Both Muslims and Jews reverence Abraham as their father. Unfortunately, all Muslims and I dare say the majority of Jews reverence him only after the flesh, which does not make them righteous before God. They fail to recognize him as the father of Faith to both uncircumcised (the Gentiles) as well as circumcised (the Jews), Romans 4:11 – 12. Our last study examined the 9 occasions of the word “faith” in the 3rd chapter of Romans, which teaches that no one can be justified by the works of the law, Romans 3:20, and the only way anyone from Adam, up through the time of the rapture, can be righteous before God is by: “… the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe,” Romans 3:22. With that in mind, we note the following words the Holy Spirit highlighted or emphasized when He inspired Paul to write the 4th chapter of Romans: Continue reading
“Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! Everything is falling apart; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans, for I see violence and conflict in the city.” (Psalm 55:6, 9, 11)
Probably, most of us feel like David when we listen to the nightly news! Daily reports of lootings, shootings, rapes, hate crimes, attempted abductions, road rage, stabbings, and muggings can make you feel vulnerable and unsafe. Anymore, you don’t know if differences of opinion are going to be settled with guns or knives like the Wild West.
What do you do when you feel unsafe in your own community? Like David, we want to fly away. Is the answer to move your home or business out of the city to the suburbs? What if that is not an option? What if you can’t afford to move? I’m NOT implying that those who have done so have made poor decisions. Continue reading
With violence in the streets of many of our most prominent cities, there is an underlying subtheme that is also troubling. Christophobia, which attacks anything Christian, is surely on the march.
Perhaps the latest example is the burning of Bibles in recent Portland protests.
On 8/2/20, Washington Examiner noted, “Portland protesters were filmed burning Bibles and the American flag as protests continue in the city for more than two months. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz responded to a Friday video of people burning what was described as a ‘stack of Bibles’ on Twitter Saturday, saying, ‘This is who they are.’”
In reference to this bonfire, journalist Ian Miles Cheong, managing editor of Human Events, tweeted, “I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality.” And he added, “Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.”
How interesting to note that the focus of the ceaseless attacks in Portland has been the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. The late Mark Hatfield, a long-time senator from the state of Oregon, was known for years as an outspoken follower of Jesus. Continue reading
Bible prophecy told us that a ‘Great Storm’ on Earth was coming, but the swiftness and fierceness with which it has attacked has taken us all by surprise. Suddenly, we are presented with the major birth pangs spoken of in prophecy in the form of a global pandemic, the defunding of law enforcement, and the vicious riots—not to mention the increased weather events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanoes.
And we also clearly observe that one Mr. Donald J. Trump has been chosen by Almighty God, out of all those from whom He could have hand-picked, to navigate this world as it spirals out of control.
As storylines go, it does not get any better than this—the ‘Perfect Storm’ for the Anti-Christ to come on the scene, since we already see via this pandemic how many people instantly fold to any type of direction from government. So we knew what our Lord was going to do, in terms of end-times worldwide judgment—but now we have been presented with exactly how this will take place. Continue reading
When I was first saved, I was confused after reading the book of Job. It seemed like Job’s friends had some distorted views of God. Yet, knowing that the Scriptures were inspired, I wasn’t sure if I was to believe everything they said. Now, my understanding of “inspired” convinces me that the conversations in Job are accurately recorded, but it doesn’t mean that everything the friends said about God was correct, or true. God has provided us with the rest of the Bible to discern what’s true about Him.
Not sure if you agree with me? Here’s what God said about it, “After the Lord had said these things to Job, He said to Eliphaz the Temanite, ‘I am angry with you and your two friends, because YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF ME WHAT IS RIGHT, as My servant Job has.’” (Job 42:7).
An example of their distorted view of God is Elihu’s statement, “If they [people] obey and serve Him [God], they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” (Job 36:11). Elihu, like the other men, was under the false, and simplistic, impression that God always rewarded good people with prosperity and ease, and He punished sinners with difficult and disappointing Continue reading
Shortly before he was martyred, the Apostle Paul wrote the Philippians from a Roman prison: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:8 – 9.
Many years before this, Paul wrote the third chapter of Romans, encapsulating the doctrine upon which this statement is based. The “all things” Paul counted as loss was what he at one time trusted for righteousness; he was “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;” Philippians 3:5. But he subsequently learned from the Lord Jesus Christ and documented in Romans that all the things he had counted on for his righteousness were worthless and the only thing that counted came through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Continue reading
The real problem in our world is not hunger, poverty, crime, racism, abortion, injustice, war, or exploitation. These all are the RESULTS of our real problem. The single seed from which all these problems germinate and grow is our rebellion against God.
God created mankind and put him in an idyllic environment with only one restriction. “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16–17) As you know, Adam decided he was better suited than God to determine what was good and what was evil. He rebelled against God, and that has been the history of mankind.
Each of us is born with an inherent dislike for anyone telling us, “No.” When we are just a toddler, the word most often used in the English vocabulary is “No.” How many children obey without putting up a fight? Just take a few minutes to observe moms with small children in checkout lines at a grocery store. The child grabs a candy bar. When the mom quietly shakes her head, does the child quickly put it back without a battle of the wills?
You have probably heard the story of the little boy who was arguing with his mom. She demanded he sit down. The boy did so, but muttered to himself, “I may be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside.” It’s not any easier for us as we grow older. We don’t like it when we are told what to do. In this time of pandemic, when I am told that I must wear a mask, like the little boy, on the outside I put my mask on, but on the inside, I keep my face uncovered. Continue reading
The word “faith” is found 9 times in the third chapter of Romans, the first being our text for today; “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3. To understand this verse, we must first understand the essence of faith. It’s often said that the Bible is the best commentary on itself and Scripture is clear: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. The word “substance” is translated from the Greek “hupostasis”* (G5187) found 5 times in the New Testament (NT). The King James Version (KJV) translates it “substance” only here; “confident or confidence” in 3 passages, 2 Corinthians 9:4, 2 Corinthians 11:17 and Hebrews 3:14 and “person” in Hebrews 1:3. Strong defines it as: “a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively).” The word “evidence” is from the Greek “elengchos” (G1650) found only one other place in the NT where it is translated “reproof in the KJV: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. The Lexicon defines it as “evidence, demonstration, proof, convincing argument.”
Faith exists in human interactions as well as those involving our Creator. Two separate and distinct agents are at work with faith, one is passive, the other active. By passive, I mean impotent, i.e., powerless to produce a result. By active I mean dynamic, efficient, effective, i.e., power to produce a result. The passive agent is always a person. The active agent can be a person or God: Continue reading
On July 10, 1944, equipped with only a mirror and hand-made semaphore, U.S. Navy Radioman First Class George Ray Tweed signaled: “I have information” to the U.S. fleet as they approached Guam for the Second Battle of Guam.
From his vantage point, Tweed conveyed information about Japanese defenses that he had gathered during his seclusion overlooking the west coast of the island. He was quickly rescued by a whaleboat from the USS McCall.
At the age of 20, Tweed enlisted in the United States Navy in 1922 and attended the basic training at Naval Station Great Lakes. He also attended the Radioman School and served in the various Navy radio units until 1940, when he was transferred to the Naval Base Guam.
Radioman First Class, Tweed was serving in the Navy Communication Office when the Japanese invaded the island on December 8, 1941, in the First Battle of Guam. Tweed had arrived on Guam in August 1939.
He and five other navy men from the USS Penguin slipped into the Guam jungle rather than become prisoners of war.
The group believed that American forces would rescue Guam from the Japanese within a matter of six weeks at the most, and figured they could hold out in hiding for that long. Little did they know that it would be more than two and a half years before American forces returned. Continue reading