Welcome to the October 2016 blog. Thanks for visiting.
The Word for today
“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us” (II Corinthians 1:8-10).
May the Word give hope to some reader today!
Did Someone Find the Doctrine of the Trinity In the Name of God? Why is God’s Name “Elohim” Plural in Genesis 1:1?
By Rabbi Tovia Singer
Question: Yesterday, a Christian business associate made a point that in the very first verse of Genesis G-d is referred to as “Elohim,” which is plural. She also said that it is a plural form of three (something I have never heard before). That, she concludes, is proof of the Trinity! Why is G-d’s name plural in this verse?
The claim advanced by your business associate is one of the more well-known arguments used by missionaries to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, the most guarded and untenable creed of the Church. It would be difficult to imagine a doctrine more hostile to the uncompromising monotheism preached in the Jewish Scriptures than the Christian claim that there is a plurality within the divine nature of God. Yet, armed with little knowledge of the Hebrew language, many Trinitarians brazenly argue that the name of God, as it appears in the first verse in the Bible, “proves” there are three distinct Persons in the godhead.
More specifically, missionaries point to the plural form of the Hebrew name of God אֶלהִים, (Elohim), which appears frequently in the Torah, to bolster their claim that there is a complex unity in the godhead. They argue that the use of the Hebrew letters “ ים” (yud and mem, pronounced “im”), which is a plural suffix at the end of the word Elohim, provides ample evidence from Tanach that there is a plurality within the nature of God. Your business associate went out on an even more bizarre limb when she declared that this Hebrew syntax is somehow indicative of the “plural form of three.”
You can rest assured that the Hebrew tongue is a foreign language to your business associate, and that both of her contentions are erroneous. While her first assertion can be easily explained away by her lack of familiarity with the biblical language, her second point cannot. Her latter comment that the plural suffix in Elohim is indicative of “a plural form of three” is particularly preposterous, and….(Read the remainder of this very interesting article at http://outreachjudaism.org/trinity-genesis/
Disclaimer: I know nothing about the author of the above article other than what I see and read on the Internet. The sharing of this article should not be construed as an endorsement of him or his theological positions. He is a Jew and does not believe Jesus is the Messiah. However, his explanation of the plural Elohim in Genesis 1:1 in this article strengthens the position of God’s Oneness.
Ghost writers in the sky*
In a Family Circus cartoon, 5-year old Dolly brings a Bible to her mother and asks, “Did God write the Bible Himself? Or did He have some Holy Ghost writers?”
Dolly, that was a very insightful question. Indeed, God has done some writing Himself when He inscribed the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone. However, He conscripted some “holy men of God” (II Peter 1:21) to write the record of creation, the Law, the history of His people, poetry that teaches, and prophecies of things to come. He also inspired writers to provide the history of the ministry of Christ and the apostles, along with their letters of instructions to believers in the first century. The truths were from God; men provided the means to convey and preserve them.
So, yes, in a sense God did have some “ghost writers.” God is the Author of the Book but He used men to write the words. We have found that every record is factual and every promise is trustworthy.
Darwin was right
By Tony Pearce
Darwin was right when he wrote: “To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection (evolution) seems absurd in the highest possible degree.”
Oxford biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins, who believes that Darwin’s theory of evolution has the answer to all natures complexities, is not daunted by this admission of his mentor. In his book, Climbing Mount Improbable, Dawkins agrees with Darwin that there are difficulties in believing in the evolution of the eye: An eye is made up of a large number of parts arranged in a very special way. The number of possible ways in which those parts could have been arranged comes to a stupefying large number. Moreover, of all the trillions of possible arrangements of the parts of an eye, only a tiny minority would see.
To answer this possible objection to the theory of evolution, Dawkins argues that it is not difﬁcult for rudimentary lens-like objects to come into existence spontaneously. Any old lump of halfway transparent jelly need only assume a curved shape (there are all sorts of reasons why it might), and it will immediately confer at least a slight improvement on a simple cup or pinhole. Lenses might have evolved in the ﬁrst place from a vitreous mass that ﬁlled the whole eye. According to calculations made by Swedish biologists, he says it would only take about 364,000 generations to evolve a good ﬁsh eye with a lens.
Even if you accept this unlikely scenario, it does not tell us how long it would take to evolve a good human eye or how these blind or half-blind creatures managed to stumble around for millions of years while they evolved their eyes [or how they escaped predators during that time. – JRE]. Nor does it tell us how something as wonderful and complex as the eye could have come together by chance, when all the evidence of the natural world is that left to themselves things become more random and disorganized, not more complex and developed (the Second Law of Thermodynamics).
“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).
Source: The Evolution Conspiracy: The Impact of Darwinism on the World and the Church
Man deported five times keeps returning to assault women
Police arrested Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales in Austin for setting a woman on fire and sexually assaulting several others over a period of months.
He was here illegally and had been deported five times, only to walk back across the border again and again. Obama and Hillary say we have border security. What a joke, you say? It is not a joke to those he abused and tried to kill. The “Border Patrol Agents” (a misnomer?) have their hands tied in such cases. It is like fishing in special places: catch and release. Our officials in Washington say the immigration system is “broken” and needs fixing.
The first thing it needs is enforcing by a president with guts and a congress that is not sold out. There will be no border security without a physical restraint and someone in Washington with the courage to say, “Want to come here? Welcome, but you must come legally. Like other sovereign nations, we have immigration laws and they will be enforced.” Reckon there will ever be such a person in the White House?
Obama has authorized thousands of Syrian refugees to come to America where there is no real vetting process in place. Hillary Clinton has said she wants to allow several times that many to come. I also heard that over 858 illegals (later upped to over 1800) who were set to be deported because of involvement in immigration fraud and suspicion of national security concerns, were granted U.S. citizenship “by mistake.” Right. One of them was already hired into law enforcement, two others were given security clearance, and they were now able to sponsor other immigrants who want to come into the country. Are we totally nuts, or is it all part of the final months of the Obama administration’s secret acts?
Wake up, America!
Staying at home on November 8?
The other day a man told me that for the first time ever he was going to vote for a third party candidate. He liked neither of the two main candidates running for president. Is “liking” someone a prerequisite to vote in a presidential election? He should know that a vote for a third party will likely be a vote for Hillary Clinton. Everyone—even those who stay home—votes for somebody! Others say they just can’t bring themselves to vote for anyone this time. That is rather illogical. If we wait until someone comes along who believes exactly like we do about the military, the economy, the culture, our particular preferences about everything, we will probably be waiting a long time. The apostle Paul is not on the ballot this year.
Also, consider this:
Justice Scalia’s seat is vacant.
Justice Ginsberg is 82 years old
Justice Kennedy is 79 years old
Justice Breyer is 77 years old
Justice Thomas is 67 years old
The average age of a Supreme Court retirement or death occurs after 75. These are five vacancies that will likely come up over the next 4-8 years. The next president will have the power to potentially create a 7-2 Supreme Court skewed with his ideology. Think about a 7-2 liberal court. If the next President appoints five young justices, it will guarantee control of the Supreme Court for an entire generation. And 7-2 decisions will hold up much more over time than 5-4 decisions which are viewed as lacking in mandate.
Hillary has made it clear she will use the Supreme Court to go after the 2nd Amendment. She has literally said that the Supreme Court was wrong in its Heller decision stating that the Court should overturn and remove the individual right to keep and bear arms. Period. If Hillary Clinton wins and gets to make these appointments, you likely will never see another conservative victory at the Supreme Court level for the rest of your life. Ever.
Remember Romney? Three million conservatives who had voted for McCain did not cast a vote for Romney (for whatever reason) and the result was four additional years of Obama. Thanks, all you stay-at-homers!
AND ONE FINAL THOUGHT, Hillary’s already on the record as saying that Obama “would make a great Supreme Court Justice.” (USA Today) Now that is scary!
Let’s all say “diversity”!
We keep hearing about diversity. Everyone seemingly wants to play the game of who can be the most broadminded as though it is the ultimate virtue.
In our government’s insistence on diversity, the president has nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi, a Muslim, to serve as Federal Judge in the District of Columbia. Does anyone realize how impacting that decision could be on the future of our nation? These are “for life” appointments. We are already seeing the effect of Obama’s judicial appointees in the support of his social and political agendas. What the president wants, he gets by activist judges.
Is diversity on the federal bench bad? No, and yes. It matters not what color a person’s skin is. Who cares? What values does he embrace? What decisions might he be expected to hand down in the future? To whom might he be obligated? What is his vision for America? Those are the important questions, not what race or gender might be involved. Diversity will usually happen to some extent rather automatically. It did in the early church. Diversity is fine but it must not outstrip unity in the things that matter. Slogans notwithstanding, diversity is NOT our strength. The Bible teaches that our strength is in unity.
The real problem: diversity does not know where to stop. It roars past gender and skin tone and ethnicity. It gets into ideology and into theology. It morphs into multiculturalism and then into full-blown pluralism, all undergirded by political correctness. Any value—or no values—becomes equal to all others. In that crazy system no one is truly right because everything is relative. Globalization is in; nationalism is out. Sounds good to those who think George Soros ought to be president.
Eighty-eight former generals have raised their voices against the diversity presently being foisted on the military. Traditional American values have been thrown out the window of the Pentagon. The “America first” generals are being replaced with homosexuals and transgenders and those who think America needs to be taken to the whipping post. One general has described our military as “in shambles.” Iran takes our billions while harrassing our ships and planes, threatening to shoot them down. Response: virtual silence. Weak, feckless leadership is no threat to them. We have supplied them with the means to buy weapons that can take out our planes and ships, as well as backing off from keeping their country nuclear free.
On the surface, diversity sounds charitable and Christian-like, as only college professors can laud it. But where is it headed? The call for diversity in the culture bleeds over into the church. Diversity is welcome in the church when the Scriptures are not violated, when unity is not threatened, but diversity for diversity’s sake—for appearances—is extremely shortsighted and dangerous. When we make it open-ended, where might we be ten or twenty years down the road? To be in lock-step with cultural trends is no virtue in our times, and certainly is no justification for ignoring scriptural mandates.
What would Paul say? What did he say?
Politician ignores biblical context
Vice President candidate Tim Kaine was praising “marriage equality,” a code-phrase for same-sex marriage, in his effort to position God on his side. “My church teaches me about a Creator, in the first chapter of Genesis, who surveys the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good. It is very good.’ Pope Francis famously said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ And to that I want to add, who am I to challenge God for the beautiful diversity of the human family? I think we’re supposed to celebrate it, not challenge it.”
It is “very good”? He wasn’t talking about Adam’s sin, Mr. Kaine. In fact, he kicked Adam out of the Garden because he ate fruit from a forbidden tree. Do we think anyone gets by with sin because God is a great big Jolly Old Elf sitting somewhere in the heavens ignoring the grossest of sins? Sorry, but that is not the message of Genesis 1. You need to get your Bible and read that again. And it is certainly not the message of Calvary, Mr. Kaine. Better take another look at the cross.
And we should be “celebrating” what God condemns rather than challenging it??? I guess you never read I Corinthians 6:9,10: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (NASB). Or I John 2:15-17. Or…oh, well. I don’t suppose Mr. Kaine will be reading this, but perhaps someone else will for whom the Word will makes sense. “Let him that readeth understand…” (Mark 13:14).
Two patients limp into two different doctors’ offices with the same complaint:
Both have trouble walking and may require hip surgery.
Is examined within the hour, is X-rayed the same day, and has a time booked for surgery the following week.
Sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then, pending the review board’s decision on his age and remaining value to society.
Why the different treatment for the two patients?
Patient #One is a golden retriever taken to a vet.
Patient #Two is a senior citizen on Obamacare.
If there is no change in government in November…we’ll all need to find a good vet before long.
More timely quotes:
Margaret Thatcher: “Socialists cry ‘Power to the People!’ and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over the people, power to the state!”
Fred Thompson: “This country has shed more blood for the freedom of other people than all the other nations in the history of the world combined, and I’m tired of people feeling like they’ve got to apologize for America!”
Walter Williams: “Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man.”
Mike Rowe: “Of the three million available jobs today, less than 20% require a 4-year degree. We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts!”
Adam was still alive when Methusaleh and his son Lamech (Noah’s father) were born. Do you reckon they conversed? Perhaps he told Methusaleh, “Yeah, we had a nice place once, but my wife ate us out of house and home.”
Noah’s son Shem was still alive when Abraham was born. Abraham could have learned much of the history of the world from him. “Abe, let me tell you about a storm that came up one day.”
Both Queen Esther and the prophet Daniel were in the Babylonian exile, although Daniel’s experience was decades before her time. Doubtless his story was an inspiration to her.
Daniel and the Chinese philosopher Confucius were contemporaries. What would their conversation have sounded like?
Solomon and the Greek poet Homer lived in the same century. Both were prolific writers. They would have had much to discuss.
Who are your contemporaries that you should meet and share stories with?
How To Teach Holiness From the Inside Out
by David A. Huston
RoshPinnah Publications, 2016; 24.95
This huge (8½” X 11″) 325-page book is billed as “An Apostolic Guide on the Progression from Holy Ghost to Holy Life.” It definitely lives up to its billing. Those of us who teach can always simply use the Bible for our material, but so many specific issues we deal with today are unnamed in the Bible, except in the context of principles. That is where this book shines. Pastor David Huston in Carlisle, PA has pulled the fundamental principles from the Bible and life itself to shape the way we can bring ourselves into compliance with God’s will.
He rightly begins with the heart. Our inner man must be humbled to believe and obey. Otherwise, holiness is nothing more than a disciplining of the flesh. The author aids the teacher by showing the importance of leadership in guiding a group into a life of holiness. He boldly walks through the Meaning, the Purpose, the Pursuit, the Cost, and the Motivation for holiness. The principles of Identity, Love, Authority, Modesty, and Integrity are gleaned for wisdom in conveying the beauty of holiness.
The author adds a helpful section of questions and answers dealing with specific issues that brings the principles into practical application. He skillfully meshes external appearances with internal qualities.
The author also published a companion volume of 250 pages for the laity. The big book is distilled for the common man in the pews to have as the lessons are taught. It is called Jesus Bought A House: A Believers’ Guide to the Principles of Holiness. The price is 14.95. Both books can be purchased for $30.
You won’t be without solid teaching material on holiness for a long time. This is an investment that will pay dividends in the form of souls eternally saved.
Order from David Huston by email (DAHuston@aol.com) or call 717-580-0819. Both books for only $30.
SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations
By J. R. Ensey
A number of years ago, I embarked on a journey to learn more about the actual text of the Bible. I wanted to know how it came to us in its present form. The research took me to libraries (both here and abroad), the Internet, discussions with textual scholars, and the reading of many books (a weariness of the flesh), and earnest prayer. I wanted to know the truth.
The shallow claim of those who insist that only one 400-year old English translation—done with pre-set biased rules, few resources, by men who did not know the New Testament was written in Koine rather than classical Greek—should be viewed as “the only true Bible” demands a response. The attempt to find truth behind the manuscripts, the texts and translations seemed a worthy objective. Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth, Texts and Translations is the result of that effort. It puts the early English Bibles, including the KJV, in perspective where they can be evaluated with contemporary translations by the sciences of papyrology, textual analysis, and linguistics. No doctrines are lost and none are created in the process of textual criticism.
If you have questions about the ancient manuscripts, the Greek texts, the differences in the Textus Receptus, the Majority Text, the Critical Text, or in the translations available today, you will probably find some help here. What about the words or phrases in some translations that are not there in the medieval versions or vice versa? There are some answers in this book.
Includes charts, comparisons of Bible translations, and other addenda that will prove helpful in the study of the Scriptures.
Apostolics, of all people, have no need to fear truth. To do so casts a shadow of doubt on the Holy Scriptures. The more one learns about the Bible, the more he respects it and trusts it. – JRE
435 pages; AM Price $19.95 Order here: advanceministries.org or call 936-537-0250.
The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary – Now available as an eBook!
NEW fourth edition. Recently updated and enlarged! The ONLY Apostolic theological reference volume available today!
Now available as an eBook: Only 12.95! Put it on your computer today for instant reference.
Order here: advanceministries.org
The best soul winning aid produced in the last 25 years.
Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!
Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.
The Last Shots
The billions in cash clandestinely flown last month to Iran finally lets us know where Obama stands on terrorism: Don’t fight it, fund it.
Sorry, but I don’t listen to anti-gun lectures from people who think it’s OK to kill a baby.
It takes a special kind of lunatic to think importing welfare recipients who want to kill us is a good idea.
6’5″ 250-pound guy wearing lipstick and a bow in his long blonde hair to girl’s high school basketball coach: “The ACC doesn’t mind me using your locker room, but for some reason they don’t want me playing on your team.” (See: ACC pulls games out of North Carolina over transgender bathroom bill.)