"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

JESUS IS GOD – The WORD Incarnate a.k.a. the MESSIAH of Israel – Part TWO





By James Fire


RIGHTEOUS BRANCH – DIVINE MESSIAH –

Jeremiah 23:5 -6
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
.

In the Hebrew Bible it says it like this:

“Behold the days are coming, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous shoot, and he shall reign as king and prosper, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jere. 23:6, JPS, 1917).

Note that this King that will come from David, who will reign and execute justice in the Earth, is called the LORD of RIGHTEOUSNESS. “LORD” here is the tetragrammaton or the YHWH (Yahweh), and always refers to God Himself.
Dr. Eastman rightly asks the question:

“How could the God of Abraham, Isaac and Moses be a descendent of David? Why is this person described as a physical being, born of the line of David, one who will reign as king ‘in his days’ and yet his name [would be] ‘the LORD (YHWH) our RIGHTEOUSNESS’?

Read more!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

JESUS IS GOD – The WORD Incarnate a.k.a. the MESSIAH of Israel - Part ONE

























~~ By James Fire

A friend of mine has three words scribed on the back of his lap top, and displays this message boldly out in public; the same three words are painted on the back window of his van, and scores of people read this controversial message as he drives all over the city of Tucson daily.

What is this controversial message consisting of only these three words?

JESUS IS GOD” and only recently my friend received a little note attached to his van from a detractor:

“Jesus was only a guy, just so you know.”

On this singular issue and assertion, the world is divided with increasingly noticeable distancing. In days gone by, the most determining factor that revealed whether or not a religious group was a cult, was their view of Jesus Christ.
Every cult either takes away from, or adds something to, Jesus of Nazareth. Some cults take away His divinity, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses; others add to His atoning sacrifice He accomplished on the cross, saying that it’s necessary but insufficient for salvation, such as the Roman Catholic Institution.

Yet increasingly among so-called evangelical churches, gone ‘Emergent’ such dialogues have transpired in order to “seek common ground” not merely among denominations, but with world religions across the globe. In seeking that common ground, one of the first things that seem to be conceded by churches today, is the Divinity of Jesus Christ! More and more denominations are ‘voting away’ the Divinity of Jesus! Another one is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Read more!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The CHRISTMAS GIFT of PEACE DECLINED

By James J. Fire

Luke 2:1-5
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child
.

The Nativity of the Son of God

*~And so began this marvelous journey, a holy pilgrimage, not to a holy place, but rather accompanying the holy Child within the womb of the virgin, Mary the espoused to Joseph, both descendents of King David, of the House of Judah.
Look at a map and you will find Nazareth in northern Israel in far away Galilee; from here this blessed couple made their arduous and painfully slow voyage all the way to Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem.

On the back of a mule, feeling every bump in the road, Mary who was “great with child” had one of the most difficult struggles of her very young life. Yet such a journey was necessary, not because of the royal edict of the Caesar of Rome, but because of the Holy edict and proclamation of prophecy, from the prophet Micah:

Mic 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting
.

And Isaiah confirms that this child would be the One upon Whose shoulder the government would rest:

Isa 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
.

On a side note, there are those skeptics who like to point out a supposed Scriptural error regarding Cyrenius, who according to some records was the governor of Syria before this time. However, what most don’t realize is that he was actually governor of Syria – twice! For more on this, visit this site:

Truth For Today - Difficulties and Apparent Contradictions in the Bible

Let’s move on:

Luke 2:6-7
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn
.

Having been to Israel, twice, we visited Nazareth on both occasions and stood shoulder to shoulder, surrounding a manger, a stone carved feeding or drinking trough for animals. This is where the King of all creation was laid after being delivered into this world of sin, not out of choice, but actually because Joseph and His mother had no choice. Whether by lack of accommodations or because of the stigma against Mary and rumors about her illegitimate child, “there was no room for them in the inn.” The first of countless occurrences where Christ would be rejected . . .

And such humble beginnings too: born in a barn! What King have you ever learned about in history class that was born in a barn? What Child was this? Here was the Savior babe “in such mean estate”, wrapped in swaddling clothes – have you ever wondered what ‘swaddling’ is? Watch this brief one minute youtube to find out what this is and how it’s done:

How to Swaddle Your Baby

Some have suggested that because this couple was so poor, that they used whatever was available to them for this swaddling; patches of cloth used for the bedding of lambs in the barn. Yet here was the very Lamb of God wrapped in such course material!

Now this manger scene is almost complete; add to this the ruckus of barn yard animals, and until Joseph had time to clear it all away, the foul deposits of said creatures. Until the Babe actually was born, the barn would have also had, reverberating on its walls, the cries of this young lady in the throes of child birth. Now everything is quiet – a silent night. Perhaps even the animals were aware of the Holy Company that they kept that night. Yet Joseph and Mary were soon to have some other company as well . . .

Luke 2:8
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night
.

For this reason it’s believed that this Blessed Event did not take place in the winter, as shepherds in Israel were not accustomed to keeping their sheep in open fields at this time, but rather corralled, together with the sheep of other shepherds, where collectively, they would stay safe and warm, and shepherds would stay close to the fires.
These men, watching over their flocks were probably gazing at the brilliant, glorious stars under a Spring or Autumn sky. All was quiet with the exception of some bleating sheep; perhaps one of the shepherds softly played a flute, fashioned on the spot from some nearby reeds (a common practice among Jewish shepherds who would lead their flocks to its lilting sound, an almost pied piper practice!).

All was routine and mundane; a night very much like all the previous ones; perhaps even a boring and monotonous night with very little chance of an interesting intervention to break it up.

Yet in the very next instant their night, their very lives and the entirety of their worldview was tipped upside down and spun dizzily on their heads when suddenly a burst of holy light exploded into the darkness, and they saw a brilliant, glorious being that far exceeded the stars in brightness – an angel of God!

Luke 2:9
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid
.

Let’s face it, angels didn’t routinely come around Israel in those days; being visited by one was not a common occurrence! To say that they were “sore (very) afraid” is putting it mildly, especially when all you would expect to see on such a night were the familiar faces of your wooly brood! As terrifying as this unannounced visitation was, the news that this angelic being brought far exceeded the awesome event:

Luke 2:10-12
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger
.

One thing about shepherds is that they are not known for their scholarly prowess or high brow cogitations; yet even such ignorant shepherds as these would know about the Messiah (“Christ”) of Israel, He Who is the “Son of David” that would be born in the city of David (“Bethlehem” – which interestingly means “house of bread.” The LORD Jesus would later proclaim Himself to be the “Bread of Life”).

All of Israel was under the oppressive and heavy hand of the Roman Empire; bereft of self-ruling autonomy as a free nation, once glorious under Kings David and Solomon, the people of Israel lived in a land deemed merely as an insignificant but troublesome province by the Roman authorities. They longed for, and expected their Messiah King to arrive, who would eclipse the martial powers of such famous warriors as Joshua, and David, and deliver them from their Roman oppressors.

Little did they know that the Messiah would be on an entirely different mission this time around (and fulfill the latter mission of delivering Israel from the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) at His second advent)! As the angel said, he brought “good tidings” which is really what ‘the Gospel’ means, and it certainly is! The birth of the Messiah was the commencement of the Gospel in action, in accord with the plan of God since before the foundation of the world!

To think that the Messiah would be born on this night, and that a holy angel would make his appearance to such lowly persons as these shepherds (whose fingers were known to be somewhat sticky, and merchandise would be prone to disappear any time they passed through town) to announce this EVENT of the AGES!

Yet according to this angel, they would find the Messiah – in a manger, a feeding trough? Was this angel confused? How could such a thing be?? He also said that this would be “good tidings of great joy which shall be … to ALL people”?? Why would the coming of the Messiah be good tidings for any one but the Jews? What would Gentiles have to do with any of this (this was the current thinking of the Jews at the time of Jesus’ earthly life)?

When the shepherds went on their way to Bethlehem, they eventually came to the very spot where they beheld this wonderful sight of the Savior of His people Israel! In between the proclamation of this angel and that visitation, they beheld another display of angelic declaration:

Luke 2:13-14
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men
.

Indeed, the glory of God revealed was about to come upon the land and people of Israel, and the blessed Name of the Highest praised and extolled for the mighty works of His Servant-King that would come lowly to His people, from the humblest of beginnings to an even humbler life. I am reminded of the verse where it says:

Matt 11:28-29
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls
.

Not only rest for our souls, but also blessed and enduring peace, even as the angels declared: “…on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Another criticism from skeptics and cynics is this angelic announcement of “peace on earth” when for the last two thousand years the world has known greater and increasingly intense tragic occurrences of war, violence, strife, contention, misery and suffering: so… where is this “peace on earth”?? And “good will toward men”??

Let's listen to Johnny Cash sing about this, he provides a very good answer to such skepticism:
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The peace spoken of here is that which God extended, and continues to extend to the people of this fallen world, by bringing to us the very Prince of Peace (as we quoted from Isaiah 9:6), the LORD Jesus Christ.

Nah 1:15a
Behold upon the mountains the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace . . .


Being sinners by nature, we were at enmity against the holy God of all creation (Rom. 5:10), and any sin we committed could legitimately be considered in His Holy Court of Law an act of treason, punishable by eternal death (separation from God). We are a people in dire need of reconciliation with the LORD our Maker!

God in His grace and mercy made provision for our sin, and offered up His own Beloved Son, the Lamb of God (John 3:16; John 1:29) and therefore bringing reconciliation for us! We would no longer be counted as enemies, having our sins forgiven; because of this provision by God, we would enjoy peace with God (Rom. 5:1)! This is the peace offered to people everywhere, the same peace as proclaimed by the angels to those shepherds two thousand years ago, and foretold some several hundred years before that by the holy prophets!

Any who receives the Prince of Peace and His propitiation for our sins not only will have peace with God, but will also experience the peace OF God (Phil. 4:7; Col. 3:15) and peace FROM God (See Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2 and elsewhere in all the greetings and benedictions penned in the epistles of Paul).

Just think for a moment, that if the vast majority of humanity actually received this Greatest and most Profound Christmas Gift ever given: the LORD Jesus Christ and His awesome salvation – how different this world would be! Wars would be a rare thing; violence would be almost unheard of; injustice and poverty would be seldom witnessed. There would indeed be peace on earth and good will not just toward all people, but among them as well!

Sadly however, Jesus Christ is rejected all the more in these last days, and since human beings have no peace with their Maker, their hearts are also then absent of any peace (Isaiah 48:22) and in continuous turmoil (Isaiah 57:20). Bent upon self will and selfish ambitions which run contrary to the hearts of others in such turmoil, they propagate the sin empowered strife and therein lies the problem inherent in such conflicts as war, oppression, criminal activity, wanton acts of violence, etc. (Jer. 8: 15; 30: 5; Ezek. 7: 25).

Division and discord will only increase, until the false Christ, the Beast arrives on the scene; this ‘Christ’ rather than the genuine Jesus Christ will be accepted by every one (except those loyal to the Messiah) just as the LORD Himself prophesied in John 5:43. He will unite all of humanity in a false peace on Earth; this sinful race will be in one accord with this man of sin, the son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3) because both operate from the same spirit of disobedience (Eph. 2:2) in defiance against God Almighty (Dan. 8: 25). Unity is not peace; peace must be based upon Truth, and Truth is contrary to Unity that is based on relativism. For more on this, watch this brief video from the series KNOW YOUR ENEMY -

Deception: Truth vs. Unity (Part 68)

Yet once the LORD Jesus returns (and this will be quite soon for those that belong to the church I believe!) to inaugurate His rightful rule as the Messiah King, He will put down the reign of the Beast, consign both him and his false prophet to Gehenna (the lake of fire; Rev. 19:20) and commence the Millennial Reign where peace will prevail – though still, some pockets of rebellion will appear, even then!
Yet after one final rebellion, with Lucifer, who will at that time be recently released from the abyss (Rev. 20:7 – 10), it will be decisively put down and the curse of sin tainting both the Earth and the heavens will be done away with – in order to make way for a New Earth and a New Heavens, pure and unscathed by sin, but existing with an “abundance of peace” (Ps. 37: 11) reserved for the saints of the most High God!

This Christmas season, may I greatly encourage you to consider Jesus, the Prince of Life, the Prince of Peace and the LORD of Glory! He extends an invitation to any one who is convinced of their sin and sinful ways, will repent by turning from their sins and surrender their hearts to the LORD. Do you desire to know God in a living, breathing, loving relationship with Him as a Heavenly Father? Then come before Him humbly and receive salvation and the eternal peace that accompanies it.

JESUS is the veritable reason for the season! If you want to know more about the Gospel, you can access two different sources from here: the short or long version.
For the long, detailed version, just type “Simple Serious Gospel” into the TTUF search engine, and a few links will appear and you can read each of these segments as you like.
For the shorter version, click on this link to an article posted FROM the MIND of FIRE:

The TRUE Gospel: Accept No Imitations!

By receiving the LORD Jesus Christ (Matt. 10:40; John 1:12; Col. 2:6), the Prince of Peace into your life, you will be part of the prophetic fulfillment of “peace on earth and good will to men” as pronounced by the angel to those shepherds so long ago! He is the ultimate, the best and dearest gift you will ever receive, bar none!

Luke 1:30-33
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Num 6:24-26
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace


Isa 9:7
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.


Isa 26:3-4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Isa 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed
.

Remember that while the LORD Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), the LORD is offering peace to you, not wanting to count you as an enemy, but a friend, and not only a friend, but His child, born of His Spirit as His child (John 1:12), born of grace and peace . . .

Rom 15:33
Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen
.
Read more!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Seven:

~  By James Fire

Chapter Seven: An ‘Illegal’ BrideIn medieval courts and Roman Catholic tribunals of that day, sometimes the practice of exhuming a corpse would be enacted for the purpose of trying them in said courts and tribunals with the intent of convicting them of crimes post-mortem, and then sentencing punitive actions upon them. If such a practice wasn’t such a travesty, it would almost be comedic!

However, here in vs. 1 of this Chapter in Romans, we read Paul’s words about how the Law has no dominion over the dead; their life is over and the appointment with death is met and followed by the judgment (HEB 9:27):

ROMANS 7:1
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

At such a point, the Law no longer holds sway over the departed in the sense of enlightening a person to their own sinful state for the intent of revealing their need for repentance; rather it is used for the sake of prosecution and condemnation in judgment in the realm of eternity future’. Once dead, the remedial influence of the Law is no longer valid; likewise Paul uses the analogy of marriage to demonstrate this point:
Read more!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

THE GIVING of THANKS - HONORING GOD IN SUCH

By James J. Fire

THANKSGIVING is the favorite holiday of choice among many Bible believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s the one that has apparently been untainted by the customs and mythic beliefs of this world.

Christmas (the observance of the birth of Christ at any rate) is tainted with Santa Claus, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and materialism in the world of commerce to your home.
Easter (barring the pagan name – I prefer to call it Blessed Resurrection Day myself) is about the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ from the dead, and yet here too we have such things as Easter Baskets, the Easter Bunny, etc. and so forth.

Thanksgiving is at least in form, untouched; true, people partake of food in such quantities as to be considered gluttonous; but the idea of thankfulness is present. The world just doesn’t seem to know to Whom they’re to express their thanks (themselves and their own industry maybe?) – or if they offer thanks, it’s to some generic concept of ‘God’.

For the believer however, thanksgiving is not just one day of the year to observe; rather it’s a heart attitude to maintain every day, and if one wills, to make a special observance of such on this last Thursday of November.
*~Why is it imperative to give thanks to God all of the time? Doesn’t He know our hearts and whether we are actually thankful or not? Why the need to constantly express our thanks to Him?
Well, for one reason, the Scriptures are replete with verses that speak on “giving thanks” and expressing our hearts of gratitude to the Giver of all blessings and gifts . . .

2 Sam 22:50
Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
2 Sam 22:51
He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore
.

He is indeed the tower of our salvation, and shows mercy, not just to the king, David, but even those of lowly estate, meager and poor though their circumstances may be; in that which is vital and of eternal importance, the LORD is gracious in salvation and mercy (1 Chron. 16:34) and for these reasons, we offer our thanks and note this: "among the heathen". The unsaved are to see our gratitude for God and this is, in part, a faithful witness and testimony before them!

The Psalms are as overflowing with thanksgiving and praise to God as are our Thanksgiving tables with delectable feasts! And they’re just as stuffed with such subject matter as a roasted turkey!


Psalms 30:4, 12
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever
.

Over and over the Psalms remind us to give thanks to God for His holiness, for His goodness and mercy, and for His righteousness and justice, and for His faithfulness to those whose hearts are towards Him!

Likewise in the New Testament, we see an ample supply of admonitions and exhortations to “give thanks” to the LORD –

We are thankful to the LORD for our fellow saints, that the LORD saved their souls and through whom we find encouragement and cheer, as one member of the body ministers to another to our mutual edification and joy:

Eph 1:15-16
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers
;

We understand that God’s will for us is to “give thanks” in – not necessarily “because” but at the least, “in all things”:

1 Thess 5:16-18
Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you
.

Another Psalm links thankfulness with the worship of God, and the life of a believer is to be as constant in worship as it is in breathing! It so “blesses His Name” to see His own beloved children express their heart-felt appreciation and thanks to Him for all He has done for us!

Psalms 100:4-5
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations
.

Thankfulness is associated with love and peace in the Scriptures:

Col 3:14-15
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful
.

Its sobering to note that the unsaved, and specifically those opposed to God have as one of their defining characteristics an attitude of an unthankful heart (Rom. 1: 21; 2 Tim. 3:2) and they did not (and do not) glorify God, a primary reason for our very existence!

There are times of sorrow and deep loss for every saint in the kingdom; its during this time, when overwhelmed with grief and despondency when one is tempted to become hardened of heart, even accusing God with such words as “You could have prevented this, LORD!” or something similar.

It’s during these times that we do well to remember that even in the darkest of days, and the deep, deep despondency of grief and pain, there are still things to be thankful to the LORD for – and such thanks offered, at such times when one feels least like doing so, is a sacrifice to the LORD. In bringing the heart about, and directing it towards God in thanksgiving is a means of lifting us out of our present circumstance, so we can see, despite the current calamity, that we have an eternity of blessing awaiting us, for which it is proper to express our thanks and gratitude:

Psalms 116:17
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD
.

Anxious thoughts, worry and frustration will be abated when once we direct our hearts in prayer and supplication to the LORD, and in bringing before Him our thanksgiving, and thus bearing the fruit of peace which shall rule our hearts:

Philippians 4: 6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Its important that we express thanks, and in so doing, bringing to the fore the constant reminder of the supply of the LORD’s blessing – even if there is a temporary lack of physical blessing in our earthly world – that shall endure for all eternity, knowing that our struggles and burdens we endure now are only temporary – like our lives themselves: but a vapor that appears for an instant and then is gone.

Those that ignore the offering of thanks will soon forget the blessing and provision that the LORD brings to us, and will see only the pain and sorrow, the deficiencies and lack, the darkness and dreariness of life, and as a result become bitter and hard of heart, not expressing faith towards God, but unbelief and mistrust.

Hebrews 3:12-13, 19
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief
.

And also:

Hebrews 4:10-11
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief
.

We are God’s sheep, the flock of His pasture – and the LORD is our Shepherd, we shall not want (have any need unmet); it’s important that we “rest” in His provisions just as He has faithfully made provision for our salvation! He Who wrought such an incredible provision that will endure throughout all eternity, is He any less able to meet our temporal provisions that we have need of (sometimes desperately so), even in today’s society of a depressed economy, scant provisions for employment, and with little foreseeable hope on our future horizons (EXCEPT for the Blessed Hope of the LORD’s SOON RETURN!)?

Rom 8:31-32
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?


A good brother (and worship leader) that I know is fond of saying, “If the LORD Jesus died for our sins, and did nothing else for us, this in itself would be far, far more than we ever deserve.” Yet the LORD daily loads us with benefits (Psalm 68:19), some of which we are not even presently aware of! Yet we must remember, since our Abba Father has granted to us His Son, Whom He willingly sacrificed on the cross for our salvation, how much more shall He in the same Spirit of Grace, Love and Peace give us all things, and freely so?

What He would have of us, if I may say so, is a closer walk with Him, recognition of His provisions, both physical and especially spiritual, and a heart fluent in worship and thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, may we all stop and consider that which the LORD has blessed us with, and if we can think of nothing else (though I’m sure we can!), the primary cause and focus of our thankful heart: the LORD Jesus Christ, our King, and Savior and Chiefest of Friends! HALLELUJAH, what a Savior!

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart

Today as you read this, there is a saint in Communist China who is imprisoned, having endured torture, who is thankful to the LORD for giving them the grace to bear up under such violence and remain faithful to His Name despite such. Others are enduring the same thing behind Islamic borders and are likewise thankful for the same reasons…

There are other followers of Jesus Christ who are thankful in Africa for the handful of food, a daily provision for their present need, and not looking towards tomorrow’s needs, but leave that in the faithful hands of our dear LORD…

Other believers are gathered together at a funeral of a beloved who has departed; thankful that the LORD allowed them to be blessed by their life, and the privilege of knowing them, and that they are securely in the hands of our Abba, and awaiting our own arrival in heaven…

Some saint has had a tragic car accident and has lost their legs, and now will spend the remainder of their days in a wheel chair, but they are nevertheless thankful for the days when they did have good, strong legs . . . and are also thankful that the LORD spared their life, which means that they have yet some divine purpose to fulfill in this world, for His glory…

At that same hospital, another believer is fighting cancer, and in the pain and anguish, offers up sacrifices of joy, thanking Him for grace to endure, and a life lived with beloved family and friends, and with whom, they will one day be reunited, delivered from all disease, pain and death...

Now we focus our attention on a healing that the LORD performed on ten lepers; apparently there was at least one among them that was not Jewish but "a stranger (foreigner)" . . . who received healing like the other nine, but with a difference:

Luke 17:11-19 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole
.

Again, we see that the giving of thanks equates to glorifying God; let us as His beloved, glorify Him by offering our heart-felt and deep, abiding thanks this not only on this upcoming Thursday, but all the year through!

Psalm 95:2a
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving
.

Everywhere God is present, but there is a peculiar presence of grace and glory into which men should never come without the profoundest reverence. We may make bold to come before the immediate presence of the Lord - for the voice of the Holy Ghost in this Psalm invites us, and when we do draw near to him we should remember his great goodness to us and cheerfully confess it. Our worship should have reference to the past as well as to the future; if we do not bless the Lord for what we have already received, how can we reasonably look for more? We are permitted to bring our petitions, and therefore we are in honour bound to bring our thanksgivings.” ~~ Charles Spurgeon
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Monday, November 14, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Six:

 ~ By James Fire

Chapter Six: Dead Man Walking – Alive by God’s Spirit

In the closing verses of Chapter Five of this Pauline epistle, we read about how “sin reigned unto death” and how that “the law entered that the offence [of sin] might abound”. We also examined, and with great joy, that just as “sin reigned unto death” so would “grace reign through righteousness” and that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”.

Because of the Law, sin abounded, but because of the atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross, our sin-bearer not only provided His grace, but that this grace abounds even more so than the sin-revealing Law that would condemn us.

Chapter Eight expounds on how there is no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, and here in Chapter Six we will begin to examine how that salvation is not just positional, but practical. What do I mean by this?

Perpetual Practice vs. Perfect Position

Put simply, since the day that each of us has received the Gospel via repentance and received Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOR by faith, we have been washed clean of our sins and stand before our Holy God as pure and sinless as the LORD Jesus Himself, Who has granted to us His Holy Spirit as well as His flawless righteousness.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Five:

~ By James Fire

Chapter Five: The FAITH, HOPE and LOVE in the REIGN of Grace as found in Romans Five

It’s long been said that when you encounter a “therefore” (or even a “wherefore”) in the Scriptures, you have to find out what it’s ‘there for’; in other words, these two words are transitive. They relate a previous thought with the one that follows and that is the case here in Romans chapter Five. Let’s back up a bit and review the last couple of verses in chapter Four:

ROMANS 4:22-25
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Because Abraham “staggered not at the promise of God” (vs. 20) it was “imputed to him for righteousness” (vs. 22). This imputed righteousness means that the LORD God, by propitiation by the blood of Christ Jesus (ROM 3:25) and His resurrection (ROM 4:25) has justified us, and because of this justification “therefore… we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ”.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Four:

 ~  By James Fire

Chapter Four: Justifying the Ungodly and Imputing Righteousness by Faith

I’ve been most eager to begin this particular chapter, because, as you know (if you read the previous study) this is the portion of scripture (vs. 1-5) that the LORD used to lead me to salvation back in June of 1980. Obviously then, this passage is very dear to my heart.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to read my testimony, here is a link provided for you FROM the MIND of FIRE: CAN I GET A WITNESS?
Suffice it to say, in my ‘B.C.’ days, I was very much intent on learning what my purpose in life was, and at the same time ‘plagued’ with the question: How a person such as I, could ever possibly be considered righteous before the Holy and Awesome God?

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The Battle for the Bible – Does Inerrancy and Infallibility Really Matter?


 by A.M. Kisly

Part 1 – Inerrancy an Evangelical Problem

I recently purchased a copy of The Battle For The Bible by “Dr. Harold Lindsell. It is an old publication, originally published in 1976, yet its documentation is extremely important in this present church age as we are witnessing the abandonment of the essentially orthodox view of Scripture.

It is because I believe strongly that the Bible is the Foundation upon which we as Christian’s stand that I write the introduction to this next series of articles entitled, The Battle for the Bible – Does Inerrancy and Infallibility Really Matter? This series will be heavily based upon Dr. Lindsell’s expertise and research covered in this book, and of course upon the Scriptures themselves. Though many do not distinguish between the words Inerrancy and Infallibility…there is a slight difference. Dr. Lindsell uses the words interchangeably…while others tend to distinguish between them.

Paul Smith offers this explanation, and I hope that it will satisfy all:

“The Bible is infallible, meaning it does not deceive. It means the Bible will never deceive us in matters of faith. In spiritual matters it is trustworthy. It has absolute authority and will never lead us astray. However “infallible” as currently used, neglects to tell us something about the Bible. Is the Bible historically accurate? Did the events of the Bible really happen? This is where the word Inerrancy comes to play. This word means that the Bible does not make a statement contrary to fact…not only in matters of faith….but also in all other matters. Today while many of the matters under attack are the historical and scientific accuracy of the Bible, the terms used must be clarified.” I will use both so as not to confuse anyone.

A few months ago I posted a book review on, New Evangelicalism, by Paul Smith. In it, Paul recommended Dr. Lindsell’s book for further research into the question of Bible inerrancy. Before we get started on the subject matter though, for those not familiar with Dr. Lindsell, a brief biographical sketch of his life and work is as follows:

Dr. Harold Lindsell (1913-1998) began his career at Columbia Bible College, Columbia S.C. as professor of history of missions from 1942-44. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1944 and served as professor of missions and church history, 1944-47 at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill. From 1947- 1964, he taught at Fuller Theological Seminary as professor of missions, Dean of the Faculty, and Vice President. He was Associate Editor of Christianity Today from 1964 -1967 and professor of Bible at Wheaton College from 1967-68. He returned to Christianity Today as Editor from 1968- 1978. He also taught at Simon Greenleaf School of Law. He wrote and edited more than twenty books including The Battle for the Bible, The Bible in Balance, Free Enterprise: A Judeo-Christian Defense, Armageddon Spectre, The New Paganism, and The Holy Spirit in the Latter Days. He also served as editor for the Harper Study Bible, Tyndale Words of God for Every Day, and The Everyday Pocket Bible.

Does what we believe about the Bible really matter? Is the Bible really Divinely Inspired, Inerrant, Infallible and the Absolute Authority in all truth? For me, the answer is YES! ABSOLUTELY! For others who are questioning or even denying, we shall endeavor to convince and assure them that God’s Word is absolutely trustworthy.

What we believe about the Bible matters immensely because Truth Really Matters. In today’s age truth is hard to come by, which is part of the problem. Multitudes have been accommodating lies for decades. It has unfortunately become a way of life in our culture, too many today believe it is "normal" to tell lies, and be deceived by lies. Sad, but true! When one becomes accustomed to lies, discernment is dulled and truth has been lost to all. Since God is the author of all truth, and Satan the Father of lies, shouldn’t we love truth, believe truth, and follow hard after truth? But how can we do that when we doubt even the source of all truth, and His written word to us?

After many debates with other believers, biblical scholars and leaders in the past couple of years over portions of scripture that are discarded as fictional stories, this issue has laid heavy on my heart.

In an article written by Albert Mohler, he discusses this battle over the inerrancy of Scripture. In fact, he claims (and I agree) that there seems to be a full blown effort to forge an evangelical identity apart from the claim that the Bible is totally truthful and without error.

Dr. Mohler states the following, “Recently, Professor Peter Enns, formerly of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, has argued that the biblical authors clearly erred. He has argued that Paul, for example, was clearly wrong in assuming the historicity of Adam. In Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, published in 2005, he presented an argument for an “incarnational” model of biblical inspiration and authority. But in this rendering, incarnation — affirming the human dimension of Scripture — means accepting some necessary degree of error.”

(This is the same debate myself, my sister, a homeschool mom, and many others engaged in with Dr. Enns after a confrontation with Dr. Ken Ham from the Institute for Creation Research. Dr. Enns was one of the speakers for their annual Homeschool Convention.)
 
Dr. Mohler goes on to say, “This argument is taken to the next step by Kenton L. Sparks in his 2008 book, God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship. Sparks, who teaches at Eastern University, argues that it is nothing less than intellectually disastrous for evangelicals to claim that the Bible is without error.

His arguments, also serialized and summarized in a series of articles, are amazingly candid. He asserts that Evangelicalism has “painted itself into an intellectual corner” by claiming the inerrancy of Scripture. The movement is now in an “intellectual cul-de-sac,” he laments, because we have “crossed an evidential threshold that makes it intellectually unsuitable to defend some of the standard dogmas of the conservative evangelical tradition.” And, make no mistake; inerrancy is the central dogma he would have us let go."

Of course there is no doubt that Sparks fully understands the evangelical doctrine of biblical inerrancy, but declares it “intellectually disastrous”.

Mohler reveals that the articles written by Sparks appear at the BioLogos Web site. If you have kept up on all the homeschool chatter this past year, it has been made clear that BioLogos would like to move evangelicals toward a full embrace of evolutionary theory….of course Biblical inerrancy presents a huge obstacle towards that end. Sparks claims, that the “evidential threshold” has been crossed, and the Bible has come up short. The biblical writers were simply trapped within the limits of their own ancient cosmology and observations.

Sparks further argues that the Bible presents immoral teachings, citing “biblical texts that strike us as down-right sinister or evil.” Sparks concludes that the Bible “exhibits all the telltale signs of having been written by finite, fallen human beings who erred in the ways that human beings usually err.”

Shocking, isn’t it? Sparks takes this deviancy once step further, he further suggests that Jesus “was a finite person who grew up in Palestine.” and proposes that Jesus made routine errors of fact.
 
The incarnational model of inspiration and biblical authority that both Peter Enns and Kenton Sparks argue for is not new among evangelicals, it's a battle that has been going on for years. However, Mr. Sparks, takes the argument much further, his model implicates Jesus. He suggests in an article called 'After Inerrancy', that  Jesus “was a finite person who grew up in Palestine...If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, [and/or] John wrote Scripture without error."  What is outrageous to me is that Mr. Sparks affirms his belief in the historic Christian creeds and “traditional Christian orthodoxy,”  We will go into further detail about the confusion of those like Mr. Sparks who claim orthodoxy, yet deny inerrancy a bit later.

Dr. Mohler concludes with these comments, “That is a breath-taking assumption, to say the very least. But, even in its shocking audacity, it serves to reveal the clear logic of the new battle-lines over biblical inerrancy. We now confront open calls to accept and affirm that there are indeed errors in the Bible. It is demanded that we accept the fact that the human authors of the Bible often erred because of their limited knowledge and erroneous assumptions about reality. We must, it is argued, abandon the claim that the Bible is a consistent whole. Rather, we are told to accept the claims that the human authors of Scripture were just plain wrong in some texts — even in texts that define God and his ways. We are told that some texts are just “down-right sinister or evil. The rejection of biblical inerrancy is bound up with a view of God that is, in the end, fatal for Christian orthodoxy. We are entering a new phase in the battle over the Bible’s truthfulness and authority.”

The question of Infallibility and Inerrancy becomes more urgent. Can the Bible be trusted as the absolute infallible and inerrant Word of God? For me the matter is settled, but as you can see there is a battle going on, we must stand firmly upon God’s truth.

Dr. Lindsell supports the historic view of an infallible and inerrant Bible in his book which has been the longstanding tradition of fundamentalists and evangelicals for many years. Because of the more recent departure from this viewpoint from the new-evangelical revisionists, the change is now widespread in evangelical denominations, Christian colleges, theological seminaries, publishing houses and learned societies.

Before we go much further, Dr. Lindsell describes three schools of thought with regards to the Bible’s trustworthiness:

The first is that the Bible is not at all trustworthy. If this answer is correct, then Christianity stands upon a false foundation. Anyone who professes a faith founded on a source that cannot be trusted is a fool, is naïve, or is deluded. Certainly no thinking or honest person would embrace, recommend, or propagate a religion based on what he knows to be untrue.
 
The second is that the Bible can be trusted as truthful in all its parts. By this I mean that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. It communicates religious truth, not religious error. Further, whatever it communicates is to be trusted and can be relied upon as being true. The Bible is not a textbook on chemistry, astronomy, philosophy or medicine. But when it speaks on matters having to do with these or any other subjects, the Bible does not lie to us. It does not contain error of any kind. Thus, the Bible, if true in all its parts, cannot possibly teach that the earth is flat, that two and two make five, or that events happened at times other than we know they did. The Bible could not, if it is trustworthy, say the Julius Caesar was emperor when Jesus was crucified, or that Caesar Augustus perpetrated the sack of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. If it did these things, it then would be conveying information to us that is palpably false.

The Third and last possibility is that the Bible contains some truth and some error (this is the view of many of our new evangelicals). Part of what it says can be relied upon, and some of it must be regarded as false. In other words, the Bible is neither completely trustworthy, nor completely false. The proportion of the material that is truthful may be greater in volume than that which is untrue. But wholly apart from the proportion of that which is truthful and of that which is in error, the Bible is a mixture of both. It makes no difference whatever that the false information may have come about due to ignorance, carelessness, or any other reason. Indeed, no one need presume that any part containing error was introduced deliberately.

Of course we must understand that there is a wide diversity among those who believe in a fallible Bible. Some like Dr. Enns hold to errancy that does not go beyond science and history (which in my opinion is bad enough). However there are others like Prof. Sparks who are rejecting some of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Do you see the danger?

This is the main crux of the book, says Dr. Lindsell, to understand and to be made aware of what is happening, why it has happened, what the prospects are in the near future for further changes, and what history teaches us about the ultimate outcome when Christians cease to believe in an infallible, inerrant Bible.

We must remember that the Bible originated in the mind of God, not in the mind of man and thus means a great deal more. Its inspiration is not the same as the inspiration of a great novelist, artist or musician. Divine inspiration is not derived by “human genius” as many postmodernists suppose. The Bible's authority is not derived from reason. Though we believe the Bible to be reasonable, it is because it is the Word of Him Who is the source of all reason! Our reason needs to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our reason. Today it’s as if some study the Bible to prove to God and man that is full of error and cannot be trusted and by doing so they have completely missed the mark. Yet in 2 Timothy 2:15 we are exhorted to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Also, Romans 12:2 comes to mind, that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

The attitude that we have toward the trustworthiness of Scripture determines our later position, not only on faith, but also on practice. The evidence that those who surrender the doctrine of inerrancy inevitably move away from orthodoxy is indisputable.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

The word inspiration here actually means “outbreathed” (By God). In Romans 3:2, Paul speaks of Scripture as “the very words of God”. Even more significant, the apostles and our Lord Himself quoted the Old Testament-not merely as the counsel of a particular patriarch or prophet, but as the counsel of God given through the writers.”

In these days when theological definitions are disfavored and human speculation has attempted to eclipse divine revelation it is essential that we define what we mean when we say the Bible is the Inspired Word of God.

So here goes, I believe the Inspired Word of God to be of divine authority, completely infallible, inerrant, and absolutely sufficient, not just some of it…BUT ALL OF IT!

You see, we can think whatever we want about a great number of things, as it really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. But when it comes to the Bible, what we believe about it affects our understanding of the fundamentals of the Christian faith, it also affects our eternal destiny, and that matters a great deal.

Does a poisoned well bring forth clean water? You may think this an absurd question, but how is that any different than suggesting that God's Word is full of errors, but we can still trust it enough to believe on Him.

As I have stated, in the past couple of years I have noticed an all out attack upon the authority and inerrancy of the Scriptures. Over and over again, I have been challenged by those who reject the Bible as the final authority in all matters that concern mankind. The most troubling fact of all is that the attacks are coming from among the evangelicals once counted on as those who hold to orthodox views. Unfortunately, in a vain attempt at making the church more relevant to this postmodern world, Church leaders have deviated from biblical inerrancy thus corrupting the word of God and the doctrines of the Church. It is in my opinion the biggest problem facing the modern evangelical church. When discussing this with James, co-writer for T.T.U.F., we both agree that being labeled anything other than Christian these days, can be challenging at best. Though I/we feel the need to distance ourselves from the new evangelicals today, perhaps the term ‘separatist’ fits us better. Separating from the world and its sinful proclivities, as well as the liberal theology of today, while maintaining orthodoxy is becoming extremely unpopular amongst those who consider themselves part of ‘mainstream’ Christianity. Yes, I think ‘separatist’ fits us better.

The Ethical Dilemma

Dr. Lindsell goes on to explore the ethical dilemma of holding an errant view, while at the same time continuing to claim orthodoxy. 

One of the many problems among those who have swung from an infallible to a fallible Bible face an ethical dilemma of subscribing to what they no longer believe. Integrity goes out the window. They operate within creeds or confessions of faith that affirm an infallible Scripture, yet deny it publicly through their teaching and practice. Add to this the institutions, publishing houses and denominations that insist that their theological stand remains with the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, but the fact remains that they are failing miserably in practice. Today, Publishing houses seem to be printing every wind of doctrine, heresy and newest perversion of the Bible…where is their stand for biblical inerrancy and truth? Why not clarify where they stand and publicly make it known? To give the impression that they stand on the old truths, when in fact the reality is, they really don’t, is dishonest.

A Watershed Question

Is the Bible fully or partially trustworthy is absolutely a watershed question. It is a critical point that draws a line in the sand. The marking of a division or a change of course; a turning point which at some point further down the road creates such a gap that cannot be closed.

For instance, Dr.  Lindsell explains, many that don’t believe in an infallible Scripture may still believe in the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the vicarious atonement, physical resurrection, and His second coming. These are essential doctrines of the Christian faith and many argue that this issue of infallibility a secondary issue. The same argument has been made over modern Bible versions. Here’s the problem, based on past history, what “seems” like a small difference of opinion at this point later becomes an enormous gulf later on. The differences will increase as we see other doctrines discarded with the doctrine of infallibility. You see, once infallibility is abandoned, it opens the door to further departures from the faith.

Dr. Lindsell states, “Once errancy enters an institution, it does not simply become one of several options. It quickly becomes the regnant view and infallibility loses its foothold until at last it is silenced effectively. When one surveys the current scene in places where errancy has gotten a grip, it soon becomes obvious that there are few champions of inerrancy ready or willing to challenge the new reality.” Without such a challenge to those opposing inerrancy, the case can be made in such a way that the unlearned and unsophisticated will absolutely fall for it…hook, line and sinker!

Does what we believe about the Bible matter? Absolutely! The terrible results of the dethronement of the absolute authority, infallibility, inerrancy, and sufficiency of the Bible can clearly be seen all around us today. How many institutions and denominations have gone astray? How many will follow them?

Are we not reaping the harvest of the sowing of modernism? In a postmodern world, we see the end result of those seeds. The heresies spread throughout the evangelical church, the compromise with new age, humanism, universalism, the emergent movement, the new apostolic reformation and the ecumenical nightmare can be plainly seen. A deviation from what the Bible truly is, it’s Author, its authority, sufficiency and infallibility has created for us an unrecognizable gospel with a perverted message, and a church that has lost its effectiveness in this lost world.

Embracing errancy has led to and will continue to lead to disaster. Dr. Lindsell describes that congregations have gone to sleep, it has produced spiritual sloth and decay…and by the looks of it has led many to apostasy. These are indeed some of the evil consequences of adhering to errancy.

A perfect example of this is the Unitarian Universalist denomination. The underlying fact in their departure from orthodoxy was their disbelief in the infallibility of the Scripture. Fact is that in the early nineteenth century, the differences between the Unitarians and the orthodox didn’t appear to be so great…but today, there is a profound difference. Many Unitarians are atheists; humanists…even Buddhists….hello? The doctrines of sin and hell have disappeared. The doctrine of the trinity denied. The gospel is not preached to the lost, nor is the Bible taught in their pulpits. They are completely apostate.

I must caution that the departure from an infallible Scripture does not necessarily mean that all have fallen into some apostate religion. However, I honestly believe it is significant and dangerous to the church because it deviates from sound truth. If for instance one denies the biblical flood, the creation account, if Adam and Eve were real people or fictional characters, one begins to question all of the bible, the history, the prophetic scriptures and even the gospel of salvation. A denial of the creation account would endorse evolution, wherein death and dying was common place for hundreds of millions of years and thus trivialize the account of the fall of man into 'sin' and subsequently, death, and relegating such to mere 'fable' which would dismiss the need for the Gospel, for the Cross, for the atonement by Jesus Christ for the sins of the world! As we have seen from Dr. Mohler’s article that this mindset is coming out of today’s seminaries. Further, it is this mindset now teaching the next generation of seminary students and publishing curriculum for Christian homeschoolers.

Leaders who deny the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture fail to teach expositionally. By expositionally, I mean preaching in such a way that the meaning of the Bible passage is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God.

Walter Kaiser stated, “It is no secret that Christ's Church is not at all in good health in many places of the world. She has been languishing because she has been fed, as the current line has it, "junk food"; all kinds of artificial preservatives and all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her. As a result, theological and Biblical malnutrition has afflicted the very generation that has taken such giant steps to make sure its physical health is not damaged by using foods or products that are carcinogenic or otherwise harmful to their physical bodies. Simultaneously a worldwide spiritual famine resulting from the absence of any genuine publication of the Word of God (Amos 8:11) continues to run wild and almost unabated in most quarters of the Church.”

If we believe that "all Scripture is inspired by God" and inerrant, must we not be equally committed to the reality that it is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work"? Should not that magnificent truth determine how we preach?
 
Speaking Out

There is a a fierce battle raging today which centers on the Bible’s trustworthiness. Is the Bible infallible and inerrant? Many evangelicals say yes to varying degrees. Should we ignore the fact that so many are now falling into the camp which deny the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible?  As Dr. Lindsell and others point out, when looking from a historical perspective it cannot be denied that the Christian church for over 2,000 years has unanimously agreed that the Word of God is completely trustworthy in its fullness. So the question is, what has changed? When did it change and why? We will seek out the answers to these questions in the continuation of this series of articles. Dr. Lindsell examines the evidences, puts forth the arguments, and illustrates the opinions by specific examples to make the case as impregnable as possible.

I will conclude with the following thoughts:

The writers of the Bible were men under the influence of the Holy Spirit and who were inspired by God to write the inerrant Word of God.
 
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Peter wrote, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

God, our Creator, has revealed Himself, and proven Himself by His own influence to mankind, that we might believe! If His Word is questioned, His Authority is questioned, His messaged is then questioned…If everything is questionable, untrustworthy and unreliable, let me ask you, who will believe?
 
We read in the book of John, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:30-31
 
God’s purpose for giving us the His Word, is so that we would believe, trust and coming to the saving knowledge of His Son Jesus. He reveals Himself to us, His great character, His ability, His power, grace, righteousness and a million other things. If this is indeed His purpose let me ask you this, would God communicate error to us?
 
Dr. Ian Paisley once said, “To reject the Bible is to reject the God of the Bible. To reject God is to reject the Commandments of God. To reject the Commandments of God is to reject the Authority of Heaven. To reject the authority of heaven is to accept the Anarchy of Hell.”

Certainly the hour is late, yet it is never too late to get back to the Bible. A rediscovery of the Word of God brought about the glorious Reformation of four-hundred years ago, men like Luther, Tyndale and many, many others who believed that the fight for the Bible and the gospel message was more valuable than their very lives. How much more do we need His Word in these final hours?

The power of the Bible is just as potent today in the hands of God’s faithful servants. "
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
 

It is my prayer that all of God’s Word will rule our hearts, and minds, and homes; and not the lofty thoughts of man.  May the Lord bless you and may His unfailing promises be yours and mine as we wait for His return.


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The TRANSLATION HOME



~~ By James Fire, 10/2011

The clarion call on silver trumps sound,
Saints asleep and quick rise from the ground.
Leaving a fallen world, their joy abounds,
Ascending high, angelic greetings found.

Freedom from sin aged flesh, and garbed anew,
Lo, pillars of peace in heavenly hue;
Hosts of winged glory, bright swords imbue;
the pilgrim’s blessed home, the Kingdom true.

Glorious joy erupts from awe-filled hearts,
Beholding saintly friends from finish to start;
Reunion of Father’s family, ne’er to part,
Only then to see fondest cry of our heart:

Forth He comes, regal in His Royal bearing,
Flanked by Cherubim, with wings a’ flaring.
The LORD, the LAMB, the LIGHT of GOD standing:
With Almighty, scarred arms extended and sharing –

Joy unspeakable, full of glory o’erflowing;
Holy Son’s Love enshrined in glorified frame,
Partaking of such, yet ever, ever growing:
in the worshipful Bride’s heart, born of His Name.

Scented in sacredness, Heavenly domain;
Rescued from tears, from scars, from fears and pain,
Delighting in rest, and abundance of peace;
Songs of deliverance which shall never cease.

Around the Throne shall the praises lavish be,
For ages long the grace of the LORD we’ll see,
Bounding e’er upwards, e’er worshipful ecstasy;
For Worthy, Worthy, O Worthy the LAMB is HE!

Home we hope for, for home we weep and do pray,
Be of good cheer, for in this world we shall not stay!
We shine the Light of Gospel Call, to the lost we say:
Look to the Cross, the empty tomb and for that Day,

For the LORD shall come with a shout, and steal His Bride away!

1 THESS 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God . . .

REV 7:11-12
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Dedicated to the HOLY LORD JESUS CHRIST, HE Who is WORTHY of The HIGHEST WORSHIP ETERNALLY!

1 TIM 1:17
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Three

Chapter Three: The Deeds of the Law vs. the Righteousness of God.

PART ONE – Doomed By Deeds
~ By James Fire

In this third chapter of Romans, Paul completes his thoughts on the Jewish person whose trust is in the keeping of the Law (humanly speaking, an impossibility), and the conclusion of the matter regarding the whole of humanity and our abject poverty of spiritual virtue.

He then proceeds from this examination of human beings and our sinful condition and nature to the blessed hope of our justification (from vs. 21 to the end of the chapter).

From there he goes on in chapters Four and Five, establishing the basis for our justification, and then, in chapters Six, Seven and Eight he brings up the next phase of our salvation, that being sanctification (dying to self: mortification (ROM 8:13; COL 3:5; and becoming more and more yielded to the Spirit of Christ to transform and enliven us (vivification): ROM 5:17; 6:4,23; 8:2)

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Monday, September 19, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Two: Guilty as Charged.

 ~  By James Fire

In ROMANS 3:10 of this Pauline epistle we read:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. This is the conclusion he is working towards in his examination of humanity and all of its various aspects: from the pagan idolaters (ROM 1:21-32), to the Gentile moralizers (ROM 2:1-16), to the Hebrew ‘Judaizers’ (ROM 2:17-24) – all of us are equally blameworthy of sin and have a sinful nature; there is no one, based upon their own merit or code of moral conduct (or lack thereof) that can stand righteous before the LORD God.

It states elsewhere in Scripture:

JAMES 2:10

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

This sounds not only harsh, but unfair doesn’t it? Why would we be considered “guilty of all”, if we have kept ALL the Law . . . but fail only in one instance?~~ What I believe James is pointing out is that by committing a single, solitary sin during the course of a (theoretically) Law-abiding life, this reveals that we possess a sinful nature, which is a nature capable of sinning in any capacity.

The potential of committing each and every sin resides within the being of any sinful person – all that is necessary is time and availability for such a depraved nature to prove itself overtly “guilty of all”.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Old Testament Examples of SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives – Part 2 of 2


Eyes to See, Ears to Hear, Hearts to Understand and Obey – Part Two of Two 
~~ By James J. Fire

RECAP on GOD’s RIGHTEOUS PROPHET –

In part one of this article, we saw how the prophet of God was victorious over the overwhelming numbers of pagan prophets introduced to Israel by Jezebel; on Mount Carmel the fire of God came down in answer to the prayer of Elijah, consuming the sacrifices, the dust, the water that drenched everything, and even the rocks that comprised the altar! The people of Israel bowed down declaring that YHWH was indeed God, and at Elijah’s bidding, the false prophets were seized and brought down to the river where the prophet of the LORD then slew them, down to the very last one. He then bid King Ahab to depart for the “sound of the abundance of rain” was heard by the prophet. Soon thereafter “the heavens were black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain” (1 KINGS 18:45).

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Concluding Chapter One

~  By James J. Fire

As we now pick up where we left off, I want to examine vs. 16 in Chapter One of this powerful epistle of the Apostle Paul a bit more closely:

ROMANS 1:16 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek
I wonder if one could read the writings of pastors from a hundred years ago, and see which of these echoed the  sentiment that Paul here expressed, and then compare their convictions with those of pastors today and note the differences; how divergent those differences would be.
I fear that too many are losing, or have already lost such conviction in favor of ‘accommodation’, that is, being tolerant of extra-biblical views expressed even by those intellectual (and liberal!) Bible scholars who downplay, or even deny the inerrancy of God’s Holy Word and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the sins of the world (Follow the tracking of this downward spiral into apostasy in Paul Smith’s newest release New Evangelicalism: The New World Order.
Anne Kisly has posted a recent book report on this!

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