Friday, September 30, 2016

The apostasy and hatred of the Pharisees made them plot to killLazarus

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. (John 12:9-11)

This man [Nicodemus] came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." (John 3:2)

Imagine a religion so apostate that the leaders and adherents of it plot to kill the person upon whom had been given the greatest supernatural blessing and sign directly from God- resurrection. And it's not that the Pharisees didn't know that Jesus was from God, Nicodemus tells us they did.

The evil of the religion as it had become when Jesus arrived is something we often forget to look upon in horror and disgust. Jesus certainly did. Wolves bring leaven.
Yet to tolerate spiritual leaven is to invite apostasy. Christians seem more interested in following the super gentle, easy-to-follow, blonde haired, blue eyed, Caucasian surfer Jesus instead of the one that beckons us to pick up our crosses, follow him, and seek the lost (Matt. 10:38) (CARM)
The Pharisees had piled hundreds of laws onto the Jews over time, a total of 614 had been invented by them by the time Jesus came. The People were staggering under the weight of Law and worse, the Pharisees displayed no grace to help alleviate their burden. Only hypocrisy. Therefore, Jesus was incensed at what was done in His name.

After Lazarus' resurrection, the people continued to bear witness of Jesus' sign.

The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him." (John 12:17-19)

The leaven the false ones bring always includes self-satisfaction. The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were in it for themselves, not the glory of God. It's the same today.
To tolerate this spiritual leaven means to invite apostasy.  Like leaven, error gradually creeps into the church and spreads to all parts, causing the whole to elevate itself with pride and do what is right in one's own eyes instead of that which is right in God's.  2 Thess. 2:3 speaks about the great apostasy that is coming.  However, it cannot occur without a host of lesser apostasies within the Church that will ultimately deceive Christians and prepare the ground for the arrival of Antichrist. (CARM)
Apostasy is evil and its deepening never stops. It only progresses. It winds up to a point where the leaders of it want to kill the very man, Lazarus, who could bear witness to the power and grace of a holy God just by the fact that he could draw breath. The apostate wants no such Good News however. He seeks to stop it and silence it in any way possible. Death, that's what apostasy brings. Praise God that He sent His Son to witness to the grace and mercy of His Holy Name. Rather than seeking to kill, we seek to love, build up, and we remain in His hand until the day He returns or brings us home.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

The beauty of creation at the microscopic level

I love photos and videos that show the microscopic. It's all God's creation and to be able to see the smaller things unusually not observed by the unaided eye just gives me a thrill to peek into His smaller creations that are just as magnificent as the Alps or the change of seasons or the constellations. Here is a short clip of things crystallizing. It's fascinating.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Have you ever been snubbed?

a snub is defined as
an act of showing disdain or a lack of cordiality by rebuffing or ignoring someone or something.
Did you ever go into a store or pass someone walking or anywhere, and you know they saw you but they refuse to acknowledge you? That's a snub.

I'm on the spectrum and I accidentally snub people all the time. Sorry. I tend to focus more on inanimate objects than I do on people and I literally don't see you. Children are an exception. I always see them.

A hilarious quote I read from Kin Hubbard says that "some people are so sensitive they feel snubbed if an epidemic overlooks them."

Remember the angst in High School when we walked down the hall and saw the boy (or the girl) and desperately hoped for eye contact, acknowledgement, or best of all, personal affirmation. Would he stop, look, chat? Oh, no, he didn't look! She didn't see! They rejected me!

It felt horrible and as adults if we care to admit it, it still does. Snubbing and his big brother Rejection are wounds that hurt. We've been snubbed when a friend is angry with us, We've been rejected by a spouse through adultery. We have been passed over for promotion. We crave affirmation and recognition, but when we're being ignored through a snub or rejected through anger or hate, it hurts and the hurt takes a long time to heal.

Now bundle all the times you've been snubbed, overlooked, and rejected, and magnify that a billion times. Imagine how you might feel at the universe's worst snub, its highest rejection.

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.(Matthew 10:32).

In the first case, the person being rejected thought he was a Christian. He labored, he preached, he rebuked demons. And he was rejected. In a stunning turn of events, the person will receive an eternal rejection to his face, and be banished from glory and the presence of Jesus forever.

In order to ensure that you, dear reader, are not one of those rejected and snubbed, having no place card at the Banquet, test yourself to see if you are in the faith. Is It Real: 11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation can be read here.

In the second case, the person was an outright Christ rejecter. Whether they were a 'spiritual person' of another religion, or an atheist, agnostic, or other flavor of rejecter, in turn they will be rejected on the Day. Forever.

This is a hurt and a wound from which one does not ever recover. Make sure you are not rejected on the Day, and repent of your sins. Today is the day of your salvation. Don't wait, don't procrastinate. If you're feeling feel drawn, investigate and examine yourself to see if you pass the test.





Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reader Question: What are some good commentaries and sermons on Old Testament prophetic texts?

A reader wanted to know who I'd recommend as trustworthy expositors of the Old Testament texts, particularly the prophetic texts and especially Daniel.

Admittedly, Daniel is a difficult text to understand in parts, though with the Holy Spirit's help in illuminating it and because scripture interprets scripture, it's not impossible to understand.
OT sermons and commentaries are definitely hard to find. Or rather, they are easy to find but you wouldn't want to read some of them because they twist the scripture so badly!

So who solidly exposits the Old Testament texts?

I love James Montgomery Boice. He preached through OT prophets in his day and the sermons are online for free. He is currently on rotation in Expositor.fm (24-hour expository preaching on internet radio channel founded by John MacArthur) in a Daniel series. The sermons archived on sermon audio and other places, but are not transcribed, to my knowledge. He does have an expositional commentary for purchase at Amazon, only $15. Daniel Expositional Commentary

On my own bookshelves as regards Daniel Commentaries, is a commentary by Oliver B. Greene which I enjoy. He is old timey, from the 1930s-1970s. Greene's commentary on Daniel can be purchased at Amazon for between $7-15. Greene also has a commentary on Revelation, which I do not own. As always, use your discernment and compare to scripture to test and see.

Wikipedia says that Green's "The Gospel Hour, which began on one station in Georgia and gradually became syndicated until the point it spanned the nation is currently on over 80 stations, including international stations and the Internet. Taped copies of the program are still aired today on the Fundamental Broadcasting Network and other Christian radio stations."

John MacArthur preached thru Daniel. As a matter of fact, at GTY.org they have a new series where employees choose some of their favorite, stellar sermons from JMac which may not be as well known or arre older. Last Friday's pick was a sermon from the Daniel series, called "An Uncompromising Life." The Daniel series can be found at that link, and the sermons are transcribed, they can be adapted for small group study.

One man who has done something unique and wonderful but for some reason is fairly unknown and overlooked, is Roy Gingrich. He made what are called outlines of all the OT prophetic books, most of the other OT books, and NT books as well, including Revelation. These are wonderfully succinct treatments suited for individual study or small group! These are available for $2.99 on Amazon, kindle only.

I've attached two screen shots of Gingrich's outlines so you can see what they look like




As for the credible expositors on Revelation: My favorite book on Revelation is MacArthur's "Because The Time Is Near". It brings out both the wrath and the grace & love of Christ during that most horrendous future time. When I read it, the book shook me. It is an easy read, based on the sermon series.

On my shelves for other Revelation Commentaries, I also have HA Ironside's commentary, John R. Rice and Oliver B Greene as well as MacArthur's Commentary on Revelation, plus and an unknown Baptist from the 1800s, lol. I found that one on sale in a second hand store.

Preachers I trust to handle scripture correctly, including the more complicated Old Testament Prophets, are S. Lewis Johnson and Dan Duncan, both of Believers Chapel-Dallas, Johnson preached there for many years, and Duncan is currently Johnson's successor. They have preached through Daniel as well as other end time books of prophecy. Their sermons are accompanied by notes.

I hoe my few recommendations are helpful. Of course there are many other good preachers and commentaries not mentioned here. Feel free to offer some recommendations of your own!




Jude's dreamers and Beth Moore's necromancy

Consider this statement from Jude 1:8. Jude is talking about ungodly people, false teachers who are already marked out for condemnation, grace-perverters.

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.

Look at the part of the verse which casts a negative light on their reliance on dreams, where I'd underlined. What kind of dreams are meant here? MacArthur Commentary,
The wicked behavior of such men derives from their dreaming a term that Jude uses to identify these apostates as phony visionaries. The New Testament normally uses the noun onar to refer to dreams (Matthew 1:20, 2:12, 13, 19, 22, 27:19), but here Jude chose a form of the verb enupniazo, which is used only one other place int he New Testament, Acts 2:17. In that passage, Peter (preaching on the Day of Pentecost) declared, "‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."

Joel's prophecy (Joel 2:28-32) and its affirmation in Peter's sermon show that the dreams in question may refer to revelatory dreams (rather than normal dreams). During the Tribulation, prophecies, revelations and visions that have now ceased will return, along with divine revelation. God will speak to people through dreams, just as he did earlier in biblical history )e.g., Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and others).

False teachers often claim dreams as authoritative divine source for their "new truths" which are really just lies and distortions. Such claims allow apostates to substitute their own counterfeit authority for God's true scriptural authority
At this point in writing the essay I decided to Google some quotes where a famous false teacher had mentioned dreams, and it it there. I started with Beth Moore because she's been around longest and had a higher likelihood of a quote somewhere regarding being a 'dreamer' as Jude puts it. I was absolutely shocked as this result came up on Youtube. It is a clip from the LifeToday program on television with James Robison from 6 years ago. At least, Moore mentions that she was 53 years old in the clip and she is 59 years old as of this writing. The 10-minute clip shows Beth describing a dream that she had had, and then its meaning and interpretation. But it's worse than just a revelatory dream. Much worse.

In the clip, Moore fervently affirms that she just loves Jesus so much and the dream 'he' gave her just makes her love 'him' all the more. Moore's friend is Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. About a year and a half prior to Moore's dream, her friend Mary Beth had tragically lost her adopted Chinese daughter Maria to a car accident. Mary Beth had been in deep grief.

Moore opened by explaining that in all her 53 years she did not dream that vividly and she never had a dream from God. Though she'd repeatedly prayed and asked for Him to send her a dream, Moore explained that God 'said' to her that "some people are just safer with the Word on the page." (1:31 in the clip. By the way, this is an admission that Moore seeks extrabiblical revelation, and that she knows exactly that dreams are extrabiblical revelation).

Her dream involved seeing Mary Beth at a sound stage about to speak to an audience, with her dead daughter holding her hand, in a body and dressed in a white shirt with chunky bangs. At the time, Mary Beth Chapman hadn't written her book and was not touring sound stages speaking to audiences. Not yet.

The glaring problem with Moore's description of the dead child is that the redeemed of heaven do not have bodies yet.

As I said, Moore explained that every night she prays He would send her a dream or a manifestation, she seeks it earnestly. Luke 11:29 and Luke 11:16 state that an evil generation seeks a sign. So her first doctrinal mistake was to test the Lord by continually asking for a dream or a manifestation. (her words).

Her second doctrinal mistake was not recognizing instantly that the dream she'd had was not from the Lord. Why? God abhors communing with the dead. It is a practice that He strenuously forbade the Israelites to engage in (Deuteronomy 18:10-12), calling it an abomination. The New Testament is also firm against sorcery, divination, and necromancy. (Galatians 5:19-21, Revelation 21:8).
Necromancy is defined as the conjuring of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events. In the Bible, necromancy is also called “divination,” “sorcery” and “spiritism” and is forbidden many times in Scripture (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10; Galatians 5:19-20; Acts 19:19) as an abomination to God. It is something that the Lord speaks very strongly against and is to be avoided as much as any evil. (source
There is no reason to believe that a deceased person has any ability to leave heaven or hell in order to visit his living family members. Any such claim is a demonic deception (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). God declared such practices to be abhorrent to Him, and those who did practice such things in Israel were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Satan would like nothing more than for people to dabble in the occult world of spiritism and necromancy. (source)
Moore's third doctrinal error was interpreting the dream herself. Genesis 40:8 plainly says that interpretations belong to God. Moore went on in the clip to interpret the dream herself. She said that the dream meant that Mary Beth was being called by God to speak in front of audiences. She further interpreted that God sent the dream to Moore and not to Chapman because it was too soon after the accident for Chapman as a mother to be able to handle seeing her daughter.

Chapman said in an interview that she had desired a dream, too. She and her husband desired to see their dead daughter.
After the accident, we avoided the house for several days. We were begging God to show us himself in this, because this was clearly the darkest place he had taken us, and we were drowning. We were like, God, please, let us see. Let us see Maria. Let us have a dream. Let us see something so we know that you're here. (Mary Beth Chapman)
The scriptures say,

For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun. (Ecc 9:5-6)

The dead no longer have a share in what is done under the sun. As for the desire to see a dead person,
Scripture never indulges that desire. In the Old Testament era, every attempt to communicate with the dead was deemed a sin on par with sacrificing infants to false gods (Deuteronomy 18:10–12). The Hebrew Scriptures say comparatively little about the disposition of souls after death, and the people of God were strictly forbidden to inquire further on their own. Necromancy was a major feature of Egyptian religion. It also dominated every religion known among the Canaanites. But under Moses’ law it was a sin punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27). Dead Men Tell No Tales
Moore's dream is the exact definition of necromancy. In OT times, doing what Moore did, summoning a dream or a manifestation of a dead person and basing personal interpretations of future events on that dream was punishable by death.

Jude disparaged 'dreamers' and their reliance on their 'dreams' because dreaming is a dangerous activity. Sin never sits still. It deepens. It begins with one little sin not repented of, and another and another. It continues with straying from church, the Bible, prayer. It deepens with increased satanic activity surrounding you, traversing the abominable territory into personal revelations. Once a false teacher is comfortable with constant alleged personal revelations, then come the dreams, and then the necromancy, and finally, death, either sooner or later.

In Saul's case, in the one and only case of communing with the dead, the Lord allowed a summoning of Samuel the Prophet through the Witch of Endor to demonstrate to Saul how far gone he was into the deep things of satan. You also notice that the witch already had a "familiar spirit."Samuel's appearance was only to confirm Saul's imminent doom.

This essay has a two-fold purpose. One, to show you again, how deeply Moore is apostate, and to warn you to avoid her. Secondly it is to remind you (and me) that sin never sits still, it is always on the move, prowling. (1 Peter 5:8). As sin moves, it deepens. It gets worse over time if unrepented of, never better.

There are only two ways to go in our walk on earth. One will be on the narrow road or on the broad road. One leads to destruction and eternal death, one leads to eternal life. Walk, or as Paul sometimes said, run, indicates movement. Sin never stays still. You either move toward the "deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10) or you move toward the deep things of satan (Revelation 2:24). When one begins to seek voices and personal direct revelation from God and accept them, one is already far down the path of the deeper things of satan. When one dreams and believes the dreams are from God, it's a dangerous thing. You then begin relying on the dreams and not "the Word on the page" (as Moore admitted above). Jude says of those who rely on dreams "defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones." When dreams turn to summoning the dead, and interpreting their activity into future earthly events, you're already an abomination to God because you are a necromancer. Necromancers do not go to heaven.

Don't dabble in dreams, nor should we ask for them. Don't accept personal revelations, but repent of them. That Beth Moore did not recognize her necromancy dream as an abomination but attributed what was in fact the deep things of satan to God, just shows her blindness and abominable status before our holy Lord. Jude was serious, saying

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)

---------------------------------------------

End Note:

I'm posting these screen shots of the video with closed captioning in case the video is deleted (which Moore's criticized videos often are.) I also saved the transcript of the video and I'll post that if the video is deleted later.

Here, Moore admits she constantly asks God to show her a manifestation or give her a dream.



Here, Moore claims to see Mary Beth Chapman's dead child Maria in body and describes her face, hair and clothes.








Monday, September 26, 2016

The discovery of 2000 year old Leviticus fragment

What were the original languages the Bible was written in? How did we get the Bible? Was the Bible corrupted by men when they were translated?

Good questions!

The Bible was written in two main languages, Hebrew in the Old Testament, and Greek for the New Testament. Two other languages appear briefly. One of them is Aramaic. A few chapters in Ezra and Daniel were originally in Aramaic and one verse in Jeremiah, also.

There are a few words in another, fourth language that appears extremely briefly for a few words in Job, and that's Ugaritic. The Ugaritic does't impact the original Bible's reading and interpreting because of the minute amount the Bible contains, but Ugaritic does help to understand the Hebrew overall.

Two thousand tablets written in Ugaritic were discovered in 1929. The Kingdom of Ugarit was located in Syria, and was a thriving kingdom of the late Bronze Age (1570 - 1200 BC.) It co-existed with the Hebrew tribes and,
The Ugaritic texts offer innumerable literary and religious parallels to biblical literature. The parallels are so rich and in some cases so specific that it is evident that the Ugaritic texts do not merely provide parallels, but belong to a shared or overlapping cultural matrix with the Hebrew Bible. (Source)
The Ugaritic language was almost letter for letter identical to Hebrew, and where a Hebrew word was unknown or difficult to interpret in context, the Ugaritic texts helped as a kind of Rosetta Stone in interpreting the difficult Hebrew biblical word properly.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Kay Cude poetry: Everlasting Mercy

Kay Cude poetry, used with permission. Click picture to enlarge

Artist's Statement:

I am consistently drawn to Dore's work! And each time I utilize one of his profoundly sensitive pieces, I imagine that as he worked on his wood plates, he had no concept of their enduring qualities or that centuries later I and others would be drawn to use them in our efforts to magnify and praise God! How amazed Dore would be to know that his telling works now cover the earth through digital media, or that millions have seen God's glory through his pieces, and in a more profound way than he could even begin to imagine! Isn't God just so very wise! His plans to make Himself and His Christ known through art and other forms of media makes our intuitiveness very pale! I believe God selects those desiring to serve Him in this manner and uses their work (spiritual gifts) for His purpose...



More on artist and engraver Gustave Dore and his fabulous and evocative works, many of which are biblical scenes.