The Argument of Sufficiency of Scripture

Sufficiency of Scripture

See chapter 8 Systematic Theology

God has granted us sufficiency of His word throughout history. Man has enough in God’s word in order to learn and understand what God desires of us and we have enough information how to live the Christ following life we need. Furthermore, there is sufficient information for each of us to hear the word of God, understand we are sinners, to confess our sins before God, and be saved unto Christ! What is the legitimate definition of  “The Sufficiency of Scripture”?

sufficiency

What is the purpose of scripture? Well, in the second letter to the Apostle Timothy by the Apostle Paul it was stated:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Hence the purpose of scripture is to teach those who already believe and have accepted Jesus as the Son of God, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now, can it be used by those who do not believe? Yes, yet we do not even need the bible, or scripture, to prove the existence of God.

We can find everything that God has spoken on, ultimately, any given topic; either directly or indirectly or inferred. For example, in the sixth commandment “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17 NIV) Blatantly states that we are not to murder anyone. But what is murder?

There are many definitions of murder include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation. However, the nuts and bolts of murder is unlawful killing of another, whereas killing is an act by which someone dies due to an accident without forethought or malice as part of the equation.

But by way of inference we can deduce that we are not to harm another in any physical way. Jesus spoke on this, in fact, Jesus stated emphatically that we are subject to judgement if we are angry with our brother. Furthermore, we are subject to the fire of hell if we even say, “You fool!” to our brother. (ref: Matthew 5:20-22 NIV) This is but one example of inferring from scripture and all we can learn from the same.

The sufficiency of scripture also promises us that the amount of scripture given to us at each stage in our history is and was sufficient for us to learn what was being taught to us and that it is proper and sufficient for our redemption through Christ. We learned in the Mosaic teachings this basic understanding:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. ~Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV

God has this tendency to reveal to some people more than the rest of us. Just look throughout history and this will be an understood fact. You may be one of those who believe that the bible, while being canonized was a severe censure of the word of God, but in reality, if you believe God is all powerful, all knowing and all present…then He has the ability to protect His message to all the world from the likes of those who believe they must control the thoughts of men. And in so doing, those same men will change the contents of the books of sacred scripture, but God will get His message through to all His children.

sinful1God gave each of us the same brain, but it is up to each of us to love God with all of our minds. And how do we do such? Great question…and here is an answer! We must take charge of our mind and subject our thoughts to godly things, subject our eyes to godly things, and subject our bodies to godly things. We must bask in God’s word by learning all we can, we must also subject our minds to understand the godly words and understanding all that is good. Reading good books, wholesome and truthful. We must subject ourselves to those who have studied God’s word before us and learn what they have had to say in order to understand. Of course, that does not mean that we must agree with their assessments but it will help us to be of one mind and heart!

There is the problem of those who are health and wealth preachers who tend to preach heretical teachings. They tend to obfuscate the true word of God through smoke and mirrors allowing you to misunderstand the true nature of God through the all deceptive pattern of wealth…that always catches a person’s attention. Because if they believe that God truly wants us to be rich and wealthy…they are hooked and are in for the long haul.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.~Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.~Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. ~Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV

Does God desire us to be rich? Yes, but He wants our wealth to be in His kingdom. We temptation-gardenwere warned by Jesus not to be so attached to wealth and riches on this earthly plane. Jesus was very clear on this. God does want us to be rich and many who do great things are rewarded in earthly riches. But we all need to remember that:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.~Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

We are equal in God’s eyes, in that, not one of us is righteous.  But getting back to the point is we are not to add to scripture, nor take anything away from it. By doing so you clearly intend to mislead those you are teaching and you will be held accountable for such teachings. The prophet Ezekiel warned us:

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.~Ezekiel 3:18-19 NIV

We are reminded throughout, that we are not commanded to believe in anything outside of the scriptures about God Himself or His redemptive works. Everything is within the confines of the 66 books of the bible. We are also taught that there is nothing sinful that is not forbidden by the scriptures. As written by the Apostle Paul, on the Believer’s Freedoms:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

We can do all things, but is it wise to do all that we desire to do? As children of God we should be desires and have a passion for those around us. Helping and aiding all those near us…our neighbors! Our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are also reminded that God does not command any of us to do anything that is not explicitly in the biblical text, or implied by the same! Because God is all good, He will not command us to do what is evil. He will not guide us to lie. Because the seed of God is truly righteous.

Do-what-God-has-told-you-4We are taught, implored to do really, that we should emphasize what the scriptures tell us and to be content with what God has told and taught us within the scriptures. We are to touch the lives of those around us with God’s word, because God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And more often than not, we are the only connection that others will have to God. Trust me, God will open those opportunities to you to touch the life of another.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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While Breathing, Man Forgets His Breath Is From God

breath of life

We all seem to forget one of the greatest gifts we possesses, the breath of life which is within each of us by the grace of God! We each continue to waste our time and lives on such trivial things to debate if or whether or not that God exists…despite this great gift!

What are the Odds?:

And what something even more basic – say, your own existence?  A couple of months ago, a “probability chart” produced by Harvard Law School blogger Ali Binazir went somewhat viral, encouraging people to contemplate this very question.  In the chart, Binazir calculates just how improbable it was that the right sperm from your father hooked up with the right egg produced by your mother – by his estimate, it’s about one chance in 400 quadrillion (that number seems only slightly more tame in scientific notation: 4 x 10^17).  And that’s hardly the whole battle:  To even get to that stage, all of your ancestors, going all the way back to the beginning of life on Earth, had to survive to reproductive age.  Multiplying the string of probabilities together, he concludes that the odds of your existence are an astronomical one in 10^2,685.000.  (As you can imagine, not everyone in the blogosphere was kind to Binazir; one asked if it was painful to pull those numbers out of you-know-where.) (“Life, the Universe, and Everything: What are the Odds?“, 12/2011, Dan Falk)

Let us consider mathematical a understanding:

improbable = something that can happen, but its probability is comparatively low, but not zero. The distinction between probable and improbable is not, as far as I know, exactly defined.

if you roll one hundred dice, it is very improbable that all of them will land as sixes.

almost impossible = something that can happen, but its probability is exactly zero

if you roll a frictionless die, it is almost impossible that it will end up on its edge.

if you keep rolling a die until a six lands, it is almost impossible that you will never stop rolling.

impossible = something that cannot happen.

if you roll one hundred (standard) dice, it is impossible that at least one of them will land as a seven.

probable

if you do get one hundred sixes in a row, it is probable that the casino will kick you out.

almost definite

if you attempt to balance a frictionless die on its edge, it will almost definitely topple to one of its faces

definite

I think you will definitely try to balance a die on its edge. If you do succeed – remember it’s due to friction.

~cited work: John Dvorak (https://math.stackexchange.com/users/49851/john-dvorak), Improbable vs Impossible?, URL (version: 2013-10-05): https://math.stackexchange.com/q/515620

We are each in a physical existence, unless you believe life to be an illusion…but that is another story. The odds of us evolving to the point where we are (individually) today is an astronomical one in 10^2,685.000, if not more so. I say that because this number was the odds for either you or myself…not all of us on this earth. Which means that the odds would drastically and astronomically increase by an exponential factor.

 Accordingly, probabilities can be approximately 1010^23, give or take a few billion orders of magnitude.
cited work:Vincent (https://math.stackexchange.com/users/332815/vincent), Can something be statistically impossible?, URL (version: 2016-12-08): https://math.stackexchange.com/q/2049730
In order to show that something is impossible, the possibility of it happening must be less than zero. To the average man, woman or child getting much less than 10*-10^23 is not necessary…I believe that for the rest of us that this is sufficiently lass than zero to be impossible. Now let us look at the odds for something being probable to happen: One in 10^2,685.000. This is 1 chance in 10^2,685.000 (10 followed by 2,685 zeros.) Can it happen? Yes. Is it likely to happen? No. Consider the likelihood that we (any one of us) are able to win the Powerball. What are the odds? Last I checked into that it was one chance in 248, 000, 000. To me that is astronomical. So, when looking into it we have a greater chance of winning the Powerball than evolution producing you or I and having the breath of life in either of us.
Talk about chance and odds! We have been given a great gift, this thing we call life. We each need to hold dearly the idea that life is precious. This world has all but gone to hell in a hand-basket if it were not for those of us who hold dearly to the idea that God gave each and everyone of us a precious and beautiful gift…LIFE…THE BREATH OF LIFE!
we are dying

So, in the words of Clarence the Angel to George Bailey on “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” rings true about now…

“You see (George), You really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?” When you step back from a situation and place all things in their proper perspective, we are able to see without all of the other distractions of life – objectively. We all do this at times in our lives. And I hope and pray that you see such is the case for yourself, my dearest friends, brothers and sisters.

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

A Special Kind of Faith

Microsoft Word - Document1

We tend to wait to accomplish things until the right time or when we become more confident. But our confidence is built upon many of our past failures. Failures which teach us how to do things the proper way. Those failures create future successes, which also create our confidence and self-belief. So, we should DO what must be done and the confidence and esteem will be fruitful and multiply within our hearts and souls.

Why are there so many weak and stumbling Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith. Why are there so many unhappy Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith. Why are there so many confused Christians? The answer is clear: they are not living by faith.” ~Donald Grey Barnhouse, Exposition on the Book of Romans, Vol. I, page 212-213

Why are there so many weak and stumbling, unconfident and faith challenged, passionless and desireless Christians in our midst? Partly it is due to their upbringing, also another problem is their lack of understanding as to what is expected of them, and we are in that age where boys/men are seen as being either rapists or sexual harassers by virtue of their sex and based upon extreme generalities. Let us not forget that boys are being enticed to see themselves as  trans-sexual, trans-racial, trans-species, and whatever other trans-sycophantic manner pleases this particularly “Politically Correct” culture we now live in. It is sad and it is disgusting. But it is our Sodom & Gomorrah, our City of Babylon waiting for the whore to make her choices and do her deeds!

There are a plethora of reasons as to why things are the way they are, but the lack of guidance, lack of wisdom, and lack of faith are at the top of the list in my personal opinion! We have a distinct problem where we are misguided due to the fact that we have been brought up as cynical people. Also, within the liberal culture, that has grown to be rather paramount, within our educational institutions which has a tendency to throw logic and reason out the door right along with common sense, in many aspects. In so doing, our children (and we also, as many of us were at the very beginning of these changes) tend to be miseducated and misguided in how to think as an individual. The entire purpose of the education of our children is, specifically, to teach our children to think, think wisely, think independently, and to think with an educated reasoning process in a logical fashion. More often than not, our kids our being brow beaten into thinking in a liberal manner and indoctrinated what to think as opposed to how to think.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when children should be quiet and listen in order to learn, but the above student (while his language did get a bit bad, did maintain his demeanor without being disrespectful of the teacher) did a very good job of debating his belief and debunked the teacher’s assertions which were essentially a liberal mantra pushed for by the mainstream media. And also keep in mind that this is but one incident out of many, on both sides; although, listening to some of my grandchildren, this is happening in greater number of incidents with respect to liberal teachers pushing a liberal agenda against a child who did his research and had his data together.

This is but a small picture of the broader scale of things within life where we reap what we sew due to the fact we have kicked God out of our schools. What was expected? Did you really expect your kids to follow and have faith in a God who only was taught to them in a part time fashion? God needs to be a part of our children’s lives at all times throughout their day. Just based upon my experiences growing up, I lost out because my faith was lukewarm at best. We need to be exposed to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit at all times throughout our day in order to recognize and remember that we are but a small piece of the bigger puzzle and also to be reminded that God is ever present in our lives.

Our faith grows through testing and learning. This is how we learn why we believe what we believe…through an ever present testing of our character and integrity. What we stand for on any given day and at any given time. Do we stand for those who cannot defend themselves? Or just our friends and the clique which we are a part of?

The_Brothers_Karamazov1Father Zosima says to the woman of little faith [who has lost her faith in God] (in the book THE BROTHERS KARAMANZOV), “Act as if there is a God and as if your neighbor has an immortal soul. Love him to death, truly love him. Don’t just love humanity – love your neighbor! Then that will open the eyes of your soul. And you will see the certainty and that the soul is immortal and that there is a God.” You will begin to see God when you begin to act in such a manner. Acting as though there is a God. Acting that your neighbor has an immortal soul. Acting in a manner of love toward your neighbor. If you lack belief, you will begin to see there is a God. We each have this problem at times throughout our lives. Some seek guidance and are reignited in such a belief.

In his book “Spirit Warriors: Strategies for the Battles Christian Men and Women Face Every Day”in chapter 11 “Run to the Guns.” Stu Weber, a former fear-12Green Beret Captain, puts forth the truism of any soldier who has been trained in the art of warfare: Running towards, not away from the danger. This is about charging toward and doing something practical, for the safety of your brothers-at-arms, thereby instilling and creating the faith you are lacking. The only way to overcome such fears is to recognize fear, grasp hold of yourself and do what you must, despite your fear. Outside of war or battle or a fight for life…fear is not truly real, excepting only in your mind. As with most people, the greatest fears (top three, more likely than not in this very order) an audit from the public speaking, IRS and death.

Our faith comes not by false hopes or desires, but rather the building up of courage by acting despite our fear and truly believing what we have researched to be true! We believe not just because we have been told so, but also because we have researched and hold the truth to the matter that we can do all things through Christ! It is seen daily where people overcomes such obscene odds against them, but they pull it off anyway, because they never give up that hope of truth that is instilled within each of us!

Godspeed my friends, until the next exciting episode!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Are our bodies really our own to do with as we please?

body

Are our bodies really our own to do with as we please? This is a great question to be asked of all people, men and women alike! You have people saying their bodies are their own property to do with as they please. Whether it be augmentation, gender reassignment, abortion, to choose the lifestyle of same sex relations, pedophilia, and the list can go on and on. Those of us who are followers of Jesus and the ways of the Christian beliefs hold the following to be true:

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. ~Psalm 24:1 NKJV

IF this is truly the case, then, our bodies are, in fact, not our own, but God’s purposeproperty! If that is the case, then we cannot do as we please but are obligated to do what glorifies God, Himself! Having the above procedures done only seems to indicate that God made a mistake with us and therefore we can do what we must in order to correct that mistake. Now, I am not talking about the correction of a deviated septum, repairing a broken finger, aiding a person who has problems breathing due to allergies. I am speaking on the absoluteness of changing oneself to another gender, changing oneself to where they are no longer pregnant, etc. We must also keep in mind the following from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church where he stated:

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV

body templePaul stated emphatically, that our bodies are not our own, but temples in which the Holy Spirit of God dwells within each of us. If this be the case, how can we truly glorify God by taking such actions as removing our ability to have children, give birth, or produce what it takes to create a pregnancy? How do we glorify God, our Creator, to terminate that embryo growing (a child in the long term) inside  the womb? This was the great task of the liberal mind in order to make it seem alright to terminate a pregnancy by reclassifying a child to be an embryo or a fetus…that makes it so much more impersonal so it will be fine to kill it off.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. ~Psalm 139:15-16 NKJV

&

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… ~Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

From the beginning of time, back in the Garden of Eden, we as the species of man were given the right to choose either good or bad, right or wrong. This inalienable right had been given to us in the Garden of Eden.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” ~Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV

Man, in the garden, was given one mandate to uphold. One commandment to treeofgood&evilfollow and he could not even do that…DO NOT EAT THE FRUIT OF THIS TREE! Man, throughout history, has proven time and again that he cannot follow the simplest of tasks. And later when God was speaking with Cain, prior to the first murder, He did say – or warn:

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7 NKJV

WE, as the species of man, MUST rule over our carnal needs and base desires. This was the warning promoted and spoken by God Himself! Sadly, we are so far from the basest of times where we did truly love God and seek to follow Him, always, that we have become a modern day Sodom & Gomorrah. We are in such a huff to get what we want, when we want it…RIGHT NOW! If not 5-10 minutes ago.

But getting back to our original discussion…

Reason and logic should rule in these matters. God gave us reason and logic to aid us, He also gave us science to help us to understand, and He gave us philosophy and theology to aid us to explain.

man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:24 NKJV

This is where the first marriage took place. While there was no other woman for man to seek out to wed, God presented Adam with a gift…woman. But this is what was referred to by Jesus as the intention of God for man and woman to wed. God intended man to be with woman in order to procreate, be fruitful and multiply, to increase society, to be in commune with another and not be lonely. Men cannot procreate with other men, nor can a woman procreate with another woman. They can commune and not be lonely, but their was never an intention on God’s part for a same sex union other than to have an intellectual meeting of the minds.

Consider the act of masturbation. In one manner of speaking “spilling your seed”, in other words placing your seed where it is certain to not be used as it was intended. While it was a different story for Ohnan, it was not the act of masturbation but the act of “spilling his seed” on the ground as it was his familial duty to carry on his brother’s lineage and he refused to do so. While you may not be killed by God in judgement for the “spilling of your seed” but there are other judgements that God can place upon you. Blindness…lol, yes, we were all taught that as young boys! But on a more serious side, consider this: If you show disdain, or have no value attached to your seed God could make you inactive in order to have any children. This can be done either through you, yourself, or as a couple. Will it happen? I cannot answer that as that is in God’s hands. These are just possibilities, especially consider the power of God and if you truly revere it – as well as, God Himself!

allpowerfulIf God is All Powerful and your truly believe this, He can do anything. Think about that…HE CAN DO ANYTHING, because of your wrongful act(s). To not believe so, is to limit God and His Power and Abilities.

As mentioned above, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV, that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. If that is the truth and the case, HOW can anyone truly glorify God, our Creator and Maker of heaven and earth, through an abortion? …through a gender reassignment surgery?…through the same sex unions? …through the act of materbation?How can any of these deeds bring glory to God Almighty?

Man is destined to do great things, sometimes these great things are You-were-destined-for-better-thingsaccomplished by those who are avidly evil. But we are reminded where Jesus spoke:

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. ~Matthew 5:45 NKJV

Because, like it or not, those who are alive whether they follow Jesus, or not, are God’s children as well. They have the same opportunities as you to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved! And it is up to us to bring the message to the lost, this is the purpose of the Great Commission! But if you think that you can bypass all of the lost souls because they are so evil, think again, as written in the Book of Ezekiel:

When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. ~Ezekiel 3:18 NKJV

We are responsible for those around us, both the righteous and the unrighteous!

Until we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

The Two Harlot Sisters

two_sisters

While the story, word of the Lord in the Book of Ezekiel 23, is directed at Israel…we, mankind in general, have become and are increasingly growing in to the Two Harlot Sisters. A prelude where we (America, as well as the rest of the world) have become the Whore of Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah. We give up the word of God for our “God given rights,” we become lecherous for the immediate pleasures of the NOW, and the list of sins can go on and on! We seek something more convenient, easier, faster, and immediate instead of setting our sights on the long term goals. We are gluttons for the immediate pleasures of the world and have given up on planning for the future sustaining of our lives.

We sell ourselves for a better life, only to be miserable in the long run. During our quest for a better life, we trade our memories for money. We trade our relationships for for the hopes of reward. We trade our quality time with our children for extra time with our bosses and co-workers, in so doing we end up not teaching our kids those all-important lessons we desired them to know…yet they never find out from us. All the while as we grow away from our families, they, too, grow apart from us. Thereby, we acquiesce and abdicate our responsibilities for them and allow the unthinkable to occur. We allow them to create new relationships with others who will take president over us. Our kids learn from their friends and even worse…their heroes, of the likes of Bon Jovi, Poison,  U2, Metallica,  AC/DC, and the list goes on and on.

As we get older we will look back on all of these indiscretions with disdain, dismay, and much regret. I remember growing up where my father was always at work. I saw him, at very best, on the weekends…and even less when he traveled. I also remember my attitudes throughout the years and how I acted. And I remember my father and I were suppose to meet the night before I went to boot camp (and I was leaving on his birthday), which got scratched by me. Why? You may be asking, or if not I will tell you anyway. To be with my girlfriend. As I look back on many of these actions, yeah…I recall much regret. I essentially sold my self for my feelings…a form of prostitution, if you will!

Yeah, this song by Harry Chapin (“Cats In The Cradle“) always comes to mind when I think on these things:

We each do different things, but in the end we will have that sense of failure and regret. Now let us roll on into our main event…no, having you think on your regrets wast not the intent of this blog posting!

The bible tells us to live in today and be thoughtful of the now, but we are also to plan on the future, as well. But how can we balance the two ideologies?

We are desperately in need of the ability to enjoy and live in the here and now and also have a mind for our future possibilities. While we are not promised tomorrow, we should still be in tune with what would be best for us and our family.

Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth. ~Proverbs 27:1 NKJV

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. ~James 4:13-14 NKJV

Enjoy the now, live in the now, and make plans for the future as though you will live far into the future!!! Will you live that long? Who knows? Only God does! But you should plan with the hope that you glorify God and longevity would be your reward.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. ~Proverbs 13:22 NKJV

We each have hopes of living unto retirement, but if you think about it – retirement is but a Twentieth century concept. Retirement, here in America, came about during the first two terms of the FDR Presidency. Within the the 1930’s, more specifically in 1935 where mork-mindy-01President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Up until that time in our fellow American’s lives we worked until we could work no longer and stored up enough wealth on our own in order to survive our old age. Now-a-days, we are not expected to work all of our lives, our children are taught to rely on the government for their retirement pension, and most kids (today) expect to start off at the top pay scale and work their way down. Kind of like the old sitcom from the 1980’s, “Mork & Mindy” where he was an alien who was hatched as an adult and grew to youth. hmmmmmmmmm, what a concept! A little exaggerated, but not by too much!

Sadly, the fact of the matter of most of our lives is the fact that we each sell ourselves for one agenda or another. What is worse, is that we teach our children the same thing. But morals-and-ethicswe can change that if we would just pay attention tow what we pass on to them. They are the future of the family, the state, the country and this world! We need to instill within them a better sense of direction! A better pattern of morals, ethics, values, ideals, logic, reason, faith, family, belonging, etc. These problems and much worse will be faced by the next generations. Why you ask? Because each generation’s political class will inevitably  pass their problems on to the next generation. And unfortunately they will learn the same tricks enabling them to kick their very expensive dreams on down the road to the next generation. And at some point in time the piper will demand payment and there will be nowhere else to kick the can, the tab will have to be paid!!

Without ever realizing it, we have been taught to whore ourselves out to gain some benefit that we perceived ourselves to receive for free. Yet, it was free to you but was bought and paid by others.

I am warning you that you treat your lives, and the lives of your individual family members, with a certain modicum of dignity and respect. Remember to plan for them, each of them, in your future plans. Don’t forget to consider all aspects of your family planning. Things such as: Births, deaths, schooling, working, insurance, savings, investment, budgeting, etc. These are things we should be aware of but all too often do not think of. We tend to blow them off for the almighty dream of the big lottery win.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Repentance

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Just as we learned from Jonah, where the Lord “repented,” though it was not actually the Lord who repented but the Ninevites…the Lord changed His course of action because of the Ninevites’ repentance.  So, cannot God do with us as the potter deals with his creation?

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to  build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. ~Jeremiah 18:1-10 NKJV 

The funny thing is that many look at this and believe this is a contradiction…but is it truly a contradiction? No, I do not believe so. God does not repent in the traditional sense of the word as man would repent. So, what is repentance? According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, repentance means:

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb _metamelomai_ is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).

(2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun _metanoia_, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.

The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).

Was God truly “repentant”? No, but as the word means, in one of it’s definitions, He changed His mind. Was it proper for the writer to use the word that he chose to use? Probably not, but it was a means to get across the message that God would change His wrath to joyfulness, because the penitent changed from their evil ways to the ways of God.

 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. ~Luke 15:7 NKJV

With this promise to later on be said by Jesus, could you imagine the joy over the Ninevite’s turning over a new leaf and turning their lives over to God? Such joy to be had and noticed!So, was God sorry? No, He was glad and joyful that those who followed a path of evil had changed their minds and hearts to align with God’s heart and will. But He did change His course of action, instead of destroying the people of Nineveh He blessed them. Jonah went up on the hill to watch the Ninevites revert back to their old ways, because in Jonah’s mind “you just cannot trust a Ninevite!” On a side note God is always sorry and heartbroken that man chooses a path that leads him to Hell, because God “…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

But, of course, man needs to want to do so, man needs to choose for himself that God’s way is the right way, and man needs to believe the word of God. These are choices that we all must make, if we happen to choose the opposite view we are on the precipice of choosing our own destruction and have no recourse of action. Nor can we truly blame God for our actions as we chose to do so of our own volition. This is why I taught and firmly believe that choice is man’s greatest blessing and greatest curse all wrapped up in one!It was on that hill that God had to teach the prophet, or evangelist, a lesson, or two, and gain him back to God’s way of thinking, again. And He did it through a vine.
As mentioned in an earlier post that man tends to get attached to the strangest things. Sadly, it doesn’t take too much for any of us to get attached to much of anything these days. Dogs, cats, lizards, money, work, etc. The list can get very long! Why was Jonah on the hill? Because he just knew that the Ninevites would fail and revert back to their old ways. Thereby, reverting back to their sinful ways and actions…business as usual. 

In the book of Ezekiel, and other places within the biblical text, we are told:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul. ~Ezekiel 3:17-21 NKJV

God is forgiving, if we are repentant. But God will hold each of us accountable for the sins of our neighbors and brothers IF we do not warn them as we are told to do. We are each called to be ministers, priests, and evangelists. Bearers of the Word of God and therefore, we are to warn all peoples we come into contact with that their souls may live with God.

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We are the “Watchmen”, for the sake of men’s souls and eternal life! This is the endgame of bringing the word to others…to open their hearts in order to bring about a repentant heart that God my yield his mercy and forgiveness. Regardless of how repentant we may be, none of us is good…NO NOT ONE!

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May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

We Get Attached To The Strangest Things

So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”  ~Jonah 4:5-9

jonah-and-the-gourd-vineA long mane can be just as emotional to cut off. (Reflections from my youth.) It was one year ago today (10/9/2016) when we had to put down our dog Bernie. Funny how you get attached to things. Jonah was attached to a gourd vine, we and many others were attached to dogs or cats, a neighbor of ours was so attached to her bearded dragon, my grandmother was attached to her parakeets. We are a species that desires to give and receive love and if we cannot receive it, we will just give it.

Jonah fell in love with that gourd vine, because it protected him from the hot sun during the day while he sat there on the hill just waiting for the Ninevites to fail God. Because Jonah knew that they would fail Him, as Ninevites could not be trusted. We all tend to have trust issues with respect to others, don’t we? My suspicion is that Jonah had witnessed the travesties of the Ninevites first hand and this is why he held them in such low report. Despite God was on His side and despite God’s mandate for Jonah. He did not care, Jonah just did not want those Ninevites saved.

Jonah knew that if he had gone and warned the Ninevites and if they would listen to the message from Jonah and if they sensed sorrow in their heart that God would forgive them. God is funny that way. Jonah loved the gourd vine for what it provided him and was angered when it withered away, despite the fact that he put no work or cultivation toward its growth. We on the other hand, tend to love the animals that we adopt as pets because we give up much time to train it up to do as we desire it to do for us, or to mind us. Other animals and creatures just kind of exist and we take their motions to be a form of love or caring toward us. But God loved the Ninevites NOT because of what they could do for Him, nor what they could provide for Him, but solely because of the fact that they were one of His creations and He could be a forgiving, compassionate, and loving God.

bernieJust something we need to remember is the fact that we are God’s creation. In God’s eye we are but a speck of sand, yet He knows our names. When you look at those who have done you wrong, what do you see? Do you see an enemy or a friend in the making? One truly kills and destroys an enemy by making him your friend. While we cannot destroy another man’s soul, we can surly be the impetus of saving it through the message of Jesus Christ and by living our lives as Christ lived His life.

This is a short message today as it touched a nerve when my wife reminded me of our dog Bernie going bye-bye for the final time.