Tag Archives: scripture

HOLY STUFF OR HOLEY STUFF, WHOLLY?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
HOLY STUFF OR HOLEY STUFF, WHOLLY?

BY: William Andrew Dillard

Words with the same, or very similar, phonetic sounds are called homophones. Since they are often indistinguishable in sound, understanding them depends on proper context in spoken language, and proper spelling in written form.
“Holy” means sacred, worthy of reverence, etc. “Holey” means full of holes. “Wholly” means all, or complete. The homophonic quality of these words with meanings so different lends itself to a lesson application.
In an acute, spiritually anemic world of religion, many variant voices are heard purporting to be the will of the Lord. Such voices may have a well chosen “springboard” verse of scripture twisted out of biblical context to support the peculiar nuance of the speaker. Pity the poor listener who believes whatever may be set before him simply because a pet scripture has been used as a prop.
A sane and sensible question one should ask is, “Is this message holy stuff or simply holey stuff, wholly?”
Once a scripture has been twisted out of context, it no longer conveys the holy truth it is meant to convey within its context. It is full of holes, and will not hold spiritual water. The practice creates a common commentary of the last days.
Let it be underscored that the Bible is not a disjointed collage of opposing ideas, neither is it a code known only to a select few. It is not the gift of the church to the world, rather it is God’s gift to the church to share with the world that they may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
The honest Bible student will not read into the scriptures pre-supposed ideas, but will read out of the scriptures the contextual ideas that are harmoniously conveyed.
Since the Bible is the plenary word of God, one may be sure that harmony, symmetry, and unity prevail in its presentation to the exclusion of any contradiction whatsoever.
The depth of the inspired instruction is such that the serious Bible student will continue to learn from it as long as he lives, but such learning will always harmonize with the elementary, indisputable lessons first learned.
But, the charlatan purveyors of that which is holey continue in increasing numbers as biblically predicted for the last days. By these things the necessity of a life anchor in the Holy Word is underscored. All who are blessed to know the Lord in these last days do well to “try the spirits” to determine from which source they come. This may take the initial form of simply questioning with a determination to know the answer: “Is this holy stuff, or is it simply holey stuff, wholly?” Every message must stand of fall by the unerring measure of Heaven’s unified Word!

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Ignorance Of Scripture Could Be Hazardous To Your Liberty


There is a profound ignorance of Scripture among so-called “Christians.”

Ignorance Of Scripture Could Be Hazardous To Your Liberty

the-holy-bibleCALLED UNTO LIBERTY, 21ST CENTURY SERMONS

By Francis J. Manion, ACLJ

On October 1st, I had the privilege of defending Mr. George Krail, of Burlington County, New Jersey in a trial in Cherry Hill New Jersey Municipal Court. Cherry Hill, a prosperous stretch of post-World War II suburban sprawl that buried the once blooming orchards of South Jersey beneath miles of asphalt and shopping malls, hosts not one, but two, thriving abortion businesses.  At the Cherry Hill Women’s Center unborn babies up to six-months’ gestation are slaughtered at a breathtaking clip. The Center was the site of thefirst Operation Rescue sit-in back in 1987, and more recently was the location of the notorious viral video by a young actress (an employee of the Women’s Center) who filmed and posted on the web her own abortion. Not surprisingly, then, the place has been a focus of protestors, sidewalk counselors, and prolife activists of all kinds for three decades now.

One of the most faithful of those folks has been George Krail. George, along with his equally zealous wife, Tina, has long been a fixture on the sidewalks surrounding the Women’s Center. A self-described “outlaw biker for Jesus,” George looks like what John the Baptist would have looked like if John the Baptist had worn a leather vest and denim instead of a leather belt and camel’s hair. And while George’s message to the patients entering the Center has always been one of compassion – he and his wife have sheltered in their home literally dozens of frightened, abused, desperate women who were about to have abortions – his message to the abortionists and their henchpersons has always been full bore, all-out John the Baptist. “I tell them they need to repent,” Krail says. “I give them the whole Gospel, not just the nice parts; that God hates the shedding of innocent blood, that Jesus said it would be better to have a millstone put around your neck and be thrown into the ocean than to harm one of His little ones.”

It’s true that not all prolifers necessarily care for George’s approach.  But it’s hard for anybody to argue with his, and Tina’s, record of saving women and their babies from the abortionist’s grasp. I myself once held in my arms one such baby saved by George and Tina’s “whole Gospel” approach, while I argued to a municipal court judge that – given the very tangible (and very squirming) results – the court should forgive the Krails their trespasses at least that one time.

This week’s case involved a charge of “harassment” brought against George by the Director of the Cherry Hill Women’s Center. Among other things, the case illustrated one of the dangers Christians in this country face living in a decidedly post-Christian world, a world that daily loses touch with even a semblance of connection to the Christian roots of Western culture. There was a time in this country when people of all religions, or no religion, were at least familiar with and had some vague notion of the Biblical origin of phrases like “the blind leading the blind,” “a house divided against itself,”  “casting your pearls before swine,” “all things to all men,” and dozens of others. But no more.

So when George Krail, in April of this year, stood outside the Cherry Hill slaughterhouse and yelled in the direction of the Director that “Jesus said, anyone who harms one of these little ones would be better off having a millstone placed around his neck and being thrown into the sea,” he found himself facing a charge of criminal harassment for threatening tohang the Director and dump her body in the Atlantic ocean!

Now, there are plenty of legal arguments, constitutional and otherwise that we are making in answer to this ludicrous charge, arguments the court reserved decision on following yesterday’s trial. (The judge asked the parties to submit further written arguments, after which the he will issue a decision.) But what particularly struck me during the trial was just how profound has become the disconnect between the average American and familiar Biblical allusions that used to be part and parcel of a common cultural matrix. The judge himself expressed surprise to hear Krail testify that the phrase about millstones and harming little ones and being thrown into the sea was actually from the Bible. Likewise the prosecutor and, obviously, the Complainant herself. The good news is that the judge seemed receptive to our argument that, in all likelihood, what happened here was that the Complainant simply misunderstood George’s quotation of Scripture and, being completely unfamiliar with the source, misconstrued it into a literal threat to her immediate safety. Krail might just as well have been speaking Martian.

The great translator of Scripture, St. Jerome, once wrote that “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” But Christians, beware! As this Krail case shows, the ignorance of Scripture that now pervades our post-Christian world could also be hazardous to your liberty.


Francis J. ManionFrancis J. Manion is Senior Counsel with the ACLJ who emphasizes First Amendment law and pro-life legal matters before state and federal courts. A 1980 graduate of Seton Hall School of Law, Manion honed his litigation skills with more than 15 years of experience as a trial attorney in private law firms where he served as trial counsel on behalf of pro-life demonstrators. He joined the ACLJ in 1996 and emphasizes protecting constitutional rights in the public school, the work environment, and the public arena. Manion also emphasizes defending the public displays of the Ten Commandments and other historic displays that are part of our nation’s heritage. He also focuses on safeguarding the rights of medical personnel who are often required by employers to violate their consciences and religious beliefs by participating in pregnancy-ending procedures.

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194 – July 12 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


foxe

Catholics and Protestants both engaged in burning Baptists

Protestant reformers were sometimes as guilty of atrocities as the Romanists against the Baptists

and Anabaptists. Catholics and Protestants taught that tradition, reason and Scripture made it the

pious duty of saints to torture and burn men as heretics out of pure love for their holiness and

salvation. Protestantism told them that it was a sacred duty to slaughter those as schismatics ,

sectaries, malignants, who corrupted the Church and would not live in peace with the Reformed.

The sad instances of persecution practiced against the Baptists by the Protestants in King Edward

VI’s reign are in the Latin version of Foxe’s Book of Martrs but were left out of his English

edition in order to protect the reputation of some of the martyrs of Queen Mary’s day who had

persecuted the Baptists during Edward’s reign. John Rogers, one of Foxe’s friends, called for

the death of those who opposed the baptism of infants. It was reported that Rogers declared

“That burning alive was no cruel death, but easy enough.” It is believed that Foxe responded

that Rogers himself may be the first to experience this mild burning. And so it was, Rogers was

the first to be burned when the Catholic Queen Mary came to the throne. During the last year

of Edward’s reign Humphry Middleton was cast into prison by the Archbishop. After Bloody

Mary arose to power, the bishops were cast into prison and Middleton was burned at Canterbury

on July 12, 1555. The time of baptism as well as the mode was debated at this time because

some of the Protestants immersed. So the issue was believer’s baptism v infant baptism. During

Mary’s reign the prisons were crowded because both of these positions were anathema to the

Catholic Mary. None was recorded by Baptists.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 285-86.

The post 194 – July 12 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

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Atonement


kāpar
Woven into the very fabric of Scripture, and a key to understanding the OT concept of forgiveness of sin, is the word atonement. The Hebrew is kāpar (H3722), from which is derived kippūr (H3725), as used in the name of the well-known Jewish feast Yôm Kippūr (“day” of “atonement” in Leviticus 16).
The root kāpar, as well as its Arabic equivalent, means “to cover over or pacify,” but not in the sense of simply trying to conceal something. “It suggests the imposing of something to change its appearance or nature.” In Isa_28:18, for example, it refers to a covenant being “disannulled” (i.e., “written over”). It also appears in Gen_6:14, where it is translated “pitch,” a substance put over wood to make it waterproof, that is, to change the appearance and nature of the wood. To illustrate further, painters often paint over an existing picture they no longer want and create a new one. The old picture is still there, but has been covered over in such a way as to change its appearance.
This fundamental meaning tells us the true nature of OT atonement: It was a covering for sin not simply to conceal it but to change its appearance and nature. It didn’t remove the sin totally, as Christ’s sacrifice would do, but it did “paint over it.” As mentioned earlier, that is exactly what it means in Gen_6:14 (which actually is the very first occurrence of kāpar). While it’s rendered “pitch,” this is not the usual word for this bituminous substance. Moses’ infant basket, for example, was waterproofed with “pitch,” which is zepeṯ (H2203), what we think of today as “tar” (Exo_2:3). “Whatever the exact nature of this pitch [in Genesis],” writes Henry Morris, “(probably a resinous substance of some kind, rather than a bituminous material), it sufficed as a perfect covering for the Ark, to keep out the waters of judgment, just as the blood of the Lamb provides a perfect atonement for the soul.”
So while “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb_10:4; cf. Heb_10:10), which was only an atonement, our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross did just that. “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb_10:12). While the OT priests never sat down, since the work of sacrifice was never complete, our Lord was the Last Lamb.
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting what Christ’s sacrifice accomplished: 1Jn_1:7; 1Jn_2:1-2; 1Jn_4:10.

 

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Filthy Rags


Jasper-John-1

Clothing makes the man. May we be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord and not found in our own tattered and torn righteousness.

‘iddâ begeḏ

Addressing the ever-increasing propensity for redefining salvation and the gospel nowadays, no teaching is more prevalent today (or throughout history) than the one that insists that salvation is either wholly, or at least partly, the result of human merit or works. There is perhaps no more graphic verse in Scripture that speaks to the contrary, however, than Isa_64:6 : “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Rags is begeḏ (H899), which is the most common OT word for clothing and by itself refers simply to any kind of garment, as in its first appearance in Gen_24:53, where a servant brought jewels and “raiment” to Rebekah. When coupled with a qualifying word, however, it is used to refer to specific types of garments, from something as common as a widow’s clothing (Gen_38:14) to the specialized, holy garments of Aaron (Exo_28:2-4).
Our text, therefore, adds a very unique qualifying word to begeḏ. (We do not wish to offend any reader’s sensitivities, so we will say this as delicately as possible.) Filthy is beged (H5708), which appears only here in the OT and refers to a woman’s menstrual period, and therefore, the cloth that accompanies it when coupled with begeḏ. Does this not clearly demonstrate what all our good works are, what any “righteous deed” we might perform really is? All of them are as filthy and repulsive as begeḏ.
No truth is clearer in Scripture than that salvation is apart from any merit or works of men. Scripture repeatedly declares man’s uncleanness and depravity (Job_15:14-16; Job_25:4; Job_40:4; Psa_51:5; Rom_1:21-32; Rom_7:18; Rom_7:24; Eph_2:1-3) and that works cannot save (Job_9:20; Rom_3:20; Rom_3:28; Rom_4:5; Rom_9:11; Rom_9:16; Rom_9:30; Rom_11:6; Gal_2:16; Gal_3:16-21; Eph_2:8-9).
Sadly, every false religion, cult, and human philosophy teaches that enough works will result in salvation, “renewal,” “enlightenment,” or whatever concept they choose as their goal. Even some today who call themselves evangelicals are diluting salvation by insisting that works have a part in salvation. James makes it clear that works are the result of salvation (Jas_2:14-26), but it is grace (April 6, 7) alone through faith (April 9) alone that is the cause. Let us rejoice this day in God’s power, for that alone can save us.
Scriptures for Study: Read the verses cited above about depravity and the insufficiency of works, and then rejoice in God’s power (and willingness) to save.

 

 

 

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HEBREW – Sin (1)


moz-screenshot-2.png

The pictorial power of the Hebrew language,” writes one Hebrew authority, “is seldom exhibited more clearly than in connection with the various aspects of evil.” Of the four main words that indicate sin in the Hebrew, chātā’ (H2398) is used most often and means “to miss the mark.” It is used in this literal sense, for example, in Jdg_20:16, where Benjamin’s 700 left-handed slingers “could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” It also refers to breaking civil law (Gen_40:1, “offended”).
Human failure and sin, however, are the prominent focus of chātā’. Sin, therefore, means “missing the mark.” Which mark? God’s mark, the mark He sets as the standard, namely, His righteousness and commands. Just as an archer sets his sights on a specific target, it is God’s righteousness at which we “shoot” our arrows, but miss every time.
It is extremely significant that the Septuagint translates chātā’ using the Greek hamartanō (G264), which also means “to miss the mark.” The pivotal NT verse, of course, is Rom_3:23 : “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Again, what is the mark for which we shoot? The glory of God, which includes His righteousness and perfection but we always miss, whether deliberately or unintentionally. As Paul wrote earlier, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom_3:10, paraphrasing Psa_14:3).
If there is one doctrine that has been diluted by modern thought, it is most certainly the doctrine of sin. Opinions vary from “a low self-esteem” and “psychological self-abuse” to simply “felt needs” and personal problems. Even worse, while the word sin, along with its other forms (sins, sinner, sinners, sinful), appears some 900 times in Scripture, many “preachers” refuse to even mention the term. When asked in a television interview about the gospel, one popular leader (who proudly never preaches on sin) said, “To me good news is letting people know that God loves them, Jesus came, that we can overcome any obstacle, that we can be forgiven for our mistakes. I don’t see how beating people down [apparently by preaching about sin] . . . helps them grow closer to God.”
That, however, is not the gospel, as we will see. Oh, how we need to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jud_1:3).
Scriptures for Study: Compare Rom_3:10-18 with the following OT passages, from which Paul either quotes or paraphrases: Psa_5:9; Psa_10:7; Psa_14:1-3; Psa_36:1; Psa_140:3; Isa_59:7-8. His indictment of the Jews has the authority of Scripture behind it.

 

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HEBREW – Longeth


kāmah
Psa_63:1 is one of those verses of Scripture that once you read it, you can’t leave it: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” Once David understood who God (’Elōhiym, January 7) is, he longed for God in a way that should strike all of us.
To get the full impact of this verse, we need to set the stage (2 Samuel 15). After being driven from his throne by the political intrigue of his own son, Absalom, David is forced to leave Jerusalem and head into some of the most desolate, dismal, and depressing land on earth, the wilderness of Judea, which stretches right to the banks of the Dead Sea to the east.
David, therefore, writes: “My flesh longeth for thee.” Longeth is kāmah (H3642), which appears only here in the OT and literally means “to faint” and is related to an Arabic word that means “be pale of face, gray.” Driven into exile, it wasn’t his possessions, power, or position that David missed; rather it was God and the “sanctuary” (2Sa_15:2), that is, God’s presence in the tabernacle, that place of prayer and public worship, that David longed for.
Especially striking is that kāmah speaks of something physical. David’s craving for God was not some “emotional high,” rather a physical need; without God’s presence, his face was pale and he was physically ill. As the story continues, Zadok and Abiathar actually brought the Ark of the Covenant to David, sincerely thinking this would comfort and encourage him, but David sent them back. Why? It wasn’t some object that David needed, no matter how sacred. It was God that David needed. He didn’t want a picture; he needed the Person.
We, too, live in a “dry and thirsty land,” a desolate world. While it has amusements, some of which we can certainly enjoy, as did David, true pleasure is found in God alone. Likewise, if we were driven into exile, what would we miss most? Would we long for our nice house, creature comforts, and possessions? Or would it be God’s presence that we missed most? Would we miss the house of God, being with God’s people, and being immersed in His Word?
Scriptures for Study: What does Psa_63:1 say concerning how David began His day? Compare that with the following: Psa_5:3; Psa_119:87; Psa_119:147-148; Pro_8:17.

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Hebrew – Fool (1)


’ewiyl [and] kesiyl

Opposite those who are wise, understanding, and discerning is the fool, about whom the Bible has much to say. There are some 160 references to the fool (or “fools” and “foolish”) in Scripture (AV), most of which are in the OT (only thirty-three in the NT).
One word translated fool is ’ewiyl (H191), which is derived, some scholars think, from yā’al (“to be foolish”), while others think it comes from “an Arabic word meaning ‘be thick,’ and therefore ‘thick-brained’ or ‘stupid.’” Whichever is correct, ’ewiyl seems to be the first level of foolish behavior. This type of fool is one who seeks controversy and argument (Pro_20:3), despises instruction because of perceived self-sufficiency (Pro_1:7; Pro_12:15), and is basically immoral (Pro_7:21-22; Pro_14:9). So complete is this fool’s insolence, in fact, that it is a waste of time to even speak to him: “The instruction of fools is folly” (Pro_16:22). Even if you ground him in a mortar with a pestle, it would do no good (Pro_27:22). What is this fool’s end? He “shall fall” (Pro_10:8, lāḇat, H3832, “torn down, ruined”).
The next level of fool is kesiyl (H3684), which appears some seventy times, more than twice as often as ’ewiyl. It comes from the root kāsal (H3688), which appears only in Jer_10:8 in reference to idol worshippers. The associated Arabic word gives a picture of sluggishness. Here then is the dull, obstinate fellow who, even if you put truth right in front of his eyes, will not see it (Pro_17:24). He simply cannot (and would not even if he could) see what is right. And, like ’ewiyl, it is pointless to speak to this fool (Pro_23:9).
This fool is vividly contrasted in Pro_1:22 : “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” While the “simple” man is naive about what is true, and while the “scorner” mocks truth as unknowable or relative, the fool obstinately and irrationally refuses truth, adamantly rejecting true knowledge, which is not only the knowledge of God but any knowledge that comes from God. Again, what is this fool’s end? He will be shamed and dishonored (Pro_3:35) and ultimately destroyed (Pro_18:7).
How does the fool encourage the believer? We are reminded that while the fool despises wisdom and instruction, we know that it is God who is the beginning of everything (Pro_1:7).
Scriptures for Study: Note some of the traits of ’ewiyl in the following verses: Pro_12:15; Pro_14:3; Pro_14:9; Pro_15:5. Now note a few of the traits of kesiyl: Pro_14:7-8; Pro_15:7; Pro_26:11; Pro_29:11.

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HEBREW – Discern


biyn

One Hebrew authority digs to the true depth of biyn (H995) by noting: “The background idea of the verb is to ‘discern,’ and this lies behind the [derivatives, such as] . . . the preposition bên ‘between.’ The combination of these words, ‘discern between,’ is used in 1Ki_3:9, ‘That I may discern between good and evil.’ Biyn includes the concept of distinguishment that leads to understanding.”
In simpler terms, the key idea in biyn is “to discern, to distinguish between.” From where does understanding come? From discernment. 1Ki_3:9 is, indeed, pivotal. If you ask most Christians, “What did Solomon ask God for?” most will answer immediately, “He asked God for wisdom,” but that is not precise. He did not ask God for wisdom (chokmâ, March 22), rather he asked God for discernment. Our English word comes from the Latin discernere (dis, “apart,” and cernere, “to sift”), and Scripture repeatedly emphasizes this principle. We are to separate, sift through, and distinguish between in order to see and understand.
Catastrophically, however, discernment has all but vanished. Many Christians are tolerant of, or even embrace, false teaching, such as: mysticism, prosperity teaching, seeker-sensitive church ministry, user-friendliness, the “emerging church” movement, unity with Islam, and the list goes on. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to [or discerns, biyn] his going” (Pro_14:15). What was the responsibility of the OT priests? To “teach [God’s] people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Eze_44:23). That is likewise the responsibility of pastors today (Act_20:28-31; Eph_4:11-14).
So what does discernment mean? There is only a single principle: What does the Word of God say? It doesn’t matter if some new idea or teaching “sounds good,” but whether it’s right according to Scripture. At the very heart of the Reformation was the concept of sola scriptura (“Scripture Alone”), which is to dictate all we believe and practice—not church tradition, human opinion, pragmatism, or anything else.
As David again pleads in Psa_119:169, “Give me understanding [discernment, biyn] according to thy word.” While David had very little Scripture at his disposal and so cried for discernment, many today don’t even care about discernment even though they have God’s completed revelation in their hands.
Scriptures for Study: What did Job say about discernment (Job_6:30)? Carefully consider just a few NT passages that speak of the critical nature of discernment (Act_17:11; 1Ti_6:20-21; Heb_4:12; 2Pe_2:1-2; 1Jn_4:1).

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Preaching [and] Preach (3)


qārā’
Before leaving this pivotal theme, we should note how preaching relates to worship . It is extremely significant that the people’s response to Ezra’s reading and exposition of Scripture (Neh_8:8; cf. Neh_6:7) was worship (Neh_9:3). This is the climax; everything points to this and has prepared for it. There is nothing of equal importance to the exposition of God’s Word. Take the time now to read Jon_3:2 again, as well as Psa_80:18; Psa_105:1, where call is qārā’, signifying proclamation.
While lost in most churches today, preaching was central to the early church (note the primacy of “doctrine” in Act_2:42) and its immediate descendants. Writing in the middle of the second century, apologist Justin Martyr described a typical worship service of his day: “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen.”
Mark it down—the reading and explanation of the Word of God was the absolute center of the worship service. (Note that this statement also refutes the accusation made by modern “Sabbath keepers” that Sunday did not become the day of worship until the fourth century.)
Sadly, this is not the case today. Central today is music, drama, comedy, discussion, anecdotes, or anything else we can think of except preaching. But nothing praises God as does the proclaiming of His Word as absolute Truth.
We should be challenged by these comments by the late pastor and great expositor James Boice: “There is nothing more important for Christian growth and the health of the church than sound Bible teaching. Yet sadly, serious Bible teaching is being widely neglected in our day, even in so-called evangelical churches. Instead of Bible teaching, people are being fed a diet of superficial pop psychology, self-help therapy, feel-good stimulants, and entertainment, and the ignorance of the Bible in churches is appalling.”
Scriptures for Study: Note the centrality of preaching in the following texts: Isa_1:2-31; Matthew 5-7 (Jesus’ sermon is the greatest model of exposition); Act_2:14-36; Act_7:2-60; Act_15:14-21; Act_17:16-31.

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