1/6/21

Can God Do Everything? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4668

Can God Do Everything?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Q:

Can God do everything?

A:

Both Christians and atheists generally have assumed that if the God depicted in the Bible exists, He can do anything—since He is represented as being all-powerful. However, this assumption is incorrect. The Bible does not claim that the omnipotence of God implies that He can do anything and everything. In reality, “omnipotence” by definition does not, and cannot, apply to that which does not lend itself to power. Skeptics and atheists have posed queries that they feel nullify the notion of omnipotence, thereby demonstrating the nonexistence of God. For example, “Can God create a boulder so large that He, Himself, cannot lift it?”

Separate and apart from the fact that God is not, Himself, physical, and that He created the entire physical Universe, though He is metaphysical and transcendent of the Universe, the question is a conceptual absurdity. It’s like asking, “Can God create a round square or a four-sided triangle?” No, He cannot—but not for the reasons implied by the atheist: that He does not exist or that He is not omnipotent. Rather, it is because the question is, itself, self-contradictory and incoherent. It is nonsensical terminology. Rather than saying God cannot do such things, it would be more in harmony with reality to say that such things simply cannot be done at all. God is infinite in power, but power meaningfully relates only to what can be done, to what is possible of accomplishment—not to what is impossible! It is absurd to speak of any power (even infinite power) being able to do what simply cannot be done. Logical absurdities do not lend themselves to being accomplished, and so, are not subject to power, not even to infinite power (see Warren, 1972, pp. 27ff.).

Further, to suggest that God is deficient or limited in power if He cannot create a rock so large that He cannot lift, is to imply that He could do so if He simply had more power. But this is false. Creating a rock that He, Himself, cannot lift, or creating a four-sided triangle, or making a ball that is at the same time both white all over and black all over, or creating a 90-year-old teenager, or making a car that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside—to propose such things is to affirm logical contradictions and absurdities. Such propositions do not really say anything at all. Though one can imagine logical absurdities that cannot be accomplished, they do not constitute a telling blow against the view that God is infinite in power.

So, no, the concept of “omnipotence” does not mean that there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do. While God can do whatever is possible to be done, in reality, He will do only what is in harmony with His nature. In fact, the Bible pinpoints specific things that God cannot do. For example, the Bible states unequivocally that God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). He is a Being whose very essence entails truthfulness. Falsehood is completely out of harmony with His divine nature.

Another impossibility pertaining to God’s power is the fact that He shows no partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17). He is “open and above board”—evenhanded—with all His creatures. He can be counted on to interact with human beings as He said He would. His treatment of us centers on our own self-chosen behavior—not on our ethnicity or skin color (Acts 10:34-35; 1 Samuel 16:7).

A third instance that qualifies the meaning of “omnipotent” is seen in God’s inability to forgive the individual who will not repent and forsake sin (Joshua 24:19; Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 6:15; 18:35; Luke 13:3,5). As great and as magnificent as the mercy and forgiveness of God are, it is impossible for Him to bestow forgiveness upon the person who does not seek that forgiveness by meeting the pre-conditions of remission. God is literally powerless to bestow forgiveness through any other avenue than the blood of Jesus and obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16; 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; John 3:5).

The more one studies the Bible, examining the attributes and characteristics of the God depicted there, the more one is struck with (1) the inspiration of the Bible—since its skillful handling of such matters places it beyond the charge of successful contradiction, and (2) awe at the infinitude of God. Not one of the factors discussed in this article reflects adversely upon the reality of God’s omnipotence. But it is abundantly clear that a person may so live as to render the God of heaven incapable of coming to that person’s aid. It is imperative that every human being recognizes the need to understand His will and to conform one’s behavior to that will. It is imperative that every individual avoid placing self in the precarious position of being in need of that which God cannot do.

REFERENCE

Warren, Thomas B. (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Blind, Biased Failure to See God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3754

Blind, Biased Failure to See God

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The flagellum that propels bacteria has long been recognized as a marvel of engineering. Scientists know that this rotating wonder, and the assembly to which it is attached, is a tiny but powerful molecular engine. One of nature’s smallest, and yet most powerful, motors rotates at over 200 revolutions per second, driven by incredible torque. Researchers have also long been puzzled by what enables the flagellum to come to a stop, and even reverse its rotation. In recent years they have discovered that it does so using a “clutch.” The bacterium can disconnect from the flagellum by releasing a protein that disengages the clutch (“‘Clutch’ Stops...,” 2008).

In the presence of such sophistication and intelligent design, one would think that researchers would recognize divine design when they see it. Sadly, however, the massive propaganda campaign that has inundated the science departments of American schools for a half century has blinded its victims to glaring evidence. Consider the lead researcher’s analysis of the clutch discovery: “We think it’s pretty cool that evolving bacteria and human engineers arrived at a similar solution to the same problem” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”). Really? Nonsentient, uncoordinated, chance forces of nature somehow designed and created a technologically advanced device long before sentient, intelligent human engineers designed their own version? The same researcher also observed:

“This makes a lot of sense as far as the cell is concerned.... The flagellum is a giant, very expensive structure. Often when a cell no longer needs something, it might destroy it and recycle the parts. But here, because the flagellum is so big and complex, doing that is not very cost-effective. We think the clutch prevents the flagellum from rotating when constrained by the sticky matrix of the biofilm” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”).

Wait a minute. “Makes a lot of sense”? “Very expensive”? “Big and complex”? The verbal gymnastics that evolutionists engage in would be humorous if not so sadly serious. These are terms that demand intelligence and sentience. The evolutionists constantly allow themselves the luxury of speaking as if the myriad organisms that display incredible design and purpose somehow created themselves and then consciously tweaked themselves over millions of years to become more efficient. They regularly cut themselves slack by speaking as if a mind—a conscious, intelligent being—were orchestrating the endless stream of biological marvels that grace the planet.

So blinded by irrational commitment to an outlandish theory, evolutionists are unable to hear the evidence screaming in their ears and flashing before their eyes, and come to the only logical conclusion: such intricate, complex design demands an intelligent, superior Designer. To deny it is bias of the first order.

“Thus says the LORD.... ‘I am the LORD, who makes all things…Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness” (Isaiah 44:24-25).

REFERENCE


“‘Clutch’ Stops Flagella” (2008), Photonics Media, June 23, http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=34236.

Blind Faith by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=444

Blind Faith

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A common misconception among atheists, humanists, and evolutionists is that those who reject evolution in order to hold to a fundamental, literal understanding of the biblical documents are guided by “blind faith.” Robinson articulated this position quite emphatically when he accused Christians of abandoning rationality and evidence in exchange for intellectual dishonesty and ignorance of the truth (1976, pp. 115-124). Many within the scientific community labor under the delusion that their “facts” and “evidence” are supportive of evolution and opposed to a normal, face-value understanding of the biblical text. They scoff at those who disagree with them, as if they alone have a corner on truth.

The fact of the matter is that while most of the religious world deserves the epithets hurled by the “informed” academicians, those who espouse pure, New Testament Christianity do not. New Testament Christians embrace the biblical definition of faith, in contrast to the commonly conceived understanding of faith that is promulgated by the vast majority of people in the denominational world.

The faith spoken of in the Bible is a faith that is preceded by knowledge. One cannot possess biblical faith in God until he or she comes to the knowledge of God. Thus, faith is not accepting what one cannot prove. Faith cannot outrun knowledge—for it is dependent upon knowledge (Romans 10:17). Abraham was said to have had faith only after he came to the knowledge of God’s promises and was fully persuaded (Romans 4:20-21). His faith, therefore, was seen in his trust and submission to what he knew to be the will of God. Biblical faith is attained only after an examination of the evidence, coupled with correct reasoning about the evidence.

The God of the Bible is a God of truth. Throughout biblical history, He has stressed the need for the acceptance of truth—in contrast with error and falsehood. Those who, in fact, fail to seek the truth are considered by God to be wicked (Jeremiah 5:1). The wise man urged: “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). Paul, himself an accomplished logician, exhorted people to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). He stated the necessity of giving diligence to the task of dealing with the truth properly (2 Timothy 2:15). Jesus declared that only by knowing the truth is one made free (John 8:32). Luke ascribed nobility to those who were willing to search for and examine the evidence, rather than being content to simply take someone’s word for the truth (Acts 17:11). Peter admonished Christians to be prepared to give a defense (1 Peter 3:15), which stands in stark contrast to those who, when questioned about proof of God, or the credibility and comprehensibility of the Bible, triumphantly reply, “I don’t know—I accept it by faith!”

Thus, the notion of “blind faith” is completely foreign to the Bible. People are called upon to have faith only after they receive adequate knowledge. In fact, the Bible demands that the thinker be rational in gathering information, examining the evidence, and reasoning properly about the evidence, thereby drawing only warranted conclusions. That, in fact, is the essentiality of what is known in philosophical circles as the basic law of rationality: one should draw only such conclusions as are justified by the evidence. Paul articulated exactly this concept when he wrote: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). John echoed the same thought when he said to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1). These passages show that the New Testament Christian is one who stands ready to examine the issues. God expects every individual to put to the test various doctrines and beliefs, and then to reach only such conclusions as are warranted by adequate evidence. Man must not rely upon papal authorities, church traditions, or the claims of science. Rather, all people are obligated to rely upon the properly studied written directives of God (2 Timothy 2:15; John 12:48; 2 Peter 3:16). Biblical religion and modern science clash only because the majority of those within the scientific community have abandoned sound biblical hermeneutics and insist upon drawing unwarranted, erroneous conclusions from the relevant scientific evidence.

The Bible insists that evidence is abundantly available for those who will engage in unprejudiced, rational inquiry. The resurrection claim, for example, was substantiated by “many infallible proofs,” including verification through the observation of more than five hundred persons at once (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Many proofs were made available in order to pave the way for faith (John 20:30-31). Peter offered at least four lines of evidence to those gathered in Jerusalem before he concluded his argument with “therefore…” (Acts 2:14-36). The acquisition of knowledge through empirical evidence was undeniable, for Peter concluded, “as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22, emp. added). John referred to the auditory, visual, and tactile evidences that provided further empirical verification (1 John 1:1-2). Christ offered “works” to corroborate His claims, so that even His enemies did not have to rely merely on His words—if they would but honestly reason to the only logical conclusion (John 10:24-25,38). The proof was of such magnitude that one Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, even admitted: “[W]e 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).

Nevertheless, there are always those who, for one reason or another, refuse to accept the law of rationality, and who avoid the warranted conclusions—just like those who side-stepped the proof that Christ presented, and attributed it to Satan (Matthew 12:24). Christ countered such an erroneous conclusion by pointing out their faulty reasoning and the false implications of their argument (Matthew 12:25-27). The proof that the apostles presented was equally conclusive, though unacceptable to many (Acts 4:16).

The proof in our day is no less conclusive, nor is it any less compelling. While it is not within the purview of this brief article to prove such (see Warren and Flew, 1977; Warren and Matson, 1978), the following tenets are provable: (1) we can know (not merely think, hope, or wish) that God exists (Romans 1:19-20); (2) we can know that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, and intended to be comprehended in much the same way that any written human communication is to be understood; (3) we can know that one day we will stand before God in judgment and give account for whether we have studied the Bible, learned what to do to be saved, and obeyed those instructions; and (4) we can know that we know (1 John 2:3).

By abandoning the Bible as a literal, inerrant, infallible standard by which all human behavior is to be measured, the scientist has effectively rendered biblical religion, biblical faith, and New Testament Christianity sterile—at least as far as his or her own life is concerned. Once the Bible is dismissed as “figurative,” “confusing,” or “incomprehensible,” one has opened wide the doors of subjectivity, in which every man’s view is just as good as another’s. The more sophisticated viewpoint may be more appealing, but it remains just as subjective and self-stylized.

REFERENCES

Robinson, Richard (1976), “Religion and Reason,” Critiques of God, ed. Peter A. Angeles (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).

Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Warren, Thomas B. and Wallace I. Matson (1978), The Warren-Matson Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" When Familiarity Breeds Contempt (6:1-6) by Mark Copeland

 

                     "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  When Familiarity Breeds Contempt (6:1-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. You have likely heard the saying "familiarity breeds contempt", which means...
   a. The better we know people, the more likely we are to find fault
      with them. - The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
   b. If you know someone very well or experience something a lot, you
      stop respecting them. - The Free Dictionary
   c. The more you know something or someone, the more you start to find
      faults and dislike things about it or them. - UsingEnglish.com

2. We find an example of this in our text...
   a. When Jesus returned to His hometown - Mk 6:1-6
   b. The town of Nazareth, where He had been brought up - cf. Lk 4:16-24

[As illustrated in our text, allowing familiarity to breed contempt can
be to one's disadvantage.  For example, "When Familiarity Breeds Contempt"...]

I. THE MESSAGE IS NOT RECEIVED

   A. JESUS' COUNTRYMEN TOOK OFFENSE...
      1. At first they were impressed by His teaching - Mk 6:2; cf. Lk 4:22
      2. The people of Nazareth knew Jesus as:
         a. A carpenter and the son of a carpenter - Mk 6:3; cf. Mt 13:55
         b. The son of Mary, with brothers and sisters - Mk 6:3
      3. But the moment He spoke critically, they took offense - Mk 6:3
         a. They became angry - cf. Lk 4:23-28
         b. They attempted to kill Him - cf. Lk 4:29-30
      4. Which led Jesus say: "A prophet is not without honor, except in
         his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household." - Mk 6:4
      -- Because of familiarity, they did not respect Him as a prophet

   B. JESUS LIMITED HIS TEACHING...
      1. Their offense led to His leaving and returning to Capernaum - cf. Lk 4:31
      2. Thus depriving themselves of further teaching by the Son of God!
      3. Remember what Jesus had told His disciples earlier? - cf. Mk 4:23-25
      -- Because of their contempt, they lost access to more learning of God's will!

   C. MIGHT WE BE GUILTY OF THE SAME...?
      1. We can easily develop familiarity today
         a. With those teaching the Word of God ("He no longer impresses me")
         b. With the message of the Word itself ("I've heard that many times before")
      2. Do we allow our familiarity to breed contempt?
         a. No longer respecting those we know well, taking them for granted?
         b. No longer appreciating the significance of the Word of God?
      -- If so, then we will cut ourselves off from its powerful message!

[Which leads to another disadvantage experienced "When Familiarity Breeds Contempt"...]

II. THE BLESSINGS ARE NOT RECEIVED

   A. JESUS' COUNTRYMEN DID NOT BELIEVE...
      1. Which caused Jesus to marvel - Mk 6:6
      2. Remember, they even tried to kill Him - cf. Lk 4:28-30
      -- Because of familiarity they were unwilling to believe in Him

   B. JESUS LIMITED HIS MIRACLES...
      1. Mark states that "He could do no mighty work there..." - Mk 6:5
      2. Matthew says it was "because of their unbelief" - cf. Mt 13:58
      3. It wasn't that Jesus could not do miracles, for He healed a few - Mk 6:5
      4. Where people would not believe, He could not do a great work for them
      5. "Such unbelief as this has immense consequences for evil. It
         closes the channels of grace and mercy, so that only a trickle
         gets through to human lives in need." - J. G. Miller
      -- Because of their contempt, they lost access to receiving more blessings!

   C. MIGHT WE EXPERIENCE THE SAME...?
      1. We can easily develop familiarity and contempt toward such things as:
         a. Baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Word of God, prayer, assembling
         b. Even the blood of Christ, counting it as "a common thing" - cf. He 10:29
      2. Such contempt will "close the channels of grace and mercy", for we will not:
         a. Emphasize the importance of baptism for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. Value the observance of the Lord Supper as a communion with Christ - 1Co 10:16
         c. Feed on the Word of God that we might grow thereby - 1Pe 2:2
         d. Utilize prayer in order to receive mercy, grace, peace - He 4:14-16; Php 4:6-7
         e. Assemble as often as we can, to stir up love and good works - He 10:24-25
      -- Could contempt bred by familiarity explain our dull spiritual lives?

CONCLUSION

1. When the people of Nazareth allowed their familiarity with Jesus to breed contempt...
   a. They deprived themselves of a great opportunity
   b. Jesus chose to take His message and His blessings elsewhere - Mk 6:6

2. A similar tragedy can befall us...
   a. We can judge ourselves unworthy of eternal life
   b. And thus deprive ourselves of blessings we would otherwise receive - cf. Ac 13:46

The secret is to pay close attention to the words of Jesus and His
apostles, and any familiarity will produce only greater blessings and
not contempt (and prayer will certainly help)...

   Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same
   measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear,
   more will be given." - Mk 4:24

   Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.
                                                        - Psa 119:18    
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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“They Booed The Name of Jesus” by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2017/02/28/they-booed-the-name-of-jesus/

“They Booed The Name of Jesus”

booded-jesus

Homosexual acceptance. Same-sex marriage. Transgender bathrooms. Just when you think you’ve heard it all. Then you hear something that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief. And almost speechless.

Almost. Because ThePreachersWord has about a 500 word retort.

At a recent town hall meeting Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy was greeted by a rowdy crowd at the East Jefferson Parish Library. The Senator was late because he was surveying tornado damage in a nearby area. And the venue was too small to hold the overflow turnout.

When Cassidy arrived he introduced Louisiana State Chaplain Michael Sprague to lead the opening prayer. The testy crowd exploded. “Prayer! Prayer!” shrieked one woman. Others are heard yelling, “Separation of church and state!” Some protestors hollered, “Pray on your own time!”

The video shows the protests briefly subsided until Sprague ended the prayer saying, “We pray in Jesus name.” This incensed the attendees who roared again and began jeering, booing and shouting, “separation of church and state.”

After the meeting when the Senator greeted Sprague he’s overheard exclaiming, “Wow! They booed the name of Jesus.”

Please be advised that ThePreachersWord is not opposed to a separation of church and state. We don’t want state sponsored religion. And we value the freedom to worship as the Bible dictates. This is about respect. Values. And ironically, tolerance.

Yes, it is ironic that the radical far-left in our country accuses Christians of being intolerant. Yet, they are dogmatic in their disdain for Christianity. Unwilling to tolerate our Biblical values. And bigoted, biased and down right hateful toward all things connected to Jesus Christ.

Yet, we ought not to be surprised. Christ caused controversy in His ministry. “He came unto His own and His own did not receive Him” (Jn 1:11). The religious leaders hated him. (Jn 5:16-18). And, of course, it climaxed in jeers, taunts and rowdy crowd crying, “Crucify Him!” (Mk 15:16-20).

In the beginning of the gospel, the apostles were commanded by the rulers not to preach in the name of Jesus (Ax 4:13-22). The spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire caused conflict. Preachers were killed. Others were beaten, imprisoned or stoned. This response continues to be the case in some countries today.

In the past we have enjoyed peaceful acceptance of Christianity in our country, since America was founded upon Judeo-Christian values. Our currency is inscribed with the words “In God We Trust.” When we recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag, we say, “ One nation under God.” The United States Congress opens each session with prayer. Most state legislatures open their sessions with a prayer.

For those who cry “separation of church and state,” I would remind you that in 2014 the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld opening prayers at government meetings. In fact, the history of legislative prayer dates back to our founding fathers and framers of the Constitution.

Sadly, this makes no difference to an increasingly secular society. One that is disrespectful to Jesus and His teachings. And is hypocritically intolerant of the Christian faith.

In a postmodern culture, Christians must be “strong and of good courage.” Let us stand against the “wiles of the devil.” Uphold the banner of Truth. Live righteously and respectfully. And prayerful petition the Father to bless us. Strengthen us. And provide an atmosphere where we can live peacefully.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

Speaking In Tongues GEORGE L. FAULL

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/01/

Speaking In Tongues

GEORGE L. FAULL

Dear Brother Faull,
It is my understanding that you do not practice "Speaking in tongues." Why?
Let me give you the reasons why I do not wish to "speak in tongues."
1. I could not defend it as having practical value. It does not prove that I am saved, nor that I'm spiritual, nor that I have the truth, for men of every creed claim this gift.
2. I could not defend it as an aid to devotions. It does not do anything the Holy Spirit does not do for every believer. He searches out our unspeakable requests and make intercession for us.
Romans 8:26-27, "26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God."
3. I could not defend it as a sign for unbelievers. If I do it publicly, men of all conflicting doctrines do the same. If I do it in my prayer closet, how will the unbeliever know of it?
4. I could not defend its "continual existence" from the Word of God. The Scriptures neither imply nor promise the continuance of the gift, but, in fact, states that they will cease while faith, and hope yet abide.
I Corinthians 13:8-13, "8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I under-stood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity."
5. I could not defend its "continual existence" from Church History. History records that the gifts did cease. History records when and how the gift was supposedly revived. History records the deceitfulness of the modern day movement to increase the supposed gift among churches.
6. I could not defend its "continual existence" by commonsense. Since prophecy and divine knowledge have ceased, [I neither know, nor know of anyone with these gifts] commonsense assumes that the lesser gift has ceased.
7. I could not defend its "continual existence" by the clichés of modern tongue speakers. Clichés such as:
  • "God is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
  • "God does not change."
  • "He could do it, therefore, He does do it."
  • "He once did it, and therefore, He is doing it."
Doesn't our God ever do anything singular or unique? Is He still making women out of man's ribs? Have you seen any world wide floods lately? Are there still virgins having babies?
8. I could not defend it as "unifying the Body of Christ." It is setting believer against believer. The only unity it promotes is unity of men of a thousand different conflicting doctrines agreeing to disagree. It may well be Romans 8:26-27, "26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God."
9. I could not defend it in light of those who have "spoken in tongues," who now admit that it was not of God. We are told that we cannot deny a man's experience. Can a man deny his own interpretation of his experience? He once thought that it was of God. He now concludes that it was not. Hundreds, who have spoken in tongues, now deny that the experience was of God. How can I defend that my experience was of God when others with the same experience admit that theirs was not of God?
10. I could not defend it "as a promise from God." He did not promise it to me, therefore I cannot accept it by faith. I can accept salvation, forgiveness, and redemption by faith. These were promised to all believers. I believe the promises. I "enjoy" them because I believe the promises. I cannot accept tongues by faith because they were not promised to every believer.
I Corinthians 12:30, "Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"
Therefore, my "feelings" about tongues may be imaginary rather than real.
11. I would not want to be a possessor of a gift that I had to hide. Imagine having a gift for which you could not thank God publicly. If it is known that you possess tongues, YOU:
  • Cause division among your brethren.
  • Are suspected of false doctrine by those whom you know are Christian.
  • Lose opportunities for service with your real talents and abilities. I wouldn't want a billion dollars if it did those things to my witness.
12. I would not want to be a possessor of a gift which I could not know was genuine. Who would want a diamond or a ruby if it could not be proven to be such? it would have no real value. It would cause only bickering, arguments, and debates. Since there is no way to tell the apostate's "tongue speaking" from mine, why should I want it?
13. There are more desirable gifts mentioned which would edify the Church. If it is an aid to devotions, I would get the benefit. [Incidentally, Paul didn't say it was.] But if I could prophesy or heal, I would be able to help others. I would enjoy being the steward of such abilities as these, but I would find "tongue speaking" in private or public a difficult stewardship with no real value.

Conclusion: Tongue speaking is therefore undesirable because it is unneeded, unhelpful, undefendable, and uncertain.

THIRD JOHN by Paul Southern

 

https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Southern/Paul/1901/john3.html

THIRD JOHN

  1. THE TITLE
  2. This book is so called because it is the third of three epistles by John.

  3. THE WRITER
  4. It is generally agreed that the writer of this epistle was the apostle John. He calls himself "the elder," and the closing verses are almost identical with those of the second letter. The points presented concerning the authorship of the second would also apply to the third epistle.

  5. TO WHOM ADDRESSED
  6. Third John is addressed to an individual by the name of Gaius (1), a personal friend of the writer. The identity of the person is hard to determine. Although some connect him with the Gaius of Romans 16:23 and I Cor 1:14, it is difficult to identify him with any other person thus named in the New Testament. He was probably a convert of John (3,4). Gaius was known for his Christian hospitality, having cared for "brethren and strangers" (5).

  7. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  8. Third John was probably written from Ephesus some time after First John, perhaps toward the close of the first century.

  9. PURPOSE AND CONTENTS
  10. There was some misunderstanding about receiving certain evangelists. The object of this letter was to commend to the hospitality of Gaius some Christians who were strangers in the place where he lived. These Christians probably carried this letter with them as an introduction to Gaius. The contents center around three men: Gaius, a charitable Christian; Diotrephes, an uncharitable church member; and Demetrius, another worthy Christian. The letter is of special importance because it affords us an insight to the church toward the close of the first century, giving both excellencies and defects, noble and ignoble characters.

  11. EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
    1. Completion
      1. The word truth occurs _______ times in III John.
      2. The word love occurs _______ times in III John.
      3. The word church occurs _______ times in III John.
      4. The word friends occurs _______ times in III John.
      5. The word brethren occurs _______ times in III John.
      6. Third John is addressed to ______________.
      7. The addressee walked in the ___________.
      8. The writer of III John refers to himself as "the ______________."
      9. Gaius was probably a convert of ___________.

    2. True-False
      1. Gaius was a stranger to John T F
      2. Gaius was a Christian T F
      3. Diotrephes was known for his humility T F
      4. Gaius was a charitable man T F
      5. Demetrius was a man of good report T F
      6. Diotrephes had talked about John with wicked words T F
      7. Third John says nothing about prayer T F
      8. John hoped to visit Gaius T F
      9. Gaius showed hospitality toward Christians only T F
      10. John refers to Christians as "friends" T F

    3. Topics for further study
      1. What does the epistle teach concerning praying for prosperity?
      2. Contrast the character of Gaius and Diotrephes.
      3. What happens when an ambitious dictator attempts to control a congregation?

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for January 6 and 7 by Gary Rose


 Bible Reading for January 6 and 7

World  English  Bible

 

Jan. 6

Genesis 6

Gen 6:1 It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,

Gen 6:2 that God's sons saw that men's daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose.

Gen 6:3 Yahweh said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years."

Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God's sons came in to men's daughters. They bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Gen 6:5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 6:6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.

Gen 6:7 Yahweh said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh's eyes.

Gen 6:9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.

Gen 6:10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Gen 6:11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Gen 6:12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Gen 6:13 God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Gen 6:14 Make a ship of gopher wood. You shall make rooms in the ship, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch.

Gen 6:15 This is how you shall make it. The length of the ship will be three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

Gen 6:16 You shall make a roof in the ship, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ship in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels.

Gen 6:17 I, even I, do bring the flood of waters on this earth, to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the earth will die.

Gen 6:18 But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

Gen 6:19 Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.

Gen 6:20 Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive.

Gen 6:21 Take with you of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them."

Gen 6:22 Thus Noah did. According to all that God commanded him, so he did. 

 

Jan. 7

Genesis 7

Gen 7:1 Yahweh said to Noah, "Come with all of your household into the ship, for I have seen your righteousness before me in this generation.

Gen 7:2 You shall take seven pairs of every clean animal with you, the male and his female. Of the animals that are not clean, take two, the male and his female.

Gen 7:3 Also of the birds of the sky, seven and seven, male and female, to keep seed alive on the surface of all the earth.

Gen 7:4 In seven days, I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights. Every living thing that I have made, I will destroy from the surface of the ground."

Gen 7:5 Noah did everything that Yahweh commanded him.

Gen 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.

Gen 7:7 Noah went into the ship with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, because of the waters of the flood.

Gen 7:8 Clean animals, animals that are not clean, birds, and everything that creeps on the ground

Gen 7:9 went by pairs to Noah into the ship, male and female, as God commanded Noah.

Gen 7:10 It happened after the seven days, that the waters of the flood came on the earth.

Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open, and the sky's windows were opened.

Gen 7:12 The rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Gen 7:13 In the same day Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, entered into the ship;

Gen 7:14 they, and every animal after its kind, all the livestock after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort.

Gen 7:15 They went to Noah into the ship, by pairs of all flesh with the breath of life in them.

Gen 7:16 Those who went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and Yahweh shut him in.

Gen 7:17 The flood was forty days on the earth. The waters increased, and lifted up the ship, and it was lifted up above the earth.

Gen 7:18 The waters prevailed, and increased greatly on the earth; and the ship floated on the surface of the waters.

Gen 7:19 The waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth. All the high mountains that were under the whole sky were covered.

Gen 7:20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.

Gen 7:21 All flesh died that moved on the earth, including birds, livestock, animals, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.

Gen 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was on the dry land, died.

Gen 7:23 Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, livestock, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ship.

Gen 7:24 The waters prevailed on the earth one hundred fifty days. 

 

Jan. 6

Matthew 3

Mat 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,

Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"

Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."

Mat 3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

Mat 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.

Mat 3:6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mat 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!

Mat 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

Mat 3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.

Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."

Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

Mat 3:14 But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"

Mat 3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.

Mat 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.

Mat 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."


Jan. 7

Matthew 4

Mat 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Mat 4:2 When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward.

Mat 4:3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

Mat 4:4 But he answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.' "

Mat 4:5 Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,

Mat 4:6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you.' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don't dash your foot against a stone.' "

Mat 4:7 Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.' "

Mat 4:8 Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.

Mat 4:9 He said to him, "I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me."

Mat 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.' "

Mat 4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him.

Mat 4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee.

Mat 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

Mat 4:15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,

Mat 4:16 the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, to those who sat in the region and shadow of death, to them light has dawned."

Mat 4:17 From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Mat 4:18 Walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Mat 4:19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men."

Mat 4:20 They immediately left their nets and followed him.

Mat 4:21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them.

Mat 4:22 They immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Mat 4:23 Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.

Mat 4:24 The report about him went out into all Syria. They brought to him all who were sick, afflicted with various diseases and torments, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them.

Mat 4:25 Great multitudes from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him.


Learning to love by Gary Rose

 

Cute picture. I mean, who would not like to see a young child conversing with his teddy bear? Obviously, his thoughts are of God and HIS role as creator; merge that with this boy’s exposure to cartoons- and there you go- Boo-Boo. How innocent, how precious, is the mind of a child.


Recently, in Bible class, we have been discussing 1 Corinthians 13 and the concept of love (from a practical standpoint). Now, it seems like I have heard this Scripture again and again and again, but I must ask myself; do I genuinely understand it? For that matter, how do I understand as a matter of practicality? I am a human being, made in the image of God; I think, I feel and I act. These “parts” of my being work in unison to help me understand. My thoughts direct me, my feelings motivate me and my actions reflect both my thoughts and feelings. Understanding comes from thinking and our thoughts reflect what we have absorbed intellectually as knowledge. But, does not feeling help modify thought? And when we do something physical, does that not have an effect upon us (the concept of muscle memory comes to mind at this point)?


The Corinthian passage under consideration says…



1 Corinthians 13 ( World English Bible )

1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,

5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;

10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.



I have always been amazed at how God teaches us; HE begins at the point where we are and develops us accordingly. Children (and adults for that matter) learn at different rates and are more amenable to different methods, according to the gifts God has given them. I understand this because I am a father and each of my children learned differently. One of them obviously was an intellectual and more responsive to schooling. Another learned best from doing and the last one was a very adept social creature. All my children; each different, but none better than the other.


Love isn’t about accomplishment or greatness, it is about being the very best you can be with the help of God. God is love (1 John 4:8b) and we are to be like HIM. He has shown us how to love by the example of Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. Take some time and reflect upon what the above passage means to you now and what it can teach you about life. This will be time well spent and you will be glad you did.