From Brad Bromling, D.Min. .... Wrong Must Be Explained

Wrong Must Be Explained

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Lyle and Erik Menendez brutally killed their mother and father. The evidence is plain; no one denies it. So, why is it so hard to find them guilty? Their defense attorneys argued persuasively that the brothers endured a nightmarish childhood of sexual and physical abuse, and that they were thus acting out of a kind of insanity that excuses them from first-degree murder charges. The arguments on both sides reduce to the same basic premise: wrong was committed.
The prosecution accused the brothers of murder and appealed to the public’s sense that murder is evil. Likewise the brothers, in claiming they had been mistreated, appealed to a society that abhors child abuse. This was not a matter of arbitrary human laws being violated, it went much deeper. It was a matter of “right and wrong”—a concept that is universal and unique to humanity.
No matter where people are found, they recognize that some things are wrong. Although human groups differ on what they prohibit, they all censor something. C.S. Lewis articulated this point well:
Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked (1952, p. 5).
This also is personal. When I look inside myself, I find this moral sense that I did not invent. I can find no explanation for it in the world—it must derive from beyond that realm. If there is nothing but matter in the Universe, and matter is the only eternal reality—then how do you explain this moral sense in humanity? Did it arise from rocks, trees, or animals? No, this moral sense is one of the clearest and most personal reminders that there is a God.


Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan).

From Jim McGuiggan... We need to stop this!

We need to stop this!

The term "elect" (chosen) is not used in scripture as an umbrella term to cover all the saved of all the ages. It always has specific addressees. Just as surely as it would be a mistake to take "chosen" in OT texts and apply them to NT Christians (unless we have textual grounds for doing so) so it's a mistake to take "chosen" when addressed to Christians and say it refers to all the saved people of all the ages. The NT elect are not the OT elect nor are they the saved of all the ages.

The elect in the NT are Christians—those who have been called by the gospel to faith in Jesus. We have no textual grounds for taking the term (for example in Ephesians 1) and saying the chosen ones in that text are the people of all the ages since Adam. NT elect are called by the proclamation of the gospel about Jesus. The work of Jesus Christ embraces people of all the ages but within that work there is a peculiar group of people who have been chosen to be the "body of Christ". Abraham is "saved", of course, but he is not part of the NT elect. Melchizedek is "saved", of course, but he is not part of the NT elect. Moses is "saved", of course, but he's not part of the NT elect, "the body of Christ". Moses was not a Christian! Abraham was not a Christian and Melchizedek was not a Christian. They're embraced in the universal work of God and are saved, certainly (Hebrews 12:18-24), but their place is not in the peculiar people (the NT elect) who serve a purpose no other saved people served or can serve!

You only have to look at the texts to see the error of using NT "elect" passages for all the saved of all the ages. The Thessalonians are chosen by the gospel about Jesus and belief of that gospel (2 Thessalonians 13-14). The Ephesians were called by the gospel of truth about Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-14, esp. 13) and so on. For some of us it suits our theological purposes to make "elect" equivalent to "saved" but we have no textual grounds for doing this. It's perfectly legitimate to do systematic theology but that must only be done based on actual texts.

God purposed the coming of "the last Adam" before the world began; in fact, the creation was brought about with the immortal Adam in mind (Colossians 1:15-16) and God purposed and brought into being the NT elect who would not only enjoy life in Jesus but would function in the world as "the body of Christ," the new humanity of the risen Lord; the extension (so the speak) of Jesus' incarnation.

To take the NT doctrine of the Church and make all the texts relate to all the saved of all the ages is to take leave of the actual texts we're dealing with.

Understand that the work of Jesus affects all the ages and the entire human family but within that universal work of God in Jesus there are specific moves and acts of God to bring about his eternal purpose. Two of them are the OT elect and the NT elect. These are not to be confused though they are intimately related. The NT elect are not to be confused with the entire number of all the "saved".

Find a text that speaks of the elect in the NT and you find people who are elect through the gospel of Jesus Christ. That means we can't place Moses or Hannah or Samuel or Ruth in the NT elect. The NT elect arrive on the scene only when Jesus arrives and they are the creation of God via the gospel that makes them into the image of Jesus and they live out the truth that Jesus is the returning Lord of All.

We need to stop treating NT texts about "election" as if they related to "all the saved of all the ages". "Saved" and "elect" are not co-extensive. Click here for a little more.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Gary... This is a different spin on this. Never heard it put like this before- will have to think about it...

From Mark Copeland... Exhortations To Manifest Love (Hebrews 13:1-3)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                 Exhortations To Manifest Love (13:1-3)


1. When we began our study, we noted that "The Epistle To The
   a  Began like an "essay" - cf. He 1:1-2
   b. Progressed like a "sermon" - cf. He 2:1-4
   c. Ended like a "letter"
   -- With the final chapter, we see the tone of the epistle taking on
      the characteristics of a personal correspondence

2. As with many epistles in the New Testament, this letter ends with
   various exhortations...
   a. The first regarding the objects of their love - He 13:1-3
   b. Here we find the author practicing what he preaches; seeking to
      stimulate love and good works - cf. He 10:24

[As Christians, toward whom should we manifest our love?  Certainly
toward all men, even our enemies (Lk 6:32,35); but in the text our
attention is focused upon manifesting love first...]


      1. It is a mark of true discipleship - Jn 13:35
      2. It is an indication of true spiritual life - 1Jn 3:14

      1. Note the text says their love was to "continue"
      2. They had demonstrated brotherly love in the past...
         a. In their ministry to God and His saints - He 6:10
         b. Even in their service to the author - He 10:32-34

      1. Just as Paul wrote...
         a. For the Thessalonians to excel in their love - 1Th 4:9-10
         b. For the Philippians to abound in their love - Php 1:9
      2. Just as Peter wrote that our love should abound - 2Pe 1:7
      -- Even now, the author of Hebrews says "Let brotherly love

[No matter how much we may have manifested love towards one another as
brethren in the past, it is imperative that such love continues!

Equally imperative is the manifestation of love...]


      1. The Greek word is philoxenia {fil-ox-en-ee'-ah}
         a. Lit., a love of strangers
         b. It involved receiving a stranger (sojourner) into one's
            home as an honored guest and to provide the guest with
            food, shelter, and protection (Holman BD)
      2. In many ancient cultures, hospitality was a solemn duty
         a. It was regarded as a sacred obligation by the ancient
            Greeks and Romans, one that was approved by Zeus, the god
            and protector of strangers
         b. The Egyptians claimed it as a meritorious deed in life
         c. For the Bedouins, it was an expression of righteousness
            (Holman BD)
         d. "Hospitality is one form of worship" (Jewish Proverb)
      3. In the early church, it was an important ministry...
         a. Christians were often displaced by persecution; public inns
            were scarce, costly, and sometimes dangerous
         b. Traveling evangelists were to be supported through
            hospitality - 3Jn 5-8
      4. Thus hospitality was to be manifested by...
         a. Those men who would serve as elders (bishops) - 1Ti 3:2;
            Tit 1:8
         b. Those widows who would be "taken into the number" - 1Ti 5:9-10
         c. All Christians - Ro 12:13; 1Pe 4:9

      1. "for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
         a. The example of Abraham - Gen 18:1-8
         b. The example of Lot - Gen 19:1-3
      2. The point is not that we should expect angels to literally
         come our way
         a. Though some we entertain may serve as His "messengers"
            ("angel" means "messenger") in a providential sense
         b. The key idea is that "You never know what hospitality might
            bring" (Lightfoot)
            1) One often receives unexpected benefits from his or her
            2) There is always the "blessedness" of giving - Ac 20:35

[The physical need for hospitality today may not be as great as it was
in ancient times, but the spiritual need (e.g., the strengthening of
spiritual ties) is just as important.  Therefore we need to "be
hospitable to one another without grumbling" (1Pe 4:9).

The manifestation of our love should also extend...]


      1. Christians were often persecuted and imprisoned for their
         a. Prior to his conversion, Paul often led the assault - Ac 8:3; 26:9-11
         b. Later, he himself was a prisoner - Php 1:12-18; Col 4:18
      2. The Hebrews had already shown their love toward such prisoners
         - He 10:32-34
      3. To remember and visit Christians in prison was an act of
         devotion to Christ Himself - Mt 25:35-40
      4. Their provisions for the prisoners would be a "sweet-smelling
         sacrifice", well-pleasing to God - cf. Php 4:18
      5. They could also remember them in their prayers - Ac 12:5;
         Ep 6:18-20

      1. By their sense of fellowship in their brethren's suffering
         a. "as if chained with them;"
         b. The Lord intended such connection between the members of
            His Body ("if one member suffers, all the members suffer
            with it") - 1Co 12:26
      2. By their awareness of their own vulnerability
         a. "since you yourselves are in the body also"
         b. They would not be immune to persecution themselves,
            therefore they should be sensitive to the sufferings of


1. In providing a "new and living way", it is true that Jesus made
   possible a close relationship between man and God - cf. He 10:19-22

2. But the purity we experience through obeying the truth...
   a. Is not just that we may have fellowship with God
   b. But also that we may have fellowship with each other in sincerity
      and love! - cf. 1Pe 1:22-23

3. Thus it naturally follows that as we draw near to God, we should
   also draw near to one another; this we do when we manifest love...
   a. Toward brethren (1)
   b. Toward strangers (2)
   c. Toward prisoners and the persecuted (3)

May we all be diligent to heed the exhortation to...

                    "Let brotherly love continue"!

xecutable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading... March 27

Bible Reading   

March 27

The World English Bible

Mar. 27
Leviticus 9, 10

Lev 9:1 It happened on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
Lev 9:2 and he said to Aaron, "Take a calf from the herd for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before Yahweh.
Lev 9:3 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'Take a male goat for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both a year old, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
Lev 9:4 and a bull and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before Yahweh; and a meal offering mixed with oil: for today Yahweh appears to you.' "
Lev 9:5 They brought what Moses commanded before the Tent of Meeting: and all the congregation drew near and stood before Yahweh.
Lev 9:6 Moses said, "This is the thing which Yahweh commanded that you should do: and the glory of Yahweh shall appear to you."
Lev 9:7 Moses said to Aaron, "Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering, and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself, and for the people; and offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as Yahweh commanded."
Lev 9:8 So Aaron drew near to the altar, and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
Lev 9:9 The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it on the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar:
Lev 9:10 but the fat, and the kidneys, and the cover from the liver of the sin offering, he burned upon the altar; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 9:11 The flesh and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp.
Lev 9:12 He killed the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons delivered the blood to him, and he sprinkled it around on the altar.
Lev 9:13 They delivered the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head: and he burned them upon the altar.
Lev 9:14 He washed the innards and the legs, and burned them on the burnt offering on the altar.
Lev 9:15 He presented the people's offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and killed it, and offered it for sin, like the first.
Lev 9:16 He presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance.
Lev 9:17 He presented the meal offering, and filled his hand from there, and burned it upon the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.
Lev 9:18 He also killed the bull and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron's sons delivered to him the blood, which he sprinkled around on the altar,
Lev 9:19 and the fat of the bull and of the ram, the fat tail, and that which covers the innards, and the kidneys, and the cover of the liver:
Lev 9:20 and they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burned the fat on the altar:
Lev 9:21 and the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before Yahweh, as Moses commanded.
Lev 9:22 Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them; and he came down from offering the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings.
Lev 9:23 Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the people.
Lev 9:24 There came forth fire from before Yahweh, and consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar: and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Lev 10:1 Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which he had not commanded them.
Lev 10:2 And fire came forth from before Yahweh, and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh.
Lev 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what Yahweh spoke of, saying, 'I will show myself holy to those who come near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.' " Aaron held his peace.
Lev 10:4 Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, "Draw near, carry your brothers from before the sanctuary out of the camp."
Lev 10:5 So they drew near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said.
Lev 10:6 Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, "Don't let the hair of your heads go loose, neither tear your clothes; that you don't die, and that he not be angry with all the congregation: but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which Yahweh has kindled.
Lev 10:7 You shall not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; for the anointing oil of Yahweh is on you." They did according to the word of Moses.
Lev 10:8 Yahweh spoke to Aaron, saying,
Lev 10:9 "Drink no wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, that you don't die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations:
Lev 10:10 and that you are to make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean;
Lev 10:11 and that you are to teach the children of Israel all the statutes which Yahweh has spoken to them by Moses."
Lev 10:12 Moses spoke to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons who were left, "Take the meal offering that remains of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, and eat it without yeast beside the altar; for it is most holy;
Lev 10:13 and you shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your portion, and your sons' portion, of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire: for so I am commanded.
Lev 10:14 The waved breast and the heaved thigh you shall eat in a clean place, you, and your sons, and your daughters with you: for they are given as your portion, and your sons' portion, out of the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the children of Israel.
Lev 10:15 The heaved thigh and the waved breast they shall bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before Yahweh: and it shall be yours, and your sons' with you, as a portion forever; as Yahweh has commanded."
Lev 10:16 Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burned: and he was angry with Eleazar and with Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying,
Lev 10:17 "Why haven't you eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, seeing it is most holy, and he has given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before Yahweh?
Lev 10:18 Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary: you certainly should have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded."
Lev 10:19 Aaron spoke to Moses, "Behold, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before Yahweh; and such things as these have happened to me: and if I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been pleasing in the sight of Yahweh?"
Lev 10:20 When Moses heard that, it was pleasing in his sight.

Mar. 27, 28
Mark 16

Mar 16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Mar 16:2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Mar 16:3 They were saying among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
Mar 16:4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.
Mar 16:5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed.
Mar 16:6 He said to them, "Don't be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him!
Mar 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.' "
Mar 16:8 They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.
Mar 16:9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.
Mar 16:10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
Mar 16:11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved.
Mar 16:12 After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country.
Mar 16:13 They went away and told it to the rest. They didn't believe them, either.
Mar 16:14 Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Mar 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation.
Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.
Mar 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages;
Mar 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Mar 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

From Gary... The passage of time and God

This morning I had a pleasant surprise; a phone call from my good friend Harry Shepherd. The Apologetics press post I made yesterday made him think of the origin of the universe and a conversation we had about it, almost a decade ago. Imagine, thinking about a 1/2 hour conversation for ten years??? Well, time and the big bang theory seem to be inexorably linked together in my thinking- along with distance. And so we come to this picture. A view of a bus or trolley car from both the inside and outside as well (at the same time) as it speeds towards its destination.   Well, I know that time changes for me depending upon circumstances (remember as a kid, when the summers seemed to last forever, or when you are driving along and hit a patch of ice and start sssllliiidddiiinnnggg...), but what about God????

2 Peter, Chapter 3

8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

When it comes to God- throw your rule book out the window; HE is just so far above us that sometimes when I try to understand everything about HIM, I get a headache!!!  Yet, this I know- verse nine above is true!!!  And am I glad that it is!!!!!!  However you understand the formation of everything, include God, because HE has included YOU among his creations. Puts a different spin on things, doesn't it???