The Power of Darkness

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In Luke 22:53, Jesus states to those who had come to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”  Jesus spoke these words to the chief priests and elders and captains of the temple who came to arrest Him.  He understood the significance of the moment.  His time had come.  The forces of evil were converging in this historic moment and He would soon face death by crucifixion.
The Foe
The evil forces at work in this world as listed by Paul in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The foes we face are spiritual in nature.  Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41) form part of this evil force.  If the warfare is spiritual, then the weapons must also be spiritual in nature to fight against it (II Cor. 10:4-6; Eph. 6:10-18).  This evil force is organized.  Paul mentions principalities and powers which refer to the various dominions of evil.  He mentions the rulers (plural) of the darkness of this world which refers to Satan and his allies.  The foe is a powerful evil force.  Powerful, but yet limited.  Satan’s powers are limited by God.  Satan cannot coerce people to sin.  Also, he does not share ultimate authority with God.  Satan is always depicted in Scripture as being in subjection to God’s power.  The power that he exerts is evil or wicked.  He opposes truth and righteousness.  He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he tempts people to commit all manner of sinful acts.  The existence of this foe is proof that there is objective evil in the world.  The enemy of truth and righteousness is knowable.  He is revealed by God through God’s holy Word.  We can know Satan’s methods of operation.  Finally, Satan does not do his work alone.  He has individuals (ministers) who, being deceived, help carry out his evil schemes (II Cor. 11:14-15).  Jesus finds Himself in the midst of an evil scheme to take His life.  Judas would betray Him.  The chief priests and elders would have Him arrested.  The scheme was diabolical and effective.
The Force
The arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was the culmination of the conspiracy made between Judas and the chief priests and elders among the Jews (Matt. 26:14-16).  Judas, a friend and apostle of Jesus, betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver.  Judas was a thief (John 12:4-6).  He was covetous and selfish.  Satan was working in his heart.  The chief priests and elders were religious leaders among the Jews.  They also permitted Satan to use them.  In Matt. 27:18, we are told that they delivered Jesus because of envy.  They generated lies about Jesus accusing Him of blasphemy because He claimed to be the Son of God and of insurrection because He claimed to be a king.  Jesus was the Son of God and He was and is the King of kings! Later, the governor of Judea, Pilate, would condemn Jesus to death even though after examination, he could find no fault in Him.  Pilate proved unjust and acted to do what was politically expedient.  Satan was working in his heart too.  Evil converges through a friend and disciple, religious rulers, political figures and the people controlled by them.  This convergence of evil in the hearts of men found its object in Jesus Christ.
The Fortification
How did Jesus handle this moment?  He was fully aware of what was transpiring (spiritually aware).  He knew the enemy and how he worked.  He recognized the power of darkness in the people who had betrayed him and were arresting Him. Jesus committed Himself to Him that judges righteously (I Pet. 2:23).  He trusted God.  He trusted in the Word of God.  He remained true to Himself.  He did not became like his enemies in order to defeat them.  His speech was pure and his conduct righteous.  He manifested meekness, self-control, love, and forgiveness (I Pet. 2:22).  He sacrificed Himself for the higher purpose of saving mankind from sin (I Pet. 2:24).  He fulfilled the noble purpose for which He came into this world.  Jesus knew that He would ultimately prevail.  He had the promise of God that “he could lay down his life and take it up again” (John 10:16-18).  Jesus would destroy the power of Satan (Heb. 2:14).  The power of darkness is shattered by the power of light!
Will you come to the light? (John 3:18-21).  While men love darkness rather than light, the power of God’s love can overcome the darkness in the human heart and through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can be reconciled to God and walk in the light as He is in the light!

Chronology of OT History

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Genesis 1:1 begins, “In the beginning…”  When was the beginning of all things?  Philip Mauro in his book, The Wonders of Bible Chronology, places the beginning at 4046 B.C.  (p. 18).  Six days later, God created Adam (Gen. 1:24-31).  The times given below reflect the actual chronological information given in the Bible itself.  This provides us with an accurate view of the chronology of the Old Testament.
–From the creation of Adam to the  time of the Flood—1656 years.
–From the creation of Adam until the birth of Peleg (when the earth was divided) —1757 years. (Gen. 10:25).
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Terah (Gen. 11:24) –1878 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham (Gen. 11:27) –2008 years.  By this time, we are more than halfway through the history of the OT (Gen. 12).
–The book of Genesis covers 2369 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Ishmael –2094 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Isaac–2108 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Jacob–2168 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Joseph–2259 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the death of Joseph–2369 years.
–From the death of Joseph to the birth of Moses–64 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the birth of Moses–2433 years.
–From the creation of Adam to the Exodus from Egypt–2513 years.
–The book of Exodus covers 144 years, 11 1/2 months.
–The book of Leviticus covers 1 month of time.
–The book of Numbers covers 40 years.
–The book of Deuteronomy covers 30 days (1 month).
–From the creation of Adam to the death of Moses–2552 years.
–The Pentateuch covers 2554 years, 1 1/2 months.
There are twelve periods of OT History.  The chronology will be given for each periods.
1.  The Antediluvian Period (before the Flood)  1656 years.
2.  The Postdiluvian Period (after the Flood) 352 years.
3.  Patriarchal Period: (Abraham to Moses) 425 years.
4.  Captivity in Egypt and Exodus:  80 years.
5.  Wilderness Wanderings: 40 years.
6.  Conquest of Canaan (6 years) and Division of the Land (14 years): 20 years.
7.  Judges:  450 years.
8.  United Kingdom: 120 years.
9.  Divided Kingdom: 264 years.
10. Judah Alone:  131 years.
11. Babylonian Captivity: 70 years.
12. Restoration of the Jews to Palestine: 49 years.
Period between the OT and NT: 403 years.
Jesus was born 4041 years after Adam was created.
Jesus was baptized 4071 years after Adam was created.
Jesus was crucified 4074 1/2 years after Adam was created in the year 4075 after Adam was created.
The chronology of the Bible is given for one main purpose, to give the history of the scheme of the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ our savior.  The people, places, and events are important because they figure prominently into the lineage of Jesus of Nazareth.  The chronology is interwoven with the history.  You cannot change the chronology without dramatically impacting the history of the Messiah.  For this reason, it is impossible to harmonize biblical chronology with that of the theory of evolution.

 

The Clash Between Science and Religion

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I recently visited the Ark Encounter exhibit in Williamstown, KY.  The exhibit is not quite finished at this time (July, 2016), but it is completed to the point that a visitor can enjoy the conceptualizations and renderings based upon the Biblical account of Noah’s ark and the universal flood of Genesis 6-9.  The exhibit is massive in size and requires a lot of walking to see.  Ken Ham is director of Answers in Genesis and is responsible for the construction of the ark exhibit.  He is a young earth creationist.  Opposition to the Ark Encounter exhibit has already surfaced.  Barbara King wrote an article attacking the basic concept of the exhibit as anti-science because it is anti-evolution.  The most important clash between science so-called and the Bible is focused on chronology.  The Biblical chronology beginning with Genesis 1 :1 and continuing to today allows for around 6,000 years of human history.  Evolutionists argue for a much longer period of time.  Evolutionists hold that the universe is around 14 billion years old.  The earth is about 4 to 5 billion years old.  They also teach that human lineage evolved 6 million years ago and our own species about 200,000 years ago.  King objected to the display of humans and dinosaurs on the ark (There’s No Controversy: Let’s Stop Failing Our Children on Evolution, July, 28, 2016).  She claims that dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago and that humans have only been on the earth for about 200,000 years.  The difference between the chronology of the Biblical account of the creation of man and the chronology of evolution cannot be reconciled without destroying the veracity of the Biblical account.  Keep in mind that most of Bible chronology is given within the context of the history of the men and women who were involved in bringing the Messiah into the world.  If you destroy the chronology that is imbedded in the genealogy accounts of Christ, you destroy faith in the accounts themselves and they under gird our faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the one who is the Messiah (both creator and redeemer of mankind).  Those who want to hold to the Bible and evolutionary chronology must compromise.  These individuals are known as theistic evolutionists.  Theistic evolutionists generally believe that the Biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the flood of Noah’s day are myths.  They deny the historical and literal aspects of these accounts.  But, when they do so, they also impact the genealogies of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Why do they do this?  They desire to harmonize, in some way, what the Bible says with evolutionary chronology.  By making these accounts myths, they actually agree with the evolutionist who holds that Noah’s ark is fiction.  King quotes from the Patheos blog with which she agrees, “…and there wasn’t even a mention of how the whole Noah’s Ark story is fiction.”
King’s article focused on an NBC Nightly News broadcast by Kevin Tibbles from the site of the Ark Encounter in which Tibbles failed to affirm evolution.  King interpreted this as a failure to teach our children science (evolution).  She said, “The NBC segment was a prime example of a missed opportunity in mass-media science literacy education–education that’s sorely needed.”
This expressed opinion is precisely the reason there is a clash between the Bible and science (macro-evolution).
The chronology of the Bible cannot be reconciled with the chronology of evolution.

Transformation From Sinner To Saint

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Paul declares, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
Transformation!
Transformation is change.  It is a complete, radical, change under the power of God that finds expression in character and conduct.  The change impacts every aspect of a person’s being.  The change is in God’s direction motivated by both faith in Him and love for Him.  The direction of the change is based upon conformity to God’s Word.  The change involves resistance to the forces of the world that would attempt to assimilate us to the sinful aspects of the culture in which we live.
The Change Begins With The Renewal of the Mind.
You and I must change our thinking and bring it into conformity to God’s Word.  The goal is to conform to God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will.  The human mind must come into contact with God’s revealed and inspired Word (Rom. 10:17). Faith in God comes by hearing His Word.  We must begin to see ourselves as God sees us with no masks and no excuses.  Looking into the perfect Law of Liberty (James 1:25) will confirm our need for change from a life of sinful conduct to one of righteous conduct.
The Change Continues With A Change of Heart.
Repentance is a change of heart with regard to sin.  We turn away from sin and turn to God (Acts 3:19, 17:30).  Repentance is a universal command of God.  Each person must realize that he/she is lost (eternally doomed to hell) because of sin.  Our sin places our soul in peril.  Each person must realize that salvation is only through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).  Every soul in eternal peril must change their hearts by renouncing sin and setting out on a new course as a servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:16-17).
The Change Continues With a Change of Our Spiritual State.
In sin, we are lost.  In Christ, we are saved.  The transition from sinner to saint is not complete until we have confessed Christ and been baptized into Christ (Acts 8:37-39; Gal. 3:26-29).  We must undergo a new birth.  We must be born of water and Spirit in order to become a part of God’s kingdom–the church.  The new birth produces a new creature and a new life (John 3:3-5; Rom. 6:4).  We stop being the servants of sin and we begin being servants of righteousness.
The Change Continues With A Change of Life.
Paul states, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18).  The image (eikon) of Christ is summed up in all of the moral excellencies found in the character (impress) of Jesus Christ.  We represent and manifest these qualities by imitation of His example.  We must put on Christ.  We are transformed into His image by following/obeying His Word, imitating His life, and duplicating His work in as much as it is possible for us do so (preaching God’s word, compassion for the lost, the poor, the suffering, etc.).  We must put on the new man which is created in Christ Jesus unto righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).  Pursue the sacred (Col. 3:1).  Put to death the former lusts of the flesh (Eph. 4:22).  Put on Christ in all His moral excellencies.  The Christian life involves a perfecting of holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1).
Change is Possible.
Change is possible, but it requires a change of thinking, a change of heart, a change of spiritual status, and a change of life.  Are you ready for a change that will bless your life now and secure the promise and hope of eternal life?  This change is possible by obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16).

 

 

The Trustworthiness of God’s Lovingkindness

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The word in Hebrew that corresponds to the English word grace in the New Testament is hesed.  This is a beautiful word.  The definition of this word is: “unfailing love, loyal love, devotion, kindness, often based on a prior relationship, especially a covenant relationship (Strong’s Concordance, p. 1389).
The word is used of a quality of God’s nature that is manifested in the covenant relationship with His people expressing His unfailing love or loyal love.
The constancy of God’s love is the basis for our surrender and obedience to God.  God’s lovingkindness invites and motivates our love for Him.
The word lovingkindness is found in Psalms 26 times.  Lovingkindnesses is found four times for a total of 30 times.  This word (hesed) occurs throughout the Psalms and indicates an awareness the Israelites had of God’s love and kindness which produced mercy, redemption, salvation and forgiveness.
Lovingkindness is an aspect of the Divine Nature.
Hesed is always attributed to God in the Psalms.  It is a feature or aspect of deity that is described as:  marvelous (Psa. 17:7); excellent (Psa. 36:7); Good (Psa. 69:16); and better than life (Psa. 63:3).  It is hard to find something that is “better than life.” But, when you discover God’s loyal love, His lovingkindness, you have found something truly wonderful.
Lovingkindness is associated with three important things:  mercy, life, and truth.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions” (Psa. 51:1).  Forgiveness is the result of God’s loyal love.  “Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth” (Psa. 119:88).  “Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness” (Psa. 119:159).  To quicken is to make alive.  God’s loyal love produces real life which is spiritual life.  God’s loyal love is connected to truth.  “I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation” (Psa. 40:10).  “I will worship toward  thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psa. 138:2).
The lovingkindness of God produces our salvation (Psa. 17:7).  God’s trustworthiness in lovingkindness invites surrender in us.  Surrender of the human will precedes obedience to God.  Obedience without surrender is shallow and vain.  Obedience with surrender is rich, meaningful and produces devotion to God.  Our faith in God is prompted by His loyal love.  We can trust God because it is not possible for Him to disappoint us.  We are crowned with lovingkindness.  “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psa. 103:4).
The mercies of the LORD are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-25).  This is the basis of our salvation and hope.  We can confidently put our trust in God whose loyal love will never fail us.  We must surrender to His will and trust in His power to save us.

 

A New Low

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Steven Ertlelt wrote an article for lifenews.com titled, “Planned Parenthood CEO Confirms It will Not Stop Selling Body Parts From Aborted Babies” (Sept. 30, 2015).  In this article, he reveals that Cecile Richards admitted in her testimony before Congress that she is ‘proud’ of Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts harvesting program.  Planned Parenthood is responsible for expanding late-term abortions and  selling of baby body parts.
David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, which was responsible for the series of 10 videos showing the abortion giant selling baby body parts states that the organization is not worthy of taxpayer funding.  Here are some excerpts from the ten videos:
1.  In the first video:  Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing.  “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
2.  In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
3.  In the third video:  Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
4.  In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200.  A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”  She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
5.  In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest i the United States.”
6.  In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted.  And these mothers don’t know.  And there’s no way they would know.
7.  In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “You want to see something kind of cool,'” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating.  And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
8.  In the eighth video:  StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of fully intact aborted babies.”
9.  In the ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies–including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
10.  The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts–including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies.  The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby parts for profit.
The total disregard for the value and sanctity of the lives of the unborn reaches a new low in these videos.  Certainly, such conduct is an abomination to the God of heaven.

Wonders of Bible Chronology

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Phillip Mauro gives a concise and readable chronology of the Bible in his book, The Wonders of Bible Chronology. Mauro references two other works on Bible chronology that are worth consulting when studying this important subject–one that is neglected in many churches.  The first is Dr. Martin Anstey’s, The Romance of Bible Chronology, c. 1913 by Marshall Bros, London. Two volumes.  Anstey’s work can be found online and is downloadable for free.  Anstey’s work rests upon the statements in the Bible alone.  The Bible gives a complete and consistent source of chronology that does not need outside sources to confirm it.  The Bible is the only infallible book in the world. The chronology is given in close association with the genealogies in Scripture.  The genealogies have one primary purpose, i.e. to record the lineage of the Messiah who would be the savior of the world.  The second work is that of James Ussher, The Annal’s of the World.  Ussher’s work was widely accepted until the mid 1800’s when the three-pronged attack of evolution (Darwin, c. 1859), higher criticism and textual criticism attacked the credibility of the Bible and attempted to change drastically the chronology given in the Bible.  I would like to add a third resource that of Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones, The Chronology of the Old Testament (Master Books Publisher) that has been reprinted several times.
Chronology is the science of dividing time into regular intervals and assigning dates to historic events in their proper order (Jones, p. 2).  The Bible does this rather remarkably.  Gen. 1:1, states thatthe history of the heaven and the earth had an initial beginning at the behest and power of God.  From this beginning of the history of the world, only six days pass until God creates Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4; Gen. 1:26-27).  With the creation of Adam, the history of man begins.  The genealogy given in Gen. 5, gives a chronology of the history of man from the time of Adam until the time of Noah.  The time that passes during this period is 1656 years. There are two individuals that connect Adam to Noah, namely, Methuselah and Shem.  Mauro states, “…Adam was for 243 years the contemporary of Methuselah, that Methuselah’s life overlapped that of Shem for 98 years, and that Shem was, for 150 years, the contemporary of Abraham” (p. 28).  This means that specific knowledge of the creation and of the flood would have been passed down to the people of Abraham’s day through a direct line of descent from Adam. 
From Adam to Abraham, 2008 years pass.  By the time a reader of Genesis gets to Genesis chapter twelve, he has reached one-half of the history of the Old Testament.  The next approximately 2000 years will bring us to the time of Jesus Christ’s birth.  We live in the year A.D. 2016.  This means that the history of man encompasses around 6,000 years!

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