Monthly Archives: August 2011

Not Just “For Us”…

Romans 8:32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? [KJV]

32  ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων παρέδωκεν αὐτόν, πῶς οὐχὶ καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται; [Textus Receptus]

He who indeed did not spare His own Son, BUT did deliver him up in behalf of us all, how shall He not also with him the all things grant to us? [JCH]

– – –

…for us all – (ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων) – Normally this would be a Dative based Clause (ἡμῖν πᾶσι), but it is not.  This is a Genitive based Prepositional Clause.  Rather than have it translated as the English would show it as, “for us all,”  the Genitive Clause demands that it is rendered, “in behalf of us all.”

God sent His son, not just “for us”, but more importantly, He sent His only-begotten son “in behalf of us” or in our place.  This is what verse 32 is revealing.

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Posted by on 10-August-2011 in Uncategorized


The Destruction of a Nation Turned from God

Habakkuk 1:1
1  The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

Ever read the little book of Habakkuk?  It’s a story of grief, yet it is also a story of judgment, and a story of hope.

In chapter one of the book, it opens with Habakkuk crying out to God for justice.  God reveals to His servant  that He is raising up a pagan nation called Chaldeans to come and over-run the once godly nation of Judah.  How can the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob allow such wicked people to tear down His chosen people?  How can the God of David and Solomon be willing to destroy Judah, the nation that stood for God, while the ten Northern tribes turned to paganism?  Why is God going to allow people, who attribute their blessings and sacrifice offerings to their nets and drag lines, to trample and crush the Promised Land?  This revelation was too much for a man to carry, and Habakkuk cried out for answers.

– – –

Our country was founded on God-fearing principles.  Though not everyone were born-again Christians (Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, etc.), they still had enough wisdom to not tear at the foundations that their fathers setup: freedom to worship God.  Now, we have so many wicked and perverted people in our country.

  • They want to promote open and public sodomy.
  • They want to stop any form of recognition of God.
  • They want to erase hundreds of years of a Godly heritage.

And now, everyone is wondering why the Chaldeans are at the door?

  • Our nation’s economy is in ruins.
  • The politicians in Washington D.C. squabble over pennies while Rome burns.
  • Nations like Iran, Syria, and Russia roar and bellow against America’s decadence.
  • We fear the illegal immigrants from Mexico and the drug cartels from Central America.

Why is God allowing such destruction of a nation which once stood for the Bible, the Blood, and the Blessed Hope?

– – –

Chapter two is God’s answer to His prophet.  God tells Habakkuk to write His words down in stone.  God wants the letters large enough and clear enough so that a man running could read it easily.  God’s reasons must be clearly understood by all.

Israel was once a nation that feared God.  Judah was a country that once stood for the LORD while all others fell.  Jerusalem was the city of David, where God’s very own temple stood.  Yet these people have become proud and arrogant.  The rulers have become godless and corrupt.  Though the appearance of the temple still stood, the nation has turned their backs on the LORD.  Now, God is going to bring another nation along, who is worse than the wickedness of Judah, to bring judgment on God’s people.

This is what God has to say to His people,

Habakkuk 2:16-17
16  Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
17  For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

– – –

Does America think they can turn their backs on God and not receive His hand of chastisement?  Do you have the audacity to think that just because you refuse to recognize God, He doesn’t exist?  Are we so foolish to mock a holy and righteous God, by perverted lifestyles?

And now you wonder why everything is falling apart.

Will Iran and Islam destroy our nation?  Is America turning into a third world economy?  Shall our nation become a beggar in the world?  I don’t know what is going to happen.  But I do know this:  America was once founded on the Bible, and the God of the Bible.  And now, our nation is running blindly towards paganization, while the Christian screams for it’s air-conditioning, microwave ovens, and Internet access.

– – –

The small book of Habakkuk wraps up with the prophet’s response to God’s answer.

Habakkuk 3:16-19
16  When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
17  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19  The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

He trembled at the answer of God, because He knew that the LORD is just!  And in the midst of His trembling, the man of God started praising and rejoicing in the God who is not just righteous and holy, but is also loving and merciful!

– – –

Will judgment come to America?  YES!  Bank on it.  Is it here now?  Is the economy not going to recover?  Will Iran rain down nuclear and EMP bombs on our nation?  Will we be laughed off the world’s stage by China, Russia, and Europe?

I don’t know.

But know this,  God is HOLY.  God is RIGHTEOUS.  Yet God is also merciful and loving.

Lord, I don’t know what Your plans are for our nation.  I weep and cry over the wickedness of the world, but my tears flow harder against the wickedness of America.  Though You might bring blight and famine to our nation, and you cut off the blessings of Your hand, I will still rejoice in YOU, for you are a God who is not just righteous and holy, but is also loving and merciful!

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Posted by on 5-August-2011 in America


A Command, NOT an Exhortation

Matthew 19:4-6
4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In the Greek, we have a verbal mood called a Subjunctive.  It’s the verb which carries the “may, might, or shoulds.”  An example of a Subjunctive is, “I might arrive on time,” or, “they should obey the laws.”  Dana and Mantey refer to it as the mood of mild contingency or the mood of probability. (Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, MacMillan Publishing, New York. paragraph #163.)

A Hortatory Subjunctive is a Subjunctive Verb, in the 1st Person Plural, used when one exhorts others to participate with him in any act or condition (ibid. #163(1)).  An example is, “let us hold fast our profession” (Hebrews 4:14).  In the English, this sense of mild contingency is brought out with the word, “let.”

In Matthew 19, The Pharisees came to Jesus and confronted Him on his views of divorce.  During this time, a man could divorce his wife for any reason.  If she did not please him, he could divorce her.  If she burnt the toast and boiled the coffee too long, the man could divorce her.  The Pharisees, wanting an edge on Jesus, confronted Him on what HIS views were.  After some bantering about on what Moses said, Jesus brings the whole matter to a head.

Matthew 19:4-6
4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In this Jesus points out several important factors: 1.) Marriage belongs to God (and not to man); and 2.)  when a man and woman (not a man to a man or a woman to a woman), they become one flesh.  But one other factor is brought in, where the English does not bring out.  It is found in verse 6:

Matthew 19:6
6  … What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In the English, we would read this as a Hortatory Subjunctive, where Jesus might be exhorting us or encouraging us to not divorce.  But the Greek has it completely different!  Let me show you.

ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶ δύο, ἀλλὰ σὰρξ μία· ὃ οὖν ὁ θεὸς συνέζευξεν ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω. (Mat 19:6 SCR)

Granted, some of you might not be fluent in Koine Greek.  I place this in here to be accountable to hose who do have such a working knowledge.  The whole point is that this Greek verb (χωριζέτω) is not a Hortatory Subjunctive, but an Imperative (or a command).

The correct English is, “do not allow man to put asunder.

This is not some exhortation or encouragement, but a command from the lips of our Lord and King Jesus Christ,

ANY Christian who allows, or justifies unScriptural divorce and remarriage* is in direct conflict with God’s Word and our Lord.

May God have mercy on them.


* God’s Word does allow for certain cases of divorce:  1.) reasons of fornication (Matt. 5:32; Matt. 19:9) and 2.) the departing of an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:15).  But it is critical to note, that while He allows such, it does not mean that He commands it.

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Posted by on 3-August-2011 in Uncategorized


Losing and Refinding Your Way

I remember a time when I was little child, getting lost in a grocery store.  I didn’t realize I was lost at first.  One moment I was with my mother wandering the aisles, and the next minute, I was alone.

The first thought was, “Where did Mom go?”  I didn’t think the problem was with me.  I didn’t recall wandering off, but my mother was no where in sight and I was alone… with strangers!

The very next stage was panic.  I don’t recall how young I was, maybe 4 or 5, but I was old enough to realize how serious of a predicament I was in.  Had I lost my mother (and thus the rest of my family) forever?  Who would take care of me?  What would these strangers do to me?  The thoughts that run through a child’s mind can take many shapes.  This all led to the last stage … I started crying with all of my heart for Mom!

Today, at the age of 46, I still find myself off the planned path … lost.  I think I am following Christ.  Everything is going good.  All my needs are taken cared of and my work in teaching and Bible studying are going strong.  But one day, I look up and get a very clear sense that I am not currently walking with Christ.

When I was a young Christian, the first thought would have been, “Where did He go?”  I didn’t stray off.  I was doing what I always do.  How could it have been my fault?  Yet, when I open my Bible, I sense the mechanics of Bible Study, but not the Spirit.  I can still do my translations, and analyze my clauses, by that still reassuring voice guiding my hands is silent.

Some would suggest that I had “lost” my salvation.  This isn’t the case.  When I was lost as a little child, did I lose my relationship with my parents and siblings?  No!  I lost my fellowship, but not my relationship.  This is the same with God.  If you are truly saved, you are adopted by God Himself (Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:7).  But just because you are His child, doesn’t mean you will not stray.  The difference between a mature Christian straying away and a new believer is that we sense it quicker, because we miss the voice, of which we are accustomed to listening to.  Just like every other Christian who is redeemed, pastors, missionaries, evangelists, and even lowly Bible teachers are filthy rotten sinners.  We sin, and we stray.

Brother, have you also strayed from the sweet fellowship of Christ?  Sister, do you find yourself alone, surrounded by strangers?  There is good news for those who have strayed!

First, remember that God has not left you!

Hebrews 13:5
5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Romans 8:35-39
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Though we have wandered off the path, our Lord has placed us, and our sin clouds our view of our savior, we know that He is still there.  Do you remember what our Good Shepherd said about the one lost sheep?

Matthew 18:12-14
12  How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13  And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14  Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Our God is not one who will turn His back on those who stray, but He is a loving Father who waits for His prodigal son.  He is the good shepherd who will leave the 99 secured sheep to go and look for that one lost lamb.  I know many brothers and sisters in Christ who will abandon their brethren when they stumble,  Rather than try and bring them back to fellowship, they condemn them, turn their backs on them, and reject them.  This is wicked and such spirits don’t come from God.

The second thing we must do, when we find ourselves on the wrong path, is to realize we were the ones who strayed.

1 John 1:5-10
5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

It is impossible for a Christian to live in sin, and still walk with Christ.  One famous Christian artist recently confessed that they were a sodomite (one who is a homosexual).  His claims is that since God made him this way, he should accept it.  The truth he forgot was that we all are sinners, not by the divine will of God, but because man disobeyed God and fell into wickedness.  Each and everyone of us has a sin nature.  We can feed that nature, or we can fight it through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  We don’t throw our hands up and continue to walk in darkness, but we seek to return to the light where our blessed Lord is.

Brethren, do you have the audacity to think you do not stray?  God’s Word calls you a LIAR (1 John 1:8).  Your only hope of a right fellowship with Christ is to repent and confess your sins!  Which brings us to the next stage.

To repent (Greek: METANOIEO) literally means “to change your thinking.”  One time, I found myself going down the wrong Interstate.  I made the wrong turn on the D.C. beltway, and I was on the wrong road.  Did I throw up my hands and continue down in the wrong direction?  No, I turned around and got myself back onto the correct highway.  When we find ourselves in the same situation with life, we don’t just give up and continue in our sin, but we make that u-turn, confess our sins to the One who already knows our situation, and get back to where we belong.

How will God react?  Read this well-known story.

Luke 15:11-20
11  And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Before the wayward son could even speak the words of confession, the father was already forgiving him?  Why?  Because the prodigal son repented.  He changed his path and returned home.

When I found myself lost in that grocery store decades ago, I did what came naturally to a child — I screamed for Momma!  I was lost, and I knew it.  I couldn’t find her, but I knew she would do her best to find me!  God is the same way.  He will move Heaven and Earth to rescue you.  All you need to do is cry out to Him, confess your sins, and seek forgiveness.  Like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, He will come running and rescue us.

Have you strayed and got lost?  Return to where you left Christ.  Confess your sins to a loving God.  Though a brother or sister might be upset that you have been restored, don’t worry about them.  Once they wake up and find themselves on the wrong path, they will hopefully confess their sins and repent as well.

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Posted by on 1-August-2011 in Christian Living