Saturday, January 31, 2009

Was the flood universal?

Was the flood of Noah's day universal? Did it cover the whole earth? Or is the Genesis flood account a myth based on a local flood? While the scientist denies the possibility of a universal flood and the modernist scoffs at such a preposterous idea, the Christian must choose to either compromise or stand firm. Is there evidence by which Christians may substantiate their claims? If we believe the Bible there is. Here are a few simple thoughts.

1. It was the purpose of God to destroy the entire human race (except Noah's family) from off the face of the earth. Read Genesis 6:12-17. A local flood would not have fulfilled God's purpose of judging the entire population for their sinfulness.

2. If the flood had been local only, the ark would have been unnecessary. God could have simply told told Noah to leave the area before the flood came and return when the flood waters abated.

3. The terminology used throughout the account indicates an event of universal proportions. In Genesis chapters 6 through 8 (if I counted correctly), "the earth" is used 34 times; "every" 14 times; "everything" 11 times; "all flesh" 8 times; "all" 7 times; "filled" and "whole" twice. An expression such as "under the whole heaven" (Gen. 7:19) cannot be reduced to a local area.

4. To cover the Ararat mountains, whose highest peak is almost 17,000 feet, would require a universal flood. Water seeks its own level. The whole earth would have been covered at least to that depth/height.

5. God's promise to Noah after the flood (Gen. 9:11) is a promise of universal rather than local application.

You don't have to believe in a universal flood if you choose not to. But you can't reject a universal flood without denying the words of the Bible. Which will you do?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Singing tomorrow

A Sacred Harp singing will be held tomorrow (d.v.) Saturday the 31st at Cowden Hall at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Starts around 9:30 am.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

(Not so) Old Baptist quotes

Referencing I Cor. 1:1-18, C. B. Scott wrote, "although Paul plainly states he did not baptize 'all' of the people who made up the Church of God at Corinth, it is also evident he assumed 'all' of them had been baptized by someone."

"I have heard it said that the individual churches are the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. The truth is that individual churches are the ONLY ecclesiastical authority on earth, established as such by the highest ecclesiastical authority in heaven, Almighty God." -- Excerpt from "A Little Leaven Leavens the Whole Lump", by Lynwood Jacobs in Zion's Landmark, Vol. 108 No. 10, August 1975

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Something new

Was looking at the following in It's Not a Language, It's Not Prayer, and Now It's Not Private Either and thought it worth repeating.

My father used to warn me that if I thought I discovered something in the Scriptures that was new, something that no one had ever seen before, I had better be careful. "Don't run too far ahead of the pack," he would say, "or you might discover that you aren't even on the right trail." That was and remains good advice. Though our practice is determined and regulated by Scripture and not experience or history, we nonetheless need to ask why a fence is where it is before we tear it down. -- Hershael W. York

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sorry politics again.

H.R. 1, The text of the Economic Stimulus Bill. Read it and weep....

Or jump for joy if you think this is our salvation.

Say it ain't so, Joe. Or Nancy. Or somebody.

According to
House speaker Nancy Pelosi, (spending millions on) "contraception -- will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Something rotten

According to Marcellus (in Shakespeare's Hamlet), something is rotten in Denmark. Maybe. But to me it seems like the smell is coming from Washington, DC.

According to current news reports, the President has warned Republicans that they need to quit listening to talk-show host Rush Limbaugh "if they want to get things done". Now that can be spun into several different garments, but I hate to hear that kind of rhetoric at a time when some Democrats in Congress are speaking of reviving the so-called "Fairness Doctrine". Last year, then candidate Barack Obama's press secretary wrote that the Senator "does not support re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine." I suppose time will tell.

Under the "fairness doctrine" the FCC required broadcasters to present "controversial issues of public importance" in a fair and balanced manner. Who could complain about that? Free speech advocates, that's who! Broadcasters were required to provide time for opposing viewpoints. In practice, for example, a Christian radio station, existing expressly to provide information and inspiration from a Christian viewpoint might be required to give time to an anti-Christian viewpoint on "controversial issues of public importance". More likely, in practical terms, if push comes to shove this will result in stations avoiding the requirements to broadcast specific opposing views by nixing both sides.

The concern, at least on one side, is demonstrated in Steve Rendall's article The Fairness Doctrine: How We Lost it, and Why We Need it Back. "Hidden" near the bottom is what I believe is the true "problem" (fear). Rendall writes, "The most extreme change has been in the immense volume of unanswered conservative opinion heard on the airwaves, especially on talk radio. Nationally, virtually all of the leading political talkshow hosts are right-wingers...The same goes for local talkshows." Too bad the average talk-show listener, for whatever reason, prefers to listen to the conservatives. Let's be "fair" and put some talkers on the air whom listeners don't want to listen to! Again, the practical effect will not be the hearing of both sides, but the muting of both sides. But I am sure that will pass the test for the proponents of the (un)fairness doctrine.

And finally, seemingly unrelated, what's up with the continual blaring of and barking about the TV digital converter box change? It seems one can't turn on the TV without a politician or someone else in a commercial warning of the change from analogue to digital, or else something scrolling across the TV about it. Supposedly by February 17 of this year, all television stations will broadcast in digital only -- though Democrats in the Senate have introduced a bill to delay the transition from February to June. Who cares? Oh, but "the elderly and the rural poor" will be without a converter box and unable to receive any TV broadcasting. Senator Jay Rockefeller says, "We risk leaving those who are most reliant on over-the-air broadcast television for their information literally in the dark." If they are left in the dark, perhaps they want to be. It won't be because they haven't seen the change mentioned on their TV's. (Perhaps they're not watching them.)

I'm a generally trusting sort of guy, but have become quite cynical when it comes to our Federal government. What are you guys doing? Why are you so concerned? Are you putting something in that little box? Shades of 1984? If you're really all that concerned, why not buy some converter boxes, throw them in the back of your limo, and start bringing them around to us? Oh, never mind. Just stay away from us and leave us alone. If you could just do that, we'd appreciate it.

Today's word

Nixie [nik-see] -- a letter or parcel that is undeliverable by the post office because of an incorrect or unreadable address.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Biblical timeline from creation

The following is one way to approach estimating the age of the earth, adding and comparing the ages of the patriarchs, reigns of the kings and other dates mentioned in the Old Testament.

1656 years from the sixth day of creation until the flood.
620 years from the flood until Joseph was sold into slavery.
(2276 years from the sixth day of creation until Joseph was sold into slavery.)
430 years sojourn in Egypt.
40 years journey to Canaan.
450 years period of Judges.
40 years reign of Saul.
40 years reign of David.
40 years reign of Solomon.
369 years existence of the Southern Kingdom (Judah).
40 years captivity.
483 years (of Daniel's 70 weeks) till the coming of Christ.
4238 years from Creation to Christ.

Obviously there are variations of interpretation and addition. For example, when do the 430 years of affliction start? If started with Abraham instead of Joseph then approximately 4048 years from Creation to Christ.

[Note: I got the period of Judges by adding the servitude years plus the years of rest. Some students believe there could be some overlap in the different judges' years. I got the years of Southern Kingdom by adding the reigns of the kings, but also cross-referencing them against their reigns compared to the reigns of the Northern kings. And then there is when the 70 weeks hit in reference to Christ -- his birth? triumphal entry? etc.]

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Does God really know ALL things?

Job 23:10 - But he knoweth the way that I take...
Psalm 147:5 - Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Proverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Acts 15:18 - Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Hebrews 4:13 - Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
I John 3:20 - For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Does God really know ALL things?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baptist history proof

I love Baptist history. The main problem with it, used as proof, is that it proves we have believed all kinds of things.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Differences are not necessarily personal

"Dr. [Tom] Ascol believes ... that Limited Atonement is biblical. Personally, I don't know how on earth he comes to that conclusion, but I believe that he does. Now, here's my choice: I can take offense that Tom would believe such a thing or would say such a thing, or I can shed all of this twenty-first-century victim mentality, grow up a bit, and reconcile myself to the fact that people just disagree about these things. People aren't trying to offend me; it is just that their ideas offer me the opportunity to take offense any time I so desire...I can acknowledge that in doing so Dr. Ascol is not going out of his way to denigrate me. He's trying to promote his ideas. Where our ideas differ, a contest of ideas may well ensue. Ideas matter and are personal, so there will likely be some personal feelings involved. But Dr. Ascol does not advance his ideas in order to attack those who disagree. The attack upon those who disagree is merely a consequence of his passionate advocacy of his ideas." -- Bart Barber on Praisegod Barebones blog, Monday, December 1, 2008

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Old Baptist quotes (7)

"It is not strange...that those who have no deep, inward experience of Christ formed in the soul, through faith, should fall an easy prey to a mechanical regeneration through baptism and to the delusion that in partaking the wafer they really partake of Christ. The untaught and thirsty of the desert plains readily follow every mirage." -- J. B. Gambrell in the introduction to Baptist Refreshments, according to the Scriptures, L. R. Burress, Nashville, TN: Marshall and Bruce Co., 1915, pp. 4-5

"Some justify the divisions of Christians by appealing to the right of religious liberty, which allows men to worship as they please. True, before men, the worshipper is justified in the exercise of his own will, but before God the worshipper is taught to pray, 'Thy will be done on earth'." -- L. R. Burress, p. 12

"A moment's thought will convince us that the eternal individual existence (eternal children) error makes void every operation of grace. One never lost will not have need of a Saviour. God could have known an eternal child, but could never have foreknown one." ---Elder C. H. Waters, 1906.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing of the guard

Isaiah 6:1-4 -- In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

The citizens of the United States of America approach this inagural day with mixed emotions. There is the historic occasion of our first black President. For Democrats, there is the joy of controlling the House, the Senate and the White House. For Republicans, there is the despair of once again being the minority party across the board nationally. For independents -- who knows? Their emotions may run the gamut. Though not exactly the same, Americans face change as did the Jews who had lost a king who reigned 52 years.

Isaiah saw the Lord. He was high and lifted up. He was still on the throne. He was its fullness. Seraphim adored Him continuously. He was holy, holy, holy. The whole earth was full of His glory.

That has not changed. American politicians will change. World leaders will change. World problems will change. But God is still on His throne. Holy, Holy, Holy. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Biblical TV Guide

But shun profane and vain babblings. II Timothy 2:16

Beware of false prophets. Matthew 7:15

Flee fornication. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. Romans 6:13

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Abstain from all appearance of evil. I Thessalonians 5:22

Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? James 2:7

What are you watching?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Strong's opinion

"The Revelation 20:1-10 passage constitutes a part of one of the most figurative books of Scripture. It ought to be interpreted in a manner that does not contradict the plainer statements of Scripture." -- Paraphrase of A. H. Strong from his Systematic Theology

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jesus' charming name

Jesus, I love Thy charming Name,
'Tis music to mine ear;
Fain would I sound it out so loud
That earth and Heaven should hear.

Yes, Thou art precious to my soul,
My Transport and my Trust;
Jewels to Thee are gaudy toys,
And gold is sordid dust.

All my capacious powers can wish
In Thee doth richly meet;
Not to mine eyes is light so dear,
Nor friendship half so sweet.

Thy grace still dwells upon my heart,
And sheds its fragrance there;
The noblest balm of all its wounds,
The cordial of its care.

Philip Doddridge, 1717.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In Memoriam

Funeral services for A. D. Munsinger are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Thursday, January 15, 2009 at Autry Funeral Home Chapel, in Jacksonville, Texas. Bob Goodnight, Adrian Neal and Kevin Gentry will be holding the services. Visitation will be 6:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, also at Autry Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Taylor Cemetery in Gallatin. Bro. Munsinger is survived by his wife, four children, friends and other family.

Brother Munsinger has been a friend of our family since before I was in our family.

"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parallels between Philippians 2 and John 13

Some of the parallels between this hymn (Philippians 2:5-11) and Jesus washing the disciples feet (John 13:1-17) are intriguing:

John 13:4 - He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments...
Phil 2:7 - But made himself of no reputation...

John 13:5 - ...he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet.
Phil 2:7 - ...and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

John 13:12 - So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again...
Phil 2:9 - Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name

John 13:13 - Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
Phil 2:11 - And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Old Baptist quotes (6)

"Does God put a premium on ignorance in the ministry? We know the he has no use for the pride of learning, but neither does he care for the arrogance of ignorance." -- A. T. Robertson, Baptist author and educator

"Go directly to the Bible for truth. If truth is accepted second-handed, a man will find himself like the carpenter that sawed each board by the one had just sawed instead of by the first board every time." -- Clem Boggs, United Baptist preacher, Lawrence County, Kentucky

Being a carpenter by trade, I especially liked this illustration. When I cut rafters, every rafter was marked and sawed according to the pattern. It could have become quite a mess to mark the next one by the one I had just sawed instead of going back to the pattern. The Bible gives the pattern. We need to go back beyond what is a copy of the pattern to the pattern itself, to be sure we are cutting correctly.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The kingdom and priesthood of Christ.

L. M.

Thus the great Lord of earth and sea
Spake to his Son, and thus he swore:
"Eternal shall thy priesthood be,
And change from hand to hand no more.

"Aaron and all his sons must die;
But everlasting life is thine,
To save for ever those that fly
For refuge from the wrath divine.

"By me Melchizedek was made
On earth a king and priest at once;
And thou, my heav'nly Priest, shalt plead,
And thou, my King, shalt rule my sons.

Jesus the Priest ascends his throne,
While counsels of eternal peace,
Between the Father and the Son,
Proceed with honor and success.

Through the whole earth his reign shall spread,
And crush the powers that dare rebel;
Then shall he judge the rising dead,
And send the guilty world to hell.

Though while he treads his glorious way,
He drinks the cup of tears and blood,
The suff'rings of that dreadful day
Shall but advance him near to God.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719

Friday, January 09, 2009

Baptist Roots in America

Baptist Roots in America: The Historical Background of Reformed Baptists in America, Samuel E. Waldron, Booton, NJ: Simpson Publishing. 1991, paperback, 50 pages. ISBN: 096225083X. $6.95 (This book is out-of-print. A PDF version can be downloaded at Simpson Publishing for $2.00.)

At the time he wrote the book,
Sam Waldron was a pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids, MI. He is now a pastor of the Heritage Baptist Church of Owensboro, Kentucky and Professor of Systematic Theology at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies.

Other books and pamphlets by Waldron include A Modern Exposition of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, The End Times Made Simple, A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church, To Be Continued? and Faith, Obedience, and Justification: Current Evangelical Departures from Sola Fide.

This book is not a history of Baptists in America, or even a history of the Reformed Baptist movement in America. Waldron's purpose is to demonstrate the Baptist roots of the mid-twentieth century Reformed Baptist movement in America. He also declares why he thinks the movement was needed. He sees Reformed Baptists as the true successors of the Particular Baptists, and finds modern fundamentalism & evangelicalism to be a deviation from historic Baptist thought.

First is a brief chapter on "The Rise of Particular Baptists in America". This is brief look at Baptist history in early America giving information on the rise and then the growth of the Particular Baptists.

Second, Waldron looks at "The Decline of Particular Baptists in America". In this chapter he undertakes to answer the question "What happened?" "How did Calvinism and the Particular Baptist heritage almost totally disappear by the mid-twentieth century in America?"

After noting what he sees as an "innate tendency" of the depraved heart to compromise or reject God's truth, Waldron posits seven specific major factors for the decline of Particular Baptist theology. They are:

1. The American, Democratic Ethos -- popular American ideas of freedom, equality, fairness, independence, rights, etc. were against the Calvinistic theology of election, particular redemption and irresistible grace.
2. Revivalism -- though originating in a Calvinistic base, Waldron sees American revivalism as degenerating into anti-creedalism and Arminianism.
3. Methodism -- the Methodists were most frequently the frontier combatant and companion of the Baptists as Americans spread south and west, influencing the thinking of Baptist church members.
4. Inclusivism -- Baptist common battles for religious freedom, etc. may have caused them to emphasize fellowship around these common principles rather than separation over diverse doctrines in other areas.
5. Hyper-Calvinism -- reaction against "hyper-Calvinism" may have driven some to the opposite extreme.
6. Modernism -- as Waldron puts it, the anti-creedalism that opened the door to Arminianism could not be shut later against modernism. Modernism hides behind anti-creedalism, claiming the same rule of faith and practice as the orthodox believer while denying the very faith they hold.
7. The Fundamentalist movement -- too much emphasis on the fundamentals to the exclusion of a healthy emphasis on other doctrines (soteriology & ecclesiology); dispensational premillennialism; Keswick/higher life teaching rooted in Wesleyan perfectionism.

In the third chapter, Waldron briefly notes "The Rise of Reformed Baptists in America". He gives little particular elements of the historical rise, but rather focuses on some general elements that paved the way for the Reformed Baptist movement -- the popularity of Charles H. Spurgeon, the writings of A. W. Pink, the influence of Reformed theologians such as J. Gresham Machen, and the accleration in reprinting Puritan and Reformed literature. He does seem to pinpoint the original rise of the Reformed Baptist in the northeastern United States in the 1960s. It is interesting that this theology should resurrect in the location where it most likely first died.

Finally in his "Concluding Observations", Sam Waldron warns against the danger of hyper-Calvinism, encourages the upholding of Reformed confessional Christianity (for Baptists particularly found in the 1689 London Confession); and exhorts Reformed Baptists to impact American Christianity for its betterment. He insists the name "Reformed Baptist" is a good one -- the bearers are both Reformed and Baptist. In contrast, many Baptist and Reformed believers deny that one can be both.

When I first noticed this book on, I got a misconception of what it was supposed to be. I was initially disappointed to find that this book would not contain much historical information about the rise of Reformed Baptists in the 1960s. Once I understood the purpose of this book, I was able to appreciate it for what it is rather than depreciate it for what it isn't.

My Landmark and Primitive Baptist friends will both object to some things posited by Waldron. I also have disagreements with some of Waldron's assertions and positions. For the most part the book hits on target. It is correct that the Particular Baptists early on became the dominant Baptist group in the United States. It is equally true that sovereign grace soteriology was held by these Baptists and that it gradually diminished among the mainstream of its descendants. Waldron probably emphasizes too much the "death" of this soteriology (and perhaps underemphasized Baptist ecclesiology), since it was continued without interruption by the Primitive Baptists. He evidently concludes them out of the heir-ship of this theology because of some things he views as "hyper".

Waldron's seven major factors for the decline of Particular Baptist theology are certain to find detractors. He has done a good job in advancing the reasons behind the soteriological shift. There is probably something here with which almost everyone can agree or disagree. My thought is that readers might most readily draw back from points 1, 3, and 7 -- the American democratic ethos, Methodism and the Fundamentalist movement.

With a little thought one should be able to see how the average American, emphasizing his freedom and independence, might chafe under a "Calvinistic" system in which God chose who would be saved, fully paid for it, and sovereignly gave it to that person without his asking. The fact that others reconciled it in their minds is not evidence that the majority did not.

Methodism's role might surprise some. But as Americans spread south and west, Methodism was the chief rival for the hearts, minds and souls of the people as the Baptist farmer-preacher tended his flock and the Methodist circuit-rider rode his circuit. Rivalry turned to respect as Baptists and Methodists lived in the same communities, shared the same meeting houses, and married into one another's families. A trek through the minutes of an ancestral Georgia church brought this home to me in an unique way. At the beginning of the 19th century, these Baptists would not allow the Methodists to use the Baptist-owned meeting house. Within 40 years they were adopting a resolution of great appreciation to the Methodists for allowing the Baptists the use of their house while they were building a new one!

On first reading many might recoil from the idea of fundamentalism negatively affecting the Baptist heritage. Some early fundamentalist leaders were predestinarians, and fundamentalism shared agreement with Baptists on the fundamentals of the faith. But the struggle with modernism called for emphasis on the fundamentals and inattention to other doctrines so that fundamental soldiers might combine together to battle modernism. Ben M. Bogard's early jibes against fundamentalist J. Frank Norris (and their later collaboration) help make the point. Though fundamentalism initially agreed on the fundamental of the literal second coming of Christ, over a period of time dispensational premillennialism captured the fancy of most fundamentalists. Though the large number of Baptists who embrace dispensational premillennialism might think otherwise, it contains some elements unfriendly to Baptist soteriology and ecclesiology. I think back to the many times the Scofield Reference Bible was highly recommended to me, with the caveat that Scofield was right on everything but the church. Well, if he was wrong on so important an issue, his other views bears scrutiny as well!

Waldron does a good job presenting his thesis. I am not persuaded to admit to some of his points. I think the Baptist heritage was preserved in various ways through the period in which he finds the great dearth. But the emphases of the rising Reformed Baptists should cause us to inspect our faith, shine the light on any deficiencies, and sound once again the cry "Back to the Bible."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Has God shown you some things?

A story of two old Primitive Baptist deacons in the wilds of the Georgia flatwoods, as told by John Crowley of GA:

One deacon was always having dreams and visions which strongly supported his own notions of church politics, etc. Seeing the other brother somewhat sceptical, the dreamer said, "Don't the Lord ever speak to you?" "Well," the sceptic replied, "He's SHOWN me a few things, but He's never actually SPOKE to me....and now I know why. He spends all his time talking to you."

Monday, January 05, 2009

The bride, the Lamb's wife

In the age to come, the bride is with those who inhabit the New Jerusalem, according to John's writing in Revelation 21:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away...I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;...And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any ...but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Who are these people? Is it not all who are written in the Lamb's book of life?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Complete in Him

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him...

Hungry? Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
In the dark? Jesus said, I am the light of the world.
Outside? Jesus said, I am the door.
Fearful? Jesus said, I am the good shepherd.
Dead? Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and the life.
Lost? Jesus said, I am the way.
Unlearned? Jesus said, I am the truth.
Disconnected? Jesus said, I am the vine.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

More than a hypocrite

Am I a Pharisee?

If I travel far and wide to convert others to a religious affiliation rather than preach the gospel -- I am a Pharisee.
If I exalt my forefathers, history and traditions above the commands of God -- I am a Pharisee.
If I relentlessly, though insidiously, attack the words of God -- I am a Pharisee.
If I observe outward motions without inward movement -- I am a Pharisee.
If I follow the letter but not the Spirit -- I am a Pharisee.
If I major on minors and minor on majors -- I am a Pharisee.
If I feign righteousness and devotion -- I am a Pharisee.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Will power

One man said it took a lot of will power....

but he was able to give up trying to quit smoking!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

This year thou shalt die

Jeremiah 28:16-17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Death is certain (Thou shalt die)
The wages of sin is death, and all have sinned
It is appointed unto men once to die (Heb 9:27)
Eccl 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
Job 30:23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Death is soon (This year)
Our life is ever on the wing, And death is ever nigh;
The moment when our lives begin, We all begin to die. (Watts)
James 4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Job 14:1: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.