Monday, June 26, 2017

Choosing To Remember Sin No More

"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25

"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 31:34

"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12

"And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Hebrews 10:17
According to these four verses, are we to assume that once we have been justified and saved by the grace of God through faith in the person and work of Christ Jesus, that God forgets our sins? No. That is not what these verses say. They do not say that God will forget our sins; they say that He will remember them no more. What this means is that God chooses not to remember them and hold them against us. In His mind, it is as if they never happened at all. But He does not forget them. God is omnipotent. He knows everything. He could not forget anything. Forgetting something and choosing not to remember something are two different things. In forgetting, it is a lapse of the memory. In choosing not to remember, while you will never forget, it is an act of the will.

Not only does God choose not to remember our sins, but we can do the same thing. When others sin against us, it is impossible for us to forget. The old cliché "Forgive and forget" is simply sheer nonsense. We are capable of forgiving trespasses done against us, as we are called and commanded to do (Matt. 6:12; Luke 11:4), but we will never be capable of forgetting. However, we can choose to remember those transgressions no more. We all know how our minds like to drag up past trespasses done against us so that we can cast them back in the teeth of others, reminding them of their failures and shortcomings in the past. We also know that doing so is not Christian behaviour and is contrary to how Christ Jesus wants us to show love toward one another (John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Rom. 12:10; 13:8; et al.).

What do I mean when I say that we, too, can choose to remember someone's sins against us no more? Let us say that your spouse has done something again to hurt you, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Automatically, your mind has already dug up all the previous times your spouse has hurt you. What I mean by saying that we, too, can choose to remember someone's sins against us no more, is that when our mind does this, we can choose to ignore those thoughts and put them out of our minds; we can dismiss them. If we are thinking on loftier things, such as Philippians 4:8 commands us to do, doing so will become easier. When your mind dredges up past trespasses, you can look at it as an opportunity to extend further forgiveness to that past sin and push it out of your mind. While you will never forget it, when it comes up, you can choose not to remember it. You do not have to grant it an audience to your thought process and dwell on it.

I am not saying that this will be easy, but like all Christian spiritual growth, it will take much effort and practice. Remember, we are to be emulating Christ Jesus. As Jesus forgives, we are to forgive. As Jesus chooses not to remember, we are to choose not to remember. If we desire Christ-likeness, we need to strive to be like Jesus.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Purity, Not Virginity

Why should people wait to have sex? Here are three reasons:
  1. You could accidentally create another human being. Whether you plan it or not, a child is the natural result of sex.
  2. You could contract a horrible, painful, itchy, burning, smelly STD.
  3. You could cause yourself or someone else emotional harm by sharing intimate behaviour in an irresponsibly casual way. Whether you want to admit it or not, you give a piece of yourself away to every partner you have and it does take its toll on you. When you stand at the altar, every one of your past partners is standing there with you. You are unable to give yourself completely to the person you are about to marry. Whenever you have sex with your spouse, you will unintentionally be comparing them to every other past partner.
But there is an even more important reason why you should wait to have sex: self-control. In the Bible, the only thing God tells us to be concerned with, pursue after, and subdue, is self-control. Everything else is beyond our control, and we are to trust our sovereign God to control them for us. Self-control is our responsibility. The only thing in this life we are able to control and ought to be in control of is ourselves.

Waiting is an act of maturity and discipline. The practice of self-denial and delayed gratification makes you a healthier, happier, more poised, and better moderated person. While self-control is a character trait, it is also a "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23); it is a virtue. Self-control will enable you to be a better long-term partner in your until-death-us-do-part marriage. A person without self-control is a slave to their sexual desires, and no matter how many times they gratify those desires, it will never make them happy. Yes, they will be happy in that moment, but their overall life will not be happier.

Why do we need to learn to exercise self-control? Self-control aids in sexual purity. Purity is a life-long spiritual practice that does not begin or end with a single act of sex, nor does it begin or end on the wedding night. We have made virginity the goal when it should be purity that we are striving for. Yes, virginity is a wonderful thing, but the goal of purity enables people to choose wisely for a lifetime.

Do not be deceived. Even married people still have sexual thoughts, desires, and impulses that do not include their spouse. Crushes happen. Porn happens. Even Christians take notice of other people they find attractive. Without self-control and the pursuit of purity, how do you expect to not covet after them? This world demands instant gratification and consumes sex like a drug. If we are not careful, a quick brush with porn or a simple crush on a co-worker can quickly spiral into something devastating. However, if we exercise self-control and have mastery over our own sexual appetite, we will be far less likely to fall into the traps of addiction and infidelity that plague marriages today. Without self-control, how do you expect to remain faithful to your spouse "until death us do part"? Self-control is necessary to living a life of purity.

Let us teach our children more noble and honourable reasons for waiting to have sex. While it is not the church's responsibility to do so, even the church needs to teach people more noble and honourable reasons for waiting to have sex. Do not shame people concerning sex, because sex is a wonderful gift given by God for a man and a woman to enjoy all through their marriage. Virginity should not be our goal; purity should be. Purity is not possible without self-control, and self-control is one of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23).
"Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16)

"If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:13)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

If We Are Forgiven, Why Ask Forgiveness?

"Pray, then, in this way: . . . And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. . . ." Matthew 6:9-13

"When you pray, say: . . . And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. . . ." Luke 11:2-4
If Christians are already forgiven—past, present, and future—why are we required to daily ask God for forgiveness? Some professing Christians actually have the audacity and nerve to argue that asking God for forgiveness is unnecessary.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." 1 John 1:9-10
There is a difference between positional and practical. If more Christians actually demonstrated their professed love for God by reading His Word, they would know the Bible better and understand this. Why are we to confess our sins? Let us find out from "a man after [God's] own heart" (1 Sam. 13:14). God disciplined David, a regenerate man of faith, because of his failure to confess his sin. Observe how tormented David was until he confessed his sin and obtained God's forgiveness.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide; I said,
"I will confess my transgressions to the LORD";
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
Psalm 32:3-5

Having to ask for God's forgiveness daily for the sins we commit on a daily basis does not mean that we need to "get saved" all over again every time that we sin. Jesus said that, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean" (John 13:10). While we have been fully justified, we have not been fully sanctified. Even though the sins we commit as regenerate believers do not in any way nullify our salvation, nevertheless they do fracture our relationship with God. We continue to confess our sin and seek God's forgiveness in order to maintain a clear conscience and a right standing before God and to preserve our fellowship with Him.
"For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." Hebrews 10:14
We have been eternally perfected by Jesus' single sacrifice.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: Matthew 7:1

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:1-6
Probably the most misrepresented verse in the entire Bible by both Christians and non-Christians alike, their misuse of this verse by ripping it out of its context and misapplying it is rather ironic. Applying pure and simple logic, the person who presumes someone is being judgmental and references this verse is declaring a judgment upon that someone. Hypocrite much? By pronouncing another person as judgmental, they too have made a judgment. Furthermore, if this is truly what Jesus said and meant, it would be impossible to shepherd anyone. Jesus Himself is passing judgment on those who judge incorrectly.

When Christians and non-Christians misquote this verse as "Jesus said not to judge," they swing it like a gavel in order to initiate immediate cessation of discussion pertaining to another person's behaviour. They use it as a cop-out to escape what they do not want to talk about. Misinterpreting this verse in this way completely ignores and nullifies Jesus' teachings:
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." John 7:24 [cf. "You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly [righteously]." Leviticus 19:15]

"You will know them by their fruits. . . . you will know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:16-20

"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." Matthew 18:15-17

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him." Luke 17:3
Jesus clearly informs us to judge righteously, recognize and discern people's good actions from their evil actions, and to rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ when they sin. In order to rebuke a brother or sister in Christ, we must first identify that they have sinned. In order to identify a person's sin, we must obviously first judge their behaviour. Without the authority to judge others' behaviours, there would be no permissible authority with which we could uphold governing laws, select leaders, choose teachers and childcare providers, discipline children, or even discern which Bible teachers are profitable for us to listen to. Our selections of spouses, friends, and business partners are all based on judgments of character and ethics. When Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits," He was telling us to discern between a person who bears fruit and a person who does not. However, we are not to judge those outside of the church (1 Cor. 5:12), only those who profess to be part of it.

Examine the context of Matthew 7:1-6. Matthew 7:1 is not a warning against judging any action or behaviour; it is a warning against self-deception, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy. Matthew 7:2-5 are informing us that if we are going to correct someone, we should expect to be held to the same standard. If you judge with gentleness, you will be judged gently; if you judge with harshness, you will be judged harshly. Do not criticize other people if you are not open to criticism yourself. Matthew 7:6 is a call to discernment, remembering that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent (Ecc. 3:7). Jesus does not command us to say nothing about our brother or sister's sin, nor does He prohibit us from pointing out our brother or sister's sin, or from assisting him or her in removing it.

The speck and the log are of the same essence—wood. This passage is saying the same thing as Paul says in Romans:
"And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" Romans 1:28-2:3
Just as Paul says here, Jesus is referring to the hypocrisy of casting judgment upon another person for a sin of the same essence as a sin that you yourself are guilty of committing. You must first overcome this sin in your own life, then you will be able to help your brother or sister to deal with it in their life. Jesus commands us to address this particular issue in our own life first, and then assist our brother or sister in Christ with love.
"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted." Galatians 6:1

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: Romans 8:28

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:26-39
This verse is frequently ripped out of its context and misapplied by Christians in complete ignorance. It has nothing to do with you losing your job, getting cancer or some other disease, or trying to sell your car or house and somehow everything working out for your own good. This is another of those favourite verses to be used falsely by those false teachers, the prosperity preachers. Romans 8:28 has nothing to do with your present predicament. It has to do with your spiritual and eternal good.

At least one individual suggested that a better translation of this verse would be, "In all things, God works for the good of those who love him," suggesting that whatever your circumstances, good or bad, God is still fighting for you. If this were the case, it sure would fit nicely with verse 31: "If God is for us, who is against us?" However, you would have to rearrange all the words in the original Greek to come up with a translation such as that. None of the literal translations render this verse even remotely in that fashion:
"But we know that all things work together for good those who love God. . ."
—Jay P. Green's The Interlinear Bible

"And we know with an absolute knowledge that for those who are loving God, all things are working together resulting in good. . ."
—Kenneth S. Wuest's The New Testament: An Expanded Translation
Here is the order of the words as they appear in the Greek: "we_know And that to_the_(ones) loving God all_things work_together for good." The underscores link words that are translated from a single word in the Greek.

In Romans, Paul sets forth how Jesus came to rescue both Jews and Gentiles from death, creating in Himself one new body—the church. According to Paul, nothing can thwart God's purposes. "Creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption" (v. 21), and so will we. The happy ending promised in Romans 8:28 is not just any good outcome—such as finding a new job, overcoming some disease, or selling your car or house for more than the asking price—it is the ultimate happy ending; the renewal of all things! "For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body" (vv. 22-23). That is what Romans 8:28 is!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: Luke 11:9

"It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Then He said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"" Luke 11:1-13
This verse is just one of dozens that are ripped completely from their context and willfully misinterpreted and misapplied by those lying false teachers, the prosperity preachers. They try to claim that if you ask God for a Ferarri, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you ask God for a brand new house, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you ask God to win the Lottery, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you have some disease, such as cancer, that God is going to give you your request. Despite these false interpretations and misapplications, these false teachers fail to pay attention to the various passages in Scripture that contradict their lies and false teachings, as well as failing to pay attention to biblical characters whose lives and predicaments contradict their lies and false teachings.

The worst part is the blind ignorance of those who follow these lying false teachers and hang on their every word. These people know nothing of the Bible, and yet when you speak truth concerning these prosperity preachers, these ignorant individuals will attempt to come to their rescue and defend them. The only person making any money in that congregation is the lying preacher who is duping the congregation. He/she promises the congregation that if they tithe $100, God will return it ten-fold and they will receive $1000. Yet, despite never receiving anything, these blind, ignorant followers continually find themselves becoming poorer and poorer because they refuse to wise up to the scam.

This verse is not, "Ask for anything you want." It is, "Ask for my kingdom, and you will have it." Jesus' disciples ask Him how to pray, and so He sets forth an example of how we ought to pray. He continues by telling them the sort of things they ought to be praying for, such as their daily bread, the advent of His kingdom, forgiveness of sins, etc. Luke 11:9 is in the context of God's kingdom. Read also the parallel in Matthew 7:7-11 (and surrounding context).

What does verse 8 say? "Yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs." Verse 9 is conveying that persistence. It should read, "Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and it will be opened to you." This verse has nothing to do with the covetous desires of your heart, such as promotions, wealth, or the spouse of your dreams. The context of Luke 11:5-13 follows the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray, and then Jesus doing so.

In Matthew, between Jesus teaching them how to pray and telling them to ask, seek, and knock, Jesus makes a bunch of statements that affect the meaning of what He is clearly telling them. "Ask, and it will be given to you" cannot refer to the covetous desires of your heart because Jesus said, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21); "You cannot serve God and possessions" (v. 24); and "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (v. 33). The last verse comes after a discussion about the everyday necessities of life, which does not include promotions, wealth, a new car or house, the spouse of your dreams, etc. Earlier context in Luke demonstrates the same thing. Jesus defends Mary over her sister, Martha, for choosing what matters most—being a disciple, a citizen of His kingdom.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: Luke 19:27

"While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.' But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. The first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.' The second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.' Another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 'Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?' Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.' I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."" Luke 19:11-27
This verse is ripped entirely out of its context by lying Muslims in an attempt to argue that Jesus commanded His followers to murder others. It is truly amazing how ignorant Muslims are and how they have absolutely no clue what "context" is, regardless of whether it is dealing with the Qur'an or the Bible. First of all, at the very outset of this passage Jesus makes it clear that He is sharing a parable with His audience. The parable runs from verse 12 through 25 (at the very least). This parable is teaching about the gifts Christ has entrusted unto us and how we use them in His absence, and how He will deal with us at His second coming when He will judge the world. You can read the parallel passage in Matthew 25:14-30[-46]. Observe the commentaries of both Matthew Poole and Matthew Henry:
What he saith ver. 27, concerning his enemies, assures us, that although God spareth men and women a long time, so long as while his Son is in the far country, while the heavens must contain him; yet in the day of judgment a most certain final ruin will be their portion. Hence we may easily gather what instructions are offered in this parable. 1. That the state of Christ, when he shall come to judge the world, will be a far more glorious state than it was while he was here upon the earth. He was here in the appearance of a nobleman, but he shall then appear as a king. 2 That all the good things which we have in this life are our Lord's goods, put in trust with us to be used for his honour and glory. 3. That it must be expected that in the world there should be a great many rebels against Christ and his kingdom, a great many that shall say, We will not have this man to rule over us. 4. That some make greater improvements than others of what God intrusteth them with for his honour and glory, and some make no improvement at all of them. 5. That Christ, when he cometh to judge the world, will have a strict account how men have used his goods, there time of life, or health, their capacities, honours, riches, trusts, parts, &c. 6. That those shall have the highest reward in glory who have made the highest improvements; but those who have made improvements in any proportion shall have their reward. 7. That proud and wretched sinners will think in the day of judgment to wipe their own mouths, and lay all the blame of their miscarriages on God. 8. That this is their folly, God will condemn them from their own vain pleas. 9. That in the day of judgment unprofitable creatures will, besides the loss of those rewards which they might have received from God, have all their little satisfactions taken from them, in the enjoyments of which they dishonoured God. 10. That though proud sinners here oppose the law of God revealed to them, and will not suffer Christ to reign over them; yet his power they shall not be able to resist, they shall at lee last day be slain before Christ's face, and become his footstool. He shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel, Psal. ii. 9; cx. 1; and who shall then deliver them out of his hand?
Matthew Poole's Commentary On the Holy Bible, vol. 3, p. 261.
In the sentence passed upon them at his return: Those mine enemies bring hither, v. 27. When his faithful subjects are preferred and rewarded, then he will take vengeance on his enemies, and particularly on the Jewish nation, the doom of which is here read. When Christ had set up his gospel kingdom, and thereby put reputation upon the gospel ministry, then he comes to reckon with the Jews; then it is remembered against them that they had particularly disclaimed and protested against his kingly office, when they said, We have no king but Caesar, nor would own him for their king. They appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar they shall go; Caesar shall be their ruin. Then the kingdom of God appeared when vengeance was taken on those irreconcileable enemies to Christ and his government; they were brought forth and slain before him. Never was so much slaughter made in any war as in the wars of the Jews. That nation lived to see Christianity victorious in the Gentile world, in spite of their enmity and opposition to it, and then it was taken away as dross. The wrath of Christ came upon them to the uttermost (1 Thess. 2:15, 16), and their destruction redounded very much to the honour of Christ and the peace of the church. But this is applicable to all others who persist in their infidelity, and will undoubtedly perish in it. Note, [1.] Utter ruin will certainly be the portion of all Christ's enemies; in the day of vengeance they shall all be brought forth, and slain before him. Bring them hither, that they may see the glory and happiness of Christ and his followers, whom they hated and persecuted. Bring them hither, to have their frivolous pleas overruled, and to receive sentence according to their merits. Bring them, and slay them before me, as Agag before Samuel. The Saviour whom they have slighted will stand by and see them slain, and not interpose on their behalf. [2.] Those that will not have Christ to reign over them shall be reputed and dealt with as his enemies. We are ready to think that none are Christ's enemies but persecutors of Christianity, or scoffers at least; but you see that those will be accounted so that dislike the terms of salvation, will not submit to Christ's yoke, but will be their own masters. Note, Whoever will not be ruled by the grace of Christ will inevitably be ruined by the wrath of Christ.
Matthew Henry's Commentary, vol. 5, p. 636.
When he gains the kingship, he executes those who resisted his rule (19:27). This clearly refers to the Jews who have rejected Jesus as their king. Their rejection of Jesus will ultimately lead to judgment. This theme is appropriate in Luke's Gospel because the final rejection of Jesus is on the horizon.
The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, p. 1099.
There is a possibility that verses 26 and 27 are part of the parable, but from what I read the text does not support it. The end of verse 25 ends telling us what the servants say. If the Nobleman was responding back to them, verse 26 should start with "And he said to them," which it does not. As far as I can tell, verse 26 is Jesus' commentary on the meaning of the parable. Verse 27 seems out of place, except for the fact of what the parable is teaching us. This parable is teaching about the gifts Christ has entrusted unto us and how we use them in His absence, and how He will deal with us at His second coming when He will judge the world.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: The Helper

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. . . . But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:16-17, 26

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning." John 15:26-27

"But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." John 16:5-15
Here are three passages from which Muslims rip individual verses out of context and lie to their audience in an attempt to indoctrinate them with false information, claiming that these verses are prophetically speaking of their false prophet, Muhammad. It is mind-numbingly ridiculous how Muslims can even claim that John 14:16 is speaking of Muhammad considering the very next verse says, "that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you" (v. 17). Notice that Jesus calls the "Helper" the "Spirit of truth"? Notice that Jesus says you cannot "see Him" because "He abides with you and will be in you"? Clearly not Muhammad. How do we know for sure with 100% certainty that this verse has nothing to do with Muhammad? Jesus tells us precisely Who it is that He is speaking of: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (v. 26). Jesus clearly identifies the "Helper" as the "Holy Spirit," the "Spirit of truth." Definitely and absolutely not Muhammad.

How Muslims attempt to claim that John 15:26 is speaking of Muhammad is a great wonder considering in the same verse Jesus clearly identifies the "Helper" as "the Spirit of truth." This clearly is not speaking of Muhammad because Muhammad was nothing more than a pathological liar, making up "revelations" just to fulfill his own perverse desires. There was not an ounce of truth in Muhammad. Furthermore, Jesus states clearly that this "Helper" would testify about Himself (Jesus). Muhammad never testified concerning Jesus. Muhammad had very little to say about Jesus, and most of what he had to say was all lies. Furthermore, this passage continues on, "and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning" (v. 27). Who will also testify about Jesus? His disciples. The Apostles. Those who spent every day with Him during His entire ministry. The same disciples and Apostles who wrote the Gospels and the Epistles that make up the New Testament. The same Gospels that the Qur'an (surah 5:47) commands Christians to judge by when they read them because the words they contain are true.

Muslims attempt to claim that John 16:7-11 is speaking of Muhammad, too, but as we discovered in the previous two passages, the "Helper" is the Holy Spirit. Not Muhammad the false prophet. Furthermore, Jesus said, "He [the Helper] will glorify Me" (v. 14). Muhammad never glorified Jesus... ever! The Helper, whom the Father will send in Jesus' name (John 14:26), will testify about Jesus (John 15:26) and glorify Jesus (John 16:14). This Helper, the Spirit of truth, is none other than the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Non-Literal Bible Translations

Few Christians actually know their Bible well enough to know what is or is not in the Bible. These days, most professing Christians cannot identify incorrect information taken from the Bible (such as the fact that there were no wise men at the manger), let alone identify sayings that have no origin in the Bible (such as God helping those who help themselves). Most professing Christians are illiterate of the book from the Saviour they claim to love, but fail to demonstrate.

Years ago, because there was mainly only the KJV, if you quoted the Bible and got it wrong, people were more likely to notice. Today, because of so many non-literal paraphrased "translations" that are used, practically no one can tell for sure whether something presumably from the Bible is being quoted accurately or not. Very few people actually catch on to false statements being attributed to the Bible that have no place in the Bible. These professing Christians' ignorance of the Bible is astounding.

Herein lies the problem with having non-literal paraphrased "translations," which are nothing more than extremely poor commentaries at best. As long as you are quoting from a literal translation (Geneva, KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV), even with the minor differences in translation (the words chosen to translate a word), someone who knows their Bible well will be able to identify if you are quoting the Bible accurately, because they all largely read the same. However, with these non-literal paraphrased "translations," even if you are quoting it accurately, someone who knows their Bible well will not be able to tell if you are quoting it accurately because it veers off from the way every literal translation reads.

Not only do non-literal paraphrased "translations," which are nothing more than extremely poor commentaries, add things that simply are not found in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, but if someone added their own opinion or quoted one of the several phantom passages out there, no one would be able to tell. That is how Satan can introduce lies to the text and convince ignorant Christians who do not know their Bible of false beliefs. Sadly, many professing Christians prefer knowing "biblical passages" that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs and pre-suppositions rather than knowing and conforming to the truth.

How can you say you love God when you never crack open His Word and read? How can you defend the faith when you do not know what the Bible says or does not say? Throw out your non-literal paraphrased commentary-of-a-"translation," which is no Bible at all, and obtain a literal translation that is true to the original languages the Bible was first written in. Then read it daily, meditate upon it, pray daily, abide in Christ, walk by the Spirit, and grow in your knowledge of God. Do this and watch your life change. Watch yourself start to resemble a biblical Christian as defined and described in the Bible.

Friday, June 16, 2017

That's Not In the Bible

"Elders are not elders because thy are old; they are elders because they know their Bible well. There is a distinction between those who may be good preachers and those who are Pastors/Elders of a church. But even in their humble beginnings, they knew their Bible well," writes C. Matthew McMahon.

Some young Preachers who knew their Bible well:
The Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ: 30 years old.
John the Apostle: ? (His age may range from 17-31)
Aurelius Augustine: 37
John Calvin: 22 (He had his first chaplainry at age 12)
Christopher Love: 27
Jonathan Edwards: 15
Richard Baxter: 23

Professor Bouma-Prediger says, "In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3— "There are no internal combustion engines in heaven." I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible, and therefore no such verse. Only a few catch on." "Few catch on because they do not want to. People prefer knowing "biblical passages" that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs," another Bible professor says.

Here are a few phantom passages that people enjoy citing and attempting to attribute to the Bible:
"This, too, shall pass." Possibly originating from a story by Attar of Nishapur.

"Don't throw stones at glass houses." Claimed to be in the Bible by traitor-to-America-and-humanity Barack Obama.

"All things in moderation, and moderation in all things." An extrapolation of Aristotle's doctrine of the mean (middle ground between excess and deficiency).

"To thine own self be true." From Shakespeare's Hamlet.

"God works in mysterious ways." From William Cowper's hymn God Moves In A Mysterious Way.

"God helps those who help themselves." An extrapolation from Aesop's fable Hercules and the Wagoneer.

"Cleanliness is next to godliness." Stated by John Wesley.

"God hates the sin but loves the sinner." Completely unbiblical.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is a paraphase of Matthew 7:12: "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." See the parallel in Luke 6:31, as well as the near-equivalency "love your neighbour as yourself" through Scripture (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8; Luke 10:27).

"The eye is the window to the soul." The approximation of this is Matthew 6:22: "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light." See the parallel in Luke 11:34.

"Spare the rod, spoil the child." The approximation of this is Proverbs 13:24a: "He who withholds [or spares] his rod hates his son." Related verses are Proverbs 22:15, 23:13-14, and 29:15.

"Pride goes before a fall." The approximation of this is Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling [a fall]."

"The lion will lay down with the lamb." The approximation of this is Isaiah 11:6: "And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them."
False teachers like Kevin Dunn like to claim that the Genesis account of the fall of humanity is a phantom passage. They claim the typical teaching of this passage is unbiblical. Dunn claims, "Genesis mentions nothing but a serpent." He goes on to claim, "Not only does the text not mention Satan, the very idea of Satan as a devilish tempter postdates the composition of the Garden of Eden story by at least 500 years." These false teachers deny that it was Satan who tempted and deceived Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Apparently Kevin Dunn and these other false teachers fail to pay attention to the entirety of Scripture, as well as using logic and applying common sense.

Serpents cannot speak. When Balaam's donkey spoke, it was because the Lord gave her a voice. If you read the passage in Numbers 22:22-33, it repeatedly states that his donkey was a female, yet in 2 Peter 2:16 it informs us that his donkey spoke with a male's voice. The serpent could not have spoke if God Himself did not speak through it, or He allowed one of His angels (elect or fallen) to speak through it. It certainly would not have been God Himself, and it certainly would not have been one of His elect angels. Ergo, according to Occam's Razor, what is the most logical conclusion as to who tempted and deceived Eve? According to everything we know about Satan from Scripture, it is reasonable to conclude that Satan tempted Eve and deceived her. Kevin Dunn and others like him attempt to take the Genesis account of the fall of humanity way too literalistically.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Atheistic Evolutionary Inconsistency

Atheists and Evolutionists are inconsistent with their beliefs. In the video where Bill Nye visits Ken Ham at the Ark Encounter, Ken Ham repeatedly asks Bill Nye questions akin to "why does it matter" and "what is the purpose," to which Bill Nye ignores and dodges without answering honestly or intelligently. For example; Ken Ham challenges Bill Nye to give a single example of observed matter creating DNA. Bill Nye's ignorant response was, "Here we are." He clearly does not understand what an "observational example" is. No scientist has ever witnessed with their own eyes matter creating DNA.

Atheists and Evolutionists claim that there is no God. Atheists and Evolutionists claim, contrary to scientific evidence, that everything began with the big bang and that over time we evolved into what we are today. Atheists and Evolutionists do not believe in a Heaven or a Hell. Atheists and Evolutionists believe that once we die we no longer exist.

If there is no God, then why are we here? If there is no Heaven or Hell, then what is the purpose of our existence? If you create a timeline of human history and put your lifespan on that timeline, your existence is but a puff of smoke. A blip on the screen. According to atheistic and evolutionary ideology, life is meaningless. In order to be consistent with their beliefs, life has to be meaningless.

If life is meaningless, why pursue any knowledge at all since in the end it will not make a lick of difference to you, me, or the life of anyone else down the line? What does it matter if science was wrong thousands of years ago when is claimed there were only 1100 hundred stars? What does it matter if modern science has learned that the stars are innumerable? How does that information, correct or incorrect, affect anyone's life or change their life? Even if you could know everything there is to know about the universe and know all truth, what would it matter? How does that have any affect upon anyone? All that information is useless and meaningless.

Bill Nye failed to grasp the questions and statements that Ken Ham was presenting him with. If life is meaningless and there is no purpose to life, what you and I learn today is ultimately pointless to ourselves and to future generations. It does not help anyone. It is pointless because apparently our existence is meaningless. We are born, we live, we die. There is no purpose to life. If Atheists and Evolutionists were the least bit consistent with their beliefs, this is precisely how they would think. But they know intrinsically that what they are trying to convince themselves and others of simply is not true.

There is absolutely no point to trying to better anyone's life while they are here since ultimately their existence is meaningless. They are born, they live, they die. Having food to eat, clothes to wear, shelter to keep warm in, and living in peace are useless, meaningless, worthless pursuits since none of it matters in the end. The betterment of your life while you are here is irrelevant if life is meaningless. Why care for and take care of your children? Why care for and take care of the elderly? Why use etiquette when dealing with others if natural selection and survival of the fittest is true? Civilized society is contradictory to the atheistic and evolutionary worldview.

If Atheism and Evolution were true, these should be the questions they ask because they are consistent with their model. But they deliberately ignore these facts out of intellectual stubbornness because they have no answers for them.

Christianity is the only religion that can answer the questions, Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Atheists and Evolutionists constantly borrow from the Christian worldview. The answer to "Why care for and take care of your children" and other questions can only be answered through the Christian worldview. Christianity is the only true religion because it is the only religion that makes sense of the world. Anyone who examines it closely and honestly cannot help but become a Christian because it is logical, accurate, and true.

If the atheistic and evolutionary worldview were true, then you would selfishly look out for only yourself and to hell with everybody else. If the atheistic and evolutionary worldview were true, then you would never have any children because it would only mean more mouths to feed and it would decrease your chance of survival. Try meditating on the concepts of "natural selection" and "survival of the fittest" and applying them logically. Atheists and Evolutionists using the theory of evolution cannot explain where logic, reason, thought, self-awareness, civility, etiquette, etc., etc., etc., come from. The fact is, these things are borrowed from the Christian worldview. They steal from Christians when it suits them most, yet they fail to be able to explain such things from their worldview and vantage point because they simply do not fit. The atheistic and evolutionary worldview is bankrupt.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Have You Been Saved?

The cliché "Once Saved, Always Saved" is true, but the real question is, Have you been saved? How do you know if you have been saved? "I prayed the 'sinner's prayer' when I was six" or "I asked Jesus into my heart when I was twelve" are not satisfactory answers. In fact, there is nothing biblical pertaining to either one. While a person's initial profession may be evidence of genuine conversion, nevertheless it is insufficient evidence. Jesus taught that many people would respond positively to the Gospel, only later to demonstrate their unregenerate state by falling away (Matt. 13).

Evidence of your justification must be looked for beyond the moment of your suspected conversion. Peter wrote, "be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you" (2 Pet. 1:10). In other words, grow in assurance of your salvation by increasing in virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Pet. 1:5-11). James wrote, "faith without works is useless" (Jam. 2:20). In other words, good works always accompany genuine saving faith (Jam. 2:14-26). Paul wrote, "walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). In other words, it is those who are led by the Spirit—those who kill sin and grow in personal holiness by the Spirit's power—who are sons of God (Rom. 8:13-14).

If you are assured of your justification, then you can be assured that God will not allow anything to snatch you from His hand (John 10:28-29) or allow anything in Heaven or on Earth to separate you from His love for you in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38-39). He will keep you from falling away (Jude 1:24), protect you from the evil one (1 John 5:18), and complete the redemptive work that He first began in you (Phil. 1:6). The cliché "Once Saved, Always Saved" is only true if the individual has truly been saved to begin with. Otherwise, they are false converts and their falling away makes them apostates. Genuine believers cannot become apostates (1 John 2:19).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

You Won’t Stop Sinning Until You Start Walking By the Spirit

It truly amazes me how Christians—if they are reading their Bible at all—fail to pay attention to the words of Scripture. Did God inspire these words and speak them through the Holy Spirit just for the sake of saying them? Or does God actually know what He is talking about?
". . . without Me you can do nothing" John 15:5
This verse, as well as various other times throughout the Gospels, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that unless we abide with Him and He with us, we can do nothing. Our eyes must be fixed upon Jesus at all times, and we ought to be reading His Word daily and speaking to Him daily through prayer. This becomes increasingly difficult to do in our day and age with all the distractions that are vying for our attention. But what do we love more?
"for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live" Romans 8:13
The key in this verse is "by the Spirit." You cannot put to death the deeds of the body by yourself. You can try, but all you will achieve is legalism and behavioural modification—not genuine godly repentance. In Romans 13:14 we are commanded to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." How can we achieve this? By reading our Bibles, paying attention to what we are being told, and obeying its words. We must fix our minds on the things that concern the Holy Spirit, namely the One Whom the Holy Spirit was sent to glorify—Jesus.
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" Galatians 5:16
This verse, as well as the last, make it clear that you will not stop sinning until you start walking by the Spirit. This is tied directly in with the first verse—abiding with Jesus. If you do not possess the Spirit, and if you do not give Him reign in your life, you will continue to find yourself in failure after failure. God's method for dealing with our predicament is very simple, but our foolish arrogance and futile thinking keep getting in the way and making it more complicated than it needs to be. Your habitual sins will only be conquered when you want God more than you want your pet sins, and only the Holy Spirit can effect these changes in your desires.
". . . for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble" 2 Peter 1:10b
Here is where people need to start demonstrating their faith in God's Word. It states matter-of-factly that "you will never stumble" if you are putting into practice the virtues listed in verses 5 through 7. In fact, in verse 3 we are told that "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us." In other words, the way to grow in godliness and holiness is by knowing God. How can you know God but to abide in Jesus and walk in the Spirit? To read God's Word daily and speak with Him through prayer daily.
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling . . ." Jude 1:24a
God is sovereign over all things. There is nothing outside His realm of control. He is in charge of everything. He will keep you from stumbling. However, you need to be doing your part. You need to be abiding in Jesus, walking in the Spirit, and growing in your knowledge of Who God is, which you cannot do if you are not daily in His Word and daily speaking with Him through prayer. How do you expect victory in your life when you are not in God's Word setting your mind on the things of the Holy Spirit? As long as your thoughts remain void of Christ Jesus, your life will remain full of sin.

Monday, June 12, 2017

God's Perfect Justice and Unconditional Election

"Unless you are turned and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3
Why does the Bible insist that we come to God as a child? Because as soon as we become adults, we become foolish and futile in our thinking. Because of their innocence, children tend to be more intelligent than adults. Children tend to be able to reason much better than adults, seeing things plainly that adults feel the need to complicate.

Give a child some Plasticine or Play-Doh and ask him/her to make a man. When finished, ask the child to imagine that his/her creation has just come to life. Tell him/her to imagine it singing and dancing and carrying on. Watch the joy on the child's face as he/she imagines this. Ask the child what he/she would do if his/her creation suddenly turned to him/her and spit in his/her face. The child will take his/her hand and crush his/her creation.

Perfect justice!

This is what you and I, and every single person on the face of this planet, deserve from God Almighty. We deserve to be crushed like the rebellious insects we are and cast into Hell for all eternity. This is a righteous response from a holy God. It is justice. It is what we deserve. Every single one of us.

Because of God's mercy and grace, and for absolutely no reason whatsoever involving us, from before the foundation of the Earth was laid, God reached out to various individuals and said, "I have loved you." That is, He has aligned them with Himself and allied them with Himself. He chose them out of all others. This is what Malachi 1:1-5 and Romans 9:10-13 are explaining; God's unconditional election.
"The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever." Your eyes will see this and you will say, "The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"" Malachi 1:1-5

"And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."" Romans 9:10-13

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Did Jesus Say He Was God?

This is the argument presented by many cults, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, and false religions, such as Islam, as well as by unbelievers. It is a fallacious argument. These people are looking for the exact words, "I am God," to appear in the Bible. Did Jesus claim that He was God?

Yes, He did!

When God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh, Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" (Exodus 3:13). God responded to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14).

The first time God identifies Himself, He calls Himself "I Am." Not Jehovah. Not Yahweh. He identifies Himself as "I Am." "I AM WHO I AM" means "I continue to be and will be what I continue to be and will be." "I AM" means "I that ever will be; the ever-existing One" or "He that is to come." God is self-existent.

Jesus had said to the people of His day, "For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24) "He" who? Who are they to believe that He is? The Jews obviously had the same thoughts, and so they asked Him, "Who are you?" (v. 25). This entire discussion lead to Jesus arguing with the Jews as to who their true father was, and stating that Abraham looked forward to seeing His day, which prompted the Jews to challenge Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" (John 8:57). Jesus replied, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am." (John 8:58). Immediately after Jesus said this, the Jews "picked up stones to throw at Him" (v. 59). Why did they pick up stones to stone Him?

Before we continue, it is important to note that in John 8:24, the word "He" does not actually appear in the Greek. How it actually reads is like this: "For unless you believe that I Am, you will die in your sins."

At the Feast of Dedication, Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). Immediately after Jesus said this, "The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him" (v. 31). Why would they want to stone Him? Jesus even asked them that same question: "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" (v. 32). The Jews explained to Him precisely why they wanted to stone Him: "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, claim Yourself to be God" (v. 33). Did you catch that? Obviously the Jews were intelligent enough to realize and understand what Jesus had said: "You claim Yourself to be God."

In both John 8:58 and John 10:30, Jesus was equating Himself with God the Father. In other words, Jesus said He was God. So how is it that cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses and false religions like Islam and other unbelievers fail to grasp this?

When Judas betrayed Jesus and they came to arrest Him, Jesus asked them, "Whom do you seek?" (John 18:4). They told Him, "Jesus of Nazareth" (v. 5). As with John 8:24, the word "He" does not appear in the Greek, so Jesus' actual response to them was, "I Am," (v. 5) to which "they drew back and fell to the ground" (v. 6). Why would they draw back and fall to the ground if Jesus was merely saying, "That is me"?

If Jesus is not God, why does He possess all the attributes of God? Only God is sinless, yet Jesus was without sin (John 8:46; 1 Pet. 2:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:21; et al). Only God can receive worship, yet Jesus received worship (John 9:38; Matt. 8:1-2; Matt. 28:9; et al). Even the angels were commanded to worship Him (Heb. 1:6). Only God can forgive sins, yet Jesus forgave sins (Mark 2:1-12). Only God can restore sight to the blind, yet Jesus restored sight to the blind (John 9:1-34 [esp. v. 32]).

Note the extraordinary claim made by Jesus: "All things that the Father has are Mine" (John 16:15). In other words, every attribute that God has belongs to Christ Jesus. Jesus prayer to God the Father, "I have manifested Your name" (John 17:6). The "name" of God as used in Scripture refers to God's character, that is, all that God is. In other words, Jesus was saying, "I have shown what kind of a God You are. I have put Your character on display." Proof of this? Jesus said to His disciples, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him" (John 14:7). He continued, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). The Bible, God's holy Word, makes it absolutely clear, "For in [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Col. 2:9).

While Jesus did not come out and say He was God in the precise manner in which the skeptics expect that He should do, nevertheless Jesus repeatedly said that He was God in a variety of different ways.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Qur'an Verses Everyone Should Know

Three Qur'an Verses Every Christian Should Know:

Qur'an 4:157 [Ali]— That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";—but they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge. But only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:—"

Qur'an 5:47 [Ali]— Let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by what Allah hath revealed, they are those who rebel.

Qur'an 9:29 [Ali]— Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Three Qur'an Verses Every Woman Should Know:

Qur'an 2:282 [Ali]— . . . And get two witnesses, out of your own men. And if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. . . .
Sahih al-Bukhari 2658— The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."
Qur'an 2:223 [Ali]— Your wives are as a tilth unto you, so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah, and know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.
Sunan Ibn Majah 1853— . . . No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.

Jami' At-Tirmidhi 1160— When a man calls his wife to fulfill his need, then let her come, even if she is at the oven.
Qur'an 4:34 [Ali]— Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

Gender Ideology Harms Children

The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts—not ideology—determine reality.
  1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: "XY" and "XX" are genetic markers of health—not genetic markers of a disorder.
  2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.
I take issue with point # 2 based on these objective facts of reality:
—Samuel Johnson's 1768 & 1792
Dictionary of the English Language
—Samuel Johnson & John Walker's 1828
Dictionary of the English Language
GENDER n. 1. Properly, kind; sort. 2. A sex, male or female.
SEX n. 1. The distinction between male and female; or that property or character by which an animal is male or female.
—Noah Webster's 1828 American
Dictionary of the English Language
gender n. 1a a person's sex, either of the sexes.
sex n. 1 either of the main divisions (male and female) into which living things are placed on the basis of their reproductive functions. 2 the fact of belonging to one of these. 3 males or females collectively. 4 sexual intercourse.
—The Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary
gender n. 1: SEX
sex n. 1: either of two divisions of organisms distinguished respectively as male or female 2: the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of living beings that subserve reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females
—Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
—Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary
People are born with a gender. Their gender is the same as their sex. Gender and sex are the exact same thing, as evidenced by the last 50 decades where every legal paper asking for personal information used either "sex" or "gender" when asking if you were male or female. The two words are synonymous, they are interchangeable. It is all their "gender identity." Identity is the sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing. Anti-intellectual post-modern idiots are trying to re-define words like "gender," "identity," and "orientation," including others like "tolerance" and "inclusiveness," but that does not change the fact of what these words truly mean. No one is born with an internal sexed identity. Infants are not "assigned" a sex at birth. Your sexual identity is determined at conception by the XX and XY chromosomes. You are either a male or a female. Your birth sex declares itself anatomically in utero and is clearly evident and acknowledged at birth.
  1. A person's belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.
  2. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.
  3. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.
  4. Pre-pubertal children diagnosed with gender dysphoria may be given puberty blockers as young as eleven, and will require cross-sex hormones in later adolescence to continue impersonating the opposite sex. These children will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via articifial reproductive technology. In addition, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
  5. Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ-affirming countries.
  6. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. [Emphasis mine.]
Any idiot cheering for and supporting transsexualism needs to visit and read some of the stories there. If, after reading the testimonies there, you still think that people are "transphobic" for being against these procedures, or are so firm in your progressive credentials to even attempt to reconsider your bankrupt ideology, then it might be that you are not a champion of human rights, but a blind automaton lacking empathy and a heart. How is handing an alcoholic a bottle of alcohol humane? How is handing a drug addict some marijuana, cocaine, heroine, or other drug humane? How is pandering to the mental illness of individuals disconnected from reality and accommodating their insanity humane?
"The transgendered person's disorder is in the person's 'assumption' that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature." —Dr. Paul McHugh

"While the Obama administration, Hollywood, and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as normal, policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention." —Dr. Paul McHugh

Dr. McHugh also pointed out studies from Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70-80 percent "spontaneously lost those feelings." McHugh's views are backed by studies across the world.
There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals. Many people remain severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation. Real treatment addresses the problem. It does not agree with the mental patient. It does not say, "Yes, you must have been born as the wrong species" (Nano from Oslo, Norway, who thinks she is a cat and wants to "identify" that way).

The concept of a "homo community" or a "trans community" or any group "community" is the problem. You cannot satisfy a community defined by an identity of mental illness except by indulging it. There can be no "homo community" or "trans community" or any group "community" any more than there can be a community of anorexics, bulimics, people who cut themselves, or the depressed and manic. You can have a community of afflicted, of sufferers looking to overcome their illness, but if you indulge a mental illness as an "identity," all you are doing is propagating the illness. Being homosexual or transgender is a mental illness. Do not indulge the mental illness!
"Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE?" (Matthew 19:4)

Is the Qur'an Perfectly Preserved?

Here is a video on the impurity of the Qur'an. The majority of Muslims today are unaware that the Qur'an has many variant readings, that it is not a pure text passed on since the time of Muhammad. They are unaware that much of the original text was lost and destroyed by Muslims themselves. Even after a unified text was compiled and sent out, there were still variant readings being discovered. So the argument by Muslims that the Qur'an is pure and unaltered is a lie. They are ignorant to the facts regarding their own book, which many of them have never read anyway.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Who Is the Real Jesus?

From where can we learn about the true Jesus? From the Qur'an? Or from the Bible?

According to the Qur'an, Jesus was nothing more than a prophet of Allah. He is not God. He is not the Son of God. He is just the son of Mary. He was never crucified, but snatched up to heaven by Allah because Allah would allow no harm to come to Him. But is any of this true?

The Qur'an affirms and upholds the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Bible (surahs 3:3-4; 5:43-47, 66, 68; 6:114-115; 7:157; 10:94; 18:27; etc.). So, if the Bible was corrupted, as many Muslims attempt to assert today, when was it corrupted? If before Muhammad, then Muhammad is in error because he affirms and upholds the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Bible. The Qur'an also commands Christians to judge by what they read in the Gospel (surah 5:47). So let us apply some simple logic:
Premise #1: If the Gospel is the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false because Islam contradicts the Gospel.

Premise #2: If the Gospel is not the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false because the Qur'an claims that the Gospel is the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God.

Conclusion: Islam is false.
According to the Qur'an, which affirms and upholds the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Bible, and commands Christians to judge by what they read in the Gospel, the only place you can learn the truth about the true Jesus is directly from the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God—the Bible.

Jesus pre-existed with God the Father:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:1-3)
He became flesh and dwelt among us to do what we could not do for ourselves:
"The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
In Jesus' high priestly prayer, He said:
"Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." (John 17:5)
Jesus told the people of His day:
"For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24) "He" who? The Jews asked Him, "Who are you?" (v. 25). This entire discussion lead to what Jesus would proclaim in verse 58, for which the Jews "picked up stones to throw at Him" (v. 59). Why did they pick up stones to stone Him? Keep reading.
To His disciples in the upper room He said:
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1)
Jesus also said:
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)
At another time He said:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." (John 5:24-25)
Elsewhere Jesus declared:
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
When God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites, Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" (Exodus 3:13). God responded to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14). When Jesus was arguing with the Jews as to who their true father was, they challenged him saying, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" (John 8:57). Jesus replied, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am." (John 8:58). Jesus was equating Himself with God the Father. In other words, Jesus said He was God.
"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
After Jesus' statements in both John 8:58 and John 10:30, the Jews picked up stones to stone Him. Why would they want to stone Him? Jesus even asks them that same question: "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" (v. 32). The Jews tell Him why they want to stone Him: "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God" (v. 33). The Jews were intelligent enough to realize and understand that Jesus was saying that He was God, how is it that Muslims and other cult members (Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.) cannot grasp this and attempt to argue erroneously that "Jesus never said He was God."

Only God is sinless, yet Jesus was without sin (John 8:46; 1 Pet. 2:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:21; et al). Only God can receive worship, yet Jesus received worship (John 9:38; Matt. 8:1-2; Matt. 28:9; et al). Even the angels were commanded to worship Him (Heb. 1:6). Only God can forgive sins, yet Jesus forgave sins (Mark 2:1-12). Only God can restore sight to the blind, yet Jesus restored sight to the blind (John 9:1-34 [esp. v. 32]). Jesus said:
"All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:27)
"All things that the Father has are Mine." (John 16:15)
God handed everything over to Jesus. Since God has handed everything over to Jesus, Jesus owns and possesses everything that belongs to God. Right? At Jesus' baptism, God the Father even spoke, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35; see also Matt. 17:5; 2 Pet. 1:17). Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is God Almighty. No matter how Muslims try to deny it, they cannot escape it. Jesus' words are true and the Bible is the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God.

So, Muslims, believe and obey the Qur'an, which affirms and upholds the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Bible, commanding Christians to judge by what they read in the Gospel because Jesus' words are true. Since the Qur'an says to judge by what you read in the Gospel, if Muslims want to learn about the real Jesus, let them read the Gospel of John. Let them follow this by reading the book of Romans, to learn about our predicament and the only means of salvation. A Muslim who will not believe what the Bible says, what the Gospels say, what Jesus says in the Bible, is a disobedient and rebellious Muslim.
"There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Jesus is God! Read the Bible to get to know the true Jesus!