29 January 2016

Bible prepositions and differences between "in" and "into."

 Mark 1:4

Bible study

in compared with into

Into is something going from the outside into the inside.

In is something innate inside us, as my stomach is in me.

Now food goes into my stomach. We might say, "The food is going in my stomach" by convention, but in reality it is going into my stomach.

I jump INTO the lake. Once that happens, then I am IN  the lake. There is a difference.

The baptism of repentance into the forgiveness of sins (). This is what the Greek says. The English has it as "preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." It is a baptism of repentance, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It is not a baptism for the forgiveness of sins. This is a baptism of repentance, that is, the people have repented, are showing they already have repented, and so are baptized by John. So then, ...repentance into the remission of sins. This means that the remission of sins is not something innate in us but rather goes into us by our repentance. The baptism is a testimony that we have repented.

Hard Questions—personal experiences

How can Christians think their personal religious experiences with God are any more "true" than those of adherents to other belief systems?

hard questions

A1 Definitions

B1 Experience

C1 Something physical as a burning in your bosom, tingling in your leg, pain,or some other physical sensation.

C2 Something mental including hallucinations, delusions, physical sensations that accompany it.

C3 Something spiritual as visions, dreams, trance, occultic experiences as out of body, automatic writing, messages from the other side, etc.

B2 True--reality

B3 More true--my subjective experience is real, yours is either deception or fake. This is subjective, not objective.

B4 Faith

C1 In the Christian sense would be believing what Yahweh said. If Jesus says He will return, He will. That is faith. Abraham believed God (Genesis 15.6). That is faith.

C2 In a general sense would be believing what was read, said, or seen.

A2 Answer

B1 A Christian should not place faith or trust "just because" or based on some experience.

B2 Faith

C1 If this famous person...

...walked up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Richard Dawkins." I would think it most reasonable to have faith. I would believe him, because it would be most reasonable. Faith is belief.

C2 If I were to see a motorcade with a number of official cars and saw President Obama's face, it would be most reasonable to believe that I saw the president.

B3 Trust

C1 Faith can lead to trust or mistrust depending on the circumstances.

D1 Would you trust this person?

D2 Or this one?

D3 Would this help make the decision?

D4 This one?

D5 Why or why not?

D6 Faith or trust in these people and those we meet and know every day is based on most reasonable facts.

B3 The Christian faith is based on what is most reasonable.

C1 A man named Jesus did exist. Tacitus (Annals XV, 44), Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars 26.2), Pliny the Younger (Epistles X, 96) and many others.

C2 If so, what type of man was he? The New Testament had many witnesses. There were over 500 who saw the resurrected Jesus. After that He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, while some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15.6, WPNT)

C3 The Chain of Evidence as outlined by J. Warner Wallace in his book "Cold Case Christianity."

C4 If this Jesus is what the Gospels say He is, then we must accept that as the most reasonable evidence. See among many books "The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell

C5 Other references and books can be found on this page.

B4 The experiences of other faith/religious systems would on the surface of it be equal. The question is which is most reasonable? Jesus, as is taught in traditional theology, would be the most reasonable option. An experience may be interesting, but it is not a proof or most reasonable.

28 January 2016

Sunday School Lesson—Extreme Faith

Extreme faith

sunday school

Theme: God provided a sacrifice

Scriptures: (see )

A1 Outline--Abraham told to sacrifice Isaac

B1 Yahweh's call

B2 Yahweh's command

B3 Abraham's response

B4 Isaac's question

B5 Abraham's answer

B6 Abraham's altar

B7 Angel of the Lord's message

B8 The substitute sacrifice

B9 Angel of the Lord's blessing

A2 Notes and questions

B1 Faith

C1 Is not

D1 Blind

D2 Unreasonable

D3 Wish

C2 Is

D1 Based on facts

D2 Reasonable

C3 Is faith really faith until it is tested?

C4 Have you been tested?

C5 Does Yahweh test so He knows what we will do or does the test show US what we are?

B2 Sacrifice

C1 What is a sacrifice? (A giving of something precious).

C2 Have we ever sacrificed anything?

C3 Abraham had waited 25 years for Yahweh's promise to give an heir.

C4 Does Yahweh want human sacrifice? (No)

D1 Condemned

E1 ...to say to the people of Israel, "Any of you or any foreigner living among you who gives any children to be used in the worship of the god Molech shall be stoned to death by the whole community. If any of you give one of your children to Molech and make my sacred Tent unclean and disgrace my holy name, I will turn against you and will no longer consider you my people. But if the community ignores what you have done and does not put you to death, I myself will turn against you and your whole family and against all who join you in being unfaithful to me and worshiping Molech. I will no longer consider any of you my people. (, GNB92)

E2 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (, ESV2011)

E3 For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. (, ESV2011)

E4 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. (, ESV2011)

D2 Yahweh stopped the sacrifice. The sacrifice did NOT happen.

C5 What is Yahweh asking of Abraham? (Obedience)

B3 What is the difference between a test and a temptation?

C1 Test--to see if someone will be faithful and believe God.

C2 Temptation--to see if someone will be unfaithful and disbelieve God by disobeying.

B4 How does Yahweh test our faith today? Have you ever been tested?

B5 --How long did Abraham wait until he obeyed? (The next morning).

B6 Students of the Scripture vary on what age Isaac was between 15 and 36.

B7 Would you let you dad take you on a journey like this?

B8 --Why did Abraham tell his servants that "we" will return?

B9 How far will we go to obey the rules that the Lord Jesus gave us?

B10 Why did Isaac let his father tie him up and be placed on the altar? Would you let your dad do this?

B11 --What if Abraham stopped obeying God at this point?

B12 Why did Yahweh do this test instead of something else?

B13 What would be the greatest test to you? What if all our money was gone and there was no promise of more coming?


C1 Scripture says, "...now I know..." Here Yahweh is speaking. Did God have to learn something? Was He ignorant of what Abraham would do?

C2 Does Yahweh know the future?

D1 Seems like a silly question but there is a theology idea called Open Theism. It is wrong.

D2 Open Theism teaches

E1 God has an openness to the future, especially as it relates to pray, the problem of evil, and personal relationships.

E2 So do our prayers make a difference?

E3 We "collaborate with God towards the achievement of his goals."

E4 God has decided to wait until prayer happens before making a decision. This would be future that is not known beforehand.

E5 God has flexible strategies for dealing with individuals and all of humanity. For example, "If the Hebrew midwives had feared Pharaoh rather than God and killed the baby boys, then God would have responded accordingly and a different story would have emerged."

E6 God has decided for humanity to have libertarian freedom.

E7 God knows all that can be known, but He does not known what is unknowable--the future. He does have foresight and would know what can be known. They give the example of a meteor hitting the earth in the future.

E8 Also--"Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future. Though omnipotent, He has chosen to invite us to freely collaborate with Him in governing and developing His creation, thereby also allowing us the freedom to thwart His hopes for us. God desires that each of us freely enter into a loving and dynamic personal relationship with Him, and He has therefore left it open to us to choose for or against His will." Quoted from "Open Theism" entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

E9 Some Bible passages they quote in support

F1 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. (, NASB77)

F2 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. ​What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry! (, ESV2011) God is surprised.

F3 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." (, ESV2011) Now God knows.

D3 The issue

E1 Omniscience

E2 Does God know all things or just things that are knowable?

E3 Is the future knowable?

E4 Some future are knowable as predicting where a planet or other heavenly body will be in 50,000 years, but what about people's decisions?

D4 The problem It is wrong because

E1 Based on philosophy and then proof-texted.

E2 What does the Bible say?

F1 Because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows all things. (, EMTV) God knows everything, not just referring to motives, circumstances, etc.

F2 LORD, you have examined me and you know me. You know everything I do; from far away you understand
all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. (, GNB92)

F3 All His works are known to God from eternity. (, WPNT) Wilbur Pickering notes, "God hadn't changed; it was always His purpose to include the Gentiles. Perhaps 5% of the Greek manuscripts omit 'all His works . . . to God from eternity' (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.)."

F4 Remember what happened long ago; acknowledge that I alone am God and that there is no one else like me. From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do everything I intended to do. (, GNB92)

E3 Others

F1 William Lane Craig points out that the Lord Jesus knew perfectly and completely what would happen during Passion Week.

F2 He notes in another YouTube video clip that time doesn't affect God like us. He is the eternal now where everything that we call time is equally present and exists. Part 1 and Part 2.

G1 Calvinism sees God decreeing and predestining everything.

G2 Open Theism where God does not know the future perfectly, but when things happen, as in the case of Jesus predicting Peter's denial, then God has decreed that.

G3 Simple foreknowledge. God does not know the event because He decrees it but that the event is known. "God's knowledge chronologically prior to the event is logically posterior to the event. God's knowledge doesn't determine the event. It's the event that determines what God foreknows. And our decisions to not cause something, but it's our choices that determine how certain propositions are true or false. God being omniscient knows only all true propositions." God knows our choices infallibly. If it would have been a different decision, God would have known that. God would not have any way of planning the future (according to some).

G4 Middle knowledge. This is similar to the simple foreknowledge but adds how God could have this perfect knowledge and "providential control over human history without abridging human freedom." "Prior to God's decision to create the world, God knows how any free creature would freely choose in any circumstances God might place him in. So by choosing to create certain circumstances and put certain creatures in them, God's foreknowledge comes as a result. He knows exactly how that creature will behave, because He knew what that creature would do, if he were in those circumstances. So this gives God foreknowledge of the future on the basis of His knowledge of how persons would freely choose in any circumstances that he might be placed in." This view shows that God can have a plan, since He knows how any person will choose in these circumstances. This would explain not just that God knows but how is it that He can know. In a sense God chooses the circumstances and knows how one will choose. This is different from compatibilism where God decrees the highest and greatest desire, so a person will choose that desire freely over any other desire present.

E4 Consider

F1 Did Jesus foreknow Peter's denial? compared with

F2 Did Jesus foreknow Judas' betrayal? compared with and

F3 Did Jesus foreknow His rejection by Israel? compared with , , and .

F4 The problem would is, are future decisions known or are they decreed. Many open theists would come to the conclusion that some things have been decreed by God. So how can we tell? You can't have it both ways. Does God know, does not know (He gives a good guess based on someone's character and thoughts), or decrees it?

E5 The bottom line is that God does know all things known and unknown (future), past, present, and future.

B15 The substitute

C1 What is the substitute in this verse?

C2 Who provided the ram?

C3 What is the significance of the words "...instead of his son?"

C4 Read "...but God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! (, WPNT). How does this apply to and us? See also "Because Christ also suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God; having been put to death, to be sure, in flesh but having been made alive in spirit; (, WPNT)

C5 Was God under any obligation to provide the sacrifice? What does this show about God's character?


C1 What is the significance of God's words in verses 15-18?

C2 After Abraham and Isaac returned, what a story they had to tell? Is there any application for us in some way today?

C3 How would his father's faith affect Isaac?

C4 How can we show our faith to our children?

C5 If our future looks dark and foreboding, what will we do? Will we see obey God's rules?

C6 How does our faith grow? Is your faith and mine growing?

C7 This must have been very troubling to Abraham. Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone to do God's will?

23 January 2016

Hard Questions—about eternal hell

Isn't hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?

hard questions

A1 Definitions

B1 Hell

C1 Hebrew

D1 H7585 שְׁאוֹל sh'owl (sheh-ole'), which grave or world of the dead. It is described as down to the grave as Genesis 42:38, to the world of beings below the surface of the earth as Psalms 55:15, a place of punishment for the wicked Deuteronomy 32:22, a place to avoid that has sorrow and punishment. There is hope, however, as in Job 19:26, Psalms 16:10, and Psalms 19:45.

D2 H6900 קְבוּרָה qbuwrah (keɓ-oo-raw') is the grave. This is a place for the body. It is just like our grave of today. It is not hell.

C2 Greek

D1 G1067 γέεννα geenna (ge'-en-na) was a valley near Jerusalem. Since it was the garbage pit of the area, there were fires continuously burning, thus a picture of the future hell.

D2 G86 ᾅδης hades (ha'-d̮ees) is the same as Sheol in Hebrew.

D3 G5020 ταρταρόω tartaroo (tar-ta-ro'-ō) which is a special holding area for especially wicked, rebellious fallen angels.

D4 Lake of Fire is the final, true hell. God created this for the rebellious, wicked angels. The rebellious, wicked humans will also go there at the final judgment.

C3 For further study see

D1 https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/hell-sheol-hades-paradise-and-the-grave/ \

D2 http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hades.htm

B2 Punishment

Law Dictionary--What is PUNISHMENT?

In criminal law, Any pain, penalty, suffering, or confinement inflicted upon a person by the authority of the law and the judgment and sentence of a court, for some crime or offense committed by him, or for his omission of a duty enjoined by law. See Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 320, 18 L. Ed. 356; Featherstone v. People, 194 N. E. 084; Ex parte Howe, 20 Or. 181, 37 Pac. 530; State v. Grant, 79 Mo. 129, 49 Am. Rep. 218.


A2 Answer

B1 People don't go to hell because of their doctrine (truth claims) or if "they asked Jesus in their heart."

B2 People go to hell because they are blasphemers, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, etc. Every person (except the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 4:15)) has done these things at least in their thoughts but many times in actions, too.

C1 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, EMTV)

C2 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all the things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." (Galatians 3:10, EMTV)

B3 Nevertheless why would these sins result in eternal damnation?

C1 God's holiness is eternal.

D1 Holiness is a state of not ever breaking a law in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds. If holiness is nothing more than "being separate," then God would be an introverted loner. There has to be some standard of what is sacred and profane. This standard is perfect adherence to the Law of God.

D2 God is holy.

E1 The very definition of "god" would have to have this.

E2 If the definition of "god" could include the idea of not being holy, then what laws would he/she be breaking. Would it be their own laws? Then he/she would be a hypocrite. If it was someone's law, who would that be? Would there then be a higher being than "god?"

D3 "Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11, ESV)

D4 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy. (Psalms 99:9, NKJV)

C2 God's warning that punishment never ends.

D1 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31, NKJV)

D2 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

D3 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8, NKJV)

D4 And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:46, EMTV)

C3 God's forgiveness is based on faith, not sight.

D1 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24, NKJV)

D2 What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. (Romans 8:3, GNB92)

D3 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)

C4 Humanity's refusal/resistance to God's plea.

D1 "How stubborn you are!" Stephen went on to say. "How heathen your hearts, how deaf you are to God's message! You are just like your ancestors: you too have always resisted the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51, GNB92)

D2 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37, EMTV)

21 January 2016

Sunday School Lesson—Blessed to be a blessing

Blessed to be a blessing

sunday school

Theme: God made a covenant.


Genesis 12:1-9

Genesis 15:1-6

A1 Outline

B1 God's call of Abraham--Genesis 12:1-9

B2 God's covenant with Abraham--Genesis 15:1-6

A2 Notes and questions

B1 Covenant

C1 Defined

D1 A promise. A specialized promise, not the ordinary kind we make every day. It is a special promise between Yahweh and a person, persons, group, and clan (as in the case of Israel).

D2 "A usu. formal agreement between two or more parties to engage in or refrain from something." Wordsymth

D3 Business Dictionary

  1. "Written, solemn, and binding agreement.

  2. 2.Binding promise explicitly or implicitly stipulated in a deed or contract (a loan agreement, for example), by a covenantee (a lender, for example), which the covenanter (a borrower, for example) must agree to (otherwise there is no agreement or deal). Once agreed to, the covenant is usually enforceable even if it is unwarranted and/or is unsupported by a consideration. A covenant need not be explicit if its implication is necessary to carry out the intention of the explicit covenant(s). Covenants can cover virtually anything; in a loan agreement, for example, covenants can restrict size of a firm's total debt, salaries of managers, and dividends to shareholders. A covenant may be (1) Positive, when it forces an action, (2) Negative, when it restrains or prevents, (3) Independent, when applicable on its own, or (4) Dependent, when its application requires a specific condition to occur.

C2 Bible Covenants

D1 Types--conditional and unconditional

D2 Typically 8 covenants are recognized


Name of Covenant

Made with Yahweh and

Conditional or unconditional

Edenic Covenant



Mosaic Covenant

Nation of Israel


Adamic Covenant

satan, Eve, and Adam


Noahic Covenant



Abrahamic Covenant



Palestinian or Land Covenant



Davidic Covenant

David-eternal kingship (Messiah)


New Covenant

Body of believers in Jesus Christ


D4 Abrahamic covenant

E1 The covenant itself Genesis 12:1-9

E2 The ceremony Genesis 15:1-6 (21)

F1 Makes sealed and unconditional. Both parties would pass between the pieces, but here only God passed between the pieces.

F2 God is not seen except as the light moving being the pieces.

F3 Genesis 15:1-6 is a promise of a descendant and Abraham's conversion--he believed and God forgave.

B2 Genesis 12:1

C1 Who is speaking? (Yahweh)

C2 Who is listening? (Abram)

C3 In THIS verse what is commanded of Abram?

C4 Is this the norm for all the saints? (No, Yahweh is speaking to Abram, not everyone).

C5 Would it be hard for you to leave all you family members and your homeland?

C6 How does Abram know this is God? Didn't Mohammad say that Gabriel had brought God's message to him? How do we know what is God's voice and not God's voice? Do we follow something subjective or objective for our source of truth? Abraham was a prophet ("Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." (Genesis 20:7, NKJV).

D1 Spirits

E1 Good and pure=angels.

E2 Evil=unclean spirits, demons, etc. But these can and do know how to appear pure. They know the walk, the talk, and the dress/appearance of purity.

D2 Humans can be and are deceived.

D3 The only, absolute, 100% truth is the Bible. It is proven. See:

E1 http://normangeisler.com/ten-reasons-for-the-historicity-of-the-resurrection-of-the-saints-in-matthew-27-norman-l-geisler-2011/

E2 https://answersingenesis.org/store/product/how-do-we-know-bible-true-volumes-1-2/?sku=40-1-410

C7 Verses

D1 Acts 7:3 (GNB92) and said to him, 'Leave your family and country and go to the land that I will show you.'

D2 Hebrews 11:8 (GNB92) It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going.

D3 We learn that faith is not some wish, but it is believing God.

B3 Genesis 12:2-3

C1 Was this promise to Israel?

C2 Would this promise ever change?

C3 Was this covenant literally fulfilled?

D1 The land

E1 And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are–northward, southward, eastward, and westward; "for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. "And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. "Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." (Genesis 13:14-17, NKJV)

E2 So the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he had solemnly promised their ancestors he would give them. When they had taken possession of it, they settled down there. The LORD gave them peace throughout the land, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of all their enemies had been able to stand against them, because the LORD gave the Israelites the victory over all their enemies. The LORD kept every one of the promises that he had made to the people of Israel. (Joshua 21:43-45, GNB92)

D2 Spiritually

E1 And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, blessed him, and said, "May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! (Genesis 14:18-19, GNB92)

E2 Just
as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Galatians 3:6, NKJV)

D3 Many descendants

E1 Genesis 22:17 (NKJV) "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

E2 Deuteronomy 1:10 (NKJV) 'The LORD your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude.

D4 THE descendant--Messiah, who is Jesus Christ

E1 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ. (Galatians 3:16, NKJV)

E2 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13, NKJV). Seed is singular here though many understand it as a plural as English does with the word sheep (1 sheep, 10 sheep, etc.).

F1 Ask, and I will give you all the nations; the whole earth will be yours. (Psalms 2:8, GNB92)

F2 All kings will bow down before him; all nations will serve him. (Psalms 72:11, GNB92)

D5 Indeed those who believe like Abraham did also receive a blessing. List some of the blessings we receive because of Abraham?

E1 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Genesis 12:3, NKJV)

E2 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29, EMTV)

B4 Genesis 12:4-5

C1 What did Abraham do after he received the command from God?

C2 How old was Abraham? Could we start a "new" life at 75 years old?

C3 Abraham had no children. Did he still believe God?

B6 Genesis 12:6-9 What 2 important things did Abraham do? (Built altar to worship God. He, also, called on the name of the Lord (acknowledging the Yahweh is God).

B7 Genesis 15:1-6

C1 "After this..." What is this referring to? (Genesis 14:24. It was after the defeat of the kings and rescue of Lot).

C2 Does God care about each one of us individually? How can God do this when there are so many?

C3 Was Abraham discouraged (Genesis 15:2)?

C4 Did God scream and yell at him for his discouragement? Why do we sometimes think God is doing or will do this to us?

C5 How did God encourage Abraham? (Genesis 15:4-5)

C6 What great importance is taught in Genesis 15:6? (He believed God). Is faith a work as the Calvinists tell us? Is this blind faith or reasonable faith?

C7 Has the Gospel changed from age to age, or is it the same from age to age?

C8 Is God's timing better than ours? Do we get impatient at waiting? What can we do about it?

C9 What does God want us to do? (In the New Testament, which is our instruction manual from Jesus, we )

D1 Know there are some things we must not do.

D2 Know there are some things we must do.

D3 Principles of right and wrong.

D4 Examples of bad and good choices.

15 January 2016

The Lord Told Me – I Think!

A good article to read and ponder. Is the Bible adequate for us today? The link to the whole article is on the title.

The Lord Told Me – I Think!


It seems the Lord has been quite busy lately speaking to His children. A few years ago Alistair Begg quoted a survey stating that one in three American adults say that God speaks to them directly.[1] And hearing the voice of God is not isolated to the common person either. A slew of evangelical leaders claim to hear from the Lord, some of them quite regularly. Henry Blackaby, an avid proponent of extrabiblical revelation of this type, when asked how he knew he was hearing from God and not from some other source, gives this answer, “You come to know His voice as you experience Him in a love relationship. As God speaks and you respond, you will come to the point that you recognize His voice more and more clearly.”[2]

Is God Speaking Today?

Of course, that leaves dangling the important question, “How does one know he is hearing the voice of the Lord in the first place?” Is it not possible...

14 January 2016

Hard Questions—danger of using common sense?

What is the role and danger of using "common sense" in evaluating truth claims?

hard questions

A1 Common sense

B1 Defined

C1 Wordsymth: practical judgment based on experience or native intelligence, and not on education or training.

C2 Infoplease: sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence. Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

C3 The Law Dictionary: Sound practical judgment; that degree of intelligence and reason, as exercised upon the relations of persons and things and the ordinary affairs of life, which is possessed by the generality of mankind, and which would suffice to direct the conduct and actions of the individual in a manner to agree with the behavior of ordinary persons.

C4 Sense can be both

D1 Common in that people and animals recognize a certain shape, smell, taste, etc. to be the same. Salt is an example.

D2 Special in that people know their culture and cultural thinking, which would influence a decision or opinion.

B2 Example

C1 We don't step in front of a speeding car, because we know what will happen. We have seen pictures of it, etc.

C2 We don't drink poison, because we know what poison does.

A2 Atheist explanation

B1 Some may consider common sense true, but it really might not be. It used to be people considered tomatoes poisonous, but obviously they are not.

B2 Our common sense may reject things that we cannot see or experience but are in fact true as the movement of continental plates or a heavy and light object fall at the same rate (resistance as air, etc. influences the slower fall of feathers compared to a rock).

A3 Answer

B1 Christians have a reasonable faith, not a common sense faith (even if that is true).

B2 Christians appeal to facts as history, archeology, and the great number of eye witnesses.

B3 People may have different philosophical definitions of truth, but when they are short-changed by the cashier, they throw their philosophy out the window and want the correct change back.

B4 Faith is based on truth.

B5 Faith in someone is based on prior dealings with him/her. They are proven.

B6 Jesus existed. This is most reasonable.

A4 Resources

B1 http://www.equip.org/perspectives/is-faith-reasonable/

B2 http://coldcasechristianity.com/2015/is-the-christian-faith-evidentially-reasonable/

B3 http://www.reasonablefaith.org/

13 January 2016

Sunday School Lesson—a monument to human pride

A Monument to human pride

Theme: God Scattered the People.


A1 Outline

B1 Tower of Babel

C1 What the people are doing

C2 What the Lord does

A2 Notes and Questions

B1 Babel--Traditional site

B2 Some imagined ideas on what the tower looked like



B3 Area of Lake Van and Mount Ararat (give or take 300 km)


C1 What is noticeable about this passage?

C2 Why is the language information repeated twice (same language, same speech)?

C3 When is unity good, and when it is wrong?

D1 Unity with Yahweh and His ways is good.

D2 Unity against Yahweh and His ways is evil.

D3 Is doctrine important? (Very important)

C4 Is there a Christian (?) and religious unity being promoted now?

C5 How do we avoid the wrong kind of unity?

C6 In , , and say the families were divided by their languages, yet says that all were of one language. How do we reconcile these apparent contradictions?

D1 Genesis 10 is a summary and Genesis 11 is the details.

D2 Genesis 10 tells us how the nations spread and came about. The reason they spread is in Genesis 11. After reading Genesis 10, one might ask how and why did all these people scatter? Genesis 11 has the answer.


C1 They traveled east. Looking at the map, Shinar (Babylon area on the Mesopotamian plain) was about straight south. How do we account for this?

C2 They traveled east first, maybe to the Caspian Sea, then sough to the Zagros Mountains, then east to Shinar.


C1 What is the significance of "Come" ("Go to" in KJV)?

C2 What is pitch (KJV)? It is bitumen, a tar that is sticky or black colored.

C3 What are they trying to do anyway?

D1 Defy God by building this tower.

D2 Making it waterproof.

D3 Not wanting to spread over the face of the earth as God wished. God is King!!!!

C4 What is their motivation for building this building? (Rebellion and arrogance).

C5 What was the tower to be used for? Some suggestions are

D1 Tower may have been used for astronomy and/or astrology.

D2 Tower may be a statement that it is higher than flood waters and is waterproof (brick and tar).

D3 Tower may be a place for the "gods" to come down.

C6 Why did they want to make a name for themselves?

D1 Be famous

D2 Pride

C7 What seems to be their greatest fear? (To be separated). Yet, what happened?

C8 When we fight God, who wins?

C9 Whose plans are these? ("...let us make..."). What plans should we be attentive to?

C10 Sons of man or humankind literally is sons of Adam.


C1 How could Yahweh come down? Is He weak and could not have seen and known from heaven?

C2 What did He see?

C3 Couldn't He have seen this from heaven?

C4 What is wrong with people's heart? (Sin, here specifically pride).

C5 Where would other "gods" come from? (evil spirits)


C1 What is the meaning of Yahweh's word "...nothing will be impossible for them?" Does this speak of a liberated free will?

C2 Is there selfishness and self-pleasing in the human race? What can we do about it?

C3 Does God hate?

D1 There are six things Yahweh hates, and seven things are abominations of his soul: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a devising heart, plans of deception, feet that hurry to run to evil, (, LEB)

D2 The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men. (, NKJV)

D3 ...slanderers, haters of God, insolent men, proud, braggarts, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (, EMTV)


C1 Note the 3 times "let us" is mentioned.

D1 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. (, NKJV)

D2 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." (, NKJV)

D3 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." (, NKJV)

C2 Note the word confuse, confound, etc. The Hebrew word is בּלל bâlal baw-lal' and means mix thus here confuse.

C3 What are the three main personages related to Babylon?

D1 Nimrod-Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). (, NKJV)

D2 Nebuchadnezzar-Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (, NKJV)

D3 Beast of the book of Revelation-Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. (, NKJV) and throughout Revelation. This is the anti-Christ.

C4 Do things happen to us that return us to God's ways?

C5 Are all trials in our lives chastening from God?

D1 Sometimes it is.

D2 Sometimes it is the effect from a fallen word (most sickness or accidents).

D3 Sometimes it is our own stupidity and bad decisions. We cannot blame God for our bad decisions and choices. What guide do we have to avoid bad decisions?

C6 Can God's plan be thwarted? Does sin thwart God's plan?

C7 How can we seek God and His Kingdom?


C1 Whose plan happened? God's plan to spread out over the earth or these people's plan to stay in one place?

C2 What is God's plan and way of living for Christians?

B11 the summary.

B12 How do we serve God?

C1 What was satan's problem? Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " (, NKJV). Is this good advice for us?

C2 Can we serve two masters? "You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (, GNB92). How does this apply to those who teach "when you send in your seed faith, God will make you rich."

C3 Whom did Paul, the Apostle, serve? For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong, whom also I serve, (, EMTV)

C4 It comes down to we serve God by obeying the rules of the New Testament.

B13 Are we serving God?

B14 Noah served God. What happened to his descendants? How can we avoid this fallen situation from happening with our children/grandchildren?

07 January 2016

Conscience Toward God

From my friend and Christian brother, John Kulp

Conscience Toward God


In the first installment of this topic, we covered in a few words what the Scriptures mean by an “evil conscience” and a “purged conscience”. But what is meant by the concept of a “good conscience before (or toward) God” in Paul’s testimonies and in Peter’s exhortations? Let’s look at these passages one at a time.

“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council (Sanhedrin), said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” (Acts 23:1). Many believe that Paul meant this introductory statement to refer to his past life as an observant and zealous, though yet unconverted, Jew. Likely he sought to appeal to their consciences, as to Jews who...

Click the link above to read the whole post

Hard Questions—Christians have objective truth?

How can it be reasonable for Christians to claim knowledge of an objective truth?

hard questions

I'm not positive of her full question. I think she is asking if believing in God can be an objective truth.

A1 Objective truth

B1 Basically is reality.

B2 It is raining outside. True or false?

B3 God exists. True or false?

B4 How do we test if these are true?

B5 Does God exist?

A2 Reasonable truth is what a Christian claims.

A3 Christians don't believe in blind faith.

B1 Many may have not thought this through, and so they are ignorant.

B2 We have a reasonable faith.

A4 Again I refer to Cold Case Christianity and Please Convince Me.

06 January 2016

Sunday School Lesson—And the rains came

And the rains came

sunday school

Theme: God Delivered Judgment and Grace

Scripture: Genesis 7:11-8:22

A1 Outline

B1 The flood Genesis 7:11-16

B2 The flood's effect Genesis 7:17-24

B3 The flood recedes Genesis 8:1-4

B4 The raven and dove Genesis 8:5-14

B5 The Lord's promise Genesis 8:15-19

B6 Noah's worship Genesis 8:20

B7 The Lord's response Genesis 8:21-22

A2 Notes and questions

B1 Timeline

B2 The flood Genesis 7:11-16

C1 On what day did the flood start? (The 17th day of the second month).

D1 Josephus feels that this was what we call November.

D2 Most commentators look to maybe what we call May.

C2 What are the fountains of the great deep?

D1 The word for fountain means spring.

D2 The word for great means great, big, and huge.

E1 You covered it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. (Psalms 104:6 KJ2000)

C3 Is the whole world meant or was it a local flood?

D1 Arguments for a local flood

E1 http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/flood.html

F1 They interpret all their examples by their context, except for Genesis 7.

F2 They assume all the mountains of the world were the same height as they are today.

F3 They assume every animal was a full grown adult and would eat a full grown adults amount of food.

F4 They assume every animal included every variety of the dog kind for instance.

E2 http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/localflood.html

F1 Much the same as above.

F2 Don't take the Bible so literally.

F3 Believe science first, the Bible last.

D2 Arguments for a world-wide flood

E1 https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/global/was-there-really-a-noahs-ark-flood/

E2 https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/noahs-flood-covered-the-whole-earth/

E3 http://creation.com/geology-questions-and-answers Covers a number of questions that may arise about flood geology.

E4 Major developments

F1 Major geological catastrophes.

F2 Sea fossils in unusual places.

F3 Major shaping of the earth suggesting water shaped terrain.

D3 The Hebrew word used for flood. 1142 מַבּוּל (mabbûl) flood, which refers to THE flood of Noah as in Genesis 6:17, Genesis 7:17, Psalms 29:10, etc. This word refers only to Noah's flood.

D4 From the D6 Fusion teacher's book:

"Questions often arise as to whether the Flood of Noah's day was a global flood or a regional one. There are numerous reasons to believe that it was global in nature. Consider the following.

  • The wording of the entire record supports the idea of a global flood. In fact, authors would struggle to find wording that could present any more extensive and destructive a scene than what is painted here. Further, the Hebrew words for a local flood are never used in connection to the flood of Noah's day.

  • In Genesis 7:19, it is said that the waters "prevailed." This word at its core means "overwhelmingly might" and would not fit the description of a local flood.

  • If this were a local flood, Noah and the others wasted their time, money, and energy by building somethings completely unnecessary, It would have been much better to migrate to another region.

  • The presence of sedimentary rock layers and marine fossils give evidence that even the highest mountains were once covered by water.

  • God's promise to never flood the earth again would be a lie, since we have had countless local floods throughout history.

For more information regarding the global nature of the Flood, Henry Morris deals with the subject extensively in The Genesis Record. For further information on the Flood and specific aspects of the Flood story, The Institute of Creation Research has a number of resources here

For a discussion about how the highest mountains could have been covered see, here."

C4 Why 40 days and nights?

D1 That long to have the type of destruction where all would die.

D2 Moses was on the mountain 40 days and nights. Exodus 24:18

D3 Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years. Numbers 14:34

D4 Nineveh was to be overthrown in 40 days. Jonah 3:4

C5 The word for ark is

D1 Original: תּבה

D2 Transliteration: Tebah

D3 Phonetic: tay-baw'

D4 It means box.

C6 The great rain and geological upheaval. What is happening?

D1 The geological processes that happened at that time--here.

D2 Did it rain before the flood--here.

D3 The effects of a huge flood--http://www.icr.org/article/5871.

D4 A video explanation--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsvVMjsnDVU.

C7 How long did it take to build the ark?

D1 Verses to read

E1 After Noah was 500 years old, he had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Genesis 5:32, GNB92)

E2 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood came on the earth. (Genesis 7:6, GNB92)

E3 These are the descendants of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he had a son, Arpachshad. (Genesis 11:10, GNB92)

D2 Where did the idea come that the ark took 120 years to build? (Then the LORD said, "I will not allow people to live forever; they are mortal. From now on they will live no longer than 120 years." (Genesis 6:3, GNB92)).

C8 Who shut the door?

C9 Why did God shut the door instead of having Noah do it?

C10 What does shutting the door mean to those who did NOT believe and to those who did believe?

C11 Was there a free choice for any and all people to believe God and enter the ark or just decreed for Noah and his family?

C12 What was the cause of this horrible flood? (Sin)

C13 What does sin result in?

C14 Because of Noah's faith, we see God's mercy and grace.

C15 Did Jesus believe this flood really happened? (Yes. The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 24:37-39, GNB92)

B3 Genesis 7:17-24

C1 Who was the protector of Noah and his family?

C2 Can God protect us?

C3 Does He always protect us physically?

C4 Does He always protect us spiritually?

C5 Do these verses show how wide an area the flood impacted?

C6 How does interpreting the Bible in its plain, normal sense help us?

C7 How did Noah show he had faith? (He obeyed).

C8 Was there a second chance for the people of the world?

C9 How does Noah's faith affect you?

C10 Did God care about everyone or only Noah and his family?

C11 Does God care about you today?

B4 Genesis 8:1-4

C1 Do we sometimes think we are forgotten by God? Was Noah forgotten?

D1 11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? 12 "Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,' to the land which You swore to their fathers? 13 "Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' 14 "I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 "If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now–if I have found favor in Your sight–and do not let me see my wretchedness!" (Numbers 11:11-15, NKJV)

D2 Why do You hide Your face, And forget our affliction and our oppression? (Psalms 44:24, NKJV)

D3 O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. (Habakkuk 1:2-4, NKJV)

C2 The flood from the first rain drops until Noah and family left the ark was about 371 days.

C3 What all did God remember? (Genesis 8:1)

B5 The raven and dove Genesis 8:5-14

C1 Why didn't the raven come back? (It can eat dead things).

C2 After Noah looked out the hatch of the ark, how many days did was it before the land was completely dry? (Approximately 57 days, Genesis 8:13-14)

B6 The Lord's promise Genesis 8:15-19

C1 Did Noah leave the ark when he wanted to?

C2 God looks to our benefit rather than our desire.

C3 How does this apply to our prayers?

B7 Noah's worship Genesis 8:20-22

C1 When Noah sacrificed, what was he acknowledging? (That he was a sinner that needed forgiveness).

C2 How did God respond?

C3 What is our sacrifice?

D1 Jesus, the Passover Lamb (Purge out the old leaven, in order that you may be a new batch of dough, since you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7, EMTV)).

D2 Therefore, brothers, I exhort you through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1, EMTV)

D3 And I have all things and abound. I have been made full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:18, EMTV)

D4 Therefore through Him let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, confessing to His name. (Hebrews 13:15, EMTV)

D5 But do not forget the doing of good and generosity, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16, EMTV)

D6 You also, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5, EMTV)

B8 More questions

C1 How does God protect us today?

C2 What are the importance of following God's commands?

C3 Where are God's commands written for us? (The New Testament).