Saturday, December 30, 2006

I hear people talk about a hunger for God.

But how much hunger is there?

Nowadays if you just listen to others who are supposed to lead you in worship (though many times they are doing the worship for you) and get just emotional enough then you have a hunger for God. All you have to do is just get like this about two or three times a week then I guess you’re on fire, or spirit filled.

David said that as the deer panted for the water his soul longed after God. Was this because he got into the groove at a harp concert? No.

David was hanging onto his life by a very thin thread! Israel was on the hunt for him, he no longer had direct access to God through the Temple and the Pagans, which he was used to conquering were making him the Joke of the Year.

He wanted God back in His life because He didn’t have much life otherwise.

People don’t seek God naturally, we are lazy and selfish. It takes the power of God to take reality and beat us across the face for us to realize that we need Him so much.

Now don’t jump to conclusions, many act as if this only applies to lost people. If it were only so. In my life I have seen earnest Christians who have made Jesus there Lord and Savior give themselves to this mentality that Christians call “fleshly” or “Carnal”. They are glad to let God have a day off as their Lord (typically six days a week).

But what we need is for the Lord to take us and with His Word and discipline us. In other words… Biblesmack us!

Don’t get me wrong there are still legitimate worshippers out there, but how do you tell?

If you’re really hungry and desperate, it will mean more than just an emotional concert. It is deeper than a feeling, it is a passion. It will involve your every waking hour. It will drive you to give up things you never wanted to be without. How do you know if are desperate? Let me tell you how to know your not.

If you are not ready to be cussed out from head to toe, you’re not desperate. If you are not ready for a little pipsqueak to publicly taunt you and challenge you to a fight and then walk away, you’re not desperate. If you’re are not ready to wipe a man’s poop stained rear end, you’re not desperate. If you are not ready to spend large amounts of time with ugly, hairy, stinky, fat, dorky, flea infested people in their unnatural habitat, you’re not desperate. If you are not willing to lose your high paying job, your not desperate.


Because, to be desperate for God you need to have humility.

What few people figure out is that in order to have humility, you must be regularly humiliated!

Don’t worry about your make-up while raising your hands for the television camera.

Worry about pleasing God.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Literal view of prophetic scripture, and a case against the inclusion of Apocalyptic literature interpretations in the theology of Rev. Matthew Singleton.

Idealism verses Realism

In our approach to scholarship, theology, and philosophy, I believe there are two ways to approach our study and doctrine. Idealistically or Realistically.

The Realistic approach) From the bottom up.

The realistic approach seeks objectivity. It is willing to sacrifice it’s presuppositions in order to find truth.

The Idealistic approach) From the top down.

The idealistic approach seeks to live out its presuppositions. They are confident in what is the virtuous ideal. The presuppositions are firmly in place. All evidence will be interpreted in the light of these presuppositions.

Idealist verses Realist thinkers

Plato Aristotle

Anselm Thomas Aqu1nas

John Calvin Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Kuyper Clark Pinnock

Realistic view of scripture) The Bible is to be treated and examined as any other piece of Literature. If the Bible proves itself unique, that is one thing. However until then it is presupposed to be treated equally with other scripture.

Idealistic view of scripture) The Bible is God’s Holy Word and is has all the qualities which the text itself suggests.

Basic Argument

A. Point #1 The Bible is unique literature with unique properties

Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Illustration: The first holy manuscripts were placed in the Ark of the covenant. Those who mistreated the Ark would be instantly cursed.

The Bible ought not to be treated as regular literature. It should treated differently as God’s whole Word and therefore interpreted as such.

B. Point #2 The Scriptures are copies of God’s Word eternally existent in Heaven

Psa 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Psa 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

The true “original manuscripts” are in Heaven. They had been pre-ordained before the prophet’s received God’s revelation. In terms of literary genre, God foreknew which style the authors would prefer and he foreknew the authors personality which he picked.

C. Point #3 The Word of God is preserved for believer’s

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

1Pe 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The revelation of God, although for it’s initial receivers, is eternal and meant for all generations.

D. Point #4 The Word of God is true, therefore scripture is without error and must not mislead.

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Since God is dishonest. His word must not be dishonest.

E. Point #5 The Genre of myth is therefore, disqualified as a Biblical Genre since myth is historically misleading.

1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

1Co 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Here is an illustration of myth not being acceptable as a biblical genre. Paul reasons that if the resurrection was mythical, then there is no purpose to Christianity. The reasoning follows that if the rest of the Bible were mythical it would be of less use for our faith.

Note: Just because myth is disqualified, as the genre for God’s revelation does not mean that myth is useless for the Kingdom of God. (The same applies to apocalyptic literature.) God can use the Chronicles of Narnia or the Left Behind series to evangelize. This is parallel to David who did mighty things for the Lord but was disqualified from building the temple because he was a man of blood.

F. Point #6 Then Therefore, Apocalyptic literature ought to be disqualified as a Biblical genre since it is prophetically misleading.

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

“The style of writing is highly imaginative and often speculative, expressed in colorful imagery and symbolic language culled from different sources; apocalyptic also uses mythological figures from ancient traditions whose precise meaning is not clear.” D.S. Russel Prophecy and the Apocalyptic Dream pg. 12

The prophetic genre should be tighter as literary genre. The Prophet only delivers God’s Word, he does not arrange it. When a vision is received, the imagery is developed and attributed to God.

Modern apocalyptic interpretation runs in the opposite direction. The visions that are quoted as the Lord’s are entirely left up to the prophet’s imagination. Many of the phrases have utterly no use, other than possibly setting a mood. There are no real signs as to what is literally supposed to take place and what is not, other than rationalism and later prophesies.

Example: “Yet this judgment is described in cosmic terminology. Such terminology, however, was part of the imagery and symbolism available to the prophets when they sought to describe God’s intervention in history and his sovereign rule over the kingdoms of this world ( cf. Dan.2:21; 4:17, 25, 34-35; 5:21 ). Such imagery was not meant to be interpreted literally. The sun was not actually going to be darkened; the moon would not stop giving its light; the stars would not stop showing their light. ‘What’ the author willed to communicate by this imagery, that God was going to bring judgment upon Babylon, was to be understood ‘literally’. And that willed meaning, God’s judgment upon Babylon, did take place. This prophecy was fulfilled with the rise and rule of the Persian Empire over the territories once ruled by Babylon, and the later readers of this prophecy knew that this prophecy had indeed been fulfilled. Babylon had been judged just as the prophecy proclaimed, and it was God’s doing just as the cosmic imagery described. The imagery, itself, however, was understood by the prophet and his audience as part of the stock terminology used in this kind of literature to describe God’s intervention into history.” Robert Stein A basic guide to interpreting the Bible pg. 92

Here, we see Dr. Stein placing the design of the prophecy into the hands of the prophet. Imagery is to be denied unless it fits in what they judge as fulfilled prophecy. Stein does not consider for instance

Biblical tongues

Here are some notes from my studies on the issue of speaking in Tongues. I believe this is the biblical perspective. If this is an issue I suggest you read this look at other opinions and above all else read God’s word for yourself.

In Christ,

Bro. Matt

1). The word "Tongues" is literally interpreted languages languages

Therefore it is good to think in context to this fact.

2). Acts refers to tongues of fire

Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

The core difference of the tongues/languages of fire and the spiritual gift was that there was no need for interpretation because people could miraculously here everything in there native language.

3). This was probably a sign gift

The times recorded of incidents of speaking in tongues in the book of acts appear to be were a new people group is allowed into New Covenant relationship. The tongues of fire could have been a sign gift exclusively for them. It could be still valid today on rare missionary occasions, yet I assume it has ceased. If we see otherwise, it will be obvious and if verified, I would not dispute it.

4). Acts and 1Cor show that we are all baptized in the Holy Spirit

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

5). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to have spiritual gifts

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Since we have been “immersed” in the spirit we have the gifts that come with him

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

6). 1Cor 12 referring to several manifestations of the spirit, refers to several gifts of tongues

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

7). 1 Corinthians refers to tongues of men and of angels

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

It should be noted that the gift of tongues of men and of angels is not a regulative spiritual gift for every believer. It may be possible for everyone, yet not necessary for anyone.

Paul had this gift

1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

8). Paul was very confrontational

The man who confronted Peter to his face, and called the Galatians foolish was indeed very confrontational. Non-confrontational ministers would not directly address issues of sexual sin to visiting congregations! To accuse Paul of being non-confrontational is laughable if not offensive.

9). This manifestation was similar to prophesy as well as prayer in the spirit

10). Prophesy, as a spiritual gift was non-canonical

It should be remembered that we have no canonical letters from the church of Corinth.

There were several prophets in the New and Old Testament who never penned canonical literature

The 70 elders under moses

The group of prophets with Saul and David

The prophet nathan

The remnant of prophets in Elijah’s day

Annas and Simeon

The daughters of Phillip etc.

11). Prophesy has been shown on several occasions to be an ecstatic experience

1Sa 19:20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

1Sa 19:21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

1Sa 19:22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

1Sa 19:23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

1Sa 19:24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

12). These Tongues speaks internally
1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

Prayer in the spirit works this way

Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

When ones prays in tongues they have sensible language mind and it reaches to the spirit realm empowered by the Holy Spirit.

13). The spiritual language is the language of the Kingdom of Heaven

Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

14). This language comes out of ones mouth as jibberish because angelic speech is unutterable.

1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

15). Our natural language is defiled

Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Gen 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

16). Interpretation of this tongue is prophetic

1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

17). Yes! This is required of the practitioner if they practice in the congregation.

1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

18). Tongues are a sign for unbelievers in the since that when misused they keep one in unbelief

1Co 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

19). The utterances coming out of the mouth are not the tongue/language. The language can not be displayed in the earthly realm. Therefore what we here is the babbling of the persons mouth. Yet the language is being spoken to God in the spiritual realm.

1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

20). Prophecy draws that which is in the Heavenly realm to the earthly realm.

1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

21). Tongues go from the earthly realm to the spiritual realm.

1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

22). The gift of tongues is a good thing

Cessationist scholars’ have had a tendency to view the spiritual gift of tongues in a negative light. They have a tendency to add to scripture that this was a bad gift. However the gift is not wrong at all. It maybe misused but the Lord never gives bad gifts

Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Luk 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Luk 11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

23). The New Testament forbids the suppression of prophetic gifts

1Co 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why Christmas needs Christ and Christ needs to be in Christmas.

Many have argued this year more than ever of the validity of Christmas.
1. Some Christians argued Christmas was the time of a pagan holiday.
2. They say Jesus wasn’t really born this day.
3. The Bible never tells us to worship the Birth of Christ.
4. It’s only in two gospels.
5. Isn’t it better to worship Christ in his incarnation everyday in our hearts?

1. First of all the Bible says that if we worship God in Spirit and truth we are worshipping Him.
Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

2. We may have meat that was sacrificed before idols but if we worship god the maker of all and pay no attention to idols then we are worshipping him.
1Co 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
1Co 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Which hardly anyone is really informed on the idols worshipped before we set up Christmas. (I think I heard once, but have since forgotten) There have been some that worshipped at the time of Christmas pagan deities before the holiday was instituted. But I do not believe the overwhelming majority is worshipping these idols now.
Not to say that Christmas is incapable of being worshipped in a pagan way. However if we focus on the nativity story, we will not go astray. Much of the extra-biblical practices have a Christian allegorical meaning anyhow.

3. Paul specifically teaches that we have freedom in Christ concerning the Holidays.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

4. The Bible teaches us to worship Christ for all that he is.
All that he is includes the virgin birth. If we couldn’t worship in his virgin birth we could also not worship him for his death on the cross, after all he is now in a glorified state.
Rev 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Besides, did not Mary, Zechariah, the Shepherds, Simeon, Anna the prophet, and the wiseman all worship in response to the incarnation of our Lord in the virgin Birth?
Some would believe that since the virgin birth was specifically and thoroughly taught in only two gospels, it is not important.
This only proves how disgustingly weak the arguer’s faith is. Every word of Scripture is God’s word especially two complete passages. The Old Testament always validates an account with two witnesses. We were given them Matthew and Luke. Plus the virgin birth is alluded to throughout the gospels and New Testament. (But this is a long subject to cover later.)

5. It sounds good to say we should worship Christ in the incarnation everyday.
But honestly it is a horrible, hypocritical, Gnostic false teaching.

a. Worshipping in our hearts alone everyday means nothing to our world.
b. The incarnation was about the Spiritual taking on flesh and making a difference in our world starting with the virgin birth.
c. If we can not worship the incarnation in the real world then we slander the purpose of the incarnation.
d. The Bible teaches that the heart is desperately wicked so how can we trust that someone really is worshipping the incarnation in their hearts.
Therefore, the majority of these proponents are probably lazy hypocritical grinches, who just may not want to buy gifts for their loved ones!

Others, who are secularist, argue that Christmas must be disqualified from the public spectrum.
In America to assault Christmas is to assault America.
The USA has recognized Christmas as a national holiday (One of the 1st in fact) since very early in the nineteenth century.
Many bring up other cultural holidays, which almost always had less precedent as a means of down playing Christmas. So much so that, in the sixties there was an African/Afro-American holiday (Kwanza) that was entirely bogus and made up for the purpose of competing with Christmas.
Many ban all Christmas because it has a link to Christianity at all. But in the end, this is simply unconstitutional anti-Christian bigotry. If we live in a country of religious freedom we ought to be tolerant of other peoples religions, and to attempt censor the majority of Americans on their most celebrated holiday is to attack not just Christianity but also America.
Finally a large segment of people want X-mas. Christmas without Christ; a great heritage of gift giving and a great anchor of the economy.
But without Christ there is no reason for the season. Christmas needs a reason for gifts. Some of this can be seen through St. Nicholas. Some do not realize that Santa Claus is not an actual myth, but a tall tale. The real Santa was an eastern Christian Bishop who would give gifts to good poor children. And he was known to give coal to bad Children. His prophetic presence is even seen in his legend. The stories of Santa’s sleigh give us an allusion to Elijah’s chariot of fire. What inspired a legendary historical figure like Nicholas to be so giving? Nothing, other than power of Christ; Nicholas believed in the Deity of Christ so strongly in fact that legend tells us that he physically struck down Arius the infamous false teacher who denied the Deity of Christ during the Council of Nicea.
The Gift, which led to a multitude of others, was Christ. The gift, wrapped up in swaddling clothes needs to be delivered again to the world today.
People need to the first coming of Christ. It may not seem as bold a move to see the Christ child, however, they need to know how God has introduced to all. He came not conqueror but as an innocent baby boy.
As we look toward the baby Christ with wonder, we must remember that Jesus has the same if not more glory as an adult. With greater innocence than any other baby, he was made to be slaughtered for the sin of humanity.
Christ came to us on the plate (manger) of animals in order to replace their sacrifices.
The world needs this Christ. They need to know the gentle nature of God. They need to know the humble nature of God and his Son Christ. Because, when the world embraces such a meek spirit as the virgin born Christ of Christmas; then they may understand the weight of the sacrifice of Christ on Easter.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I take the bible literally

A lot of people claim belief in the scriptures.
But there is always a catch.
I think everyone is inspired sometimes!
I think it's true but I've never read it!
I don't believe every word is inspired!
I don't believe that today's Bible is inspired!
I don't think you can just interpret the Bible like you see it!
You need the pope or my preacher or something!
Just becaue I believe it doesn't mean I have to follow EVERYTHING it says!

Well, let me tell you like this.
I believe it all.
I take the hated Authorized (King James )Version of the Bible and I read it and believe what it says. Plus, there is nothing that will change my mind on what it says out side of Strong's dictionary of the Hebrew Masoretic text and Textus Receptus words and a Bible passage that I may have missed.

Tell me what you think about that.