July 29, 2012

Talking Big – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 16

This picturesque phrase, “great swelling words,” is the King James Version translation of huperonkos, which literally means “super-massive,” with the implied noun “words” added because of the context.

The word is used only one other time in the NT in the parallel passage in II Pet.2:18:

“For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” KJ

Considering other translations should help us get the picture.

“speak arrogantly,” NASV

“mouth speaks proud things,” WEB

“mouths speaking pompous words.” LEB

“mouths speak grandiosities,” CJB

“loud-mouthed boasters,” ESV

“bombastic in speech,” NVSV

“using high-sounding words,” BBE

“high-flown, empty talk,” WORD

“talking big.” TM

 Vincent’s Word Studies says, “it denotes a kind of speech full of high-sounding verbosity without substance.”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “lofty expressions, which have a great sound, but little sense.”

Expositors Biblical Commentary describes their conduct as “declaiming bombastic futilities.”

UBS Translator’s Handbook says, “in other words, something that sounds much more impressive than it really is.”

Word Biblical Commentary sums up the idea very well when it says, “The words of the false teachers sound very impressive, but they are deceptive; in reality, they are worthless.”

Today, many sit in awe at the feet of tenured professors in Ivy League Universities, absorbing every titillating idea the flows so fluently from their polished, pompous mouths. In the context of great scholarship, expressed by such big impressive words, truth-honoring discernment dissolves. Precious souls are carried along by the impressive, respectable, acceptable flow and the world applauds.

Many are swayed by large, impressive buildings filled and overflowing with the great majority of their friends who drink in all the great swelling words that fit so well with what “everybody” believes.

Both Peter and Jude, who spoke of “talking big,” in context are warning against false teachers who, after somehow obtaining positions of influence among the spiritually immature believers in the body of Christ, would then seek to lead them back into worldly ways of thinking and acting. Peter compares those who heed such words to washed sows going back to wallow in the mire, II Pet.2:22.

Such teachers may appear very intellectual and charismatic, with their “feigned words” II Pet.2:3, with their promises of “liberty” I Pet.2:16 (including acceptance by the intelligentsia), and flatteries, but it is a deadly mistake to follow them.

Both of the apostles give various ways by which to recognize them. They may actually deny the redemptive work of Christ, II Pet.2:1 or seek to undermine those whom God has placed in authority, 2:10. Perhaps most commonly, they are interested in worldly gain or prestige for themselves, II Pet.2:14; Jude 11. They also may practice and encourage carnal lifestyles, Jude 4.

Other characteristics of these deceptive teachers are given in these two key chapters and, by all means, young believers need to be alert to this danger, staying close to God’s Word and obedient to His will.

 

 

 

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July 22, 2012

The Aroma – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also  loved  you and  gave Himself up for us, an  offering and a sacrifice to God  as a  fragrant aroma,” Eph.5:1-2.

Incense in Scripture has a variety of rich and meaningful usages, particularly as related to the blood sacrifice.

“Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood.: “You shall put this altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you.” Ex.30:1, 6.

Without this incense, it was impossible to meet with God in this prescribed way. It was to be offered both in the morning and in the evening.

“Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. “When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.” Ex.30:6-7.

Great care was to be taken in its preparation.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. “With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. “You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.” Ex.30:34-36.

It was not to be used for any other purpose.

“The incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD. “Whoever shall make any like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people.” Ex.30:37-38.

In the New Testament we find a totally different application of this principle. As in our text, we see that Jesus Christ Himself has become an offering and a “fragrance of Christ” to God. His freely offering Himself is an example to us to live a life of sacrifice and love.

While He was the final sacrifice, we are

“to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Rom.12:1.

This may even take the form of material things.

“But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” Phil 4:18.

In the mind of God, our life of sacrifice is a sweet-smelling savor.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;” II Cor.2:14-15.

Without our willing, living sacrifice, we cannot approach God, but with it, we are a “a fragrance of Christ.”

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

July 15, 2012

God’s Son In The Old Testament – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Ps.2:7

Contrary to the “politically correct” establishment, Christians have a fundamental responsibility to talk to people about God and teach them His truth. Jesus commanded, “…make disciples of all the nations,…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;…” (Matt.28:19-20). He said, “…preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15).

If you are serious about being a Christian, you try to do what Jesus says, in spite of the discomfort produced by the frowns of your neighbors. And if you spend much time talking to people about God, you know there are many today (especially Muslims, Jews, and “Christian liberals”) who are monotheists, believing in one supreme God but rejecting the deity of Christ. They argue that the doctrine that Jesus was the unique Son of God, was invented by the early Christians and that the God of the Old Testament had no Son. The idea of “the son of God” is repugnant to our Muslim friends. Orthodox Jews like to emphasize Deuteronomy 6:4; “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”

It should not be surprising to learn that these antagonists to the New Testament are, typically, not very good Bible students. The fact is that there are a significant number of Old Testament verses that do speak of God’s only begotten Son. Note the following brief summary.

First, there is God’s great promise to David:

“I will set up your seed after you,…I will be his father, and he shall be my son…Your throne shall be established for ever,”

II Sam 7:12, 14, 16.

Consider also the rhetorical questions of Agur.

“Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!” Proverbs 30:4.

Then there are the two famous prophecies of Isaiah, quoted so frequently when we remember the birth of Jesus.

“Behold, a (literally ‘the’) virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning ‘God with us’),” Isaiah 7:14.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: …and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah 9:6.

Perhaps the most explicit verse in this connection is the verse with which we began, the marvelous Messianic second Psalm.

“He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” Psalm 2:7.

Then this psalm, which foresees the coming Christ concludes with this exhortation:

“Do homage to the Son, …How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Psalm 2:12.

Our antagonistic friends refuse to take refuge in Him. They close their eyes and seek refuge from Him. These passages demonstrate that the liberal “scholars” are not very scholarly. Our Muslim friends respect the Old Testament when it suits them. The Jews claim great reverence for scripture, but their hypocrisy, which Jesus often condemned, is alive and well.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

 

July 8, 2012

David’s Army – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

So David left Gath and took refuge in the cave of Adullam. When David’s brothers and his father’s whole family heard, they went down and joined him there.  In addition, every man who was desperate, in debt, or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader. About 400 men were with him.”  I Sam.22:1-2  Holman

David had served faithfully under King Saul, bravely risking his life in order to protect God’s people and subdue their enemies.  King Saul responded with jealousy, trying to kill him. Now, he is fleeing for his life. His brothers who had been angry with him when he visited their battle (I Sam 17:28), have been won over and rally to help David with his.  Additionally, a rather pitiful and unpromising company began following David, and they became the nucleus of what would soon be his army. Others joined them, and David trained them,

“At that time, men came day after day to help David until there was a great army, like an army of God,” I Chron.12:22  Holman

Soon they were no longer discontented misfits, but a remarkable array of soldiers.

“They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and were captains in the army.” I Chron.12:21.

One group, for example, were described as

“…men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions, and  they were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.” I Chron.12:8.

In many remarkable ways David was a type of Christ, his life foreshadowing the experiences of the greater “son of David” who would come a thousand years later. In such a parallel, his army is a type of the earthly “host of God,” and the great company of those who have chosen to follow Christ, each of whom has been called to…

“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” II Tim.2:3.

The followers of Christ were also once desperate and in debt. This is not a problem. It fits into to God’s purpose.

“God has chosen the world’s insignificant and despised things—the things viewed as nothing—so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something,” I Corinthians 1:28 Holman.

Jesus is now the “captain of their salvation” Heb. 2:10 KJV. The Apostle Paul compared our service to that of soldiers.

“A soldier on active duty wants to please his commanding officer and so does not get mixed up in the affairs of civilian life,” II Tim.2:4 TEV

Chapter 19 of Revelation depicts Christ who led the church to victory over the worst Satan could muster against it.

11 Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles.

Like David of old, he has a mighty army of valiant soldiers who follow.

…14 The armies of heaven followed him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean white linen.

We Christians are privileged to serve and be trained in God’s mighty army. Wow!

Adapted from an article by Henry M. Morris