En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


The Significance of Scripture

The Significance of Scripture


Posted By on Sep 14, 2018

“… The Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35)   While away on a recent trip I was able to visit with a friend.  While sitting on a rushing river bank, we had a lengthy discussion of many things.  She seemed particularly distracted and as I pressed her, she confessed that she was concerned about her pastor.  She voiced concerns regarding her pastors’ exposition from the Old Testament, mainly she was worried about the potential danger of excluding the Gospel message.  Ironically, I have Jewish friends who hold to the Old Testament alone.  In this article, I wish to share a few things which helped my friend and which I hope is helpful to my sisters in Christ.  But in order to keep this brief, I will only touch on a few things in a very cursory manner, as this subject is complex, immense and the most relevant of all subjects. Therefore, please look to the theological resources at the end of this article. The first issue I believe is imperative to address is that both the Old and New Testament is inspired by God.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  We tend to forget the supernatural nature of Scripture, that it is “God-breathed”.  As a “people of the book” we know that God divinely superintended the accurate recording of His divinely breathed truth by His divinely chosen human instruments.  All Scripture, meaning the words originally revealed and recorded, is God’s infallible and inerrant Word. God moved men to utter and write Scripture, this known as the doctrine of Inspiration, as they were allowed their own unique personality to come through, God controlled word for word what He wanted. “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Pet. 1:19-21). From the first author, Moses who wrote Genesis and every book unto to the very last, Revelation which was written by the Apostle John is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. There is no more revelation other than the words within the Bible and yet the Holy Spirit within each Christian, aids the meaning and understanding of Scriptures.  The Scriptures are the recorded history of God’s self revelation to His creation.  They are Word revelation and Event revelation, as the men who recorded Scripture recorded actual historical events.  Between the...

Read More
Redeem The Time

Redeem The Time


Posted By on Sep 14, 2018

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”                                                             Eph. 5:15-16     There are ample exhortations in Scripture that indicate the Christian to be continuously fruitful–and that he or she is urged to “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).  In fact, the original Greek of that clause in Eph. 5:18 is rendered, “Be being filled with the Spirit”; it’s to be a continuous, ongoing behavior in the life of a believer.  In other words, a believers duty is marked by life-long service to God, until he is called home to heaven and when the words “Well done, good and faithful slave“, are hopefully heard (Matt. 25:21, 23).  By perusing the Bible, one will see many stories regarding God’s servant’s service to Him, was a life-long endeavor that only terminated upon their death.  For example, God used Abraham and Sarah who were both well-advanced in years [100 and 90 years old–Gen. 17:15-16].  Although well past the childbearing age, God blessed Sarah with the capability to conceive and give birth to Isaac, the continuation of the promised “seed” (Gen. 17:9).  Abraham served God all the remaining years of his life and died at the age of one hundred and seventy five. Moses was eighty years old when God first appeared to him in the “burning bush.” (Ex. 3:2).  Obeying God’s call, Moses embarked on what would end up being a forty year “tour of duty”, as a faithful “servant of God”.  God choose him and his brother Aaron [also in his eighties], to deliver His people, the Israelites, from Egyptian slavery and subjugation.  Joshua, who faithfully served Moses, was forty years old when he spied out the “Promise Land” [Josh. 14:7] and was nearly eighty years old, when he had taken over leading the people [Moses died Deut. 34:5].  into the Promised Land.  David, God’s “chosen” king of Israel and “a man after God’s own heart” [1 Sam. 13:14, Ps. 89:20, Acts 13:22], fought and won many battles for God and His people.  He served God by loyally obeying His will until he died, having served as a great king of Israel for forty years (1 Kin. 2:10-11, Acts 13:22, 36). In the New Testament, Paul faithfully and diligently served God his entire life, until the time of his execution (cf. 2 Tim. 4:6).  During his first imprisonment he served the Lord by writing four inspired epistles [Ephesians, Philippians,...

Read More
Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration

Peter: Forgiveness and Restoration


Posted By on Mar 23, 2018

  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”                                                                                                           Luke 22:32                                                                                                       As Satan did with Job, he approached God to ask for permission to assail Peter: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32–NKJ–brackets added).  Some liberal theologians believe that Jesus Christ’s prayer failed to accomplish what He had requested of His Father.  They surmise this because Peter denied Jesus three times, only moments after Jesus had prayed for him (Luke 22:55-60).  Their foolish conjecture [heresy], if it were true, certainly would place Christ’s deity and omnipotence in question.  It is true however, that Peter miserably failed by denying Jesus Christ in the ensuing moments leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.  However, after the Lord’s resurrection and during His re-appearance, He mercifully and graciously restored Peter (Jn. 21:15-17).   Jesus instructed Peter to adorn self-sacrificing allegiance to Him and to encourage and instruct the brethren.  Thereafter, Peter’s faith proved to be a bedrock, in which believers can look to him [his epistles] for guidance and hope. In this article I plan to show that Jesus prayer was indeed effectual and was evidence of God’s forgiveness, because He restored Peter to a high level of trust shepherding many of God’s flock.   For instance, in the book of Acts, especially after Pentecost, when Christ had poured out the Holy Spirit upon Peter and 119 other disciples in the Upper Room (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 33), from that day on, Peter boldly preached the gospel of Christ, amidst extreme hostility and persecution.  He evidenced strong agapē love and faith in Jesus–the type of love Jesus sought, when He asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” (Jn. 21:15-17).   In fact, not only did Peter preach with power, but it’s obvious that he was given the authority [from above], to offer repentance and forgiveness.  The Bible records three separate occasions where Peter addressed the multitude, Jewish leaders and the Sanhedrin [Israel’s highest religious governing body].  He courageously indicted them for murdering Jesus.  But, he also offered them repentance and forgiveness (Acts 2:23, 39,...

Read More
Israel is Real

Israel is Real


Posted By on Feb 12, 2018

“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’  Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”                                                        Rom. 11:25-29   Many scholars and theologians consider the book of Romans in the New Testament to be the Mount Everest of theology and chapter 8 as its peak.    In the church not many would disagree with such a majestic assessment.  A believer can peruse through Romans and be comforted by its profound truths and assured of the permanency of their salvation.  In fact, there is not a clearer verse in the N.T. of salvific assurance, than the familiar: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. (Rom. 8:1). Briefly summarizing the doctrinal portion of Romans [chapters 1-11], one is instructed on man’s inherent depraved nature [Rom. 1-3], justified by faith [4], Christ’s incredible and selfless sacrifice on behalf of undeserving sinners [Rom. 5], free from sin’s slavery [6], free from the Law [7], and the guarantee of salvation and God’s inseparable love [Rom. 8].  In the ensuing chapters [9-11], Paul provides a powerful example of that inseparable love, by writing that God will save and restore Israel in the future.  I find it to be perplexing and disillusioning, why this straight-forward truth is difficult for many in the church to accept. Tragically, Romans 9-11 is rarely preached or taught in context and as a complete unit, emphasizing the salvation of national Israel.  Those chapters [9-11] must be taken in succession in order to understand correctly Israel’s relationship and standing with God.  In brief, chapter 9 addresses Israel’s sovereign election; chapter 10, focuses on their rejection of their Messiah and their refusal to heed the gospel.  Chapter 11, culminates with God’s steadfast faithfulness to the promises He made to Israel’s patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:18-21, 26:2-5, 28:10-17). Unfortunately, many pastors utilize only a few selected verses extracted from chapters 9 and 10 and preach them in a topical fashion.  Typically these verses are utilized to explain individual election, salvation, or evangelism; and are always applied to the church.  Worse...

Read More

God bestows “common grace” to all men.  That is because God loves all of mankind.  God provides the necessities of life, including the way of salvation (Jn. 3:16).  Scripture speaks frequently to the concept of God’s common grace.  However, there are instances which only God knows, when He withholds the providing of certain necessities.  Scripture does say that God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).  All Christians must accept this fact, for it’s His sovereign will to do as He pleases.  Mercifully, God provides for all of mankind, whether they love Him or not and believe in Him or not. Uniquely, Christians receive God’s “special” love, a love that will not only manifest itself physically, but will inevitably carry over into heaven–His love will never cease (Jn. 6:40, 1 Jn. 2:24-25, 4:9, Rom. 5:8, 1 Cor. 13:8, 13).  All people have the opportunity for God’s special love, but, an obstacle which hinders most of them, has been the same obstacle for last 2,000 years: “…Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23, and also Acts 4:12).  “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:9).  If only all people would clear this hurdle [belief in Jesus Christ alone], God’s temporal common grace, would turn into eternal love. So what is God’s “common grace”?  To put it concisely, Pastor John MacArthur  defines it as: “…a term theologians use to describe the goodness of God to all mankind universally.” 1  That “goodness” of God is manifested in several ways.  For instance, 1) God provides for mankind the necessities of life and daily sustenance (Matt. 5:45, Acts 14:15-17, 17:25). 2) He allows them to make independent decisions, even many that are ungodly and displeasing to Him.  3) He  allows them to enjoy His creation; its beauty and splendor (Ps. 50:2). 4) He gives talents, knowledge, and physical prowess to all people–many for prosperous purposes.  5)  He sets a government and leadership over the people (Rom. 13:1-5)  6) He restrains sin and evil (Rom. 2:15).   And there are many more ways God is kind  to all of humanity. In this article, I want to focus on one particular way God displays common grace, which is provisionally.  God’s graciously and mercifully bestows goodness to mankind equally: “”The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:9). . In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He said; “…for He [God] causes His sun to rise on the evil...

Read More

We are pleased to be announcing this book! “The Bible Expositor’s Handbook -Old Testament Digital Edition, by Dr. Greg Harris” There isn’t a book we recommend more highly than this, for every Christian expositor of God’s Word; whether male or female, regardless of age, station in life–every expositor will be blessed by the this book’s unique ability to guide the reader through Scripture, illuminating the interwoven history and redemptive plan God has provided through His Son, the Messiah Jesus.   Each chapter brings forth the reader’s ability to understand Scripture in a deeper, richer and worshipful manner, producing joy.   A special thanks to Dr. Greg Harris and B&H Academic for this rare and needed book, which continues to enrich our daily studies. This book can be purchased online at B&H Academic. New book by Dr. Greg Harris, The Bible Expositor’s Handbook—Old Testament Digital Edition    ...

Read More
Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way

Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way


Posted By on Jan 7, 2017

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:5-6    Thomas, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, asked how they would be able to obtain salvation once He departed–to whom will they turn.  Jesus’ answered Thomas by earnestly declaring, “I am the way“; He is the way to eternal life.  In fact, the book of Acts, refers to Jesus Christ often as “the Way”, because He is the object of salvation to everyone who believes in Him (Acts 9:2, 19:9, 23, 22:4, 24:14, 22).“I am the truth”;  every word Jesus ever spoke and every word ever written about Him in the Bible, is without a doubt the truth.  Often, Jesus began a declaration, “verily, verily” or “truly, truly”.  He used repetition to emphasize that the following statement He was to speak  would be of the utmost significance.  “And the life“; salvation is another word for eternal life.  Therefore, if anyone believes Jesus is Savior and Lord, shall indeed have eternal life (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13). “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Jesus declares that He is the only “Way” to be reconciled to God (1 Corinthians 5:17-21); to have peace with Him (John 14:27), and ultimately to obtain salvation (John 6:39-40). In Scripture, Jesus Christ is often referred to as the “Son” and God is often referred to as the “Father”.  That is because Jesus was God’s only begotten Son in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22, John 3:16) “And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved…”  Joel 2:32   Today, as you read this, pick up a Bible and read, call upon Jesus Christ to receive eternal life by repenting of your sins, and begin your personal relationship with God. To be continued…..more foundational...

Read More

  “…and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”  Eph. 1:22b   Most Christians are familiar with Peter’s impassioned proclamation about Jesus Christ, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.  To which Jesus responded; “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven… and on this rock I will build My church.”  (Matt. 16:16b, 17b-18b).   The “rock” being Peter’s verbal affirmation of Christ’s deity.  After Jesus was crucified, died, buried, resurrected, and appeared to over five hundred witnesses; He ascended up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  From heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Him, to convict the world of sin, and to commence the building of His church (Jn. 15:26, 16:7, 8-11, Acts 2:1-4).  It is through the Holy Spirit’s power the church continues to advance, and that advancement will continue even at Jesus Christ’s  second advent. It is clearly indicated in Scripture that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23).  Having its foundation laid by the prophets and Apostles, the church continues to increase as a holy temple in the Lord. (Eph. 2:20-21).  The church is not a “material” building, but rather people themselves; spiritual bodies each indwelt by the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  It is redeemed people predestined and chosen in Jesus Christ, to receive God’s special saving love and, preserved for glory. (Eph. 2:19-22, Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4, Titus 3:4-6, Rom. 8:30).  The definition of “church” is the “called” or “called out ones” (ekklasia)–anyone who believes and worships Jesus Christ as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). Throughout the world, there are many sects or denominations of the church which gather to worship on the first day of the week, also known as the Lord’s day.  Even though the called may meet in various types of buildings, they are still considered one spiritual organism or the universal church.  Those buildings or locations where they meet, are typically referred to as “churches”.   Nonetheless, the church is still an invisible conglomeration of believers united by the blood of Jesus Christ.   The fortunate few who are “called”, God blesses by bestowing upon them with the grace and faith to believe in the Head of the church. (Matt. 20:16, 22:14, Eph. 2:8).  It is utterly amazing to ponder that God would grant unworthy, undeserving, and sinful creatures, His divine mercy and infinite love.  O how blessed and eternally privileged the called of God truly are! Therefore, it is tragic, perilous...

Read More
Page 1 of 712345...Last »