Augustine1 Conservative Christian Worldview Blog

July 19, 2014

Question: “Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?”

Filed under: Bible,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 3:29 pm

Answer: The Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason: “You, a mere man, claim to be God”(John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one,” He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence.John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am!” Jews who heard this statement responded by taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded (Leviticus 24:16).  And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the nameof the Lord, he shall be put to death.

John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “The Word [Jesus] was God” and“the Word became flesh” (John 1:1,14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh.Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him.Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God,” indicating that Jesus is indeed God.

Titus 2:13 (NKJV)  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 1:1 (NKJV)  Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Hebrews 1:8 (NKJV)   But to the Son He says:“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.

In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11;14:33;28:9,17;Luke 24:52;John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.

Revelation 19:10 (NKJV)  And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)  And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 14:33 (NKJV)  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Matthew 28:9 (NKJV)  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.

Matthew 28:17 (NKJV)  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Luke 24:52 (NKJV)  And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

John 9:38 (NKJV)  Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that, if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.

1 John 2:2 (NKJV)   And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


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July 18, 2014

The Anthropic Principle

Filed under: Bible,Creationism,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 5:00 pm

Anthropic Principle: The Design Is In The Details.
Excerpt from “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”
by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.

Scientists are now finding that the universe in which we live is like a diamond studded Rolex, except the rolexuniverse is even more precisely designed than the watch. In fact, the universe is specifically tweaked to enable life on earth. A Planet with scores of improbable and inter-dependent life- supporting conditions that make it a tiny oasis in a vast and hostile universe. The extent of the universe’s fine-tuning makes the Anthropic Principle perhaps the most powerful argument for the existence of God.

These highly precise and interdependent environmental conditions (which are called “Anthropic Constants” make up what is known as the “Anthropic Principle.” “Anthropic” comes from the Greek word that means “human” or “man”. The “Anthropic Principal” is just a fancy title for the mounting evidence that has many scientists believing that the universe is extremely fine-tuned (designed) to support human life here on earth.

It’s not that there are just a few broadly defined constants that may have resulted by chance. No, there are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligent Designer.

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants (122 in all) would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance (I.e., without Divine design). Assuming there are 10 to the 22 th power planets in the universe (a very large number: 1 with 22 zeros following it), his answer is shocking; one chance in 10 to the 138 th power, that’s one chance in one with 138 zeros after it. There are only about 10 to the 70 th power atoms in the entire universe.

In effect, there zero chance that any planet in the universe would have the life-supporting conditions we have, unless there is an intelligent Designer behind it all.

Here are fifteen of them.

Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level
On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an Anthropic Constant atmospherethat makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25% fires would erupt spontaneously, if it were 15%, human beings would suffocate.

Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency
If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent we would be bombarded with far roo much solar radiation down here. (In addition to atmospheric transparency, the atmospheric composition of precise levels of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone are in themselves Anthropic constants).

Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction
If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. In either event, life on earth would be impossible.

Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide level
If the CO2 level were higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up). If the level were lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis (we’d all suffocate).

Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity
If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore neither would we. Talk about precision.

Anthropic Constant 6: Centrifugal Force
If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.

Anthropic Constant 7: Rate Of Expansion
If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.

Anthropic Constant 8: Speed Of Light
Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to bespeed of lite 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.

Anthropic Constant 9: Water Vapor Levels.

If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life. If they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth to cold to support human life.

Anthropic Constant 10: Jupiter.
If Jupiter were not in it’s current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike earth.

Anthropic Constant 11: The Earth’s Crust.
If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.

Anthropic Constant 12: The Earth’s Rotation.
If the rotation of the earth took longer than 24 hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be to great.

Anthropic Constant 13: Axis Tilt.
The 23-degree axis tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.

Anthropic Constant 14: Atmospheric Discharge.
If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less there would be little nitrogen fixings in the soil.

Anthropic Constant 15: Seismic Activity.
If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there were less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it).


WHAT ARE THE ODDS?.. Why is Only Earth Suitable for Life?
[By Science and the Origins of Life]

In his movie Signs, M. Night Shyamalan presents us with a priest (played by Mel Gibson) who has lost his faith. Through the death of his wife, the priest has come to the conclusion that life is random. He has decided that he will no longer pretend to see God in the picture.

As Shyamalan zooms in his lens, he shows us that life is without focus: there is no recognizable pattern. But typical of Shyamalan, he turns the lens one more screw to the right, and at this magnification a pattern emerges. Gibson’s character is able to see the hand of a great Designer lurking behind all that had seemed random. His wife’s dying words, his daughter’s obsession with water, his son’s asthma—everything served a larger purpose.

At the end Mel Gibson returns to the priesthood and makes a blockbuster called The Passion of the Christ. Well, not exactly, but his character comes full circle—from faith to skepticism and back to faith. Meanwhile, Shyamalan takes his audience on the same circuitous journey, exploring issues of design and higher purpose in the world.

In many ways the evidence for intelligent design of the universe has come full circle. When early humans looked at the heavens, they could not escape the concept of a Creator. In fact, until the 1500s, most people believed in the ancient astronomer Ptolemy’s teaching, that Earth was the center of the universe.

But, in the 16th century, Copernicus showed that Earth revolved around the Sun. Suddenly our planet nicolaus-copernicus-monument-warsaw-poland-aseemed less special. Some astronomers looked out at the universe through telescopes and deduced a Creator was unnecessary. Their argument for a materialist worldview was energized by the belief in an ordinary Earth. Although the founders of modern astronomy strongly believed that the universe was the work of a cosmic genius, these later followers saw the cosmos as totally autonomous and independent of a Designer. Copernicus, a strong believer in God, couldn’t have disagreed more with such an assumption, and would have taken exception to it. In the 19th century, this belief in an ordinary Earth became popularized as the “Copernican Principle.” This principle has become the bedrock for a materialistic view of the world. However, new scientific discoveries are challenging its premise. In the latter part of the 20th century evidence began pouring in about the remarkable fitness of Earth for life, compelling many scientists to reconsider the obvious implication that an intelligent Designer is behind it all.

Scientists have learned that only an exceptionally fine-tuned planet like Earth has the necessary ingredients to harbor life. Additionally, our solar system and galaxy, as well as our entire universe, appear designed to support intelligent life.


The odds that such fine-tuning could have occurred by chance is not just unlikely–scientists say it is virtually impossible.


An article in U.S. News & World Report remarks, “So far no theory is even close to explaining why physical laws exist, much less why they take the form they do. Standard big bang theory, for example, essentially explains the propitious universe in this way: ‘Well, we got lucky.’ ” [1]

On Christmas Day in 2002, Jack Whitaker, of Scott Depot, West Virginia, got lucky, becoming the largest single-ticket lottery jackpot winner ever in North America. His prize? A Powerball jackpot of $314.9 million. Over a hundred million other tickets didn’t match. What are the odds of that? (And what are the odds that every time I go to the Quikie-Mart I’m stuck in line behind someone purchasing several dozen tickets?)

If someone won even two such lotteries consecutively, we would all assume the results were rigged. And yet, when it comes to life existing in our universe, the odds are far more remote than winning a hundred Powerball lotteries consecutively.

Physicist Paul Davies comments, “The conclusion must be that we live in a world of astronomical unlikelihood.” [2]

Donald Page of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study has calculated that the odds against our universe randomly taking a form suitable for life is one out of 10 to the 124th power , a number beyond imagination. [3]

To try and visualize the difficulty, imagine all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. Then encrypt one grain with a special code known only to you, and randomly bury that grain on a beach somewhere on Earth. (Maybe enjoy a vacation in Maui while you’re at it).

The chance a blindfolded person would ever discover that one grain of sand on their first pick is one out of 1020 (one chance in 100 billion billion.) Yet, scientists tell us that the likelihood of a big bang explosion resulting in a universe able to support life like ours is many times more improbable.

Now offer a reward to anyone who can find it on one pick, even though they don’t know which beach to scour, or how deep it is buried. But what if they did? Would anyone believe they discovered it by accident? Yet, scientists tell us that the likelihood of a big bang explosion resulting in a universe able to support life like ours is many times more improbable.

As we consider the odds for the fine-tuning of our universe, galaxy, solar system, and planet, let’s keep in mind just how extreme these odds really are. Not just one, but all of them require unbelievably precise fine-tuning. Can such precision be a result of anything other than design? Let’s take a look at why scientists are baffled.

Dr. Robin Collins states in The Case for a Creator, “Over the past thirty years or so, scientists have discovered that just about everything about the basic structure of the universe is balanced on a razor’s edge.” [4] Over 35 different characteristics of the universe and its physical laws must be precisely fine-tuned for physical life to be possible. [5] Following are six of those characteristics:

A large enough expansion rate. The birth of the universe had to begin with enough force, or life couldn’t exist. Stephen Hawking states, “If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.” [6]

A controlled expansion rate. Although the expansion rate had to be great enough for the universe to avoid a big crunch, if its outward force had been even a fraction greater, that would have been too much for gravity to form stars and planets. Life could never have been possible. [7]

Force of gravity. If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, neither Earth nor our Sun would exist—and you would not be here reading this. [8]

The balance of matter and antimatter. In the formation of the universe, the balance between matter and antimatter, and the excess of matter over antimatter, needed to be accurate to one part in ten billion for the universe to arise.

The mass density of the universe. For physical life to exist, the mass density of the universe must be fine-tuned to better than one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion (1060). [9] Thus, the mass contained in all dark and visible matter, including stars, is essential for the existence of our universe.

Space-energy density. The space-energy density of the universe requires much greater precision than the mass density. For physical life to be possible, it must be fine-tuned to one part in 10120.

According to the big bang theory, all of this minute fine-tuning was programmed into the initial conditions of the first microsecond of the explosion that began our universe. At that instant the rate and ratios of expansion, mass, density, antimatter, matter, etc., were set in place, eventually leading to a habitable planet called Earth.

In addition to the 35 different characteristics of our universe that must be just right for life to exist, over 100 characteristics of our galaxy, solar system, and planet needed to be fine-tuned or we would not be here. [11]

Galaxies are clusters of stars containing from millions to trillions of stars. Our own galaxy is called the Milky Way. It’s unknown how many galaxies the universe contains, but it may be around a trillion. Surprisingly, given the great number of these star groups, most galaxies are incompatible with life.

In order for life to exist in a galaxy, it needs to meet several criteria. [12] The following are just three of the fine-tuned characteristics a galaxy needs to support life:

Shape of the galaxy. The Milky Way is spiral-shaped. Of the three types of galaxies—elliptical, irregular, and spiral— the spiral type is most capable of hosting human life.

Not too large a galaxy. Our Milky Way is enormous, measuring 100,000 light-years from end to end. milkywayHowever, if it were just a bit larger, too much radiation and too many gravitational disturbances would prohibit life like ours.

Not too small a galaxy. On the other hand, a stable Earth orbit that is necessary for life could not exist if our galaxy were slightly smaller. And a smaller galaxy would result in inadequate heavy elements, such as iron and carbon, essential to life.

Our Milky Way galaxy meets these and many other conditions essential for life. Most of the others do not. When we focus in even closer, on our own star and its planets, the odds for life being possible become even more extreme.

Copernicus’s theory that Earth revolved around the Sun, seemed to relegate our planet to an ordinary status in the universe. However, if Earth was the center of our solar system, as Ptolemy and 16th century Catholic Church leaders had taught, we wouldn’t be here. None of them, including Copernicus, knew that in order for human life to be possible, Earth needs to revolve around a Sun that has just the right size, location, and conditions as ours does.

But that is not all. We need other planets such as Jupiter and Mars to act as defense shields, protecting us from a potential catastrophic bombardment of comets and meteors. We also need a moon of just the right size and position to impact our tides and seasons. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many conditions in our solar system that are just right for life.

The Sun’s distance from the center of the galaxy. Our Sun is positioned thousands of light-years from the center of the Milky Way, near one of its spiral arms. [13] This is the safest part of the galaxy, away from its highly radioactive center.

The Sun’s mass not too large. If the mass of the Sun were a small percentage greater, it would burn too quickly and erratically to support life.

The Sun’s mass not too small. On the other hand, if it were smaller, its greater flaring would disrupt Earth’s rotation rate.

The Sun’s metal content. Only two percent of all stars have enough metal content to form planets. Too much metal in a star will allow too many planets to form, creating chaos. Our Sun has just the right amount of metal for planets to form safely.

Effect of the Moon. The Moon stabilizes the Earth’s tilt and is responsible for our seasons. If it weren’t there,moon our tilt could swing widely over a large range, making our winters a hundred degrees colder and our summers a hundred degrees warmer.

When astronomers consider our remarkable solar system, they acknowledge that if it was slightly different, advanced biological life would be impossible. But it is not enough to have the right universe, galaxy, and solar system for human life to be possible. The conditions of our home planet must also be fine-tuned to a razor’s edge.

You may believe that aliens have sent life to Earth from a far distant galaxy (the premise of that memorable drama from 2004, AVP: Alien vs. Predator). You may believe that the government is hiding something outer spatial in Nevada’s mysterious Area 51. Or you may simply believe that there is undoubtedly intelligent life on other planets. In any case, we have all been raised on the assumption that, given enough time, intelligent life will spring up anywhere in the cosmos (with perhaps a few more eyeballs or reptilian features). Yet new evidence from cosmology is really saying the opposite.

The reality is that we live on an extremely rare planet perfectly positioned in an extremely rare solar system, ideally located in an extremely rare galaxy, within a highly improbable universe. Let’s look at our rare Earth.

Water. Earth has an abundance of water, which is essential for life. Mars once had water and therefore might have harbored life. But water is only one of many requirements for life.

Oxygen. Earth is the only planet in our solar system in which we can breathe. Attempting to breathe on other planets, such as Mars or Venus, would be instantly fatal, Mars having virtually no atmosphere and Venus having mostly carbon dioxide and almost no oxygen.

Earth’s distance from the Sun. If the Earth were merely one percent closer to the Sun, the oceans would vaporize, preventing the existence of life. On the other hand, if our planet were just two percent farther from the Sun, the oceans would freeze and the rain that enables life would be nonexistent.

Plate tectonic activity on Earth. Scientists have determined that if the plate tectonic activity were greater, human life could not be sustained and greenhouse-gas reduction would overcompensate for increasing solar luminosity. Yet, if the activity was smaller, life-essential nutrients would not be recycled adequately and greenhouse-gas reduction would not compensate for increasing solar luminosity.

Ozone level in the atmosphere. Life on Earth survives because the ozone level is within the safe range for habitation. However, if the ozone level were much greater, there would be too little UV radiation for adequate plant growth. Yet, if the ozone level were much smaller, there would be too much UV radiation for adequate plant growth, and life would be impossible.

For life to exist, these, as well as many other conditions need to be just right. [15]

ONE BLOOMING ROCK University of Washington professors Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee conclude in their book, Rare Earth, that the conditions favorable for life must be so rare in the universe that “not only intelligent life, but even the simplest of animal life is exceedingly rare in our galaxy and in the universe.”16 This has led their readers to the conclusion expressed by the reviewer from the New York Times: “Maybe we are alone in the universe, after all.” [17]

If Ward and Brownlee are right, what does that mean to us?

Michael Denton, senior research fellow in human molecular genetics at the University of Otago in New Zealand, tells us why this remarkable fine-tuning has reopened the discussion on the importance of man in our lonely universe. [18]

No other theory or concept imagined by man can equal in boldness and audacity this great claim … that all the starry heavens, and every species of life, that every characteristic of reality exists for mankind. … And today, four centuries after the scientific revolution, the doctrine is again reemerging. In the last decades of the twentieth century, its credibility is being enhanced by discoveries in several branches of fundamental science.

It seems ludicrous to claim that life exists on only one tiny speck in a universe of ten billion trillion stars. Yet, incredibly, Earth appears to sit alone in a hostile universe devoid of life, a reality portrayed recently in National Geographic:

If life sprang up through natural processes on the Earth, then the same thing could presumably happen on other worlds. And yet when we look at outer space, we do not see an environment teeming with life.

We see planets and moons where no life as we know it could possibly survive. In fact we see all sorts of wildly different planets and moons—hot places, murky places, ice worlds, gas worlds—and it seems that there are far more ways to be a dead world than a live one. [19]

The incredibly precise numerical values required for life confront scientists with obvious implications. Stephen Hawking observes, “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” [20]


1. Gregg Easterbrook, “Before the Big Bang,” U.S. News & World Report, special edition, 2003, 16.

2. Paul Davies, Other Worlds (London: Penguin, 1990), 169.

3. Dietrick E. Thompsen, “The Quantum Universe: A Zero-Point Fluctuation?” Science News, August 3, 1985, 73.

4. Quoted in Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 131.

5. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 3rd ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2001), 224.

6. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1990), 121–122.

7. John D. Barrow and George Silk, The Left Hand of Creation: The Origin and Evolution of the Expanding Universe (New York: Basic, 1983), 206.

8. Lawrence M. Krauss, “The End of the Age Problem and the Case for a Cosmological Constant Revisited,” Astrophysical Journal 501 (1998): 461–466.

9. Ross, 53.

10. Ibid., 187.

11. Ibid., 187–193.

12. Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, The Privileged Planet (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2004), 132–138.

13. Ibid., 132–138.

14. Eugene Wigner, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences,” Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics 13 (1960), 1-14.

15. Ross. 175-199.

16. Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth (New York: Copernicus, 2000).

17. William J. Broad, “Maybe We Are Alone in the Universe After All,” New York Times, (February 8, 2000), 1-4.

18. Michael J. Denton, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe (New York: The Free Press, 1998), 3-4.

19. Joel Achenbach, “Life Beyond Earth,” National Geographic (January, 2000, Special Millennium Issue), 45.

20. Hawking, 124.

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How do you know you’re not an ashtray?

Filed under: Bible,Creationism,Politics,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 9:07 am

A friend asked me this question in the course of discussing our various perspectives on life. Actually this is a very good question. In the finalashtray1 analysis we all take our basic presuppositions for granted. We assume our identity, that I am pretty much the same self as last week. That my memory is fairly reliable, my thinking and logic are sound. My senses work fairly well. Of course these assumptions are not possible to prove, because the process of proof would depend on these very same presuppositions. So let’s assume I am not an ashtray and I am a human being. We have to start somewhere.

What actually constitutes “me”? What is the definition of me? Some might say that I am that guy who does a certain activity; say my job, my position, where I live or my hobby. Some might define me by a relationship. Maybe I am somebody’s husband, father or uncle. Possibly I might be defined as a number. Number 47 in line at the DMV or number 3 at the finish line, or maybe one of 1.3 million voter who voted for……whatever. That’s all well and good as long as I am being described by someone else, but how do “I” define me?

Nobody can’t really see “me”. The real me lives within a flesh and bone structure which houses something called “me”. In modern society so many people are defined by the outside person and what they look like. For some, unless you look like a super model or an action movie hero you really have very little value. When was the last time you saw a really ugly or even a plain looking person as a TV anchor person. We want to see eye candy. Still yet I think if we were able to go back into history we would find many great men and women who were less than ashtray2attractive but who still contributed greatly to our civilization. Could Lincoln get elected in this day and age? Was Madam Curie a knockout. Were Marx and Kierkegaard matinée idols? Tradition tells us that Paul the apostle was a short ugly man who had an eye infection that was disgusting to look at. Even Jesus was not the good looking long haired hippy effeminate guy we see portrayed by Hollywood. He was just an average looking “Joe”. Isaiah 53:2 (NIV2011) He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. We tend to define people by their outward appearance, but the real person is inside.

So, can you really see me? No, the real “me” is inside and it is more than a spleen or pancreas. The real person is comprised of three distinct parts. The soul, (the will and decision making part, the component that allows us to be self-aware, and to actually believe truth concepts). The spirit (that substance that is able to transcend the material world and interact with God.) The body which encases me in a temporary, gradually wasting away biologic unit.

Can a person operate with dysfunctional parts? Yes of course. People have missing organs and limbs, psychological problems in thinking, and a multitude of diseases and brokenness.
Can a person operate with a dysfunctional spirit? I think yes. It is the story of mankind. In fact we are all born with dysfunctional spirits.

The first man was created in the image of God. Now I’m not smart enough to clearly understand what this means, but it seems that God is a ashtray3triune being as are we. God the Father seems to be the seat of the creative process. God the Son appears to be the manifestation which interacts in human form with the material universe. The Holy Spirit is the person who, as Jesus describes Him, is like the wind and has ability to move in and around within the material universe as he sees fit. I’m sure I am not even close to explaining the triune nature of God and I am only giving a very shallow and childish picture of the Godhead. My understanding of God is comparable to a 5 year olds understanding of Quantum Physics.

Anyway to some extent we are made in the pattern of the Creator; we exist as a triune entity, body, soul and spirit. It’s interesting that God told the first man that if he ate one particular fruit he would die. He ate the fruit but didn’t die. Or did he? Actually Adam’s spiritual component did die. From a spiritual perspective he was left a shell of himself. His soul died in the sense that it was left warped and twisted. His soul looked like it had been run over by an 18 wheeler. He no longer could make rational godly decisions. He was ill equipped to decide right from wrong and so was subject to his own emotions and whims. God left him with a vague facsimile of a spiritual organ, a conscience. Still yet the bible describes the natural man as having a seared conscience, 1 Timothy 4:2 (HCSB) through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. He was hardened and unable to have the communication with his creator that he had been designed to enjoy. His body which was also designed to live into eternity also began to age and eventually wasted away to nothing.

The effects of man’s rebellion were passed on from generation to generation. Seth the third son of Adam to be mentioned in scripture, is no longer described as being made in the image of God, but now is said to be after the image of Adam. So what does that make us? A human with a quickly failing body, a mind which on its own naturally seeks out evil, and a spirit which is stunted and dormant. Not a pretty picture. The thing is, we all know it. We all know there is a problem. We know we are not quite right. We live our lives with one eye on the clock. gravesThere is this death thing lurking out there. That 100% mortality stat is always in the back of our minds. We spend billions on cosmetics and health product, treadmills, gym memberships, extensive medical care; trying to stay young and still we die. We fool ourselves into thinking we are evolving toward something. Somehow we have deluded ourselves into thinking we somehow can gain eternity through one of those supermarket newsstand, 10 ways to stay young magazines covers. We tell each other that mankind is evolving from animals to peaceful super men. Give me a break. In the last century over 200 million people were killed in wars. So much for us evolving toward utopia. I guess my point is that we are all facing eternal death unless something is done. We will die and go someplace where God is not found. It cannot be avoided because that channel with which our spirit connects to the Spirit of God is broken.

Ok here comes the point. I think there was a Galilean Rabbi who addressed this issue. The bible uses the terms regeneration or made alive, quickened, or born from above or born again. Jesus spoke in John 3 with old Nick of a 2nd birth. Naturally this was unheard of at the time and totally confounded this religious leader. Something has to be done before the old body dies. The spirit/soul thing is going to go someplace. It is not material and it takes our identity with it when the body goes back into dust. If a man has been spiritually regenerated then he will go to wherever the Spirit of God resides and eventually become reunited with a new kind of indestructible body. If a man has never been regenerated he will stay separated from God as he originally was. His dead dysfunctional soul/spirit will go to a place something wrecking yardlike an ungodly wrecking yard. He will continue to remain unable to understand anything but evil, but still yet be haunted by the faint memory of what could have been and what he was created to be. The scripture say that everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved from this fate. What does that mean? The expression, name of the LORD is a loaded statement. Since all life is in the LORD, the creator, and He is the definition and source of all life, it is only logical, that His name represents the remedy for our ultimate problem. We must find a way to again become associated with Him or we will be lost. That way is through the Son. Remember, I Am the Way, Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6.

As one ages we become more aware of our own mortality. We see our friends and loved ones die and pass off the scene and we miss them and wonder where and how they are. We know they do not cease to exist. We know it inside. There is that still small voice which knocks on what is left of the door to the smoldering embers of our spirit. Wake up, wake up, don’t wait too long. Call out to me and I will give you life again. I will reignite and reenergize that dormant spirit and bring you back to what I created you for. Your loved ones who reached out to me are alive and waiting. Don’t miss out on the greatest thrill ride of all times. To travel across the universe in a nano second with just a thought. To go into dimensions and adventures never before imagined. Do you want to miss out on that? The apostle Paul was taken there. He kept repeating that he didn’t know if he was in his body or not in his body. He wasn’t sure what was going on. He just said it was not lawful for him to speak about it. I think this was because there is no human language by which to describe the wonders of what he saw. Our regenerated loved ones are there calling to us. The entry point is very small and only for a short 3 score and ten. Your boarding pass is ready for the greatest family reunion of all eternity and you want to claim this garbage can of an existence here on this fallen earth is all there is. Hello wake up before it is too late. You are only one heartbeat away from total emptiness and desolation, or a never ending incredibly fulfilling eternal timeless adventure with those you love.

July 17, 2014

Female Pastors a Biblical Oxymoron.

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1 Timothy 2:12 (NKJV)   And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silencesilence.

The key to understanding this verse is given in the next two.

1 Timothy 2:13-14 (NKJV)  For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Paul tells us that the reason women are not to teach or exercise authority over men in the church is because Adam was created first, then Eve.  The statement clearly removes the previous verse (v. 12) from being culturally motivated.  Paul equates the issue of authority with the created order.

It is in the created order, and in the fall of Adam and Eve, that the curse is given to Eve. “To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.  In pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you,” (Gen. 3:16).  The word “desire” is “teshookaw”.  It is used only one other time in the Pentateuch in Gen. 4:7.

  • Gen. 4:7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Notice that the word “desire” in Gen. 4:7 speaks of the desire of sin to control.

We see that Eve’s desire shall be for her husband, but it is he that will rule over her.  It would seem that the context is dealing with the desire of the woman to be in control — just as Eve did not seek her head, Adam, but took it upon herself to interpret and apply God’s Word.  Her proper place was in support of Adam, with Adam’s role being of higher priority.

This makes sense if you look at the nature of the fall.  Adam is the one who is the head of mankind (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12), for it was through Adam that sin entered the world, not through Eve, even though Eve sinned first.  Satan violated the proper authority structure in the family of Adam and Eve and first went to the woman.  Eve listened to the lies of the enemy, as did Adam.  Then God cursed Eve with childbirth pain and the proclamation that Adam would rule over her even though her desire would be for her husband.

Notice the contrast.  Eve will desire her husband, and he will rule over her.  By extension, but primarily because Adam was created first, man rules over women which is why the husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23).  There is definitely an authority structure established by Paul in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”

So, 1 Tim. 2:12-13 is not merely a culturally determined truth that can be altered by transferring the verse to the 21st century and stripping away its cultural context.  Since Paul dealt with the issue of teaching authority and related it to the creation of Adam and Eve, we can see that women are not to teach or exercise authority over men in the church.


libIt is indeed an unpopular notion that the husband is the head of the wife, that authority in the Church rests in the male, and that women are to learn in godly submission.  But this does not mean that the Christian church should listen to the wisdom of the world, for it is not wisdom at all. Like it or not, the Scriptures teach that eldership, and pastor ship, is to be held by males. This is not to say that women aren’t talented or even able to do their jobs in the church better than some men. But practicality does not trump doctrinal truth.  We need to be faithful to God’s Word.

Women are, unfortunately, underappreciated, underused, and undervalued   In the church. They contribute so very much to the smooth running and well-being of the sacred community.  Nevertheless, whether men like it or not, they are the ones responsible in the church to teach sound doctrine, to refute error, and to lead an a godly manner.  But, when they don’t, then women pastors and elders are evidence of their failure.


————— NOTES —————

hesuchia – quieter

The problem is that the word for “quiet” here is “hesuchia”. It means to be subdued, to be quiet and but not necessarily silent.1 It is used four times in the New Testament:

  1. Acts 22:2, “And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet”;
  2. 1 Tim. 2:11, “Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness”;
  3. 1 Tim. 2:12, “”But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but remain quiet”;
  4. 2 Thess 3:12, “Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”

Notice Acts 22:2 where it says that they became “even more quiet.”  If they were already silent to begin with, they could not become more silent.  This means that they were speaking though in a more subdued manner and then became even more quiet.  1 Tim. 2:11-12, are under examination in this article.  2 Thess. 3:12 is not as descriptive and in its context to tell us if those who work are absolute silent or just quietly subdued in their work.

The conclusion is that the word “hesuchia” does not mean absolute silence.

sigao – absolute silence

There is a word in Greek for absolute silence. It is “sigao” and it is used 9 times in the New Testament.2 It means “to keep silence, hold one’s peace, to be kept in silence, be concealed,3 It means “to keep silent, to keep secret:— became silent(1), keep silent(3), kept secret(1), kept silent(2), quiet(1), silent(1), stopped speaking(1).4

Sigao is not used in 1 Tim. 2:11-12.  So, if we understand 1 Timothy 2:12 to mean that there was only a single, individual woman that was to keep quiet, then we must conclude that Paul was telling this woman to be silent (hesuchia, not sigao) about her false teaching, then we can conclude he wanted her to tone it down, to be subdued about it. In other words, Paul was saying something like “just teach your heresy a little more quietly.” He didn’t use sigao which would mean complete silence, to entirely stop teaching the false doctrine.  But this makes no sense.

  1. Luke 9:36, “And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.”
  2. Luke 20:26, “And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and marveling at His answer, they became silent.”
  3. Acts 12:17, “But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.”
  4. Acts 15:12, “And all the multitude kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.”
  5. Acts 15:13, “And after they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me.”
  6. Rom. 16:25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past.”
  7. 1 Cor. 14:28, “but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.”
  8. 1 Cor. 14:30, “But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent.”
  9. 1 Cor. 14:34, &”Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the Law also says.”
  • 1. hesuchia means “stillness, quiet(2), quiet fashion(1), quietly(1).”  Cited from R. L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, updated edition, Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998, H8674.
  • 2. Ibid., “sigao.”
  • 3. Strong, J., 1996.
  • 4. Thomas, H8674.

Regarding their participation in the meetings of the church (3:15), Paul taught that the women were to let the men provide the public instruction and leadership.See Michael F. Stitzinger, “Cultural Confusion and the Role of Women in the Church: A Study of I Timothy 2:8-14′>[101],” Calvary Baptist Theological Journal 4:2 (Fall 1988):24-42.

He did not mean that women should surrender their minds and consciences to men, but that they should voluntarily take the position of learners in church meetings.

 “This was a radical and liberating departure from the Jewish view that women were not to learn the law.”The NET Bible note on 2:11′>[102].

 “. . . ancient society rarely allowed teaching roles to women.”Craig Keener, “Women’s Education and Public Speech in Antiquity,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:4 (December 2007):759.

Typically the women should not accept the role of teacher of the congregation or of leader of the whole church.See Towner, The Letters . . ., p. 217; and Harold W. Hoehner, “Can a Woman Be a Pastor-Teacher?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:4 (December 2007):761-71.

The verbs “teach” and “exercise authority” are in the present tense in the Greek text, which implies a continuing ministry rather than a single instance of ministry.

 Teach and have authority over a man (v. 12) may be references to separate activities that Paul restricted to men. Or the first term might represent a specific example of activity that falls under the general rule that follows: women’s teaching in the public assembly would violate the given authority structure. In either case, we should notice that Paul did not employ his usual term for ‘the normal exercise of authority’ (exousia). He chose an unusual word (authenteo) that could carry negative connotations such as ‘to usurp or misappropriate authority’ or ‘to domineer.’ The unusual term probably signifies an unusual situation. In the Ephesian context at least, women had misappropriated authority by taking upon themselves the role of teacher.”Towner, 1-2 Timothy . . ., p. 77.

 oppressedSome people see red when they read “submissiveness” (v. 11; cf. Eph. 5:21-22; Col. 3:18). The Greek word (hypotage) means to rank under. It is clear in military life that a private, for example, who ranks under a colonel is not necessarily of less value or possesses less ability than his or her superior officer. Rank has to do with order and authority, not personal superiority and inferiority. Another illustration of willing submission is Jesus Christ, who is superior to every other human being yet submitted to other human beings (Luke 2:51; Phil. 2:5-11). God will reward His submission to the Father, and He will reward women who submit to His will as unto the Lord (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

Paul seems to have been speaking here of the whole local congregation. I do not think he would have objected to women teaching or leading some groups within the church that we commonly recognize as sub-groups provided they do so with the approval of the male leadership of the church (cf. Acts 18:26; 2 Tim. 3:14-15; Titus 2:3). Furthermore we should bear in mind that Paul was describing a typical church situation in which there were men who could provide teaching and leadership. If these were absent, exceptions might be necessary to achieve the higher goals of the church, namely, the building up of the saints to do the work of ministry. In some countries today there are few males who can or care to take leadership in churches. In these situations I think female leadership is better than none, at least until males can and will lead.

Exactly what did Paul prohibit women from doing in verse 12? He did not want them to teach a man or to exercise authority over a man in the local church meetings (3:15).See David P. Kuske, “An Exegetical Brief on 1 Timothy 2:12′>[106]: (oude authentein andros),” Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 88:1 (Winter 1991):64-67; and Mounce, p. 130.

Teaching the Scriptures is in view. This is more appropriate to the male’s function in the church as a mediator between God and people (cf. Gen. 2) because it involves interpreting God’s Word to the church as an authoritative figure (cf. vv. 1-2, 8). Paul forbade women from regularly teaching men in local church corporate worship (3:15).

 “In my opinion, whatever the specific application of ‘teaching’ it is the kind of ‘teaching’ that gives women a position of authority over men. Robert L. Saucy, “Women’s Prohibition to Teach Men: An Investigation into Its Meaning and Contemporary Application,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37:1 (March 1994):91.

Paul approved of women teaching women and children (Titus 2:3-5; 2 Tim. 1:5) and instructing men privately (Acts 18:26). Reading a book that a woman has written is one example of private instruction.

“Paul in 1 Tim 2:12, does not forbid a woman all teaching. Paul is only prohibiting the headship of women in the Christian community.”Steven B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, p. 305

 The Greek word translated “exercise authority” (NASB), “have authority” (NIV), or “usurp authority” (AV) is authenteo. It means to act on one’s own authority or to act in an autocratic manner. A Greek-English Lexicon . . ., s.v. “authenteo,” p. 84.

 To exercise authority in this way would be to submit to no higher authority in the church. If a woman exercised some authority in the church (e.g., as the leader of a ministry) and she did it in submission to the male leadership, she would not be sinning. It is taking inappropriate authority on herself that Paul prohibited. A woman can have authority over others in the church provided she is under the authority of the male leadership of the church.

 “It is noteworthy . . . that Paul does not use ‘office’ terminology here (bishop/presbyter) but functional terminology (teach/exercise authority). It is thus the activity that he prohibits, not just the office (cf. again 1 Cor. 14:34, 35).”Knight, p. 142.

 How can we resolve the apparent contradiction in Paul’s teaching that he presented here and what he taught in 1 Corinthians? There are two problems. First, in 1 Corinthians 14:34 Paul told the women to remain absolutely silent in the church. He used a different Greek word (sigatosan) than what we have here (hesychia), translated “quiet” (v. 12; cf. v. 2). Hesychia does not mean absolutely silent but settled down, not unruly. Paul wanted the women to express appropriate deference to the teacher or leader.

Perhaps Paul imposed a stricter standard on the Corinthian church than was normal because of the turmoil there, and his instructions in 1 Timothy reflect the normal situation. J. N. Andrews, “May Women Speak in Meeting?” Review and Herald (January 2, 1879), reprinted in Adventist Review 165:5 (February 4, 1988):17.

 I think probably Paul meant that women should not take part in the judging of the prophets (1 Cor. 14:29), which was an exercise in ecclesiastical authority. The context of 1 Corinthians 14:34 seems to favor this view.See James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, p. 188-94, which is, in my opinion, one of the best books on the subject of the biblical teaching on the relationships of men and women. See Appendix 1 in these notes, “Women and Ministry,” for a brief summary of this book. Other fine books on this subject are by Susan Foh, Women and the Word of God; Clark; and George W. Knight III, The New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women. For an evaluation of six views on 1 Cor. 14:34-35′>[112], see Anne B. Blampied, “Paul and Silence for ‘The Women’ in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35,” Studia Biblica et Theologica 13:2 (October 1983):143-65. Stanley J. Grenz, “Anticipating God’s New Community: Theological Foundations for Women in Ministry,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 38:4 (December 1995):595-611, advocated female participation in church leadership.

 “Paul does not mean that women are to be absolutely silent during the service (compare 1 Cor. 11:5). Rather, he instructs them to exhibit quietness (in spirit) instead of taking the lead, or to ‘be silent’ in the sense of not teaching.”Towner, 1-2 Timothy . . ., p. 77.

This silence is a concrete expression of the principle of submission that Paul advocated.Knight, p. 139.

Second, in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Paul permitted women to pray and prophesy in church but insisted that they have their heads covered when doing so. This concession seems to contradict both 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34.

One way to resolve this difficulty is to say that in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 the women in view were single women or married women whose husbands were not present. In 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-12 those in view seem to have been married women whose husbands were present.See David Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, pp. 528-30, 540-41.

However there is nothing in the text or context that justifies these assumptions.

 Another solution that I prefer is this. Paul permitted women to pray and prophesy in Corinth and elsewhere because these activities did not involve exercising as much authority in the church as teaching and ruling did. Teaching involved providing normative instruction from Scripture whereas prophesying in New Testament times involved only sharing something God had brought to mind. In some cases this was new revelation, but usually it was not. See Wayne Grudem, “Prophecy—Yes, But Teaching—No; Paul’s Consistent Advocacy of Women’s Participation Without Governing Authority,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 30:1 (March 1987):11-23. Cf. Ryrie, pp. 39-40; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. “prophetes . . .,” by Gerhard Friedrich, 6 (1968):854; Harold W. Hoehner, “The Purpose of Tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:20-25′>[116],” in Walvood: A Tribute, pp. 56-57; and H. Wayne House, “Should a Woman Prophesy or Preach Before Men?” Bibliotheca Sacra 145:578 (April-June 1988):149-54. See also “Women in the Church: Biblical Data Report” that I have included in these notes as Appendix 2.

In every case the prophet was to subject his or her prophecy to what God had inspired previously (1 Cor. 14:29).

 2:13-14Paul gave two reasons why women should conduct themselves in church meetings as he just specified. First, from Creation it was God’s intention that the male should lead the female. He reminded his readers that God made Adam first and then made a suitable companion for him in Eve. God made Eve for Adam; He did not make Adam for Eve. This implies no essential superiority of the male over the female. God created Adam and Eve equals in the sense that they needed and complemented one another. However, God entrusted Adam with leadership responsibility over his wife. Eve was not responsible to God for Adam in the same sense that Adam was responsible for Eve.See Benjamin L. Merkle, “Paul’s Arguments from Creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9′>[117] and 1 Timothy 2:13-14: An Apparent Inconsistency Answered,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 49:3 (September 2006):527-48.

 “. . . the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 7.

Second (v. 14), as part of the judgment on Eve at the Fall God confirmed (i.e., made permanent) the leadership of the male over the female (Gen. 3:16). It was a result of her deception by the serpent that Eve fell. I do not believe that God confirmed Eve and all women as followers because they are congenitally more susceptible to deception than males. Adequate evidence to support such a sweeping generalization is lacking (cf. 2 Tim. 1:5; Titus 2:4). Rather it was evidently because Eve on that one occasion was deceived that God confirmed her and her daughters in their position as followers. Some writers believed that Paul argued only from Creation and used the Fall to illustrate his argument. E.g., Knight, p. 144.

It has seemed to most that he used two arguments.

 In the Ephesian church, some of the women had been led astray by false teachers (5:15) who were themselves misled by Satan (cf. 4:1).

“Verse 14 is almost certainly a local reference to the deception of some women in the Ephesian church . . . [cf. 2 Tim. 3:6-7].”Towner, 1-2 Timothy . . ., p. 79.

That is, one of the reasons Paul referred to the Fall was that some women in the Ephesian church were in danger of doing what Eve did, namely, being deceived by false teachers.See Royce Gordon Gruenler, “The Mission-Lifestyle Setting of 1 Tim 2:8-15′>[121],” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41:2 (June 1998):215-38, for defense of the view that Paul addressed only those women in Ephesus who considered themselves “liberated.”

 “Paul’s point [in verse 14] is that this role reversal that caused such devastation at the beginning must not be repeated in the church. The woman must not be the one who leads the man in obedience to her. Thus when the teaching of the Word of God in the assembly occurs, a qualified male elder should fill the role of teacher.”Ann L. Bowman, “Women in Ministry: An Exegetical Study of 1 Timothy 2:11-15′>[122],” Bibliotheca Sacra 149:594 (April-June 1992):206.

 Some people conclude that women are to be under male authority in all areas of life, not just in church meetings, since Paul appealed to Creation and the Fall. They believe that a man should not submit himself to female authority at all, even in the workplace. Personally I do not think this is what Paul meant. He cited God’s intention for male female relationships specifically in marriage, not in general social situations. Christian men and women should bring their proper relationship to one another in marriage over into church life and apply it in the household of faith (cf. 3:15) as well as in the household of the family.

Thomas Constable’s Notes!bible/1+Timothy+2

Just from a practical point of view and looking at the pattern Paul references from the Garden, it is Adam who God holds responsible for the fall of man and the entry of death and sin into the world, not Eve. Eve was deceived (tricked), Adam was not. Adam chose to obey his wife over God. Even as Eve had eaten of the fruit, Adam could have refused and possibly God would have dealt with the situation differently.

Genesis 3:6 (NKJV) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was  pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of  its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Romans 5:18 (NKJV)  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to  all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act  the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Notice it does not say through one couples offense. In the family as well as in the church there is a command/accountability structure. God is a God of order, not chaos. He created an ordered universe, an ordered church and ordered family. When there is dysfunction in the church it is ultimately the men in charge who are called on the carpet. offensive

This may be offensive to some, but then again the entire Christian gospel is offensive to the natural man (or woman).

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July 16, 2014

While we were still Sinners…….?

Filed under: Bible,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 7:00 pm

While we were still Sinners…….?

God’s Power over Death

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8

He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalms 19:1

Must believe that He is…………….No He did not write His name across the sky in red crayon. Maybe He used another signature such as the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis…………………. Ya think?

Yesterday we alluded to mankind’s number one problem, “Death”.If a pharmaceutical company developed a pill which would allow you to live to the age of 500 in perfect health, what would it be worth? I would like to have stock in that company.

Even the hard core atheists wonders, “what if?” ………….What is God is real?……..What if that eternal life thing is true. Is there any proof?

Royal Professor of Law at Harvard, Simon Greenleaf, was considered to be the greatest expert of evidence the world had ever known. The Supreme Justice of the Supreme Court said that Greenleaf’s testimony is the most basic and compelling testimony that can be accepted in any English speaking court in the world. When Greenleaf spoke, that settled the matter. He was far and away the most knowledgeable person on evidence the world had ever known. The London Times said that more light on jurisprudence had come from Greenleaf than all the jurists of Europe combined.
Greenleaf had one inviolable principle in his classrooms at Harvard, and that was, you never make up your mind about any significant matter without first considering the evidence. Greenleaf was not a Christian. When challenged by one of his students with this principle concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he admitted that he had not considered the evidence. Greenleaf was a Jew and decided to examine the evidence and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the resurrection of Christ was a myth. After many months of exhaustive research and investigating hundreds of ancient documents He came to the exact opposite conclusion.

“It was therefore impossible that [the disciples] could have persisted in affirming the truths that they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact. . . The resurrection of Christ is the most verifiable fact of ancient history”– Simon Greenleaf, founder of the Harvard School of Law.

Let’s look at some eyewitness evidence.

Background Passage: John 19:28 – 20:18

Lesson Passages: John 19:30, 40-47, 20:1-11, 15-18

As mentioned yesterday the thing which separates us from this eternal life thing is sin. This was the original problem. A man and a woman said, “We will determine our own destiny, we do not have to obey God.”

We cannot perform any activity or work that can overcome our sin debt. Jesus could and indeed did.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

John adds that Jesus declares His work is finished. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (ESV)

The entire work of redemption had been brought to completion. The single Greek.word here TETELESTAI(translated “it is finished”) has been found in the papyri being placed on receipts for taxes meaning “paid in full” “It is finished!” What was finished? Your redemption and my redemption was finished. In His report to the Father He had said, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).

But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. John 19:34-35

One theory advanced by the skeptic is the “swoon theory”. That being that Jesus did not die on the cross, he was taken down premature to His death and later recovered and appeared as though He had resurrected from the dead. Could this be possible?

This proposition is laughable on several points.

The Romans executioners were professionals. They performed crucifixions sometimes daily. Many times within the empire the roads would be lined with crucified rebels and enemies. They were under penalty of death of they failed to kill the condemned person.

The eyewitness account of the death of Jesus from a medical point of view proves He was indeed dead.

After Jesus dies on the cross, John notes that “one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” Death by crucifixion occurred due to two primary causes: hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia (asphyxiation). One consequence of the person going into hypovolemic shock and also being asphyxiated (unable to draw in breath) was that water would collect around the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart. Thus when the Roman soldier stabbed Jesus’ side with the spear (which was not common procedure for crucifixions) the wall of the pericardium was pierced, resulting in a flow of both blood from the heart itself and water from the surrounding sac.

Even though he would have no idea why he saw blood and water pour out, John’s description of the scene is entirely consistent with modern medical conclusions about what would have happened. How could John have known that if a person who had just been crucified were stabbed in the chest that blood and water would run out unless he (or someone else who was there) witnessed it? John would have had none of this modern medical knowledge; he merely recorded what he saw. Details of this sort strongly indicate that the New Testament is a result of eyewitness testimony regarding the events it describes. Main source: William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel, and Floyd E. Hosmer, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 255, No. 11, 21 March 1986, 1461-1463.

Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 There was a garden in the place where He was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. 42 They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation and since the tomb was nearby. John 19:40-42

Only John relates that the tomb was near the place where Jesus was crucified. Since the Sabbath, when all work had to cease, was nearly upon them (6:00 p.m., sunset), the nearness of the tomb was helpful. John does not mention that Joseph of Arimathea rolled a stone across the tomb’s mouth or that Mary Madgdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where He was laid.

So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb. Matt 27:59-61

Because the children of Israel had lived in Egypt, some believe that they were the ones who perfected the method of embalming that the Egyptians used. The child of God in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament has always believed that the body will rise again. It is sown in corruption; it will be raised in incorruption. It is sown in weakness; it will be raised in power. It will be a glorified body. For that reason, the child of God has a reverence and a care for the body.

The custom was to use about half the body weight of spices; so we can guess that the Lord Jesus weighed about two hundred pounds. They would prepare the body by rubbing it with myrrh and aloes, then wrapping it with linen strips. That would seal it and keep out the air. They would begin with a finger, then wrap all the fingers that way, then the hand, the arm, and the whole body. In other words, they wrapped the body of the Lord Jesus like a mummy. Now John mentions specifically that they wrapped the body in the linen cloth using the spices, because this is a very important detail for him. You remember that on the Resurrection morning, when John saw the linen lying there and the body not in it, he understood that the Resurrection had taken place, and he believed. JVM

The spices most likely were laid on the entire length of the strips of linen which were then wound around Jesus’ body. More spices were laid under the body and perhaps packed around it. The sticky resin would help the cloth adhere. MSBN

In effect the body was encased in a cocoon of cloth, spices and resin. This is why when the grave cloths were discovered with no body inside it was obvious what had happened. The linen strips were not found unwound, they were laying there in the shape of the body, but no body was inside. How would that happen?  Duh!!!

On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” 3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed. 9 For they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went home again. 11 But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. John 20:1-11

On the first day of the week (Sunday) the women began to come to the tomb. It had been three days. Tradition tells us that it was a Jewish belief that the spirit resided with the body for three days after and death and then left to go “Abraham’s bosom” the place where the dead stayed until the coming of Messiah. Abrahams bosom was divided into Paradise and Hades. With the coming of messiah the resurrection of the faithful to eternal life and the condemnation of the nonbeliever to eternal punishment would take place. This was why Jesus waited till the 4thday to raise his friend Lazarus from the grave. Jesus wanted to demonstrate that His buddy was really dead and His power over death.

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. John 11:17

The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ Luke 16:22-26

Why did they not understand that Jesus would rise from the dead? Each of the gospel writers record Jesus predicting His resurrection.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 (ESV)

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. Matt 16:21 (ESV)

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly Mark 8:31-32 (ESV)

And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22  saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Luke 9:21-22 (ESV)

The concept of a risen messiah was not clearly understood from the OT scriptures.

Very few OT scriptures refer to this.

Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. 10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay. Psalms 16:9-10 (HCSB)

15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve removed Him, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” —which means “Teacher.” 17 “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God.” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her. John 20:15-18

Mary’s near hysteria could account for her failing to recognize Jesus at first too. She apparently withdrew from the tomb and saw Jesus standing outside it. She beheld Him attentively, but she did not recognize Him for who He was.

The reason for Mary’s failure to recognize Jesus is uncertain. She may not have recognized Him because her tears blurred her eyes (v. 11). Possibly also, the vivid memories of Jesus’ bruised and broken body were still etched in her mind, and Jesus’ resurrection appearance was so dramatically different that she failed to recognize Him. Perhaps, however, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, she was supernaturally prevented from recognizing Him until He chose for her to do so. MSBN

The fact that He appeared to Mary rather than to Pilate or Caiaphas or to one of His disciples is significant. That a woman would be the first to see Him is an evidence of Jesus’ electing love as well as a mark of the narrative’s historicity. No Jewish author in the ancient world would have invented a story with a woman as the first witness to this most important event. Furthermore, Jesus may have introduced Himself to Mary first because she had so earnestly sought Him. She was at the cross while He was dying, and she went to His tomb early on Sunday morning. CN

I have not yet ascended does not deny the fact that Jesus’spirit went to the presence of the Father in heaven at the moment of his death but affirms that his bodily ascension after his resurrection had not yet occurred. That takes place in the book of Acts. ESV Notes.

Mary was expressing a desire to hold on to His physical presence for fear that she would once again lose Him. Jesus’reference to His ascension signifies that He would only be temporarily with them and though she desperately wanted Him to stay, He could not. Jesus was with them only for 40 more days and then He ascended. MSBN



·         ESVN………….ESV Study Bible Notes                                                  JFB…………..Jamieson  Fausset Brown Commentary

·         VWS……………..Vincent Word Studies                                                MSBN…….MacArthur NASB Study Notes      

·         CMM………….Commentary on Matthew and Mark                         NIVSN…..NIV Study Notes

·         BDB………….. Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)                                   JVM ….J Vernon McGee,

·         Darby………..John Darby’s Synopsis of the OT and NT                    ACC …. Adam Clarke’s Commentary

·         Johnson………Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.                    BN …..Barnes Notes

·         NTCMM…………..The New Testament Commentary:  Matthew and Mark.   CN …… Constables Notes 

·         IC……….Ironside Commentary                                                           NET………Net Bible Study Notes.

·         JFB…………..Jamieson  Fausset Brown Commenta





Who is Jesus Christ?

Filed under: Bible,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 5:14 pm

This is the most  important question you will ever answer.

How you  answer this question determines where you will spend  eternity.

Jesus  asked the question like this: Who do men say that I the Son of man am? Matt  16:13

You might  answer like a lot of people. Jesus Christ was a good man, a great moral teacher,  the leader of a religious and political movement.

What do you  think? Are these things true?

But this is  like saying that George Washington was just a Virginia farmer. Yes he was, but  if all you think of Washington was his agricultural life, then you have missed  something.

C.S. Lewis  wrote about how, based on the evidence and what Jesus said about Himself, we are  faced with a logical “trilemma”.


Jesus was a  liar, the greatest con man of all time. He knew what He was not what He said He  was.

Jesus was a  lunatic. He really believed He was who He said He was, but didn’t know he  wasn’t.

Jesus was  the Lord, the Son of God, the Messiah.


But some  people claim that Jesus never claimed to be God. Let’s look at what Jesus said.

John  4:25-26 The woman said, “I  know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain  everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am  he.”

John 10:30-33 I and the  Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to  them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these  do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be  God.”

Deut.  13:10 And you shall  stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from  the LORD your God

John  8:58“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping  away from the temple grounds.

Exodus  3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the  Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

yhwhThis is  four Hebrew letters (Yod, He, Waw and He) called the Tetragrammaton. The four  characters are the four Hebrew letters that correspond to YHWH and are  transliterated IAUE or Yahweh. Yahweh is the name of the Almighty Father in  Heaven that people commonly call “The LORD” or “God”. The reason we see “LORD” and “God” in our bibles is because of a Jewish tradition that the name Yahweh  was not to be spoken for fear that the name be  blasphemed.


Jesus said  He is “The Son of God.”

Luke  22:70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are  right in saying I am.”

John  19:7 The  Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he  claimed to be the Son of God.”

John  10:30 I and the Father are one.

John  14:9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father

Revelation  1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he  placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and  the Last.

Revelation  22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the  Beginning and the End.

Compare this to the  following, in which Yahweh says Yahweh is first and last:

Isaiah  44:6 This is what the LORD says — Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no  God.

Revelation  22:12-13, 16 [12] “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will  give to everyone according to what he has done. [13] I am the Alpha and the  Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. [16] “I, Jesus,  have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. …”

Compare  this to Revelation 1:8 I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord  God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the  Almighty.”

Philippians  2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the  glory of God the Father.

John  6:38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of  him who sent me.

Psalms  23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

John  10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the  sheep.



What about what others have said about Him?

whoLuke  4:35 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of  God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew  he was the Christ.

(Mar  12:36) For1063 David1138himself846  said2036 by1722 the3588Holy40  Ghost,4151 the3588 LORD2962said2036  to my3450 LORD,2962 Sit2521thou  on1537 my3450 right hand,1188 till2193,  302 I make5087 thine4675 enemies2190 thy  footstool.5286, 4675, 4228

2962 Kurios Notice the  Greek word Kurios has been translated LORD in both Old Testament quotations and  in the new Testament. One referring to the second Person of the trinity and the  other referring to Jesus Christ. Weird.

G2962 κύριοςkurios  (koo’-ree-os) n.

1.  supreme in authority

2. (as  noun)  controller

3. (by  implication) Master  (as a respectful title)

[from  kuros "supremacy"]  KJV: God,  Lord, master, Sir

(Phi  2:11) And2532 thatevery3956 tongue1100  should confess1843 that3754Jesus2424  Christ5547 is Lord,2962 to1519the  glory1391 of God2316.

(Mat  16:13-17)When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his  disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thouart John the Baptist: some,  Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But  whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ,  the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art  thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto  thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

The name or title “The  Lord” is used of Jesus several hundred times. The word translated “Lord” is used  in the New Testament speaking of men nine times, e.g., Acts 16:30, Ephesians  4:1, John 12:31, but not at all in the way in which it is used of Christ. He is  spoken of as “the Lord” just as God is.


The Son  of God, the Eternal Word, the Lord, is Creator of all created  things.

Hebrews  1:10 He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the  earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”God-Creator-of-All-590-x-250

John 1:3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been  made.

Colossians  1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible  and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things  were created by him and for him.

Colossians  2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily  form


The Son of God is the  Preserver of all things.

Hebrews  1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact  representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After  he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the  Majesty in heaven.

Isaiah  40:3-4 [3] A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD;  make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. [4] Every valley shall be  raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become  level, the rugged places a plain.

Matthew  3:3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one  calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for  him.’”


Jesus is called  Wonderful.

Isaiah  9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be  on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty  God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Judges  13:18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it  is wonderful?”

The word  which we translate as “wonderful” actually means incomprehensible, beyond our  ability to understand.


Ok maybe  Jesus was the Son of God, but was He also a  man.

the manJohn  1:14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his  glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace  and truth.

1 John  4:2-3 [2]  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges  that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] but every spirit that  does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the  antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the  world

Luke  24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost  does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.

John  20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my  hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and  believe.”



He got  tired

John  4:6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat  down by the well. It was about the sixth hour



He  slept

MATT.  8:24-25 And  behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was  covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awoke him,  saying, Save, Lord; we perish.


The incarnate Jesus Christ  became hungry.

Matthew  21:18 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the  city, he was hungry.



The incarnate Jesus Christ  became thirsty.

John  19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that  the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am  thirsty.”


The incarnate Jesus Christ  suffered physical stress.

Luke  22:44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his  sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.stress


Jesus Christ was tempted.  He was subject to the essential moral limitations of human  nature.

Hebrews  4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to  sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in  every way, just as we are – – yet was without sin.

Hebrews  2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is  able to help those who are being tempted.


Jesus  Christ prayed (mentioned 25 times). He obtained power for work and for moral  victory as other men do, by prayer. He was subject to human conditions for  obtaining what He desired.

Mark  1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus  got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Luke  22:41-45 [41] He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them,  knelt down and prayed, [42] “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me;  yet not my will, but yours be done.” [43] An angel from heaven appeared to him  and strengthened him. [44] And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and  his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. [45] When he rose from  prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from  sorrow.

Hebrews  5:7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and  petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death,  and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Let’s look  at how Jesus could be the Son of God and also the Son of  Man

Philippians  2:7 tells  us that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and  being made in the likeness of men.”

Emptied  Himself : The term kenosis comes from the Greek word  for the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. The kenosis was a  self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for  humanity. Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form  of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Jesus did not cease  to be God during His earthly ministry. But He did set aside His heavenly glory  of a face-to-face relationship with God. He also set aside His independent  authority. During His earthly ministry, Christ completely submitted Himself to  the will of the Father.

Kenosis_Title_Fullres_WebAs part of the kenosis,  Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6; 19:28). God  does not get tired or thirsty. Matthew 24:36 tells us,“No one knows about that  day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We might wonder if Jesus was God, how could He not know everything, as God does  (Psalm 139:1-6)? It seems that while Jesus was on earth, He surrendered the use  of some of His divine attributes. Jesus was still perfectly holy, just,  merciful, gracious, righteous, and loving – but to varying degrees Jesus was not  omniscient or omnipotent.

However, when it comes to  the kenosis, we often focus too much on what Jesus gave up. The kenosis also  deals with what Christ took on. Jesus added to Himself a human nature and  humbled Himself. Jesus went from being the glory of glories in Heaven to being a  human being who was put to death on the cross. Philippians 2:7-8 declares, “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being  found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” In the ultimate act of humility, the God of the universe  became a human being and died for His creation. The kenosis, therefore, is  Christ taking on a human nature with all of its limitations, except with no  sin.

Although  Jesus has complete knowledge, He could hardly claim to have lived life as a  human and understand what it is like to be human if He knew from the instant of  His birth each event that would occur and each thought anyone would think.  Hence, He voluntarily hid such knowledge from Himself for a  time.

Is  there any historical secular proof that Jesus existed?

The ancient historical  record provides examples of writers, philosophers and historians who lived  during or not long after the time Jesus is believed to have lived and who  testify to the fact that he was a real person. We will look at what some of  these people have said.

Cornelius  Tacitus

Tacitus lived from A.D. 55  to A.D. 120. He was a Roman historian and has been described as the greatest  historian of Rome, noted for his integrity and moral uprightness. His most  famous works are the Annals and the Histories. The Annals relate the historical  narrative from Augustus’ death in A.D.14 to Nero’s death in A.D. 68. The  Histories begin their narrative after Nero’s death and finish with Domitian’s  death in A.D. 96. In his section describing Nero’s decision to blame the fire of  Rome on the Christians, Tacitus affirms that the founder of Christianity, a man  he calls Chrestus (a common misspelling of Christ, which was Jesus’ tacitussurname),  was executed by Pilate, the procurator of Judea during the reign of the Roman  emperor Tiberias. Tacitus was hostile to Christianity because in the same  paragraph he describes Christus’ or Christ’s death, he describes Christianity as  a pernicious superstition. It would have therefore been in his interests to  declare that Jesus had never existed, but he did not, and perhaps he did not  because he could not without betraying the historical  record.

Lucian of  Samosata

Lucian was a Greek satirist  of the latter half of the second century. He therefore lived within two hundred  years of Jesus. Lucian was hostile to Christianity and openly mocked it. He  particularly objected to the fact that Christians worshipped a man. He does not  mention Jesus’ name, but the reference to the man Christians worship is a  reference to Jesus.


Suetonius was a Roman  historian and a court official in Emperor Hadrian’s government. In his Life of  Claudius he refers to Claudius expelling Jews from Rome on account of their  activities on behalf of a man Suetonius calls Chrestus [another misspelling of  Christus or Christ].

Pliny the  Younger

Pliny was the Governor of  Bithynia in Asia Minor (AD. 112). He was responsible for executing Christians  for not worshipping or bowing down to a statue of the emperor Trajan. In a  letter to the emperor Trajan, he describes how the people on trial for being  Christians would describe how they sang songs to Christ because he was a  god.

Both were ancient  historians and both confirmed the fact that the land went dark when Jesus was  crucified. This parallels what the Bible said happened when Jesus died.

Mara  Bar-Serapion

Some time after 70 A.D.,  Mara Bar-Sarapion, who was probably a Stoic philosopher, wrote a letter to his  son in which he describes how the Jews executed their King. Claiming to be a  king was one of the charges the religious authorities used to scare Pontius  Pilate into agreeing to execute Jesus.


Josephus was a Jewish  historian who was born in either 37 or 38 AD and died some time after 100 AD. He  wrote the Jewish Antiquites and in one famous passage described Jesus as a wise  man, a doer of wonderful works and calls him the Christ. He also affirmed that  Jesus was executed by Pilate and actually rose from the  dead!

The Four Gospels

The four Gospels are the  four accounts of Jesus’ life, which are contained in the New Testament part of  the Bible. Historians will tell you that the closer an historical document is  written to the time of the events it describes, the generally more reliable it  is as a source of information about those events. Matthew’s Gospel account of  Jesus’life is now reckoned to have been written sometime between AD 70 and AD  80. Mark’s Gospel is dated between AD. 50 and AD. 65. Luke’s Gospel is dated in  the early AD 60s and John’s Gospel sometime between AD 80 and 100. If Jesus died  sometime in the AD 30s, it is clear that Mark, Luke and Matthew wrote their  Gospels within living memory of Jesus’ death. John’s Gospel comes later and  probably outside of living memory for most as John lived to an unusually old age  for the ancient period, but the accuracy of his Gospel was verified no doubt by  those who read the earlier Gospels.

Another feature of the  Gospels is that they were written by men who either knew Jesus personally, or  who knew people who themselves knew Jesus personally. Matthew was a former tax  collector who became a disciple of Jesus. Mark was a close associate of Simon  Peter, who is regarded as being Jesus’ most prominent disciple whilst Jesus was  on the earth. Luke was a close associate of Paul who is the most famous of  Christian missionaries and who wrote the largest contribution to the New  Testament. Paul, in turn, was a close colleague of Simon Peter. John was the  former fisherman who became the closest disciple of Jesus. The accounts of such  men need to be considered at least seriously

oddsA number of years ago,  Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitledScience  Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by  the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all  of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270  ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ.

The probability that Jesus  of Nazareth  could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in  1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000,  000.

Stoner claims that that  many silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of  Texas two feet deep. Now I’ve been to Texas. I’ve driven for daysto get  across Texas. Texas is a very big state. Who in his right mind would suppose  that a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in any direction, would be  able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver  dollar out of 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000

Jesus is all the books of the bible.

The  Bible is about Jesus. He is pictured or mentioned in each of the 66 books as  well as in countless types in the lives of different characters in the Bible.  Here in a breakdown on how his is pictured in each of the books…
Old  Testament Book Jesus  Revealed As…
Genesis: Exodus:







1 & 2 Samuel:

1 &  2 Kings,1 &  2 Chronicles:






Proverbs & Ecclesiastes:

The  Song of Solomon:


Jeremiah & Lamentations:















The  Seed of the Woman The  Passover Lamb

The  High Priest

The  Cloud and The Fire

The  Prophet Like Moses

The  Captain of Our Salvation

The  Judge And Lawgiver

The  Kinsman Redeemer

The  Prophet of The Lord

The  Reigning King

The  Faithful Scribe

The  Rebuilder of The Broken Walls


The  Dayspring From on High

The  Lord Who Is Our Shepherd

The  Wisdom of God

The  Lover & Bridegroom

The  Prince of Peace

The  Weeping Prophet

The  Wheel Turning

The  4th Man in The Fiery Furnace

The  Bridegroom

The  Baptiser With The Holy Spirit

The  Burden Bearer

The  Mighty Savior

The  Forgiving God

The  Messenger With Beautiful Feet

The  Avenger of God’s Elect

The  Great Evangelist, Crying  For Revival

The  Restorer of God’s Lost Heritage

The  Cleansing Fountain

The  Pierced Son

The Son  of Righteousness

New  Testament Book Jesus  Revealed As…






1 & 2 Corinthians:





1 & 2 Thessalonians:

1 & 2 Timothy:





1 & 2 Peter:

1 & 2 & 3 John:



The  Messiah

The  Wonder Worker

The  Son of Man

The  Son of God

The  Ascended Lord

The  Justifier

The  Gifts of The Spirit

The  One Who Sets Us Free

The  Christ of Riches

The  God Who Meets Our Every Need

The  Fullness of The Godhead

The  Soon Coming King

The  Mediator Between God And Man

The  Faithful Pastor

The  Friend, Closer Than a Brother

The  Blood That Washes Away My Sins

The  Great Physician

The  Chief Shepherd

Everlasting  Love

The  Lord coming with 10,000 Saints

The  King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

Why Does God Allow Sickness and Suffering?

Filed under: Uncategorized — augustinehippo1 @ 4:00 pm

Why does God allow sickness and suffering in the world?

When God finished his creation, he said it was good. God is not one to use hyperbole. I heard a comedian say one time. “God created the entire universe and said it was good. We build a Ford Pinto and call it pintofantastic. “. Good means absolutely without fault. Many times the skeptic uses this question to cast doubt on the existence of God. It usually goes something like this. If God is a loving God, why would he permit sickness and suffering? The questioner is not really looking for an answer, and when the answer is provided, the skeptic goes on to another question. The problem with the question is that it makes several erroneous assumptions and ignores certain facts. It assumes that because God is loving , He is not also, committed to justice, obligated to exact judgment, incapable of anything but truth, able to become angry, intolerant of sin, and have an ultimate goal for his creation. Ultimately the skeptic always has a problem with the issue of freewill. You cannot create a freewill moral agent and then interfere with his freewill decisions. This would violate the basic attributes of God Himself. God cannot violate His own word. It is impossible. If I give you the choice between doing x and y and I tell you that if you choose y, you will be punished, and then you choose y, I must punish you. If I don’t punish you, I am a liar. One who lives in a world of lies is incapable of understanding a world of complete and perfect truth.

The question also assumes that God created the world like it is today. This is not the case. As mentioned earlier it was made good but became defective as a result of our poor choice. The fall of man, also resulted in the fall of all creation.

“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:19-22 (NLT)

At the time of the fall, the entire creation became subject to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the law of entropy, which says all order is becoming disorder, all things are deteriorating and decaying. The universe is running down. This includes the animals, the weather, the geology, as well as our bodies. Death came into the world, Adam was designed to live forever, but after the fall he began to age and ultimately at age 930 he died. This was not God’s plan, but God always has an infinite number of backup plans. This is what the bible calls the “manifold wisdom” of God. God is never surprised or unprepared. He “has our backs”.

The question also assumes that all sickness and suffering is bad. Is all sickness and suffering bad? Paul had a thorn in the side, some kind of unidentified malady. He prayed 3 times for God to remove the thorn, heal him, to which God responded, no. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:8-9 (NIV) . God uses sickness and suffering to get our attention away from the distractions which lead us away from Him. We are so easily led away from God’s plan for our lives. I remember hearing about how sometimes within a flock of sheep there might be one sheep who would continually wander away from the flock and would be in constant danger from predators. In extreme cases, the shepherd would have to break its leg, immobilizing it for its own protection. The shepherd would then carry the sheep on his shoulders from pasture to pasture. He will do whatever it takes. When the nation of Israel would wander off into idolatry and sin, after repeated warnings by the prophets, God would use other pagan nations to punish His own people, often with great suffering. Once they cried out for help He would send a rescuer. This went on throughout the history of Israel and it is a picture of us as individuals as well.

So why does God allow sickness and suffering? I don’t have all the answers to this question but I do know:

“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)



What about the Last Days?

Filed under: Bible,Church History,Church News,Politics,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 2:00 pm

1 But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! 6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, 7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also.2 Tim 3:1-9 (HCSB)


1. Are we in the last days?

Technically the last days can be thought of as the time from the Day of Pentecost till the rapture or the return of Christ. Some view it as the “church age” or the “time of the gentiles.” We might be living in the last of the last days. It seems to have something with the nation of Israel.

 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke 21:24 (KJV)

It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. Zech 12:3 (NASB)

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Matt 24:32-33 (KJV)


2. What are some of the signs of “difficult times?” 

 “Difficult” = “dangerous,” “fierce” is used to describe the savage nature of two demon-possessed men (Mt 8:28).

G5467 χαλεπόςchalepos (khal-ep-os’) adj.

1. difficult, i.e. dangerous

2. (by implication) furious

KJV: fierce, perilous

The word for “times” had to do with epochs, rather than clock or calendar time. Such savage, dangerous eras or epochs will increase in frequency and severity as the return of Christ approaches. The church age is fraught with these dangerous movements accumulating strength as the end nears.

The period would be marked by a society in which the human characteristic mentioned above would be evident.

We’ve gone from I Love Lucy and Leave it to Beaver to Housewives of ……., Jersey Shore, most movies and TV, Charlie Sheen, The Kardashians, in about 50 yrs.

June 17, 1963, the day the Supreme Court decided O’Hair’s lawsuit, Murray v. Curlett: That’s the day prayer in public schools became“unconstitutional.”     On Mother’s Day in 1980, Bill Murray renounced his mother’s atheism and became a Christian.      He later wrote: “In the three decades since this landmark case, the nation has lost its moral center. Violent crime has increased from 16.1 to 75.8 incidents per 10,000 population. Juvenile violent crime arrest rates have increased from 13.7 to 40 per 10,000 population. Teen pregnancy has almost tripled from 15.3 to 43.5 per 1,000 teen-age girls. Almost half of these pregnancies end in abortion. For a startling 48 percent of all live births in America today, the mothers are unwed. The teen-age suicide rate has increased 400 percent since 1963. Henry Lamb, “America: Falling from Grace,” WorldNetDaily, November 15, 2003

Self Love: Self Esteem. Narcissistic Personality Disorder involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding.

How many courses and formulas are being taught to increase self esteem?

Lovers of money: Howard Hughes, “how much is enough money? One dollar more.”

Bernie Madoff: Ponzi Scheme, embezzled over 50 billion from investors.

Boastful, proud. NFL Terrel Owens making millions to play a game and when he makes a play which he is getting paid to do, he jumps around beating himself on the chest.

Blasphemers:We are all atheists (referring to Dawkins, Hitchens, and himself), which means we don’t believe in a deity, we don’t believe in a magic spaceman, and we think people that do, have a neurological disorder and they need help.” Bill Maher

All thinking men are atheists. — Ernest Hemingway

I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose. — Clarence Darrow

Disobedient to parents:

50% of all births today are to unwed mothers, most with households where there is no father in the house to establish discipline in the house. Boy especially need a male authority in the home.

Unloving: divorce rate of over 50%. In Matthew 24 Jesus spoke of a sign of the end of our age as “the love of many will grow cold”.

Slanderers: Now in the media people just make up things to slander others with. John Travolta, Tawana Brawley (born 1972) is an African-American woman from Wappingers Falls, New York. In 1987, at the age of 15, she received national media attention in the United States for falsely accusing six white men, some of whom were police officers, of having raped her.

Without self-control: Sandusky the Penn State coach. His defense that he has a mental disorder. Modern psychiatry is based on not taking personal responsibility and blaming something or somebody else for my dysfunction.

Brutal: Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris the Columbine High School massacre. April 20, 1999. Due to delays in manufacturing the propane bombs and in acquiring ammunition, the date was moved to April 20. The date of the shooting coincided with Adolf Hitler‘s birthday, leading to some speculation that the two were Neo-Nazis.[51] It was also one day after the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing and the immolation of the Branch Davidians in Waco, further strengthening another theory that the original intended date was set for April 19; both shooters mentioned in videos that they had hoped to outdo these events. It is believed that the shootings were perhaps plotted for these days because of their proximity to the end of the year activities

Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God: Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.[1] In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain). The Playboy philosophy of Hugh Hefner, “do what makes you feel good”

Holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Scientology, Mormonism, New Age, Islam, Liberal Christianity (the bible as a self help tool to help one live a better life). (You best Life Now)

Intuitive Age: We are moving from the fifth cycle of 5,125 years to the sixth cycle; a new beginning. Old structures are breaking down and dissolving, making way for positive energies. If we align our energies with the energies of the cosmos we can create a new age of peace and harmony.  To do this we can work with energies on a personal level and on a global level.

The secular world wants to paint Christianity as persecuting the unbelievers.

Dinesh  D’Souza points out that when we tally up the deaths caused by Christian religious groups compared to those caused by atheistic ones, the atheists win by a landslide. In fact, very few people were killed in the name of the Christian religion. * Number of people killed in the Spanish Inquisition: 2,000 over 360 years (about 5.5 a year)

* Number of people killed in the Salem Witch Trials: 18 (yep 18)

The Irrational Atheist, lists 22 atheistic regimes that committed 153,368,610 murders in the 20th century alone.

The Rwanda Genocide 800,000 Hutu and Tutsi murder each other, the Holocaust 6 million Jews, 1 out of every Jew in the world by the Nazi. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia 3 million out of population of 7 million murdered. 50 million murdered by Mao in china during the cultural revolution. 1.5 million Armenians buy the Turks.  Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) 23,000,000 (the purges plus Ukraine’s famine),Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44) 5,000,000 (civilians in WWII). These are just the worst in the 20th century, there are many others.

Remember much what is blamed on Christians was done by the Roman Catholic Church and many who were persecuted and killed were bible believing reformers.

Signs of the times: No mention of God in public schools, no religious observance at the World Trade Center attack 10 yr. ceremony, presidential candidates who speak of their faith are branded religious nut cases, science professors are fired for mentioning “intelligent design” . In the UK people are prevented from being foster parents because they are Christians.

Christians are told they must cease bible study in San Diego.

GILBERT, Ariz. —  The national Alliance Defense Fund says a town code that bars religious assemblies in private homes in the Arizona community of Gilbert is unconstitutional.,2933,589385,00.html


3. How do Jannes and Jambres figure into this?

Jannes and Jambres : Although their names are not mentioned in the OT, they were likely two of the Egyptian magicians that opposed Moses (Ex 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). According to Jewish tradition, they pretended to become Jewish proselytes, instigated the worship of the golden calf, and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Ex 32). Paul’s choice of them as examples may indicate the false teachers at Ephesus were practicing deceiving signs and wonders.



4. Are there imposters working within the church today?

“holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.”

Matt 7:22-23 (NLT)On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s law.


And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: 2 Peter 2:3 (KJV)

10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, 11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived.2 Tim 3:10-13 (HCSB)


5. What persecutions did Paul suffer in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra?

And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; Acts 14:5-6 (NASB)

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. Acts 14:19 (NASB)

The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order themto be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, Acts 16:22-23 (NASB)

Since Timothy was from Lystra (Ac 16:1), he would have known firsthand of Paul’susufferings in that region. the Lord rescued me from all of them. Even from execution by stoning



6. All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted? Is that true?

10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you whenpeople insultyou and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt 5:10-12 (NASB)

Notice Jesus didn’t say “if”, he said “when”.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Voice of the Martyrs 

Here in California there might not be much persecution, but in other areas of the country, bible believing Christians are called fundy bible thumpers and mentally ill. Some have suggested we are guilty of child abuse by exposing our children to the bible. As long as one is quiet and keep your faith to yourself, at this point, you are ok, but if you begin to challenge the prevailing paradigm, watch out. Gov. Perry suggested he didn’t believe in evolution and he was branded on Fox by Bernie Goldberg as “ignorant”.

After I posted a piece in the Modesto Bee on the evidence for the existence of God, this was one of the printable responses.

“christianity; The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.”

After challenging an advocate of Darwinian evolution and asking his to cite one “scientific fact” of “common descent”, this was his response.

“There is nothing for me to prove, I have already won, I am invited to speak at our public schools and I could have you arrested for doing so.


7. If all people were created in the image of God, how can Paul talk about evil people?

The idea that people are evil was opposed by Pelagianism which views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin, original sin,total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation. Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine(354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 431A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431).


Pelagiaism does not comport with reality. When was the last time you had to teach a 2 year old to hit his sister, grab the other children’s toys and, scream “no” in rebellion to a parent. They do it naturally.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others Eph 2:1-3 (NKJV)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:14-17 (HCSB)


8. Which scriptures is Paul referring to?

At that time the New Testament had not been written, and actually this letter would be part of it. The scriptures were the Old Testament, The Pentateuch, The Prophets and the Wisdom scriptures.from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures. A Jewish boy formally began to study the OT when he was five years old. Timothy was taught at home by his mother and grandmother even before he reached this age.



9. How would the Old Testament “help with wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”, when he wasn’t in the Old Testament?

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. The Hebrew Old Testament scripture spoke extensively about the messiah, the anointed savior, the coming king. Daniel 9 pretty much tells the time of his coming, Micah 5:2 tells the city of his birth, Isaiah tells of his sacrificial death, and over 100 other specific prophesies as well as hundreds of indirect references. Also we have all the activity of the second person of the trinity in the OT scriptures.  John 8:58,Luke 24:27..…………..Jesus is Yahweh.


10. What does “inspired by God” mean and who decides what determines inspired scripture and what is not.

Breathed out by God translates a Greek word (theopneustos) that does not occur in any other Greek text (biblical or otherwise) prior to this letter. Some therefore suggest that Paul coined this term from words meaning“God” and “breathed,” which is certainly possible. The term stresses the divine origin and thus the authority of Scripture. Paul does not point to the human authors of Scripture as inspired people but says that the writings themselves (“Scripture,” Gk. graphē, “writing,” which in the NT always refers to biblical writings) are the words spoken (“breathed out”) by God.

The criteria the church used for recognizing and collecting the Word of God are as follows: 1) Was the book written by a prophet of God? 2) Was the writer authenticated by miracles to confirm his message? 3) Does the book tell the truth about God, with no falsehood or contradiction? 4) Does the book evince a divine capacity to transform lives? 5) Was the book accepted as God’s Word by the people to whom it was first delivered?


·         ESVN………….ESV Study Bible Notes

·         MSBN…….MacArthur NASB Study Notes                    

·         BDB………….. Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)

·         NIVSN…..NIV Study Notes. 

·         JVM ….J Vernon McGee,

·         ACC ….Adam Clarke’s Commentary

·         BN…..Barnes Notes

·         WBC……   Wycliffe Bible Commentary

·         CN ……Constables Notes 

·         IC……….Ironside Commentary

·         NET………Net Bible Study Notes.

·         JFB…………..Jamieson  Fausset Brown Commentary

·         VWS……………..Vincent Word Studies

·         CMM………….Commentary on Matthew and Mark

·         BDB…………..Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)

·         Darby………..John Darby’s Synopsis of the OT and NT


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A Pit

Filed under: Uncategorized — augustinehippo1 @ 1:00 pm

The Pit

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out. He called for help…pit

A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said: “I feel for you, down there.”

An OBJECTIVE person came along and said: “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”

A CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST came along: “You only think that you are in a pit.”

A PHARISEE said: “Only bad people fall into a pit.” acts7-1

A MATHEMATICIAN calculated how he fell into a pit.

A NEWS-REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on his pit

A YOGI said: “Your pit is only a state of mind.:

A REALIST said: “Now THAT’S a pit.”

A SCEINTIST calculated the pressure necessary (kg/sq. m) to get him out of the pit

A GEOLOGIST told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit

An EVOLUTIONIST said: “You are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle.” In other words, he is going to die in the pitdarwin, so that he
cannot produce any ‘pit-falling off spring.’”

The PROPERTY-TAX DEPARTMENT asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

The PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.

A PROFESSOR gave him a lecture on: “The elementary principles of the pit.”

An EVASIVE person came along and avoided the subject of his pit altogether.

A SELF-PITYING person said: “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen MY pit!”

An Optimist said: “Things could have been worse.”

A PESSIMIST said: “Things will get worse!!”

A FUNDAMENTALIST said: “You deserve your pit.”

A CHARISMATIC said: “just confess you’re not in the pit.”

AN EVANGELICAL said: “You should be saved from the pit.”



JESUS, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit”





Adapted from Kenneth D. Filkins The Wittenburgh Door


Filed under: Bible,Creationism,Theology,Uncategorized — augustinehippo1 @ 11:00 am

Plausibilty I don’t think the existence of God can be proved or disproved.  We all make certain assumptions that cannot be proven. We assume we are rational, that our memory is reliable, that gravity will be working today as it was yesterday. So, in effect, we need to not talk about proof but plausibility. What makes the most sense or is the best explanation. I would suggest we look at the question of whether God exists from a legal standpoint and how a jury would look at the evidence. Juries make these kind of judgments in civil cases everyday. Is the evidence such that a reasonable person would agree with the validity and logic of thekalam argument.

I think the record is clear that reasonable people all over the world for thousands of years have decided that the evidence for God is more reasonably plausible than the contrary. The argument from the atheist to explain this is that these are just ignorant and intellectually unsophisticated people. Of course this is nonsense. If you understand the history of theism, you have to admit that some of the most brilliant people who ever lived were theist and not atheists. People like the man who I take my screen name from Augustine Hippo, St. Paul, Aquinas as well as every major field of science has been founded by Christians with a Biblical worldview.

 Copernicus (1473-1543) Astronomy;

 Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627) – established the scientific method;

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) Mathematician and Astronomer;

 Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Astronomer- said that “the Bible cannot err.”

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) Mathematician, Scientist and Philosopher;

 Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Mathematics & Physics, “The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion on an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Robert Boyle (1791-1867) Chemistry;

 Michael Faraday (1791-1867) Physics;

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) Mathematics & Genetics;

 William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907) Physics;

Max Planck (1858-1947) Physics & Quantum Theory Christiaan Huygens the Wave Theory of Light (Calvinist)

 Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) the father of the US space program

Not exactly a bunch of illiterate yokels.

The Real Mt. Sinai?

Filed under: Uncategorized — augustinehippo1 @ 10:30 am

[Ed. note: A few years ago, I was visited by a couple who revealed to us, with photos and their personal video, a spectacular discovery in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, this was one of these situations-surprisingly frequent in our strange enterprise-which we couldn't disclose publicly because certain lives would have been endangered. Fortunately, information has now come out in public sources that makes it possible to reveal what appears to solve one of the great mysteries in the Bible: Where is the real Mount Sinai?]

Bob Cornuke,1 a dear friend, visited us this past week and shared with us one of his recent adventures, which parallels several previous surreptitious visits to Saudi Arabia and clearly appears to corroborate some surprising discoveries. Bob Cornuke and Larry Williams managed – by means we will defer discussing here – to spend some time in Saudi Arabia and made it a point to check out an astounding theory about the Exodus in the Bible.

Most people understand that Mount Sinai is Jebel Musa, in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Monastery of St. Catherine’s is located. Look at any competent Bible atlas, and it will probably include a “?” since that location is traditional, but speculative. There are a number of tenuous conjectures associated with this location and numerous books have been written suggesting alternative candidates, among them Jebel Helal further north in the Sinai Peninsula, or Jebel Serbal, in the south. Another candidate is Har Karkom, known to the Bedouins as Jebel Ideid, also in the north.2 None of these, all in the Sinai Peninsula, have any real archaeological evidence supporting them.

However, Moses, when first exiled from Egypt, dwelt in Midian, at the base of Mt. Sinai. Midian was in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia. The New Testament has always referred to Mount Sinai as being in Arabia.3

An alternative route for the Exodus according to Cornuke and Williams is suggested in the accompanying map.sinaimap

The Crossing Point

With scuba gear, they discovered a remarkable land bridge crossing the Strait of Tiran and the southern extremity of the Gulf of Aqaba, between Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula. Presently about 50 ft. underwater and several hundred yards in width, it drops several thousand feet on either side. The topography of the southern tip of the Sinai also fits the details of the Exodus narrative well.

Jabal al Lawz

Passing the bitter springs of Marah, they came to the mountain known as Jabal al Lawz. Moses kept sheep at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 2:21; 3:1ff); Bob and Larry found vegetation suitable for grazing. (The Israelites camped there 11 months.)

Jabal al Lawz rises about 8,000 feet above the desert. It consists of two snub-nosed peaks, with a natural amphitheater between them; the stage on which the most momentous drama in history had been played out. However, as one approaches closer to the mountain, one encounters military guards and a chain link fence, 15 feet high, topped with barbed wire and a sign, in Arabic and English:


Nevertheless, slipping past the guards at night and digging under the fence, Bob and Larry continued their adventure. Just south of the mountain, they found what they believe may have been the battlefield of Rephidim (Exodus 17:1, 8; 19:2; Numbers 33:14, 15), a dozen football fields in size.

They also found a large altar made up of extremely large, stacked boulders. On one of them they found pictographs of cattle, not sheep native to Arabia. These pictographs resembled the Apis bulls of Egypt. Could this have been the altar for the Golden Calf? (Cf. Exodus 32.)

As one reaches the higher elevations of Jabal al Lawz, the ground turns black, dark like obsidian; the rocks look almost like coal. (Yet when they’re broken, they were actually granite.) They were not volcanic; they appeared as if scorched from above (Exodus 19:18). They even found an unusually large crevice in which a man could hide (Exodus 33:22?). They also found an old stream bed; “the brook that descended out of the mount” (Deuteronomy 9:21?).

At the base of the mount, they also found two huge rocks-perhaps 60 ft. long-wedged together, with a flat stone in the middle; possibly the altar of the Bible? (Exodus 20:24-26). Nearby, they also found the remains of the 12 pillars, all in a row, each one about 18 ft. in diameter, spaced 5 ft. apart (Exodus 24:4). Around the mountain, about 400 yards distant, they also found what appeared to be the boundary markers, the bounds set by Moses at the base of the mountain (Exodus 19:12, 21-23).

Needless to say, Bob and Larry are convinced that Jabal al Lawz is, indeed, the long-sought Mount Sinai of the Bible. We understand that a number of books will begin to assemble what is known about the site, and there has been talk of a television documentary.

An Arabian Museum

A national archaeological museum is presently under construction in Riyadh. While Saudi Arabia struggles to pay off its $55 billion Gulf War debt, the Kingdom is spending more than a billion riyals-about $266 million-on a new museum, to be completed by the year 2000. Officials believe it will attract international attention. “It will surprise the world.” Why?

The mountain labeled Jabal al Lawz also boasts an unparalleled strategic vantage point for military applications as well. We also understand that new roads have been built, leading directly to Jabal al Lawz. Two towers, four stories high, have been erected: they are part of the FPS-117 radar systems for Site N-4 of the Peace Shield Air Defense System.

* * *

Excerpted in part from the article, “Mount Sinai’s Deadly Treasure,” by Howard Blum, Vanity Fair, February 1998, pp.74-90, which in turn was an excerpt from The Gold of Exodus: The Discovery of the True Mount Sinai, by Howard Blum, in publication by Simon and Schuster.

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Ancient Egyptian Chariots Found In Red Sea

Filed under: Bible,Book of Exodus,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 10:00 am


Ancient Egyptian Chariots Found In Red Sea
Gilded and coral encrusted Egyptian chariot wheels found in Gulf of Aqaba at Nuweiba, Sinai Peninsula
An Introduction
“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” (Exodus 14:21)
The Hebrew Exodus from Egypt is in scope the most miraculous event ever to be recorded by man. It’s historicity though has been challenged and reduced to mere mythology by many religious theologians and biblical archaeologists until recently. In 1978 Ron Wyatt, a biblical archaeologist without formal training, confounded the opponents of biblical historical accuracy by discovering the true “Exodus Red Sea Crossing” in the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) at Nuweiba, Sinai Peninsula.
The authenticity of Wyatt’s claim has been validated with the discovery of the remains of ancient Egyptian army chariots lying at the bottom of an underwater land bridge connecting Sinai to Saudi Arabia. Many coral encrusted chariot wheels, and a gilded four spoked chariot wheel were found. Fossilized human and horse bones were also recovered, but carbon dating was not possible.
The Hebrew name given to the Red Sea crossing site was Pi-hahiroth (Hebrew: פִּי הַחִירֹת). The Hebrew name “Pi-hahiroth” has been translated as “mouth of the gorges,” descriptive of its location, where the mouths of two rivers (wadis) combine at the point of entry into the sea. The Nuweiba peninsula fits this description exactly. The historical significance of the Nuweiba site as the site of the Exodus crossing was also known in ancient times. This fact is attested to by the discovery of “commemorative inscriptions erected by King Solomon” on both the Sinai and Saudi Arabian sides of the crossing.
In 2000 Dr. Lennart Moller, a research scientist from Sweden, headed an expedition that retraced the footsteps of Wyatt. Soon after the expedition, it’s Swedish backers produced an excellent documentary video and book supporting Wyatt’s claims as well as adding extensively to the archaeological documentation. Archaeological research is ongoing, with a new documentary due in 2008.
While some archaeologists consider Ron Wyatt’s accomplishments to be nothing but fraud and sensationalism, many have examined the evidence and perceive the truth beyond the personalities and politics of the profession.

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July 15, 2014

Is Purgatory Biblical?

Filed under: Uncategorized — augustinehippo1 @ 7:00 pm
Question: “What does the Bible say about Purgatory?”
Answer: According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Purgatory is “a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” To summarize, in Catholic theology Purgatory is a place that a Christian’s soul goes to after death to be cleansed of the sins that had not been fully satisfied during life. Is this doctrine of Purgatory in agreement with the Bible? Absolutely not!present
Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins (Romans 5:8). Isaiah 53:5 declares, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Jesus suffered for our sins so that we could be delivered from suffering. To say that we must also suffer for our sins is to say that Jesus’ suffering was insufficient. To say that we must atone for our sins by cleansing in Purgatory is to deny the sufficiency of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (1 John 2:2). The idea that we have to suffer for our sins after death is contrary to everything the Bible says about salvation.

Romans 5:8 (ESV)
8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)
5  But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

1 John 2:2-3 (ESV)
2  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3  And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.


The primary Scriptural passage Catholics point to for evidence of Purgatory is 1 Corinthians 3:15, which says, “If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” The passage (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) is using an illustration of things going through fire as a description of believers’ works being judged. If our works are of good quality “gold, sliver, costly stones,” they will pass through the fire unharmed, and we will be rewarded for them. If our works are of poor quality “wood, hay, and straw,” they will be consumed by the fire, and there will be no reward. The passage does not say that believers pass through the fire, but rather that a believer’s works pass through the fire. 1 Corinthians 3:15 refers to the believer “escaping through the flames,” not “being cleansed by the flames.”
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 (ESV)
12  Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13  each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15  If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Purgatory, like many other Catholic dogmas, is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of Christ’s sacrifice. Catholics view the Mass / Eucharist as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice because they fail to understand that Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice was absolutely and perfectly sufficient (Hebrews 7:27). Catholics view meritorious works as contributing to salvation due to a failure to recognize that Jesus’ sacrificial payment has no need of additional “contribution” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Similarly, Purgatory is understood by Catholics as a place of cleansing in preparation for heaven because they do not recognize that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are already cleansed, declared righteous, forgiven, redeemed, reconciled, and sanctified.

Hebrews 7:27 (ESV)
27  He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
hellThe very idea of Purgatory and the doctrines that are often attached to it (prayer for the dead, indulgences, meritorious works on behalf of the dead, etc.) all fail to recognize that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins. Jesus, who was God incarnate (John 1:1,14), paid an infinite price for our sin. Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2). To limit Jesus’ sacrifice to atoning for original sin, or sins committed before salvation, is an attack on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. If we must in any sense pay for, atone for, or suffer because of our sins – that indicates Jesus’ death was not a perfect, complete, and sufficient sacrifice.
John 1:1, 14 (ESV)
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…….14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 1 Corinthians 15:3 (ESV)
3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, .

For believers, after death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). Notice that this does not say “away from the body, in Purgatory with the cleansing fire.” No, because of the perfection, completion, and sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are immediately in the Lord’s presence after death, fully cleansed, free from sin, glorified, perfected, and ultimately sanctified.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (ESV)
6  So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7  for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8  Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Philippians 1:23 (ESV)
23  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
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How Could There Be Light Before the Sun?

Filed under: Bible,Creationism,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 4:24 pm



Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Genesis 1:3-5 indicates that God created light on day one of the Creation week. It was not until day four, however, that He made the Sun, Moon, and stars. How could there have been light in the beginning, before the Sun was even created? What was that light?


The first thing to note is that whatever the light was, God divided it from darkness and then defined “Day” and “Night” based on the distinction (vss. 4-5). Moses highlights that “the evening and the morning” were in effect at the end of that first day, even though the Sun had not yet been created. Apparently, the light was directional and fixed, like the light from the Sun, allowing a light period for day and a dark period for night as the Earth turned on its axis as it does today, also allowing for an evening and a morning. Wayne Jackson noted that “[t]he ‘light’ of Genesis 1:3 obviously radiated from a ‘fixed’ source, in its relationship to the earth, inasmuch as it facilitated the dark-to-light arrangement, as the primitive orb rotated upon its axis” (2014). Henry M. Morris concurred, stating, “Such a cyclical light-dark arrangement clearly means that the earth was now rotating on its axis and that there was a source of light on one side of the earth corresponding to the sun, even though the sun was not yet made (Genesis 1:16)” (1977, p. 55). Biblical scholars Spence and Exell explain, “On the fourth day the light [that was—JM] developed on the first is concentrated and permanently fixed in the celestial luminaries” (2007, Genesis 1:3-5).

Can we surmise anything else about that light? Spence and Exell point out that Augustine argued that the light was spiritual in nature (2007). However, such a postulation does not harmonize well with the rest of the chapter. How could spiritual light be divided into the days and nights that are described throughout the rest of Genesis one to denote God’s activity on each of the days of the Creation week?

Though “light” was once thought to be inherently a substance or element, we now understand it to be merely a result of matter being in a certain condition. Spence and Exell point out that it would not conflict with the text to argue that the light of Genesis one referred to the “mode or condition of matter,” with luminosity, for example, being merely the result of incandescence (Genesis 1:3-5). This hints that some physical source could have been present to emit the light, unless, of course, the light was purely supernatural and temporary. Adam Clarke and Spence and Exell note that the Genesis one word for “light” is used elsewhere in the Bible to denote fire (Isaiah 31:9; Ezekiel 5:2), the Sun (Job 31:26), lightning (Job 37:3), and even heat (Isaiah 44:16). Clarke concluded “that it is caloric or latent heat which is principally intended by the original word” (2013, Genesis 1:3).

Genesis___Let_there_be_light_There is no doubt that when the Earth was created on day one, likely with its mantle intact, light (and heat) was immediately in existence due to the nature of the magma therein. Keep in mind also that “light” occurs in a wide spectrum—a range which far exceeds what humans can visibly detect. Henry Morris noted, “[I]t is obvious that visible light is primarily meant [in Genesis 1:3—JM], since it was set in contrast to darkness. At the same time, the presence of visible light waves necessarily involves the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Beyond the visible light waves are, on the one hand, ultraviolet light and all the other shortwavelength radiations and, on the other hand, infrared light and the other longwave phenomena” (p. 56). John D. Morris observed:

Actually there are many sources of light, not just the sun. There are also many types of light, not just visible light. Short-wave light includes ultraviolet light, X-rays, and others. Long-wave light includes infrared light, radio waves, etc. Light is produced by friction, by fire, by numerous chemical reactions, as well as the nuclear reactions of atomic fission and fusion, which is what we think is occurring in the sun. God had at His fingertips many options to accomplish His purposes. Light does not automatically require the sun (2008, p. 14).

Bottom line: while we know the light spectrum and heat (entropy) were created on day one, there is simply not enough information in the text to understand the nature of the fixed, directional light source that allowed for a division of night and day during the first three days of Creation. Whatever it was, no sustained contradiction can be levied against the Bible due to its commentary on the events of the Creation week. [NOTE: Consider that such charges, if sustainable, would have likely caused the Bible millennia ago to be patently rejected by all rational people, fading into obscurity along with the mythological stories of old. Humanity has simply understood that there is an explanation to the enigma, even if the details are not known, and that a legitimate absurdity cannot be levied against the biblical text.] Interestingly, Jackson points out that the ancient, mythological Babylonian account of creation,Enuma Elish, dating back as far as 1800 B.C., also claimed that light was in existence before the lightbearers themselves (2014). For thousands of years, humanity has had such texts, and while not understanding the full implications of such accounts, people have understood that such a concept is not inherently inaccurate. Interestingly, if the Bible were written by humans conning the masses, one might imagine a re-write of the events of day one would be the first edit to be made to give us some more insight.


Clarke, Adam (2013), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: WORDSearch).

Jackson, Wayne (2014), “What Was that ‘Light’ Before the Sun (Genesis 1:3)?” Christian Courier,

Morris, Henry M. (1977), The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Morris, John D. (2008), “Sunlight Before the Sun,” Acts & Facts, 37[1]:14,

Spence, H.D.M. and Joseph S. Exell (2007), The Pulpit Commentary (Electronic Database: WORDSearch).


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Serve People

Filed under: Bible,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 11:00 am

 Work togethersp1

3 For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.  Romans 12:3-5 (HCSB)


1. It seems that God is calling us to step up to the plate and use my gifts and talents for the benefit of the church. How can I guard myself from “thinking of myself more highly than I should think”.

 – It is impossible to convey in good English the emphatic play, so to speak, which each word here has upon another: “not to be high-minded above what he ought to be minded, but so to be minded as to be sober-minded”  This is merely a strong way of characterizing all undue self-elevation. Paul is emphatically stressing this point.  Notice how he starts by identifying “the grace given to me”. His apostolic authority has nothing to do with him.  Pride and ego is always the primary danger.

 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:13-14 (KJV)

 We need to constantly evaluate our motives.

Why is it important that things be done my way?sp2

Get feedback from true friends.

Keep in mind who this is all about.

The 49ers are not all about Colin Kaepernick, they are about winning the game.

 Every believer needs to test his gift. If you feel that you have a certain gift and you are using it, you ought to test it. Analyze your effectiveness: Are you really a blessing to folk? Are you building up the church? Or are you dividing the church?—J. Vernon McGee’s Thru The Bible

 2. “God has distributed a measure of faith to each one”, then why does it seem that some have great faith and some very little.  

 Note: I do not believe what is being referenced here is “saving faith”, the ability to trust in the finished work of Christ toward salvation,  but rather “operational faith”, the faith to live the Christian life on a real time, day to day basis.


sp3We are all different. God gives as he sees fit. We are all at different stages of the process of being conformed to the image of Christ. Some are very bold and confident in use of their gifts, some are still testing the water.

      It was one of the great basic beliefs of the Stoics that there was a spark of God in every living creature. The Skeptics laughed at this doctrine. “God in worms?” demanded the Skeptic. “God in dung beetles?” Whereat the Stoic replied: “Why not? Cannot an earthworm serve God? Do you suppose that it is only a general who is a good soldier? Cannot the lowest private or camp attendant fight his best and give his life for the cause? Happy are you if you are serving God, and carrying out the great purpose as truly as an earthworm.”

3. Paul likes to use this analogy of the body (1 Cor. 12:12-27 Ephesians 4). How can we find out what part of the body we are?

 The same diversity and yet unity obtains in the body of Christ, whereof all believers are the several members, as in the natural body.

 Don’t expect to have the same gifts as somebody else. You are a unique creation who was saved for a purpose.

One of the first basic commandments of the Greek wise men was: “Man, know thyself.” We do not get very far in this world until we know what we can and what we cannot do.


 “A man’s got to know his limitations.”


 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10 (KJV)

 Pray and ask God to direct you.

 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Prov 3:5-6 (KJV)

 There is nothing wrong with failure.

  “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” — Babe Ruth

 “Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at”. — Charlie Brown

 I found out that children’s ministry is not my thing. They are way too childish for me.

I found out that door to door ministry was not my gift. I like to argue too much, and when they slam the door in your face, screaming at them through the door is not a good Christian testimony.


Serve Through Giftedness

sp66 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s  faith; 7 if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8 if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 (HCSB)


4. Is prophecy something we need to be looking for in our church body?

 There is the gift of prophecy. It is only rarely that prophecy in the New Testament has to do with foretelling the future; it usually has to do with forthtelling the word of God. The prophet is the man who can announce the Christian message with the authority of one who knows. To announce Christ to others a man must first know him himself. “What this parish needs,” said Carlyle’s father, “is a man who knows Christ other than at second-hand.” 

We must be careful when people in the church begin to identify themselves as “prophets” in the Old Testament sense.sp7

 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,   in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.   Heb 1:1-3 (NASB)


5. “Use it according to the standard of one’s faith”, what does this mean?

This is a mathematical term and there are several opinions as to how Paul is using it here. I think if refers to the fact that God in His sovereignty determines how much faith is required for you in particular to manifest your gift and you cannot compare yourself to the guy next to you.

6. How are gifts different from talents?

 sp8Some people feel that a talent is something that can be developed, where as a gift is a God given natural ability, which does not.

Mozart could play concerts at 6 yrs old. He could write sonatas perfectly without any revisions. He said they were already in his head and all he had to do was copy them down on paper. I would say that was a gift.

 The bible says that God has given us each at least one gift.

We have to find that thing we really like to do, that comes natural and easy and feels good and natural to us.sp9

 My ability to unplug toilets I do not consider a gift. Maybe a talent?


Grow Good Character

9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. 10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Romans 12:9-15 (HCSB)


7. Why is hypocrisy always a danger within the church?

sp10Hypocrisy is a word which originally was used in the Greek drama. The actors were hypocrites. Pretending to be something they were not.  Marlon Brando would have been considered to be a great hypocrite.

The danger in church is that God calls us to a high standard, and we legitimately want to do a good job, but can never measure up. Our pride makes us want to hide behind a mask. We all do it.

How many times have people said to me “you call yourself a Christian and said or did this or that?”  This is a statement I hate to hearsp11, and will go to great effort to avoid. Maybe even try to hide my failure and sin behind a false mask.


8. Outdo one another, doesn’t that contradict the concept of humility that Paul was just speaking of.

Paul does speak about running the race to win.

 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

1 Cor 9:24 (NASB)

 sp12But here he is speaking of the race to show honor toward others not yourself.

 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:3-4 (NASB)sp13

 9.Does anyone else have a problem blessing those who curse you?

Paul is just repeating what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.

 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt 5:44 (KJV)

 Maybe that’s how we tell when we are in the flesh and not being controlled by the Spirit. In order for me to do this I must be a different person.

  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:21-23 (KJV)

 You see I know the theory, I need to know how to do it.

 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but beye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)sp14

 Maybe it begins with understanding my identity in Christ and that he died for the guy who just flipped me off. I don’t know, I’m just say’en.


July 14, 2014

Hebrews Chapter 1

Filed under: Bible,Hebrews,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 5:09 pm

Christ Superior to the Prophetsheb11

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

1. In the past how God speak to humanity?

Over the course of possibly 1,800 years (from Job, ca. 2200 b.c.  to Nehemiah, ca. 400 b.c.) the OT was written in 39 different books reflecting different historical times, locations, cultures, and situations. many ways. These included visions, symbols, and parables, written in both poetry and prose. Though the literary form and style varied, it was always God’s revelation of what He wanted His people to know. The progressive revelation of the OT described God’s program of redemption (1Pe 1:10–12) and His will for His people (Ro 15:4; 2Ti 3:16, 17). MSBN

1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV) 10  Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11  inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Romans 15:4 (ESV) 4  For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. ‘

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.  

heb13.jpgLong ago contrasts here with “these last days” in v. 2. Two similar Greek words (polymerōs and polytropōs) emphasize the many times and many ways in which God has spoken. This speaking was through prophets, which in Jewish thought included the authors of both the prophetic and the historical books of the OT (even Moses and David). Our fathers are the OT patriarchs (cf. Heb. 3:9; 8:9), whom the author considers his audience’s spiritual forebears. ESVN


Hebrews 3:9 (ESV) 9  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.

Hebrews 8:9 (ESV) 9  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 

2. Is God saying that Jesus is the creator and also the heir of creation?

The Lord Jesus Christ is heir of all things. Now this raises a question. In John 1:3 we read, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Creation is His, for He created it, we are told. It belongs to Him already, so how can He be the heir of all things? Well, He came to earth and took upon Himself our humanity. The first man in the human race was given dominion over this creation. When God says He gave man dominion over all the earth (see Gen. 1:26), Dominion has to do with rulership. All creation was under him, but when he sinned, he lost that control.

When the Lord Jesus came to this earth, He became a man. He performed miracles in every realm. He had control of the human body. He had control of nature—He could still storms, and He could feed five thousand people. He recovered what Adam had lost. The Lord Jesus is going to be heir of all things. He recovered what Adam lost, and even more than that, He has made us joint–heirs with Himself. Christ is the One who is going to inherit everything. As far as we know, no prophet in the Old Testament was ever promised anything like that. You see, the writer of this epistle is showing us that Christ is superior to the prophets.

heb14.jpgBy whom also he made the worlds.” Many people believe this refers to the creative act—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Actually, it does not refer to that at all. The Greek word here for “worlds” is aion. It means “ages”—“by whom He made the ages.” This goes beyond His being the Creator. This lends purpose to everything. He is the heir who gives the program for the future. He made the ages, giving purpose for everything. Not only did He create everything, He did it for a purpose.

The Bible makes sense. God had a reason for the things He did, and He has a reason today for the things He continues to do.

God has a program and purpose in everything. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of this universe, and there is purpose to it. It has purpose, and the Lord Jesus is the One who gives it purpose. JVM

3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

3. The exact imprint?

Jesus is the full and definitive representation, the exact imprint (Gk. charaktēr), of God’s real being (his nature, Gk. hypostasis). Thus the Son is identical in substance to God, being himself fully God. In all attributes and abilities, the Son is exactly like the Father. ESVN

The Son is “the radiance of His [God’s] glory.” The Greek word apaugasma, translated “radiance,” refers to what shines out from the source of light. Jesus Christ revealed the glory of God in a veiled way during His incarnation. Peter, James, and John saw that radiance revealed more directly on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-2).

The Son is “the exact representation of His [God’s] nature.” The Greek word charakter, translated “representation,” occurs only here in the New Testament. Greek writers used it to describe the emperor’s picture on Roman coins and the clear-cut impression made by a seal (a facsimile). It did not express a general likeness but an exact duplication of the original. Jesus Christ let humankind know exactly what the nature of God, whom no one has seen, is like during His earthly ministry. CN

This was a topic of great debate in the Arian Controversy, and our text in Hebrews was one of the primary texts that the church fathers employed to refute the Arian error that Jesus was “like the Father” but not of the same essence. The Bible clearly indicates that the two are of the same essence RD


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.  From the Nicene Creed

John 10:30 (ESV) I and my Father are one

John 14:9 (ESV) 9  Jesus said to him, 30  I and the Father are one.”“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

4. “he upholds the universe by the word of his power”  What does this mean?

Chapter One of Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians gives a further description of the role of Jesus in creation which is consistent with John,

[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the first-born [prototokos] of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities [i.e., hierarchical angelic powers]—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20

The Holy Spirit, in giving us this inspired passage of Scripture, now explains that all things (both visible and invisible) in the entire universe were created through this same Jesus, the Eternal Word. We may think of the universe and its intricate design as being conceived in the mind of the Father then spoken into existence by the Son (who makes the invisible, visible). The Holy Spirit is the One who energizes and supplies life to the creation, not only at the time of creation but also moment by moment after that.

We are also told that all things were created for Jesus. He is “the heir of all things.” That means that we are house guests in Someone Else’s universe. There is a future accountability to be given by all of us—history is headed somewhere and at the end of road stands Jesus to whom all power and authority has already been given:  

Jesus said, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.“(John 5:22-29)

One of the key words in the Colossians passage above (“…and in Christ all things hheb16.gifold together”) is the Greek word sunistemi which means “to stand-together,” “to be compacted together,” “to cohere,” “to be constituted with.” This passage can be applied to the structure of the atom, for example. The nucleus of every atom is held together by what physicists call “weak” and “strong” forces. (Physicists today are familiar with four basic forces in the natural world: gravity, electrical forces, a “strong,” and a “weak” nuclear force which act at very short ranges. The first two forces decrease in strength inversely with the square of the distance between two objects. Recently two additional close-range, weak gravitational forces have been suggested. These are thought to be quantum mechanical corrections to Newton’s Law of Gravitation.)

The nucleus of the atom contains positively-charged and neutral particles–to use a simplistic model. Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the “strong force” which binds the nucleus together.

The third New Testament passage which talks about atomic structure and physics is 2 Peter:

“But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements (atoms) will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)

The Greek word translated “elements” in this passage from Colossians is stoicheion which means the building blocks of the universe, or “the ordered arrangement of things.” It can also mean the “atomic elements.” The word translated “dissolved” is literally (in Greek) luo, meaning “unloosed.” This suggests a further, future letting-go of the nuclear binding force that holds the nucleus together. This passage strongly suggests that the active power of God is behind the mysterious strong force that holds every atomic nucleus together. If this is so, all the other fundamental forces of nature are likewise forces that originate with Christ and His sustaining direction of the old creation.

If this is a correct view, were God to merely relax His grasp on the universe every atom would come apart “by fire” (that is, by nuclear fire). God dynamically sustains the universe, including the atoms themselves. They are “stable” only because force from the spiritual realm is being supplied into the physical nuclear binding fields. Whatever we may think of God and physics, the Bible leaves us with no room to doubt that God does care about the sparrow that falls to the ground, the widow, the orphan, and the homeless. He does not lose track of His children and watches over them with infinite, patient, intimate Fatherly care. He sustains the universe by His mighty word of power. He also alters the status quo and, in response to prayer, frequently changes the course of entire nations.

Another important claim of scripture about the old creation is that God is the present Sustainer of the universe. That is, He is not uninvolved, remote, detached and impersonal, leaving things to run by themselves by any means. Among secular scientists today there are many who acknowledge that God exists. But He is usually considered as only a First Cause—the One who brought the universe into existence and set it into motion. But most of these same scientists assume God was not involved after the initial act of creation. This is contrary to clear statements in the Bible that God is very much involved in every event that takes place in the on-going history of the entire universe:


“In many separate revelations—each of which set forth a portion of the Truth—and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets, [But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time—[that is] [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. He is the sole expression of the glory of God—[the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine],—and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power…” (Hebrews 1:2-3) (Amplified Bible).

Again, the fact that Jesus is presently sustaining the universe from the realm of the spiritual raises the question whether there are inputs of energy as well as force into our physical world which ultimately show up as energy added “from the outside” of our physical world considered as a closed system.

5. What does “sat down at the right hand of Majesty on high” mean to believers?

The fact that he has sat down there indicates that his work of salvation had been completed. Majesty also describes God in Heb. 8:1 (cf. Deut. 32:3; Ps. 145:3, 6; 150:2; Jude 25). ESVN

The right hand is the place of power, authority, and honor (cf. v. 13; Ro 8:34; 1Pe 3:22). It is also the position of subordination, implying that the Son is under the authority of the Father (cf. 1Co 15:27, 28). The seat that Christ has taken is the throne of God (8:1; 10:12; 12:2) where He rules as sovereign Lord. This depicts a victorious Savior, not a defeated martyr. While the primary thrust of this phrase is the enthronement of Christ, His sitting might also imply the completion of His atoning work. MSBN

John 19:30 (ESV) 30  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus work on the cross completed perfectly the salvation of those whom God would draw unto Himself. Nothing can be added to His perfect sacrifice and it’s acceptance by the Father.

Having this power and authority as creator and sin-bearer, Christ occupies the place of authority at the right hand of God. As both high priest and sin-bearer, he can present a finished redemption. His work is completed, and he can, therefore, sit down. As the Son of man he occupies this place by the act of God the Father. This is not a place of repose, but of activity for the divine mediator, high priest, and intercessor. WBC

1 John 2:2 (MSG) 2  When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.


Christ Superior to the Angels


4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

6. Why is it important that Jesus is superior to angels?

The main theme of chs. 1 and 2 is announced: Jesus is superior to angels. Angels were objects of much speculation in first-century Judaism. Certainly they were known to appear in human form, to minister before the very throne of God, to guide and protect humans, and to have revealed the Mosaic law (see 1:7; 2:2; 12:22; 13:2). Yet Jesus is deemed superior to them, in part because his name (i.e., his essence) is “Son” (1:5), which points to a more intimate relationship and which speaks of a better family inheritance (all that belongs to the Father belongs to his unique Son). ESVN

The first of the contrasts showing the superiority of Christ is then introduced. The idea of contrast in the thought of superior (kreitōn, “superior,” “becoming superior”) is used thirteen times. Angels were important in delivering God’s message to men. From the giving of the Law on Sinai to the assistance of angels accorded Daniel and the later prophets, these messengers of God served God, but as subordinates. Christ is superior to the angels in his person, name, function, power, and dignity. As for his name, he alone can save the lost (Acts 4:12), and his is the name above every name (Phil 2:10). By his name his reputation is established, for his is a mighty name. WBC

The Gr. verb used here refers to a change of state, not a change of existence. The Son in His divine essence has eternally existed, but for a while He was made lower than the angels (2:9) and afterward was exalted to an infinitely higher position by virtue of what He had accomplished in His redemptive work (see notes on Php 2:9–11). angels. Spirit beings created by God to minister to Him and do His bidding. The Jews held angels in very high regard as the highest beings next to God. The sect of Judaism which had established a community at Qumran taught that the archangel Michael’s authority rivaled or surpassed that of the Messiah. The writer of Hebrews clearly disclaims any such concept. The Son of God is superior to the angels. more excellent name. That name is Lord (see notes on Php 2:9–11). No angel is Sovereign Lord (vv. 6, 13, 14). MSBN

5  For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

7. Indeed, which of the angels……?


David referred to Jesus Christ as God’s Son in Psalm 2:7, the verse the writer quoted first. The Old Testament writers referred to angels collectively as the “sons of God” (Job. 1:6; 2:1; 38:7), but they did not refer to any one of them as a Son of God. “Son of God” is a title that refers to one of the Davidic kings (2 Sam. 7:14) and specifically to Jesus Christ, God the Son (Mark 1:11; Luke 1:32). “Today” evidently refers to Jesus Christ’s entrance into heaven. This happened after His resurrection and at His ascension.

The eternal Son of God “. . . entered into the full exercise of all the prerogatives implied by His Sonship when, after His suffering had proved the completeness of His obedience, He was raised to the Father’s right hand.”

The second quotation, from 2 Samuel 7:14 or 1 Chronicles 17:13, like the first, ties in with the Davidic Covenant and advances the previous point. Not only is Jesus the Son of God, He is also the promised son of David (Luke 1:32-33, 68-69; Rom. 1:3). Even though Jesus Christ was always God’s eternal Son, He became the Son prophesied to rule over David’s house. He received permission to rule the whole earth after His ascension (cf. Ps. 2:8).

The title “Son” refers to Jesus in three separate respects. He was always the pre-existent Son (v. 3a-b; cf. 5:8), He became the incarnate Son at His birth (v. 2a, possibly a proleptic reference), and He became the exalted Son when He returned to heaven.

Note the chiastic style of the quotations, which begin and end with references to the Son surrounding references to the Father. This has the effect of stressing the Father but uniting the Son closely with Him. CN


6  And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 7  Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” 

8. Why is it important for us to understand that angels worship him?

Jesus is superior to the angels because angels worship and serve Jesus, who is their God, as shown in Deu_32:43 (in the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls) and Psa_104:4.

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”

a. Firstborn was as much a concept as it was a designation for the one born first; since the firstborn son was “first in line” and received the position of favor and honor, the title “firstborn” could be given to indicate that someone was of the highest position and honor.

i. Many of those not born first in the Bible are given the title “firstborn.”  David is an example of this (Psa_89:27) and so is Ephraim (Jer_31:9).

ii. According to Rabbi Bechai, quoted in Lightfoot, the ancient Rabbis called Yahweh Himself “Firstborn of the World.”  It was a title, not a description of origin.

iii. Rabbis used firstborn as specifically a Messianic title.  One ancient Rabbi wrote, “God said, As I made Jacob a first-born (Exo_4:22), so also will I make king Messiah a first-born (Psa_89:28).”

b. Let all the angels of God worship Him: Jesus is superior because He is the object of angelic worship, not an angelic worshipper.  They worship Him; He does not worship among them.

i. Revelation 5 gives a glimpse of the angelic worship of Jesus.

c. Furthermore, Jesus is Lord of the angels.  They are His angels and His ministers.  The angels belong to Jesus, and He is not among them. GC

In Israel, the firstborn son was to inherit the mantle of leading the family in his father’s place. The firstborn also received a double portion of the father’s inheritance. This is why, when twins were born, great care was taken to identify the first to come from the womb. The author is not speaking here about the birth of baby Jesus in Bethlehem. But here, as elsewhere in the New Testament, he is talking about the preeminence of Jesus as the “firstborn Son.” Remember as well that Jesus is not only the “firstborn,” He is also the “only begotten” Son, so that He alone is the heir of all things.

The author’s point here is Jesus has the preeminent place and that the role of the angels is to worship Him. It is the lesser beings who worship the greater being – Jesus. I am reminded of the instances where men prostrated themselves before angels and were stopped because only God can be worshipped.

Psalm 104 speaks of the might and majesty of God. He who created all things is now described as commandeering them for His service. He wears the light as a cloak (verse 2); He makes the clouds His chariot. He makes the angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. There is little question as to who is superior here – it is the One who is served, rather than the creature things (angels, light, clouds) that serve His purposes. He is the Son; the angels are His servants. Indeed, they not only serve Him, they worship Him as God. The angels were at His disposal, even when He was on the cross:

51 But one of those with Jesus grabbed his sword, drew it out, and struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions of angels right now?  Matthew 26:51-53 RD

8  But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.  9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

9. Why does the writer stress the righteousness and eternality of the kingdom?

These verses are a quotation from Psalm 45:6–7 which reveals that it is one of the great messianic psalms. Psalm 45 tells us that there is One coming in the line of David who will rule in righteousness. David is so thrilled about this prospect that he says, “… My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Ps. 45:1). David is saying, “I could tell you about this much better than I could write about it.” This One who is coming, according to the writer to the Hebrews, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who will rule in righteousness. God has not given the right to rule the earth to any angel.

KingdomOfHeaven.jpg“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” is a tremendous statement. Imagine this old earth being ruled by One who loves righteousness and hates iniquity!

“Thy throne, O God.” This is God the Father calling God the Son God! Do you want to deny that Christ is God manifest in the flesh? If you do, then may I say that you are contradicting God Himself. God called the Lord Jesus God. What are you going to call Him? I don’t know about you, but I am also going to call Him God. He is God manifest in the flesh. He is superior to angels because He is going to rule over the universe. He is the Messiah. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is going to rule over the earth some day. JVM

Psalm 45:6-7 (ESV) 6  Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7  you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

There is so much that could be said about these verses, but let us dwell on what is probably the most prominent theme – the eternality of the Son. What makes the Son superior to the angels? The Son is the Eternal One, the Creator. His days have no beginning or end. But all creation has a point of beginning, and a time when it will perish. RD

10  And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11  they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12  like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

10. How is the immutable Son contrasted to the creation.

The Son who created the universe (Jn 1:1–3), one day will destroy the heavens and earth that He created (2Pe 3:10–13), but He remains unchanged. Immutability is yet another characteristic of the divine essence. Once again the OT testifies of the Son’s deity. MSBN

heb111.jpg10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13  But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  2 Peter 3:10-13 (ESV)

The “heavens” refer to the physical universe. The “roar” connotes a whistling or a crackling sound as of objects being consumed by flames. God will incinerate the universe, probably in an atomic reaction that disintegrates all matter as we know it, the elements will be destroyed with intense heat. The “elements” are the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate (v. 11). the earth and its works. The whole of the physical, natural earth in its present form, with its entire universe will be consumed. MSBN

13  And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?  

11. How do angels relate to us?

God revealed a primary purpose and ministry of the angels in this verse. It is to assist human beings in reaching their final deliverance over their spiritual enemies. This includes bringing us to conversion. However, it also involves protecting and strengthening us so that we may one day obtain our full inheritance with Christ in glory. This ministry of service is obviously inferior to Jesus Christ’s ministry of ruling.


Was the writer speaking of all Christians or only of faithful Christians when He wrote of “those who will inherit salvation?” The word “salvation” (Gr. soteria) occurs seven times in Hebrews, more than in any other book of the New Testament. In some of his other uses of “inheritance” and “inherit” he referred to all Christians as inheriting from God (e.g., 9:15; cf. 11:8). At other times he apparently meant only faithful Christians (e.g., 6:12; cf. 11:17). I think he was probably speaking of all Christians here in view of what he just said about the ministry of angels. There is no other Scripture that limits the angels’ ministry to faithful Christians or indicates that angels have a special ministry to faithful Christians (cf. Matt. 18:10).

“‘Inherit’ is often used in the NT in senses other than the strict one of obtaining something by a will. It can mean ‘obtain possession of’ without regard to the means. It is used of possessing the earth (Matt 5:5), the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10), eternal life (Mark 10:17), the promises (Heb 6:12), incorruption (1 Cor. 15:50), blessing (Heb 12:17), a more excellent name (v. 4, . . .).”

This writer spoke of the inheritance of Christians as the Old Testament writers spoke of the inheritance of the Israelites. Our inheritance refers to all that God wants to give His people. We will inevitably receive some of that (cf. 1 Per. 1:3-9). However, we can forfeit part of our inheritance through unfaithfulness, as Esau did (12:16) and as the generation of Israelites who died in the wilderness did (3:7—4:11).

“In contrast with the first part of this verse, the last three words [“will inherit salvation”] are all major concepts in Hebrews.” CN

ESVN……………..….ESV Study Bible Notes

MSBN……………….MacArthur NASB Study   Notes

NIVSN……………….NIV Study Notes.

JVM ………………….J Vernon McGee’s Commentary

BN ……………………Barnes Notes

WBC………….…….Wycliffe Bible Commentary

CN ……….…………..Constables Notes

IC……………….…….Ironside Commentary

NET…………….…….Net Bible Study Notes.

JFB……………………Jamieson Fausset  Brown Commentary

VWS………………….Vincent Word Studies

CMM………………..Commentary on Matthew and Mark

BDB……………..….Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)

Darby……………….John Darby’s Synopsis of the OT and NT

Johnson……………Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament

NTCMM…………..The New Testament Commentary:  Matthew and Mark.

EHS………………….Expositions of the Holy Scriptures

CPP…………………The Complete Pulpit Commentary

SBC…………………..Sermon Bible Commentary

K&D…………………Keil and Deilitzsch Commentary on the OT

EBC……………….…Expositors Bible Commentary

CBSC……………….Cambridge Bible for Schools and College

GC……………………Guzik Commentary

RD…………………..Robert  Deffinbaugh

NSB …………………The Nelson Study Bible

MHC…………………Matthew Henry Commentary

CSTTB………Chuck Smith Through The Bible

BBC…………….Bridgeway Bible commentary


“Fair Use “ Notice – Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, social justice, for the purpose of historical debate, and to advance the understanding of Christian conservative issues.  It is believed that this constitutes a ”fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the Copyright Law. In accordance with the title 17 U.S. C. section 107, the material in this post is shown without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

July 12, 2014

Introduction to the book of Hebrews.

Filed under: Bible,Church History,Hebrews,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 7:03 pm

1. Who wrote Hebrews?

The author of Hebrews is unknown. Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Luke, Philip, Priscilla, Aquilaquestion-lady.jpg, and Clement of Rome have been suggested by different scholars, but the epistle’s vocabulary, style, and various literary characteristics do not clearly support any particular claim. It is significant that the writer includes himself among those people who had received confirmation of Christ’s message from others (2:3). That would seem to rule out someone like Paul who claimed that he had received such confirmation directly from God and not from men (Gal 1:12). Whoever the author was, he preferred citing OT referencelxx-text-1.jpgs from the Greek OT (LXX) rather than from the Hebrew text. Even the early church expressed various opinions on authorship, and current scholarship admits the puzzle still has no solution. Therefore, it seems best to accept the epistle’s anonymity. Ultimately, of course, the author was the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21). MSBN

Hebrews 2:3 (ESV) how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,

Galatians 1:12 (ESV) For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:21 (ESV) For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 Neither John Calvin nor Martin Luther accepted Paul’s authorship, and neither did many others of the past. On the other hand, many do accept Paul as the author. However, the human author is not the important thing, but the fact that the Epistle to the Hebrews is part of God’s inspired Word is important.

In spite of the fact that the Pauline authorship cannot be stated in a dogmatic fashion, there is abundant evidence that Paul was the author. Both internal and external evidence support the authorship of Paul. The writer had been in bonds (see Heb. 10:34). He wrote from Italy (see Heb. 13:24). His companion was Timothy (see Heb. 13:23). calvin luther.jpgThe writing is Pauline. Also, in my opinion, Peter identifies Paul as the writer (see 2 Pet. 3:15–16). I believe that there is good and sufficient reason for Paul’s changing his style and for not giving his name in the epistle. JVM

Hebrews 10:34 (ESV) For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

Hebrews 13:24 (ESV) Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings.

2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV) And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

The writer of this letter does not identify himself, but he was obviously well-known to the original recipients. Though for some 1,200 years (c. a.d. 400-1600) the book was commonly called “The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews,” there was no agreement in the earliest centuries regarding its authorship. Since the Reformation it has been widely recognized that Paul could not have been the writer. There is no disharmony between the teaching of Hebrews and that of Paul’s letters, but the specific emphases and writing styles are markedly different. Contrary to Paul’s usual practice, the author of Hebrews nowhere identifies himself in the letter — except to indicate that he was a man (11:32 to tell. Translates the masculine form of a Greek verb, indicating that the author of Hebrews was a man). Moreover, the statement “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him” ( 2:3 ), indicates that the author had neither been with Jesus during his earthly ministry nor received special revelation directly from the risen Lord, as had Paul ( Gal 1:11-12 ).

The earliest suggestion of authorship is found in Tertullian’s De Pudicitia, 20 (c. 200), in which he quotes from “an epistle to the Hebrews under the name of Barnabas.” From the letter itself it is clear that the writer must have had authority in the apostolic church and was an intellectual Hebrew Christian well versed in the OT. Barnabas meets these requirements. He was a Jew of the priestly tribe of Levi ( Ac 4:36 ) who became a close friend of Paul after the latter’s conversion. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the church at Antioch commissioned Barnabas and Paul for the work of evangelism and sent them off on the first missionary journey (Ac 13:1-4)

The other leading candidate for authorship is Apollos, whose name was first suggested by Martin Luther and who is favored by many interpreters today. Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, was also a Jewish Christian with notable intellectual and oratorical abilities. Luke tells us that “he was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures” ( Ac 18:24 ). We also know that Apollos was associated with Paul in the early years of the church in Corinth ( 1Co 1:12 ; 3:4-6 , 22 ).

One thing is evident: The author was a master of the Greek language of his day, and he was thoroughly acquainted with the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT (the Septuagint), which he regularly quotes.  NIVSNbarnabas

Acts 4:36 (ESV) Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,

apollos.jpgActs 13:1-4 (ESV) Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 4  So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.  

Acts 18:24 (ESV) Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.

1 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV) What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

1 Corinthians 3:4-6,22 (ESV) For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5  What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth…………….. 22  whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,

2. When was Hebrews written?

Some scholars believe that the book must have been written before A.D. 70 since the writer spoke of the sacrifices as being offered when he wrote (7:27-28; 8:3-5; 9:7-8, 25; 10:1-3, 8; 13:10-11). However, the writer showed no interest in the temple but spoke of the sacrifices as the Israelites offered them when the tabernacle stood. He evidently used the present tense to give these references a timeless quality rather than indicating that temple worship was still in practice. Nevertheless a date of composition before A.D. 70 seems probable.[1], pp. lxii-lxvi; Andrew H. Trotter Jr., Interpreting the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 27-38.

“The best argument for the supersession of the old covenant would have been the destruction of the Temple.”

The reference to Timothy’s release from imprisonment (13:23) appears to date the book later in the life of that outstanding man. Almost all scholars believe that the Timothy referred to in Hebrews is the same one named elsewhere in the New Testament. No other New Test70ad.jpgament writer mentioned Timothy’s imprisonment. The imprisonment of Christians seems to have been a well-known fact of life (10:34; 13:3). This was true after Nero launched an empire-wide persecution in A.D. 64. All of these factors when taken together seem to point to a writing date near A.D. 68-69. CN

Hebrews must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in a.d. 70 because: (1) If it had been written after this date, the author surely would have mentioned the temple’s destruction and the end of the Jewish sacrificial system; and (2) the author consistently uses the Greek present tense when speaking of the temple and the priestly activities connected with it (see 5:1-3 ; 7:23 , 27 ; 8:3-5 ; 9:6-9 , 13 , 25 ; 10:1 , 3-4 , 8 , 11 ; 13:10-11 ). NIVSN

The date of writing is particularly important in the case of the Epistle to the Hebrews because of the authorship question. Many scholars, even sound scholars, have taken the position that it was written after a.d. 70. Some give the date of a.d. 85, a.d. 96, and others up in the 90s. However, as you read this epistle, you are forced to the conclusion that the temple at Jerusalem was still standing at the time it was written. This means it had to have been written before a.d. 70, since Titus the Roman destroyed the temple in a.d. 70 and Paul had already gone to be with the Lord. I believe that it was written by the apostle Paul and it was written before a.d. 70. JVM

3. Why was Hebrews written?

During the reign of Nero (AD 54-68), persecution of Christians increased considerably. This caused some Jewish Christians to wonder if they had done right in giving up their Jewish religion and becoming Christians. They had believed, as Jesus and his followers taught, that the Jewish religion no longer served God’s purposes, that the priesthood and the sacrifices would come to an end, and that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. Yet, thirty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the temple was still standing and the Jewish religion was still functioning.

With the increasing persecution, some of the Jewish Christians became discouraged. They began to doubt whether Christianity really was God’s new and victorious way to the eternal kingdom. In their view, Judaism appeared to be as firm as ever, whereas Christianity appeared to be heading for disaster. Some had stopped attending Christian meetings and even given up their Christian faith and gone back to Judaism (Heb 10:25-31). The letter to the Hebrews was written to reassure the Jewish believers and prevent them from slipping back to their former religious practices (Heb 2:1-3).  BBC

The writer urged the original readers to persevere in their faith rather than turning from Christianity and returning to Judaism. A note of urgency and pastoral concern permeates the whole letter. This tone comes through especially strongly in the five warning passages and in the encouragements that follow these warnings.

“. . . the purpose of the writer to the Hebrews is not to give us an interpretation of Old Testament prophecy. . . . Using muturn.jpgaterial not from the prophets but primarily from the Psalms, with other materials added to elaborate the argument, the writer’s goal was to establish the superiority of the gospel in contrast to all that went before, particularly the levitical system. The primary evidence of the supremacy of Christianity is presented in its finality. Coming to Christ means final access to God without any barrier.”CN

The classical formulation for the occasion of the epistle is as follows. Jewish Christians, whether of a single congregation or in larger numbers and of broader geographical spread, were in danger of apostasy from Christ back to Moses. This condition of apostasy was an immediate danger (2:1), based upon unbelief (3:12). Conduct intimated such a possible going back (5:13, 14). Neglect of public worship (10:25), weakness in prayer (12:12), a certain instability in doctrine (13:9), refusal to teach others as mature believers ought (5:12), and neglect of the Scriptures (2:1) were other symptoms of spiritual weakness. The danger was that those who were “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” (3:1) might “fall away” (6:6) or “depart from the living God” (3:12).

To forestall such a development, the author of Hebrews stressed the superiority of Christ in a series of contrasts to the angels, Moses, Aaron, Melchisedek, and the Levitical system. The object of such contrasts was to show the inferiority of Judaism and the superiority of Christ.

As the writer develops his thoughts, he weaves together three concepts. The first is exhortation (13:22); the second is a series of warnings, five in number (2:1-4;3:7-19;6:4-12;10:26-31;12:15-17); and the third is consolation or assurance, gathered around the thought introduced in the word “consider” (3:1), which reaches its culmination in the phrase, “consider him that endured…” (12:3). On the basis of these concepts, the writer argues against the tendency toward apostasy.

The line of reasoning developed by the reader—hearers was attractive. If following Christ brought persecution, and the older way of the Jewish practice did not, why not return to Judaism, retain a religion and at the same time be free from persecution? Attractive options, to be sure. The answer to all this is set forth in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as the superiority of Christ is argued point by point against the claims of Judaism.

More recently, this classical view of Hebrews has been questioned. Alexander C. Purdy, in his introductory comment to the Epistle to the Hebrews (IB, XI, 591, 592), argues that this traditional view is only inferred. He gives nine reasons against the traditional view and then writes, “As it stands, then, Hebrews is an argument for the finality of Christianity resting on the valid foreshadowing in the Old Testament institution of sacrifice of the fundamental need for access to God, which has been brought out of the shadows for all men, Jew and Gentile alike, in the sacrifice of Christ.” The marked Jewishness of Hebrews, according to Purdy, belongs to the form rather than to the actual content of its thought. He then goes on to argue that the author of Hebrews was fighting a Jewish-Christian form of Gnosticism and Hellenism rather than Judaism as such, but acknowledges that his view is still only hypothetical.

If we concede to Purdy that the author of Hebrews was writing against Jewish-Christian Gnosticism centered in a Hellenistic culture, it still seems necessary to face the fact that the main themes of the book have a Jewish character and argument. In fact, Hebrews binds together the Old Testament and the New Testament in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Hebrews might be said to be the logical extension ofJohn 17 in that it serves to correlate the high priestly prayer with the high priestly ministry of Christ. As the prayer ofJohn 17 records our Lord’s concern that believers should be active in the world, so it also records the petition, “… that thou shouldest keep them from the evil one” (Jn 17:15, asv). The Hebrews epistle tells of such keeping, under the stresses and strains of persecution and of temptation to apostatize. To encourage such keeping, the author of Hebrews balanced the doctrinal and the hortatory, the pastoral and the practical, the word of consolation and the word of exhortation.

Judaism, a “cradle of convenience” for persecuted Christians of Jewish nationality, was thus opposed by contrast. The writer determined to help these early believers face the options with knowledge of the difference between Judaism and the work of Christ for and in the believer. All of this was designed to convince people under trial of the superiority of Jesus Christ.

At the same time, this letter of encouragement to first century believers contains help for today. No other New Testament epistle so clearly answers the “why” of the sacrifice of Christ, and of the redemption offered through this sacrifice. No other New Testament epistle so clearly links the twofold ministry of Christ as the eternal Son of God and the suffering Son of Man. Sin, guilt, atonement, and forgiveness are more fully comprehended through the Hebrews epistle. This writing also helps the readers gain a better understanding of Old Testament truths orcrucify.jpg incidents. Also, the difference between Judaism and Christianity becomes clear in the teaching of the Hebrews epistle.

Johannes Schneider has written: “Hebrews is very sober in the appraisal of the actual life of the churches. It knows the dangers which threaten God’s people on this earth. Therefore it admonishes to hold fast to the faith and not be disloyal to Christ” (The Letter to the Hebrews, p. 8). With its emphasis upon the priestly ministry of Christ, and the privileges of the believer in relation to Christ, and its strong admonitions to develop a virile faith, Hebrews still speaks today. WBC

4. How was this book received by the early church?

This Epistle to the Hebrews was not accepted by the western church for a long time, and the reason is found at this particular juncture: the church wanted to usurp the place of Israel. They adopted all the promises God had made to Israel and spiritualized them, applying them to themselves and rejecting God’s purposes in the nation Israel. As a result, you’ll find that the church in those early days became actually anti–Semitic and persecuted the Jew! Thearly church.jpgerefore, to say that God is through with the nation Israel is a sad blunder, and I trust that this episode may be helpful in our understanding the great truth that a Hebrew is a Hebrew, and when he becomes a Christian, he is still a Hebrew. When any person becomes a child of God, it does not change his nationality at all, but it brings him into a new body of believers called the church. Today God is calling out of both Jews and Gentiles a people for His name. When that is consummated, God will take His church out of this world, and He will pursue His purpose with the nation Israel, fulfilling all of His promises to them and through them to the gentile world in that day. I am indebted to these four wonderful expositors of the Word of God for helping us to get on the springboard so that we can plunge into the water of the Word. JVM

5. What is the major theme of Hebrews?

Christ is superior…………

This is, the super-abounding excellence of Christianity over Judaism. The sum and substance, the center and circumference, the light and life of Christianity, is Christ. Therefore, the method followed by the Holy Spirit in this Epistle, in developing its dominant theme, is to show the immeasurable superiority of Christ over all that had gone before. One by one the various objects in which the Jews boasted are taken up, and in the presence of the superlative glory of the Son of God they pale into utter insignificance. We are shown First, His superiority over the prophets, Hebrews 1:1-3. Second, His superiority over angels in Hebrews 1:4 to Hebrews 2:18. Third, His superiority over Moses in Hebrews 3:1-19. Fourth, His superiority over Joshua, Hebrews 4:1-13. Fifth, His superiority over Aaron in Hebrews 5:14 to 7:18. Sixth, His superiority over the whole ritual of Judaism, which is developed by showing the surpassing excellency of the new covenant over the old, in Hebrews 7:19 to Hebrews 10:39. Seventh, His superiority over each and all of the Old Testament saints, in Hebrews 11:1 to Hebrews 12:3. In the Lord Jesus, Christians have the7_title substance and reality, of which Judaism contained but the shadows and figures.

If the Lord permits us to go through this Epistle—Oh that He may come for us before—many illustrations and exemplifications of our definition of its theme will come before us. At the moment, we may note how frequently the comparative term “better” is used, thus showing the superiority of what we have in Christianity over what the saints of old had in Judaism. In Hebrews 1:4, Christ is “better than angels;” in Hebrews 7:19, mention is made of a “better hope;” in Hebrews 7:22, of a “better testament” or “covenant; in Hebrews 8:6, of “better promises;” in Hebrews 9:23, of “better sacrifices;” in Hebrews 10:34 of a “better substance;” in Hebrews 11:16, of a “better country;” in Hebrews 11:35, of a “better resurrection,” and in Hebrews 11:40, of the “better thing.” So, too, we may observe the seven great things mentioned therein, namely: the “great salvation” (Heb. 2:3), the “great High Priest” (Heb. 4:14), the “great Tabernacle” (Heb. 9:11), the “great fight of afflictions” (Heb. 10:32), the “great recompense” (Heb. 10:35), the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1), the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Heb. 13:20).

Again; in contrast from what the believing Hebrews were called upon to give up, they were reminded of what they had gained. Note how frequently occurs the “we have“—a great High Priest (Heb. 4:14, 8:1), an anchor of the soul (Heb. 6:19), a better and enduring substance (Heb. 10:34), an altar (Heb. 13:10). Once more, we may note how these Hebrews were encouraged to forget the things which were behind and to press toward those which were before. All through this Epistle the forward look is prominent. In Hebrews 1:6 and Hebrews 2:5, mention is made of a “world (or ‘habitable earth’) to come;” in Hebrews 6:5, of an “age to come;” in Hebrews 8:10, of a “new covenant,” yet to be made with the house of Israel; in Hebrews 9:11 and Hebrews 10:1, of “good things” to come; in Hebrews 9:28, of a “salvation” to be revealed; in Hebrews 10:37, of the coming Redeemer, in Hebrews 11:14 and Hebrews 13:14, of a “city” yet to be manifested.

Throughout this Epistle great prominence is given to the Priesthood of Christ. The center of Judaism was its temple and the priesthood. Hence the Holy Spirit has here shown at length how that believers now have in Christ the substance of which these supplied but the shadows. The following passages should be carefully weighed:—Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11; 10:21. “Though deprived of the temple, with its priesthood and altar and sacrifice, the apostle reminds the Hebrews, ‘we have’ the real and substantial temple, the great High Priest, the true altar, the one sacrifice, and with it all offerings, the true access into the very presence of the Most Holy” (Adolph Saphir)   An Exposition of Hebrews  by A. W. Pink


6. Outline Of Hebrews

I. The culminating revelation of God chs. 1—2

        A. The agent of God’s final revelation 1:1-4

       B. The superiority of the Son 1:5-14

       C. The danger of negligence (the first warning) 2:1-4

       D. The humiliation and glory of God’s Son 2:5-9

       E. The Son’s solidarity with humanity 2:10-18

II. The high priestly character of the Son 3:1—5:10

      A. The faithfulness of the Son 3:1-6

      B. The danger of disbelief (the second warning) 3:7-19

      C. The possibility of rest for God’s people 4:1-14

      D. The compassion of the Son 4:15—5:10

III. The high priestly office of the Son 5:11—10:39

     A. The danger of immaturity (the third warning) 5:11—6:12

            1. The readers’ condition 5:11-14

           2. The needed remedy 6:1-3

           3. The dreadful alternative 6:4-8

           4. The encouraging prospect 6:9-12

     B. The basis for confidence and steadfastness 6:13-20

     C. The Son’s high priestly ministry 7:1—10:18

            1. The person of our high priest ch. 7

            2. The work of our high priest chs. 8—9

            3. The accomplishment of our high priest 10:1-18

     D. The danger of willful sinning (the fourth warning) 10:19-39

           1. The threefold admonition 10:19-25

           2. The warning of judgment 10:26-31

           3. The encouragement to persevere 10:32-39

IV. The proper response 11:1—12:13

     A. Perseverance in faith ch. 11

          1. Faith in the antediluvian era 11:1-7

         2. Faith in the patriarchal era 11:8-22

         3. Faith in the Mosaic era 11:23-31

        4. Faith in subsequent eras 11:32-40

     B. Demonstrating necessary endurance 12:1-13

          1. The example of Jesus 12:1-3

         2. The proper view of trials 12:4-11

         3. The need for greater strength 12:12-13

V. Life in a hostile world 12:14—13:25

    A. The danger of unresponsiveness (the fifth warning) 12:14-29

         1. The goal of peace 12:14-17

        2. The superiority of the New Covenant 12:18-24

        3. The consequences of apostasy 12:25-29

   B. Life within the church ch. 13

        1. Pastoral reminders 13:1-21

        2. Personal explanations 13:22-25


ESVN……………..….ESV Study Bible Notes

MSBN……………….MacArthur NASB Study   Notes

NIVSN……………….NIV Study Notes.

JVM ………………….J Vernon McGee’s Commentary

BN ……………………Barnes Notes

WBC………….…….Wycliffe Bible Commentary

CN ……….…………..Constables Notes

IC……………….…….Ironside Commentary

NET…………….…….Net Bible Study Notes.

JFB……………………Jamieson Fausset  Brown Commentary

VWS………………….Vincent Word Studies

CMM………………..Commentary on Matthew and Mark

BDB……………..….Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT)

Darby……………….John Darby’s Synopsis of the OT and NT

Johnson……………Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament

NTCMM…………..The New Testament Commentary:  Matthew and Mark.

EHS………………….Expositions of the Holy Scriptures

CPP…………………The Complete Pulpit Commentary

SBC…………………..Sermon Bible Commentary

K&D…………………Keil and Deilitzsch Commentary on the OT

EBC……………….…Expositors Bible Commentary

CBSC……………….Cambridge Bible for Schools and College

GC……………………Guzik Commentary

RD…………………..Robert  Deffinbaugh

NSB …………………The Nelson Study Bible

MHC…………………Matthew Henry Commentary

CSTTB………Chuck Smith Through The Bible

BBC…………….Bridgeway Bible commentary

“Fair Use “ Notice – Title 17 U.S.C. section 107

The above post may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, social justice, for the purpose of historical debate, and to advance the understanding of Christian conservative issues.  It is believed that this constitutes a ”fair use” of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the Copyright Law. In accordance with the title 17 U.S. C. section 107, the material in this post is shown without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Godless Universe Untenable

Filed under: Creationism,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 11:57 am
Tags: ,

A review of A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

Free Press, New York, 2012 Reviewed by Dan W. Reynolds

Atheists insist that all of nature can be explained on its own terms without invoking a supernatural creator. Some argue, as does Lawrence Krauss (figure 1) in his recent book A Universe from Nothing, that modern science has now made it plausible that space-time, matter-energy, and even the universe can emerge from nothing. As we shall see, these ideas are self-contradictory and not aligned with current thinking—even in the secular scientific community—concerning the possibility of a universe existing in the eternal past. Krauss does provide his readers with interesting insights into physics, the big bang theory, virtual particles, dark matter, inflation theory, the ‘landscape’ of a multiverse, dark energy, relativity, string theory, and science associated with these topics. However, he does not successfully show how the universe could emerge from nothing. Much of what is in Krauss’ book was brought out in a debate with William Lane Craig in 2011 at NC State University, a debate Craig won in my opinion. The debate is available for viewing on the internet.1

Lawrence M. Krauss, Ph.D., is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Dept., Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, and Inaugural Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University.Krauss begins by making it clear he dislikes theism. He argues that science is based on observation and experiment, religion on unprovable faith. He dislikes the definition of nothing as the absence of the potential for existence (he has trouble arguing against it). He starts off on a philosophical note and ends on one, with his science offered in between. He thinks that the direction of scientific discovery is progressively eliminating the need for God as an explanation for natural phenomena and the origin of everything. He thus thinks God is the ‘god of the gaps’ that science will eventually eliminate, although the real arguments are based on what we do know not on gaps.2 Much of his science is speculative. He seems to be saying that what is scientifically plausible is so compelling that theism is automatically an inferior explanation. He does admit, however, that science may never have an unambiguous explanation for the origin of the universe. In a debate, he said he could become a deist.


Krauss admits his atheism. He asks: if God is the answer to the origin to the universe, then who created God? RealChristian apologists, including his opponent Craig, have long argued that it’s only things that have a beginning that have a cause. Christians believe that God is self-subsistent and exists outside of time and had no beginning, properties Krauss wishes nature had. He claims that science is epistemologically superior to revelation, and that theology has not added to knowledge for hundreds of years. He overlooks that modern science arose from a culture that assumed a Judeo-Christian worldview, which believed a reasonable creator would have made a reasonable creation. He admits that Isaac Newton was probably the greatest scientist that ever lived, but overlooks that Newton was drawn closer to God by his discoveries.

Since God exists independently and separately from the universe, then He is the initial ‘something’ from which all else came.

Krauss says ‘nothing’ has physical properties because he assumes the eternal operation of quantum mechanics. However, theologians say a quantum vacuum is not ‘nothing’; ‘nothing’ is the absence of the potential for existence. Krauss says that if that is so, then even God can’t create the universe. But this definition of ‘nothing’ simply means the absence of the possibility for existencewithin itself, and does not exclude the potential for creation ex nihilo by God. Since God exists independently and separately from the universe, then He is the initial ‘something’ from which all else came. It is self-contradictory to say something (the universe = everything in nature) can create itself because if the universe were able to create itself, it would have to already exist (quantum mechanics) and would not need creating.

Krauss says: 1) science is the best way to know things because it follows the evidence wherever it leads, 2) scientists must be willing to find evidence for and against their theories, and 3) experimental results are king regardless of personal preference.Strictly, his statement is self-refuting, because there is no scientific way to test those three premises. As meta-scientific philosophy, these guidelines for science are commendable, but Krauss does not consistently follow them. For example, William Dembski and several others in the Intelligent Design Movement have shown convincingly that the fine tuning of physics and the information in biomolecules are strong evidence for the creative work of an intelligence and not the result of random natural processes.3 Indeed, Krauss believes we are getting close to showing how abiogenesis may have occurred on Earth when in truth no such breakthrough is near. At best, science has possibly shown how two of the four nucleotides of RNA might have emerged naturally.4 But that is only the first step of a thousand-mile journey to explaining abiogenesis (chemical evolution).

Chapter 1—A Cosmic Mystery Story: Beginnings

Krauss explains how Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, our best theory of gravity, has been supported by observations such as the precession of the planet Mercury’s orbit and the expansion of the universe. But then he makes a leap to claiming science has shown that the universe emerged from a hot big bang 13.72 billion years ago and continues to expand, and had a beginning. But as we will see, he thinks ours is but one of an infinite number of universes that have been popping out of nothing for all eternity.

Krauss explains the evidence for the expansion of the universe from Edwin Hubble’s work on galactic redshifts. Hence Hubble found empirical support for general relativity. Krauss also asserts that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) and the abundance of light elements (H, D, He, Li) support the big bang model. However, he fails to explain why the CMB fails to cast the shadows expected from the big bang.5

Chapter 2—A Cosmic Mystery Story: Weighing the Universe

Astronomers have been puzzled that the visible matter in the universe can’t account for the rotational behaviour of spiral galaxies; there is not enough mass. So astronomers have proposed an invisible halo of ‘dark matter’. In reality, their physics is deficient—Carmelian special relativity explains the galactic rotation curves without needing the fudge factor of ‘dark matter’.6

Another related problem is that the visible number of protons and neutrons are less than expected based on the abundances of the light elements. Where is the missing matter?

One method for weighing a galaxy cluster is to take advantage of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. Predicted by Einstein, gravitational lensing occurs when the light from a very distant object passes through the vicinity of a large mass (e.g. galaxy cluster) on its way to an observer on Earth. According to relativity, matter bends space. The bent space around a galaxy cluster would cause the light of the distant object to be bent or lensed on its way to Earth. The amount of bending depends on the mass of the galaxy cluster. Astronomers can determine how much normal matter is in a galaxy cluster by the light from it. The entire mass of the galaxy cluster can be determined by the amount of gravitational lensing of very distant objects. What astronomers have found is that gravitational lensing says there is much more mass present in the galaxy cluster than can be accounted for by normal visible matter alone. Once again, ‘dark matter’ is hypothesized, and once again, Carmelian relativity explains the observations without recourse to this fudge factor.6

After weighing everything, many astronomers say our universe consists of 4% ordinary matter, 23% dark matter, and 73% dark energy. Again, Carmelian relativity predicts the observations adduced to support dark matter.7

Chapter 3—Light from the Beginning of Time

We have already mentioned the CMB as a fallacious proof of the big bang. The CMB has been mapped by COBE, WMAP, Boomerang, and currently by Planck space probes. Astronomers have used the CMB to determine the geometry of space-time. The three possibilities are closed, open, and flat. A closed space-time would occur if the gravity of the matter (all types) of the universe exceeded the rate of expansion. In such a universe, the expansion would eventually reverse and the universe would collapse. In an open geometry, the expansion would exceed the gravity of the matter in the universe and the universe would continue to expand. In a flat universe, the gravity and expansion of the universe are balanced so that the universe expands but at a progressively slower pace. In a closed universe, reversal of the expansion could occur before stars and galaxies have time to form. In an open universe, the expansion could be so fast that gravity would never able to pull the light elements together to form stars. Only in a flat universe are the gravitational forces and expansion rate balanced so that gravity can form stars and galaxies that then continue to exist. According to measurements of the CMB, our universe has a flat geometry. But when it comes to observed matter, the universe seems open: “several measurements currently seem to suggest a density of only a fraction Ω ≌ 0.3 of the critical density.”8 However, Krauss suggest that there is enough dark matter to close the universe.

Chapter 4—Much Ado About Nothing

In this chapter, Krauss gives evidence for entities called virtual particles. They are called virtual because they have never been directly observed due to their fleeting lifetimes (less than Planck time). However, the existence of virtual particles is allowed by quantum mechanics, from the uncertainty principle. There is indirect evidence for their existence. The calculated energy levels associated with the orbitals of hydrogen differ slightly from experimental measurement. However, if a virtual particle pair is assumed to be located around the hydrogen nucleus, the calculated energy levels match experiment exactly. They are believed to convey the strong force between quarks in protons and neutrons. Virtual particles are usually invoked in strong fields (electromagnetic, gravitational). Hawking radiation, predicted to be a mechanism by which black holes could ‘evaporate’, depends on the existence of virtual particles, but has not been observed so far.

Krauss says a universe where the total mass/energy is balanced by the potential gravitational energy has zero net energy and so could pop into existence from nothing without violation of the first law. Such a universe should, however, collapse and disappear in periods shorter than the Planck time unless inflation allows it to exist beyond the Planck time.

Krauss also says that this proves you can get something from nothing given the energetics of empty space and the law of gravity. So he says you can get a universe from nothing if you can start with empty space with non-zero energy and the laws of gravity and quantum mechanics. He admits empty space with non-zero energy is something!

A quantum theory of gravity would mean quantum mechanics applies to space, not just to objects in space. Then we could say that space-times pop in and out of nothing if the total energy is zero. But we don’t yet have a quantum theory of gravity.

Krauss concedes that this speculation does not prove our universe arose from nothing, but says it makes such a scenario more plausible. And plausibility is apparently all he needs to justify rejection of God. So much for basing his worldview on hard, cold facts alone.

The energy calculated for empty space assuming virtual particles is 10120 times greater than that observed. This is a long-standing unsolved problem.

Chapter 5—The Runaway Universe

The expansion rate of the universe is accelerating. Astronomers used Type 1a supernovae to determine this.9 When Einstein first realized that his Theory of Relativity required the universe to be expanding or contracting, he thought it was wrong and added a fudge factor, the so called cosmological constant, to make his equations give a static universe. Later, after Hubble showed the universe was indeed expanding, Einstein called his fudge factor a great blunder. However, in light of the accelerating expansion of the universe, it appears the cosmological constant is real after all. The cosmological constant means that there is an energy that causes space to expand. This mysterious energy has been dubbed ‘dark energy’. The nature of dark energy is a major problem for physics, again solved by Carmelian relativity without recourse to dark entities.10 Eventually all galaxies will be moving away from us at speeds > c.

Krauss claims the universe is not rotating, but this is still an open question (‘axis of evil’). Polarization of light from galaxies and CMB both point to a similar axis.

Chapter 6—The Free Lunch at the End of the Universe

Krauss says that the flat geometry of space-time requires very specific initial conditions and expansion rate. There is nothing known in physics that required these conditions to exist.


Figure 2. 1) Early in the alleged big bang, points A and B start out with different temperatures. 2) Today, points A and B have the same temperature, yet there has not been enough time for them to exchange light.

There is another problem in cosmology called the horizon problem. The problem is that the CMB is very smooth (almost the same temperature). At the time the CMB was allegedly emitted, 300,000 years after the big bang, the CMB uniformity implies that thermal equilibrium spanned a range over 10 times larger. But even at the speed of light, heat could not have travelled that far to equilibrate the temperatures (figure 2). Note, this is a ‘light travel’ problem for big bangers, who therefore have no grounds to point to the hoary old distant starlight problem for Genesis.11

A theory called Inflation allegedly solves this and the flatness problem. Inflation says that within a fraction of a second after the big bang, the universe expanded by a factor of 1028. (Relativity allows the expansion of space-time to be faster than the speed of light; it just prohibits objects accelerating to the speed of light through space.) The expansion then settled to a rate similar to today. The predicted pattern of density fluctuations in the CMB that would result from quantum fluctuations during inflation is what is observed in the CMB. Quantum fluctuations would be ‘frozen’ by inflation. No-one knows why inflation would start or stop. The universe became flat because the originally dominant matter density was diluted during inflation to the point that gravity and the expansion were balanced.

Chapter 7—Our Miserable Future

In this chapter, Krauss discusses what will happen to our universe if the expansion accelerates indefinitely. He says that eventually other galaxies will be receding from us at speeds greater than the speed of light so they will disappear. Supposedly at some distant future time even atoms will be torn apart.

Chapter 8—A Grand Accident

Physicists have looked for a theory that would explain everything—why we have the physical laws and constants we have, a theory that would require our universe to be the way it is. However, no theory like this has ever been developed. In fact, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem shows that none could be developed, as Stephen Hawking belatedly realized.12

As far as we know, there are no laws of physics that require our universe to have the constants and laws it has. It is well known that many of the laws and constants of nature are exactly what they must be for life as we know it to exist. Change any of these constants just a little and you get different elements, different stars, a different geometry of space-time, a different universe! In other words, our universe appears to be fine tuned for life for no apparent physical reason. Christians point to this fine tuning as evidence for intelligent design consistent with the existence of the God of the Bible.

This is where Krauss gets philosophical. He embraces the anthropic principle and the idea of a multiverse. The anthropic principle says that the universe looks the way it does because if it did not, we would not be here. The multiverse idea postulates countless universes with different physical laws and constants (the landscape); we just happen to be in a universe where the physical laws and constants allow for galaxies, planets, and people.

The idea of the multiverse is consistent with some particle physics and string theory. Inflation could explain a multiverse. During expansion, some regions may exit inflation while others continue to inflate; this is the eternal inflation model. Regions that exit will become causally isolated universes. However, inflation models are not eternal in the past.

String theory holds that tiny vibrating strings determine elementary particles and forces. Scientists would like to have a theory of everything, so efforts have been directed at combining relativity with quantum mechanics to produce a quantum theory of gravity. String theory is an attempt at this fusion. String theory says gravitons are the force-carrying particles of gravity but only if strings can vibrate in 26 dimensions. By adding the math of super-symmetry, the number of dimensions is reduced to 10. By this reasoning, we live in a 10-dimension universe where there are 4 large dimensions and 6 dimensions that are so small they elude detection. Physicists speculate that some of the compactified dimensions may be revealed with the Large Hadron Collider. It now appears that branes (membranes) may be the fundamental object, not strings. We still don’t know if string theory has anything to do with the real world.

Krauss says that the difference between speculative physics and spiritual realities is that the former can be measured in principle (p. 133). However, this ignores personal spiritual experience, the fulfillment of prophecies, the empirical detection of design in nature, the historical accuracy of the Scriptures, the over 500 eye witnesses to the Resurrection of Christ, etc. These spiritual realities have been measured in fact.

Krauss says all this speculation (e.g. string theory) challenges the notion that our universe is unique. String theory says there may be as many as 10500 universes with 10 dimensions, 4 of which are large like ours. The theory of everything becomes the theory of anything. Each universe would have different particles, forces, space-time, physics, etc. Allegedly, we just happen to be in one of the universes that has the physics required for our existence. Krauss hopes for a theory of everything that confirms the multiverse and eternal inflation; he would then have support for the landscape and anthropic principle.

Even features that Krauss would agree were designed by humans could be explained as chance, since given an almost infinite number of universes, even the most unlikely events must take place in one of them.

But this sort of ‘reasoning’ proves too much. That is, even features that Krauss would agree were designed by humans could be explained as chance, since given an almost infinite number of universes, even the most unlikely events must take place in one of them. For example, even though there is an infinitesimally small probability that ink molecules could spontaneously rearrange to form the content of A Universe from Nothing, we could just happen to be living in the one multiverse where this probability is actualized.

Chapter 9—Nothing is Something

Krauss starts off talking about Newton, revelation versus science, and some philosophical issues. He again mentions how he does not like the definition of nothing as the absence of even the possibility to exist.

He states that the Newtonian gravitational energies of galaxies moving with the Hubble expansion is zero and space-time is flat according to observation.

Assuming the existence of empty space and the laws of physics, space has a non-zero energy. During inflation, the expansion dumps energy into empty space as it becomes flatter and flatter. When inflation stops, the energy of space gets turned into the energy of real particles and radiation (big bang). Quantum fluctuations leave some irregularities in spacetime and hence in the distribution of particles and radiation—allegedly reflected in the CMB (if you can trust the low radiological standards13,14).

Chapter 10—Nothing Is Unstable

Empty space is boiling with virtual particles that pop in and out of existence on time scales too small to measure (shorter than the Planck time). Quantum mechanics allows for violations of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics over brief periods of time. Krauss says nothing always creates something if only for an instant. Quantum mechanics can sneak energy from empty space as long as it is returned before anyone can observe it. Krauss invokes Hawking radiation to support this. However, Hawking radiation has never been observed!

One unsolved mystery is why there is an excess of mater in our universe; this is the Matter/antimatter problem. Why is the universe only made of matter? Matter/antimatter particles annihilate each other to produce radiation. Radiation coverts to equal amounts of matter and anti matter. Krauss says that the CMB suggests the photon-to-proton ratio was a billion to one. He says that by ‘plausible quantum processes’ the universe started out with 1 part per billion more matter than antimatter. Most of the matter and antimatter combined to make photons. Later he admits we still don’t really know how this asymmetry between matter and antimatter began.

Chapter 11—Brave New Worlds

Krauss gives many of his reasons for not liking God as an explanation for the origin of the universe (intellectually lazy, no evidence, god of the gaps, etc., etc.). He asks if God is the answer, what determined God’s rules? [God did; He revealed some in the Bible, and left some for scientists to discover, as Kepler and Newton believed they were doing.] Krauss iterates his ipse dixit that there is no evidence for God—but as shown, his explanations such as multiverses are not scientific and beg the question. He says a first cause is needed for a universe with a beginning but it does not have to be the God of the Bible (he has admitted elsewhere that deism might be true)—but no Christian apologist would claim that, merely that it’s consistent with the Bible; the Bible is supported by other lines of evidence. He suggests the universe might be eternal in the past and future and that physical law may have always existed. He admits that this raises the question of where the laws came from and how they got to be what they are. He asserts that one can’t define ‘nothing’ as the lack of the potential to exist since then even God could not create anything (not true if God is outside of and separate from nature). He says the universe will eventually die a heat death, even protons and neutrons will decay.


He says we must choose what we believe based on fact, not revelation. Yet his faith is based on unproven speculation.

He says science has made it possible to not believe in God (sounds like Dawkins). But God has always made it possible for people to deny him.


  1. Krauss must assume quantum mechanics so the universe does not actually come from nothing.
  2. Most recent scholarship on major cosmological theories all require a beginning.15,16 No current theory allows an eternity past! Hence all current theories say there still had to be a beginning.
  3. Fine tuning is still a problem for materialists. No evidence so far for hidden dimensions, other universes, string theory, etc.
  4. The matter/antimatter problem is still unsolved.
  5. Krauss admits deism may be right. His rejection of Christianity seems to be based more on personal rather than scientific criteria.
  6. Young earth/old universe cosmologies such as Russell Humphreys’ and John Hartnett’s can explain the CMB, abundance of light elements, ‘axis of evil’, expansion of the universe, and the starlight-time problem.
  7. Even if the landscape and the anthropic principle are correct (there is no evidence they are), one still has to explain origin of life and evolution. However, there is still no evidence for hidden dimensions, other universes, Hawking radiation, etc.
  8. Much of Krauss’s scenarios is speculative and depends on a quantum theory of gravity which is not currently available. The universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1) and was created by God for his glory (Psalm 19:1). God has hidden in mystery how the universe came to be (Eccl 3:11). Science may help us see more of God’s glory, but only He can reveal what He has hidden.


  1. William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss, you, 16 April 2011. Return to text.
  2. Weinberger, L., Whose god? The theological response to the god-of-the-gaps, J. Creation 22(1):120–127, 2008; to text.
  3. Reynolds, D.W., Intelligent Design, TASC (Triangle Area Association for Creation) Newsletter, May 2006;; see to text.
  4. Reynolds, D.W., Has Science Found How Life Began and Species Evolved? An Examination of the “RNA World” Hypothesis and Rapidly Changing Lizards, TASC Newsletter, June 2009;; see also to text.
  5. Hartnett, J.G., The big bang fails another test: The ‘background echo of the big bang’ was supposed to cast a shadow—but only if it is really true that this radiation is coming from far away,, 15 September 2006. Return to text.
  6. Hartnett, J.G., Spiral galaxy rotation curves determined from Carmelian general relativity, Int. J. Theor. Phys. 45(11):2118–2136, November 2006; Return to text.
  7. Hartnett, J.G., The distance modulus determined from Carmeli’s cosmology fits the accelerating universe data of the high-redshift type Ia supernovae without dark matter, Found. Phys. 36(6):839–861, June 2006, Return to text.
  8. Kamionkowski, M., The case of the curved universe: open, closed or flat, Science280:1397–1398, 1998. Return to text.
  9. But see de Repentigny, M.B., What are type 1a supernovae telling us?J. Creation25(1):123–127, 2011. Return to text.
  10. Oliveira, F.J. and Hartnett, J.G., Carmeli’s cosmology fits data for an accelerating and decelerating universe without dark matter or dark energy, Found. Phys. Lett. 19(6):519–535, November 2006; Return to text.
  11. Lisle, J., Light-travel time: a problem for the big bang, Creation25 (4):48–49, 2003; to text.
  12. Sarfati, J., Hawking atheopathy: famous physicist goes beyond the evidence, J. Creation 25(1):25– 29, 2011; (review of Hawking’s book The Grand Design). Return to text.
  13. Robitaille, P.-M., WMAP: a radiological analysis, Progress in Physics1:3–18, 2007. Return to text.
  14. Hartnett, J.G., WMAP ‘proof’ of big bang fails normal radiological standards, J. Creation 21(2):5–7, 2007; (discussion of Robitaille, ref. 14).Return to text.
  15. Grossman, L., Death of the eternal cosmos, New Scientist213(2847):6–7, 14 January 2012. Return to text.
  16. Catchpoole, D., Physicists: The universe had a beginning,, 5 June 2012 (discussion of Grossman, ref. 160). Return to text.

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Question: “What is the effectual calling/call?”

Filed under: Bible,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 8:49 am


The term effectual call, as related to salvation, comes from Chapter X of the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith. The effectual call is understood as God’s sovereign drawing of a sinner to salvation. The effectual call to a sinner so overwhelms his natural inclination to rebel that he willingly places faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul refers to the effectual call when he writes, “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). The necessity of the effectual call is emphasized in Jesus’ words, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44).

Philippians 2:13 (KJV)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. John 6:44 (KJV)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

Paul further affirms that God must impress His will on the natural state of man when he writes that those who oppose God “must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25). The apostle Peter writes that God “called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). Peter’s use of the Greek word kaleo, which is translated “called,” is used to express the call of God on sinners. Whenever kaleo is used in the participial form, as it is in this passage, with God as the subject, it refers to the effectual call of God on sinners to salvation. Kaleo carries the idea that a sinner is being drawn  to God rather than simply invited to come.

2 Timothy 2:25 (KJV)  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV)   According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 

The effectual calling is more commonly known as “irresistible grace,” which is the I  in the acronym TULIP. The doctrine of effectual calling is closely related to the doctrine of total depravity, the in TULIP. Since the unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), he is incapable of reaching out to God or responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ on his own. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:10–11). This state of total depravity makes the effectual calling of God necessary to give anyone the opportunity for salvation.

Ephesians 2:1 (KJV)  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;


Romans 3:10-11 (KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 

Jesus said, “For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). In this statement, Jesus distinguishes between the general call that everyone receives by hearing the gospel and the effectual call that leads to salvation. The effectual call is also taught in passages such as Romans 1:6, where Paul greets the believers as those “who are called to belong to Jesus Christ”; and Acts 16:14, where Luke says of Lydia that “the Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” The effectual call, therefore, is God’s action toward the elect, those whom He chose in Christ “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless. . . . He predestined [them] for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4–5)

Matthew 22:14 (KJV)  For many are called, but few are chosen. Romans 1:6 (KJV)  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 

Acts 16:14 (KJV)  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 

Ephesians 1:4-5 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  

The general call, on the other hand, is for all of humanity, not just the elect. The famous passage, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), portrays God’s general revelation to everyone in the world. The gospel is available to everyone, but, because of humanity’s sinful nature and total depravity, no one will turn to God without God first impressing Himself on them.

John 3:16 (KJV)   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

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July 11, 2014

Colossians Chapter 3

Filed under: Bible,Colossians,Theology — augustinehippo1 @ 7:00 am


 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then youcol31 also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, 7 and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. 8 But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. 11 In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love — the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1. What is a person’s character?

col32When Martin Luther King said he looked forward to the day when all Americans would be judged solely “by the content of their character,” he was talking about a person’s essential qualities. “the distinctive nature of a person or thing,” a meaning reflected in the word’s origins. In Greek, a kharaktēr was a stamping tool, used to give something a distinctive mark. What are the qualities that result from his basic beliefs and assumptions?

2. As a Christian how are we to deal with the old nature which continually attempts to control our actions?

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, ……. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:15-24

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17 (KJV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20 (ESV)


Paul tells us to put to death that old nature. The Greek word I nekrosate First aorist active imperative of nekroō, to kill. This is a verb or action word. In verse 9 he also uses the term, put away, ἀποτίθημι apotithemi (ap-ot-eeth’-ay-mee) v.1. to put away cast off, lay apart (aside, down), put away (off) , and then in verse 12 he says put on ἐνδύω enduo (en-doo’-o) v.1. to invest with clothing (in the sense of sinking into a garment) array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.

Notice Paul uses three verbs or action words which would seem to indicate that we actually have to do something. We can’t just rest in the fact that I am a Christian and some supernatural power will take over and I will just automatically live righteously. 

3. In verse 14 Paul tells us to “put on love”, how do I put on a feeling?

ἀγάπη agape (ag-ah’-pay) benevolence: an other centered attitude for the benefit of others and not yourself. Even though agape is a noun, Paul is telling us to put this other centered attitude on. Again something we have to consciously make a decision to do.When that smelly, no teeth guy at grocery store asks you for money to buy food and youcol34 give him that gift certificate from Mc Donalds. Then he throws it back in your face and flips you off. That’s when you need to put on love.That’s when you need to remember who you are and renew your mind.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJV)

The normal reaction would be to get mad and call him a worthless freeloader. The new creation in Christ picks up his gift certificate and goes on his way.

A Centered Home: Colossians 3:18-21

18 Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.

4. What does “submissive” mean?

ὑποτάσσω hupotasso (hoop-ot-as’-so) v. 1. to subordinate submit self unto The verb hupotassomai has a military air, common in the Koiné for such obedience. Obedience in government is essential as the same word . Wives have rights and privileges, but recognition of the husband’s leadership is essential to a well-ordered home, only the assumption is that the husband has a head and a wise one.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Eph 5:24 (ESV)

col35This has nothing to do with husbands being dictators or kings over there households. This is about structure and responsibility. Who is generally built and designed to function as the decision maker in certain situation? Men and women are different. There are some very subjective and intuitive gifts that my wife has that I do not. My wife thinks globally, taking into consideration all the connecting issues and effects of an action and doing this pretty much intuitively. I on the other hand am much more pragmatic and black and white. What do we have to do to fix the situation, now? So this has more to do with administration than subjugation. I had no problem submitting to my employers. We had an arrangement. They treated me with respect, they listened to my input, but in the final analysis they had the final responsibility and the final say.

5. What about the husband, what does he have to do?

col37Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, Eph 5:25

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Cor 11:3 (ESV)

For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Tim 2:13-14 (ESV)

God holds the man responsible for his household. Eve was tricked but Adam was not, he knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to be like God, so he was the responsible party.

6. How can we discipline our children not exasperate them?

The King James uses the word provoke ἐρεθίζω erethizo (er-eth-id’-zo) v. 1. tocol36 stimulate (especially to anger). To provoke one to anger.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

Each child is an individual and different tactics must be used to motivate them without breaking their spirits.

A Centered Witness: Colossians 4:5-6

5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.

7. “the most of our time”?

col38With respect to his readers’ relationship to unbelievers, Paul counseled the use of wisdom as most important. This involves living life in the light of God’s revelation and then applying this knowledge to specific situations . The Greek word translated “opportunity” (kairos, lit. time) probably implies the opportune time, as it does in some other places. The opportunity in view seems to be the opportunity to bring others into full union with Christ .

Paul turned from thinking about his readers’ walk to their talk. The most important thing to keep in mind regarding the Colossians’ own practices involved their speech. Speech most effectively expresses what is inside the believer. The Christian’s speech should mirror the gracious character and conduct of his or her God by demonstrating love, patience, sacrifice, undeserved favor, etc. CN

8. So we should use ”salty “ language?

Salt probably represented both attractiveness, since salt makes food appealing, and wholesomeness, since salt was a preservative that retarded corruption in food. Furthermore one should wisely suit his or her speech to each need. The words “seasoned with salt” refer to witty speech in classical Greek, but Paul probably meant attractive and wholesome speech in view of other biblical uses of the term salt.

“A child of God should have a conversation that deters evil. It should withhold evil rather than promote it. I think it also means that a Christian should not be boring.”CN

9. How do we know how to answer each person?

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. Wecol39 implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:20-21

We are representing our boss. That sales rep who calls on you is nice to you and buys you lunch because he is representing his company, product, or brand. He always has in the back of his mind that he is not speaking for himself and his job to help you understand how you can’t live without what he is selling. When we speak to unbelievers we should always be aware that this contact might be the only opportunity to see Christ. What impression do you want to leave him with? Do you really want to come across as some churchy, holy than thou, hypocritical, bible thumper?

BDB………….. Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT) • ESV………….ESV Study Bible Notes • MSN…….MacArthur NASB Study Notes • NIVSN…..NIV Study Notes. • JVM ….J Vernon McGee, • ACC …. Adam Clarke’s Commentary • BN …..Barnes Notes • WBC…… Wycliffe Bible Commentary • CN …… Constables Notes • IC……….Ironside Commentary • NET………Net Bible Study Notes. • JFB…………..Jamieson Fausset Brown Commentary • VWS……………..Vincent Word Studies • CMM………….Commentary on Matthew and Mark • 


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