Monday, December 31, 2012

My God Never Changes. Does Yours?

          What is the first thing that the Bible teaches us God Himself both blessed and sanctified? Try Genesis 2:3. It’s the Sabbath. What is the only thing that the Bible teaches God both blessed and sanctified? Unless I am missing something it is again in Genesis 2:3. It is the Sabbath; and this was long before the Law was given. What was the one law God used to test Israel before He gave them the Law? See Exodus 16:4. It’s the Sabbath.
Any honest student of the Bible knows the Sabbath is still on Saturday. God created the Sabbath – man made Sunday the Lord’s Day. There is nothing wrong with observing the Lord’s Day - would that we observed everyday as the Lord’s. Observing the Lord’s Day is up to you; but, there is no Biblical obligation to do so. The expectation to set aside Sunday for God is akin to the additional rituals the Pharisees placed on the Jews. You know the ones that Jesus chastised them for. It has become one of the “traditions of men”; and, as in Jesus’ time, these traditions have, for many, supplanted the ordinance of God.
With the Law, Jesus Himself said that the Law would not pass away until this Heaven and this Earth did. Without the Law, we are told in the Old Testament that whatever God does, nothing can be added to it or taken from it – Ecclesiastes 3:14.
People talk about circumcision being a sign in the Old Testament and baptism being a sign in the New Testament. These are signs that show we are God’s children. God says keeping His Sabbaths is a sign that we know He is our God – Ezekiel 20:20. For more Scripture on this issue see this article on my site.
Worshipping and fellowshipping on Sunday is great. But, what are you telling God when you ignore His Sabbath?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apologetics - Why? What? How?

Depending on the translation you use there are between 4 and 12 verses in the New Testament that describe defending the faith (defense/defence). We are told in 1 Timothy 6:12 that we are to fight the good fight. In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to always be ready to answer for the reason for our hope (faith in Jesus). This defense is called apologetics.
There are many different methods employed in apologetics and many different issues addressed. Some focus on scientific issues - like creation. Some focus on the historical aspects – like archeological proof of the events in the Old Testament. Some focus on literary issues – like the accuracy and continuity of Scripture. These areas are what you will probably find on most sites that deal with apologetics. Even the articles in the apologetics section on my site pertain to those issues.
But, for us, there is another area, just as vital, if not more. That is knowledge of the Scriptures themselves. If a stranger were to ask you, “How do you know you are saved?” it won’t help them much to cite anything but the actual Word of God. Having a firsthand knowledge of the Bible yourself is critical – for your own sake and theirs. Knowing what the Bible actually says, for yourself, and not just what you have heard, is the only way you can give a true defense of your faith. Look at the following and see if you can pick the verses from the Bible:
God helps those who help themselves.”
“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
“This, too, shall pass.”
“God works in mysterious ways.”
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
“Pride goeth before the fall.
If you said none you got it right. If you said anything else, well some are sort of close; but some are actually contradictory to the Bible. Think about, pray, and study for yourself. You will answer for it, not your preacher, priest, etc.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Cross and the Crescent

             I wrote an earlier piece on witnessing to those of the Jewish persuasion. This piece will deal with those of the Muslim persuasion.
Depending on whose data you want to use (CIA, Pew reports, etc) there are about 7 billion people in the world today. Of those about 2 to 2.3 billion are Christians, about 1.5 to 2 are billion Muslims, and about 13 million Religious Jews. The data collected is often collected from both demographics (the study of human populations) as well as from self-reporting – i.e. somebody conducted a poll or survey and somebody answered one way or the other.
If this data is relatively accurate that means over half of the people in the world all believe, not only in “a” God, but in the same God of Abraham. A majority opinion does not prove something is right; but, that’s a lot of folks agreeing on something that many say can’t be “proven”. It is even more surprising when one considers that those same folks don’t agree on much of anything else. The Muslims break down into Sunni, Shi’a, Sufi, etc. The Christians break down into Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, etc. The Jews break down into Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, etc.
What may surprise many Christians is that Muslims also believe in the existence of Jesus; and, in portions of the Christian Holy Bible. While non-Christian Jews reject Jesus entirely, Muslims do accept Jesus (Isa) as a prophet – even His virgin birth and miracles. While non-Christian Jews reject the New Testament entirely, some Muslims still accept most of it, others only small portions of it. You may wonder why Muslims accept any or only some portions of the Bible. It is because although they believe that the original Holy book was given to Jesus by God, the Injil or Injeel, that it has been mostly lost/corrupted.
To persuade them that they are mistaken there is an excellent three part article written by a (former) Muslim who did a lot of research into the matter of comparing and contrasting the Qur’an and the Holy Bible with what he was taught. For more general info there is an article elsewhere that addresses more areas in a less academic manner.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Who do you listen to? Part II - drinking

            In the first part I talked about smoking. A friend commented that with New Year’s coming up I should talk about drinking. This is another area where there is a wealth of different opinions. That wine was considered a blessing from God in the Old Testament would be hard for any intelligent person to debate. There are simply too many verses that support it. Wine even comes from God (Genesis 27:28). These days some try to claim it had no alcohol content. This ignores multiple historical and Biblical sources of data.
 First, we’ll look at secular data. Water was often unsafe to drink; and, that’s one reason why beverages were fermented - they were safer to drink. Wine was also a safe way to preserve a crop’s bounty. Grapes don’t last long. Wine lasts a long time in the heat of the desert – grape juice doesn’t. In fact, even if you throw some real, raw, grape juice in the frig, and forget about it long enough, you may get a wine or wine vinegar.
Now, we look at the Biblical data. Priests weren’t to drink wine before going into the temple (Leviticus 10:9); but, they were specifically allowed to after ceremonies (Numbers 6:20). Nazarites weren’t to have it all – in any form (Numbers 6:2 & 3). Why the prohibition if it is just juice? Consider 1 Samuel 1:14, how could wine cause drunkenness if it had no alcohol? The number of verses that support drinking alcoholic wine are just too numerous to list outside a book dedicated to that purpose – over 200 verses in the Bible mention wine. The New Testament says Jesus not only drank wine, but His first miracle was to make wine. Some stubborn folks will try to say that the wine in the time of Jesus was different. Not so, consider Acts 2:13, Ephesians 5:18, etc.
The problem is not alcoholic beverages. There is nothing in the Bible to support the concept that consuming an alcoholic beverage is a sin. It is in the excessive use of it for which the Bible warns us multiple times. No one can argue that overindulging impairs the ability to exercise sound judgment. Commonsense says, and the Bible commands, that we are to not drink to excess. I think excess refers both to consumption in a single sitting as well frequency, but this is just my opinion.
So, if you choose to drink, please do so with discretion. If you don’t drink, please be Biblical in your application of your view and exercise some discretion too. God Bless you and yours. Be safe out there - there will probably be a lot of drunks out driving around!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who do you listen to? - smoking

        People can usually tell by the way you act. The old adage applies; actions speak louder than words. Of course it can get complicated when you are a Christian. Most folks have a skewed view of what the Bible actually says about how to act – regretfully that includes a lot of Christians. They listen to their “church” instead of the Bible. They follow the traditions of men – which the Bible clearly says we are not to do.
I can give you a simple example. A lot of “Christians” will look down on a tobacco smoker – some go so far as to ostracize a smoker claiming you can’t smoke and be a Christian. They draw this primarily from Paul’s writings to the Corinthians (1 Cor 3:16) about us being the temple of God. But they overlook a lot of things. First, the “you” (ye) is plural – just as it is later about being the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27). Second, Paul is speaking about building. He is speaking collectively – as Christians we collectively build and form the Temple of God just as we collectively form the Body of Christ. He clarifies this in his writings to the Ephesians in Chapter 2 verses 21 and 22.
It’s sad enough that so many misunderstand – worse that so many are hypocritical about it. I’ve seen folks way overweight and sorely out of shape whose diets are horrendous that still knock a smoker. Either way they would do well to read Jesus’ own words in Matthew Chapter 15 – specifically verse 11. Jesus considers their harsh words to smokers as defiling - not smoking.
We have probably all heard complaints about Christian hypocrites and hypocritical churches. Jesus was quite clear about His opinion of hypocrites. So who do you listen to? As for me, I’ll take Jesus’ words over anybody else every time. I’d rather be unpopular with people than with my Lord.

Monday, December 24, 2012

May God Have Mercy on the USA

          If you believe the news polls the majority of folks in the USA say they believe in God. They must believe in a different God than the one I know - God the Creator- the God of the Christian Holy Bible. No one who believes in Him could continually live and act the way most “Americans” do. I can’t believe I lived to see the day that two homosexuals would have their marriage proposal filmed at the White House – much less that it would be by a member of the US Armed Forces.
            The USA has never been perfect; but, it was once a nation comprised primarily of folks who at least tried to live as though they did believe in God the Creator. It once reflected those beliefs in the government. Modern day politicians have taken “separation of church and state” as a clarion call to destroy Christianity in the USA. The Constitution has been all but annulled – if not in fact then in action. The Constitution does not even mention “separation of church and state”. What it does say, in the First Amendment, is, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
The Government has taken “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” to the point that it is “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” for Christians. Christians are routinely even denied “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. Street ministers are routinely run off or even jailed! No kidding folks – it’s happening right here in the USA. I can’t say the “good old USA” anymore – it’s not. Christians are even being banned from preaching their own Bible inside their own churches. Preaching morals today is tantamount to inviting a charge for hate crimes.
I was once proud to say “God bless the USA”. Now, I am more apt to pray “God have mercy on the USA”. Our laws were once based on the Holy Bible. Now, even sharia law is being supplanted in communities across the country. I do believe we are still the “land of the brave” but we certainly aren’t “the home of the free” anymore. We have a nanny government that despises Christ as vehemently as the first century Jews did. If things don’t change the same fate awaits us.

Unto you a Jewish Child is Born

One of the reasons many Jews reject Jesus is because many Christians interpret the New Testament to say that all the Law is done away with. Jews rightly cite Deuteronomy 13:1-4. Jesus Himself though did not say the Law was done away with. What He said in Matthew 5:17/18 is that the Law will be here until this heaven and this earth pass away. We are freed from the Old Testament Ordinances only (the ritual law) - in Christian liberty. That is a big difference.

Another point many modern day Jews raise to refute Jesus is the Christian concept of the Trinity. Suffice it to say here that even Jewish scholars centuries ago had a hard time grasping God’s expressed plurality in Genesis 1:26. For the average Christian I would turn to C.S. Lewis’ explanation in Mere Christianity - (If you download the PDF from my website you can just type “cube” into the find box of the PDF and it will take you to the general area). For any Christian wanting information on how to answer this for a Jew from a Jewish point of view check out this article.

Then again I can’t blame most Jews for being leery of listening to most Christian. Too many times throughout history the Jews have been butchered and tormented by those claiming to be Christians. I say claiming because no true Christian would do what has been done to the Jews. The Jews were the first chosen people of God. That can never be changed. Jesus, as man, was a Jew that saved us with His death. That can never be changed. Half of the Christian Bible – the Word of God – is Jewish. The Word of God cannot be changed – even though the RCC has tried by corrupting the Ten Commandments.

            Still it is ironic that at least some segment of the Jewish community is afraid of Christians in a more spiritual way. If you Google Jews for Jesus you will find Jews For Jesus is the first nonpaid site. The first site is a paid site by Jews for Judaism titled Why Jews say no to Jesus. The fact that enough folks are going to Jews for Jesus to garner a Google number 1 page rank speaks for itself. As does the fact that somebody is paying to draw attention away.

            We are told to spread the Gospel; and, we are told to be able to defend our faith. There is one good thing about the Jews for Judaism website. It lets us Christians know what we need to be able to answer for that particular segment of the population. Even in their rejection of Jesus, God shows His love for them, by having them tell us what we, as God’s helpers with the Gospel, need to help show them.

           I, by chance of birth, am a native of the USA. But what follows applies the world over. Many muslims would love to see every Christian dead or converted. I have never met or even heard of a Jew that wants Christians dead or converted. Take a chance folks – we received the Gospel - the Good News – from Jews: try sharing it back. They won’t kill you for trying and God will bless you for it.


When Jesus was Born

         Much of what is in the Gospels is repeated. That’s why we have the term Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark, and Luke share a lot of similarity. There are, however, few events that are mentioned in all four Gospels – the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. Holding that thought in mind consider what might be so important that it is mentioned in all four gospels. What is really so important that they all mention it.
I am not a Bible “scholar” so if anyone finds I missed something feel free to bring it to my attention so I can address it. Now, concerning the items in all four gospels, and the timing of this article, I’ll start by pointing out it’s not when Jesus was born. It’s not even one of His miracles or one of His sermons, or one of His parables. Only two items come readily to my mind. One is the crucifixion of Jesus. The importance of which is obvious to any Christian. The second is when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him - Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32.
Perhaps it’s just me but I find it strange that His “birthday” is celebrated but not when the Holy Spirit descended on Him. He didn’t begin His ministry – the Gospel – until after this. Well, some would say that we don’t know when that was. True, but we don’t know His birthdate either- and His birthdate is celebrated after the manner of a pagan rite. I guess the dove didn’t descend near enough to a pagan holiday to be corrupted.
It’s probably a good thing we don’t know when; but, it’s kind of sad that so few see or remember the significance of an event so important that it is in all four Gospels. For fellow Christians, can you remember the awesome feeling you felt when you were baptized? Can you imagine how it must have felt to Jesus the man? The Holy Spirit descending upon Him and God’s voice coming from the heavens proclaiming, “This is My Son”.
I leave it to each reader to discover why this event was so important that it is mentioned in all four Gospels.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Things Darwin didn't even attempt to Answer

It seems these days that not buying into macroevolution is tantamount to saying "here's my sign". Microevolution is a given - even commonsense explains it. This doesn't hold true for macro. Although I delve more into this on my website I wanted to throw out something simple here.
I have a simple question for all the geniuses out there. Where did the elements of the periodic table come from? I can answer that. Can you?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pagan Holiday Season

I'll probably be seen as a scrooge but . . . There is no Biblical basis for christmas. Most folks should know by now that the "roots" of christmas are the pagan holiday of Saturnalia. The RC incorporated it into "christianity" in the 4th century to appease the romans. Even the "traditions" of the tree, mistletoe, and gift giving are all pagan based.
Folks complain that the observeance of christmas is all about "commercialization", but it never has been different. The Puritans banned it. Throughout most of history it has been used as an excuse to kill jews.
I don't "observe" christmas myself and am surprised by the arguments about "merry christmas" versus "happy holidays". The word holiday comes from "Holy day" - again a pagan influence on the RC.
Anyway, hope everybody stays safe and well for the rest of the year and beyond.

In Brotherly Love,


Friday, December 21, 2012

Current Bible work

I have compiled my own list of NT references to the OT with citations and am up to about 252. There are about 8 I can't find listed toward the end. It is free and is on my website's Free Downloads page or available here. Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I was wondering about a new project. Many of us have seen a "red letter" version that has Jesus' spoken words in red in the NT. Anyone ever seen an OT version that "highlights" God's spoken words? I've been thinking about starting one . . .

Post 12/21/12

Well, 12/21/12 is here and so are we. Once again, though many won't see it this way, the Bible is proven correct again. See Mark 13:33 and Matthew 24:42 and most importantly Mathhew 24:36. No man knows when our time has come - not even the angels in Heaven. I would say that held true for the Mayans too!
Someday it will come, maybe soon. I hope it does. Though when doesn't really matter. Are you ready? That's all that does matter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Doom Whose Day?

It seems like everywhere you look in the media you find something about doomsday and the end of the world. Well here's a newsflash - everybody's world will end someday. If not on 12/21/12, then sometime thereafter. Like the old saying goes - "life, nobody gets out alive".

The question shouldn't be so much as to when or how you die but how you lived. Whether a catastrophe hits or not, it is a moot point to live longer if your soul is dead. What's the point of a live body and a dead soul.

Don't get me wrong - I am as prepared as my financial situation allows. I learned my lessons well as a boy scout and as a member of the US Armed Forces. But the reason I am not worried is that I learned even better lessons from the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

For any non-believers reading this I ask you to think about what good it does you to prepare for this world and not the next? For any fellow Christian preppers out there - Keep the Faith - it's why we are here.

In Brotherly Love


Islam and Agape in Action

It's pretty popular these days in much of the "West" to be "anti-islam". In an article on my website I discuss what is meant by Christian Biblical Love. What it means to "love your enemy". Here's a link to some folks that are getting it right - .

If you really want to learn more check out the downloadable book they have by Dr. William Campbell called The Qur'an and the Bible in the light of history and science.

I served in both the US Navy and the US Army so I am not a bleeding heart liberal by any means. But when you get the chance to share God's love you should do so.

If it was easy anybody could do it. We actually can - with God's help.