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Online Church Service from House of The Nazarene

WHATSHOTNHey I have an idea!

At the present time, We start out singing a few songs to Worship the Lord.

Songs 1-2
Reading (sermon)
Daily verse and thought
Song 1-2
Closing prayer
Song

Read a few sermons, Read the Bible in a year, that gives us Scripture reading, We also post an Audio Bible to listen to while we read the Scripture, that is all on this page.

https://www.facebook.com/The.House.of.the.Nazarene

Once your done that concludes the church service for today!
And you may start at anytime!

I’m open to ideas on how to have a better online service worldwide!

 

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Praying for God’s Provision

How should I pray for God to provide?

Praying for God’s Provision asking in accord with God’s Word

God is aware of our physical needs, and it is His delight to provide for His children. When we face times of need or we want increased funds for a specific project, we are to bring our petitions to God. By seeking Him first, we will be able to discern God’s direction through the provision or lack of funds, and He will be glorified as He provides for us and directs us according to His will.

Honor these truths as you ask God to provide for your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus:

Ask as a Child of God

The Lord’s Prayer begins with these words: “Our Father which art in heaven”(Matthew 6:9). By faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, we become members of God’s family. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).

As God’s children, we can depend on His fatherly care“Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31–33).

Ask in the Name of Jesus Christ

Our justification before God rests in the work of Jesus Christ. “. . . Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus . . .” (I Corinthians 6:11). It is only through Jesus that we can approach God and make requests as His children. Therefore, when we pray “in Jesus’ name,” we are acknowledging our need for Jesus, recalling God’s mercy, and stating our justified position before God through the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us.

As we pray in the name of Jesus, our prayers should reflect the nature and character qualities of Jesus that are represented in His name. For example, Jesus is the Light of the World. Therefore, asking God to bless a shady business deal would not reflect Jesus’ nature, since as Light, He would expose the wrong instead of approving dishonesty. Our prayers should align with the purity, mercy, justice, and righteousness of Christ.

Ask for the Sake of God’s Glory

The Lord’s Prayer continues with this phrase: “Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).God’s glory is precious to Him, and He consistently displays it before men. As you pray, frame your requests in light of God’s glory and His reputation.

For example, when the Israelites sinned against God in the wilderness, He was ready to destroy them until Moses prayed that He would consider His covenant and His reputation. “I prayed therefore unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin: lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 9:26–28).

Also, in the days of Israel’s evil King Ahab, God moved to overcome the armies of Syria, because the Syrian captains had taunted that God was not able to overcome them. Even though Ahab’s ways displeased God, He gave Ahab the victory to prove His power over the Syrians. “And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (I Kings 20:28).

Ask on the Authority of God’s Word

Our prayers should be guided by the Word of God. As we study the Bible to gain understanding and to learn about God’s nature, we will have more confidence and direction in prayer.

When Nehemiah prayed for God to allow the Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he based his prayer on what he knew of God’s nature and on a clear promise in God’s Word. Before he went to appeal to King Artaxerxes, he prayed with these words:

I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandest thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandest thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: but if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man (Nehemiah 1:5–11).

Ask to Fulfill God’s Will

The Lord’s Prayer continues, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). When we ask God to provide for us, our petitions should be based on what we know of His will according to the Bible. As we understand how God’s Word relates to our lives, we can have a clear basis for effectively praying about our relationships, circumstances, finances, possessions, priorities, and attitudes.

For example, we know that it is God’s will that we walk in holiness. (See I Thessalonians 4:7.) Therefore, if we seek money, possessions, or promotions that would hinder Godly living, we are not praying according to God’s will. Also, God wants us to learn patience, and patience comes through tribulation. (See Romans 5:1–5.) Therefore, if we pray for God to remove a difficult situation that He has designed as a tool to teach us patience, our prayers are not in line with God’s will.

The prophet Daniel discerned that it was God’s will for His people to return to the Promised Land, which led him to fervent prayer: “I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession . . .” (Daniel 9:2–4).

Ask With a Discerning Heart

God promises to provide for our needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter. When God provides for these needs, we should not put those resources toward other things. For example, a person may enter into a major financial obligation and presumptuously expect God to provide the funds for it. Then, when God provides funds for food or clothing, that provision is mistakenly seen as evidence of His approval of the large financial obligation. It is important to discern between God’s provision for our basic needs and His provision in other areas.

Ask in Accordance With Scriptural Principles

Scripture relates that the laws of the harvest impact our giving and receiving. When the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthian believers to give cheerfully and generously to meet the needs of others, he said, “. . . He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6). A sower knows that he will reap what he sows, where he sows, more than he sows, and in a different season than he sows. Reaping the harvest requires patience!

In the life of Christ and the experience of the Apostle Paul and others, God often provided for their needs through the gifts of those to whom they had ministered. Also, in the early Church a widow’s support was based on her investment in the lives of others: “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” (I Timothy 5:9–10.) We should lead a generous life and trust God to provide for our future needs.

Ask Without Telling God How to Provide

If we assume we know how God will provide for our needs, we can easily develop attitudes of presumption, impatience, and ungratefulness, along with a tendency to show favoritism to those who have much to give. When God does not provide in the ways we expect, our disappointment can breed resentment toward God and the people to whom we looked for assistance.

God wants our focus to remain on Him for all of our provisions. For this reason, He will often provide what we need through totally unexpected sources. His resources and frame of reference reach beyond what we can comprehend!

Hey!

Hey!

Ask Without Demanding to Be “Repaid”

Sometimes when people give money, they expect God to give the same amount of money back to them. It may be that God will provide funds, but we should not count on them. Instead of funds, He may provide the actual items we need, new or used. He may provide intangible gifts, such as increased faith, joy, and peace. He may bless what we already have and cause it to last, as He did when the children of Israel were in the desert for forty years and their clothes and shoes did not wear out. (See Deuteronomy 29:5.)

Ask in Surrender to God’s Will

It is tempting to manipulate a situation so that what we desire comes to pass. However, taking a situation into our own hands usually leads to conflict, frustration, and discouragement. In order to truly seek God’s will and not our own, we should consider the benefits of receiving our request and the benefits of not receiving our request.

In this way, our expectations balance out and we can pray with a heart surrendered to God, trusting that He will do what is best for us and most glorifying to Him. When we have just as many reasons to thank God for not granting something to us as we have for receiving something, then we can take true delight in seeing God perform His perfect will, whatever it may be.

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4–7).

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Importance of Genealogies in the Bible

The Bible contains multiple genealogical records. Many of us either skim these sections or skip them altogether, finding them largely irrelevant and perhaps even boring. However, they are part of Scripture, and, since all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), they must bear some significance. There must be something we can learn from these lists.

First, the genealogies help substantiate the Bible’s historical accuracy. These lists confirm the physical existence of the characters in the Bible. By knowing family histories, we understand that the Bible is far from a mere story or a parable for how we should live our lives. It is authentic, historical truth. An actual man named Adam had actual descendants (and, therefore, his actual sin has actual consequences).

A-Time-to-Love-whatshotnThe genealogies also confirm prophecy. The Messiah was prophesied to come from the line of David (Isaiah 11:1). By recording His lineage in Scripture, God confirms that Jesus was descended from David (see Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38). The genealogy is yet another attestation of Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

The lists also demonstrate the detail-oriented nature of God and His interest in individuals. God did not see Israel vaguely, as a nebulous group of people; He saw with specificity, with precision and detail. There is nothing detached about the genealogies. They show a God involved. The inspired Word mentions people by name. Real people, with real histories and real futures. God cares about each person and the details of his or her life (Matthew 10:27-31; Psalm 139).

Finally, we can learn from various people listed in the genealogies. Some of the lists contain narrative portions that give us glimpses into the lives of the people. For instance, the prayer of Jabez is found within a genealogy (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). From this, we learn about God’s character and the nature of prayer. Other genealogies reveal that Ruth and Rahab are in the Messianic line (Ruth 4:21-22; Matthew 1:5). We see that God values the lives of these individuals, even though they were Gentiles and not part of His covenant people.

While genealogies may at first glance appear irrelevant, they hold an important place in Scripture. Genealogies bolster the historicity of Scripture, confirm prophecy, and provide insight into the character of God and the lives of His people.

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You are an Ambassador for Christ! and show Pastoral Care

Ambassador for Christ!

In a letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul discusses the ministry of reconciliation, and he uses the term “ambassadors” for Christ: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20, emphasis added).

Generally speaking, an ambassador is a respected official acting as a representative of a nation. Sent to a foreign land, the ambassador’s role is to reflect the official position of the sovereign body that gave him authority. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul likens his own calling to that of an ambassador, and he urges all Christians to consider themselves ambassadors for Christ. The gospel of reconciliation was always at the heart of Paul’s preaching: “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17).

If_God_whatshotnOur Reconciliation with God is possible only because Christ went to the cross and received the punishment due for our sin. When our Savior cried out, “It is finished,” the barrier between sinful man and Holy God was removed, making all those who trust in Him “holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22). Our reconciliation is based on the salvation Jesus provides, and it is accepted by faith (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Christians are God’s ambassadors in that they have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). As we go through this world, we represent another Kingdom (John 18:36), and it is our responsibility to reflect the “official position” of heaven. We are in this world, but not of it (John 17:16). God’s ambassadors are to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must take the message of our King to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8), imploring men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God.

Pastoral Care

In its most general sense, pastoral care refers to the ministries/services usually performed by a pastor. Some denominations of the Christian faith use the phrase to refer to more specific aspects of a pastor’s ministry, such as counseling and visitation. The core idea of “pastoral care” is that pastors are to care. The word pastor comes from the Latin word for “shepherd.” A pastor is to be a shepherd or caretaker of God’s flock. “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3, emphasis added).

Many people have a misunderstanding of what exactly pastors do, thinking that their primary responsibility is preaching on Sunday. The joke that pastors only work one day a week could not be further from the truth. Beyond preparing and delivering a sermon, pastors provide biblical counseling, visit the sick and injured in hospitals, and disciple members of the congregation through phone calls, lunch meetings, and other social engagements. Many pastors serve as chaplains in hospitals, the military, workplaces, schools, and prisons. All of these ministries are aspects of pastoral care.

In reality, pastoral-care ministries are just as valuable as the delivery of a sermon. Caring for a person who is struggling with a difficulty, being present during a time of pain, praying with someone in a crisis-these are the moments when spiritual breakthroughs occur. Ministering through a good, biblically sound sermon is absolutely necessary. But ministering through a personal touch, i.e., pastoral care, is just as important.

There is another meaning of pastoral care that should be mentioned. Recognizing the tremendous amount of stress and burn-out many pastors experience, there are some ministries that use the phrase “pastoral care” to refer to ministry to pastors. Secluded locations where pastors can get away for a time, counseling ministries to pastors and their families, and even the pastoring of pastors are aspects of this form of pastoral care. Perhaps the best understanding of pastoral care is that pastors are to care for us, and we are to care for our pastors.

Are You are an Ambassador for Christ! and show Pastoral Care? If not Will you from here on? Amen!

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Dispensation of Conscience

Dispensation of Law is called so because man was tested to see if he would obey his own conscience regarding right and wrong (Gen 6:1-7; Rom 2:12-16). There were no written laws. The Ten Commandments weren’t given to Adam in the previous dispensation (Gen 26:5). His only law was not to eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; after being driven out of the garden he didn’t even have that law (Rom 5:12-14).

This dispensation could be called the Age of Freedom, for man was free to do as he pleased until it became necessary for God to interfere. Length: 1,656 years, from Adam’s fall to the 600th year of Noah’s flood (Gen 5:1-29; 7:6, 11). A new beginning altogether, with inhabitants having a knowledge of God and a new covenant with Him (Gen. 3:14– Gen 4:26).

Test: Obedience to the dictates of conscience as to right and wrong (Gen 3:22; 4:7, 15; 6:1-7). The purpose of God. His purpose now, since man knew good and evil, was to guide him in the proper exercise of his conscience to do the right and refuse the wrong,

Failure, sixfold (Gen. 4:1– Gen 8:7):

1. Failure of Adam (Gen. 6: 3) Adam and Eve were created in God’s grace or favor (Gen 1:26-31). They fell from grace by sin and lost the eternal life they would have kept if they had not sinned (Gen. 2:17 3:1- 19 Rom 5:12-21 2 Cor 11:3. Nothing is ever said of their salvation from sin. They are not listed with the faith, worthies of the Old Testament (Heb 11).

2. Failure of Cain (Gen. 4: 1- 16)

3. Failure of Cain’s descendants (Gen. 4: 17- 24)

4. Failure of Seth’s descendants (Gen. 4: 25– Gen. 5: 32)

5. Failure of the daughters of men who sinned with fallen angels seeking to do away with pure Adamite stock through whom the seed of the woman was to come (Gen. 6: 1- 7, 11- 13)

6. Failure of all people in general (Gen 4; Mt. 24: 37- 39; Lk. 17: 26- 27; 1Pet. 3: 20; 2Pet. 2: 4- 5)

Twelve Conditions of Noah’s and Lot’s Days:

1. Tendency to reject God (Gen. 4: 1- 7 Rom. 1: 17- 32)

2. Undue prominence of sex in unlawful relation with angels (Gen. 6: 1- 4 2Pet. 2: 4; Jude 1: 6- 7)

3. Homosexuality prominent (Gen 19; Lk. 17: 28; Rom. 1: 17- 32)

4. Marriages and divorces (Gen. 6: 1- 4 Mt. 24: 38; Lk. 17: 27)

5. Inventions (Gen. 4: 17- 24 Rom. 1: 30; Dan. 12: 4; Lk. 17: 28)

6.Apostasy (2Pet. 2: 4- 8 Mt. 24: 38; Lk. 17: 27- 28 2Th. 2: 3)

7. Rejection of preaching (2Pet. 2: 5; 2Tim. 4: 1- 4 Mt. 24: 38)

8. Violence and bloodshed (Gen. 6: 1- 13 Rom. 1: 17- 32 2Tim 3)

9. Anarchy– lawlessness (Gen. 4: 17- 24 6: 1- 13 Mt. 24: 38; Lk. 17: 26- 28 Rom. 1: 17- 32 2 Tim 3)

10. Surfeiting and drunkenness (Mt. 24: 38; Lk. 17: 26- 37 21: 34- 36 Rom. 1: 17- 32 2 Tim 3)

11. Buying and selling (Lk. 17: 28; Rom. 1: 17- 32 2 Tim 3)

12. Planting and building (Lk. 17: 28; Rom. 1: 17- 32 Dan. 12: 4) God’s Judgment: The flood of Noah (Gen. 6: 8– Gen. 8: 14; Mt. 24: 37- 39; 1Pet. 3: 18- 21). God’s provision of redemption: His grace and mercy in giving man another chance to continue in God’s eternal plan (Gen. 6: 8- 22; 7: 1; 1Pet. 3: 18- 21), and preserving clean animals for sacrifice so as to have faith in the coming Redeemer (Gen. 7: 2; 8: 20- 22). People in those days were saved by grace through faith in the coming Redeemer, as we are now saved by grace through faith in the Redeemer who has already come (Gen 6:8; Heb 11; Eph 2:8-9).

Dispensationalists see that God has worked with different people in different times in different manners. Usually, seven dispensations are identified: Innocence, Conscience, Government, Promise, Law, Grace, and Millennial Kingdom. Each dispensation reveals a six-fold pattern involving the stewards of the dispensation, their responsibility, a specific period of time, a failure, the resulting judgment, and God’s grace.

The second dispensation is that of Conscience, Genesis 3:23 to 8:19.

Stewards: Cain and Seth and their families
The Period: From man’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden until the Flood, a period of about 1,656 years
Responsibility: To do good and offer blood sacrifices (Genesis 3:7, 22; 4:4)
Failure: Wickedness (Genesis 6:5-6, 11, 12)
Judgment: The worldwide Flood (Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:11-14)
Grace: Noah and his family are saved (Genesis 6:8-9; 7:1; 8:1)

LORD, Please Lead us and Guide us so we don't Sin against You!

LORD, Please Lead us and Guide us so we don’t Sin against You!

During the dispensation of Conscience, mankind only became worse and worse. Guided by conscience, man was supposed to choose to do good and approach God by means of a blood sacrifice (Genesis 4:4). It was during this time that the first death occurred, when Cain slew his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). God had accepted Abel’s animal sacrifice but not Cain’s grain sacrifice. Before the murder, God warned Cain of impending sin and told him that he could still choose to do well (Genesis 4:6-7). Cain had the opportunity to bring a proper sacrifice, after he saw what pleased God. But Cain let jealousy cloud his eyes. Cain demanded that God be pleased with his own efforts and refused to follow God’s plan. This kind of thinking still plagues mankind today, as people attempt to approach God on their own terms rather than on God’s terms.

Mankind violated his conscience and failed in his responsibility to choose to do right. Apparently, God wanted man to discover that he could not let his conscience be his only guide. Conscience proved to be a very poor guide, indeed. Out of all that lived in this dispensation, only Abel, Enoch, and Noah were called righteous (Hebrews 11:2-7; Genesis 5:22-24; 6:8-9). Genesis 6:5 states, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” The Lord’s solution was to destroy man from the face of the earth, along with all land-dwelling animals (verse 7). “But Noah found favor [grace] in the eyes of the LORD” (verse 8).

Noah warned his contemporaries for 120 years as he built the ark and as the LORD showed His great patience. God as the righteous Judge must deal with sin, and judgment was often quick and severe in the Old Testament. His judgment then-and His grace within that judgment-should inform us today. “For if God . . . did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly . . . then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment” (2 Peter 2:4, 9). The heathen today are under the same responsibility as mankind was from the Fall to the Flood, with their “conscience bearing witness” (Romans 2:15).

God extended grace to Noah and his family and gave instructions to build the ark and established His covenant with them (Genesis 6:14-22). God saved eight people and brought them forth into a new dispensation (Genesis 7:1; 8:1; Hebrews 11:7). The apostle Peter uses God’s grace to Noah as an illustration of God’s grace today to us who are saved by faith. Just as Noah and his family were “brought safely through the water,” we are saved by the baptism of the Holy Spirit “not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:19-21).

Man has already proved that left to his own devises to do as he or she pleases failed! Nothing new under the sun!

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Dispensation of Human Government

After God had worked face to face with the first humans, Adam and Eve (the dispensation of Innocence, Genesis 1:28-3:19), they sinned, and all mankind became a fallen race living on a cursed planet. Conditions changed, and all subsequent families on earth were to do good based on what they knew to be right (the dispensation of Conscience, Genesis 3:23-8:19). Mankind again failed to fulfill their responsibility. So God brought a worldwide Flood to wipe out all but eight people. In the next dispensation, God works in a new way with His creation via Human Government.

Human Government is the third dispensation (Genesis 8:20 to 11:9).

Stewards: Noah and his descendants
The Period: From the Flood to the confusion of tongues at Babel, about 429 years
Responsibility: To scatter and multiply (Genesis 9)
Failure: Refusal to scatter and the building of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-4)
Judgment: Confusion of languages (Genesis 11:5-9)
Grace: Abraham is chosen the start of the Jewish race (Genesis 12:1-3)

God's Saving Grace Through Jesus Christ!

God’s Saving Grace Through Jesus Christ!

After the Flood God stepped back from directly judging men until the Second Coming, thus, a human agency known as civil government was divinely appointed to restrain evil and protect man from his own sinful nature. Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives began to repopulate the earth. Shem would become the father of the brown or Mediterranean region dwellers and eventually the Jews (Semitic comes from the Latin word for “Shem”). Ham fathered the black race, and Japheth fathered the Anglo or white race, which would become the Europeans.

Noah and his family had practical knowledge of the failure under the dispensation of Conscience, and God made them responsible to protect the sanctity of human life. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). In this way, God established the orderly rule of mankind for the good of society. Capital punishment is the most potent function of human government, and it presupposes all forms of legislation, organization, and enforcement. In the New Testament (Romans 13), man is still responsible to use this authority to enforce righteousness. In other words, God’s command in Genesis 9:6 has not been rescinded.

Sin (called “lawlessness” in 1 John 3:4) continued in the third dispensation. In fact, the time of Human Government was characterized by great idolatry and moral degradation. The height of disobedience was the rebellion against God at Babel mankind built a tower to “make ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). Staying in one place was the one thing God told them not to do.

To enforce His command, God divided humanity into different language groups, and His sovereign will to populate the whole earth was accomplished. God also established a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth by water. And God would remember that covenant (promise made by God), by putting a bow (rainbow) in the sky. His grace continued to be shown through His chosen people, beginning with Abraham and ending with Jesus.

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Nazareth Exist at the Time of Jesus

Did Nazareth exist during the life of Jesus? How can we know? What does the evidence say? These are questions to which Christians have been asked to give an answer on a more and more frequent basis by those who profess themselves to be “skeptics” in our world today. It is curious that the first-century historicity of Jesus should be the subject of such contention, since this matter was effectively laid to rest long ago.

There are several reasons which are often given for doubting the first-century historicity of Nazareth, which are largely built around arguments from silence. For one thing, Nazareth is never mentioned in the writings of Josephus, nor is it mentioned in any other first-century writings. Critics also contend that the biblical geography is in error, as there is no cliff near the synagogue from which Jesus was allegedly thrown, as recounted in Luke 4:24-30.

Keep Looking!

Keep Looking!

Generally speaking, caution should be taken when dealing with arguments from silence. The question must be raised as to just how much one would expect the contemporary writers to mention the town of Nazareth. Nazareth was a small and insignificant village, and Josephus had no real reason to mention it. The town’s insignificance is evident in the first chapter of John’s gospel, when Nathaniel asks, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46).

Leaving aside the problems with the argument from silence, it should also be noted that the claim is not entirely correct. In AD 70, at the end of the Jewish war with the Romans, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and this meant that Jewish priests and their families had to be redeployed. An inscription was discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritima, which documented that the priests of the order of Elkalir came to live in Nazareth. This has only been confirmed by later discoveries. For example, in 2009, the first Nazarene home to date from Jesus’ era was excavated by archaeologists. The house was a simple structure, consisting of two small rooms and a courtyard.

The claim about the errant geography carries a bit more weight than the argument from silence. The closest cliff from which Jesus might have been thrown is roughly 2.5 miles away from the synagogue, however, and there is no reason why Jesus could not have been taken this far.

In conclusion, the claim that there is no historical evidence for the existence of the town of Nazareth in the first century stands refuted by the archaeological data, and many of the more informed atheist critics, even among those who deny the historicity of Jesus, have advised caution with this argument.

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God Create the Universe, Stephen Hawking says No?

Yes, God is the author of all created things. Only God is eternal, and therefore all things come from Him.

The scriptural teaching on the origin of the universe is found in Genesis 1:1, which states that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Steven Hawking attempts to circumvent this truth (or, at the very least, render a Creator logically superfluous to the issue of the beginning of the universe). However, his ideas are not new, but are rather the latest versions of some classic attempts to explain getting something (i.e., the universe) out of nothing.

Hawking’s support for his work comes from the existence of the law of gravity. It is known to physicists that the energy associated with the gravitational force is negative, while the energy associated with most ordinary objects (baseballs, cars, etc.) is positive. It is possible for these positive and negative energies to cancel, resulting in zero net energy. Two situations with the same energy (or zero energy difference) are, in a physical sense, equally preferable. An example would be a soccer ball on the kitchen floor; the ball could sit by the refrigerator or the stove or the table without wanting to roll anywhere else. This is because each position on the kitchen floor which the soccer ball could occupy would have the same energy, so none of the positions is energetically preferable to the others.

Hawking envisions the origin of the universe in a similar way. Since it is possible to think of the creation of the universe as a “zero net energy process,” Hawking suggests that there is no need to explain how it could have been created. But this inference is based not on the physics, but on Hawking’s own philosophical presuppositions. In the example of a soccer ball on the kitchen floor, it is conceivable to imagine the soccer ball sitting anywhere on the floor without needing an explanation, however, it is quite another thing to say that the soccer ball and the kitchen floor came from nothing.

Hawking’s attempts to address this problem are not in any way new to philosophers, it is one of the oldest issues in Epicurean philosophy: “ex nihilo nihil fit” (literally, “nothing comes out of nothing”). Hawking’s ideas may establish that two physical situations (the universe existing versus not existing) are energetically equivalent, but it does nothing to address the issue of cause and effect. I don’t need an explanation as to why the soccer ball is sitting by the stove rather than by the refrigerator, but I do need an explanation if I see the ball move from the stove to the refrigerator. In physics, a change never occurs without an explanation, in philosophical language, an effect never occurs without a cause.

Hawking has put God out of a job?

Hawking has put God out of a job?

Hawking’s ideas do nothing to address this, the issue of the universe’s origin is the same as it was before. It is not possible to get something from nothing. Two cannon balls don’t make a BB! Only the idea of a Creator can adequately explain where the universe could have come from. Moreover, Hawking’s statement that science will always prevail over religion “because it works” reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the philosophy of science. Truth is not determined by “what works,” but by whether it conforms to the reality around us. When I say that a particular statement is “true,” I am saying that the content of that statement actually describes the way things are. This connection between a statement and the reality it describes is independent of me and my mind. A statement may be true or false, irrespective of whether or not it appears to me to describe the correct state of affairs. This is what we mean when we say that truth is objective, a statement’s “truth value” is a quality which it possesses independently of my knowledge thereof.

However, once we begin to try to decide whether a particular statement is true or false (as happens in both science and religion), the only way we know how to proceed is to try to test the statement to “see if it works.” As an example, suppose I want to decide whether the statement “All cats are brown” is true. I can begin my investigation by gathering cats together and inspecting each of them to see if any do not conform to the statement in question, thereby rendering it false. I only need to find one gray cat to know that my original statement is false, not all cats are brown.

But what if every cat I was able to find was, in fact, brown? Clearly, the world does contain felines of many other varieties and colors. In this case, even though my statement “works” (from my investigation, all cats do appear to be brown), it is clearly false. Thus, the issue of whether science or religion “works” is completely irrelevant to the issue of truth in each of these disciplines. While truth can be discovered by noting what works, simply because a statement appears to work does not in fact imply that it is true.

To summarize, Hawking’s reasoning fails on philosophical grounds. Hawking attempts to substitute God with a particular physical law (gravity). However, Hawking fails to address the key issue at hand – that is, the origin of physical law in the first place. Where did the law of gravity come from and how does nothing produce something? A physical law is not nothing. Moreover, Hawking’s conception of a plethora of ensemble universes to escape the conclusion of fine-tuning is philosophically unsound, metaphysically motivated, and less parsimonious than the theistic interpretation.

Why does man seek to eliminate God from having had any role in the creation of the Universe? It’s very simple. Man hates God and does not want to be subject to God’s law, or held accountable for his actions. As Paul writes in Romans 1; “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

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Balaam’s Donkey Really Talk

The story of Balaam and his talking donkey is found in Numbers 22. Balaam was a pagan prophet who practiced divination and other magic arts, led Israel into apostasy, and was identified as a false prophet by 2 Peter and Jude (2 Peter 2:15-16; Jude 1:11). Fearing the encroaching Israelites, King Balak of Moab sent for Balaam and enlisted his aid in repelling the Israelites by cursing them. The Lord spoke to Balaam and told him to refuse to go to Balak, although the Lord relented under the condition that Balaam would speak only His words. So Balaam saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab back to Balak.

Numbers 22:23 “And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.”
Numbers 22:25 “And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.”
Numbers 22:27 “And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.”

Numbers 22:28 “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”

Numbers 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.”

But knowing Balaam’s heart, the Lord’s anger burned against Balaam for what He knew was Balaam’s rebelliousness, and He sent an angel with a drawn sword to bar his way. Although Balaam couldn’t see the angel, his donkey could, and she tried to discontinue the journey by going off the path, crushing Balaam’s foot against the wall and lying down on the path. Angered by her behavior, Balaam used his staff to beat the donkey three times. Then in Numbers 22:28, we learn that “the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?'” Then Balaam and the donkey proceeded to have a conversation about the situation, with Balaam angrily berating the donkey, after which the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel and understand why his journey was stopped.

Talking-Donkee-whatshotnThere is no doubt that Balaam’s donkey spoke to him. The question that arises is whether the donkey was suddenly given the power of speech, which would also mean she was given the power to reason because she answered Balaam’s questions, asked some of her own, and carried on a rational conversation. While it is certainly possible that God granted human powers to the donkey, it’s more likely that He opened her mouth and spoke through her. The angel that barred his way is identified as the angel of the Lord, likely a manifestation of the presence of God Himself (Genesis 16:9-16; Exodus 3:1-6). After the donkey “spoke” to Balaam, and Balaam’s eyes were opened, the angel proceeded to ask the identical questions that came from the mouth of the donkey, further evidence that God, not the donkey, was actually speaking both times. This is reiterated by Peter, who identifies the donkey as “a beast without speech” and who “spoke with a man’s voice” (2 Peter 2:16). Whatever the method, the donkey was able to speak by a miraculous working of God’s power.

Why was Balaam not shocked into silence by the donkey speaking to him? Surely, it must have come as a surprise to him, and under normal circumstances, the obvious reaction would be for him to at least ask how she came to be speaking. The Bible doesn’t tell us why he didn’t find it odd to be addressed by a donkey, but we do know something about his state of mind. First, he was in rebellion against the Lord, going to Balak for his own purposes and not those of the Lord. Second, the donkey’s refusal to continue down the path enraged him so that he beat her out of anger because she had mocked him and made a fool of him. Anger has a way of curtailing rational thought, and perhaps he was so intent on exerting his dominance over the animal that he lost the ability to think clearly. It wasn’t until the angel opened Balaam’s eyes to see reality that he relented in his anger against the donkey, listened to the angel, and repented. Verse 38 tells us that Balaam went to Balak and told the king, “I must speak only what God puts in my mouth,” which just goes to show that God can use anyone, even a donkey and a rebellious prophet, to do His will and speak His truth.

The Lord God was in total control of the situation, not demons. This passage also gives me a lot of encouragement! If God can use Balaam’s donkey, he can use me! AMEN?

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Atheist be a Good Moral Ethical Person

Except for those pertaining about God, an atheist can do moral acts. He can even follow the commandments from the 4th through the 10th.

The difference between an atheist and a Christian is the “works” of an atheist originated from him/her; from “flesh-and-blood”. On the other hand, the works of a Christian emanates from the Spirit of God, given by grace and through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whatever “works” any Christian does that come from his own “flesh-and-blood” are not legitimate nor acknowledged at the highest level that God requires either. Notice the principle that it is God, not anyone else, who decides and chooses what is best and acceptable to Him.

Heb.10:1-6 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me, In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” (Remember, all “temple sacrifices”, were not actually “acceptable” to God because he requires a “living sacrifice” (Jesus). See also Rom 12:1)

Gen 4:3-5 “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect (or regard) unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.” (God chooses what he wanted and prefers a lamb, firstborn.) Similarly, what God wants and requires are “works” of man that emanates, not from man and on his own, but from the Spirit of God in us and given to us as a gift, by grace. The “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal.5:22-23) have to manifest in us. In fact, this Spirit of God is so precious for us to receive, that it took the faith (of) Jesus (in) the Father that what was promised to Jesus, if he divest his powers as Logos/YHVH ELOHIM/Creator and dies as a man, would be fulfilled at his resurrection (Jn.16:7; 14:16,25,26). It took the “faith and works” (of) Jesus, his death as a man and his resurrection as a living “spirit-being”, that we received this “gift of Holy Spirit”. The preceding is a very important principle not yet emphasized this way by traditional Christianity.

Good morals are the fruit of being a Christian. Without knowing and loving God the good moral acts of an atheist is not a moral act it is just an act that in whatever way serves the atheist. If the atheist did what a Christian would consider moral I am of the impression that this act is self fulfilling to the atheist and not moral – it serves only the atheist who now has an idol to worship – himself.

HOLY SPIRIT

Can the Atheist claim all 33 of these Attributes?

Can an atheist act in moral and ethical ways? Certainly, he can. All humans still retain the image of God upon them, even after the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. The image of God was effaced at the fall, but it was not erased, and so man still understands right and wrong no matter how many try to say otherwise. Even atheists react to this inherent knowledge of right and wrong, some even to the extent of living exemplary lives.

C.S. Lewis put it this way: if a man sees another in danger, the first instinct is to rush to help (altruism). But a second voice intervenes and says, “No, don’t endanger yourself,” which is in keeping with self-preservation. But then a third voice comes into play and says, “No, you ought to help.” Where does that third voice come from, asks Lewis? This is what is referred to as the “ought-ness” of life. Morality is what people do, but ethics describe what people ought to do. And yes, people know what they ought to do, but that doesn’t mean that they always act according to that knowledge.

The difference between the atheist and the Christian in this sense is that the atheist may act ethically for certain reasons (e.g., not wanting to go to jail, it disrupts social order, it makes them look good to others, etc.), but he has no ultimate reason for acting ethically because there is no ultimate moral authority that exists over each sphere of his life. Without this ultimate authority, each atheist defines morality on his own terms, although his morality is influenced by the remnants of morality from the image of God within, along with the strictures and constraints of the culture and society in which the atheist exists.

The Christian, on the other hand, acts morally out of the knowledge of the moral law given by God in His Word and a love for the Law-giver Himself. In addition, that knowledge is continually increased and personalized by the indwelling Spirit of God, whose task it is to bring the Christian “into all truth” (John 16:13). From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). To the atheist who is without the Spirit, God’s truth is “foolishness,” because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and the only fruit of righteousness is self-righteousness, not the righteousness of Christ.

When confronted with a situation that demands both the Christian and the atheist to make moral choices, a situation in which societal constraints are removed, the reaction of each will be vastly different. If a society deems it morally acceptable to kill unborn babies, for instance, the atheist sees no reason to oppose the practice. His own “moral law” even tells him it’s the compassionate thing to do in cases where the child is the result of rape or incest. The Christian, however, knows abortion is wrong because his moral choices are built upon the moral Law-giver who has declared all human life to be sacred because it is created in the image of God. The Law-giver has proclaimed, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) and, for the Christian, there’s the end of it.

So can an atheist act ethically? Certainly, but he has no ultimate reason to do so and no ultimate authority to look to in order to ensure his line is indeed straight and un-bendable.

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