November 12, 2017

Mark These People – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Quickly now — What type of people are to be marked by Christians according to the scriptures? Those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to Christ’s doctrines? Yes, for so we are taught in Romans 16:17. There is another type of person to be marked, however. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17 KJV). The word “mark” is not synonymous with the word “withdraw”. According to W.E. Vine, the word means “to look at, behold, watch, contemplate.” Those who are evil, then, are to be marked and avoided; while those who walk in God’s way are to be marked and followed.

Godly elders should be marked. Elders are to be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). They are to be men whose character is above reproach, who rule their own house well, who are hospitable, and whose sound teaching can convict the gainsayers. We know such elders, and their example is priceless. Even after such men have passed on, they are to be remembered: “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow (a similar word to mark-BH), considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:7). Thank God for godly elders; mark them and follow their good example.

Godly women should be marked. If there are women in the congregation who stand out for their piety and humility, whose major attractiveness is their “meek and quiet spirit,” who have adorned themselves with good works, who love their husband and children, who find joy and contentment in being a wife and mother and keeper at home, who feel no resentment toward their position of subjection to man, who have devoted their lives to doing God’s will – and there are such women in every congregation – then mark these godly women and follow their example. In these days when the women’s liberation movement is affecting so many and actually intimidating many women who want to do right, it is wonderful to have godly women in the church who are able to lead the way and provide a role model for other women who are Christians. Thank God for godly women; mark them and follow their example.

Godly preachers should be marked. Not all preachers are godly, but most of the gospel preachers of our acquaintance are godly men whose lives speak as effectively as do their lips. They do their work, not as hirelings, but as men concerned for the truth and the souls of men and women. Mark such men and follow their example!

Godly parents, godly young people, godly older people, godly suffering people, godly dying people – the godly faithful!

How sad that some are so blinded by the faults of the few that they cannot see the virtues of the many. Good people are all around us. Let’s look for them, contemplate their good qualities, mark them, and follow their example.

 

 

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November 5, 2017

Skin Color

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

I have been blessed with the opportunity to lecture among our brethren about the origin of man (created or evolved). Q&A sessions reveal that, rarely (though too often) real racist misconceptions do exist among us. I point out that Moses revealed all are from the same mother (Gen.3:20) and Paul taught we are from the same father (Acts 17:26). Doesn’t that include us all among the “brothers.” James expressed scathing condemnation of prejudicial distinctions (James 2:4). I pray that the following article will prove helpful. (Don R. Patton)

Skin Color Research Confirms Biblical Narrative

by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D.

(Earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University)

People over the ages have placed great emphasis on race and skin color. Eugenicist-minded Darwinists have used it as the basis for much ill-conceived mischief.1 Even Darwin himself proposed that darker-skinned human populations were more primitive. However, we now know that all people groups share the same basic genome comprised of a well-documented set of common genetic variants. Darwin was mistaken—no people group is more primitive than another.

Additionally, the rare genetic variants that arose via random mutation and are mostly associated with human disease and degeneration, show that the current state of the human genome cannot be more than about 5,000 years old. This timeframe matches up with the world being repopulated after the global flood by Noah and his sons and their wives.2-5

Despite our increasing knowledge of the human genome, little is known about the genetic basis of skin color. Up until now, most of what scientists understood about skin-color genetics came from research using European people groups. Researchers originally discovered that variations in a gene called SLC24A5 influenced skin cells to produce less pigment. This appeared to provide a basis for pale skin.6 However, this single gene was only a small part of a much more complex trait.

To more fully explain the genetic basis of human skin color variation, a group of researchers recently went to Africa—the most genetically diverse continent on Earth.7 Contrary to conventional thought, Africa contains a huge amount of variation in human skin color across its different people groups. To scientifically measure the variation in skin color, the researchers measured light reflectance from the skin on the underside of the wrists of 2,092 people in the countries of Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Botswana. This area’s skin is largely protected from sunlight and these readings provide a good indirect estimate of pigmentation levels (skin color). Then the researchers analyzed the DNA of 1,570 of these individuals for genetic variation in their genomes related to skin color.

The scientists identified four major regions of the human genome that contained six different genes. Together, these genes accounted for about 30% of the observed skin color variation. The study reported on DNA variants associated with light skin and variants causing dark skin, both of which are abundant in the African populations. The genetic variant causing light skin is commonly present in East Africans, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have light skin, because multiple genes interact with each other to determine skin color. These results countered the long-held evolutionary belief that the original ancestral humans in Africa were all once dark-skinned

This research has even broader global implications. For example, it shows that other dark-skinned people in southern India, Australia, and New Guinea did not somehow separately develop their skin color around the world. And while evolutionists are constantly debating where and how humans actually dispersed after they supposedly evolved, the Bible indicates that human global migration happened shortly after the global flood at the tower of Babel when God confused their languages and forced them to disperse.

Once again, human genetics confirms the Bible’s account of history and befuddles imaginary evolutionary speculations about mankind’s origins.

References

  1. Bergman, J. 2014. The Darwin Effect. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
  2. Tomkins, J. P. Human DNA Variation Linked to Biblical Event Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 23, 2012, accessed October 13, 2017.
  3. Tomkins, J. P. Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org January 9, 2013, accessed October 13, 2017.
  4. Tomkins, J. P. 2014. Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation. Acts & Facts. 43 (11): 16.
  5. Tomkins, J. P. 2015. Genetic Clocks Verify Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 44 (12): 9-11.
  6. Sturm, R. A. 2009. Molecular genetics of human pigmentation diversity. Human Molecular Genetics. 18 (R1): R9–R17.
  7. Crawford, N. G. et al. 2017. Loci associated with skin pigmentation identified in African populations. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8433.

 

 

 

October 22, 2017

Show More Of You

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Show More Of You

By Al Diestelkamp

So says the tagline of a TV ad promoting a product claiming to combat the “heartbreaking” disease of psoriasis. It seems, however, that an increasing number of Christians have adopted this motto in the way they dress in public.

Many Christians are careful about dressing modestly when assembling with the saints, but many are not so careful when out in the world. There was a time not so long ago when Christians enjoying leisure activities could be distinguished from others by how they were dressed. Too often this is no longer true. When Christians dressed more modestly, their attire was not so drastically different that they drew stares from onlookers, but they didn’t follow the world in exposing their nakedness.

The trend even among Christians to “show more of yourself” is apparent when viewing pictures posted on Facebook. Past efforts to discourage the wearing of revealing shorts and rising hemlines have been ignored. The objection has been raised that the Bible doesn’t tell us where to draw a line between what is modest and what is not. While there is some truth to this assertion, not even those who use this argument really believe there is no way to determine what is modest. Otherwise, the logical end of that argument would justify any amount of exposure including total nudity. So, because we can’t “draw a line,” we occasionally see brothers going around shirtless and sisters wearing cleavage revealing tops and pants tight enough to leave very little to the imagination.

Though the biblical instructions regarding modesty are stated in a context mentioning women, this does not mean that principles of modesty are not applicable to men as well. I also recognize that the apostle Paul’s instruction “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel” (I Tim. 2:9) is addressing an over-emphasis on external beauty. Yet, one can violate this teaching by wearing anything that draws undue attention to the flesh. The apostle says adornment is to be “with propriety and moderation” [NKJV]. Other translations use terms or words such as “with shamefacedness” [KJV], “proper,” “discretely” [NASB], “respectable” [ESV], or “with decency” [NIV]. The bottom line is that it should be that “which is proper for women professing godliness” (v.10). Peter’s instructions for wives to manifest “chaste conduct” (1 Pet. 3:2) would necessarily include wearing apparel that reflects an inner beauty. Immodest exposure of one’s nakedness is not consistent with “chaste conduct.”

To be guilty of nakedness does not require total nudity, as illustrated by God’s instructions to Moses regarding the altar that was to be built: “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it” (Ex. 20:26). Throughout the pages of the Bible, the word “nakedness,” whether used literally or metaphorically, is usually connected with shame. Even in the case where Peter was only partially clothed [“naked” in KJV, ASV] while out on a boat, he “put on his outer garment” before coming ashore (Jn. 21:7). It seems quite unusual for one to put on more clothing before plunging into the sea unless there was good reason to do so. Shame and modesty are good reasons.

Without minimizing the need for men to dress modestly, it is especially needful for women to do so. It may be why Jesus’ words “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has alreadycommitted adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28) were addressed to men. Obviously, it would be just as sinful for a woman to look at a man “to lust after him.”

Finally, here is no excuse for looking upon others to lust after them, regardless of how they are dressed. Unlawful lust is always the sin of the one who is lusting. Always! There can be no blame-shifting. Sinners are always responsible for their sins. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the Serpent; but in the end each was guilty for their own sins. Yet, this truth did not absolve Eve or the Serpent of being complicit in causing others to stumble. As Christians, we must avoid putting stumbling blocks in the paths of others. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,” (Matthew 13:41; Cf.18:7)

Dressing modestly will not prevent all lustful looks, but it will absolve one from being a stumbling block for that sin. Immodesty is a contributor to lust. “Showing more of yourself” may involve eternal risks for self and others.

Adapted from an article published in

THINK On These Things

October-November-December, 2016 • Volume 47, Number 4

 

 

 

October 15, 2017

Because You Did Not Know

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Because You Did Not Know

By Don R. Patton

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus approached Jerusalem, demonstrating evidence the He was the promised Messiah, dramatically fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9), riding into the city (not on a prancing charger) but on a donkey’s colt, (Luke 19:29-38). Matthew makes the significance unmistakable.

“This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’” (Matthew 21:4-5).

But they did not know. They refused this and all the abundant evidence regarding their Messiah, and instead prepared to crucify Him. How sad. Jesus wept over the city, for He knew it would soon be destroyed, but Jerusalem “did not know…”

The history of God’s people can be written following this theme.

It described the ungodly in the days of Noah who lived confidently “until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away…” (Matthew 24:38-39 NKJV)

Hosea says of the nation of Israel, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,…” (Hosea 4:6). “Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it;(Hosea 7:9).

Consider the similar description of the church at Laodicea which received, perhaps, the Lord’s most scathing rebuke.

“‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,’” (Revelation 3:16-17).

In spite of the tragic consequences of ignorance, demonstrated over and over and over again in the history of God’s people, many still seek refuge in their lack of knowledge. How often we hear attitudes similar to the foolish excuse, “God wouldn’t punish me if I didn’t know better.” This delusion obviously puts a premium on ignorance. Hold on to it, because if you learn the truth you will have lost your excuse. Studying God’s word becomes terribly dangerous with eternal consequences.

How different is the attitude of Jesus who admonished…

“…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32).

Likewise , the Apostle Paul warned…

“…the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them…” (Ephesians 4:18). “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17).

 

October 8, 2017

Compare Ourselves To Christ

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

Compare Ourselves To Christ by Don R. Patton

“The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.” (I John 2:6)

Several years ago I was engaged in a somewhat heated conversation with one I considered Godly, but in need of redirection on a particular point. I referred to an example from the conduct of Jesus, which triggered the indignant response, “Who do you think you are, comparing yourself to Christ?” I was a bit taken aback. Could a devout Christian not know that we should look to Christ as our example?

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (I Peter 2:21 ).

I referred my assailant to I John 2:6, quoted above, and they walked away, hopefully to reevaluate the conversation.

I understand that the idea of walking as Christ walked can be intimidating. After all, the sinless Son of God, Himself fully God, gave up everything to serve and save rebellious mankind. He set an exceedingly high standard. Nothing short of perfection would suffice to be our perfect sacrificial lamb (without defect).

Nevertheless, recognizing that Christians sin and will never fully achieve Christlikeness this side of glory, that perfect life is to be our goal. As Paul put it, “…as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” (Colossians 2:6). Some may be surprised to learn, the New Testament has quite a bit more to say on this subject.

Fundamentally, comprehensively, we are told Christians must…“…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us,…” (Ephesians 5:2).

Following perfect direction of the Holy Spirit from His complete revelation makes it possible for us to walk in this manner, worthy of, or suitable for God.

“…walk by the Spirit, …If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16, 25).

“… do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4).

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth,” (II John 4).

“…you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light,” (Ephesians 5:8)

“… walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light….” (I John 1:7)

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,” (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Accomplishing this requires that we exercise diligent concern. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” (Ephesians 5:15)

One of the reasons Christians can accomplish these lofty goals is that we do not walk as the world, with eyes on the mundane affairs of this life, rather we walk with our eyes on the goal.

“for we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).

Jesus promised that those who walk as He walked here, overcoming as He overcame, “will walk with me dressed in white, because they are worthy.” (Revelation 3:4)

Adapted from an article by John Morris

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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).

August 27, 2017

God Numbers Everything – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

By Don R. Patton

“Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?” (Job 31:4)

I always found math interesting but was going to preach and foolishly considered it irrelevant. When eventually I began to focus on a science education, I found myself far behind and working hard to catch up. Once I did I found a fascinating new world.

I began to appreciate that God is the ultimate source of all mathematical concepts. All the intricacies of structure and process of His fascinating ordered cosmos are capable of being described mathematically, and it a critical goal of science to do just that. This astoundingly precise intelligibility of the universe inevitably points to a marvelous intelligence as its Creator.

We thought we had a pretty good rough estimate of the number of stars that exist in the heavens. Then, a report in the Astrophysical Journal, last October, demonstrated that our arrogant guesstimate was ridiculously silly.

“The ‘observable’ universe contains 10 to 20 times as many galaxies than previous estimates. That raises the total to somewhere between one and two trillion galaxies, which is up from the previous best estimate of 100 billion galaxies. Consequently, this means we also have to update the number of stars in the observable universe, which now numbers around 700 sextillion (that’s a 7 with 23 zeros behind it, or 700 thousand billion billion).”

Then, with a little more humility they add…

“The researchers say there must be a further 90 percent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too dim and far away for us to see using current telescopes.”

If that doesn’t boggle your mind, you are un-boggleable. But, while you are trying to get your mind around that, remember that God has counted and identified each one!

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite,” (Psalm 147:4-5).

We wonder, “Why such an unfathomably vast creation?” David explains that the heavens are designed to give us a glimmer of insight into His glory.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge,” (Psalms 19:1-2).

Jesus makes a similar point from the opposite direction:

“…the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured,…” (Jeremiah 22:33).

God has also created… “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22 NKJV).

The shepherd, David, spent a lot of time looking at the heavens. He saw and comprehended more than the foolish, atheistic astronomers with multimillion dollar telescopes.

“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” (Psalm 40:5).

Job’s faith expresses the practical application of these concepts.

“Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?” (Job 31:4)

If He has numbered each hair on our heads, and counted every star, we can be certain He numbers our steps along the way, and guides them all.

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” (Psalms 37:23).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

August 20, 2017

Our Relentless Enemy – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” And Satan answered the LORD, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” (Job 1:7 NET)

Would you like to hear a conversation between God and the devil? What would they have to say to each other? Bible students know all about at least one such conversation. The book of Job records it and reveals an amazing picture of Satan at work. It illustrates the fact that the devil opposes God and His work at every opportunity. It depicts Satan’s constant, relentless determined effort to obstruct and defeat. It indicates that he never rests.

The Devil is not a divine, like God. He is super-human, as angels are; a finite (though very powerful and brilliant) created being. To accomplish his goal, therefore, he persistently keeps going from place to place, back and forth, working deception after deception, bringing everyone he can under His influence.

“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NET)

He does his best work undercover. “…Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (II Cor.11: 14). The same is true of the demons who have followed the devil in his rebellion against God, the ones James describes, who know the truth about Christ. “…the demons also believe, and shudder,” (James 2:10). These deceptive demons influence men to serve as “deceitful workers” (II Cor.11:13). Paul says they are “his servants,” who “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

Sadly, many foolishly think Satan and his servants have laid down and gone to sleep or have forgotten their most effective tactics, such as deceitful disguises, appearing to be servants of righteousness, and the relentless drumbeat of claims about sincerity. Far too many smugly insist on accepting all religions. Satan is thrilled that so many have determined to be “Pluralistic” and tolerant of the “blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan,” (Revelation 2:9); “those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie…” (Revelation 3:9).

John knows better and warns of the terrible danger of those who don’t teach the truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:2).

John commands that we test and specifies the “how to.”

“We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:6).

By inspiration, John says we can know truth from error. Does it conform to what God has revealed or not. If the word contradicts, look out. The roaring lion has his mouth open. and his servants are “on the prowl,” “roving about on the earth…walking back and forth across it.” Ironically, their continual, relentless conduct is like the eternal state of those who yield to the deceit. “…they have no rest day and night…” (Revelation 14:11).

True rest is found only in Christ, with His forgiveness, cleansing, and guidance:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

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