En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


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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To Rome, Roman Catholics and those praying for them. “A Christian Witness to Roman Catholicism”~Guest writer and apologist, Rob Zins Dear Friends of His Word,   It seems that the apostle Paul has made it perfectly clear that all Christians are to understand that we live in a “world” within a “world”.  Listen to his advice to those Christians at Corinth.   “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-10   In the light of all the flak flying around the Indiana state legislature and governor perhaps we should step back and reflect a bit on the basics.   Christians are called to live in the sphere of biblical ethics and morals governed by the Word of God in community with other Christians.  This is where we live, move, and breathe so to speak.  It is the world created by the Word of God and all true Christians are a part of this world.  It is the Body of Christ.   However, as the apostle notes, we are a part of a broader context which Paul calls “the world.”  By this he means those outside of Christ.  One is either governed by being in Christ and His world or dominated by the wider more general “world” when it comes to living out one’s life and following principles of belief and conduct.   Christians must learn to cope with and “associate” in the domain of the secular world.  We cannot escape the secular world.  If we keep this straight we can be comforted.  We can rest in this truth and make our way knowing that we are strangers passing through.   Christians are free to do at least two things that seem on the surface contradictory but are in fact harmonious.   The first is freedom to associate with people of this world.  By association I do not mean endorse or become like. The danger for Christians is not in selling wedding cakes to Lesbians.  The danger is in selling cakes and not speaking the truth.  Christians cannot stop selling cakes to sinners.  And Christians dare not stop speaking the truth to sinners.  Second we are free to live by God’s definition of right and wrong, good and evil, and speak publicly of these things despite the wrath of the secular world.  Christians must serve the cake, cobble the shoe, deliver the mail, fix the air conditioning, and sell the car...

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God’s Love Is Unconditional!

God’s Love Is Unconditional!


Posted By on Apr 9, 2015

God’s Love Is Unconditional! Recently, while studying God’s love, I meditated on the vastness of this divine characteristic and was overcome with emotions of joy and hope.  Overwhelmed with the incredible depth and breadth of the love that God exhibits toward His elect, is utterly astonishing. As I pondered the love of God I began to recognize how replete this subject is throughout the Bible, and one word continuously came to mind– “unconditional”. We know that God exhibits love to the unregenerate man and even blesses them despite their lack of worshipping Him as Creator. (Matt. 5:45, Acts 14:16-17).  But, He only bestows “unconditional” love on those who are His chosen.  Amazingly, we are not a special class of people, nor did we accomplish anything special to earn His unconditional love.  (Deut. 7:6-7, John 3:16, 6:37, 19:28-29, 17:6, 9, 12, 23, Rom. 5:8, 8:32-39, 1 Tim. 2:19, 1 Pet. 2:9, 1 John 3:16, 4:9-10).   The word “unconditional” is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, as: without conditions or limitations; absolute.  If we apply this definition to describe God’s love, it defines a limitless and perfect love.  God’s love is an inconceivable and mindboggling concept to Christians.  And because of its immeasurability many are uncomfortable trying to accurately convey His love, because it is so unexplainable.  Scripture states for example”…How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out”. (Rom. 11:33b). Or, “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge…” (Eph. 3:19a). These verses communicate to a finite creation (mankind), the unfathomable and inscrutable ways of an infinite God (Isa. 55:8-9). Therefore, it would be preposterous and pointless to even try to exhaustively comprehend His ways, because of that limited knowledge.  The mysteriousness of God ought to evoke us to praise and worship Him.  No matter how much knowledge we attain, we still are required to live by faith (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, 2 Cor. 5:7, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:28).  Because there is so much about God that we cannot comprehend, so we must believe on what we do not see (Heb. 11:1).   Sadly, we live in a society where every aspect of life is based on conditions and limitations.  For instance, when we purchase a product that promises a lifetime warranty; the warranty is not for the duration of your physical lifetime, but rather, for the average lifetime of that particular product.  Therefore, the product has a conditional and limited warranty.  Debts are other typical conditions which play a vital part in all our lives.  If a debt or installment is not paid by a specific payment date, it may incur interest or go to...

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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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  Be “Salt” And “Light” amidst persecution!    “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great…” Matt. 5:12a               The glorious promises of God that come through belief in Jesus Christ, may indeed be costly for the children of God; a cost that could entail severe persecution.  The Apostle Paul wrote that persecution of Christians is inevitable (2 Tim. 3:12) and can manifest itself in various forms. Such as: mockery, ridicule, slander, false accusations, ostracization from family or friends; reviling, scorn, resentment, hatred.  Being fined, imprisoned, abused, castigated, tortured, and even martyrdom.  No matter what the cost, we should be willing to pay the price.  In order to pay that hefty price, we must learn to cultivate: love, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, diligence, tenacity, fortitude; or in other words, a Christ-like heart and mind.  These disciplines do not result from a superficial understanding of God’s word and an attitude of indifference toward holiness and obedience.   In most of today’s American churches, the fabricated atmosphere encourages congregants to relax and enjoy comfort while being “entertained”.  During worship services, if I may call it that, all solemnity and fear of God is eviscerated and superficiality is promoted as the norm.  Congregants are accustomed to undergoing insignificant amounts of persecution, if any at all, in their lives and therefore are incapable of comprehending the concept of true persecution.  That is why it is essential to saturate one’s mind with Scripture and to spend ample time studying it (Rom. 12:2).  I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of being in constant commune with God!   Additionally, one must always keep in mind Jesus’ instruction in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.  “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.   “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…”Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matt. 5:11-16).    Therefore, when persecution arises we must not cower or become timid recluses, but rather be strong and bold witnesses of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:7).  This, mind you, gives evidence of a mature Christian firmly rooted...

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The Peril of Omission!

The Peril of Omission!


Posted By on Feb 1, 2015

The Peril of Omission!  During my recent reading of Proverbs 6:16-19; the seven sins that are abominable to God, the sins which stood out from the rest of the text were the sins of “lying” and “false witnessing” (vv. 17,19). As I contemplated heavily on these particular sins, I then realized just how easily they flow out of our mouths.  Lies or to proclaim false witness is when a person openly declares a falsehood or presents false testimony.  But, as I ruminated on these iniquities, what struck me as equally evil, is the “omission” of a truth, particularly biblical truth and especially when proclaiming the Gospel. “Omission” is when a person deliberately and purposely conceals the whole truth and presents only part of it.  An unidentified Puritan wrote: “You can recognize a false teacher, not by what they say; but rather, what they don’t say”. And Pastor John MacArthur stated: “A half-truth presented as a whole-truth, is not a truth at all; it’s a lie”. In other words, someone who willfully withholds proclaiming God’s full truth; this is omission and a form of lying.   Many of today’s evangelical preacher’s teach solely on God’s loving attributes, while intentionally omitting other attributes of God such as; wrath, justice, holiness, especially when they present the Gospel.  Some preachers commit this sin because they fear men, desiring approval rather than fearing God- enough.  Therefore, they craft powerless, ineffectual, and crippled sermons, designed to “tickle” the ears of the hearer, condemning them to hell.  In other words, they preach what their congregations desire to hear, rather than what they need to hear (1Tim. 4:16).  In fact, Scripture prophesies that people will have an ever-increasing penchant for a water-downed message, and will ardently seek molly-coddling preaching and surround themselves with compromising preachers. (2 Timothy 4:3-4).   Furthermore, some teachers omit saying the word “Hell” in a sermon while only declaring “Heaven”. Please don’t misunderstand me, preaching about God’s love and the glories of heaven are definitely important aspects of total Gospel message. But, equally imperative is teaching people about being born into sin, God’s just wrath against sin, His divine justice, yet providing mercy and grace by sending His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ to save those who are called and will receive eternal life. Others who have not heard the full Gospel will die with un-forgiven sins, condemned to hell.  Incidentally, the word “Gospel” means “good news”.  I ask; if pastors preach merely God’s love and the glories of heaven, then why would anyone need “good news” presented to them? Might people deem Jesus’ death on the cross insignificant? Might they ignorantly inquire...

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