~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Success Is Only A Dream For Those Who Talk About It; Success Is A Reality To Those Who Pursue It. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ___________________________________________________ "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) ___________________________________________________ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Intellectual Greeks, proud Romans, ancient Syrians, culturedEgyptians, fiery Arabs, colorful Persians, and worldly Babyloniansoccupied half of Palestine on the eve of Jesus' birth. The other halfwere Jews-a divine culture split into many rival, often hostile sects.But from the beginning, Jesus lived and breathed success. Let me remind you, however, success doesn't come because you're a nice person or because you yearn for it. Success only comes because you achieve it. You earn success by being willing to exchange your time and effort for what you desire. Well-known author James Allen, says, "Achievement is the crown of effort." No significant achievement in all of history ever came without paying a significant price. The marked effort you are willing to exert ultimately determines your success. Fulfilling your dreams and achieving your goals is your responsibility. God gave you the tools, but you are the one who must build the house, which represents your life. What kind of home would you like to have-large or small? It is your choice. You are the master architect, the chief builder, and the eventual homeowner. Your life is the result of your own construction. God supplied you with everything you need in order to build a great life. The only requirement is that you must build it according to His standards of success. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Daily Confession Father, I thank You that Your Word does not depart out of my mouth, but I meditate on it day and night, and I do all I am commanded to do. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Category Archives: Biblical Teaching
An Argument for Learning
One of the immense edifices on the skyline of Christian history over the last hundred years was the eminent leader, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones (1899-1981). He is noteworthy not only because he was a great preacher and the pastor of Westminster Chapel of London, but also because of his zest for learning. Having begun as a physician of exceptional quality, he carried over into his Christianity and ministry this unceasing hunger to know more. From a delightful little book entitled Martyn Lloyd Jones, The Man and His Books I found this humorous cameo of Lloyd Jones as a indefatigable learner, given by his daughter as a portion of a public address:
I remember staying in Wales. I was again fairly young, it was the mid 1930’s, on that lovely sandy beach in Borth. It was a boiling hot day. (I know we always tend to think it was like this when we were children, but this really was a boiling hot day.) I was gamboling about in a bathing costume, and digging and paddling and all the rest of it. Everybody else was on the beach, in the amount of undress that was allowed in the mid-1930’s. We were all hot, and there we all were in this glorious sunshine sunbathing, as I said, and playing. In front of a rock, over to one corner of the beach, was my father, fully clothed, in a gray suit with a hat upon his head, his usual hat, shoes, socks, waistcoat, the whole thing, sitting bolt upright, leaning against the rock and reading…1
I identify. Not that I have the acumen of a Lloyd-Jones, and certainly not because I like to wear a waistcoat and hat, but because I have the hunger to know, to think, to acquire substantial understanding of the nature of God and the way He works in his universe and with man. In fact, I find it a bit frustrating not to make better advances. Time is much too fugitive, my schedule too uncooperative, and my mind too sluggish, for making all the progress I would like.
Perusing the half-price books at the antique mall one day, I remarked that I loved books and could not pass them by, etc., and that television seemed to steal so much from people. You know the line of thinking. The kind woman who was sitting close by was candid in saying that she just could not get along without television and that she watched it incessantly. I said, not to be impressive, but to emphasize a great loss experienced by the Western world, that we had chosen to get rid of our television ten years ago, and that it was, for us, an extremely wise decision.
“Why? Was it because of the quality of the programs?” she asked. “Yes, that certainly,” I returned, “but perhaps as much because of the great loss of time. When there is so much to know that is important and television relates so little of it, while demanding more and more precious time, it causes concern. We miss some things,” I said, “but we gain far more.” This, of course, is my evaluation because I think there is much worth knowing about God and man, and there is little time to learn it. Understandably, for a non-believer, that particular pursuit does not generate near enough interest or energy to cause him to get up and “flip the switch.”
This encouragement toward learning is not to say an endless chain of degrees has superior value, per se. It goes without saying that “PhD’s do not a doctor make.” While in the Muir woods near San Francisco, feeling small among the giant redwoods, my wife and I happened to enter into a lengthy walk and discussion with a retired professor of rhetoric from a California university. The discussion ranged from its beginning place, rhetoric, to his liberal views on education, his philosophy of religion including his nominal Quakerism (actually nothing-ism), his desire to remove all negative labels (which he was not successful at doing, as you will see), the virtues of the ACLU with whom he collaborated, etc., etc. Unfortunately, his lofty degrees only made him wise in his foolishness, for he started with wrong premises and arrived at tragic conclusions.
“There is one kind of Christian I hate, ” he exclaimed, forgetting his prohibition on labels, “—the ‘born-again type.'” (I thought, “What other kind is there?”) “I don’t perceive you are one of them.” He misjudged, of course, but he was willing not to rule me out immediately because I listened and reasoned with him without being reactionary. I didn’t compromise my convictions, but rather stated them as much as his verbosity would allow; I did not react by throwing back clichés and getting huffy. He was an able thinker, but his beginning statements led him logically, and yet hopelessly, toward a metaphysical cliff.
Christians ought to be the world’s brightest thinkers. We should be best, not because we have the degrees (“Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” 1 Cor. 1:26), but because we start at the right place. We may or may not have the biggest hat size or be able to collect the most data, but we certainly ought to arrive at better conclusions. David said, “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.”(Ps. 119:99) Starting with the Word of God, we simply have more insight into all else that can be learned.
We should develop the attitude that life is far better if we use our minds actively to whatever degree we are able, and that slothfulness of mind is an unfortunate misuse of the uniqueness God gave men. Consider these reasons for continuing our education through developing a learning posture to life:
1. Learning is exercise with a purpose.
Constant accessing of new thoughts by reading and conversing cogently keeps our mind exercised for gaining and retaining the more significant biblical knowledge. The sheer joy with which we approach learning helps. I have a friend who never stops thinking. He adds to his study an occasional mystery and works through difficult riddles with friends because they prepare him for understanding the mysteries and riddles of the Word of God. More often than not I find him thinking through some issue in the Bible, attempting to unlock an enigma. He works his mind.
It is well known that the Puritans, as an illustration, were devoted to learning the logic of Peter Ramus 2 which formed their approach to scripture analysis by successive dichotomies. Ramus was a French humanist converted to Protestantism in 1561 and later killed in the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day.3 There would be those who debate whether logic is useful in correct interpretation of Scripture in our day, yet I must side with those who use it for the glory of God without letting their philosophical tendencies overwhelm their exegesis. This is a day of many inconsistencies among Evangelicals. How many of these inconsistencies would be thrown down with the most basic rules of logic. After all, hermeneutics must be logical.
2. Learning in a broad spectrum of categories better prepares us for evangelism.
My wife and I read through one of the seminal New Age books over a couple of evenings, for instance-not a book about the New Age from a Christian perspective, but an important book in the movement’s own judgment. This reading paid big dividends when we encountered the confusion of our bed-and-breakfast hostess one evening. Three hours of conversation cleared her thinking a great deal. I believe she was freed from some dangerous views and brought to think more soberly about “the only true God.” It goes without saying that the study of the Word is that which filters and interprets all other information.
I might add to this that the very learning process which intelligent conversation with others brings to you can be evangelism itself. This is one of my most basic approaches. As I ask genuine questions, probing deeper and deeper into the other person’s philosophy throughout the dialogue, I am simultaneously uncovering the deficiency of their belief system leaving the door open for the truth. Often my sincere interest in their beliefs evokes genuine questions from them as to my own philosophy. Ingenuiness can be easily detected; we must want to know what they are saying.
3. All learning teaches us something about God.
A case can be made for the Christian laying the preponderance of his study on the subject of God. Paul said that we are to be “growing in the knowledge of God”(Col. 1:10). The ocean of knowledge of God is in the Bible itself, yet their are other streams to fish which reveal much about Him. Since all things were made by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16), we can expect all things to tell us something of Him, however hidden.
In a certain sense then, knowledge in any field speaks of God as magnificent and excellent in all He has done to man, for man, with man, and against man. Whatever we learn will tell us something about God either by thesis or antithesis. We draw a necessary line on reading what is designed as morally impure and destructive (because of the biblical injunction not to be polluted by our association with it-Rom. 8:6), yet even to know the raggedness of man, for instance, speaks volumes about God-whom He loves, rebukes, warns, tolerates, damns, and just how He does it. If God’s glory is the manifesting of the excellent nature of God, then it is true that “the whole earth is full of His glory.”
4. Knowledge, though able to defeat us through pride, can, in fact, humble us.
“Knowledge puffs up…”(1 Cor. 8:1). We are constantly reminded that any field of knowledge, even the spiritual, can leave a man proud. I have known many proud biblicists. Yet there is another man who is humbled by what he learns. I suppose that the difference is in his purpose for learning-does he seeks to know God through what he learns, or to be known as one who knows about God. With the proper desire, how could we contemplate the vastness of the universe, for instance, and fail to say, “What is man that thou art mindful of Him.” (Ps. 8:4) Why, God has created at least one star that we are aware of which has a diameter of twice the distance from the earth to the sun!
5. Learning tends to keep us from boredom, making us interested and therefore interesting.
Amusement (“a”, not, “muse,” thinking; the practice of not thinking), on the other hand, dulls us and creates an insatiable appetite for more. A man or woman who is interested in what he or she is seeing or hearing or reading, and approaches all things as opportunities to learn, enjoys life far more than the person who believes life is principally for the purpose of relaxing and making the mind idle and empty. I once heard an active eighty-year-old Christian leader in our church ride a group of senior adults pretty hard by saying something like, “If you would get up in the morning and read the Word of God and find out what’s in the news and read some good books, and talk seriously to somebody, you wouldn’t be so bored all the time.” All of us had a difficult time keeping up with this lady. The result is that the learner is the most interesting of people, and this, again, is a great benefit in presenting the gospel.
6. Most importantly, pursuing knowledge of God and His creation, and all things excellent, is obedience.
We are commanded to love the Lord with all our mind, and to meditate on what is true. “Think on these things…”(See Phil. 4:8)
Useful Rules in the Learning Process
Five guidelines are necessary: First, learn for the exaltation of God. In other words, do not learn to make a show of erudition, but for more noble reasons. Learn in order to boast in the God who has made magnificent items and ideas to be explored-such order, such immensity, such force, such complexity, such detail, such beauty.
Secondly, learn “Christianly.” By this I mean to say that we must acknowledge God in all things sensed and reflected upon. Grind that new thought through the teeth of Scripture; let the enzymes of sound doctrine dissolve and digest it. This places the Bible first in our learning and the bringing together of Scripture in categories which answer the questions and posit the extensions (theology) as next in our pursuits. Who can judge life without sound criteria for judgment? The noble theologian Turretin considered his Elenctic Theology the best biblical work he could offer: “Let other books, then, be commended for their novelty. I do not want this statement to justify mine.”4 Something of this spirit should pervade our learning.
Third, value the standard old works over the new. Now I write this as an author, so I could never bring myself to say we should avoid all new works. But something destructive has happened in our day. Today an author writes on subjects he knows nothing of-he finds a subject people wish to hear about, gathers a bit of material, mixes in a catchy outline and a striking title, and he has a best seller. Not all old books are worth your time, but at least most older authors wrote having some sense of their subject being a driving passion. There are many fine older works, numbers reprinted, readily available.
You will read so few books in your lifetime, you cannot afford to waste your time on contentless froth. “It is a good rule, after reading a new book not to allow yourself another new till you have read an old one in between” said C.S. Lewis.5 And go to the original sources. “The simplest student” he says, “will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavors as a teacher to persuade the young that first-hand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than second-hand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.”6
Fourth, despise an idle mind. Paul said to be “careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15) An hour wasted is never to be retrieved. Play hard when needed, but do not learn to enjoy mental emptiness. The idle brain feels a great deal of pain in thinking at first, but has all the potential to make progress if it is exercised. Take a book with you when you may have to spend time waiting, ask questions that lead to more significant discussions while eating dinner, pose a problem to solve when you are driving to work, or chew on a passage of Scripture while bathing (like the early church father Chrysostym, by the way). It is commonly known that a blind person has an improved use of his other senses tending to help overcome the disability. Why? Because of use alone. His nose is no better than yours, nor his ears. But he has used them more carefully, paying attention, focusing the mental powers. This illustrates what concentration can do for a person. The practice of scriptural meditation is a great help in developing that concentration.
Finally, do not let the gaining of knowledge of any kind, not even biblical knowledge, usurp the principle aim of knowing God. Here is a subtle trap. I cannot make too much of this. I have fallen into this snare many times myself. Knowledge proper can be a substitute for intimacy. If one could love without knowledge and love were pitted against knowledge, then never learn another thing for the sake of your love for God. Adam and Eve, you remember, were the first to desire knowledge over intimacy with God. Rather, “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me…” Jer. 9:23-24.
As I look around this room lined with books, I cannot help but feel a bit embarrassed how little I have learned so far when so much is available to me. My embarrassment is aggravated when I think of an acquaintance of Dr. Don Whitney’s on a mission trip to Kenya. Perhaps this story will be an eloquent argument for learning:
I met a schoolteacher in his early thirties named Bernard. He lived in the back of a store that was one of four buildings in the Kilema community. He walked several miles even further into the bush country each day to the mud-brick elementary school where he taught. He returned home to his “cube,” an eight-foot-by eight-foot-by eight-foot room where he lived with his wife and infant son. A twin bed was against the back wall with a sheet hanging from the ceiling to separate the “bedroom” from the rest of the cube. Only a small table with one chair occupied the front half. What interested me most was what he had on the cement walls. On every wall were several pages from long-outdated magazines or pictures from old calendars. He explained that they were all he had to read. Though he’d been a Christian for many years, he was too poor even to own a Bible. The only books that ever came into his hands were a few secondhand books the teachers used at the school.
So as he holds his son to get him to go to sleep he reads the words on the magazines for the umpteenth time. While he eats at his table or lays on his bed, he looks at the pictures of far-off people and places and wonders what they are like. As I stood in that concrete cube, looking at a couple of dozen faded pictures and yellowing pages, I realized that before me stood a wise man. Bernard understands that knowledge really is like a rare treasure. Though it is more scarce than gold, he had stored up all he could. That’s the attitude all who are wise will have, for “wise men store up knowledge.”
…”The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”7
1 Addresses delivered by his daughter and son-in-law, Fredrick and Elizabeth Catherwood, Evangelical Press of Wales, 1982, p.
2 See Essays on Puritans and Puritanism, Leon Howard, edited by James Barbour and Thomas Quirk, University of New Mexico Press, for a full treatment of this.
3 Douglas, J.D., general editor, The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, Zondervan, 1978, p. 824.
4 Turretin, Francis, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Presb. and Reformed, copyright 1992 by James T. Dennison, Jr., p. xlii.
5 C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, Eerdmans, p. 202.
6 ibid., p. 200.
7 Whitney, Donald S., Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, NavPress, p. 215.
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Throughout the Word, God plainly shows that His will is for His covenant people to have a surplus of prosperity. He promised to make Abraham rich, and the promise of Abraham is ours today (Galatians 3:13-14; Genesis 17:6). God’s will is prosperity for you—spirit, soul and body.
We want to share with you what true Bible prosperity is and how to apply it to your own life. We encourage you to look up each of the following scriptures as a basis for your own study.
What Is Prosperity?
Matthew 6:33; James 2:14-17; John 14:21; 2 Corinthians 9:9
True prosperity is the ability to use God’s ability and power to meet the needs of mankind—regardless of what those needs may be.
Romans 8:2; Luke 4:18, 6:27-38
Spiritual prosperity is freedom from the law of sin and death. To be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit puts you in the position to receive from God all the things promised in His word.
2 Corinthians 10:5; 3 John 2-4; Philippians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:14
To prosper mentally (in your soul), you must be able to control your mind, your will and your emotions. Prosperity of the mind comes when you use the knowledge you have accumulated from the Word of God—when you are controlling your mind, instead of allowing your mind to control you.
1 Peter 2:24; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:8
Physical prosperity is twofold—health and wealth. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law—sickness, poverty and death (Deuteronomy 28:15-61). Health and wealth belong to the believer. Meditation on the Word and acting on the Word will bring results (Joshua 1:8). When you act on the Word, mix your faith with it and do not doubt in your heart, the Word will work for you.
What produces spiritual, mental and physical prosperity? What brings all these areas together? The Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says the Word is alive, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It divides the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When you are walking in the Word of God, you will prosper and be in health.
We cannot settle for prosperity in the physical or mental realm only, just as we cannot settle for spiritual prosperity alone. We can’t afford to be lazy and to discount physical and mental prosperity simply because we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is God’s will for us to be made whole—spirit, soul and body—and to be kept that way until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
As you walk in the light of God’s Word, you will become prosperous in every area of your life.
Know this first of all, that inthe last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their ownlusts, and saying, “Where is thepromise of His coming? For eversince the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginningof creation.” For when theymaintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavensexisted long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, throughwhich the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth byHis word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment anddestruction of ungodly men. -2 Peter 3:3-7
Peterwarns us in his second and final epistle that mockers would arise in the lastdays denying our Lord’s second advent. What is the Apostle Peter saying in this passage? Are we currently living in the “last days”of which he spoke? Who are themockers to which Peter is referring?
TheBible has almost three-dozen references to the last days, end of days, etc. A majority of those passages refer tothe seven-year tribulation period, but Peter has in mind the last days of thechurch age, which is supported by the context. Peter wants the church to know “first of all” that therewill be a “time of trouble which will precede the close of the present age (2Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:18-19).” We are living in this time today.
Peter’swarning for our day is that “mockers will come with their mocking.” This phrase is also repeated in Jude 18without reporting to his readers an account of their mocking as we have here in2 Peter. Jude just says there willbe mockers in the last day. Lenskitells us, “Yes, the first thing they should know or realize is that ‘mockersshall come at the days’ end,” meaning that the second thing to realize is theParousia itself which shall come after these mockers have appeared.” In the same vein Mayor notes, “Theexistence of these scoffers is a proof of that which they deny. It is one of the appointed signs of theapproach of the last day.”
Sohere we are in the twenty-first century, it has been about 2,000 years sinceChrist left earth for heaven and we see last days mockers all around us. Certainly unbelievers and liberals denya future second coming and apply a uniformitarian rationale to this issue asdescribed in verse 4. However,there are others, even within Christendom, who deny that there will be a futuresecond coming of Christ. Chiefamong them are full preterists. Also, partial preterists,while still clinging to a future second coming, by and large scoff at those whobelieve the traditional understanding that Matthew 24 (see also Mark 13; Luke21), Revelation 1:7 and 19 teach a second return of Christ that is still futureto our time.
PreteristMocking of Future Return
GaryDeMar has become a partial preterist who seems to go out of his way to mockChristians who believe that Christ could come at any moment. Even though he admits that Christ willreturn in the distant futurethe clear emphasis in his ministry is upon why Jesus cannot return in our dayand mocking those who believe He can. “We are not end-time scoffers,”insists DeMar. Oh really?
Inhis book Last Days Madness, DeMar tells the story from Aesop’s fable of the shepherd boy whocried wolf and declares, “In the same way the people of God-the sheep-areharmed by continual shouts of ‘the end is near!'” He continues, “By crying wolf and beingwrong each time, the church is perceived as unreliable.” The fact of the matter is that Christ’sreturn is a one-time event. Justbecause some have been wrong in the past does not prove that He will not returnin the future. That is the pointPeter makes in 2 Peter 3 when he notes that such an assumption is undermined bywhat the mockers willingly ignore (3:5). They ignore God’s past intervention in history when He created the worldand judged it globally at the Flood (3:5-6). Just as in Aesop’s fable, the wolf did come, so also, Jesuswill return one day in the future. Just because Jesus has not returned in the past does not mean he willnot in the future.
TheDissolution of The Heavens and Earth
DeMardoes not think that last days mockers will ever come in the future since he believesthat the 2 Peter 3 passage was fulfilled by a.d.70. “But the day of the Lord willcome like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and theelements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works willbe burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). Hesays, “the coming judgments were near for those who first read Peter’sletter. The scoffers were aliveand well in the first century. People have a right to mock and scoff when they read that Jesus was tocome within a generation and nearly 2000 year have passed.” Are there no last days scoffers in ourday? How could there be last daysscoffers in our day if 2 Peter 3 was fulfilled 2,000 years ago? However, has 2 Peter 3 already beenfulfilled?
Afirst century fulfillment is so bizarre that even fellow partial preterists donot agree with DeMar on this point. Ken Gentry has given five reasons why 2 Peter 3 will be future and wasnot fulfilled in the first century. “First, the thrust of the book seems to promote a spiritual perseverance in anticipation of the historicallong run-a long run that ends up in the eternal new creation,”notes Gentry. “Second, the mockersscoff at the promised second advent of Christ due to the long wait associatedwith it (2 Pet. 3:2-4, 9). Despitethe trials to come soon (2:9), Peter even suggests it may be thousands of yearsbefore Christ’s return, in that the delay is based on God’s time rather thanman’s . . . (3:8).” When one realizes that 2 Peter waswritten within four to five years from the time that DeMar says it wasfulfilled, there would hardly be reasonable time for any fulfillment.
“Third,the longsuffering of the Lord is due to a process that is necessarily age-long. . . (2 Pet. 3:9) . . . (2 Pet. 3:15a). The process of calling the ‘all’ to ‘repentance’ unto salvation is onethat spans the entire inter-advental era and is still continuing today.” So if DeMar’s view were true, thenthere was only a four to five year window of opportunity for salvation. Gentry further notes, “The way that we’hasten the coming of the day of God’ (3:12) is by evangelistic endeavor.” DeMar’s first century fulfillment viewmakes no sense and is not workable at all in light of this passage. “Fourth, the reference to theunraveling and conflagration of the heavens and the earth is expressly tied tothe material creation. Hence, itseems clearly to refer to the consummation and not to a.d. 70.” “Fifth, the strong detailed language ofthe destruction of the heavens and the earth seems to go beyond apocalypticimagery, referring to the actual consummation . . . (2 Pet. 3:10) . . .(3:12).” This final point is such anunderstatement.
Clearlythere are last days mockers within the unbelieving world who deny the futurepossibility of Christ’s return due to an anti-supernatural bias. Those are obvious. It is also obvious that full preteristswithin Christendom do not ever believe that Jesus will return in the futurebecause they say He returned in a.d.70. The more subtle approachconcerning this matter is practiced by some like Gary DeMar who not onlyridicules those of us who believe that Christ could come at any moment but alsothink that the last day mockers have already come and gone. Such a view blinds one to the warningthat Peter issues in this passage since they do not believe it to be a possiblethreat to the church today. Iguess we will have to wait a little longer for Christ’s return to actually takeplace so that the mockers will become aware to the truth of Peter’s words. Maranatha!
 For a discussion of the different nuances ofthese phrases see Thomas Ice, “Are We Living in The Last Days?”www.pre-trib.org/article-view.php?id=36.
 D. Edmond Hiebert, Second Peter and Judge: AnExpositional Commentary(Greenville, SC: BJU Press, 1989), p. 142.
 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of TheEpistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1966), p. 338.
 Joseph B. Mayor, The Epistle of St. Jude andThe Second Epistle of St. Peter(Minneapolis: Klock & Klock Christian Publishers  1978), p. 147.
 Preterism is from a Latin word meaning “past,” or”gone by.” A full preterist is onewho believes that Christ has already returned in a.d. 70 and He will not return in the future.
 Partial preterists believe that most of thepassages that the church has historically thought to refer to a future secondadvent were fulfilled in a.d. 70,but that a few passages still teach a future second advent.
 The only three passages I have ever seen DeMargive in reference to a return of Christ are Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
 Gary DeMar, Meet theReal Last Days Scoffers : A Response to Ed Hindson’s “The New Last DaysScoffers”-Part 2,www.americanvision.org/articlearchive/05-27-05.asp.
 Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession ofthe Modern Church, (PowerSprings, GA: American Vision,1999), p. 29.
 DeMar, Last Days Madness, pp. 29-30.
 DeMar, Meet the Real Last DaysScoffers.
 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall HaveDominion: A PostmillennialEschatology (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics,1992), p. 302.
 Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 303.
 Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 303.
 Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 304.
 Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, p. 304.
 Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, pp. 304-05.
Reigning in Life
By Dr.Stephen J. Hales
For if by one mans offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Rom 5:17
The Weymouth and Amplified translations, say, Reign as Kings in Life The born again child of God is meant to be reigning as a king over Satan, demons, sickness and over all of lifes problems. We are the head and not the tail, we are above and not beneath, we were created to be the master of all life, not the mastered. One of the ways that we are to reign in life as a king is through righteousness. Look at our text again, They which receive .the gift of righteousness shall reign. As a child of God you have received the gift of righteousness, notice that righteousness is a gift it is not something that you earn or maybe one day will be spiritually grown up enough to become. You are right now the very righteousness of God, 2 Cor 5:21 says, For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Let me tell you that you will never be any more righteous than you are you right now! You are a righteous creation created in the very image of God. To reign in life as a king you must become righteous minded. The Bible says, Awake to righteousness and sin not. To become righteous minded is to be aware of your right standing with God. When you become conscious of this your righteousness becomes a spiritual force, you will have more confidence to lay hands on the sick, pray more boldly and exercise your authority over Satan, sickness and demons.
To be continued:-
Recommend web site: Dr Hales highly recommends the web site and ministry of Rev. John V. Stanway. www.shm.org.uk/kfm.htm
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. —Romans 8:2
John Lake was a missionary in Central Africa when an epidemic broke out. Thousands of people were dying. One of the doctors sent by the local government asked him what he used to inoculate himself with against the virus.
Lake directed the doctor to put a sample of the living virus under a microscope, and view the masses of living germs. He then took the sample in his hand for a moment and then returned it to the microscope. To the doctor’s amazement the germs were dead.
“That is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” he declared. “As long as I keep my soul in contact with the living God-.-.-.-no germ can attach itself to me. My spirit and body are so filled with the blessed presence of God, it even oozes from my pores.”
The “law of the Spirit of life” is the regulating, activating power, and life of the Holy Spirit that has set us free from the power of sin, hell, and the grave.
Fill me Lord with Your Spirit of life.
Empower me to overcome the
power of sin, hell, and the
grave in Your mighty
The Sprinkling Of Blood
by C.H. Spurgeon
“WE ARE COME TO THE blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”-Hebrews 12:24.
Reader, have you come to the blood of sprinkling? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience, but have you come to the blood of Jesus? The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came-the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus!
The dropping of His blood is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth.
We are full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to Him, and as we gaze upon His streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, “It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness.”
Oh! sweet language of the precious blood of Jesus! If you have come to that blood once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be “Looking unto Jesus.” Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this-”To whom coming.” Not to whom I have come, but to whom I am always coming. If thou hast ever come to the blood of sprinkling, thou wilt feel thy need of coming to it every day. He who does not desire to wash in it every day, has never washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming to Christ alone can give us joy and comfort.
This day let us sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by.