Psa. 104:30). We know only God is eternal and the Father is called eternal (Psalm 90:2) Jesus is called eternal (John 1:1-2, John 8:58) and the Spirit is called eternal (Hebrews 9:14).All the other attributes of God are ascribed to each of the Trinity. They are all considered omnipresent and omniscient. Each has the unique ability to forgive sins; a power that is possessed by God alone. Each is considered sovereign. Each is considered completely righteous. These are God's inherent attributes.

Manifestations?

What should you do if members of your church start being affected by a new outbreak of manifestations? (History shows that there will be more of them!) The first thing is to talk seriously about it among yourselves. The two things that will not help at all are silence and gossip. Encourage people to keep asking questions. Ask about the theology and the practices of the local version of the outpourings:

· Do the chaotic meetings happen within a chaotic framework or a free-but-stable one? (The apostle Paul called for good order.)

· Is the Scriptural Word of God, and specifically the Good News of Jesus Christ, being spoken, portrayed, sung, and learned? (The Spirit acts through the Word.)

· Is the ministry's focus on the leader, or on money, or on getting lots of attention? (If so, it needs to be challenged.)

· Are they getting good training in the faith? (If so, it's a good sign. If not, you or your church might volunteer to help teach them.)

· Is there sound oversight of the pastors, evangelists, and leaders? (If it doesn't matter to them, they will go astray.)

· Is the church growing by drawing active members away from existing churches ('sheep-stealing')? (If so, then they are weakening the overall Body of Christ in the community, and must be repeatedly asked to refocus their efforts. Ask most persistently when they aren't listening.)

· Are the members showing the fruit of the Spirit? (If the effects stay trapped within that congregation or preacher's circles, that's a bad sign.)Use the means of discernment that the Spirit has given the Church, and always look to Scripture with an open mind. These outpourings take on different flavors in local areas over time, and these flavors are a result of the slow, hard work of sorting out spiritual things. Be persistent, patient, thorough, and most of all prayerful.

SALVATION    

 Salvation, or the forgiveness of sins, is something that is given to you by God. It is a free gift (Rom. 6:23). The sinner is made righteous in God's eyes solely by the faith that the believer has in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Justification, or being declared righteous, is accomplished by faith (Rom. 5:1). Our works play no part in salvation. If our works could play any part at all, then Jesus died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).

"Was Judas Iscariot forgiven / saved?"

 The Bible clearly indicates that Judas was not saved. Jesus Himself said of Judas, “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24). Here is a clear picture of the sovereignty of God and the will of man working together. God had, from ages past, determined that Christ would be betrayed by Judas, die on the cross for our sins, and be resurrected. This is what Jesus meant when He said He would “go just as it is written about him.” Nothing would stop the plan of God to provide salvation for mankind.

However, the fact that it was all foreordained does not excuse Judas or absolve him from the punishment he would suffer for his part in the drama. Judas made his own choices, and they were the source of his own damnation. Yet the choices fit perfectly into the sovereign plan of God. God controls not only the good, but also the evil of man to accomplish His own ends. Here we see Jesus condemning Judas, but when you consider that Judas travelled with Jesus for nearly three years, we know He also gave Judas ample opportunity for salvation and repentance. Even after his dreadful deed, Judas could have fallen on his knees to beg God’s forgiveness for his betrayal. But he did not. He may have felt some remorse born of fear which caused him to return the money to the Pharisees, but he never repented, preferring instead to commit suicide, the ultimate act of selfishness (Matthew 27:5-8).

John 17:12 says concerning Judas, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” At one time, though, Judas believed that Jesus was a prophet, or possibly even believed He was the Messiah. Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the Gospel and perform miracles (Luke 9:1-6). Judas was included in this group. Judas had faith, but it was not a true saving faith. Judas was never “saved” but for a time he was a follower of Christ. http://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-saved.html

 Easter – “Did you know?”

The Christian celebration of Easter embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name used by Europeans for Easter. Passover is an important feast in the Jewish calendar which is celebrated for 8 days and commemorates the flight and freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

 The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.

 

Preach it?                                                                                                                                                        After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." 

"That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"                                                                                                             

"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."

“The Law” (Torah)                                                                                                                        

This term is used of the entire Old Testament (John 10:34Psalm 82;. It is used with such terms as the prophets, and writings, again as a title for the entire Old Testament Scripture, but in this way it looks at them in their division (Luke 24:27, 44).  It is used of the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).       The term is used of the entire specific code given to the nation Israel to govern and guide their moral, religious and secular life, and covers parts of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (Deut. 4:8, 44-45).                                                   



The Lord is My Shepherd !                                                                                                                               

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her second grade class memorize Psalm 23, one of the most quoted passages in the Bible. She gave the children a month to learn the chapter.

One little boy was excited about the task, but he just couldn't memorize the Psalm. Although he practiced and practiced, he could hardly get past the first line. The day came for the children to recite Psalm 23 before the congregation. The little boy was nervous. When his turn came, he stepped up to the microphone and proudly said, "The Lord is my Shepherd and that's all I need to know!"



SALVATION    

 Salvation, or the forgiveness of sins, is something that is given to you by God. It is a free gift (Rom. 6:23). The sinner is made righteous in God's eyes solely by the faith that the believer has in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Justification, or being declared righteous, is accomplished by faith (Rom. 5:1). Our works play no part in salvation. If our works could play any part at all, then Jesus died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).



THREE PERSONS

The Father is called God in the Bible in Matthew 6:26,30. Jesus is called God in Hebrews 1:6 and John 1:1, 14. The Spirit is called God in Acts 5:3-4. All three are classified as God, but we know there is only one God-being. In order for both to be true, He must exist in three persons.

We also look at the attributes that God alone possesses. God is the creator (Genesis 1:1, Job 33:4, Isaiah 40:28). Jesus is called the creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:13,16), and the Spirit is called the creator (Genesis 1:2, Psa. 104:30). We know only God is eternal and the Father is called eternal (Psalm 90:2) Jesus is called eternal (John 1:1-2, John 8:58) and the Spirit is called eternal (Hebrews 9:14).All the other attributes of God are ascribed to each of the Trinity. They are all considered omnipresent and omniscient. Each has the unique ability to forgive sins; a power that is possessed by God alone. Each is considered sovereign. Each is considered completely righteous. These are God's inherent attributes.

Manifestations?

What should you do if members of your church start being affected by a new outbreak of manifestations? (History shows that there will be more of them!) The first thing is to talk seriously about it among yourselves. The two things that will not help at all are silence and gossip. Encourage people to keep asking questions. Ask about the theology and the practices of the local version of the outpourings:

· Do the chaotic meetings happen within a chaotic framework or a free-but-stable one? (The apostle Paul called for good order.)

· Is the Scriptural Word of God, and specifically the Good News of Jesus Christ, being spoken, portrayed, sung, and learned? (The Spirit acts through the Word.)

· Is the ministry's focus on the leader, or on money, or on getting lots of attention? (If so, it needs to be challenged.)

· Are they getting good training in the faith? (If so, it's a good sign. If not, you or your church might volunteer to help teach them.)

· Is there sound oversight of the pastors, evangelists, and leaders? (If it doesn't matter to them, they will go astray.)

· Is the church growing by drawing active members away from existing churches ('sheep-stealing')? (If so, then they are weakening the overall Body of Christ in the community, and must be repeatedly asked to refocus their efforts. Ask most persistently when they aren't listening.)

· Are the members showing the fruit of the Spirit? (If the effects stay trapped within that congregation or preacher's circles, that's a bad sign.)Use the means of discernment that the Spirit has given the Church, and always look to Scripture with an open mind. These outpourings take on different flavors in local areas over time, and these flavors are a result of the slow, hard work of sorting out spiritual things. Be persistent, patient, thorough, and most of all prayerful.



 Easter – “Did you know?”

The Christian celebration of Easter embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name used by Europeans for Easter. Passover is an important feast in the Jewish calendar which is celebrated for 8 days and commemorates the flight and freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

 The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.

 
                                                                                                                       

Millennium

Literally, this word means 1000 years. In the study of end time doctrines (eschatology) the millennium is the period of time of Christ's ruler ship. The debate has been over when the millennium will take place and what form will it actually be. The terms that have arisen out of this debate are premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. Premillennialism teaches that the millennium is yet future and that upon Christ's return He will set up His earthly kingdom. Amillennialism teaches that the millennium is a figurative period and that Christ's rule began when He first became man. Postmillennialism teaches that through the preaching of the Word of God, the world will be converted and will then usher in Christ and the kingdom of God. There are good arguments for each position.


Purgatory

An incorrect doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Purgatory is the belief that there exists a place after death where some of the sins of people are purged through suffering. After a period of time corresponding to the suffering necessary for the sins committed, the person is then set free and enters heaven. "Gifts or services rendered to the church, prayers by the priests, and masses provided by relatives or friends in behalf of the deceased can shorten, alleviate or eliminate the sojourn of the soul in purgatory."1

This is an unbiblical doctrine rejected by the Protestant church. It reflects the misunderstanding of the atonement of Christ as well as adding insult to the finished work of the cross. The error of purgatory is the teaching that we might perfect ourselves and remove sin through our sufferings. If that were possible, then why did Christ need to die? Gal. 2:21 says, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (NIV)Additionally, on the cross Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). In the Greek, this was an accounting term which meant a debt was paid in full. If the payment for our sins was paid in full on the cross, then how could purgatory be a reality -- especially when the scriptures don't mention it and even contradict it: "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment," (Heb. 9:27).


PENTECOST

The word comes from the Greek which means fifty. So, Pentecost was a celebration on the fiftieth day after Passover. It was a culmination of the feast of weeks (Exodus 34:22,23). Pentecost in the NT is the arrival of the Holy Spirit for the church (Acts 2). At Pentecost the disciples of Jesus were gathered and upon the filling of the Holy Spirit, they heard a great wind and spoke in tongues as tongues of fire that settled upon them. The significance of the fire can be found in recognizing it as a symbol of the dwelling of the Spirit of God (Exodus 19:18; 1 Pet. 4:14).

Giving When it Counts...

 

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease.  Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. 

 I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.
He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right a way".
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give hissister all of his blood in order to save her.



IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?  

 It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. -- Anita, age 9

 FAMILY

 

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days?

But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family, an unwise investment indeed, don't you think?

Do you know what the word FAMILY means?FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

 

Annihilationism

The teaching that when a person dies, he is annihilated, most often this doctrine is applied to the wicked, thereby negating eternal hell fire. This is contradicted by the Bible in Matt. 25:46 which says “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Also, degrees of punishment will be given on the Day of Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). If all, or only the wicked are annihilated, then degrees of punishment would be pointless.



TRI-UNITY

The teaching of the Bible concerning the Trinity might be summarized thus. God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God. Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son. With reference to God's creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality.

We “see” God and His great salvation in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, then “experience” their reality by faith, through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit. Though these relationships seem paradoxical, and to some completely impossible, they are profoundly realistic, and their truth is ingrained deep in man's nature. Thus, men have always sensed first the truth that God must be “out there,” everywhere present and the First Cause of all things, but they have corrupted this
intuitive knowledge of the Father into pantheism and ultimately into naturalism.

Similarly, men have always felt the need to “see” God in terms of their own experience and understanding, but this knowledge that God must reveal Himself has been distorted into polytheism and idolatry. Men have thus continually erected “models” of God, sometimes in the form of graven images, sometimes even in the form of philosophical systems purporting to represent ultimate reality.

Finally, men have always known that they should be able to have communion with their Creator and to experience His presence “within.” But this deep intuition of the Holy Spirit has been corrupted into various forms of false mysticism and fanaticism, and even into spiritism and demonism. Thus, the truth of God's triunity is ingrained in man's very nature, but he has often distorted it and substituted a false god in its place. www.ChristianAnswers.Net


Minor Prophets

I
s a term that refers to the twelve shortest Old Testament prophetic books. In the Hebrew cannon, these books would have been in one book called, ' the Book of the Twelve.' In the modern Old Testament, it would include the follow books: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah.


Trichotomy

The teaching that the human consists of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. (Compare with Dichotomy
which states that the human is comprised of two parts: Body and soul.)


Aura

A term frequently used by New Agers to describe a field of energy emitted by every living thing,
particularly people. This aura takes on different colors depending on the person's mood, state of
wellness, etc., and some New Age practitioners claim the ability to interpret the colors and diagnosis
various conditions and states of mind of the person with the aura.


YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN and proud of it!

You send money to PBS. The end of your tie doesn't come anywhere near the top of your pants.

You take a metal detector to the beach.

You wear black socks with sandals.

You know what the word "equity" means.

You can't remember the last time you lay on the floor to watch television.

You have more hair on your ears then on your head.

Scientology

proclaims God as purposefully undefined, Jesus as One invented by the church,
and the Bible is accepted as one of the world's religious books, but nothing more.


Justification

To be justified is to be made righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless. This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, "...having now been justified by His blood..." (Rom. 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, "...without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," (Heb. 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the "one act of righteousness
there resulted justification of life to all men," (Rom. 5:18, NASB). In justification, the justice of God fell
upon Himself--Jesus. We receive mercy--we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed
upon us--we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24), by faith (Rom. 3:28)
because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).


Unity School of Christianity
denies the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, the personality of the Holy Spirit, the necessity of the atonement of
Jesus for our sins, heaven, hell, sin, and the existence of the devil. Unity teaches reincarnation.
"The second birth is that in which we 'put on Christ.' It is a process of mental adjustment and body
transmutation that takes place right here on earth."
They are largely vegetarians. It teaches that experience, if you are 'in tune' with God, is more accurate and reliable than the Bible. God, though, is a divine universal consciousness. Man is a part of that Divine Consciousness and is, therefore, divine by nature.


Brothers of Jesus.

Matthew 12:46-47, "While He was still speaking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. And someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You."
Matthew 13:55 - "Is not this the carpenters son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?"
In both of these verses, if the brothers of Jesus are not brothers, but His cousins, then who is His mother and who is the carpenter’s father? In other words, mother here refers to Mary. The carpenter in Matt. 13:55, refers to Joseph. These are literal.. The context is clear. This verse is speaking of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus brothers. The whole context is of familial relationship: father, mother, and brothers.
Psalm 69 is a Messianic Psalm since Jesus quoted it in reference to Himself two times. The reason this is important is because of what is written between the verses that Jesus quoted. To get the whole context, here is Psalm 69:4-9, "Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies, what I did not
steal, I then have to restore. 5O God, it is Thou who dost know my folly, and my wrongs are not hidden from Thee. May those who wait for Thee not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek Thee not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel, 7Because for Thy sake I have borne reproach; Dishonor has covered my face. I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s sons. For zeal for Thy house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me." This messianic Psalm clearly shows that Jesus has brothers. As Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets." Gods will has been revealed plainly in the New Testament and prophetically in the Old. Psalm 69 shows us that Jesus had brothers.
Did Mary have other children? The Bible seems to suggest yes. The question is, "Was Jesus estranged by His brothers?” Yes, He was. John 7:5says "For not even His brothers believed in Him." Furthermore, Psalm 69:8says both "my brothers" and "my mother's sons." Are these both to be understood as not referring to His siblings? The Catholics are fond of saying that "brothers"
must mean "cousins." But, if that is the case, then when we read "an alien to my mother's sons" we can see that the writer is adding a further distinction and narrowing the scope of meaning. In other words, Jesus was alienated by his siblings, His very half-brothers begotten from Mary. http://www.carm.org/did-mary-have-other-children

Babel

The Hebrew name for Babylon, one of the cities founded by Nimrod. In Gen. 11:1-9, it is the location
where the entire world spoke a single language and worked together to build a tower into the heavens. It was representative of the great pride of man. God confused their languages. The building of the tower ceased and they dispersed.


When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

 HOW MANY COPIES?  

   Dr. F. F. Bruce, was the former Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and
Exegesis at the University of Manchester. According to scholar, F.F. Bruce, we
have about 9-10 good copies of Caesar's gallic Wars originally written anywherefrom 100-44 BC copies we have are from 1,000 years after, 7 copies of Platowritten in originally written in 427-327 BC copies are from 1,200 years after , 20copies of Livy's Roman History, 2 of Tacitus' Annals written in 100 AD copies wehave are from 1,000 years after, 8 copies of Thucydides' History originally writtenin 460-400 B.C. copies we have are from 1,300 years after. 9 copies from
Euripedes originally written in 480-406 B.C. copies are from 1500 years after. 5 copies Aristotle originallywritten in 384-322 B.C. copies we have are from 1,400 years after. The most documented secular workfrom the ancient world is Homers Illiad -- surviving on 643 manuscript copies. By contrast, there are over 5,366 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, most of which include the Gospels. The New Testament is the most highly documented book from the ancient world with over 24,600 ancient copies altogether. All written within 35 to 300 hundred years afterward. J. Harold Greenlee states the available manuscripts of the NT is overwhelmingly greater than those of any work of ancient literature…and the earliest extant manuscripts are written much closer to the date of the original writingscriticism . (Introduction to the New Testament textualp.25) http://www.letusreason.org/Apolo22.htm

Word-Faith Movement

Also known as "Name-it-Claim-it," "Health and Wealth Gospel," "Positive Confession," "Word of Faith," etc.
Word-Faith teachers owe their ancestry to groups like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, Science of Mind, and New Thought--not to classical Pentecostalism. It reveals that at their very core, Word-Faith teachings are corrupt. Their undeniable derivation is cultish, not Christian. The sad truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith movement is not the gospel of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a mongrel system, a blend of mysticism, dualism, and Gnosticism that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that has grown out of the charismatic movement so far, because so many charismatics are unsure of the finality of Scripture. John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p. 290There are many peculiar ideas and practices in the Faith theology, but what merits it the label of heresy are the following: 1) its deistic view of God, who must dance to men's attempts to manipulate the spiritual laws of the universe; 2) its demonic view of Christ, who was filled with "the Satanic nature" and must be "born again in hell; 3) its Gnostic view of revelation, which demands denial of the physical senses and classifies Christians by their willingness to do so; and 4) its metaphysical view of salvation, which deifies man and spiritualizes the atonement, locating it in hell rather than on the cross, thereby subverting the
crucial biblical belief that it is Christ's physical death and shed blood, which alone atone for sin. All four of these heresies may be accounted for by Kenyon's syncretism of metaphysical thought with traditional biblical doctrine"D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel.

Imputation

To reckon to someone the blessing, curse, debt, etc. of another. Adam's sin is imputed to all people (Rom.5:12-21), therefore, we are all guilty before God. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross where He became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and died with them (Isaiah 53:4-6). Therefore, our sins are forgiven. Understanding imputation is very important. Imputation is the means of our salvation. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross. Our sins were "given" to Jesus. When He died on the cross,our sins, in a sense, died with Him. The righteousness that was His through His perfect obedience to the Father in His complete obedience to the Law is imputed, given, to us. In short, our sins were given to Jesus.
His righteousness was given to us. Technically speaking our sins were imputed to Jesus. His righteousness was imputed to us.

Minister's prayer 

 "May the members of my congregation be as free with their money as they are with their advice, and may their minds be open as their mouths"."

  Moab

 Is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In ancient times, it was home to the kingdom of the Moabites, a people often in conflict with their Israelite neighbors to the west. The Moabites were a historical people, whose existence is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of Israel. Their capital was Dibon, located next to the modern Jordanian town of Dhiban.

Archeology 
 
                                                         Rare Crusader Coin
A treasure trove of archaeological relics, the ancient city of Jaffa has yielded another rare find. An archaeological team from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), headed up by Martin Peilstöcker and Amit Re’em, unearthed an extremely rare coin in Jaffa’s flea market. It dates to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291), the feudal state created by the first Crusaders.

Staff from the IAA Coin Department identified the artifact as a Frankish silver half drachma, minted during a brief six-year period between 1251 and 1257. It was found in the remains of a 13th century house, along with ceramics from the same period.

Etched on the coin are a cross and various other symbols, including a half-moon and a bird. An Arabic inscription describes the Trinity: al Ab (the Father), al Bin (the Son) we-al Rukh al Kuds (and the Holy Spirit). Barely discernible on the perimeter of the coin are the words, “Thine is the glory forever and ever.”

During the 12th and 13th centuries, coins copied from the gold dinars and silver dirhems of the Islamic Fatimid and Ayyubid rulers were minted in Antioch and Tripoli. On a visit to the area in 1250, the official emissary from Rome, Bishop Eudes de Chateauroux, ordered an end to coins inscribed with the name of Mohammed, the Moslem prophet, reporting the practice to Pope Innocentius IV. The Pope responded with threats to excommunicate anyone minting coins with the name of the Moslem prophet on them. Historians believe that the Christian inscriptions and symbols were added to allow minters to continue producing the coins, but now with a Christian message. Israeltoday.com

What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?

Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of how we think of a father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1,14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, "The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" In Bible times, the phrase “son of man” was used to describe a human being. The son of a man is a man.

During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26:63). Jesus responded, “Yes, it is as you say, ‘but I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, “The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God’” (John 19:7). Why would claiming to be the “Son of God” be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the “Son of God” is to be of the same nature as God. The “Son of God” is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God, to in fact “be God,” was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being…”

Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the "son of perdition." John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the "son of perdition"? The word "perdition" means "destruction, ruin, waste." Judas was not the literal son of "ruin, destruction, and waste" - but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same aspect, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1,14). www.gotquestions.org


 

The Tribulation

According to premillennialism, this is a seven year period that immediately precedes the return of Christ and the millennial kingdom of His rule which lasts for 1000 years. It will be a time of great peace (the first 3 years) and great war (the second 3 years) when the Antichrist rules over many nations. At the midpoint of the tribulation (at the end of the first 3 years) the Antichrist will proclaim himself worthy of worship. Many will bow down and worship the Antichrist and many will refuse. Those who refuse to worship the Antichrist will be killed. The second half of the tribulation is called the Great Tribulation. It will involve the whole world (Rev. 3:10). There will be catastrophes all over the world. (See Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 17.)

Papyrus

A plant growing along the Nile in Egypt during biblical times. It was used as writing material. Papyrus scrolls were made by cutting and pressing sections of the papyri plant together at right angles. The typical maximum length of a scroll was about 35 feet. The scribe, when using papyrus, would often use the natural horizontal fibers of the papyrus plant as guidelines. He would take a blunt instrument and score horizontal lines and then score two or more vertical lines as margins for the edge of the sheet or to define columns on it. We get the word "paper" from this word. Many of the biblical manuscripts were on papyrus.

Image of God

Man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). The image of God is generally held to mean that people contain within their nature elements that reflect God's nature: compassion, reason, love, hate, patience, kindness, self-awareneness, etc. Though we have a physical image, it does not mean that God has one. Rather, God is spirit (John 4:24), not flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).


          ?
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.  


Sadducee

A group of religious leaders in the Jewish religion from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. In Hebrew their names mean "the righteous ones." They were smaller in size than the group of the Pharisees. The Sadducees were generally on the upper class, often in a priestly line, and the Pharisees in the middle class, usually merchants and tradesmen. The Sadducees accepted only the Torah, the first five books of the old Testament, as authoritative. They held rigidly to the old Testament law and a denying the life after death, reward and punishment after death, the resurrection, and the existence of angels and demons. They controlled the temple and its services and were unpopular with the majority of the Jewish population.

Laying on of hands

Physical contact by touching of the hands. In the OT and NT it was sometimes used in reference to doing physical harm (Gen. 22:12; Luke 20:19). In the NT it is also used to signify an attempt at healing (Acts 9:12) and commissioning of Holy Work (1 Tim. 4:14). Usually, during the ordination of an elder, hands are laid on him as symbol of a transfer of authority and power.

             

The Kingdom of God

and the kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).Entrance into the kingdom of God is by a new birth (John 3:5), repentance (Matt. 3:2), and the divine call (1 Thess. 2:12). We are told to seek the kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:33) and to pray for its arrival (Matt. 6:10). "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit," (Rom. 14:17). It is also a future kingdom where full ruler-ship in the actual presence of the king Jesus will occur when He returns to earth.


The best vitamin for making friends..... B1.



What do the letters “INRI” on the crucifix mean?
 

The letters “INRI” are initials for the Latin title that Pontius Pilate had written over the head of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 19:19). Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire.

The words were "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm." Latin uses “I” instead of the English “J”, and “V” instead of “U” (i.e., Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum). The English translation is "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

The Early Church adopted the first letters of each word of this inscription “INRI” as a symbol. Throughout the centuries INRI has appeared in many paintings of the crucifixion.

By the way, Pilate's title for Christ was actually written in three languages.

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, "Write not, 'The King of the Jews;' but that he said, 'I am King of the Jews'." Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." -John 19:19-22 (KJV)   http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t024.html


 

OH NO!

 

A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand..

'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked.

'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'

WHAT a RELIEF!

“I, sir, am a self made man,” a successful businessman bragged to newspaper editor Horace Greeley.  “Good,” Greely replied. “That relieves God of a lot of responsibility.”

 Moab


(Hebrew: מוֹאָב, Modern Mo'avTiberian Môʼā ; "seed offather"; Greek Μωάβ Mōav; Arabicمؤاب, Assyrian Mu'aba, Ma'ba, Ma'ab ;Egyptian Mu'ab) is the historical namefor a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan runningalong the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In ancient times, it was home to the kingdom of the Moabites, a people often inconflict with their Israelite neighbors to the west. The Moabites were ahistorical people, whose existence is attested to by numerous archeologicalfindings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabitevictory over an unnamed son of King Omriof Israel.Their capital was Dibon,located next to the modern Jordanian town of Dhiban.


PHILISTINES 

(Hebrew:פְּלִשְׁתִּים‎,p'lishtim) (Arabic:فلسطينيون) (see "other uses" below) were a peoplewho occupied the southern coast of Canaan, their territory being named Philistiain later contexts. Their origin has been debated among scholars. There is notenough information of the original language of the Philistines to relateit securely to any other languages. Biblical and related traditionsdifferentiate between the original Philistines in the days of Abraham called Avvites and the later conquering Caphtoriteswho replaced them. It is theorized that the latter Philistines originated amongthe "sea peoples".Modern archaeologyhas also suggested early cultural links with the Myceneanworld in Greece.Though the Philistines adopted local Canaaniteculture and language before leaving any written texts (and later adopted the Aramaiclanguage), an Indo-European origin has been suggestedfor a handful of known Philistine words that survived as loan wordsin Hebrew.Theophany A theophany is a visiblemanifestation of God usually restricted to the Old Testament. God has appearedin dreams (Gen. 20:3-7; Gen. 28:12-17),visions (Gen. 15:1-21; Isaiah 6:1-13),as an angel (Gen. 16:7-13; 18:1-33),etc.There is a manifestationknown as the Angel of the Lord (Judges 6:20f.)and seems to have characteristics of God Himself (Gen. 16:7-9;18:1-2;Exodus 3:2-6;Joshua 5:14;Judges 2:1-5;6:11).Such characteristics as having the name of God, being worshiped, and recognizedas God has led many scholars to conclude that the angel of the Lord is reallyJesus manifested in the Old Testament. This does not mean that Jesus is anangel. The word "angel" means messenger. Other scriptures thatdescribe more vivid manifestations of God are Gen. 17:1;18:1;Ex. 6:2-3;24:9-11;33:20;Num. 12:6-8;Acts 7:2

JOEL OSTEEN  


   In “Your Best Life,” Mr. Osteen counselspatience, compassion, kindness, generosity and an overall positive attitudefamiliar to any reader of self-help books. But he skirts the darker themes ofsin, suffering and self-denial, leading some critics to deride the Osteenmessage as “Christianity lite.”  “He’s not in the soul business, he’s in theself business,” said James B. Twitchell, professor of English and advertisingat the University of Florida and author of a forthcoming Simon & Schusterbook on megachurches: “Shopping for God: How Christianity Went From in YourHeart to in Your Face.”“There’s breadth but nottoo much depth, but the breadth is quite spangled, exciting to look at — that’shis power,” said Dr. Twitchell who called Lakewood“the steroid extreme” of megachurches. He said church critics fault Mr. Osteenfor “diluting and dumbing down” the Christian message, “but in truth,” he said,“what he’s producing is a wild and alluring community.”
   Laceye Warner, assistantprofessor of the practice of evangelism and Methodist studies at Duke DivinitySchool, praised Lakewood’s reach, but she said that“Christian faith is about relationship with God and neighbor and such form ofworship has become entertainment.”Mr. Osteen acknowledged anecumenism that may alienate some purists — there’s a globe, not a cross at whatwould be the apse — but he said, “I’m just trying to plant a seed of hope inpeople’s hearts.”Source: A Preacher’s Credo: Eliminate the Negative,Accentuate Prosperity, The New York Times, Mar. 29, 2006


So-called Signs &Wonders        

There are growing numbersof so-called signs that don't relate to any spiritual benefit at all, forexample, the appearance of gold fillings in peoples' mouths, or gold sparklesin facial skin. A strange occurrence is not a sign unless it signifiessomething, and it is not a sign of theSpirit unless something happens through it that clearly furthers thegospel-spreading, people-building task of the Spirit among us. What atrue sign signifies is God's reign on earth.Healings can do that. Shakeouts that revolutionize lives can do that. Mere'positivity' or 'self-confidence' can't, nor can getting rid of a headache or acavity, nor having golden glitter in your skin.Some places have gone through an even worse effect.When an outpouring hits, imitation Outpouring churches and revival meetingssprout up. Many see all the fuss and want a piece of the action: preachers whowant to create a following for themselves, church pastors who want the size oftheir flock to grow and don't care how. They squawk about manifestations andwonders for all to hear. But the realHoly Spirit can't be bottled, transported, and used for earthly gain. The realSpirit's work can't be copied, stapled, and distributed like another program.The most polite term to use for such folk is 'bloodsuckers'; they will gettheir comeuppance in the end. It's too much to demand that those in an outbreakitself take the main responsibility for this, because by their very nature as aSpirit-movement they're weakly-organized. But it is something that ought toconcern the church as a whole as well as the congregations and leaders in themovement. I get a lot of email from disappointed church members who have seentheir pastor or church council bring in someone who uses a bag of tricks, andwhen they object, their pastor just tells them to lighten up and go with theflow. It brings to mind what Christ says in Matthew 18:6. spirithome.com


Meeting of the Board

“Therewill be a meeting of the Board immediately after the service," announcedthe pastor.
After the close of the service, the Church Board gathered at theback of the auditorium for the announced meeting, but there was a stranger in their midst -- a visitor who had never attendedtheir church before.                                    
"Myfriend," said the pastor, "Didn't you understand that this is ameeting of the Board?"                                                                
"Yes," said thevisitor, "andafter today's sermon, I suppose I'm just about as bored as anyone else who
came to this meeting."



Ark of the Covenant Church in Shiloh

An excavation team has uncovered one of the oldest churches in the world—dating to the late fourth century—where it is believed that the Ark of the Covenant once stood in biblical times.
The team, led by Yitzhak Magen and Yevgeny Aharonovitch, unearthed the church not far from the Jewish settlement of Shiloh in Samaria. The ­floor of the worship sanctuary is decorated with brightly colored mosaics and many of the inscriptions refer to Yeshua (Jesus). The original church was built in 380 AD. It was probably destroyed by a ­flood and later replaced by a new building, based on information gleaned from the inscriptions. Aharonovitch says one of the inscriptions is particularly unusual as it mentions the name Shiloh: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Seilun [Shiloh] and its inhabitants, Amen.”  “This is very rare and indicates that the early Christians revered this place as a holy shrine,” Aharonovitch said. www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=136&view=item&idx=1354

 

 

Trinity

The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a word used to describe one fact the Bible teaches about God: Our God is a Trinity. This means there are three persons in one God, not three Gods. The persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and they have all always existed as three separate persons. The person of the Father is not the same person as the Son. The person of the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The person of the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. If you take away any one, there is no God. God has always been a trinity from all eternity: "From everlasting to everlasting, You are God," (Psalm 90:2).

God is not one person who took three forms, i.e., the Father who became the Son, who then became the Holy Spirit. This belief is known today as the "Jesus Only Movement (also known as Oneness Pentecostalism)". It is taught by the United Apostolic and United Pentecostal churches, and is an incorrect teaching.

Nor is God only one person as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way International, and the Christadelphians teach (These groups are classified as non-Christian cults). For proof that there is more than one person in the Godhead, see the Plurality Study.The Bible says there is only one God. Yet, it says Jesus is God (John 1:1,14); it says the Father is God (Phil. 1:2); and it says the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Since the Son speaks to the Father, they are separate persons. Since the Holy Spirit speaks also (Acts 13:2), He is a separate person. There is one God who exists in three persons.

Transcendence

A theological term referring to the relation of God to creation. God is "other," "different" from His creation. He is independent and different from His creatures (Isaiah 55:8-9). He transcends His creation. He is beyond it and not limited by it or to it. 

 



What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of how we think of a father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1,14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, "The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" In Bible times, the phrase “son of man” was used to describe a human being. The son of a man is a man.

During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26:63). Jesus responded, “Yes, it is as you say, ‘but I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, “The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God’” (John 19:7). Why would claiming to be the “Son of God” be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the “Son of God” is to be of the same nature as God. The “Son of God” is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God, to in fact “be God,” was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being…”

Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the "son of perdition." John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the "son of perdition"? The word "perdition" means "destruction, ruin, waste." Judas was not the literal son of "ruin, destruction, and waste" - but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same aspect, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1,14). www.gotquestions.org


 

 

                                                          Rare Crusader Coin
A treasure trove of archaeological relics, the ancient city of Jaffa has yielded another rare find. An archaeological team from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), headed up by Martin Peilstöcker and Amit Re’em, unearthed an extremely rare coin in Jaffa’s flea market. It dates to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291), the feudal state created by the first Crusaders.

Staff from the IAA Coin Department identified the artifact as a Frankish silver half drachma, minted during a brief six-year period between 1251 and 1257. It was found in the remains of a 13th century house, along with ceramics from the same period.

Etched on the coin are a cross and various other symbols, including a half-moon and a bird. An Arabic inscription describes the Trinity: al Ab (the Father), al Bin (the Son) we-al Rukh al Kuds (and the Holy Spirit). Barely discernible on the perimeter of the coin are the words, “Thine is the glory forever and ever.”

During the 12th and 13th centuries, coins copied from the gold dinars and silver dirhems of the Islamic Fatimid and Ayyubid rulers were minted in Antioch and Tripoli. On a visit to the area in 1250, the official emissary from Rome, Bishop Eudes de Chateauroux, ordered an end to coins inscribed with the name of Mohammed, the Moslem prophet, reporting the practice to Pope Innocentius IV. The Pope responded with threats to excommunicate anyone minting coins with the name of the Moslem prophet on them. Historians believe that the Christian inscriptions and symbols were added to allow minters to continue producing the coins, but now with a Christian message. Israeltoday.com


Sadducee

A group of religious leaders in the Jewish religion from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. In Hebrew their names mean "the righteous ones." They were smaller in size than the group of the Pharisees. The Sadducees were generally on the upper class, often in a priestly line, and the Pharisees in the middle class, usually merchants and tradesmen. The Sadducees accepted only the Torah, the first five books of the old Testament, as authoritative. They held rigidly to the old Testament law and a denying the life after death, reward and punishment after death, the resurrection, and the existence of angels and demons. They controlled the temple and its services and were unpopular with the majority of the Jewish population.


Laying on of hands

Physical contact by touching of the hands. In the OT and NT it was sometimes used in reference to doing physical harm (Gen. 22:12; Luke 20:19). In the NT it is also used to signify an attempt at healing (Acts 9:12) and commissioning of Holy Work (1 Tim. 4:14). Usually, during the ordination of an elder, hands are laid on him as symbol of a transfer of authority and power.

             

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).Entrance into the kingdom of God is by a new birth (John 3:5), repentance (Matt. 3:2), and the divine call (1 Thess. 2:12). We are told to seek the kingdom of God first (Matt. 6:33) and to pray for its arrival (Matt. 6:10). "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit," (Rom. 14:17). It is also a future kingdom where full ruler-ship in the actual presence of the king Jesus will occur when He returns to earth.The best vitamin for making friends..... B1.


The Tribulation

According to premillennialism, this is a seven year period that immediately precedes the return of Christ and the millennial kingdom of His rule which lasts for 1000 years. It will be a time of great peace (the first 3 years) and great war (the second 3 years) when the Antichrist rules over many nations. At the midpoint of the tribulation (at the end of the first 3 years) the Antichrist will proclaim himself worthy of worship. Many will bow down and worship the Antichrist and many will refuse. Those who refuse to worship the Antichrist will be killed. The second half of the tribulation is called the Great Tribulation. It will involve the whole world (Rev. 3:10). There will be catastrophes all over the world. (See Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 17.)

Papyrus

A plant growing along the Nile in Egypt during biblical times. It was used as writing material. Papyrus scrolls were made by cutting and pressing sections of the papyri plant together at right angles. The typical maximum length of a scroll was about 35 feet. The scribe, when using papyrus, would often use the natural horizontal fibers of the papyrus plant as guidelines. He would take a blunt instrument and score horizontal lines and then score two or more vertical lines as margins for the edge of the sheet or to define columns on it. We get the word "paper" from this word. Many of the biblical manuscripts were on papyrus.

Image of God

Man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). The image of God is generally held to mean that people contain within their nature elements that reflect God's nature: compassion, reason, love, hate, patience, kindness, self-awareneness, etc. Though we have a physical image, it does not mean that God has one. Rather, God is spirit (John 4:24), not flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

          

  ?

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.


Where did God Come From?                                                                                                

This first question is a common one that many people ask. "If I shouldn't believe that the earth happened spontaneously, then why should I believe God just existed?" However, this type of thinking is what we call a category mistake. Christians don't argue that everything that exists needs to have a creator, but only *created things* need to have a creator. The earth and all that is in it are created things - we have a beginning. People at one point in time didn't exist and the earth in one point in time didn't exist. Since they didn't exist and then they did, it stands to reason that someone or something created them.

God, on the other hand, is in a different category. God has always existed - He is unchanging. He doesn't get older or wear down. The Bible even shows this when it says, "Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." (Psalm 90:2). Since God never began to exist, then it goes to argue that He was never created. Asking where God came from is kind of like asking where's the corner of a circle. Circles don't have corners by definition - it's a category error. If you'd like to read more about this point, please see my article "Who Created God?" at http://www.comereason.org/exst_god/exs010.asp.




What do the letters “INRI” on the crucifix mean?
 

The letters “INRI” are initials for the Latin title that Pontius Pilate had written over the head of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 19:19). Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire.

The words were "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm." Latin uses “I” instead of the English “J”, and “V” instead of “U” (i.e., Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum). The English translation is "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

The Early Church adopted the first letters of each word of this inscription “INRI” as a symbol. Throughout the centuries INRI has appeared in many paintings of the crucifixion.

By the way, Pilate's title for Christ was actually written in three languages.

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, "Write not, 'The King of the Jews;' but that he said, 'I am King of the Jews'." Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." -John 19:19-22 (KJV)   http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t024.html

  MIRACLE!                                                                                                                                                      

Doctor: 'Your recovery was a miracle!'
Patient: 'PRAISE GOD. Now I don't have to pay you!'


VenialSin                                                                                                                                                                       

In Roman Catholicism, a sin but not as bad as mortal Sin which is a serious and willful transgression of God's Law and can result in eternal damnation. It lessens the grace of God within a person's soul.


Unitarianism 

  A theological error that holds to the unity of God by denying the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, and the deity of the Holy Spirit. Unitarians teach the unity of God and hold to a common system of believing as you will about God, salvation, sin, etc. They often profess to have no dogma. Unitarians also hold to the universal redemption of all mankind.


Soul Sleep

The teaching that when a person dies his soul ceases to exist. On the final judgment day he is brought back to life and judged. This is not a heresy, only an error of interpretation. The Bible is not specific on the condition of the person between death and resurrection. However, there are scriptures that strongly suggest man's continued self-awareness and continued existence after death (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; Phil. 1:21-23).


Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.



A Simple Chronology

Church history is rather complex, but an understanding of the basics is very worthwhile. The following is a simple chronology of church history adapted from Bruce Shelley's Church History in Plain Language: • The death and resurrection of Christ. (30-70 AD) The Time of Jesus and the Apostles

• The Christian faith is birthed and the gospel of grace is preached. (70-312) The Age of Catholic Christianity

• The spread of the Christian faith; martyrdom of the early believers.

• Early heresies sprouted; first church councils and the canonizing of scripture. (312-590) The Age of the Christian Empire

• Constantine declares Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire; Age of great councils.

• Christianity became a faith for the masses; start of Monasticism. (590-1517) The Middle Ages

• The fall of Rome and the Byzantine empire.

• Benedictine monks deployed as missionaries; the pope becomes the "ruler" of the church.

• The crusades: The church gains the world but looses it soul. (1517-1648) The Age of Reformation

• Martin Luther and the protestant movement.

• The start of denominationalism - Examples: Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist and Anglican.

• The papacy looses it power and influence. (1648-1789) The Age of Reason and Revival

• Secularism -- The mind becomes god; people begin to ask, "Who needs God?"

• Revivals such as Pietism, Methodism and the Great Awakening seek to restore God to public life. (1789-1914) The Age of Progress

• The message of Christ is carried to distant lands, but the faith continues to leave public life. • Pluralistic and totalitarian societies see no relevance for Christianity. (1912-current) The Age of Ideologies…

EASTER’S DATE?

Most scholars emphasize the original relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch, another name for Easter. The early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, were brought up in the Hebrew tradition and regarded Easter as a new feature of the Passover festival, a commemoration of the advent of the Messiah as foretold by the prophets.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox.[3] Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21. The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the twenty-first century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

WHAT?

One minister says that it doesn't bother him at all if his members look at their watches during his sermons. It does affect him, however, when someone not only looks at his watch, but also holds it up to his ear to see if it's still running


YEAH! SURE!

After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.


The (LXX) Septuagint

The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. It was during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.) that the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, was translated into Greek. Shortly afterwards the rest of the Old Testament was also translated. This translation was done by approximately 70 translators. Hence, the Septuagint is known by the letters LXX, the Roman numerals for seventy.


What about those who do not know Jesus?

God will judge according to the light they have been given. The Scriptural principle if someone lives up to the revealed truth God has already given, no matter how small, he will give them more to pursue until they come to a saving knowledge of him. Light obeyed increases more light. Obey what you know and he will give you understanding of what you don't know. God's grace is great and he does use a supernatural means to rescue people, whether it is an angel or by a missionary sent or directly by Himself. The purpose is to bring people to a saving faith for their sins to be forgiven. Mt.13:12: "

What you think might happen or might not happen to someone else does not relieve your responsibility on Judgment Day. Although we might not be able to answer the question about those who haven’t heard to the satisfaction of everyone, there are certain things that the Bible has made clear.

People who have never heard the gospel will not be judged by God because of the gospel, they will be judged because they are sinful. The gospel is there to cure their sin. It can be seen that God will fairly judge all mankind and that no one can claim that he or she received an unfair hearing. Therefore, the people who ask this question should be very careful not to use this as an excuse for themselves not coming to Christ. It is a fact that people willfully blind themselves. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but to whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away." If we are teachable, it is profitable, "more will be given." The condition of increase is by our hearts openness. If you do not respond correctly what light you have been given will be taken away. He who lays hold of truth and uses it will receive more enlightenment, but he who refuses to appropriate truth will lose even the understanding of truth he once had been given. But if someone does not live up to the light given there will be enough to judge them. When they have rejected the light already given, they will not receive any more light instead blindness sets in. John 12:46-48: "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world" He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." They who have rejected God's salvation message have made themselves objects of God’s wrath by refusing the truth, they loved a lie in its place.


Prophet

Someone who is the mouthpiece of God. He stands between God and man to communicate to man the word of God. When the prophet spoke as the mouthpiece he was inspired and without error. The prophet, though, is not a puppet or a mindless repeater of what he hears. Instead, he retains his own will, mind, and thoughts as he speaks for God. God would put His words in their mouths (Deut. 18:18; Jer. 1:9). A prophet was God's servant (Zech. 1:6) and messenger (2 Chron. 36:15). The prophecies fell into three categories: concerning the destiny of Israel, the messianic prophecies, and eschatological prophecies. The term Law and Prophets refers to the writings of the OT divided into two categories. The Law is the Pentateuch, or Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Prophets are all the rest of the OT books.


Occult 

Occult means "hidden". It covers practices that are not approved of by God e.g., astrology (Isaiah 47:13), casting spells (Deut. 18:11), consulting with spirits (Deut. 18:11), magic (Gen. 41:8), sorcery (Exodus. 22:8), witchcraft (Deut. 18:10), and spiritism (Deut. 18:11). Occult practices such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, Wicca, astrology charts, contacting the dead, séances, etc. are to be avoided by the Christian and Jews alike.



George Washington

‘‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable results…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.’’ ‘‘Farewell Address to the People of the United States.’’


Who is in the Trinity?

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Islam believes the Christian trinity is God the Father, God the Mother (Mary) and God the Son (Jesus).

Surah 5: 116: "And behold! God will say: O Jesus the son of Mary didst say unto men, ‘worship me and my mother as gods’ in derogation of Allah?

Inspiration

The doctrine that the Bible was written by the influence of God. It is, therefore, without error. It is accurate and authoritatively represents God's teachings (2 Tim. 3:16). As such it is a revelation from God which implies direct knowledge about God, creation, man, salvation, the future, etc. It is an illumination in that it shows us what we could not know apart from it. One of the ways to prove that the Bible is inspired is to examine the O.T. prophecies fulfilled in the N.T. concerning Jesus (Luke 24:27-45). Because the Bible is inspired, its words are unbreakable (John 10:34-36), eternal (Matt. 24:35), trustworthy (Psalm 119:160), and able to pierce the heart of man (Heb. 4:12). Additionally, the inspired Word of God will not go forth without accomplishing what God wishes it to (Isaiah 55:11).

Calvinism -

A system of Christian interpretation initiated by John Calvin. It emphasizes predestination and salvation. The five points of Calvinism were developed in response to the Arminian position (See Arminianism). Calvinism teaches: 1) Total depravity: that man is touched by sin in all parts of his being: body, soul, mind, and emotions, 2) Unconditional Election: that God’s favor to Man is completely by God’s free choice and has nothing to do with Man. It is completely undeserved by Man and is not based on anything God sees in man (Eph. 1:1-11), 3) Limited atonement: that Christ did not bear the sins of every individual who ever lived, but instead only bore the sins of those who were elected into salvation (John 10:11,15), 4) Irresistible grace: that God's call to someone for salvation cannot be resisted, 5) Perseverance of the saints: that it is not possible to lose one's salvation.



FALSE PROPHETS

Jesus warned about false prophets in Matt. 24:24 stating that in the last days many false prophets would arise and deceive, if possible, even the elect. False prophets teach false doctrine and lead people away from the true gospel message and teaching of God found in the Bible. Examples of modern day false prophets are Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses), Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), etc. Each of them distorts th e truth sufficiently to result in damnation. Reflect Reflect upon your blessings,

The False Prophet

The second beast of Revelation (Rev. 13:11-18). He is a person who will manifest himself near the culmination of this epoch shortly before the physical return of Christ. He will be a miracle worker and during the Tribulation period will bring fire down from heaven and command that people worship the image of the Beast (Rev. 11:15). See also (13:16-17).


Kenneth Copeland ?                                                                                                                                           

Kenneth Copeland: "I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is."

Paul Crouch: "Okay."

Kenneth Copeland: "You know everybody you ask, you say, ‘Who’s the biggest failure?’ They say, ‘Judas.’ Somebody else will say, ‘No, I believe it was Adam.’ Well, how about the devil?"

Paul Crouch: (amazed.)

Kenneth Copeland: "He’s the most consistent failure . . . but he’s not the biggest in terms of material failure and so forth. The biggest in the whole Bible is God. . . . Wait, wait. Don’t you turn that set off. You listen to us. I told you. . . . Now, you sit still a minute. You know me well enough to know I wouldn’t tell something I can’t prove by the Bible.

"He lost His top ranking of most anointed angel, the first man He ever created, the first woman He ever created, the whole earth and all the fullness therein, a third of the angels at least. That’s a big loss, man! I mean you figure up all of that, that’s a lot of real estate, gone down the drain.

"Now, the reason you don’t think of God as a failure, He never said He’s a failure. (Paul Crouch and others are laughing on the set.) And you are not a failure until you say you are one." ("Praise-a-Thon" program on TBN [April 1988.)

Implication= God couldn't control heavenly and earthly events, he failed but we don't think this way because he never admitted it



"What is the meaning of the word ‘hallelujah’?"

The word ‘hallelujah’ is most familiar in the context of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s Messiah. ‘Hallelujah’ is a Hebrew word meaning "praise ye JAH (Jehovah)’. Hallelujah appears four times in the NIV and NASB (Revelation 19:1-6), and is translated ‘alleluia’ in the King James Version. In modern parlance, both words mean ‘praise the Lord’ or ‘praise Jehovah,’ phrases which appear over 50 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. It is interesting to note, however, that none of the times where ‘praise the Lord’ or ‘praise Jehovah’ appears are they a translation of the Hebrew ‘hallelujah.’ What, then, is so special about the word ‘hallelujah’ that it is only used in Revelation 19? The scene in this passage opens in heaven where a great multitude has gathered before the throne in the immediate presence of God Himself, after the final overthrow of the enemies of the church and the triumph of the gospel. In such circumstances, it was fitting that all heaven should render praise and that a song of thanksgiving should be uttered in which all holy beings could unite. Reasons for this glorious outpouring of praise are God’s righteous victory over His enemies (vv. 1-3), His sovereignty (vv. 4-6), and His eternal communion with His people (v. 7). The sound of the outpouring of praise and worship is so overwhelming that the apostle John can only describe it as the roar of rushing waters and loud peals of thunder. So great is the rejoicing by God’s people at the wedding feast of the Bridegroom (Christ) and the bride (the true church) that ‘hallelujah’ is the only word grand enough to express it. Handel’s version of the great chorus in heaven, as glorious as it is, is only a feeble foreshadowing of the magnificence that will be expressed by the heavenly chorus as we sing "Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns!" http://www.gotquestions.org/hallelujah.html



Omniscience 

ALL KNOWING! An attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Isaiah 40:14). Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience represent the nature of God concerning His relation to the creation.                                                                                                                                  



Jesus Only Movement

This is a movement in some Pentecostal circles. It is an error in the understanding of the nature of the Trinity. The biblical Trinity consists of three persons simultaneously and eternally existing in one God. The Jesus Only Movement maintains that there is only one person in the Godhead: Jesus. It teaches that the person of the Father became the person of the Son who then became the person of the Holy Spirit and that the persons are consecutive not simultaneous. This movement is incorrect in its Trinitarian interpretation. Additionally, they mistakenly believe that baptism is necessary for salvation and that tongues are evidence of true conversion. See the Plurality Study for a study that refutes their theology. Another term used to deny the Trinity is Oneness theology.



Religious Cults: The Christian Perspective

   Christians define religious cults from a different perspective. Simply, a cult is any religious group that deviates from the fundamental teachings of the historic, Bible-based, Christian faith as confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds. Generally, if a religious organization follows Jesus Christ, but denies or distorts essential Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the resurrection, or salvation by grace alone, that organization is considered a cult. Traditional examples are the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, the Unity School of Christianity, and the Way International. All of these groups add to the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition, some add to the Bible, such as Mormonism's The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. Similarly, Christian Science has added Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The Jehovah's Witnesses have actually changed the text of the Bible to make it fit their version of doctrine.

   Religious cults add their own rules, rituals and ceremonies -- their own works of righteousness to the finished work of Jesus on the cross. These organizations officially state that Jesus' sacrifice is sufficient for salvation, but then they go on to say that their version of "works" must be added to the simplicity of His grace in order to warrant true salvation. These groups will often use James 2:26 ("faith without works is dead") to establish that works are part of salvation. Although it is true that faith without works is dead, it isn't the works that save us. Works are merely the result of a truly changed life through a saving faith in Jesus. A true Christian does good works because he has received the free gift of salvation, not to get salvation.

 

 

 Vicarious Atonement                                                                                                                                           

The teaching about the atonement which states that Christ's death was "legal." It satisfied the legal justice of God. Jesus bore the penalty of sin when he died on the cross. His death was a substitution for the believers. In other words, he substituted himself for them upon the cross. Jesus hung in our place as He bore our sin in his body on the cross. See 1 Pet. 2:24

 

 

Testament



The word testament is a derivation of the Latin word testamentum, which was used in Jerome's Vulgate to translate the Hebrew word b'rith, covenant. The Greek equivalent is diatheke, which also means covenant. The word has come to be used in describing the two main divisions of the Bible: The Old Testament and The New Testament. It should be understood then, that the Bible is generally to be looked at as a covenant between God and man.

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

 

   Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. Until 1969, the Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine’s Days. The Valentines honored on February 14 - Valentine of Rome(Valentinus presb. m. Romae): a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Hisrelics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

   Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae): He became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of Emperor Arulien. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).

    The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under the date of 14 February. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulletin Bloopers? 

 
"Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands."

 The Fasting &Prayer Conference includes meals. 

 Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. 

 Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

 


“YE ARE GODS..”

    The Mormons misuse John 10:34, “Ye are gods,” falsely implying that Jesus endorsed godhood for man. This cannot be true for several reasons. It does not fit the context of John 10:24–36, where Jesus shows his equality with the Father and deservedly is called God. In contrast, the judges (so-called gods) in Psalm 82:6 were so called because of their lofty position over the people, but God rebuked them for their sins, and they were proven to be not gods after all but fallen, sinful men.
   How this passage is to support the Mormon position is baffling, because Mormons say they are gods in embryo and they have not yet reached godhood. Whatever they wish John 10:34 to say, it does not support their position. The Mormon can only say he hopes to become a god. Psalm 82 and John 10:34 are in the present tense, a distinction apart from their position.
   In fact, upon a reading of Psalm 82, it is a wonder that Mormons would want to identify with the Psalm at all. It says nothing good about these men. But if that is the position they desire, only the judgment of God follows.
   Furthermore, the Mormon should be made aware that LDS Apostle James Talmage correctly identified the “gods” of Psalm 82 and John 10:34 when he wrote, “Divinely Appointed Judges Called ‘gods.’ In Psalm 82:6, judges invested by divine appointment are called ‘gods.’ To this Scripture the Savior referred in His reply to the Jews in Solomon’s Porch. Judges so authorized officiated as the representatives of God and are honored by the exalted title ‘gods.’ ” (Jesus the Christ, 501). waltermartin.com

 

 

 



Which sermon to deliver?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

One beautiful Sunday morning a Pastor announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands, three sermons...a $100 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. "Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver.               


THE CARE CENTER, 1930 VETERANS MEMORIAL HWY., SUITE 15, ISLANDIA, N.Y. 11749 . 631-630-9779 SAVE A CHILD’S LIFE! SEND A CHECK TODAY "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb..."Psalm 139 Women are counseled and helped to raise their child with beginning supplies free of cost. Abortions are avoided! Please help!



Had an abortion?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 If you were an unbeliever when you had your abortion, but have been beating yourself up with guilt, confess your sin and let it go. Let the forgiveness of Christ wash over you and be released. You are forgiven and set free in Christ. If you were a Christian when you had your abortion and feel even more guilt because you knew better, confess your sin and let it go. Let the forgiveness of Christ wash over you and be released. You are forgiven and set free in Christ. If you are a Christian woman who had an abortion, and you

"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more," (Heb. 8:12). have found release and freedom from guilt, then glory be to God who has worked His wondrous grace in you. www.carm.org                                                                                                                                             


HAVE YOU EVER PRAYED THIS PRAYER?                                                                                                                                                                                    

Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly

sorry, and now I want to turn from my past sinful life toward You. Please, forgive me, and help me to

avoid sinning again. I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the

dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and to reign in

my heart from this day forward. Please, send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey You, and to do Your

will for the rest of my life.. Now find a good Bible believing church. If you need help finding one or have a question please

contact me at fredlim@optonline.net

Transubstantiation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The theory accepted by Roman Catholicism, that in the Lord's Supper, the elements are transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus. However, there is no perceptible or measurable change in the elements. The transformation occurs during the Mass at the elevation of the elements by the priest.             


Sanhedrin - The Sanhedrin was a council of 71 individuals, around the time of Christ that was comprised of Pharisees and Sadducees who governed the Jewish nation while under the rule of Rome. It often served as a court to settle legal and religious matters.                                                                                         


"Do pets / animals go to Heaven? Do pets / animals have souls?"                                                                                                                                                

 The Bible does not give any explicit teaching on whether pets/animals have "souls" or whether pets/animals will be in heaven. However, we can use general biblical principles to develop some clarity on the subject. The Bible states that both man (Genesis 2:7) and animals (Genesis 1:30; 6:17; 7:15, 22) have the breath of life. The primary difference between human beings and animals is that humanity is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), while animals are not. Being made in the image and likeness of God means that human beings are like God, capable of spirituality, with mind, emotion, and will, and they have a part of their being that continues after death. If pets/animals do have a "soul" or immaterial aspect, it must therefore be of a different and lesser "quality." This difference possibly means that pet/animal "souls" do not continue in existence after death. Another factor to consider is that animals are a part of God’s creative process in Genesis. God created the animals and said they were good (Genesis 1:25). Therefore, there is no reason why there could not be animals on the new earth (Revelation 21:1). There will most definitely be animals during the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25). It is impossible to say definitively whether some of these animals might be the pets we had while here on earth. We do know that God is just and that when we get to heaven we will find ourselves in complete agreement with His decision on this issue, whatever it may be. http://www.gotquestions.org/questweek.html                                                


Christian Doctrine:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Basics of Scripture Christian doctrine can be summarized as follows: "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). We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us (Romans 3:22-25) and rising from the dead three days later.                                                                                                                                                                 


Unitarianism                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

A theological error that holds to the unity of God by denying the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, and the deity of the Holy Spirit. Unitarians teach the unity of God and hold to a common system of believing as you will about God, salvation, sin, etc. They often profess to have no dogma. Unitarians also hold to the universal redemption of all mankind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


The Tribulation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

According to premillennialism, this is a seven year period that immediately precedes the return of Christ and the millennial kingdom of His rule which lasts for 1000 years. It will be a time of great peace (the first 3 years) and great war (the second 3 years) when the Antichrist rules over many nations. At the midpoint of the tribulation (at the end of the first 3 years) the Antichrist will proclaim himself worthy of worship. Many will bow down and worship the Antichrist and many will refuse. Those who refuse to worship the Antichrist will be killed. The second half of the tribulation is called the Great Tribulation. It will involve the whole world (Rev. 3:10). There will be catastrophes all over the world. (See Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 17.) Premillennialism -This is a teaching concerning the end times (eschatology). It says that there is a future millennium (1000 years) where Christ will rule and reign over the earth. At the beginning of the millennium Satan and his angels will be bound and peace will exist on the entire earth. At the end of the 1000 years Satan will be released in order to raise an army against Jesus. Jesus will destroy them and then the final judgment will take place with the new heavens and the new earth being made.                                                           


Josephus -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

An Eyewitness to Christianity Josephus was a historian who lived from 37 A.D. to about 100 A.D. He was a member of the priestly aristocracy of the Jews, and was taken hostage by the Roman Empire in the great Jewish revolt of 66-70 A.D. Josephus spent the rest of his life in or around Rome as an advisor and historian to three emperors, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian. For centuries, the works of Josephus were more widely read in Europe than any book other than the Bible. They are invaluable sources of eyewitness testimony to the development of Western civilization, including the foundation and growth of Christianity in the 1st Century. Josephus - Biblical accounts outside the Bible Josephus mentions New Testament events and people in some of his works. For many skeptics, this is viewed as significant evidence against the myth and legend theories that plague early Christianity. Here are some excerpts: Josephus mentions Jesus in Antiquities, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 (this paragraph is so phenomenal, that scholars now debate the authenticity of some of the more "favorable" portions of this text): "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." Josephus mentions John the Baptist and Herod in Antiquities, Book 18, chapter 5, paragraph 2: "Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness." Josephus mentions James, the brother of Jesus, in Antiquities, Book 20, chapter 9, paragraph 1: "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done." Josephus mentions Ananias, the High Priest, who was mentioned in Acts 23:2: "Now as soon as Albinus was come to the city of Jerusalem, he used all his endeavors and care that the country might be kept in peace, and this by destroying many of the Sicarii. But as for the high priest, Ananias he increased in glory every day, and this to a great degree, and had obtained the favor and esteem of the citizens in a signal manner; for he was a great hoarder up of money.                                                                                                "


BULLETIN BLOOPERS!     The sermon this morning: 'Jesus walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'

*Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

*Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community..                                                                                                                                                                  

*Smile at someone who is hard to love.

*Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.

*Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.


TRINITARIAN EXAMPLES -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As the Trinitarian doctrine maintains, each of the persons of the Godhead is distinct, yet they are all each, by nature, God.

With time, for example, the past is distinct from the present, which is distinct from the future. Each is simultaneous. Yet, they are not three 'times,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: time.

With space, height is distinct from width, which is distinct from depth, which is distinct from height. Yet, they are not three 'spaces,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: space.

With matter, solid is not the same as liquid, which is not the same as gas, which is not the same as solid. Yet, they are not three 'matters,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: matter.                                                                                                                                                                           


Deacons                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


Biblically, this designates a servant in the church but not someone who is a slave since the latter refers to a slave/master relationship. It has become an office of the church where individuals are designated to help in the ministry, sometimes serving communion, sometimes by taking care of such needs as church welfare, feeding the homeless, taking care of the sick in the church, etc. It comes from the Greek word diakonos and is translated as "servant" in John 6:25; 12:26, "minister" in Rom. 13:4. Canon This is another word for scripture. The Canon consists of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. The Canon is closed which means there is no more revelation to become Scripture. Ark of the Covenant Also called the "Ark of the Testimony" (Ex. 30:6), "Ark of God" (1 Sam. 3:3), and the "Ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Deut. 10:8). The Ark of the Covenant was very sacred to the Ancient Jews. It was a rectangular box made of Acacia wood about 4 x 1.5 x 1.5 feet. It was covered with gold and was carried by poles that were inserted into rings located on the four corners. On top was a lid called "The Mercy Seat" which had two Cherubs with outstretched wings pointing towards each other. Inside of the Ark were the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded (Heb. 9:4). It served as the symbol of the very presence of God. The Ark of the Covenant was place in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. Once a year, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat. This was symbolic of the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish nation.                                                                                                                                         


When I say... 'I am a Christian'

A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her. I'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.


James 2:24, not by faith alone                                                                                                                                                                                                                    T


The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross. This faith alone saves us. However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."

There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us to not show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.

James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?" (James 2:14). In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith; that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement. It is empty of life and action. He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions). Then he shows that that type of faith isn't much different from the faith of demons (verse 19). Finally, he gives examples of living faith that is words followed by actions. He writes of Abraham and Rahab as examples of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.

In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, "Faith without works is dead," (James 2:20).

Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul uses to support the teaching of justification by faith in Rom. 4:3. James 2:23 says, "and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'" If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example. Conclusion Justification is by faith. True faith is God's work (John 6:28-29), granted by God (John 1:29), and is concurrent with regeneration (2 Cor. 5:17), which God works in us by his will (John 1:13). This result of this justification and regeneration is that the sinner turns from his sin and towards doing good works. But it is not these works that earn our place with God nor sustain it. Jesus accomplished all that we need to be saved and stay saved on the cross. All that we need, we have in Jesus. All we need to do to be saved, to be justified, is to truly believe in what God has done for us in Jesus on the cross; this is why the Bible says we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1). This true belief with justification before God and regeneration in the new believer, results in good works.                                                                                                 


STAMPS

A woman goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.

She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"

The clerk says, "What denomination?"

The woman says, "God help us. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 8 Lutheran, 4 Methodist and 20 Baptists. Arianism An ancient theological error that appeared around the year 320. It taught that God could not appear on the earth, that Jesus was not eternal and could not be God. Additionally, it taught that there was only one person in the Godhead: the Father. Jesus, then, was a creation. It was condemned by the Council of Nicaea in 325. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.


Why is the Virgin Birth so important?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

The doctrine of the virgin birth is crucially important (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27,34). First, let’s look at how scripture describes the blessed event. In response to Mary’s query, "how?," Gabriel says, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee" (Luke 1:35). The angel encourages Joseph to marry Mary with these words: "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:20). Matthew states that the virgin "was found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 1:18). Galatians 4:4 also teaches the Virgin Birth: "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman." From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a "vessel." Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation. Denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature. See John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; and Hebrews 2:14-17. Jesus was not born in sin; that is, He had no sin nature (Hebrews 7:26). It would seem that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father (Romans 5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man. www.gotquestions.org                                    


Christmas Present                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of the church was looking over the cradle when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures. Immediately he turned and went outside and saw a little boy with a red wagon and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus.

So he walked up to the boy and said, "Well, where did you get Him, my fine friend?"

The little boy replied, "I got him from the church."

"And why did you take him?"

The boy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give him a ride around the block in it."                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Jesus Christianity: Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is both God and man. He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9). He was in the form of God, emptied Himself, and became a man (Phil. 2:5-8). As the God-man, He is the mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus was not created (John 1:1-3), but is the creator of all things (Col. 1:16-17).                                                                                                                                                   

Mormonism: Jesus, the devil, and all of us are literal spirit children born in a pre-existence, the literal offspring of God the Father and his goddess wife (Mormon Doctrine p. 516; Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, p. 218).                                                                                                                    

J.W.'s: Jesus is Michael the Archangel who became a man, died on a stake -- not a cross -- rose in a spirit body, and returned to heaven to be an angel again (The Watchtower, May 15, 1963, p. 307; The New World, 284). The problem here is that Jesus (Michael) would be a created thing. This is why the J.W. Bible adds the words "other" four times in Col. 1:16-17. The word "other" is not in the original text of the Bible.


Who is a sinner?

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.



Black Death

 

In the book Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, Charles R. Swindoll writes about the Black Death and the superstitions that resulted from it.

 "Someone came up with the foolish idea that polluted air brought on the plague.  So, people began to carry flower petals in their pockets, superstitiously thinking the fragrance would ward off the disease. Groups of victims, if they were able to walk, were taken outside the hospitals.

 Holding hands, they walked in circles around rose gardens, breathing in deeply the aroma of the blooming plants. In some cases, the patient couldn't get out of bed, so the attending physicians filled their pockets with bright-colored petals from English posy plants. While visiting the patient they walked around the bed sprinkling the posy petals on and around the victim.

 As death came closer, another superstitious act was employed with sincerity. Many felt if the lungs could be freed from pollution, life could be sustained. So, ashes were placed in a spoon and brought up near the nose, causing a hefty sneeze or two. But neither flowers nor sneezes retarded the raging death rate. Not until the real cause was discovered, the bite of fleas from diseased rats, was the plague brought in check.

 The awful experience gave birth to a little song which innocent children still sing at play. It was first heard from the lips of a soiled, old man pushing a cart in London, picking up bodies along an alley:

Ring around the roses,
A pocket full of posies;Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

 

Is there non-biblical evidence of a day of darkness at Christ's death?

      In Luke 23:44-46 there is the record of darkness falling upon the land during Christ's crucifixion.  "And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last."  Is there any non-biblical evidence of the day of darkness mentioned at Christ's death?  The answer is yes, there is.

"Circa AD 52, Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. This work itself has been lost and only fragments of it exist in the citations of others. One such scholar who knew and spoke of it was Julius Africanus, who wrote about AD 221...In speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion and the darkness that covered the land during this event, Africanus found a reference in the writings of Thallus that dealt with this cosmic report. Africanus asserts:  'On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.'"1

     One might wonder why other historians of the time did not also mention the darkness.  First of all, the darkness was localized so it would not be a widespread phenomenon that other historians would naturally record.  Second, other historians like Pliny, Tacitus, and Josephus, generally were focusing on events that could be verified and were not based in the miraculous.  The fact that Thallus mentions the darkness tells us that something did happen and that there is extra biblical citation for the event.                                                 1.  Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante–Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130.  as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




You Pays Your Money: A Thanksgiving Meditation

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

"Let's go over the list once more," I mutter to myself at the check-out stand. "Oatmeal, frying chickens, and a half gallon of rocky road. Yuban® coffee and a couple loaves of Roman Meal® bread. A gallon of milk about rounds it out." The register whirrs. I plunk down my money.

"Thanks," I say to the checker.

"Don't thank me," the grocery checker chuckles. "You pays your money, you takes your choice."

No thanks needed? Your forefathers' hands caressed hard seed grains as they sowed freshly-turned furrows. They knew whom to thank.

"A man scatters seed on the ground," Jesus observed. "Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29)

No wonder Pilgrims gave thanks.

But the average person lives too far from the soil to awe at amber waves of grain. I had glanced at my watch and tapped my foot while the checker worked slowly through the loaded grocery cart ahead of me. So what's to be thankful for? Shorter lines?

Yes, for starters. Women stand in lines for hours in Moscow to buy fresh fruit. The selection on our supermarket shelves would boggle the mind of a Mexican villager.

We thank God for a job to pay for our food--thousands are out of work. We thank God for a warm home and a table to eat at-the homeless live out of their cars at the park.

"But I work hard for what I have," you object. Yes, so does the Chinese peasant bending over in a cold rice paddy.

You pays your money, but you can't buy health. You pays your money, but you can't buy a son or a daughter. You pays your money, but you can't buy rain to water crops in Peoria and Des Moines. Thank you God, for the gifts you've given which I have no inherent right to. Make me genuinely grateful. Amen. http://www.joyfulheart.com/thanksgiving/pays.htmMoney Goes To Church         


 

 WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

 A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.    The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the county. "I've had a pretty good life," the
twenty proclaimed. "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Wow!" said the one dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!"                                                                                                                                                 "So Tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been your lifetime?"                                                                                                                                             The one dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church ...." The twenty dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"



God cannot die. Jesus died. Therefore, Jesus cannot be God.

One of the doctrines that many people fail to understand concerning Jesus is the doctrine of the hypostatic union. This is in the teaching that Jesus has two natures: God and man. In other words, Jesus is both God and man at the same time. This is why we see some scriptures that point to Him being divine and others pointing to Him being a man.  Below is a chart illustrating the two natures of Jesus as derived from scripture.
Jesus is one person
GOD MAN
He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9)
He is prayed to (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 1:1-2)
He was called God (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
He was called Son of God (Mark 1:1)
He is sinless (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15)
He knew all things (John 21:17)
He gives eternal life (John 20:28)
The fullness of deity dwells in Him (Col. 2:9) He worshiped the Father (John 17)
He prayed to the Father (John 17:1)
He was called man (Mark 15:39; John 19:5).
He was called Son of Man (John 9:35-37)
He was tempted (Matt. 4:1)
He grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52)
He died (Rom. 5:8)
He has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)This is not a made-up doctrine. Rather, it is a doctrine derived from observing God's word.  It is true that God cannot die. It is also true that man can die. But we see that Jesus has two natures, not one. It was the human part of Jesus that died on the cross, not the divine. But, because He is both God and man in one person, and because He was sinless, His sacrifice is sufficient to cover the sins of the world.                http://www.carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/god-cannot-die-jesus-died-therefore-jesus-cannot-be-god



PONDER THESE WORDS A sharp tongue can cut

Your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true,

You mustn’t oversleep.

Of all the things you wear,

Your expression is the most important.                                                                                                                                                                


Diaspora Dispersion.    

Biblically, it refers to the dispersion of the Jews outside of Israel from the time of the Babylonian Captivity until now. It has also been applied to the dispersion of Christians after 70 A.D. when Rome sacked Jerusalem and thousands of Christians fled and dispersed throughout the Mediterranean area. The 10 commandments are Not a multiple choice! Baal A Canaanite god. The word means "lord" or "husband." He was a god of weather, associated with thunder, which appointed the times of the rains, and was considered to be the son of the pagan god Dagon. The ancient Jews were often tempted to follow Baal because so much of their lives depended upon the rain that fed the crops


Atonement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             To 

To atone means to make amends, to repair a wrong done. Biblically, it means to remove sin. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by Jesus. Jesus atoned for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). This atonement is received by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9). Man is a sinner (Rom. 5:8) and cannot atone for himself. Therefore, it was the love of the Father that sent Jesus (1 John 4:10) to die in our place (1 Pet. 3:18) for our sins (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of the atonement, our fellowship with God is restored (Rom.5:10). Channeling A New Age practice where a person goes into an altered state of consciousness and allows another spirit or entity to enter him/her in order to communicate to us. According to New Age teaching, this spirit or entity can be from another dimension, the spirit realm, or from another part of the galaxy or universe.                                                                                                                                        


Cherub/Cherubim

A type of angel usually involved in sacred work before God. They are generally described as winged creatures with feet and hands. The word(s) occurs over 90 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament at Heb. 9:5, "And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail." Apparently, there are different kinds of Cherubim. Two golden Cherubim are on the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:18). They were put in Eden "to guard the way of the tree of life," (Gen. 3:24). An interested description of them is given in Ezek. 1:5-11,13,14. One thing you can give and still keep...is your word. Deism The belief that God exists but is not involved in the world. It maintains that God created all things and set the universe in motion and is no longer involved in its operation. (Compare with atheism that says there is no God, deism that says there is a God but he is not involved in the world, and theism which states that there is a God and he is involved in the world.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.


PROPHETS of GOD

In the OT prophets prophesied within three time frames. Their own time, for the 1st coming and the 2nd coming. The test of a prophet was his near prophecies which would be fulfilled in his own lifetime. Obviously, if it was beyond his lifetime, he wouldn't be around to have to answer for it. Prophecy was very specific in the Old and the New Testament. They would foretell God's revelation to the people and if one looks back at Biblical record to study a prophet's calling, it was God who picked them and they are often found arguing not to have the office. In contrast, there are now schools to train new prophets because the people desire this office.

Another test used on would be prophets, found in Deuteronomy 13:1. In addition to whether or not their predictions came true is whether they used signs and wonders as tools to draw people to other gods or a different representation of God. (Such as Jannes and Jambres in 2 Timothy 3:8). Here, God is testing the people to see if they love only Him. This is probably the most overlooked scripture pertaining to examining the claims of those who profess supernatural powers that come from God. If they were to contradict the teaching that had already been revealed - which had provided knowledge of the one true God then they were seen as false prophets. God did not, and still does not tolerate false prophesying. If they are wrong once, they are false, they were to be stoned. If this occurred today many if not all who lay claim to this position would have a quick end to their so called anointing! http://www.letusreason.org/Pent1.htm The


Mathematical Odds of Jesus Fulfilling Prophecy


The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Moody Press, 1963) to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, ‘we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017." That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."

Stoner considers 48 prophecies and says, "We find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10157, or 1 in 10,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 000,000,000." 1 The estimated number of electrons in the universe is around 1079. It should be quite evident that Jesus did not fulfill the prophecies by accident. He was who He said He was: the only way (John 14:6).1. Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Revivals Became famous for the way they changed every aspect of the lives of those who came forward. Their new- found faith was manifested; in the way they spent their money; in the way they raised their children; in their concern for the poor; in their business practices and public administrations; when they are turning away from their own evils; in their support public rights of women; This information was taken from Josh McDowell,


Improvement                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story.

From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.

Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"

"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago."

"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?"

"Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed,

"God's getting better at it, isn't he?

Who is a sinner?

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


Black Death

 
In the book Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, Charles R. Swindoll writes about the Black Death and the superstitions that resulted from it.

 "Someone came up with the foolish idea that polluted air brought on the plague.  So, people began to carry flower petals in their pockets, superstitiously thinking the fragrance would ward off the disease. Groups of victims, if they were able to walk, were taken outside the hospitals.

 Holding hands, they walked in circles around rose gardens, breathing in deeply the aroma of the blooming plants. In some cases, the patient couldn't get out of bed, so the attending physicians filled their pockets with bright-colored petals from English posy plants. While visiting the patient they walked around the bed sprinkling the posy petals on and around the victim.

 As death came closer, another superstitious act was employed with sincerity. Many felt if the lungs could be freed from pollution, life could be sustained. So, ashes were placed in a spoon and brought up near the nose, causing a hefty sneeze or two. But neither flowers nor sneezes retarded the raging death rate. Not until the real cause was discovered, the bite of fleas from diseased rats, was the plague brought in check.

 The awful experience gave birth to a little song which innocent children still sing at play. It was first heard from the lips of a soiled, old man pushing a cart in London, picking up bodies along an alley:

Ring around the roses,

A pocket full of posies;Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

 

Is there non-biblical evidence of a day of darkness at Christ's death?


      In Luke 23:44-46 there is the record of darkness falling upon the land during Christ's crucifixion.  "And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last."  Is there any non-biblical evidence of the day of darkness mentioned at Christ's death?  The answer is yes, there is.

"Circa AD 52, Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. This work itself has been lost and only fragments of it exist in the citations of others. One such scholar who knew and spoke of it was Julius Africanus, who wrote about AD 221...In speaking of Jesus’ crucifixion and the darkness that covered the land during this event, Africanus found a reference in the writings of Thallus that dealt with this cosmic report. Africanus asserts:  'On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.'"1     One might wonder why other historians of the time did not also mention the darkness.  First of all, the darkness was localized so it would not be a widespread phenomenon that other historians would naturally record.  Second, other historians like Pliny, Tacitus, and Josephus, generally were focusing on events that could be verified and were not based in the miraculous.  The fact that Thallus mentions the darkness tells us that something did happen and that there is extra biblical citation for the event.                                                 1.  Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante–Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130.  as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.


God cannot die. Jesus died. Therefore, Jesus cannot be God.

One of the doctrines that many people fail to understand concerning Jesus is the doctrine of the hypostatic union. This is in the teaching that Jesus has two natures: God and man. In other words, Jesus is both God and man at the same time. This is why we see some scriptures that point to Him being divine and others pointing to Him being a man.  Below is a chart illustrating the two natures of Jesus as derived from scripture.
Jesus is one person
GOD MAN
He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9)
He is prayed to (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 1:1-2)
He was called God (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
He was called Son of God (Mark 1:1)
He is sinless (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15)
He knew all things (John 21:17)
He gives eternal life (John 20:28)
The fullness of deity dwells in Him (Col. 2:9) He worshiped the Father (John 17)
He prayed to the Father (John 17:1)
He was called man (Mark 15:39; John 19:5).
He was called Son of Man (John 9:35-37)
He was tempted (Matt. 4:1)
He grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52)
He died (Rom. 5:8)
He has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)This is not a made-up doctrine. Rather, it is a doctrine derived from observing God's word.  It is true that God cannot die. It is also true that man can die. But we see that Jesus has two natures, not one. It was the human part of Jesus that died on the cross, not the divine. But, because He is both God and man in one person, and because He was sinless, His sacrifice is sufficient to cover the sins of the world.                http://www.carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/god-cannot-die-jesus-died-therefore-jesus-cannot-be-god


Money Goes To Church        

   A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.    The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the county. "I've had a pretty good life," the
twenty proclaimed. "Why I've been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean."                                                                                                                                                                                                           "Wow!" said the one dollar bill. "You've really had an exciting life!"                                                                                                                                 

 "So tell me," says the twenty, "where have you been throughout your lifetime?"                                                                                                              The one dollar bill replies, "Oh, I've been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church ...."                                                               The twenty dollar bill interrupts, "What's a church?"


The Mathematical Odds of  Jesus FulfillingProphecy                                                                                                                                                                                        

The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Moody Press, 1963) to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, ‘we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017." That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."

Stoner considers 48 prophecies and says, "We find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10157, or 1 in 10,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 000,000,000." 1The estimated number of electrons in the universe is around 1079. It should be quite evident that Jesus did not fulfill the prophecies by accident. He was who He said He was: the only way (John 14:6).1. This information was taken from Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict.


Revivals      

 Became famous for the way they changed every aspect of the lives of those who came forward. Their new- found faith was manifested; in the way they spent their money; in the way they raised their children; in their                                                                 concern for the poor; in their business practices and public administrations; when they are turning away from their own evils; in their support public rights of women;                                                  


Baal

  A Canaanite god. The word means "lord" or "husband." He was a god of weather, associated with thunder, which appointed the times of the rains, and was considered to be the son of the pagan god Dagon. The ancient Jews were often tempted to follow Baal because so much of their lives depended upon the rain that fed the crops.


 
Atonement

 To atone means to make amends, to repair a wrong done. Biblically, it means to remove sin. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by Jesus. Jesus atoned for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). This atonement is received by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9). Man is a sinner (Rom. 5:8) and cannot atone for himself. Therefore, it was the love of the Father that sent Jesus (1 John 4:10) to die in our place (1 Pet. 3:18) for our sins (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of the atonement, our fellowship with God is restored (Rom.5:10).

 


Channeling 

 A New Age practice where a person goes into an altered state of consciousness and allows another spirit or entity to enter him/her in order to communicate to us. According to New Age teaching, this spirit or entity can be from another dimension, the spirit realm, or from another part of the galaxy or universe.


 
Cherub/Cherubim                                                                                                                                                                 

A type of angel usually involved in sacred work before God. They are generally described as winged creatures with feet and hands. The word(s) occurs over 90 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament at Heb. 9:5, "And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail." Apparently, there are different kinds of Cherubim. Two golden Cherubim are on the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:18). They were put in Eden "to guard the way of the tree of life," (Gen. 3:24). An interested description of them is given in Ezek. 1:5-11,13,14.


If You Think You Aren’t Good Enough

 The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember... 
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer; Rahab was a prostitute; Jeremiah and Timothy were too young; David had an affair and was a murderer; Elijah was suicidal; Isaiah preached naked; Jonah ran from God; Naomi was a widow; Job went bankrupt; John the Baptist ate bugs; Peter denied Christ; The Disciples fell asleep while praying; Martha worried about everything; The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once; Zaccheus was too small; Paul was too religious;Timothy had an ulcer... 

 AND 
Lazarus was dead! 
What do you have that’s worse than that?
So no more excuses!
God can use you to your full potential.
Besides you aren't the message,you are just the messenger.


Atonement

To atone means to make amends, to repair a wrong done. Biblically, it means to remove sin. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by Jesus. Jesus atoned for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). This atonement is received by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9).Man is a sinner (Rom. 5:8) and cannot atone for himself. Therefore, it was the love of the Father that sent Jesus (1 John 4:10) to die in our place (1 Pet. 3:18) for our sins (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of the atonement, our fellowship with God is restored (Rom. 5:10


Channeling                                                                                                                                              

New Age practice where a person goes into an altered state of consciousness and allows another spirit or entity to enter him/her in order to communicate to us. According to New Age teaching, this spirit or entity can be from another dimension, the spirit realm, or from another part of the galaxy or universe.


Apostasy                                                                                                                                                            

The falling away from the faith. It is a revolt against the truth of God’s word by a believer. It can also describe a group or church organization that has "fallen away" from the truths of Christianity as revealed in the Bible.


Baal                                                                                                                                                               

A Canaanite god. The word means "lord" or "husband." He was a god of weather, associated with thunder, which appointed the times of the rains, and was considered to be the son of the pagan god Dagon. The ancient Jews were often tempted to follow Baal because so much of their lives depended upon the rain that fed the crops.



Diaspora                                                                                                                                                           

Dispersion. Biblically, it refers to the dispersion of the Jews outside of Israel from the time of the Babylonian Captivity until now. It has also been applied to the dispersion of Christians after 70 A.D. when Rome sacked Jerusalem and thousands of Christians fled and dispersed throughout the Mediterranean area.



John

     The writer of the gospel of John was obviously an eyewitness of the events of Christ's life since he speaks from a perspective of having been there during many of the events of Jesus' ministry and displays a good knowledge of Israeli geography and customs. 
     The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 125-135 contains portions of John 18, verses 31-33,37-38.  This fragment was found in Egypt.  It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80's to 90's.  Most scholars say it was written in the early 90's.  This means that the time span between the original writing of John and its earliest copy (fragment) is approximately 35-45 years. 
     Of important note is the lack of mention of the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D.  But this is understandable since John was not focusing on historical events and was most probably written 20 or so years after the destruction of the Temple.  John focused on the theological aspect of the person of Christ and listed His miracles and words that affirmed Christ's deity.  Though there is still some debate on the dates of when the gospels were written, they were most assuredly completed before the close of the first century and written by eyewitnesses or under the direction of eyewitnesses.

 

New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments

There is only one place on earth where an unending stream of evidence substantiating the Bible is discovered year after year. Granted, it’s been 40 years since the major discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls thrilled biblical archaeologists and others who love the Word of God.

The latest discovery—two small fragments of animal skin, brown with age, with Leviticus 23:38-39 and 43-44 inscribed in ancient Hebrew—are now in the hands of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). How they got there is an intriguing story in itself. About a year ago, Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, was summoned to an abandoned police station near the Dead Sea for a clandestine meeting with a Bedouin Arab. After explaining that he’d been offered $20,000 on the black market, the man asked Eshel to evaluate the fragments. It would be hard to describe the emotions that surged through the professor’s heart as he examined the skins. “I was jealous that he had found them instead of me,” said Eshel, who has worked in the Judean Desert for nearly 20 years. “I was also very excited, though I didn’t believe I would ever see them again.” Months later, after learning that the fragments had not left the country, Eshel bought them with $3,000 provided by Bar Ilan. The skins were turned over to the IAA, which is now testing them for authenticity. They are the 15th find in this area and date to the Second Revolt against the Romans under Bar-Kochba.

The discovery sparked renewed hope among biblical archaeologists that the Judean Desert has much yet to yield. “No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert since 1965,” said Eshel. “This [find] encourages scholars to believe that if they bother to excavate, survey and climb, they will still find things in the Judean Desert. The common perception has been that there is nothing left to find there, but that is clearly wrong.”   From “Israel Today” magazine.


Malachi 3:3 says “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”

 

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week the woman called a silversmith and didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a spot; then she thought again about the verse that says “ He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver” She asked the silversmith if is was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time silver is being refined.
The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment.
Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered “Oh, that’s easy, when I see my image it”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire.

REMEMBER That God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.



Have any structures mentioned in the Bible been discovered?Yes, quite a number of Biblical structures have been excavated. Some of the most interesting are the following:

*The palace at Jericho where Eglon, king of Moab, was assassinated by Ehud (Judges 3:15-30).The east gate of Shechem where Gaal and Zebul watched the forces of Abimelech approach the city (Judges 9:34-38).The Temple of Baal/El-Berith in Shechem, where funds were obtained to finance Abimelech's kingship, and where the citizens of Shechem took refuge when Abimelech attacked the city (Judges 9:4, 46-49).The pool of Gibeon where the forces of David and Ishbosheth fought during the struggle for the kingship of Israel (2 Samuel 2:12-32).The Pool of Heshbon, likened to the eyes of the Shulammite woman (Song of Songs 7:4).The royal palace at Samaria where the kings of Israel lived (1 Kings 20:43; 21:1, 2; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:2; 15:25).The Pool of Samaria where King Ahab's chariot was washed after his death (1 Kings 22:29-38).The water tunnel beneath Jerusalem dug by King Hezekiah to provide water during the Assyrian siege (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30).The royal palace in Babylon where King Belshazzar held the feast and Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5).The royal palace in Susa where Esther was queen of the Persian king Xerxes (Esther 1:2; 2:3, 5, 9, 16).The royal gate at Susa where Mordecai, Esther's cousin, sat (Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2, 3; 4:2; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12).The Square in front of the royal gate at Susa where Mordecai met with Halthach, Xerxes' eunuch (Esther 4:6).The foundation of the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus cured a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28) and delivered the sermon on the bread of life (John 6:25-59).The house of Peter at Capernaum where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and others (Matthew 8:14-16).Jacob's well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman (John 4).The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a crippled man (John 5:1-14). The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:1-4).The tribunal at Corinth where Paul was tried (Acts 18:12-17).The theater at Ephesus where the riot of silversmiths occurred (Acts 19:29).Herod's palace at Caesarea where Paul was kept under guard (Acts 23:33-35).http://www.biblearchaeology.org/faq.aspx#Faq1


Differently                                                                                                                                            


A study of a group of elderly people 95 and older were asked the question,

.What would you do differently if you had your life to live over?.

The central theme of all of the responses was, .I would have done more with my life..

The three most common answers:

I would have thought more

I would have risked more

I would have done more things that would live on after I die.

Excerpted from the sermon, .Get in Your Spot.. http://www.theonlineword.com/mp3/7141.mp3


 The Bible’s uniqueness and unity.                                                                                                 


The Bible was written by over 40 authors who came from just about every walk of life conceivable,including fisherman, kings, a butler, priests, and a tax collector. The 66 books of theBible were written over a 1,500 year span in three languages on three continentswith one theme and no contradictions. C.J. Sharp captures this miracle well:
"If a fragment of stone were found in Italy, another in Asia Minor, another in Greece, another in Egypt, and on and on until sixty-six fragments had been found, and if when put together they fitted perfectly together, making a perfect statue of Venus de Milo, there is not an artist or scientist but would arrive immediately at the conclusion that there was originally a sculptor who conceived and carved the statue. The very lines and perfections would probably determine which of the great ancient artists carved the statue. Not only the unity of the Scriptures, but their lines of perfection, suggest One far above any human as the real author. That could be no one but God!


  BENNY HINN’S TEACHINGS: FALSE TEACHER!

1.      Benny has taught the Egyptians were not drowned in the Red Sea but were crushed by falling ice (Praise The Lord Show 7/14/94) 

2.       “God's original plan is that the woman was to bring forth children out of her side" (Our Position in Christ#5, 1990)

3.       (Adam) “was the first Superman that really ever lived…he used to fly.…he flew to space.—with one thought he would be on the moon. "  (Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord   TBN 12/26/91)

4.      On man he has taught “Within me is a God-man…The Spirit man within me is a God-man…I’m a God-man.”16) “Are you a child of God? Then you are divine!...Then you’re not human.” “When you say I am a Christian, you are saying ‘I am messiah in Hebrew.‘I am a little messiah walking earth.” “You know what your last name is? Jehovah! So I’m Benny Jehovah!”  "Though we are not Almighty God Himself, nevertheless, we are now divine." (Benny Hinn, TBN, 12/1/90)

5.       Let's say, 'I AM A GOD-MAN.' …This spirit man within me is a God-Man. …Say 'I'm born-of-heaven-God-Man. I'm a God-Man. I'm a sample of Jesus. I'm a super being." (Praise the Lord, TBN, Dec 6 1990). 6.      “I am not part of him, I am Him! The word has become flesh in me." (Our Position in Christ). "Are you ready for some real revelation knowledge... you are God" ("Our Position In Christ", tape # AO31190-1)


Why would God have to die to save people from Himself? 
    

 Why would God have to die to save people from Himself?  Because there is no other way to save anyone from their sins. 
      Because God is holy and righteous, He must punish anyone who breaks His law.  Since He is the one who administers the punishment, we then need to be saved from His righteous judgment.  But, since we are not capable of pleasing God by our mere works, the only one left who can cleanse us is God Himself.
      The one offended is the one who must pardon.  If I offend you, I do not ask forgiveness from your neighbor.  I have to ask you.  The same goes with God.  If we sin against Him we have to go to Him to be forgiven.  But, simply asking for forgiveness isn't enough.  The reason is because when we sin, we sin against a holy and infinite God.  But, God is also righteous and He must do what is right.  Therefore, it is right to punish those who defy Him.  But the problem is that since God is infinite and we are not, we cannot do enough to please an infinite God. 


Matthew

   The early church unanimously held that the gospel of Matthew was the first written gospel and was penned by the apostle of the same name (Matt. 10:2).  Lately, the priority of Matthew as the first written gospel has come under suspicion with Mark being considered by many to be the first written gospel.  The debate is far from over.
   The historian Papias mentions that the gospel of Matthew was originally in Aramaic or Hebrew and attributes the gospel to Matthew the apostle.1                                                                                                                                             "Irenaeus (ca. a.d. 180) continued Papias’s views about Matthew and Mark and added his belief that Luke, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by that apostle, and that John, the Beloved Disciple, published his Gospel while residing in Asia. By the time of Irenaeus, Acts was also linked with Luke, the companion of Paul."2.     This would mean that if Matthew did write in Aramaic originally, that he may have used Mark as a map, adding and clarifying certain events as he remembered them.  But, this is not known for sure.
  The earliest quotation of Matthew is found in Ignatius who died around 115 A.D.  Therefore, Matthew was in circulation well before Ignatius came on the scene.  The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 - 140.  But Ignatius died around 115 A.D. and he quoted Matthew.  Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died.  Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50.    

 

1. Douglas, J. D., Comfort, Philip W. & Mitchell, Donald, Editors, Who’s Who in Christian History, Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; 1992.

 2. Achtemeier, Paul J., Th.D., Harper’s Bible Dictionary, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.; 1985


Water Baptism

When JOHN THE BAPTIST came to the deserts of Judea "preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" he was met with great success. Matthew 3:5 says, "People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River." Luke adds that crowds were coming out to be baptized by him. And, "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too." (Luke 3:7, 21).

The Jewish people to whom John's ministry was directed were familiar with the concepts of repentance and forgiveness of sins (1 Kings 8:33-34; Isa 55:6, 7) even though complete forgiveness was not possible apart from the shed blood of Christ (Heb 9:15). The New Testament clearly points out that the baptism of John was from God. It came from heaven (Matt 21:25). It was administered for the spiritual purpose of proclaiming repentance and receiving forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4). But the act of baptism itself has a history beyond the Scriptures.



The Greek World

"The Greek word "baptizo" as used in Mark 1:4 ( "And so John came, baptizing in the desert region . . ." ) was very common among Greek-speaking people; it is used in every period of Greek literature and was applied to a great variety of matters, including the most familiar acts of everyday life. Greek speakers and hearers understood the word at the time John was preaching; it had no doubtful meaning. It meant what we express by the Latin word 'immerse' and kindred terms; no one could then have thought of attributing to it a different meaning, such as 'sprinkle' or 'pour.'" (Boles, H. Leo Commentary on Matthew. Gospel Advocate Pub. Pg 74).

The Encyclopedia of Religion (McMillan. 1987. Pg. 59) continues by pointing out that the word baptism means to plunge, to immerse, or to wash; it also signifies, from the Homeric period onward, any rite of immersion in water. The baptismal rite is similar to many other ablution (the washing of one's body or part of it as a religious rite) rituals found in a number of religions..." 

 

 

 The Baptism of John

  When John the Baptist came on the scene in the first century Jewish world, his teaching included the necessity of baptism. The people of his day were familiar with the act or practice of baptism as just discussed. However, John's baptism was not based on or authorized by the Jewish law or pagan religious customs and traditions. John was called to preach by God, armed only with the Word of God (Luke 3:2). Jesus tells us that the baptism that John taught was from heaven, not from men ( Matt 21:25). When John preached a baptism for the remission of sins, the people heard and obeyed. They submitted to the baptism that had been authorized by God. It was the first time in human history in which a person had the opportunity to be baptized for the remission of his sins, pagan and Jewish religious customs, notwithstanding. A necessary refinement in the administration of baptism had to be made following the death of Jesus, however, as Acts 19:1-7 points out. Rather than submitting to the baptism of John, which was a baptism of repentance, we can now be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

  Protestants believe Water Baptism is an ordinance, a symbolic ritual used to witness to having accepted Christ as personal Savior.

  Catholics believe "Necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1257)

  No babies were ever baptized anywhere in the Bible but the Catholic church started this because they believe you have to be baptized to go to heaven. Protestants believe it is only a sign that someone understands and accepts Christ’s teaching about Salvation. We do not believe that baptism saves us but it is a sign that we are saved because we believe that Jesus was our sacrifice before God to save us from our sins.

 

Apocrypha – Extra Books in the Bible-Spurious writings

  In general use, the word "apocrypha" came to mean "false, spurious, bad, or heretical." This meaning also appears in Origen's prologue to his commentary on the Song of Songs, of which only the Latin translation survives "Concerning these scriptures, which are called apocryphal, for the reason that many things are found in them corrupt and against the true faith handed down by the elders, it has pleased them that they not be given a place nor be admitted to authority." (Translation by a Wikipedia editor.)

  In 1546 the Catholic Council of Trent affirmed these books to be part of the Bible in addition to the already established Bible which had been put together in 325AD by the early church fathers because they had been used since Jesus had been on earth and were credible because the New Testament was written under God’s inspiration by people who personally knew Jesus or were mentored by someone close to Jesus.



LIMBO

  The Catholic Church is preparing to abandon the idea of limbo, the theological belief that children who die before being baptized are suspended in a space between heaven and hell.

  The concept, which was devised in the 13th century and was depicted in numerous works of art during the Renaissance, such as Descent into Limbo by the painter Giotto, and in Dante’s masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, is of a metaphysical space where infants are blissfully happy but are not actually in the presence of God.

  The idea of limbo was developed as a response to the harshness of early Church teachings which insisted that any child who died before he or she was baptized would still be stained by Original Sin and so would be condemned to hell.

  The belief, which is unique to the Catholic Church, has fallen out of favor over the past 50 years. It is rarely mentioned and until recently has been left in its own kind of limbo.

  However, an international commission of Catholic theologians, meeting in the Vatican, has been pondering the issue and is expected to advise Pope Benedict XVI to announce officially that the theological concept of limbo is incorrect.

  Instead, the new belief is expected to be that unbaptized babies will go directly to heaven.                         



PURGATORY

 

  One of the most tenacious myths of the Middle Ages is Purgatory, where prayer is supposed to send aid to its inhabitants, the moderately sinful Christian dead. In the Middle Ages the threat of purgatorial flames was almost as frightening as the fires of Hell, despite the in-built possibility of self-advancement, of ascending the Mountain of Purgatory through penance and privation to the gates of Heaven. Although the Greek Orthodox Church eschewed the notion, Purgatory entered official Catholic dogma in 1245, and has remained there ever since. ‘Reasonable Purgatory’ has seemed to many believers a sensible stopping point before the Last Judgment. Purgatory is not in the accepted Bible. The church sold indulgences so that people could be let out of this awful place. The church made money and the people paying them felt good about what they had done for a loved one. This is definitely not in the Bible and was man made.



SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION

 

   Protestants claim the Bible is the only rule of faith, meaning that it contains all of the material one needs for theology and that this material is sufficiently clear that one does not need apostolic tradition or the Church’s magisterium (teaching authority) to help one understand it. In the Protestant view, the whole of Christian truth is found within the Bible’s pages. Anything extraneous to the Bible is simply non-authoritative, unnecessary, or wrong—and may well hinder one in coming to God.

   Catholics, on the other hand believe Scripture plus apostolic tradition, as manifested in the living teaching authority of the Catholic Church, to which were entrusted the oral teachings of Jesus and the apostles, along with the authority to interpret Scripture correctly.



Ash Wednesday

 

 The Church left only a few records in the first millennium of Church history. Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960.

 

  At the beginning of the 11th century, Abbot Aelfric notes that it was customary for all the faithful to take part in a ceremony on the Wednesday before Lent that included the imposition of ashes. Near the end of that century, Pope Urban II called for the general use of ashes on that day. Only later did this day come to be called Ash Wednesday.

  At first, clerics and men had ashes sprinkled on their heads, while women had the sign of the cross made with ashes on their foreheads. Eventually, of course, the ritual used with women came to be used for men as well.

  In the 12th century the rule developed that the ashes were to be created by burning palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. Many parishes today invite parishioners to bring such palms to church before Lent begins and have a ritual burning of the palms after Mass.

  This is not in the Bible so Protestants, except for the some Orthodox groups, so they do not celebrate this day. As I have said, Dave if it is not in the Scriptures then I can’t accept it. A great study is to see how we got our Bible and how it has been proven true over the years. Someday when you have time I have a great book about the forming of the Bible.

 

 

 

 

 




 


 
   
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