Thursday, May 31, 2018

George Mueller's Faith

"The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat," the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in."
Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

George Mueller was not always a person of such great faith and good character. As a young boy growing up in Germany in the early 1800s, he often stole money from his dad. As a teenager, he sneaked out of a hotel twice without paying for the room. One time he was caught by police and put in jail. As a Bible college student, George loved going to bars, drinking, gambling, and being the life of the party. He also loved making fun of people, especially Christians.

Surprised by a Bible Study
One day, a friend invited George to go to an off-campus Bible study. He went only because he wanted to make fun of the Christians later. But to his surprise, he liked the Bible study. For the first time, he saw people who really knew and loved God. He attended each evening. Before the end of the week, he knelt at his bed and asked God to forgive his sins.
George's friends saw a change in him immediately. He no longer went to bars or made fun of people. He spent more time reading his Bible, talking about God, and going to church. Soon he found that his friends did not want to be around him anymore.
When George told his father that he had decided to become a missionary, his father became very upset. He wanted George to have a high-paying job and not be a poor missionary. He told George that he would not give him any more money for school. George knew he had to do what God was calling him to do, even if his dad didn't support him.

An Hour after Mueller Prayed, the Answer Came
George went back to college without knowing how he was going to pay his tuition. He did something he thought was a bit silly for a grown man to do. He got on his knees and asked God to provide. To his surprise, an hour later a professor knocked on his door. He offered George a paid tutoring job! George was amazed! This was the beginning of George Mueller's dependence on God.

Almost Dying Turned out for the Best
After finishing college, George was ready to begin his missionary work in London, England. But there was one problem: Germany required all healthy men to serve at least a year in the army. George wanted to get to his mission as quickly as possible; however, he became very sick. His illness was so serious that he almost died. It also made him unable to serve in the army. He was now free to go to England as a missionary.

No More Rich Seat/Poor Seat
George became the pastor of a small church in England. The church wanted to pay him a good salary from the money it received renting pews to rich church members who sat at the front of the church. (Poor members had to sit in the "cheap" seats in the back.) George told them that this had to stop if they wanted him to be their pastor. Even so, he did not allow the church to pay him a salary. He trusted God to meet his needs, and God did. George and his family never missed a meal and were always able to pay their rent. George began to sense, however, that God had something else for him to do.

Praying Food into the Home
Each day as George walked the streets, he saw children everywhere who had no mom or dad. They lived on the streets or in state-run poorhouses, where they were treated badly. George felt God calling him to open an orphanage to take care of the children.
George prayed, asking God to provide a building, people to oversee it, furniture, and money for food and clothing. God answered his prayers. The needs of the orphanage were met each day. Sometimes a wealthy person would send a large amount of money, or a child would give a small amount received as a gift or for doing chores. Many times food, supplies or money came at the last minute, but God always provided without George telling anyone about his needs. He just prayed and waited on God.
More than 10,000 children lived in the orphanage over the years. When each child became old enough to live on his own, George would pray with him and put a Bible in his right hand and a coin in his left. He explained to the young person that if he held onto what was in his right hand, God would always make sure there was something in his left hand as well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Stupidity of Dispensationalism

Immutability is ascribed to Christ, and we remark that he was for evermore to his people what he now is, for he was the same yesterday. Distinctions have been drawn by certain exceedingly wise men (measured by their own estimate of themselves), between the people of God who lived before the coming of Christ, and those who lived afterwards. We have even heard it asserted that those who lived before the coming of Christ do not belong to the church of God! We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed one at a time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement. Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord does not have some children best beloved, some second rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about. Those who saw Christ’s day before it came, had a great difference concerning what they knew, and perhaps in the same measure a difference concerning what they enjoyed while on earth in meditating upon Christ; but they were all washed in the same blood, all redeemed with the same ransom price, and made members of the same body. Israel in the covenant of grace is not natural Israel, but all believers in all ages. Before the first advent, all the types and shadows all pointed one way—they pointed to Christ, and to him all the saints looked with hope. Those who lived before Christ were not saved with a different salvation than what shall come to us. They exercised faith as we must; that faith struggled as ours struggles, and that faith obtained its reward as ours shall. Just as the reflection of man’s face to what he sees in a mirror so is the spiritual life of David to the spiritual life of the believer now. Take the book of Psalms in your hand, and forgetting for an instant that you have the representation of the life of one of the olden time, you might suppose—that David wrote only yesterday. Even in what he writes about Christ, he seems as though he lived after Christ instead of before, and both in what he sees of himself and in what he sees of his Saviour, he appears to be rather a Christian writer than a Jew; I mean that living before Christ he has the same hopes and the same fears, the same joys and the same sorrows, there is the same estimate of his blessed Redeemer which you and I have in these times. Jesus was the same yesterday as an anointed Saviour to his people as he is today, and under him they received the same precious gifts. If the goodly fellowship of the prophets could be here today, they would all testify to you that he was the same in every office in their times as he is in our days.
Jesus Christ Immutable, A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, January 3, 1869,
By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
Charles Spurgeon clearly had an introduction to the tenets of Dispensationalism, and he addressed their teachings, their doctrines, as "absurdities" and "stupidity." Rightly so. The two underlined paragraphs above clearly destroy the beliefs of Dispensationalism where they see two distinct peoples of God, two different plans of salvation. The Bible teaches no such thing. Every page of Scripture contradicts and condemns such a false belief. Old Testament saints and New Testament saints belong to one and the same body—the church. Israel in the wilderness is even referred to as "the church in the wilderness," using the Greek word, ekklesia. The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew manuscripts, uses the word ekklesia to refer to the congregation of Israel. They looked forward to Jesus, whereas we look backward to Jesus. They were Christians every bit as much as we are today. And according to Romans 2:28-29 and 9:6-8, we are every bit as much Jews as they were then (see Rom. 2:14-16, 25-29).

Dispensationalists make the claim of reading and interpreting the Bible "literally," but this claim is false and does not stand under scrutiny. I could provide hundreds, if not thousands, of examples from Scripture that demonstrate and prove irrefutably that Dispensationalists do not read or interpret the Bible "literally." When Jesus emphatically says, "this generation," Dispensationalists interpret it to mean "a generation in the future." When Scripture says sacrifices "to make atonement," Dispensationalists interpret it to mean "sacrifices in memorial or remembrance."

Dispensationalists teach a returning to the old system. They teach a returning to the Old Covenant. Not even God Himself can return to what once was. The New Covenant has been established. You cannot go back! Read the book of Hebrews and see how Jesus was better than everything before. Jesus is the fulfillment of everything before. Israel is and was nothing. Israel was meant to be the salt and light before other nations. But "if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?" (Luke 14:34). Salt that has lost its saltiness cannot be salted again.

The Old Testament prophesied of the Gentile inclusion. In John 10, Jesus says, "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shephard" (v. 16). In Romans 11, Paul reveals the Gentile inclusion. He separates national Israel into two groups: believing and unbelieving. He then says that believing Gentiles are grafted into and in with believing Jews. What does that make them? True Israel. Spiritual Israel. Even Ephesians 2:11-22 destroys the Dispensationalist's absurd stupidity of two peoples of God. Dispensationalists do not read their Bible, let alone reading or interpreting it "literally." Dispensationalists look at the Bible in the exact same manner that the Jehovah's Witnesses do—randomly isolated, selectively cited passages attempted to be united through collapsing context.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Gospel Under Siege

The Gospel is under attack every day, both from within and from without. It is constantly under attack from within from nominal/psuedo "Christians" trying to play Christian instead of actually being Christian. These attacks come in the forms of the charismatic movement, the self-esteem movement, the seeker-sensitive movement, the emergent movement, etc. The Gospel is under attack from those nominal/psuedo "Christians" who do not know their Bible and who are not faithful and obedient to the Lord Jesus, who embrace things like homosexuality, being unable or unwilling to identify sin as sin, take a stand, and call it out. These people are nothing like the Saviour they profess to know.

Decades of having abandoned sound Christian catechisms (such as the Westminster and Heidelberg), coupled with shallow preaching, cultural accommodation, and theological cowardice, have not only left the church wide open to false systems of theology such as Dispensationalism, which filled a void in the church created by Liberalism, but have also left professing Christians lazy and ignorant as to the Word of God. Most professing "Christians" will be surprised when they find themselves in Hell for all eternity because they thought themselves Christians when they refused to repent, believe, and be obedient to the will of the Father.

Jesus made it clear that we should "seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33) in our own lives, and that only "he who does the will of My Father Who is in Heaven will enter into Heaven" (Matt. 7:21). If you do not "repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15), then "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3, 5). Jesus did not say things just for the sake of saying them. He did not love the sound of His own voice the way many false preachers and teachers today do. He meant everything that He said. If you profess to be a genuine Christian, then you must believe this. Everything Jesus said was true. Sadly, many who claim the name of the Lord deny His own words and teachings, proving that they have never belonged to Him and that their eternal abode shall be in darkness in the pit of Hell, rightfully deserved.

The Gospel teaches that Jesus came to save those who could not save themselves; that Jesus paid for our sins. What we need to do in order to receive that is to repent (turn from our sins and turn to God, doing a complete 180, forsaking our sins) and believe in the Gospel. We need to obey the will of the Father. If the Bible says something, it had best be a reality and truth in your life. If it is not, you should be praying for it to become such. The entire New Testament is instructions on how to be a proper and genuine Christian. As John Owen once said, "Obedient faith is that which saves." As the epistle of James makes abundantly clear, empty faith will save you from nothing.

The attacks on the Gospel from without are fairly easy to recognize and counter. But the attacks on the Gospel from within are more subtle and less obvious to those who never spend a day in prayer or read God's Word; to those who do not and have never known God.

It is one thing for you to claim to know God, for you to claim to know Jesus, but does He know you...? (See Matt. 7:21-23)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Seek FIRST the Kingdom

Many Christians, unfortunately, often talk about doing something for the kingdom of God. They talk about "building" the kingdom of God, "advancing" the kingdom of God, or "extending" the kingdom of God. They attempt to do this by pursuing a particular political agenda, or through evangelism and missionary work. Regardless of how they attempt to do it, they think that the kingdom of God is something that they accomplish. If they build it, He will come.

However, that is not the least bit biblical. The Christian is called to do no such thing.

Establishing the kingdom is something that God does—not something that the Christian is supposed to do. None of the work of Christians will ever bring about the kingdom of God. You can work until you are blue in the face and the kingdom of God will not be any closer than it was before. The kingdom will only be established at the final consummation at the end of time. What is the Christian called to do?
"Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." Matt. 6:10
Jesus made this one of the main petitions He taught His disciples in His example of how they ought to pray. Christians are to pray for the coming of the kingdom. Especially in their own lives. The Disciple's Prayer should be our first clue in understanding God's role and our role in bringing about the kingdom of God. We pray for the kingdom because we are totally, utterly, and completely dependent upon God to establish it.

We start praying for the kingdom of God to come through our prayers of repentance and faith. Before we can pray that it would come to anyone else, we must pray for it to come to us. Our prayer for the kingdom to come first begins with our confessing our sins. We come into the kingdom by repentance and faith. The kingdom must be in us before we can be in the kingdom (John 3:3, 5). If we want to see the kingdom come, we must ask the Holy Spirit to make us born again.

Apart from praying for the kingdom of God to come, what is the only thing that a Christian is required to be doing?
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matt. 6:33
Worrying is useless, worthless, and Godless. All the worry in the world will accomplish nothing. Worry does not gain a thing; it always robs us of things. It steals our time, our rest, our obedience, our hope, etc. Jesus told us not to worry about anything but to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness." We are to pursue the kingdom in our own lives first. "Your kingdom come" should not just be our daily prayer, but it should also be our daily way of life.

Are you pursuing the kingdom? Are you living it out in your life?

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Whose Belief Is More Foolish?

“...the observable universe could have evolved from an infinitesimal region. It's then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing.”
—Alan Guth, Scientific American (May, 1984), 128.

“In the realm of the universe, nothing really means nothing.”
—Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, General Science (1989), 362.

“Most astronomers believe that about 15 to 20 billion years ago all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded.”
—Prentice Hall, General Science (1992), 61.

Let us ignore the millions of stars that exist in the universe, as well as all moons and all the other planets except for the planet Earth. Take a moment to think about the size of our planet. Now, let us use our brains and ponder these questions:

1.      If all the dust and dirt in the universe came together and it formed a ball no bigger than a period on a page, how did Earth become so large? Especially given the fact that when this period-sized ball of dirt exploded, the pieces would be even smaller. It is rather difficult to accumulate more dust and dirt when all the dust and dirt in the universe was only enough to create a period-sized ball.

2.      If Earth was a hot, molten ball, where did the heat come from? Where did enough heat come from to make it such? You are in the cold vacuum of space. Something the size of a period on a page, suddenly exploding and becoming even smaller, would cool off extremely fast in the cold vacuum of space.

3.      From this hot, molten ball, where did the water come from to cool it off? How did it manage to create its own hydrologic cycle? How did it manage to create its own atmosphere? How did it manage to create its own weather? How did it manage to create its own oxygen, hydrogen, etc.?

4.      Since only dust and dirt existed all those “billions” of years ago, from this hot, molten ball that somehow magically accumulated more dust and dirt, where did all our minerals and metals come from? Gold, silver, copper, bronze, etc.

5.      From this hot, molten ball, where did life, even a one-celled organism, magically come from? Remember, you have a hot, molten ball that somehow magically got rained on in order to cool it off. How did all animal and vegetable come into existence? Basic biology teaches that everything reproduces after its own kind. You can have loss of information, such as a child being born without an arm or a leg; you can have mutated information, such as a child being born with an extra arm or leg; but you cannot have added information, such as a child being born with wings. The information that every plant and animal has is unique to itself. It can lose information during reproduction; it can have mutated information during reproduction; but it will never add new information during reproduction. The reason one type of dog can breed with another type of dog and the result be a dog, or one type of horse can breed with another type of horse and the result be a horse, is because they are the same kind of animal with the same ancestor. Bananas and dogs did not come from the same place. Humans did not come from chimpanzees. If we were the same, we could mate with each other and produce offspring, which we cannot!

Ask any self-professed scientist these questions and their typical answer is, “I don’t know.” This is the crap we were taught in public school. This is the crap being taught to your children in public school. There is not one ounce of “science” behind this nonsense. It is 100% belief! Real science is empirical. It is testable, observable, and repeatable. If you cannot do any of that to it, if it begins and ends at a hypothesis, then it is not science! Atheists attempt to mock Christians for their beliefs, but, honestly, whose beliefs are more worthy to be mocked? Dirt is eternal; dirt created everything; animal, vegetable, and mineral evolved from a rock! A rock magically created oxygen, hydrogen, etc. A rock magically created its own hydrologic cycle. A rock magically created animal, vegetable, and mineral. Hmm... Something wrong with this picture... Maybe having a functioning brain and understanding logic and common sense has skewed my understanding of reality.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Is Jesus Really Michael the Archangel?

"The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"" Zech. 3:2

"But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"" Jude 9
Based on these two texts (and a few others), Jehovah's Witnesses conclude that Jesus and Michael the Archangel must be one in the same person. They reject Jesus as God Himself. In order to make the Bible agree with their corrupt and perverse theology, they have willfully altered several passages so that they read in a manner that suggests Jesus is a created being and not God Almighty. One such passage they alter is John 1:1, where they render the text as "the Word was a God." But in so doing they undermine and contradict their own beliefs because they have just successfully created a second God when they profess to believe in only one.

Another passage they alter in order to try and remove the deity of Jesus is Hebrews 1:6: "And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM."" In the 1981 New World Translation, the Watchtower Society, the head of the Jehovah's Witness organization, renders this passage as: "But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: 'And let all God's angels do obeisance to him'," despite the 1961 edition correctly having the word "worship."

Nevertheless, the word obeisance means "honor, respect, homage, worship, adoration, reverence, veneration, submission, deference. A gesture expressing deferential respect, such as a bow or curtsy." While the word does not convey the same element as the word worship does, nevertheless it still suggests worship, adoration, and reverence, which undermines the attempt to alter the text by the Jehovah's Witnesses.

In their attempt to turn Jesus into Michael the Archangel, Jehovah's Witnesses have created a huge problem. They believe that only Jehovah should be worshipped, yet by their rendering of Hebrews 1:6, they have Scripture commanding the angels to worship one of their own. According to Scripture in Revelation 22:8-9, angels reject worship: "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God."" Interesting how angels reject worship, yet Jesus accepted worship when He was on Earth.

The Greek word in all three verses (Heb. 1:6; Rev. 22:8-9) is the exact same word: proskuneo. Why do the Jehovah's Witnesses retain the word as worship in Revelation 22:8-9, but change it to obeisance in Hebrews 1:6? Interestingly enough, Jehovah's Witnesses did not always reject the worship of Jesus. In the Watchtower magazine from July 15, 1898, on page 216, it reads:
Question: The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty?
Answer: Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so...It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father, and his agent in the creation of all things, including man."
In the book New Heavens and a New Earth published in 1953, on pages 27-28, it says:
For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? And again: 'I shall be a Father to him, and he will be a Son to me'? But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: 'And let all God's angels worship him.'
Even more interesting is the fact how the Answer from the 1898 Watchtower magazine acknowledges that Jesus is the creator of ALL things, yet in the New World Translation for Colossians 1:16-17 and 20, they have added the word "other" after the word "all" five times, making Jesus the creator of "all other things." Somehow, a created being, an angel, has creative powers. Contrary to the false beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus is God Almighty. Jesus created Michael the Archangel. He is not nor will He ever be Michael the Archangel. Michael the Archangel worships Jesus because Jesus is God, the second person in the Godhead, the Trinity.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Don't Be A Coward! Wield Your Sword, Christian!

Dr. Voddie Baucham believes that it is high time that professing Christians:
  1. STOP trying to prove the Bible is authentic, and
  2. STOP apologizing for quoting Scripture in battle.
He believes that it is time for Christians to start employing the two-edged sword like never before. How does a genuine Christian wield that sword in a society that scoffs, "Ha! We don't believe in the Bible"?

Imagine that you are a knight on a journey. You encounter a competing knight whom you must do battle. As you take out your sword to contend with your foe, he proclaims, "Ha! I don’t believe in swords." You have three options:
  1. Give him a lesson in metallurgy.
  2. Apologize and put away your sword.
  3. Cut him.
If you cut him, he will either believe in swords real quick, or else it soon will not matter. Genuine Christians brandish the two-edged sword of the Spirit without apology because it is absolute truth and it cuts even to the soul. The minute you give up your sword, you have lost the battle. Wield the Word of God the way you are commanded to; the way the Prophets and Apostles did.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, and of both joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12