Monthly Archives: September 2009

I Don’t Remember the Score

Chalk up another point for the Bible in its continuing defeat of the skeptics of its content.  It turns out that archaeologists have found proof of Joseph in Egypt and confirmation of the Pharoah’s dreams as well.  This is a pretty fun read actually and yet another in a long line of “see I told you so’s” that the Bible has had through the ages.  According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, some coins were found buried in a box that contain a picture representation of Joseph along with his Hebrew and Egyptian names and dates when they were minted, which might give us a better idea of when the Exodus occured as well.  There are also proof of the dreams that Joseph interpreted according to the Bible:

“The researcher identified coins from many different periods, including coins that bore special markings identifying them as being from the era of Joseph. Among these, there was one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain. It was found that the inscriptions of this early period were usually simple, since writing was still in its early stages, and consequently there was difficulty in deciphering the writing on these coins. But the research team [managed to] translate [the writing on the coin] by comparing it to the earliest known hieroglyphic texts…

Please understand me when I say that one of the reasons that I believe the Bible is the unflappable credibility it has shown when it comes to the truth.  There is yet to be a discovery that proves the Bible got the facts wrong and the number of people who have tried to claim the Bible was wrong about something only to be found mistaken themselves is truly more than I can remember.  So, I don’t remember the score, but count it Bible (one more) and skeptics (still trying to get one).

Categories: Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Fun, Humor, Truth | 3 Comments

The Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

This verse is probably my oldest son’s favorite verse in Scripture.  He memorized it years ago in an AWANA program and has never forgotten it.  Yesterday was a day of reflection for me on the wonder of God’s atonement for our sin.  It is probably the one day that most Jews still observe (see this story for example) regardless of their level of committment otherwise which is interesting.  I also decided to observe the fasting period of Yom Kippur and spent it as a time to focus on the awesome nature of God and the amazing mercy He has shown to me, and I spent time in prayer for those who do not yet know His mercy and atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.

Hebrews 10 says this so well:

1For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.5Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me;
6in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'”

The offerings of bulls and goats never accomplished salvation.  They didn’t “buy” forgiveness.  Christ’s sacrifice in their stead was effective because He had done God’s will; which they could never do, and because He was not just a man, for that would have left Him unable to offer Himself for anyone else:

No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him-the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough-

that he should live on forever
and not see decay. (Psalm 49:7-9)

Hebrews goes on to explain the uniqueness of Christ’s sacrifice for all men in this way:

12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”

17then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Notice that Christ’s sacrifice didn’t “do away” with the Law.  By the power of the Holy Spirit in us, that Law is now written on our heart when we belong to Him.  In these days leading up to the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, a reminder of the day that is coming when the dwelling of God will be with man forever (Revelation 21:3); let us remember the mighty works of God and His mighty power to save and make atonement for us.

Categories: Bible Thoughts, Christianity, church, devotional, Discipleship, End Times, Feasts, Gospel, Grace, Law, Love, Salvation, Thanksgiving, theology | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning 9/20/09

We had a great service and time of worship Sunday morning.  This is the first time I have ever preached on my birthday as far as I can remember.  It was a lot of fun and Amelia managed to surprise me afterward with lunch at the church.  You can hear the announcement on the end of the sermon after one of our deacons mentioned it earlier to let the cat out of the bag.  The audio link is below as well as the notes for the sermon.  It is still in the theme of the Feast of Trumpets celebration and imagery.  May God bless you this week.

Ha Kiddushin (Wedding of the Messiah)

Sermon Notes for 9/20/09

  1. Ha Kiddushin (Wedding of the Messiah)

    1. The bridal price is established for the bride – 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Corinthians 6:20

    2. Bride and Groom are betrothed (legally bound but not living together) – Hosea 2:14-23

    3. Written document drawn up called the Ketubah, which states the bridal price, promises of the groom and the rights of the bride. The Bible is our Ketubah

      1. 2 Corinthians 1:20 and 1 John 5:14-15

    4. The Bride gives her consent “I do” – Romans 10:8-10

    5. Gifts are given to the Bride – Ephesians 4:7-8, 1 Corinthians 12:1

    6. The bride would have a Mikvah (water immersion), a ceremonial act of separation showing her going from a former way to a new way. – Ezekiel 16:8-9; Romans 6:1-4

    7. 1 Corinthians 6:15-20; 7:23

    8. Bridegroom’s promise “He would go to his Father’s house and prepare a place for her” This place was known as the chamber. John 14:1-4

    9. The Bridegroom returned accompanied by a shout “behold the bridegroom comes” and the Shofar was blown. This was typically done at night. – Matthew 25:1-13

    10. Bridegroom would abduct his bride and take her to the bridal chamber to consummate the marriage.

    11. Lastly there would be a marriage supper for all invited. – Revelation 19:6-10

Categories: Feasts, Podcasts, Sermon | Leave a comment

Headed to Jail

Update: Sorry that I haven’t posted anything else lately.  I have been cautiously optimistic that some folks would read the post before I moved on to other stuff and I have been spending too much of my currently limited online time in discussions at another blog or two.  Thus I have had no time for original posts of my own.  I plan to get something posted by the weekend.  In the meantime, if you haven’t gone and watched the funny “news story” about my upcoming “incarceration,” I invite you to do so.  You don’t have to give any money to see it, just follow the link below.

This time it is serious (well sort of serious at least).  I have been nominated and sentenced to do time for the MDA.  In order to get out of jail I have to raise money for my own bail.  Some of you are probably familiar with this fundraiser put on by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  I have helped with fundraisers for them before when a friend of mine from high school was active in it and one year I ended up spending time in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume.  Anyway, I figured one of my best hopes for raising the bail money that I need is to put out an appeal to those of you who might be inclined to help the MDA or even just have pity on me.  If nothing else, you can get a good laugh from the news story they have put together on the website telling about my incarceration.

Categories: Fun, Humor, Love, ministry, personal | 2 Comments

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana

Tonight we are participating in our second annual observance of the Feast of Trumpets wave to celebrate the reign of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and to look for His return.  It was a lot of fun last year and I expect we will have a lot of fun this year.  In a rather ironic twist it is homecoming night for the Langdon Football game, so we will probably go by there after we are done at the church.  I would be far more excited to have our own homecoming with the Lord instead.  Who knows what may happen.

51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Click the video above to hear the Last Trump as it has been blown for over 3500 years (it is the long loud blast at the end).

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

May you draw encouragement from the fact that our Lord is faithful and will do what He has promised.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Categories: Christianity, devotional, Feasts, Kingdom, Messiah, Prophecy, Yeshua | 3 Comments

Headed to Camp

I may have more uses for my new GPS Palm device than I originally thought.  At first, I figured it would be a fun toy and would give us the chance to finally take up geocaching as a family.  Now I may have another use for it, getting around roadblocks.  About a month ago, there was a news story that mentioned that the National Guard was hiring for “Internment Specialists”.  This story contains quotes from spokesmen that make you wonder:

“You must resettle the prisoners to an area of safety where they can be interned in a safe environment,” he told WND today. “This is a specific role of a military police soldier, to be trained in the proper protection and interrogation and handling of enemy combatants on foreign soil.”

Such soldiers “do not … operate a military police role in the United States,” he said.

He said the National Guard has no authority over civilians in the U.S. unless a governor declares some sort of emergency and asks for help, such as when a hurricane hits.

So, they say that they won’t act against US citizens unless an emergency is declared or arises.  But it goes on with a few more troublesome quotes:

Another National Guard spokesman, Mark Allen, said, “We ran the ad, but the soldiers that we recruit and train are primarily trained so they can be deployed overseas. We envision that eventually people get deployed and they’ll be responsible for internment and relocation of people overseas.” (emphasis mine)

This is just vague enough to allow for the possibility that these folks could be used on U.S. soil.  Which brings me to this rather disturbing video on youtube.  There are surely dozens like it, but it makes me wonder.  I am not a kook conspiracy theorist, but it is telling that the path our government keeps taking makes you have to at least stop and ask, “could this happen?”

What do you think?  Does this sound like the America you thought you knew?

Categories: Culture, Freedom, politics, Signs of the Times | 5 Comments

Sunday Morning 9/13/09

This is an exciting week.  We are celebrating the Feast of Trumpets this Friday night by blowing the shofar and shouting for the return of the King.  This sermon covers some information regarding the Feast of Trumpets but is by no means comprehensive.  Enjoy and may God bless you this week.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Feast of Trumpets

Sermon Notes for 9/13/09

  1. Leviticus 23:23-24

    1. A memorial

      1. If the Lord has no remembrance of a person or nation they have been rejected by Him (Luke 13:27, Matthew 7:23; Matthew 25:41-46)

      2. We want to be remembered by the Lord (Malachi 3:16-18)

      3. The trumpet of the Lord – 1 Cor. 14:8, Ps. 47:5, 1 Thes. 4:16, Zech. 9:14, Ps. 89:15

  2. The Day of the Awakening Blast

    1. Daniel 12:2 and Isaiah 26:19

    2. 1 Thessalonians 4:-13-18

      1. Notice the Feast of Trumpets images (shout, trumpet)

    3. A picture from Deuteronomy 30:1-10

      1. Ezekiel 37:11-14

      2. Luke 17:26-37 (Revelation 19:17-18)

  3. The Hidden Day

    1. This feast is the only one celebrated at the first of the month

      1. It is kept as one long day and is the Hidden Day because no one knows the day or the hour when it will start. 1 Corinthians 2:8-10

      2. We are to be awake and alert (the Last Trump) 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

    2. The Thief in the night is a term for the High Priest – Rev. 16:15

      1. We are supposed to be aware – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

      2. Matthew 25:8-13

Categories: Feasts, Podcasts, Sermon, Torah Readings | Leave a comment

Completely Backwards

I saw this story a couple of weeks ago as the Muslim observance of Ramadan began.  Apparently, some of the leaders of the “emergent church” have decided to observe the month along with Muslims around the world.   The story quotes Brian McLaren as saying on his blog, “We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness.”  I don’t know what these guys think we need to learn from Islam and I take issue with the idea.

My biggest problem however is that these same guys like McLaren who are promoting observance of Ramadan more or less ignore the feasts that God both created and commanded His people to observe.  I did a search of his blog for the terms Trumpets, Tabernacles and Passover and found exactly one hit for the last one.  Meanwhile, he is blogging incessantly about what a “great experience” this observance of Ramadan is.  Further evidence of this attitude comes from a quote from his blog:

Our main purpose for participating will be our own spiritual growth, health, learning, and maturity, but we also hope that our experience will inspire others to pray and work for peace and the common good, together with people of other faith traditions … as Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them. Just as Jesus, a devout Jew, overcame religious prejudice and learned from a Syrophonecian woman and was inspired by her faith two thousand years ago (Matthew 15:21 ff, Mark 7:24 ff), we seek to learn from our Muslim sisters and brothers today.

What in the world does he mean in this quote?  Is he really suggesting that Jesus had to overcome personal prejudice of some kind?  Maybe I am reading it wrong, but this sounds over the top to me.  I would suggest that we as Christians might want to look to the religious observances that Jesus actually participated in Himself (i.e. the feasts that are laid out in Leviticus 23) for “spiritual growth, health

, learning, and maturity” before we look to the observances outlined by a faith that is diametrically opposed to Christianity and is currently persecuting Christians in many corners of the world.

As we approach the time of the fall feasts of the Lord, it is important to be watching and expecting great things on God’s terms and in His time.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not the same as the god that is described in the Koran and worshipped by Muslims all over the world.  I know that isn’t the politically correct thing to say, but it is the truth.  There is no way to reconcile the two together.  Simply look at these two statements side by side:

No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22, 23)

They said, “The Most Gracious has begotten a son”! You have uttered a gross blasphemy. (Quran 19:88)

You tell me how you would resolve the two into one, because it just isn’t possible.  Islam denies that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh.  According to Scripture, that sentiment embodies the spirit of the antichrist.  Of course, that is a whole other subject that will have to wait for another post.

Categories: Apologetics, Christianity, Culture, False Teachers, Feasts, Heresy, Truth | 5 Comments

Sunday Morning 9/6/09

We had a great service Sunday as we continue our study of the Torah readings and related Scriptures.  This Sunday focused on the idea of “Today” and the rest that God has offered to us in Him today.  Hit the play button below to listen in and you can also follow along with the notes as well(the formatting messed up on these, but they should be understandable anyway).  May God richly bless you.

Today

Sermon Notes for 9/6/09

  1. This is the day – Deuteronomy 26:16-19

    1. The covenant with His people – Deuteronomy 29:10-15

      1. The people there on that day – Israel

      2. The people not there on that day – Romans 11:17-24

      3. God does not change – Hebrews 13:8

    2. Eyes that don’t see – Deuteronomy 29:1-6

      1. Romans 11:7-8; Romans 9:30-33

  2. The stumbling stone of Romans 9:30-33

    1. nba (eh’-ben), to build; a stone:

ba = Father

nb = Son

nba = Stone (father and son together)

    1. God is building now with us as His stones – Deuteronomy 27:5-8

      1. 1 Peter 2:1-10

      2. God writes on the stones – Jeremiah 31:31-34

  1. Today is the day of decision

    1. Deuteronomy 29:16-20

      1. The stubborn heart turns away and assumes it is OK

      2. Hebrews 4:1-4 and John 3:3:14-18 – Belief/faith is the key to obedience

    2. Deuteronomy 27:26 – obedience confirms belief

      1. James 1:22-25; 2:14-26

    3. Enter into His rest in obedience through faith

      1. Hebrews 4:6-16

      2. Matthew 11:28-30

Categories: Gospel, Podcasts, Sermon, Torah Readings | Leave a comment

Over Easy Yokes

I know the title is a terrible sort of pun, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  I was listening to the audio from El Shaddai ministries tonight from their Sabbath service this past Saturday and I heard something that absolutely hit home with me.  It has to do with Jesus statement about taking His yoke upon us in Matthew 11.  Let me give the verses here for easy reference:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

This image is an interesting one that has some very simple applications to some of the discussions I have been involved in lately regarding the Law and what it is for and how it applies to us as believers.  If we are to be yoked with Christ; it makes perfect sense that we are going to go where He goes in the process.  This promise is made in the context of giving us rest however, so it seems to be a conundrum, since a yoke is an implement of work.  The way to understand this is interesting and involves seeing another verse in connection to this.

If we examine these verses for a minute, we find that Jesus is quoting from another Scripture when he uses the phrase, “ you will find rest for your souls.”  It is from Jeremiah 6:16:

Thus says the LORD:”Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Jesus says that when we take His yoke upon us, we will learn from Him.  What do you suppose we will learn?  Let me give you a hint from Micah 4:1-5(emphasis mine):

1It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

3He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
5For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.

If we are yoked to Jesus, we will walk in the same direction that He walks, and Jesus walks in the path of God’s Law.  He hasn’t changed it (Matthew 5:18) and He won’t deviate from it.  What we will find when we are yoked to Him is that He carries the load and we just walk alongside.

As an added note, I think the term “stiff-necked” for rebellion has become a whole lot more meaningful to me as well.  It makes lots of sense that I would get a “stiff-neck” when I am trying to deviate from the path my Master is walking in our yoke.

What do you think?  Are you willing to be yoked up and rest from trying to do it yourself?

Categories: Bible Thoughts, Christianity, devotional, Discipleship, Freedom, Law, Messiah, theology | 4 Comments

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