Friday, September 30, 2016

Prophesy Beginning in Genesis

The Bible is historically reliable and very specific, such as the Table of Nations in the tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis. However, prophesy is both specific and hidden at times. It is a tricky thing for several reasons, including the idea that a prophet is always in the business of telling what is going to happen in the far future. If you study on it, the primary job of the prophet was to speak for the Lord, often calling people to repentance. There are short-term events that may be considered forth-telling, such as when Elisha told Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan seven times so his skin disease would be healed (2 Kings 5:14). Another specific prophesy was that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), but it wasn't apparent that this was Jesus until after the fact.

Prophesy can be direct, other times it becomes unveiled over a long period of time The promise of the coming Savior was given in the first book of the Bible, and has its ultimate fulfillment in Revelation.
Image credit: Answers in Genesis / Dan Lietha
I'm not talking about modern jaspers who call themselves "prophets" and commence to making false prophesies. No, this is about the real thing in the Word of God.

 Many of the long-term prophesies are veiled, and cannot be fully understood until the conditions are right. People have studied the prophetic and apocalyptic literature in Daniel, Revelation, and other books for a mighty long time. (Sometimes it seems like they're ready to have an O.K. Corral-type shoot-out over the meanings of passages. Settle down, boys, and remember we don't need to act like atheists, we're bought by the blood of the Savior, you savvy?) What is probably the prophesy with the longest term and gradual unveiling is the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15, which was given shortly after the creation of everything, and the Fall of Man. This prophesy in the first book of the Bible has its ultimate fulfillment in the last book of the Bible.
Private conversations between individuals have often turned the tide of history. Think of just one example: the secret meetings between Roosevelt and Churchill, settling the Allies’ war aims before the United States’ entry into World War II. We’d all be surprised if we knew how much our everyday lives are affected by conversations among powerful individuals at the highest levels of government and society. Yet the combination of all those conversations pales in comparison to a brief, tragic conversation that took place in a beautiful garden six thousand years ago.

The conversation is recorded for us in Genesis 3. It was a dark episode in human history—involving a serpent, a woman, a man, and God. Yet from this scene shines forth the greatest beacon of hope the lost world has ever known.
To finish reading, click on "Seed of Promise in Genesis 3:15". A second, shorter article also provides some interesting commentary, "Genesis Prophesies".

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Andy Stanley, Frank Turek, and Bad Theology

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Andy Stanley has been disappointing some people, and causing quite a few to be alarmed by his opposition to the authority of Scripture. (Note: Do not be confused. Charles Stanley is his father, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and heard on In Touch Ministries. I've found most of his teachings to be doctrinally sound, and he upholds the inerrancy and authority of the Bible.) Unfortunately, megachurch director Andy Stanley has been saying things that are destructive to the truth, including recommending the false teaching of theistic evolution.

Megachurch leader Andy Stanley has been getting into trouble over his denial of the authority of Scripture. He has also had some very dubious defenders. Here is some information to help bring the issues into focus.
Gray wolf image credit: US National Park Service
While shooting from the hip can be a good thing, someone claiming the title of pastor should reign himself in. Stanley was disrespectful of small churches, then apologized later. In another instance, "What did he just say?", Stanley may have used a very bad word in a sermon. When the segment was legally posted on YouTube according to Fair Use provisions, his organization filed a take-down order and then edited out the questionable area. Making corrections in a Weblog post or article is one thing, but this looks like they're trying to hide a bad blunder.

For quite some time, Bible-believing theologians have been giving warnings about Andy Stanley. Back in May 2012, Albert Mohler noticed Stanley's tacit approval of homosexuality. Moving forward a few years, I'm more familiar with Chris "Fighting for the Faith" Rosebrough's podcasts about Stanley. Early in 2016, Rosebrough examined a sermon about the so-called "Temple Model" and a rewriting church history. He also reviewed the "Atheist 2.0" message, and others that you can search for on the site.

Andy's antics have been attracting the attention of others. Apologist Frank Turek, author of the book Stealing from God. (Ironic, because he says that atheists have to stand on the Christian worldview because theirs fails, which is what Cornelius Van Til and Dr. Greg Bahnsen said long ago. Who is stealing from whom?) Turek's bad theology and weak apologetic methods were the impetus of his defense of Andy Stanley, which was addressed by Dr. James White in devastating (albeit lengthy) detail on The Dividing Line. You can watch the video or find the link to the download here, the good stuff begins at the 12 minute 55 second mark. (If it helps, here is a link to the YouTube post of the same item, I instructed it to begin at the pertinent section.) There are several other video/audio links at Dr. White's Alpha and Omega Ministries site where he discusses Stanley's false teaching.

Most of what I've posted has been multimedia. For those who do not have time or interest but prefer to read, here is a very good article:
Andy Stanley has a church network of over 30,000 people in the Atlanta area, and his church was rated the fastest-growing in America in 2014 and 2015. Recently, he has been criticized by many evangelicals for saying that we need to take the focus off the Bible and put it on the Resurrection, because he claims that gives us a firmer foundation for our faith. As Stanley put it: “We believe Jesus rose from the dead not because the Bible says so. It is way better than that! Christianity does not hang by the thread of ‘The Bible told me so’.” And: “The original version [of Christianity], the pre-Bible version, was defensible, it was endurable, it was persecutable, it was fearless, it was compassionate, and it was compelling,” but he claims “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible”.
To read the rest, click on "Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend". We can pray for Stanley's repentance and submission to the Word of God.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ETWN is not Roman Catholic Enough?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

When translating the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, Jerome had an easy-to-make but serious "oops" with Genesis 3:15, the protoevangelium, the first prophesy of the redemption of man. Most Bibles render it, "...he shall bruise you on the head (or, crush your head), and you shall bruise him on the heel". But Jerome made it say, "...she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel", as found in the Douay-Rheims Roman Catholic Bible.

Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate, and fouled up in Genesis 3:15. Roman Catholics have used this for their own mythology, yet admit the error. One self-appointed RC "prophet" isn't happy with the ETWN Catholic network over this.
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Book) - Sandro Botticelli, 1480
Where can I get a hat like they have?
That mistranslation fits in well with Roman Catholic mythology where Mary is the co-redemptrix along with Jesus, which is a blatant violation of Scripture. Although the Vatican's Neo-Vulgate corrected the error, Catholics still managed to force-fit poor Mary into the text, since she gave birth to Jesus. If you study on it for a spell, you'll see that RC theologians have managed to weave a tangled web of deception that can be torn down by examination of the Bible.

The Eternal Word Television Network promotes Roman Catholicism, and they also admitted that Jerome did the translation of Genesis 3:15 wrong. Enter William Tapley, self-proclaimed scholar of prophesy (with experience in furniture), "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse" and "Co-Prophet of the End Times". He said so, then it must be true. Tapley is Catholic, and was unhappy with ETWN's admission. Now we can let Pastor Christ Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith come in. He played some of Tapley's material and gave commentary. My recommendation is that you click here to download the episode, skip ahead to the 18 minute 37 second mark, and listen through 27 minutes 30 seconds. Or just play the whole thing if you like. For the original Tapley video, click here. But I'll give you my conclusions on him: his porch light is burning, but ain't nobody home. And how nutty can you be when another nut calls you out?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Light Without the Sun in Creation Week

Scoffers of the Six-Day Creation have been known to say something akin to, "There were no days yet because the sun wasn't created until Day Four". Then they say that the Bible doesn't mean what it says (or just plain wrong), and commence to adding huge amounts of time in their conveniently rewritten or ignored biblical account so they can have an old universe and accommodate evolutionism.

Scoffers often claim that the Bible is wrong about creation week because there was light, but the sun wasn't made until Day Four. It's not a difficult thing to deal with.
Image credit: Freeimages / Juan Ferran
When the scoffers add to God's Word like that, they are making serious errors right out of the gate. They are bringing naturalistic presuppositions and imposing them on God's Word, which describes the miraculous, then they judge God by their limited understanding and assumptions. That's a category error, old son. You can't ascribe physical properties to God, who is spirit and outside the confines of time and space. Similarly, I heard a discussion a few years ago on the "Unbelievable?" radio show between an atheist and Craig Keener, who had documented miracles. Even though Keener had written a two-volume book of documentation, the atheist rejected it out of hand because, in his belief system, miracles don't happen.

Yes, there is no reason that there could not be actual days without the sun. What is needed? Light, and Earth's rotation. Where did the light come from? The Bible doesn't say, but the best probable answer is the glory of God. Do a search online, use a Bible concordance, or maybe some Bible software like this one, and do a study on the word light. The words light and glory are frequently used together. Something else to consider: the sun is temporary, but God's glory is eternal. The universe began without the sun, and there will be on sun at the end of it all (Rev. 22:5). The sun being created on Day Four is not a problem. I recommend the following article for more:
In Genesis 1:3–5 we read: “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. And God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light, Day. And He called the darkness, Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Genesis 1:14–19 tells us that the sun and the moon were not created until Day 4, nevertheless there was still a day-night cycle as at present (Exodus 20:11). To account for this, creationists usually conclude that God provided the Day 1 light source, that it was on one side of Earth, and that it was the cause of the day-night sequence on a rotating Earth.
It would be a bright idea to read the rest by clicking on "Light, life and the glory of God".

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Deceit and Philosophies Masquerading as Science

Adam and Eve were still new in Eden when Satan appealed to Eve's pride. "What's that you say? I can be like God? And that fruit sure looks mighty tasty..." according to my paraphrase. Even though they had direct communication with God the Creator in the very good creation, they chose to disobey.

Mankind has elevated science philosophies to a position of supreme authority. God's Word is still the ultimate truth.
Evolutionary philosopher Epicurus image credit: Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0
Since mankind doesn't fancy being accountable to anyone, he has sought to disregard the authority of Scripture, even to the point of pretending that God does not exist. People are arrogant, and are passionate about human "wisdom" and their philosophies. Science is elevated to a supreme authority position, and yet it is a philosophy as well, a means of interpreting observations. Many things that have been considered scientific facts have changed through the years, and the "facts" of evolution are based on tendentious interpretations as well as conjectures asserted as scientific evidence. People have faith in evolutionary philosophies, but the smart move is having faith in the revealed Word of God.
The account of Adam and Eve’s temptation and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden is familiar to many. It contains hidden truths that are just as true today as they were when the world was new. One of these truths concerns how Satan deals in the world. Satan consistently tempts his victims through both outright lies and subtle deception. If we are to remain firm in our faith, then we should learn how to resist his tactics by rooting ourselves in the inspired Word of God.
To read the rest, click on "Modern Science and Vain Philosophy: An Ancient Deception in Our Midst".

Friday, August 26, 2016

Is the Bible a Code Book?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Generally speaking, Christians believe the Bible is God's written Word to man. For centuries, people have been trying to gain esoteric knowledge by searching for patterns and codes for deeper meanings. Although the Bible can be understood by untrained people for salvation and instruction in righteousness, I'll allow that there are some tricky passages where we need the help of a skilled theologian.

A section of the 20th anniversary Dr. Who episode from 1983, "The Five Doctors", comes to mind. The Time Lords are wondering what's happening in a certain area, and one says, "We must know what is happening in there". Extreme sidewinder The Master asks, "Did it occur to you to go and look?" I reckon that's the way some professing Christians act: they want the knowledge of the Bible, but are not bothering with what it actually says. Go and look, what a novel concept!

Some people want to get knowledge from the Bible by looking for hidden codes or adding their own "special direct revelations" from God. That's a foolish waste of time, since the Bible has all we need for Christian living.

Seems to me that a lot of cults and false teachings have this in common. This is frequently seen in the "I have a personal, direct revelation from God" crowd. People get caught up in the emotional manipulation and frenzy that they'll actually believe this stuff instead of pulling back on the reigns and saying "Whoa", opening their Bibles, and verifying if this new "knowledge" comes from God. People also put their minds on hold during these "religious" experiences. If you study on it a mite, it seems rather egotistical (as well as insulting to God's character) that something would remain hidden for millennia, but the owlhoot that's speaking is The One© that gets God's special revelation today. Along with hundreds of other false teachers with their own special (and often conflicting) alleged revelations.

While this article was in the planning stage (I was thinking about doing it), someone posted a comment at The Question Evolution Project promoting the "Book of Enoch". When the commenter was taken to task for adding to God's Word, he received this reply:
Nonsense Curtis, you have no idea what your talking about. Read the books and then comment. After all the bible speaks of them many times and Christ himself would have read them in his education. Enoch was only left out of the western bible (which has lost books since the 4th century) due to the poor condition of Enoch 1. Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church, use it. Revelation was chosen instead, being in better condition. This was debated for nearly 100 years before the bible was compiled. Enoch was no enemy of God, God delighted in Enoch, he showed total faith and dedication to God when the rest of the world had turned away. Enoch was shown the inner works of heaven, so he could tell his people. Do you even know who Enoch was? "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." Genesis 5:21-24
This guy is using the evolutionist principle of Making Stuff Up™ as well as mixing in some truths from Scripture. Also, note the commenter's wounded pride and attack on the other person. The so-called Book of Enoch was assembled by piecework over several years, was never written by Enoch himself, and because a certain church uses it doesn't mean the rest of Christianity has to accept it. This bit about debate about it's inclusion, preferring Revelation and so on really takes the rag off the bush!

The Book of Enoch is a favorite of Gnostic heretics, and that gang likes their own esoteric knowledge — the Bible doesn't mean what it says, so they have to add their own ridiculous choices of "holy writings".

Gail Riplinger, author of the spurious New Age Bible Versions, has amazing credentials that enable her to refute Dr. James White and discuss textual criticism and ancient biblical manuscripts. Her degrees are in interior design, home economics, and art. She can tell you how the New International Version and the sinking of the Titanic are related, and God gave her a direct revelation of "acrostic algebra". No, I didn't chaw down some peyote buttons, Riplinger is really that way, see "King James Version Only Controversy" beginning at the 10 minute 20 second mark. What would be appreciated here is if she had knowledge, integrity, actually dealt with Scripture, and didn't hear "God" speaking to her.

These things remind me of the "backward masking" excitement. That was where people would play vinyl records backward and "hear" satanic messages in the lyrics. Even if such things did exist, the lyrics played in the proper direction would be enough reason to leave some musicians alone.

Counting the words and letters, playing around with verse numbers, various methods to crack the code — all wastes of time. For one thing, chapters verses were added a few hundred years ago, and were not a part of the original manuscripts. (Indeed, in Luke 4:17, Jesus did not say, "Turn with me to Isaiah chapter 42, verse 1...") Further, they don't cotton to using the ancient texts from which the Bible is translated. So to seek divine significance from chapter and verse numbers that were added by men is rather silly. And again, such allegations that God hid a code for thousands of years is insulting to his integrity.

To learn about creation, sin, repentance, redemption, living a life of godliness, being equipped — it's all there in the Bible. If someone offers you codes, "revelations" outside the Bible, mixes truth with false teachings, I recommend that you light a shuck out of there.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Being Certain in Today's World

Since way back yonder, people have been dreaming up various philosophies to follow. Sometimes they make their own, and other times, they dominate Western culture itself and get labeled. Premodernism began somewhere around 1650, but I doubt that people said, "Why yes, these are premodern times and I'm fully supportive of premodern philosophy". Modernism began to take hold, and lasted about 300 years.

The dominant philosophy of the age is "postmodernism". One of it's main points is that we cannot be certain of anything. The Christian faith gives us this certainty. Two lessons are linked that give excellent insights into what we're dealing with.
Assembled at
About 1950, the philosophy called postmodernism began to take hold, and it's mighty depressing. One of its key points is one certainty: nothing is certain. While postmodernism contributes to atheism, a consistent postmodernist has disdain for the faiths both atheism and Christianity.

To deepen the waters, not only are Christians certain of the existence of God, creation, the deity of Jesus Christ, his death, burial, and bodily resurrection, his return, the Final Judgement, and more, but we have faith. Now, some atheopaths malign and misrepresent the word faith by redefining it beyond what the Bible tells us. They add an element of uncertainty, or even flat-out lie, saying that faith is 'believing in something even though you know it's not true".

The Christian faith offers certainty as well as salvation. Here are two messages by Phil Johnson that get rather involved, but are well worth your time and can let you know the pervasive mindset that we're dealing with. They are free to listen online or download. The first one is an overview of postmodernism, "A Beginner's Guide to Postmodernism" (53 minutes). Second, and I really hope you'll listen to this one even if you pass on the other one, is the 72-minute, "A Certain Uncertainty"