September 17, 2017

I Also Send You – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

By Don R. Patton

“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” (John 20:19-21)

The apostles had been closely associated with Jesus throughout the years of His teaching. They heard what He taught and eventually came to understand much of it. They participated in His work of teaching and trying to influence their Jewish brethren to follow God’s will in their lives. “[T]hey left everything and followed Him,” (Luke 5:11).

They had witnessed all kinds of reactions; ridicule, elaborate determined attempts to refute and undermine His work by the most influential among the Jews, as well as acceptance and adoration. They had seen a close trusted friend overcome by greed and betray Jesus into the hands of murders. They watched the dominating Roman army arrest Him. They were terrified and fled. They saw Him delivered to a spineless leader who yielded to the hatred and envy of their hypocritical religious leaders. They saw His agony, His horrible death and with it they saw the defeat of all their efforts, the end of their goals, the excitement and glory long anticipated.

Days later, most of them had come together “because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.” (John 20:19 NET). They weren’t just disheartened; they had good reason to think they would die. The ones who killed Jesus would likely try to stamp out His following.

I doubt that we can realistically imagine what went on in their disillusioned, fear filled minds when “Jesus came and stood in their midst…an showed them both His hands and His side…” (John 20:19). Scripture often expresses the most overwhelming ideas with stunning understatement. “The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord,” (John 20:20).

Now, the effectiveness of His message became absolute. His claim to be the Son of God is true. He has the authority to comfort, reassure and redirect, absolutely. Now, we can appreciate the power of the force behind His words, “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Satan had done his worst and failed. Yes, he will come after you, but, “so what?” His best efforts are pitiful, compared to God’s overpowering providence now, and certainly in light of eternity. “The worst thing Satan ever did is the best thing that ever happened to us.”

You know better than to be afraid. You know that I know what I’m talking about. My peace and my Holy Spirit will guide you with infinite wisdom, assuring your ultimate victory.

“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “’Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:21-22).

The one proved to be God’s son said to His apostles, “I also send you.” Then, guided by the Holy Spirit, they also have sent us.

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

Hardship, persecution? Sure. But, following the example of the one who endured much more and was triumphant, realize you also have been sent on a divine mission. Just like Jesus and those He sent, we also expect persecution, peace, power, and victory.

Adapted from an article by John Morris

 

 

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September 10, 2017

The Dependable Creationist Forecaster – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

This is being written as hurricane Irma is bearing down on many dear friends, directly in its path. Predictions indicate that by the time this article will be read by most, Florida will be being pummeled by fierce winds of over one hundred miles per hour. The highways are now packed with fleeing Floridians. We are told that six million people are evacuating.

Right now, while this impending disaster is threating, perhaps we are in a position to appreciate and relate to a “difficult to imagine” tragedy about which Jesus urgently warned His disciples, over two thousand years ago. He instructed them to look for specific “signs” that were to trigger their urgent evacuation from Jerusalem. History records the horrible reality that precisely fulfilled Jesus’ forecast. In September of A.D.70 the two year siege of Jerusalem began, resulting in the agonizing deaths of about two million residents of Jerusalem. Those who listened and heeded Jesus’ forecast, evacuated. They escaped the horrors of the siege, while their friends perished.

“…those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 “The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; 16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 17 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 “But pray that it may not happen in the winter. 19 “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” (Mark 13:14-19)

The supernatural forecast of Jesus was one of many demonstrations of the validity of His claims, which including not only being able to speak from God but to be the divine Son of God.

Consider that in this supernatural forecast, the Son of God referred to “the beginning of the creation which God created,” affirming the Biblical doctrine of supernatural, sudden creation. He ought to know. He created.

“…His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. …For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Col.1:13-17)

In the pagan world of His day, evolutionism was dominant. The Epicureans were atheistic evolutionists. The Stoics, Gnostics, Platonists, and others were pantheistic evolutionists. Few of the philosophers of His day believed in a God who created all things, including even the universe itself.

But Jesus was a creationist, and the much maligned “scientific creationists” of today are following His example and teaching. He even believed in recent creation, for He said (speaking of Adam and Eve) that “from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Most pagans believed in an eternal cosmos, but Jesus said it had a beginning, and that man and woman were a part of that beginning creation.

He also believed that the so called “two accounts” of creation (Genesis 1 and 2) were complimentary, not contradictory, for He quoted from both in the same context.

“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, [from Genesis 1], and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?” (from Genesis 2)(Matthew 19:4–6).

Jesus explicitly taught that Genesis is God-written real history, including the murder of Abel (Luke 11:51), Noah’s ark and flood (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 1726-37), Abraham’s life (John 8:56-58), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15), including the stern warning, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:28-32).

Jesus said, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Jesus believed that what Scripture says is what God says. This same dependable forecaster predicts another coming disaster for some, the judgment.

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;… “These will go away into eternal punishment…” (Matthew 25:41, 46)

That day is coming and evacuation won’t help. There will be no escape. Submission now is the solution.

 

 

September 3, 2017

Great Swelling Words – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Most Bible students understand that God brought the destroying judgment of the flood on His created world because He, “…saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” (Genesis 6:5). Righteous Enoch saw this disastrous downward trend. He was “in the seventh generation from Adam,” (Jude 14), and was Noah’s great-grandfather, (Genesis 5:21-29). Enoch courageously spoke out against the evil conduct of his day and warned that the Lord was coming, “to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 15).

Consider his description of those who influenced that world.

“These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage,” (Jude 16 NKJV).

The New English Version renders his description as follows: “These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.” (Jude 16 NET)

The bolded words above are translated from the Greek word, ὑπέρογκος, which is defined: “(…‘of excessive size, puffed up, swollen’) also haughty, pompous, bombastic…” BDAG.

Have you ever listened to “swollen” words? This picturesque term accurately describes words often heard from opponents of the truth. I have watched audiences bombarded by great swelling, bombastic words, words used with dogged, vicious determination to destroy truth. Unfortunately, the method very effectively sways many; not evidence or reason, but puffed up, swollen, haughty, pompous, bombastic lies. It works with too many.

I am reminded of the show put on before the kings of Israel and Judah. A host of 400 prophets loyal to Ahab unanimously opposed the warning of God’s prophet Micaiah.

“…all the prophets were prophesying before them. Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, ‘Go…” (I Kings 22:10-12)

The force of these intimidating, swollen, pompous, bombastic lies was brought to bear on Micaiah.

“Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably. But Micaiah said, ‘As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak.’” (I Kings 22:13-14)

How should we respond to “great swelling words”? Micaiah shows us how.

False teachers may sound very intellectual. Their word and demeanor may be exceptionally charismatic. They are often skilled in the use of the tools of their trade.

“By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;” (II Peter 2:3)

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption;” (I Peter 2:19).

“they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage” (Jude 16),

Yes, they sound impressive, but it is a deadly mistake to follow them. We are commanded to test, to make sure the words taught, no matter how sweet the sound, are words of truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world …He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error,” (I John 4:1, 6).