Today is Labor Day, September 4th. Summer heat still clings to the days, but fall's cooling promise is growing. While our days are still over 90 degrees here in South Carolina, the nights are cooling off, falling into the low 70s and high 60s.
It has been a tough summer. Ferocious wildfires have ravaged Canada, Hawaii, and California; smaller, less publicized fires have hit other states. Floods have devastated several states. Excessive heat has caused deaths in the South and West. And, even as summer is ending, a hurricane has devastated "the Bend" in Florida.
This summer has also been challenging for me personally. Several friends are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. One of these friends is now celebrating her homecoming in heaven. My own battle for good health seems to be at a stalemate.
Through it all, a sense of God's peace has prevailed. The struggle has been challenging. However, three revelations have made this journey easier.
People are on edge with the war in Ukraine, extended droughts, destructive floods, and increasingly violent storms in 2022. The sense of security in what is "normal" has been shaken. Thousands, maybe millions, suffer from anxiety and mental health issues. And most leaders growl and argue, blaming one another rather than helping those that suffer.
Is Doomsday approaching? Now, those somewhat familiar with the Bible ask, "Does this mean the end of the world is coming? Is Jesus coming soon?"
Some are excited that Jesus is coming; others are afraid. Others scoff, saying, "People have talked for years about Jesus' return, yet I haven't seen even a whisker of His face."
These mockers don't realize that they are fulfilling prophecy. [Check out 2 Peter 3:3-7].
Almost everything that Jesus said would occur before He returned seems to be happening now [Luke 21]. Jesus is coming soon, and His return is getting closer by the day. But if you ask me if...
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.
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.
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:
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...
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...
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:
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.
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:
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...
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
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....
In speaking of the Bible, believers often refer to the Bible as "The Word of God.
Now, in using the term "word," a Christian may use this term as a synonym for Christ or a specific prophetic word, such as a personal prophecy. However, the term "Word" [notice the capital form] is often used to refer to the entire revelation of Yahweh as revealed in the Scriptures.
The Psalmist used three different words—"omer,' "imrah," and "dabar" (Strong's Concordance) to express what we translate into English as "Word." In conjunction with the three Hebrew words that we translate into English as "Word," the Psalmist also used specific Hebrew terms meaning "Thy" or "Thine." These modifying words indicate that the "Word" [the particular portion of the Scripture referred to] refers to God’s spoken revelation to man. Only once, in Psalm 139, does the author use any of three Hebrew terms ["omer,' "imrah," and "dabar"] to refer to himself.
Before a word is on my...