Stir Up Your Gifts

Jan 28, 2023

I was asked recently how a person could obey the Biblical command to "stir up the giftings" within us. After all, no one I know wants to be considered the lazy, wicked servant Jesus spoke about in the Parable of the Ten Talents.

 "For it is like a man going into another country, who called his own servants and entrusted his goods to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two. But he who received the one talent went away, dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

 "Now after a long time, the lord of those servants came, and settled accounts with them…. "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn't sow, and gathering where you didn't...

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Times and Seasons

Jan 11, 2023

Recently, a friend asked me to explain the terminology used to indicate times and seasons in the Bible and among modern prophets. I wrote my friend the following letter, and I hope that it is helpful for you also.

Dear .....,

You asked about the "'times and season" issues that prophets face when prophesying.

First, I admit it is easy to get the timing of a prophetic word wrong. I have done so. I had to repent because I accidentally misled someone. I specifically remember [back when Mike was a resident] about prophesying that a disastrous storm was coming. I said it would happen within two weeks. It did come, but it was more like two years. Fortunately, our pastor, Max Flynn, stepped in and corrected that word so folks didn't panic.

When giving a prophetic word, I often warn people that God's timing differs from humanity's. God exists outside of time and steps into time as He will.  

  •  Jesus said He was coming "soon." It has been 2000 years.
  • God spoke through Samuel,...
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The Point of it all--#17

Nov 28, 2022

Why is the Bible so important? Why must a person consider the claims of the Bible carefully? In other words, what's the point of the Bible?

We've previously talked about letting the Bible speak for itself and considering what it says about itself. These include the claims that:

  •  The Bible is a record of the revelations of God given to men.
  • The Bible is inspired; God showed the various authors what to write down.
  • The Bible is inerrant.
  • The Bible has received divine protection to ensure its existence continues throughout history.

However, numerous lies and distortions concerning the Bible's teachings are still bandied about. One often repeated fallacy is that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament. Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, states,

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic...

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Last But Not Least--#18 Neglected Dynamite

Nov 25, 2022

Publishing houses have repeatedly declared that the Bible is the most published book. Originally written on papyrus and leather scrolls, the Bible is not available in various sizes, languages, exterior colors, and translations. Online and d editions of the Bible also exist.

Yet it is also true that the Bible is one of the most neglected books in the Western hemisphere. Even among those who call themselves believers, few can honestly say they have time set aside daily for Bible Study.

The younger generation often ignores the Bible, while this generation chases spirituality through various causes, occultic practices, and strange religions. Yet the Bible still speaks. It speaks with authority and power to those who will listen to its words. It defines a narrow road that leads to righteousness and eternal life and debunks the claims of other religions.

The Bible also declares it has its supernatural origin. The Bible proclaims its unique status as a document that speaks to each...

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Internal Proofs of Inspiration--#16

Nov 22, 2022

Recently a local church posted billboards around the city declaring that the Bible is God's editorial or love letter to humanity. This view of the Bible as a fiery or affectionate, informative message is undoubtedly true. In some ways, the Bible does resemble a newsy letter from a distant loved one. The Bible is informative, explaining: 

  • creation of both the universe and mankind (Genesis 1-2), 
  • God's concern and interest in mankind (Genesis 1:28, Micah 6:8), 
  • the introduction of sin and death (Genesis 3),
  • and information about long-lost relatives (2 Samuel, book of Chronicles). 

 However, the Bible is more than just a compilation of written records collected some 2000 years ago. It is more than an affectionate letter or a fiery editorial about modern behavior. Unlike other collections of writings, the Bible is more than just paper, cloth, animal skins, and various inks. The Bible is not like any other ancient or modern book; the Bible speaks to the ages.

...

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External Proofs of Inspiration--#15

Nov 19, 2022

The Bible claims to be a unique writing, a writing that contains the thoughts and plans of the Elohim. This Biblical claim forces humanity to face a series of “If” questions: 

  • If the Bible is the Word of God, then a person had better pay attention to It (Isaiah 34:16). 
  • If the Bible is truly God's Word, then this communication from God is more important than one's home, job, or present circumstances. Even one's concern for others whom one might love or hate pales next to the significance that Almighty God desires to instruct an individual (Isaiah 1: 18-20). 
  • If the Bible is God's Word, it is vitally important that the individual knows what information is in the book (Psalms 119:104). 
  • If the Bible is God's Word, then the Bible alone can fully explain man's feelings of confusion and lostness over his existence (Genesis 3), and the Bible alone will contain the solutions to the questions one faces. 
  • If the Bible is God's communication to...
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"The Word" in Acts

Nov 18, 2022

In our last discussion, we looked at how the Jews of the Old Testament, especially the Psalmist, viewed the Scriptures as the "Word" of God in written form. This reverence and respect for the Scriptures carried over to believers in the New Testament era. 

In the Acts of the Apostles, two words, "λόγος," [logos] and "ῥῆμα" [rhema], are words that translate into English as the term "word." However, only three times—in Acts 10:37, 11:16, and 28:25—does the word "ῥῆμα" appear. The Greek word ῥῆμα means ".. …an utterance (individual, collective, or speculative). . .used to refer to matter or topic . . ." (Strong's Concordance). Throughout the rest of Acts, Luke uses the term "λόγος." To Luke, the term Greek word "λύγος

referred not only to specific individual words said by  Christians (Acts 8:25, 10:44, 13:5.7) but also to a topic “. . . of...

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The Word--Part 2

Nov 16, 2022

Like Moses, David, and even Jesus, the Psalmist treasured the written Word of God.

The Psalmist also knows that he can trust God to protect him and © fulfill His promises (Ps. 56:4). God had already demonstrated the power of His truth (Ps. 33:4) and His covenant promises. God had spoken and acted upon these promises throughout the ages (Ps. 105:8, 147:19). Thus, the promises of God, contained in His Word, give men hope during various trials. "My soul fainteth for salvation, but I hope in Thy Word." (Ps. 119:8l see also 119:116. 107, 154, 41). Over and over again, the Psalmist declares that

  • " I hope in Thy Word." (Ps. 118:81).
  • "I trust in Thy Word." (Ps. 119:423).
  • "I have hoped in Thy Judgements" (Ps. 119: 43),
  • and "in His Word do I hope." (Ps. 130:5).

God's Word also brings comfort and renewal during trials and afflictions (Ps. 119:50, 67, 82). Thus, when the Psalmist needs God's help and protection, he turns to God's Word and His promises as a basis for his pleas for help....

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Bible Trivia Fun!

Oct 01, 2022

Bible Trivia:

Bible study can be more enjoyable if you break up your serious study with some fun trivia. Do you know, for example, what Bible chapter and verse is at the very center of the Bible? The fact can vary a little bit based on what Bible version you are using, but by most reckoning, the very center of the Bible [when measured by chapter count] is Psalms 118.

Here are some other fun facts surrounding Psalm 118:

• The longest chapter of Psalms falls just after this center chapter--Psalm 119.
• The shortest chapter of Psalms falls just before this center chapter--Psalm 117.

Have fun testing yourself on these other Bible trivia questions [the answers are at the end, so don’t peek!]

1. What is the longest book of the Old Testament [by word count]?
2. What is the shortest book of the Old Testament [by word count]?
3. What is the longest book in the New Testament [by word count]?
4. What is the shortest book in the New Testament [by word count]?
5. Do you know the...

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#12--The Power of the Word

Sep 30, 2022

Psalm 119 is the longest in the Bible. This psalm speaks of the power of God's Word and the blessings of studying the Bible. A study of God's Word fills a person's heart-hunger to know more about God. The examples of past saints and sinners found in God's Word reveal how one should act in a given situation and reassures one that there is always hope in God.

Ps. 119:30—I have chosen the way of truth; Thy judgments have I laid before me.

When a person makes Jesus his Lord and Savior, the Scriptures show that person how to obey and please God. The Scriptures direct our actions and give us a standard of accountability.

Ps. 119:34—Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart,

Man must have the eyes of his understanding opened (Ep. 1:18)to gain spiritual insight. It was through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the Scriptures were given, and the Holy Spirit alone can reveal the true meaning of the Scriptures.

Ps....

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