Ruminations in Theology


The “Lamb’s Book Of Life”!


Posted By on Jun 5, 2015

“And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life” Rev. 20:12b   Imagine if mankind were to become so technologically advanced, they were able to eliminate all printed books. If Christians allowed this to happen, it would be a futile mistake in the eyes of God.  Scripture specifically indicates that at the end of the age God will reference a “book” (perhaps a scroll); those who are His children are written in the “Book of Life.” (Phil. 4:3, Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 15, 21:27, 22:19). Because the Apostle John preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he was arrested by Roman authorities, and banished to the brutal imprisonment of the island of Patmos. While on Patmos and (1) in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, John received a series of visions from God, which prophesied future things. He was commanded by Jesus Christ in a loud voice; “Write in a book what you see…”! Superintended by the Holy Spirit the Apostle wrote everything down. After which he was to send what he documented, to seven specific churches, the precise judgment by our Lord Jesus, according to their deeds. (Rev. 1:11). Incidentally, John wrote the entire book of Revelation while seeing these visions. The main theme of the book of Revelation is the exaltation of Jesus Christ–His blazing glory; Lordship over the church; His second coming, judgment of mankind, defeat of Satan, and the new eternal state.   Because we have these facts written in the Bible, our children and our children’s children should possess knowledge of the Bible in book form.  We must encourage them to study the entire Bible, prayerfully and daily.  This current generation is the first of “evangelicals” who are astoundingly  bereft of basic biblical comprehension.  As indicated before, at the end of the age, God will reference a literal book. Furthermore, I believe there is a unique and unexplainable, divine power that operates through the words of God written in a literal book. Personally, when I study my Bible in this format, I feel a strong sense of awe and wonder regarding the things of God. Historically Christians have studied their Bibles from Old Testament through the New Testament, guided each Lord’s Day by their prospective pastor’s via expository preaching.  It’s the appropriate way to read and study the holy Bible and God’s intended way of reading His word. The Holy Spirit dwells within believers (John 14:17), therefore, as we read the Bible, He illuminates our minds to the truths of Christ and reveals them to our understanding (James 4:5, 1 John 3:24, 4:13, John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:10, 20, 1 Tim. 3;16-17). Pastor John MacArthur stated; (2)“The Holy Spirit’s ministry in you, His anointing of...

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Digital Bible, Digital Problems!

Digital Bible, Digital Problems!


Posted By on May 24, 2015

Digital Bible, Digital Problems! As a culture we are rapidly becoming a paperless society.  Almost all matters pertaining to business and leisure are being accomplished on personal Smart Phones, ipads, Tablets, Kindles, MP3, 4 Players, etc.  Many Christians are preferring to read their Bibles on state-of-the-art digital devices, thus eliminating books as part of their reading practices.  In fact, eliminating Bibles in book form has become ever-increasingly popular and considered convenient and vogue.  The thought of utilizing a paper Bible, is claimed by many evangelicals, to be cumbersome, superfluous, and time-consuming.  The negative effects upon biblical intelligence has been devastating, especially on the younger adults.  In this quick-paced, “Google it”, “I-want-it-now” generation, the technological industry has aided and abetted this devastation.   Ignorance of the most fundamental tenants of Christianity is on the rise, because  industry is continually inventing new and improved devices, designed to simplify the biblical reading and research experience.  Therefore, we are straying perilously further and further away from the Bible in book form. While auditing a theology class at one of the most prestigious seminaries in America, I observed the theology professor had strictly forbade all electronic devises from being utilized in his classroom and insisted only Bibles in book-form be employed.   Furthermore, whenever he referenced a text of Scripture, he would prompt his students to turn in their Bibles to the passage indicated.  As the professor turned the pages of his Bible, he overtly proceeded slowly and methodically, all the while audibly and sequentially calling out each book as he thumbed by them.  I wondered if others who watched this assumed he was acting harshly and arrogantly having eliminated computers as he educated these students to become familiar with the written Word of God.  I wondered if it appeared as pompous sarcasm, as if he flaunted his intellectual superiority over these fledgling students. However, it wasn’t very long before I determined that assumption would be erroneous.  It was my to joyful astonishment, that after careful observation, most of the students awkwardly fumbled through their Bibles.   I realized they didn’t know the general location of the books of the Bible and needed this professors wisdom and patience.  I was perplexed by this discovery and wondered, just how seminary students could be ignorant to the rudiments of the Bible?   But, concluded that they are victims of this current technological age, which produces every type of new-fangled gadget, designed to eradicate books and their attention span.  Their lacking of basic biblical knowledge is indeed a direct result of this ever-evolving generation.  Therefore, I could not fault them.  Unfortunately, too many of today’s students know of no other way...

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Jesus Christ, Paradigm Of Agapé Love! “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands…rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.   After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”                                                                                                                          John 13:3-5  For most Christians, no other passages in the Bible are referenced regarding the characteristics of “love”, as the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, also known as “the love chapter”.  In fact, even the secular world references them virtually at ad-infinitum ad-nauseam.  They will extrapolate these verses from the Bible and attach them onto cute clichéd post cards, plaques, walls frames, bumper stickers, etc, even though they cannot comprehend the depth of biblical love (1 Cor. 2:14).  But perhaps the greatest exhibition of love recorded in Scripture, second only to Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, occurred in the Upper Room, where Jesus Christ spent His final evening of freedom with His beloved disciples, washing their feet and instructing them of things to come.  Mere hours later, He would endure an ignominious and barbaric execution by means of crucifixion, which, historically, was considered the most brutal way to be put to death. What made the scene even more disturbing and sorrowful, was the fact that all His disciples (except John) would forsake Him that very evening upon His arrest.  Being omniscient, Jesus was cognizant that such abandonment would occur.  But, even knowing what would take place, He astonishingly girded Himself with a servants towel and proceeded to wash the disciples dirty feet. (John 13:3-12).  Here was God, Creator of the universe, and Savior of mankind; condescended to the level of an insignificant galley slave, washing the feet of sinful men!   Furthermore, Jesus washed Judas Iscariot’s feet; the very disciple who would betray Him unto His arrest and murder!   Jesus Christ’ sacrificial exhibition was the quintessence of loving your enemies.  With perfection He demonstrated exactly what He preached in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5:44) As  He finished washing their feet, He instructed them; “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  “By...

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Rejoicing, While Suffering For Jesus Christ! “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”  Acts 5:41 Many times preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ will result in suffering and that suffering will occur in various ways.  In fact, all Christians ought to expect this type of suffering (2 Tim. 3:12, 1 Pet. 4:12-19).  For powerful examples of suffering, I refer to the book of Acts.  Which brings a sense of awe of the Apostle’s courageousness, tenaciousness, and fortitude.  They endured horrendous persecution for sake of the Gospel, yet continued to press on.  Obeying God, regardless of the numerous perilous situations they encountered at the hands of the Jewish leaders or others.  Suffering came in many forms; they were maligned, falsely accused, threatened, arrested, severely beaten, imprisoned, etc (Acts 4:3, 17-8, 5:18, 40, 16:22-23). Peter and John were illegally jailed for preaching Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and were ordered by the Jewish leaders to refrain from preaching about Jesus Christ.  Realizing to whom Peter and John ultimately held allegiance to, they disregarded the command and continued to proclaim Jesus.  When arrested a second, they were brought to testify before the ruling body of the temple, the Sanhedrin; where they declared; “…We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  They knew disobedience to those men would result in severe punishments, but faithfully believed obedience to God transcended obedience to men.  So as a result their choice for God, they suffered tremendous persecution   Amazingly, all their suffering was because of righteousness! Moreover, Peter asseverates that faithful believers must not only expect to suffer for Christ’s sake, but to also “rejoice” in that suffering (1 Pet. 2:21, 4:13, Acts 5:41).  An example of this can be found in the fifth chapter of Acts; “…they flogged them (the Apostles) and ordered them to speak no more in the name of Jesus, and then released them.  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:40-42-emphasis added).  Also, when Paul and Silas were severely beaten with rods and imprisoned for proclaiming Christ, they sang hymns of praise to God! (Acts 16:22-25)   Can you imagine enduring a painful, blood-spattering beating for preaching that salvation is only through Jesus Christ?  But, what is even more mind-boggling, is rejoicing afterwards!  This is encouraging to read, knowing there are many in...

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Paul, Stoned! But encouraged the brethren! “…they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.” Acts 14:19b Paul, having just healed a lame man, so captivated the people of Lystra, that they extolled him and Barnabas as incarnate gods (Acts 14:8-11). But, envious and disbelieving Jews came from Iconium and Antioch and persuaded the multitude to rebel against them. Erroneously convinced, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead (Acts 14:19). But, miraculously, he arose that same day and entered into the city with his other disciples. The very next day, he and Barnabas traveled approximately fifty miles to the city of Derbe v. 20. This amazing feat was accomplished because the Lord performed a supernatural divine healing.  For Paul was violently and brutally “stoned” and most likely a bloody pulp. And obviously death by stoning was extremely harsh, agonizing way to be murdered, let alone surviving such an ordeal.  But, what is even more amazing then Paul’s miraculous survival, is the fact that he devotedly proclaimed the Gospel immediately upon arriving in Derbe and made many disciples there. From Derbe, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch; the very cities responsible for nearly killing Paul! v. 21. One could appropriately speculate, the Jews unsuccessful at murdering Paul the first time, were exceedingly furious and desirous for the opportunity of having a second chance at murdering him. So, why did Paul return to these hostile and pernicious venues? Most believers, if not all, would have probably fled fast and far from such perilous environments, opting not to go near them ever again. But Paul didn’t, he courageously chose to venture back, dangerously placing his life at risk. Perhaps to encourage the brethren in each city, who might have witnessed or heard of the pandemonium which culminated in Paul’s stoning.  Also Paul’s devotion and desire to proclaim the Gospel.  Paul abided in the faith, declared; “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” v. 22b. We can glean from these passages that Paul’s courageous return, demonstrated an unwavering trust in God and belief in God’s power to perform miracles. Paul was a literal paradigm of encouragement for those disciples to witness, and to exude that same trust in God themselves. Furthermore, his return would have served to encourage the brethren, who became discouraged from Paul’s violent rejection; contemplating, in that situation, darkness overcame light.  So, in essence, Paul demonstrated the fortitude and unrelenting amelioration of the church (Matt. 11:12); that it cannot not be thwarted by evil unbelief! Even under severe persecution, the Lord Jesus Christ earnestly declared, evil shall not...

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