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Monday, March 31 2008

The title of the video says it all...The Name - Jesus

 

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Saturday, March 29 2008

There is a scripture that I have preached from and I have put it in my prayer journal so that when I pray that it applies to Cornerstone Chapel.  It speaks to God's people in a way that should convict us to always be doing something for God.  I do not mean that we neglect other responsibilities in our lives, but to have the attitude that the people that this scripture speaks of had...

Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

There are several concepts that we can pull from this scripture.  We should understand that we are speaking of the children of Israel, but more importantly we are speaking to their mindset.  Consider the following...

  • They were in unity

Psalms 133:1 <A Song of degrees of David.> Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

  • They were willing

2Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

  • They were focused on the mission and understood the vision

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

We are often sidetracked and can become critical because we no longer have a mind to work.  The road is not always easy, but the word says (and we should read this often)... 

Psalms 23:1 <A Psalm of David.> The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalms 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalms 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalms 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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Thursday, March 27 2008

A couple months ago, I gave a book to those that attended the leadership class that Cornerstone Chapel conducts each month.  I found the book interesting, and thought its message was something that a church leader could apply to their lives and ministries.  It spoke of passion and more specifically passion for whatever you may do whether you are the pastor or the newest member of the leadership team.  The book is called The Fred Factor and the following is the author speaking of the book...enjoy.

 

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Tuesday, March 25 2008

Tonight, I was in conversation and used the phrase we need to pull down the strong holds.  It is a phrase that I have often heard and have have used throughout my ministry, but what does it really mean?  I did a search and found that the term stronghold is not found in scripture, but strong hold is used eight times.  Each of the eight times, they are used in the Old Testament and they are follows...

2Samuel 5:7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

2Samuel 24:7 And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba.

Isaiah 31:9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.

Micah 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Habbakuk 1:10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.

Zechariah 9:3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.

The term strong hold is defined in Strong's as...

a net, or (abstractly) capture; also a fastness: - castle, defence, fort (-ress), (strong) hold, be hunted, net, snare, strong place.

There is little left for the imagination when it comes to what a strong hold was in the Old Testament, but does the term apply to us today?  It is apparent through the New Testament that we are in a spiritual warfare...

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

There is little doubt that the enemy has strengthened himself in certain places or strong holds, but we have the formula for victory.

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

As always, prayer is a key to pulling down the strong holds in our life and in geographic areas.  We need to make war on the floor and pull down strong holds.  It is time that we commit to pulling down the strong holds in the cities and counties so that we can impact our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is our focus and mission.  Always remembering...

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

 

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Monday, March 24 2008

I have preached on praise.  I enjoy praising.  Like many others, it is often difficult to praise when things are not great.  Simply, situations and circumstances can affect our praise.  This is sad, but I think it is human nature.  It takes discipline and a will to praise when the storm clouds seem to hover over us, but there is a song that I love to listen to when I am facing trials in my life.  The video is below and I hope it blesses you as it does me...

 

 

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Thursday, March 20 2008

Tonight...I heard an awesome sermon preached by Rev. Wayne Francis.  He preached In Pursuit of Horizons.  I could not do it justice by recapping it, but what still amazes me is the response of the teenagers to the preached word of God.  As I stood and watched, the thought came to me that if the potential of the few hundred teenagers were unleashed to reach the lost that they could impact our world.  It would take dedication and an undying commitment to Jesus on their part, but it can happen and tonight just propelled these students to continue in their quest to turn this world upside down.

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Wednesday, March 19 2008

This blog serves a purpose and that is to strengthen me and the readers in the word of God.  It is important to understand the need to rightly divide the word and fully understand the scripture and Biblical principles. 

I am sure that most have become acutely aware of the crashing of religion and politics this week in the news. It is a line that is often crossed, but perhaps in not such a high profile situation.  I believe that it is our duty as an American to vote, but I believe that the church should remain nonpolitical.  Obviously, there will be situations such as abortion that smacks in the face of the scripture and churches should address such issues with love and wisdom.  In studying the life of Jesus, I do not read of him addressing the political situations of the day.  It is our mission to preach the gospel and not to endorse candidates.  When the church becomes political it loses its vision of reaching the lost and becomes something undesirable. 

I truly enjoy writing this blog, but the most political that I want to be is to say that I am not political.  My opinion on the president or congress does not win souls.  I pray that I can reach the lost and I hope that is your prayer also. 

May God bless you and I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Yours for souls,

Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr.

 

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Tuesday, March 18 2008

In reading in Matthew this morning, the disciples came to Jesus and asked...

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

It is an interesting question for which is asked today.  I suppose people want to have an understanding of the future events involving the world and rapture.  Perhaps, that is part of basic human nature.  I find the immediate answer for which Jesus gives fascinating...

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Jesus continues to speak throughout the chapter and he speaks of the horrors that will happen including...

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

It will be during these times that what we do now matters.  If we take a lax view of our walk with God then we will be deceived, but if we do as David wrote...

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

I do not know when the rapture or the end of the world will be, but it is coming.  I do not know if it will happen in my lifetime.   Our only clue is...

Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

If the rapture or the end of the world does not happen during our lifetime, we still will face trials and tribulations.  Perhaps, we will not have to deal will worldwide persecution, but our personal tribulations can be difficult.  We can not waver in our faith.  If we study and pray and become grounded in the Word, then we be as Paul instructed...

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Always remembering...

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

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Friday, March 14 2008

Today, I wold like to discuss the thief on the cross...

The thief on the cross becomes a pawn in doctrinal debates and he has no bearing on our salvation. The Bible must be taken in context and as Paul wrote...

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I realize that I use that scripture regularly, but it is an important Biblical principle that we must fully understand.

Let us look at the scripture...

Luke 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

Luke 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

Luke 23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Yes, Jesus did tell the malefactor that he would indeed be in paradise with him that day, but let us look at when the thief lived and died.  We have a clue a couple of scriptures after verse 43...

Luke 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

We know the veil to represent a separation of the presence of God and the children of Israel and when it was rent it symbolized that all men could enter the presence of God. Simply, the thief on the cross was under the law that God gave Moses.  We now live under grace.

We know that Jesus resurrected and went to find the disciples.  It is then that they were instructed to fulfill the prophecy of John 3...

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

The thief on the cross was not born of water and Spirit, but the disciples were instructed after the death of Jesus (and the thief) to...

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The Holy Ghost did come upon them...

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The chronology of the Bible does not support that the thief somehow can be used to support a salvation doctrine today.   He lived and died under the same law as Moses, Joshua, David and Daniel.  Today, we must do as the apostles preached throughout the book of Acts...

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (born of water), and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (born of Spirit).

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Thursday, March 13 2008

A couple of days ago, I said that my favorite food was grilled cheese and if there ever was a story about the delicious sandwich that I would put it on the blog.  I am a man of my word having to fulfill the role of the pastor...

1Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Although, I did not make a vow to God, the following scripture reveals the importance that God places upon integrity...

Deuteronomy 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

OK...on top of all that, I was challenged by a reader to fit the following video on grilled cheese into the blog...enjoy

 

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Wednesday, March 12 2008

The story of the rich young ruler has always fascinated me and I have preached from it several times.  The question that he asked Jesus was straightforward and even today reflects that thinking of man.  He simply asked...

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

The idea that good people and good works can somehow pay your ticket into heaven did not start nor end with the rich young ruler.  There are many even today that remain ignorant of the scripture that fail to understand that Jesus forever erased that as a theological doctrine.

Although, the Bible does speak of works...

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

It is not our works within themselves that gives us passage to heaven.

Jesus stated in...

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

The story of the rich young ruler stands as an example to each of us.  Are we willing to sell out to Jesus?  We are committed and dedicated to our families and careers, but what are we willing to give up for Jesus so that we can make it to heaven.  Read the following...

Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

I am in no way advocating selling all that you have or quitting your job, but we need to check our priorities with the understanding that Jesus expects us to make Him first. The wise man said...

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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Tuesday, March 11 2008

I realize that this video has nothing to do with the advertised subject of this blog, but I think this story is really interesting.  I suppose my interest is rather broad and this story is about a rare white killer whale...

My favorite food is grilled cheese, and if there is ever a story on that I will bring it to you...

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Monday, March 10 2008

In reading in Matthew today, I read...

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

Matthew 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

I have read this passage of scripture many times and probably have preached from it, but something that caught my eye today was the question Jesus asked the disciples (proof he was speaking to the disciples...Matthew 18:1)...

How think ye?

There is no record in Matthew that the disciples answered the question, but the story reveals that the thoughts of God are not the same as the thoughts of man as evidenced in...

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I am not a shepherd in the sense that I have sheep mowing the grass in my backyard.  Although, that would save me time cutting grass, but it seems to me that the greatest need and the biggest investment would have been with the ninety nine sheep left in the pasture.  In the minds of those that Jesus was speaking too, the sheep that were left behind were vulnerable and defenseless, but the shepherd left them to retrieve the least of all sheep.  

This parable applies to the church in a such a way that we need to look as each soul as important.  Although our greatest investment may be the 99, our time is well spent reaching the lost souls.  Jesus began this parable with...

 Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

What we do and how we do it is for the lost.  Our time, money and effort is not to better us or build our ministries, but to find the one soul that is lost in a world of sin. How think ye?

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Saturday, March 08 2008

The world is filled with religions and even within Christianity there are many versions of what people believe to be the truth.  I do find it interesting that people often say I believe, my preacher says or my church preaches.  This shows an immaturity in their Christian walk and a reliance on others to teach you the scripture, but the Bible states...

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

It also states (and I used this scripture yesterday)...

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I do not intend to sound hard or difficult, but there is a famine of the Word and people will be easily deceived into believing false doctrine. It is my duty to preach the Word.  I do not pastor or preach to be popular or gain notoriety for myself, but to do what Paul commanded...

2Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

This is not the only warning that we were given...

2Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

I write this blog for several reasons, but one of my goals is to challenge people to read and study the Word. There will be those that disagree and healthy debate is OK.  It is important for me to write, preach and teach using scripture because that is my source for doctrine...

2Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

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

2Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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Friday, March 07 2008

Even if you do not like or appreciate country music, this song has a powerful message...

 

 

The reason it has a powerful message is because it speaks of baptism and that is Bible.  I have listed scriptures below showing the need for baptism and more importantly baptism in the name of Jesus.

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father (Isaiah 9:6 - name of the Father is Jesus), and of the Son (Matthew 1:21 - Name of the Son is Jesus), and of the Holy Ghost (John 14:26 - Name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus)

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

I found a website called www.religiousfacts.com.  I believe it to be a secular source and it has an interesting take on baptism in the early church...

Baptism in the New Testament

The ritual of baptism is mentioned throughout the New Testament in various contexts. It appears in the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the writings of Paul and other books.

Matthew 28:19 is the only recorded direct command of Jesus regarding baptism, and its authenticity has been disputed by some scholars. Mark 16:16 belongs to the spurious appendix of the Gospel and is itself dependent upon Matthew 28:19. However, Christians have clearly practiced baptism since a very early date, which strongly suggests that they believed it to be the will of their Lord. {1}

An explicit reference to baptism "in the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit" is occurs only in Matthew 28:19, and outside of the New Testament only in Didache (7.1) and Justin's Apology (1.61). Elsewhere in the Bible and early Christian writings, baptism is in the name of Jesus only. This is in part the basis for doubting Matthew 28:19. {2}

Baptism in Jesus name is essential.  I challenge you to study for yourself and find anyone in the scripture baptized in the titles of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Please do not take my word for it, but do as the scriptures states...

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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Thursday, March 06 2008

It seems that this week may have a theme and it is simply the attack on Christianity. Although this next article is not a direct attack, the idea of not allowing homeschooling is an indirect hit since homeschooling is so popular with Christians.    I found the following Associated Press headline concerning homeschooling in California on www.foxnews.com...

Court: Parents Must Have Teaching Credentials to Home School Kids

This particular article may not seem that important, but I had read another article recently entitled by Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily.com ...

Campaign to overturn law that jailed homeschool mom

It seems that Germany is now enforcing a law that was enacted by Hitler (you know...Adolf) and is now jailing those that feel the need to homeschool their children.  The woman that was jailed is a Christian and the article writes of Hitler...

In 1937, the dictator said, "The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing."

This issue is important to me because my wife and I are homeschool parents and it should be important to all Christians because it is an attack on your ability to train your children in the way you see fit. 

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Wednesday, March 05 2008

MSNBC has the following headline...

Was Moses high on Mount Sinai?

And the following is part of the article written by the MSNBC staff...

Writing in the British philosophy journal Time and Mind, Benny Shanon of Jerusalem's Hebrew University said two plants in the Sinai desert contain the same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.

The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai could just have been the imaginings of a people in an "altered state of awareness," Shanon hypothesized.

I am truly amazed that someone would go to great lengths in an attempt to disprove the Bible, but in in Matthew 24 the Bible states...

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

The Lord was warning us that there would be those that would try to deceive us.  They will attempt to do this in many ways, but it is apparent that science is attempting to destroy the faith of man.  It is also disappointing to see the news media take hold of such nonsense when they can visit thousands of churches each week and expereince the power of Pentecost.  They can be first hand witnesses to the testimony of God's people and His life changing power.  They can be participants in the greatest force known to mankind, but they choose not too. 

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Saturday, March 01 2008

I have been recently asked about Genesis 1:26...

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

It is interesting the debate that a scripture can create, and it is simply because it is used differently depending on your belief.  Although, I caution all that read and study the Bible to understand the following...

2Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

In doing a google search, I came across several concepts for the reasons the Bible uses the plural in God referring to Himself.  Of course, there are those that believe that the Father was speaking to some other deity and this would support the Trinitarian doctrine.  This idea cannot be backed by other scriptures for the Word states...

Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

The writers of the scripture were monotheistic.  According to the thefreedictionary.com, monotheism is defined as the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. (The Trinitarian doctrine would be considered polytheistic).  I know of their strict belief of monotheism from the following...

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

In studying Genesis 1:26, those that understand Hebrew spoke of this scripture as a grammar issue and in no way was referring to more than one God. I found the writer in israelofgod.org to be consistent with the others and this is what he wrote...

Trinitarians and others claim that the Hebrew noun 'Elohim', rendered 'God' (Strong's #430) in the first clause of Genesis 1:26, denotes more than one God Person (typically thought of or explained as "3 in 1" or "2 in 1" as in "one" family).  In support they point to the second clause of verse 26, "Let us make man in our image", being plural.  It is true that in both English and Hebrew this second clause contains the plural subject 'us' and that this governs the plural verb 'make'- But these are not governed by 'Elohim' (God) of the first clause.  What is not realized, or otherwise mentioned in this issue is that in the first clause, "And God said", 'Elohim' governs the singular Hebrew verb 'amer' (Strong's # 559), which is rendered 'said' in English.  So linguistically there is no basis for claiming that 'Elohim' denotes, represents, or contains more than one God Person (entity).

It is also claimed that the Hebrew 'Elohim' is a uniplural or collective noun and that such nouns (e.g. the English noun 'crowd') often govern singular verbs.  This claim contradicts leading Hebrew grammars, which claim that throughout the OT and when referring to the true God, the Hebrew noun 'Elohim' behaves as a singular noun, and governs only singular verbs, singular adjectives and singular pronouns.  And only when 'elohim' refers to a number of pagan gods or humans (e.g. judges), that it behaves as a plural noun; and then governs plural verbs, plural adjectives and plural pronouns.  So grammatically 'Elohim' is never a collective (uniplural) noun.  That in reference to the true God, the noun 'Elohim' is singular, is well illustrated in Genesis 1:29, where this noun governs the singular pronoun 'I'.

Here follows a selection of Hebrew grammars from which these claims may be further verified: Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar edited and enlarged by E. Kautzsch, 2nd English edition by A.E. Cowley, paragraph 124 (g); Weingreen's Hebrew Grammar under 'God' in its English-Hebrew vocabulary; C.L Seow's A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, 1992 printing, the vocabulary on page 19; James D Martin's Davidson's Introductory Grammar, 27th edition, 1995 reprint, page 52.

So grammatically, too, there is no justification for claiming that in Genesis 1:26 'God' (Elohim) denotes more than one God Person.  Indeed throughout the OT Elohim' always denotes just one God Person. 

In my continued studies, I was curious of what mainstream Christianity thought of Genesis 1:26.  The NIV Study Bible gives the following commentary...

God speaks as the Creator-King, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court.

This commentary gives no support to the doctrine of the Trinity, but we can turn to the New Testament on what was for insight into what God was speaking...

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

We know that Adam was modeled after the man Christ Jesus and that God had a plan for salvation from before creation...

1Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

If you would like more information on the Godhead, please visit our online bookstore and order the book The Oneness of God by Rev. David Bernard.

Posted by: AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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