Tag Archives: Bible

Lauding Mankind’s Most Valuable Document


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The Holy Bible, the cannon of sixty-six books common to the King James Version is the product of the “Textus Receptus” (received text), a collection of about thirty of the most ancient manuscripts that are copies of the original. It is the Word of the Creator God of heaven and earth to mankind. Between its covers one finds the origin of man, his cause of condemnation, his means of salvation, as well as his trials, history, achievement of spiritual maturity, security, and hope that is both sure and steadfast. It is the prime directive of the race, and its importance eclipses all other documents combined.
Despite criticisms to the contrary, The Holy Bible remains the basis of morals, laws, and faith which has sustained human life on the planet, and allowed governments and society at large to make meaningful progress. Where its teachings are observed, peace and progress abounds. Where its teachings are rejected misery, poverty, death and all manner of evil prevails. Truly, if only one collection of writings could be retained and all others destroyed, this writer would not hesitate to name his collection to keep as the Holy Bible.
The Bible is not a history book, but it accurately records all one really needs to know about the history of civilization. It is not a science book. That is also not its purpose, yet it is supportive of all systematized facts. Still others say, “Well one can take it or leave it.” Yes, one can take it or leave it, temporarily, but to quote Jesus, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4. By the Word of God every person has the grace of life, and will by it ultimately be judged.
The Bible uniquely is both static and alive. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, and will survive the universal cataclysm that is coming right on schedule. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of God abideth forever. I Peter 1:23. Its purpose is to give one knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to escape the damnation of sin, and to elevate its disciples ultimately to eternal oneness with the Son of God.
You say that you have a Bible, but do not know its contents very well? That, my friend is the most awesome of responsibilities ignored with eternal, non-reversible consequences! Open that book! Read! Think! There is reason that far outstrips that of all others in your having a copy of the Bible.

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LOOKING FOR ANTICHRIST


(In The Wrong Direction)

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

From the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s to the late 1940s following WWII, life changed very little in the tiny village of my birth. Most folks did well to eek out a living from truck patch gardening, and harvesting the products of milk cows, hogs, and chickens. Many worked in local strip coal mining that abounded in Sebastian County, Arkansas. However, the Bible was largely held in high esteem, and a fearful looking for of Antichrist was widespread. One major problem with that was they were looking for Antichrist in all the wrong directions.
The war caused rationing of goods and services needed for its support. Then, it was not uncommon to experience rationing stamps of sugar, gasoline, and auto parts to being named the “Mark of the Beast” produced by Antichrist. The next cry was over social security numbers.
Also, in those days, and especially in that place, there was no comprehension of Biblical heresy beyond the sawdust and tent meetings of holiness type folks with their so called speaking in tongues. The inroads of universalism, and ecumenism were unknown. So, was the vast importance of the Lord’s New Testament Church, and the role it must play in the heat of the last days. With cornfield plowing, circuit-riding preachers every first or fourth Sunday, and focus largely restricted to getting folks saved, the religious comfort zone of the times was largely undisturbed. Of course, this is the recall of a child growing up during those days.
The term “Antichrist” is found several times in the epistles of John. He emphasized that “. . . even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” I John 2:18.
To John in his day, it was the denial that Jesus was the Christ, and that He had come. That and kindred denials has grown exponentially. It is enlightening to consider that “Christ” is a Greek work transliterated rather than translated into English. It means “Anointed.” In the New Testament, two entities have been anointed: the Head of the body, and the body of the Head. That is: Jesus, the head of His body, the church, was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism. It was appropriate then that His body which He put together in His earthly ministry should also be anointed if it is to carry on and represent Him throughout the age. That anointing of the body occurred at Pentecost, Act 2.
Therefore, counterfeit churches that oppose the teachings of the faith once delivered to the saints are in fact antichrist meaning those that are against the teachings and work of the anointed body. Folks of a generation ago were right to look for the work of Antichrist, but most of them were looking in the wrong direction. If the apostle John were to return to the 21st Century, I wonder how he would describe the myriad of anti-anointed or antichrists, presently. They abound as prophesied!

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April 26 – Lack of Knowledge


April 26 – Lack of Knowledge

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 

The great tragedy today is a Lack of knowledge. We have simplified our knowledge of the Bible to a few simple slogans that express a small amount of knowledge about the Bible, God, Christ and the life we are to lead. We have not only dumbed down the secular education today but have also dumbed down Christian education. We have reduced the knowledge and discussion to a few favorite slogans leaving out the teachings that do not appeal to the masses. We are not teaching about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are not teaching the truths of the Church and what a Church is and the Churches responsibilities as the administrator of the kingdom of God.

This Biblical Knowledge has been rejected because it would convict. It has not only been rejected but also has been ridiculed as something that is not applicable to today’s lifestyle. This is a term that simply says, “I do not want to live a separated life from the world.” “I want to claim to be a Christian and yet do worldly things and have worldly attitudes.” There is a rejection today of a separated life that stands out and is outstanding.

God said, “I will also reject thee.” This was written to Israel, yet is just as applicable today as it was in Hosea’s day. The claim is that Israel has forgotten the law of God. That is true today also. We are not under the law of Moses but we are under God’s law of “study to show thy self approved.” We are under the law of “love thy neighbor as thyself.” We are under the law of “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” We are under the law of “put off concerning the former conversation the old man.” We have the law of holiness, “so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”

Here is a warning for this day as it was in the days of Israel. I will forget thy children. Certainly, we see that warning coming to fruition today. We are losing our children to the world. When the world is brought into the Church, we lose the children to the world. Church truths are no longer taught to our children. They are certainly involved in activities yet the shallowing teaching of the Word of God enables them to embrace some of the sinful practices of the word. Then they stray. What a mess we have created, trying to entertain to create interest instead of driving the teaching home for conviction.

May we get back to teaching the Word.

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REDUCED TO COMMON DENOMINATORS


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
REDUCED TO COMMON DENOMINATORS

There is an acceptance in “Christianity” today that the Bible does not teach. It has to do with reducing the premise to the lowest common denominator. Please think with me for a moment.
From childhood’s earliest days of introduction to mathematics, instructions consistently emphasized reducing numbers, especially fractions, to the lowest common denominator. It made such problems so much easier to solve. It is still a great rule of business math. Such rules, including this one, are good and helpful in various avenues of life, but it is important that those rules not be bent to accommodate other disciplines where they do not belong. The results can be disastrous.
In the field of Christianity, reducing tenants to the lowest, common denominator, allows for blatant contradiction which makes the entire structure of it to be meaningless. If you are still with me, hang on!
The right standing of one’s spirit with God has always been by grace through faith since the first human sin in Eden. It is not new to the New Testament, but it is predicated upon it. The doctrines of our Lord in the New Testament is what creates Christians, as per Acts 11 in Antioch, where the disciples were first so-called. There was not then nor is there now any accommodations for lethargy, inertia, sluggishness, or stoppage of advancement following initial repentance and faith in Christ. The Bible has nothing good to say about those actions, and it is inappropriate to label those who embrace them as “Christian.” That is nothing more than employing the mathematical reduction to the lowest common denominator. The “fire escape” plan that the God of mercy provides from Eden to the end of the millennium does not a Christian make.
It is a belief in and practice of the faith once delivered to the saints whereby one becomes a Christian. That term is peculiar to the New Testament, but it definitely denotes much more than initial faith in God which multitudes of Old Testament saints had but were never known as Christians.
Modern times have seen a myriad of institutions spring up, all claiming to be Christian, and most all of them denying the fundamental Bible teachings by which Christianity has been known throughout the age. Any attempts to set those things straight is immediately met with the unwillingness to discuss it further on the premise that anyone who professes Jesus as the Son of God is a Christian, so there is no need to be contentious about it. Hmmm! So why will there be a judgment seat of Christ for His people if it matters not what they believe or how they carry on in ways adverse to the New Testament? Color me as you wish, but do not reduce me to the lowest common denominator! I won’t fit there!

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10 Historical Facts About Jesus


10 Historical Facts About Jesus From Non-Christian Sources

 – 3/27/2017
If you have ever been involved in religious discussion on Facebook or Twitter, you have probably come across some version of the comment below:

I just think it’s interesting that the only book that even talks about Jesus is the Bible! I’m not even sure we can prove he actually existed.

Although this assertion is largely rejected by scholars in all spheres of historical and biblical studies, it tends to pop back up on social media like a never-ending game of digital whack-a-mole. The truth is that Jesus is not only documented in the eye-witness testimony compiled in the New Testament, but He is mentioned as a historical person by several non-Christian sources within 150 years of His life. From those sources, we can learn 10 things about Jesus without even opening a Bible:

1. He was known to be wise and virtuous. 

This fact was reported by Jewish Historian Josephus, who was born around AD 37. In his Antiquities of the Jews, he reports: 

At this time there was a wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. (1)

2. He had a brother named James. 

In recounting the stoning of James, Josephus records:

So he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned. (2)

3. He was known to perform miracles. 

Celsus was a  2nd-century Greek philosopher and a fierce opponent of Christianity. In what is known to be the first comprehensive intellectual attack on Christianity, he tried to resolve why Jesus was able to perform miracles. The story is wild—but the main point is that by trying to explain away the miracles of Jesus, he is actually affirming that they happened:

Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god.(3)

4. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. 

This fact comes to us from one of the most trusted historians of the ancient world. Cornelius Tacitus was born in AD 56 and served as a respected senator and proconsul of Asia under Emperor Vespasian. He wrote a history of the first century Roman Empire, which many historians consider to be the “pinnacle of Roman historical writing.”(4) He notes:

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus. (5)

Josephus confirmed:

Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die.(6)

5. His crucifixion was accompanied by darkness and an earthquake.

This fact was originally recorded by a Samaritan historian named Thallus, who was alive at the same time Jesus was (AD 5-60). He wrote a 3-volume history of the 1st-century Mediterranean world, which unfortunately no longer exists.  But before his writings were lost, he was cited by another ancient historian, Julius Africanus, in AD 221. Africanus  described Thallus’ account of what happened during Jesus’ crucifixion:

On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. (7)

6. He had many Jewish and Gentile disciples.

Josephus wrote:

And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon discipleship.(8)

7. He lived during the time of Tiberius Caesar.

Julius Africanus also reported that another ancient historian, Phlegon, confirmed the darkness at the time of Jesus’ death and that Jesus was alive “in the time of” Tiberius Caesar:

Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth. (9)

8. His disciples believed that He rose from the dead.

In his commentary regarding the disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ death, Josephus recorded:

[Jesus’ disciples] reported that He had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion; and that he was alive…. (10)

9. His disciples believed He was God, and they met regularly to worship Him.

Pliny the Younger lived from AD 61-113 and was an influential lawyer and magistrate of ancient Rome. In a letter to Emperor Trajan he wrote:

They [Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. (11)

Lucian of Samosata was a 2nd-century Greek satirist known for his wit and sarcasm. Even though Christians were the object of his snark, he affirmed certain details about them:

The Christians, you know worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rights, and was crucified on that account….it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. (12)

10. His disciples were willing to suffer and die for their beliefs.

The persecution and suffering of early Christians was recorded by Suetonius, the official secretary of the Roman Emperor Hadrian around AD 121. He documented that they were expelled from Rome in AD 49 by Claudius:

Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (Christ), he expelled them from Rome. (13)

and:

Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a sect given to a new and mischievous religious belief.  (14)

Tacitus also confirmed Nero’s persecution of early Christians:

Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.  (15)

Conclusion: 

From non-Christian and even anti-Christian sources, we can be sure that Jesus in fact existed, was crucified, was believed to be resurrected from the dead, and His many followers were willing to suffer and die for that belief.

The next time someone claims that there is no evidence for Jesus outside the Bible, be sure to share these 10 facts with them!

Resources:
(1)Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.3.3 (There are more specific, fantastical, and supernatural versions of this quote in antiquity that are believed to have been interpolated. The quote I cite in this article is the one that most scholars agree is authentic. See Shlomo Pines, An Arabic Version of the Testimonium Flavianum and Its Implications, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities: Jerusalem, 1971, cited in J. Warner Wallace, Cold Case Christianity)
(2) Josephus, 20.9.1

(3) Origen, Contra Celsum, 1.28
(4) Ronald Mellor, Tacitus’ Annals, p. 23
(5) Tacitus, Annals, 15.44
(6) Josephus, 18.3.3
(7)  Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol. 9, Irenaeus, Vol. II— Hippolytus, Vol. II— Fragments of Third Century (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1870), 188. (Cited in J. Warner Wallace, Cold Case Christianity.)
(8) Josephus, 18.3.3

(9) Ante-Nicene Christian Library, eds. Roberts and Donaldson, vol. 9, 188. (Cited in J. Warner Wallace, Cold Case Christianity.)
(10) Josephus, 18.3.3
(11) Pliny the Younger, Book 10, Letter 96
(12)Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13
(13) 
C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Divus Claudius, 25.4
(14) Suetonius, The 12 
Caesars, Nero Claudius Ceasar, XVI
(15)  Tacitus, Annals, 15.44

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GOD’S INSPIRED WORD HAS SEVEN DISTINCT FACTS.


II. GOD’S INSPIRED WORD HAS SEVEN DISTINCT FACTS.

Because the Bible is inspired of God, we can affirm that:

  1. It Is Infallible.

Without error – Psalm 119:160

  1. It Is Invariable.

Without change – Numbers 23:19; Psalm 119:89; James 1:17b.

  1. It Is Inexorable.

Without yielding – John 10:35b

  1. It Is Invincible.

Without conquest – Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12

  1. It Is Inevitable.

Without failure – Psalm 126:5,6; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; I Peter 1:23-25

  1. It is Incomparable.

Without equal – Psalm 119:72

  1. It is Invaluble.
  1. It convicts – Hebrews 4:12
  2. It Converts – Romans 10:17; James 1:18, 21; I Peter 1:23
  3. It Corrects – II Timothy 3:16
  4. It Cleans – Psalm 119:9,11; John 15:3; 17:17; Ephesians 5:26
  5. It Conceives – Matthew 4:4; John 6:63
  6. It Conquers – Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12
  7. It Comforts – I Thessalonians 4:18

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What the Bible says about Inspiration


I. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT INSPIRATION.

2Pe 1:21  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.

This Scripture is very clear how it addresses inspiration.

  1. Human Penmanship – “…holy men of God spoke…”
  2. Divine Authorship – “…moved by the Holy Ghost.”

The active source of the Scripture is God. The Greek word “pheomenoi” means “borne along.” God did not correct any mistakes because no mistakes were made. God gave the words and allowed the men to use their own choice of words that corresponded to their natural way of speaking. By Inspiration we mean the Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words and sense of God, though couched in their own literary style.

  1. ALL

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

  1. I Peter 1:25 – “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

  2. Peter agrees with the endurance of the Word of God.

  3. Paul refers to all which would include the Old Testament. Surely no one would claim that the Old Testament Manuscripts that Paul had were the originals.

  4. Paul makes a request in II Timothy 4:13 “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

  5. The previous chapter recorded that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.

  6. There is very little doubt that Paul here called the copies of the Old Testament Manuscripts inspired.

  7. Inspired in the original manuscripts is no where in God’s Word.

  8. It was inspired by Satan and made up by man to attempt to allow what man wanted to do to God’s Word.

  9. When we claim that the Word was inspired in the original manuscripts then we are equating the ink, the papyrus and the pen to be inspired. That is not what Paul or Peter said.

  1. INSPIRED BY GOD

The Word was inspired, man was not inspired.

The phrase that carries so much importance is “…Inspiration of God….” The Greek word translated “inspired” is “theopneustos,” which means “God-breathed.”

There are several theories as to inspiration. I believe in the “Superintendence or Verbal Plenary Theory.”

We shall examine this theory:

  1. Verbal inspiration.

We mean that the very words of Scripture are God’s words. Inspiration goes beyond the concepts and message to actual words.

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Jer 1:9  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

According to Matthew 5:18, Inspiration extends to even the letter “jot” and “tittle.” Luke 16:17.

God places emphasis upon His Words.

Consider these verses: Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 6:6; 12:28; 17:19; 18:18; 27:3; 31:12; 32:1,45,46; Joshua 8:34,35; 24:26; I Samuel 8:10; II Samuel 23:2; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5,6; Jeremiah 7:27; 23:36; 26:2; 30:2; Ezekiel 3:10; Daniel 10:9-11; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4; John 8:47; 17:8; I Timothy 4:6; II Peter 3:2; Jude 17; Revelation 1:3; 22:18,19.

Every Word of God is important to Him. To ridicule, change or laugh at the Word of God, I believe is a serious infraction against God. To change the force, power or meaning of His word would be to diminish God and His utterances.

  1. Plenary Inspiration

This means “extending to all parts alike,” this leads us to the belief that all of the Bible is inspired and every part of the Bible is equally inspired.

II Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”

  1. Inerrant Inspiration

Inerrant means “not liable to error.” This means there is no mistake or anything false, therefore the Bible was written down correct in every detail.

Hebrews 6:18b; Titus 1:2c; Numbers 23:19; John 10;35

This kind of inspiration provides that the exact divine message be given. Both God’s truth and Satan’s lies are reported and recorded exactly. Inspiration does not change truth into lies.

  1. Infallible Inspiration

This means the Bible is without error in its teaching. It is incapable of teaching deception.

Psalm 119:160; John 17:17. The terms “infallible” and “inerrant” are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference:

  • Inerrant means without error in its recording.
  • Infallible means without error in its teaching.

Infallibility is obviously restricted to the intended assertions of Scripture understood in an ordinary grammatical exegesis of the text.”

In other words, infallibility takes into account such things as the use of poetic or figurative language, the use of simile, hyperbole, allegory, parable and symbolism, etc.

In most cases, what is inspired is authoritative, but not all cases. Some things in the Bible, though accurately recorded through inspiration, do not have the authority of God.

e.g. The Book of Job accurately records the words of God, Job, Satan, Job’s wife, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. Some of the statements in the Book are consequently ungodly or in direct contradiction to other statements of Scripture. They are inspired, but not authoritative.

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The Church That Jesus Built 3


3 The Foundation of the Church

Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of the church.

  1. He declares Himself as the Rock on which the church is founded. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). The church was not founded on Peter, nor Peter’s confession, nor upon truth as such, but upon the immovable Rock of Ages. “Thou art Peter,” from the Greek petros, meaning a stone that can be moved, used in a metaphorical sense of Peter whom Satan threw around yet was he never crushed. The Greek word for rock on which the church was founded is petra, meaning a large and immovable rock.

The apostle Paul declares that Christ is the foundation, I Cor. 3:11 – “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” This should settle all cavil forever.

  1. Prophecy designates Christ as the foundation of the church, Isaiah 28:16: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” The apostle Peter alludes to this prophecy in his message to the Jewish Christians scattered abroad, and also applies it to Christ (I Peter 2:6). Furthermore, Christ is not only the foundation of the church; He is also its cornerstone, thus tying all the building and its foundation together.

  2. The apostle Paul testifies that Christ is the foundation, Eph. 2:20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” Christ was the foundation of the apostles and prophets, on which foundation the church was founded. He was their foundation, and He is the church’s foundation.

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DON’T MAKE A MONKEY OUT OF ME!


DON’T MAKE A MONKEY OUT OF ME!

Fossils

Romans 1:22-23 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Scientists who believe in evolution have a faith just as much as any Bible-believing Christian. However, it is a very different faith than Christianity. This fact was illustrated when some secular scientists declared the bones labeled “Piltdown man” an ape-like human ancestor. Only after a couple of generations did they bother to actually study the bones and discover them to be an obvious hoax. They did the same with “Nebraska man,” which turned out to be a pig.

Several years ago, scientists announced the finding of some fossil bones of the very first primate. Naming it E-o-sim-ias or “dawn monkey,” they said that it led to monkeys, apes and finally to us. Eosimias weighed less than an ounce and could have stood on your thumb. Scientists found no complete skeletons. However, after examining foot bones the size of grains of rice and some lower limb bones, they declared it to be our ancestor. They interpreted the foot bones to be primate-like. They concluded that the lower limb bones showed that Eosimias had grasping hands and feet that enabled it to walk on branches like monkeys.

The Bible warns that God will curse those with ever more foolish notions who reject the obvious fact that He is Creator. He does this so that they might see their foolishness and repent for placing the creation over the Creator. In this case they have done that by saying that it was not the Creator, but rather this tiny monkey that led to humanity.

Notes: 

International Herald Tribune, 3/17/00, “Tiny Fossil Fills Gap in Evolutionary Record.” Drawing: Artistic representation of Eosimias. Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

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Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law


Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law: On the verge of Government Run Faith

by Bro. Jeff Haney

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Acts 5:29

Biblically speaking, there are two times, and only two times when it is necessary for the children of God to disregard, disobey, and defy the laws of the land and simply refuse to obey their government:  1.) When the government by law forbids someone from obeying God – Daniel’s praying against the law that forbade it; 2.) When the government by forces someone to disobey God – Hananiah, Azariah, and Meshael, (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) being forced to bow to a false god.  Only when circumstance fit within the framework of those scriptural principles can a child of God rightly and flatly refuse to obey the laws of the government ruling over them.

I have never seen a time in our nation when either one of those scenarios were the case.  To my limited knowledge there has never been a time, when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of, was forced into disobeying the God of the Bible.  Conversely, to my limited knowledge there has never been a time when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of was forbidden from obeying God.  Within the scope of my vision frontwards, backwards and all around I have never seen either of those cases play out in our society . . . until now.

Though not here yet, we are standing on the cliff of Government Run Faith.  Of course we have seen government run health-care on the front porch of the evening news for a while now.  Government regulations grip every industry from education and finance to bean sprouts, pot holes, and outhouses.  If what is happening over the law being passed in Indiana is any indication of the direction and mood of those wanting the government to regulate body fat, and hairstyles, the next big thing is government approved belief.

The central issue in those shouting the accusations of discrimination is the fact that they cannot and will not stand for someone believing a particular behavior is wrong.  As one commentator said, “No one would dare expect a black baker to prepare cupcakes for a KKK rally.”  Why then on earth would someone expect a Bible believing Christian to endorse a gay marriage?

Regardless of how loud it gets said, how long they say it, or how many people chime in, in agreement, the scenario they present of a Christian florist refusing flowers for a gay couple is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be discrimination.  It is discernment, conviction, and belief based on the Word of God not to aid and abet a sin that has always been, and always will be a sin.  It is not bigotry, it is not hatred, it is not intolerance.  We do not provide alcohol to alcoholics, we do not carry people with gambling problems to casinos, we do not drive get away cars for bank-robbers.

Acting upon homosexual attraction is not acceptable to the God of creation. It is not okay, it is not to be embraced, applauded, aided or abetted.  From what God has said to man, it is morally illegal, it is spiritually illegal, it is eternally illegal, it is outright bona fide, sin.  Period.  That is the end of the subject for Christians, and it will never, ever, ever, change.  As I have said before, if God said something different, then every Bible believing Christian in the world would say something different.  We do not take our cues from “how we are born” we take our cues from “What God has said.”

If those who’s tolerance is a one-way street would speak in plain honest language, what they would says is, “You are not allowed to believe what you believe, and you are not allowed to behave according to that belief.  You cannot believe the Bible, you cannot obey the Bible, and you cannot proclaim what you say the Bible says.”  Of course that’s my words in their mouths, but that is what I’m hearing from those who have more heat than light.

According to the direction of the mood of this country, the heart of their heat, and their hate is aimed at regulating what Americans are allowed to believe. It is not socially acceptable to “believe gay marriage is wrong.”  If that course of thinking continues to be fertilized and fed, it will not be long before it is not legally acceptable to continue to “behave” with the conviction that gay marriage is wrong.  Changes are definitely coming, and they are the kind that are not worth making

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