From Jim McGuiggan... Penal substitution (2)

Penal substitution (2)

There are no clear cases of penal substitution in the Old Testament. There are clear cases where the innocent suffer from some judgement that exists as punishment but there are no clear cases where God punishes an innocent person as a substitute for a guilty person. Nor is there a clear case where God punishes any person as a substitute for any other person.
Let me illustrate what I mean.
In Amos 4 God addresses the apostate Northern Kingdom. He tells them that he has always wanted their return to him and that in trying to bring them back he poured out judgments on them (see 4:6-13 and the recurring “yet you did not return to me”). They suffered drought and famine. The drought and famine were produced by God (4:6-8 and note the “I gave” and “I withheld” phrases). They were God’s response to Israel’s wickedness (4:1-5) and they were meant to bring them back.
The drought and famine were no accidents. These and other things were punishment and they were punishment for offenses committed. These horrific conditions would not have existed (in this section of scripture) if Israel had not been guilty of sin against God and oppression of the vulnerable. This is plain and unvarnished penal suffering. That is, suffering that exists as punishment for offenses committed!
Into such conditions a baby is born and suffers the agonies of starvation (as countless thousands do this day). The baby suffers from famine that exists and only exists as punishment on the guilty. The famine exists because God is acting in wrath. God is acting in wrath against the guilty. In the Amos setting, if the guilty had not sinned there would have been no famine and the newborn would not be suffering from the famine. God’s wrath is triggered by guilt and the writhing infants are guiltless. However we describe their suffering we cannot call it punishment or words have no meaning. Well, there is an alternative. We could say God was angry with the newborn. We could say he was angry with them because they were “born sinners” and deserved to be starved. This takes leave of the text, which says the wrath is triggered by apostasy and flagrant in justice, and it is another one of those outrageous doctrines that is an obscenity even to defend.
But the newborn are suffering. They are suffering under the judgement of God and so they are suffering from conditions that are punishment handed out by God. So it is perfectly legitimate to say the innocent are suffering what is in truth penal suffering so long as we understand that they personally are not objects of God’s wrath and that he is not punishing them.
What is true of innocent babies would be true of those who were holy and righteous. Not everyone in Israel was evil. There were those who were holy and righteous, who were under the blood of the covenant and were loyal to their covenant Lord. These were not the people that triggered God’s wrath and they were not the people God responded to in anger to bring them back to him. They had never left! On the contrary, they stayed, in holy righteousness when the rest went worshiping idols and gouging the poor.
When the famine came—a famine that existed as punishment for treachery and cruelty—the righteous suffered the agonies of it. They shared the pain with the guilty. They bore the pain of punishment but it was not their punishment because it was not their offense. Nevertheless, God would not spare his own sons and daughters so they too went down under the weight of the judgement of God against sin.
Of course God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought the judgement. He knew the innocent babies and the holy and righteous would suffer under the judgement. God could easily have sustained the babies and the holy people without food or water. He who could create a man out of the dust of the earth could save babies and righteous people during floods like Noah’s or famines like Amos’. He chose not to! He who would not spare his own unique Son would not spare these other sons and daughters of his (note Acts 17:26-29).
The Amos text says nothing of atonement and I’m not wishing to discuss that matter. It’s crystal clear that Jesus alone atoned for the sins of the human race so there is that about him that is incomparable and unique. He chose to enter our world in order to redeem and the babies of Amos’ day did not. All that is clear. Just the same, Jesus entered a world under the judgement of God and bore the judgement of God against sin to redeem us. But what Jesus bore was not God’s wrath against him (imputed or otherwise)—Calvin himself thought the idea monstrous. It was God’s wrath against a sinful world that Jesus bore and he bore it by entering into it. Christ and innocent infants and holy, righteous servants of God had something in common. God wasn’t punishing them and through them he was working to redeem the world. But that’s another matter to be developed.

©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.

Pillars of Faith DVD Series Completed by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Pillars of Faith DVD Series Completed
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Some time ago, we at Apologetics Press committed ourselves to producing more DVD resources for both adults and children, due to the fact that many Americans have upgraded to these ever-improving forms of electronic media. Accordingly, we began work on the development of the Pillars of Faith series for adults. The first two offerings in the series were released last year. The first pillar, Truth Be Told, sub-titled “A Seminar Exposing the Myth of Evolution,” contains six live presentations of the cutting-edge information that Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons provide in the seminars that they conduct around the country. Designed to examine the Creation/Evolution controversy in light of reason and revelation, these sessions present evidence that refutes evolution, defends Creation, and explains how dinosaurs fit into the biblical framework.
The second pillar was modeled after A.P.’s outstanding book, Behold! The Lamb of God, which presents a well-documented, persuasive case for the historicity, deity, and uniqueness of Jesus Christ. This disc contains a total of six sessions of approximately 38 minutes each, with the following lesson titles: “The Historicity of Jesus,” “The Uniqueness of Christ,” “The Predicted Messiah,” “The Resurrection of Christ,” “Answering Christ’s Critics,” and “Was Jesus Really God?”
The third and final pillar has now been completed and is titled: “Is the Bible From God?” sub-titled “A Seminar that Examines the Inspiration and Reliability of the Bible.” The six lessons are titled: “The Bible and Science,” “The Bible and Prophecy,” “The Bible and Archaeology,” “Is the Bible Reliable?” “Scripture Cannot be Broken,” and “Hearing God in the 21st Century.” This DVD is sorely needed in a culture that has expanded its assault on the inspiration and authority of God’s Word. The people of our country and the world desperately need to face the proof for the divine authenticity of the Bible.
The Pillars of Faith series are evangelistic tools that serve as an excellent means to reach friends, neighbors, and co-workers with truth that will affect their eternal destiny. These DVDs are extremely inexpensive when purchased in bulk quantities (see the center spread for pricing). Please secure your copies, view these presentations, and share them with the people in your life.
Also, please be advised that Apologetics Press recently set up an A.P. group page on the social-networking Web site Facebook.com. If you are a member of Facebook, we would like to invite you to join the group. A.P. group members are often the first to learn of A.P. news, including speaking engagements, book releases, and more. On our group page, you also can post comments and questions, stay in touch with A.P. staff, and meet hundreds of individuals interested in defending New Testament Christianity. We believe Facebook can be an excellent tool to enhance evangelistic efforts.

From Mark Copeland... "CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS" Our Dependence Upon The New Testament

                         "CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS"

                  Our Dependence Upon The New Testament


1. We have seen the evidence from UNBIASED SOURCES that establishes
   Jesus of Nazareth...
   a. As a person of history
   b. Who lived and died in the First Century A.D.

2. But we also pointed out that such sources tell us nothing about..
   a. Who He was
   b. What He did 

   ...to earn such a reputation that,centuries later,his teachings and life still has so much influence in 
      our society

3. For the Christian, the only record which describes in any detail the
   life and death of Jesus is the NEW TESTAMENT
   a. But as a HISTORICAL DOCUMENT, is it reliable?
   b. Can we trust it to be accurate in relating facts of history concerning Jesus, His life, death and 
   c. Can we even have confidence that what we have today in the form
      of the New Testament is an accurate copy of that penned by the original authors?

4. These are some of the questions we shall attempt to answer as we

[But first, for CHRISTIANS to appreciate the importance of this
subject, it may help to demonstrate how dependent our faith is on the
reliability of the New Testament as a historical document...]


      1. "Because of the miracles He did"
      2. "Because He fulfilled hundreds of the Messianic prophecies found in the Old Testament"
      3. "Because He rose from the dead"

      1. Where do we read about His miracles?  THE NEW TESTAMENT!
      2. Who says that He fulfilled the Messianic prophecies?  THE AUTHORS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!
      3. What evidence is there for the resurrection of Jesus Christ?


      1. Then the New Testament was not written by eyewitnesses, nor by
         those whose names are connected with it (Paul, Peter, etc.)!
      2. It was the general consensus of many scholars in the last
         century that the New Testament was in fact composed during the
         Second Century A.D., not the First
      3. If such is true, then the New Testament is a FORGERY!

      1. Then how could we trust the authors of the New Testament to be
         accurate in describing supernatural events, when they were
         careless with describing the natural ones?
      2. This would make the New Testament an UNRELIABLE RECORD!

      1. Then we would have no way of testing the accuracy of the
         copyists, who for hundreds of years preserved the New Testament
         only by making copies by hand
      2. Then our faith in Jesus would be based upon shallow ground,
         upon a document which is historically questionable!


      1. For children who believe whatever their parents say
      2. For people who are never placed in an environment where their
         faith is challenged (like state universities)
      3. For people who are not trying to convince others to trust in
         Jesus for their salvation

      1. Then we need to understand our dependency upon the New Testament
      2. We need to know how to demonstrate the evidence which supports
         it as a reliable, historical document!


1. Hopefully, we now appreciate the need to carefully examine the
   evidence for the historical reliability of the New Testament

2. In doing so, we shall apply the same kind of tests applied to any
   ancient document to determine its reliability!

3. The next study will examine what is the "ACID TEST" for any ancient
   document claiming to be a historical record of certain events...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 20

Bible Reading  

March 20  

The World English Bible

Mar. 20
Exodus 34, 35

Exo 34:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Chisel two stone tablets like the first: and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.
Exo 34:2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain.
Exo 34:3 No one shall come up with you; neither let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mountain."
Exo 34:4 He chiseled two tablets of stone like the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up to Mount Sinai, as Yahweh had commanded him, and took in his hand two stone tablets.
Exo 34:5 Yahweh descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of Yahweh.
Exo 34:6 Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, "Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,
Exo 34:7 keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children's children, on the third and on the fourth generation."
Exo 34:8 Moses hurried and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.
Exo 34:9 He said, "If now I have found favor in your sight, Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us; although this is a stiff-necked people; pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance."
Exo 34:10 He said, "Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been worked in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among which you are shall see the work of Yahweh; for it is an awesome thing that I do with you.
Exo 34:11 Observe that which I command you this day. Behold, I drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
Exo 34:12 Be careful, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be for a snare in the midst of you:
Exo 34:13 but you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and you shall cut down their Asherim;
Exo 34:14 for you shall worship no other god: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Exo 34:15 Don't make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, lest they play the prostitute after their gods, and sacrifice to their gods, and one call you and you eat of his sacrifice;
Exo 34:16 and you take of their daughters to your sons, and their daughters play the prostitute after their gods, and make your sons play the prostitute after their gods.
Exo 34:17 You shall make no cast idols for yourselves.
Exo 34:18 "You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib; for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt.
Exo 34:19 All that opens the womb is mine; and all your livestock that is male, the firstborn of cow and sheep.
Exo 34:20 The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb: and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. No one shall appear before me empty.
Exo 34:21 "Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest: in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
Exo 34:22 You shall observe the feast of weeks with the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of harvest at the year's end.
Exo 34:23 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Exo 34:24 For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither shall any man desire your land when you go up to appear before Yahweh, your God, three times in the year.
Exo 34:25 "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left to the morning.
Exo 34:26 You shall bring the first of the first fruits of your ground to the house of Yahweh your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk."
Exo 34:27 Yahweh said to Moses, "Write you these words: for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel."
Exo 34:28 He was there with Yahweh forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread, nor drank water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Exo 34:29 It happened, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mountain, that Moses didn't know that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him.
Exo 34:30 When Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him.
Exo 34:31 Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses spoke to them.
Exo 34:32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them all of the commandments that Yahweh had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
Exo 34:33 When Moses was done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
Exo 34:34 But when Moses went in before Yahweh to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out, and spoke to the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
Exo 34:35 The children of Israel saw Moses' face, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Exo 35:1 Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said to them, "These are the words which Yahweh has commanded, that you should do them.
Exo 35:2 'Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of solemn rest to Yahweh: whoever does any work in it shall be put to death.
Exo 35:3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the Sabbath day.' "
Exo 35:4 Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, "This is the thing which Yahweh commanded, saying,
Exo 35:5 'Take from among you an offering to Yahweh. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, Yahweh's offering: gold, silver, brass,
Exo 35:6 blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair,
Exo 35:7 rams' skins dyed red, sea cow hides, acacia wood,
Exo 35:8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense,
Exo 35:9 onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod and for the breastplate.
Exo 35:10 " 'Let every wise-hearted man among you come, and make all that Yahweh has commanded:
Exo 35:11 the tabernacle, its outer covering, its roof, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets;
Exo 35:12 the ark, and its poles, the mercy seat, the veil of the screen;
Exo 35:13 the table with its poles and all its vessels, and the show bread;
Exo 35:14 the lampstand also for the light, with its vessels, its lamps, and the oil for the light;
Exo 35:15 and the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle;
Exo 35:16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of brass, it poles, and all its vessels, the basin and its base;
Exo 35:17 the hangings of the court, its pillars, their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court;
Exo 35:18 the pins of the tabernacle, the pins of the court, and their cords;
Exo 35:19 the finely worked garments, for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office.' "
Exo 35:20 All the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.
Exo 35:21 They came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and brought Yahweh's offering, for the work of the Tent of Meeting, and for all of its service, and for the holy garments.
Exo 35:22 They came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted, and brought brooches, earrings, signet rings, and armlets, all jewels of gold; even every man who offered an offering of gold to Yahweh.
Exo 35:23 Everyone, with whom was found blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goats' hair, rams' skins dyed red, and sea cow hides, brought them.
Exo 35:24 Everyone who did offer an offering of silver and brass brought Yahweh's offering; and everyone, with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it.
Exo 35:25 All the women who were wise-hearted spun with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, the blue, the purple, the scarlet, and the fine linen.
Exo 35:26 All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun the goats' hair.
Exo 35:27 The rulers brought the onyx stones, and the stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastplate;
Exo 35:28 and the spice, and the oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense.
Exo 35:29 The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to Yahweh; every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all the work, which Yahweh had commanded to be made by Moses.
Exo 35:30 Moses said to the children of Israel, "Behold, Yahweh has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
Exo 35:31 He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;
Exo 35:32 and to make skillful works, to work in gold, in silver, in brass,
Exo 35:33 in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of skillful workmanship.
Exo 35:34 He has put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.

Exo 35:35 He has filled them with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do any workmanship, and of those who make skillful works.


From Gary... A message from the mist

I choose this picture because it "fit" what happened to me this morning. It was (and still is) quite foggy this morning, and as we did our usual dog walk, I asked myself what could possibly be good about "today". And as I walked, I just kept thinking about "today" from the Scriptures and how it would apply to me, right now!!!  Somehow, I couldn't help but think that a good title for today's blog post would be "A message from the mist" and like "today", the thought just kept returning to me. Then I met my next door neighbor, who had been nice enough to comment on yesterday's post that featured a saying from "Mother Teresa". When he had wondered how to obtain a picture suitable for framing, I told him to find a program to modify it and left it at that. I didn't realize my insensitivity until today, when I met him. During the course of our conversation I recalled Isaiah 6 and realized right then and there I needed to help- so I volunteered to make something suitable for framing. I did, both he and his wife loved it and that is that.  Below are the Scriptures I thought about...  

Hebrews, Chapter 3 (WEB)
 13 but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called “today”; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Isaiah, Chapter 6 (WEB)

 1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.  2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew.  3 One called to another, and said, 
“Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of Armies!
The whole earth is full of his glory!”

  4  The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  5 Then I said, “Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of Armies!” 

  6  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.  7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” 

  8  I heard the Lord’s voice, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” 

Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!” 

In all this I didn't realize that the "Message from the midst" was for me, not others. Help when you can, do the best when you can and do it now- not later, you may never get another chance!!!  Today, may your "mist" clear and the LORD give you direction. I pray that you will listen!!!