Going to be busy Again Soon


I’m going to probably have another huge time off soon of another 2 or three weeks. I’ve been hugely busy with work, and it left me little time to myself, let alone write in a blog. So this time, I’ll probably ressurect another of my series most people have never read, rather than let the time go without any posts.

One thing I want to emphasize today – I really am getting to understand prayer a lot more. Certain prayers to God are automatically pleasing to God, because they’re near and dear to His heart. A quick and cursory reading of Psalm 119 shows that God places a high reverence upon the Bible.

Yet when I talk to other Christians, I ask if they’ve ever prayed to God that He help them understand it, and be able to know sound doctrine.

I’ve never had a yes answer to date.

This is um.. kind of key. I mean, going to men to learn the word of God is going to get you partial results. If you want good results, go to God about it. God wrote the Bible, not men (I’m prepared to argue that, as I think everyone’s seen!). Try praying to God! “I really don’t understand this passage Lord, please help..” you walk away frustrated, and unsure. And you know what? A couple of weeks later, you read another passage that helps you to understand.

The biggest thing was my prayer to know sound doctrine. When I first got saved, I prayed to God I could know sound doctrine. I was ENDLESSLY in turmoil because my family was listening to John MacArthur every night, and he was constantly talking about Sound doctrine. I didn’t understand Calvinism, I was confused, and I prayed VERY INTENTLY that I be allowed to know, to please show me and make me understand – sound doctrine.

That prayer was answered in a HURRY. I abandoned Calvinism very quickly, because it seemed as if I read the Scriptures and verses would POP OUT at me. Hey, John 3:16! You read that in a mumbled monotone, then you accept everything Calvin says, and it NEVER occurs to you that John 3:16 completely refutes Calvinism!

Why?

Because YOU didn’t understand it?

No! You never asked God to help you understand sound doctrine! It’s not a ME thing, it’s not a YOU thing, it’s a God thing! God gives understanding of the Holy Scriptures, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To take advantage of that, all you need to do is read the Bible. But praying god reveals MORE of His word is pleasing to God, and He will never answer “No” to that request!

It’s available to EVERY reader of this blog! Apply now!

Back


Sorry, was really busy for a few weeks there. I literally had no time to write.

In the latest news, I’m currently on the “Read the New Testament twice through” reading plan, and the “old Testament in one year”. I’m not sure what I liked better, this plan or the “3 times in one year” plan. The benefits of the “3 times in one year” plan was I felt SATURATED in the word of God.

This time it allows me to slowly examine what I’m reading. And since on this read through, I’m also doing the wrongly titled “Inductive” marking in Logos, it takes up to 45 minutes a day to do the plan – far longer than the 3 times in one year reading!

Inductive marking is good – I’ve been noticing a lot of connections, in that the repetitions of the Name of God in the Old Testament bear witness to the spiritual condition of the Israelites. The less God’s name is used, the farther Israel and Judah was from God.

In other articles, I’ve recommended using a clipping file to store important things you read. I’m also reading through Charles Ryrie’s Basic Theology every day, but I’m left unsure about the book. There’s so much good in the book, but at the same time, like most Evangelicals, he is waffling in a fast-moving stream of ecumenism and error!

Ryrie has a good grasp on many doctrines, and is a staunch defender of Dispensationalism. But he both embraces – and rejects Calvinism, he criticizes Roman Catholicism as being a heresy – but then seems to embrace it as a “Denomination”. He brings up some of the errors of Calvinism, but then turns and labels some Protestants as “Semi-Pelagian” (a common taunt of the 4 and 5 point Calvinist), erects Straw Man arguments between “Lutheranism” and Calvinism, and seems to embrace pre-destination. So Ryrie seems to be a closet Calvinist. I can’t really find any firm “Yes” or “No” statements on it. It may turn out by the time I’m done with the book, I may not be able to recommend it after all!

Which Seal are we in?


I get this question sometimes. We are not in any of the Seal judgments right now.

How can I say that?

Can you point to any one person and say with 100% conviction and assurance, “That is the Antichrist?”

You must have that 100% assurance, with no question. For instance, I recently struggled with worry one man was the Antichrist. The problem I was having was – every time I convinced myself he wasn’t, he’d go and do or say something that the Antichrist would say or do! Fortunately, that man is out of office right now, so I worry no more.

Why do I put so much emphasis upon the Antichrist?

Because the first seal is the release of the Antichrist. When I went to school, I was taught that 1 comes before 5 or 6. If the release of the Antichrist is the first seal… and you can’t indentify any one person specifically as the Antichrist…

Then we’re not in the Tribulation.

The next issue is, no matter what your belief about the end times… the Bible is pretty specific that the Rapture comes before the Tribulation, and God turns His attention back to Israel. So, if we’re in the third or fourth seal, then you and I are… unsaved. Because we got left behind.

Last bit of evidence… let’s just say for argument’s sake that so many mid trib people are right, and that the last US president was the Antichrist. He served two terms. That’s eight years.

Tribulation only lasts seven. I somehow missed the bodily return of Christ to Jerusalem…? That would have happened two years ago.

There is one bit of evidence I can offer, in the interest of fairness, against my arguments.

Twinkies do not taste like they used to.

Fight The Good fight


I was talking with a friend yesterday, and we were discussing the rampant falling away in Christianity. I said something to the effect of, “When I told you a few years ago we were in the midst of the falling away, you thought I was crazy. Now you’re seeing it, and nobody can deny it’s going on.”

It’s really sad. I’m dumbfounded at things Christians are saying. I seem to be forever running into blogs by pastors who are saying the most horrific things, to the point I’m not questioning whether they should be in a pulpit, but whether they should even be in a church!

Yesterday’s talk involved a lot of discussion of church discipline, and the doctrine of separation – part of it fueled by my recent discussion of Charles Ryrie’s statement in his Basic Theology book about his inconsistent belief that the letters in the Bible are inspired by God, but the words were chosen by the apostles.

Ryrie is apparently afraid to take his own, very well-reasoned arguments to their conclusion, as apparently everyone he knows – being Evangelicals – does not believe in Mechanical Inspiration, something the common Christian DOES believe in. If you take a poll and ask everyone, “Do you believe men chose the words of the Bible, or God chose the words of the Bible?”, most Christians will say God. My friend had a good laugh as I reduced Ryrie’s stand to the basic level.

I’m not rebuking Ryrie, I’m just warning about what otherwise mars an excellent book on doctrine and theology for the common Christian.

The falling away started at the beginnings of the Laodecian age, which was in the 19th century or so. It’s picking up steam. As a lever is balanced on a fulcrum, the mass at the end is easily moved. But if that mass is not fastened down or “Made sure”, it will slide towards the fulcrum…

…and the slide down to the spot where the person attempting to move the mass is guaranteed, picking up speed.

That’s where we’re at.

Fight the good fight. most of my readers have been making their doctrine sure, holding true to the Bible. Don’t let the rampant unbelief of Evangelical Christianity take hold of you. Stand true, rebuke error when you see it.

And look up. Your redemption draweth nigh…

Words!


Words.

A few years ago, prior to graduating from Seminary… I knew the exact number of words in the King James Bible. I can’t recall that right now, which means that some auto mechanic’s explanation I didn’t want to know about why my car was making that noise (instead of just fixing it) probably dislodged it from my head.

That’s my explanation, and I’m sticking with it.

Reading through I Samuel and 2 Samuel in the last week really showed me some new things about the King James Bible. Did you know that when Samuel anoints Saul as King, there’s sacrifices, anointing, prayers?

Yes, you knew that.

Did you know that when Saul returns, there’s a sacrifice? Yes. You knew that. Saul panicked, and offered the sacrifice himself without waiting for Samuel.

Did you notice that during the entire year between (one chapter worth…) God’s name is not mentioned at all?

Saul was terrified to be King. Once he was King, he immediately began to rely upon himself. He got that dim witted person’s look on his face, the rolling of the shoulders, the wave of his sword and spear, and “I’m da king!”

God’s the king. You’re just running the show for him.

Contrast Saul’s awareness and self reliance with Solomon. He was going to be King, and had little choice in the matter, like Saul. Saul ran and hid behind the stuff…

Solomon prayed.

Saul trusted in his own might, and began conducting warfare against men, using his own strength.

Solomon turned to building a house for God.

Saul offered a sacrifice at the end of his labors out of fear, out of his own strength without waiting for Samuel and God.

Solomon offered them out of reverence, and God actually consumed the sacrifices Himself.

I realized all this just paying attention not only to what words were there, but what was not there.

Now I feel dumb I never noticed it before!

Why my Blog doesn’t Get a Million Hits


Why doesn’t my blog get a million hits? I was reading an article by a Christian the other day, and he has over 700 thousand followers, or something like that.

He makes it very plain –

  • you have to have social media presence. Well, I’m not interested in Facebook or Twitter.
  • You have to write articles that are less than four paragraphs. He even gave a word count you shouldn’t exceed. Yeah, I usually have about 4 times that in my blog.
  • you have to post daily. Well… that part I got.

There’s no WAY to say what I have to say in 400 words or less. And I think that’s what he said was the limit. How can I address error, warn people, teach good doctrine… in 400 words?

I can’t even get through the Bible texts I’m examining in that word limit!

I don’t know, maybe it’s my coffee. I make it too strong, possibly.

But let me put it this way… I’ve got a couple of hundred people who are dedicated to the word of God, who are seeking God’s face, who are willing to read 2,500 word articles on how to study the Bible.

That’s a lot better than having two thousand hits a day.

Thinking about Commentaries


Every Christian needs to own at least one good commentary. If more Christians studied their Bibles, and heeded what they read – there would be no infant baptism. The Charismatic movement never would have gotten started. Messianic Jews would have turned their back on Goble and on Stern when they first began advocating the Law for Christians, and dismissed them as heretics.

So, what commentaries? I’ve addressed this before, but I wanted to give a short list. If you spend the money to get Logos (it’s a lot), you’ll have to get some good commentaries separate, because they refuse to offer good commentaries, preferring instead Neo-Barthian commentaries, New Evangelical, and of course, Neo-Calvinist commentaries.

So… which ones should you buy?

If you had to buy one single commentary, it would be the BKC, John Walvoord’s Bible Knowledge Commentary. The weakness of it is that he was standing with one foot in the New Evangelical camp and accepted Textual Criticism – and he prefers the NIV over the Bible.

Second – the Jamieson, Faucett Brown commentary. Weakness? some slight influence of textual criticism. Otherwise, good.

If you had money to get a third, it’s really hard to beat Matthew Henry. I’d go ahead and get his exhaustive commentaries. Weakness is that Henry did not live to finish it, but other pastors who were Nonconformists like he finished it. There’s elements of Calvinism in it, and where prophecy is concerned, Henry and the others all took an Allegorical approach. Any attempt to study prophecy relying on Henry’s commentary always end up frustrating you.

Fourth – either Matthew Poole or Warren Wiersbe. Wiersbe’s commentaries were written before he became a serious Neo-Evangelical. They’re not quite Fundamentalist, but certainly not as bad as most modern ones. Matthew Poole is good, but a strong believer in 5-point Calvinism.

These are good to study, if you understand where they are weak or errant, and are prepared to dodge those issues when they arise. Alas, I cannot think of a single commentary by anyone who I can recommend whole heartedly.