Desperation Leads To Deliverance

Notes Deperation pt4

In Mark 5 we learn of several people: the man from the tombs who is possessed, Jairus and his dying daughter, and the woman with the bleeding disorder. Jesus, throughout His life made a great many “Bold Statements” to the people He taught, instructed, healed, befriended, etc. While the title of this post is not a bold statement which Jesus made…it is, however, a bold statement made due to plain observation of His many encounters with those who were desperate.

Each of these people had desperate problems, desperate needs, and (most had) faith in Jesus to heal.

Everyone had the notion in their heads, at one point in time, who is this Jesus? Who is He that He can heal? Only God can heal, only the healers and men of God can heal…who is this Jesus?

Gods handJesus, the Son of God, who has authority over sicknesses, ailments, death, hunger, the disposition & health of one’s soul, etc. YEAH, that Jesus. It is hard to believe that when one makes their way through the biblical accounts of Jesus, His travels, His trials & turmoil, His teachings & sermons, His healing of the sick and disenfranchised…hard to believe that anyone could ask such a thing. Considering the fact that even after His crucifixion & death, in the area of Jerusalem that His teachings were continued by His Apostles and followers. Jesus1If that which was taught about or by Him was wrong why was there no outcry against it? If He were not crucified to death, buried, and rose again…why then did not those who said, “this did not happen!” Why did they not produce His body? There were many assertions and theories on this, but then they go beyond the scope of this blog post. However, it should be in the back of one’s mind when listening or reading of the great things accomplished by Jesus and His followers.

Getting back on track…

First, we encounter the possessed man from the tombs. He who was possessed by Legion. Jesus commanded Legion, Come out of the man, unclean spirit! (verse 8) And, of course, Legion asked to be cast into the herd of pigs. And Jesus allowed it; then the pigs were sent running off the cliff. Now, you or I…today, would see this as a travesty that so much bacon would be wasted. But, as it was brought to my attention, that this was a great economic problem for the owners of the pigs. Why? You might ask…because the pigs were used in many of the pagan rituals and therefore, Jesus just deprived them of great money making possibilities.

And of course, the man who was possessed desperately desired to go and follow Jesus in verses 18-20. Why? because he had firsthand knowledge and experience of such power and healing that Jesus could perform [my interpretation and understanding]. The gratefulness and the gratitude that he had toward Jesus…could have been second to none! But each of us has a voice to be heard by certain people, apparently the recently healed man of possession needed to have his voice heard by his people…God’s will be done!

Second, we come in contact with one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus whose daughter was dying. Now this is something. a ruler of the synagogue sought out Jesus to heal? But when it comes to one who is near and dear to us, we will not concern ourselves with such a matter, despite what our fellow synagogue leaders think of such a man as Jesus. But family is family…to many, family is everything. Jairus even showed such courage and faith by saying, My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.(verse 23)

While on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter we come in contact with the third person of faith and desperation, the woman with the flow of blood issue.She who used up all her money to be healed. She could neither work nor be around people because she was labeled, “unclean.” So, by the mere touching of the hem of His clothes, she truly had faith that she would be healed…now that is faith, a truly strong faith! But such would not go unnoticed with Jesus.

As with the woman, do we not (in our youth) fail to ask for permission and find it more useful to wait (if caught) to seek forgiveness? But she knew that she was wrong in what she did, as she was “fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.” And once again, God was glorified! And Jesus responded, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.

So, now back to the second person he ran into…Jairus. His faith was what was to heal his daughter. Those who came from the synagogue ruler’s house said, Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” This raises a question, or two, but those go beyond the scope of this post. One that comes to mind is: If this synagogue ruler was such a man of faith, why didn’t his whole household know of Jesus? Perhaps, I would speculate, that he didn’t want to be unfaithful to his brethren of the synagogue and Jesus was the last person he thought of in this time of trouble. As many of use might do. 

But Jesus in classic form said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” Which was assurance to His caller, the synagogue ruler, and perhaps his entire family. Then Jesus followed on with this, Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping. To which many around just laughed and ridiculed Jesus, considering such a thing just idiocy. After all, this crowd of people, many of which I speculate had seen the body of the girl and suspected or knew the girl to, in fact, be dead. But are we not called to believe despite what we have seen, or believe without seeing?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” ~John 10:37-38 NKJV 

 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29 NKJV

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed… ~Romans 4:16-21 NKJV

Face it, we are all raised to be skeptical of those things we do not see. We are also taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Sadly, we live in a skeptical world and this is one of the things we must overcome as we grow older and seek out God in our own way. There are a great number of things that preclude the possibility of knowing God, as we are taught to believe in the theory of evolution and other very smart and educated people who do not count God as a potential, or possible, First Cause for our existence. While some, and yes even some Christian sects discount the classic First Cause argument. But, let us return to our original posting…

Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” This had to be a grand spectacle for all to see! Immediately the girl arose and walked which, of course was not told to us until the writing of this Gospel.

These three instances spoke volumes to us all, that Desperation Leads To Deliverance. While my message is slightly different from the sermon presented by my Pastor (Scott Beckenhauer) the essence of it remains the same. We each follow a path in our lives, good and bad, but eventually we begin to ask the bigger questions which eventually lead us to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

gotGod

Desperation can lead us down a very dark and bleak road in our lives, or we can see a glimmer of light and hope at the end of the tunnel which takes us on the trail that leads to hope, faith, love and charity. God awaits all of us to arrive at the finish line, but not all will get there. We are all invited, but not all will accept His generous offer of Grace.

What about you? What is your heart seeking? Where do you desire to go?

Got God? Got Jesus? Got Holy Spirit?

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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Apostasy in America

apostasy [uhpos-tuh-see]  (noun, plural apostasies)

a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
~dictionary.com

UnitedApostates ofAmerica
The Christian basis of America has been eroding in this country for a great many years, whether you’ve noticed it or not. Quite honestly, it probably began as soon as this country was formed upon it’s first actual and true legal act as a nation…the Declaration of Independence.

the first official act of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident***.” While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.– US Supreme Court, majority opinion; Gulf, Colorado & Sante Fe Railroad Co. v Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 159-160 (1897)

With these bold assertions, by Thomas Jefferson, in this one statement alone has created a whirlwind of argument among all within this nations:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Just these six words by themselves as a statement of fact or assertion creates the confusion and debate while coupled with the fact that we acknowledged the use of and the continued belief in slavery. Which was proof enough that not all men were, in fact, created equally. Upon the writing of the Constitution of the United States (Article V), the governing body for expediencies sake kicked the can down the road until 1809 in order to obtain a 100% consensus of the states. And this was just the beginning…

Now, fast forward to the 1950s-1960s and the expansion of hedonism within the confines of America, another breakaway from our Christian roots. Flower Power, Free Love, etc. Move a little forward to the 1970s with the expansion of drugs in America and the expansion and tolerance (of course this will become a 30 or more year battle) of homosexuality. Paralleling years of 1950s-2010 which was the further expanding of governmental powers where the rights and liberties of the people are abrogated. 1970s-1990s where homosexuality is receiving expanded roles in movies and television, thereby making it more acceptable to the American public and due to the parts they played they are funnier than straight people, too! Now to the 1990s-present where LGBT community is forcing itself into our lives, while simultaneously portraying itself (ant their followers) as victims and assaulting and battering those in the church and straight communities who take an opposing view of their lifestyle choice. In essence, agree with us (the LGBT community) or we have the right to assault, accost, and batter you in free form defense for our lives. [hmmmmmm…where have we seen this attitude?]

Now, we have the LGBTQP…M-O-U-S-E community force feeding America, through prime time television shows that gay is good, pedophilia is normal, queer is okay if you are queer (but don’t let any straight person call me queer, or I will be offended all the way to the Supreme Court!)

Also, let us look at all of the women Pastors within the Christian community. Now, I have not really placed much thought toward it, per se, but have held much of the belief of what Pastor J. Vernon McGee held on this subject. He said, during one of his commentaries, “It is a shame that there aren’t men who were willing to do these jobs and perform the preaching mandated by God.” [slightly paraphrased based upon my memory of his comment.] However, Matt Slick of CARM.org brings home the truth of the matter with this: Women pastors and elders…what does the Bible say? This entire segment concerns women in pastoral and elder positions and places them in the proper perspective. Accordingly, they are not to have positions of such power…the bible is quite specific in this, along with so many other concerns. As Pastor Rober Jefress stated in the above debate, “God’s word never evolves. It never changes…” He further went on to quote the KJV of the bible, I will use the NKJV adaptation:

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. ~Psalm 119:89

I am not mitigating nor demeaning the vast numbers of great women throughout our history on this mortal coil called earth, no. There are great women, many of which performed God’s will in a great manner to aid His chosen people. Zipporah, Rahab, Ruth, Ether, Rebecca, Mary, Martha, etc. Many women have powerful teaching, but if they are out of the will of God by violating His word…are they truly in alignment with God’s will?

And let us not forget the infusion of gay aligning and gay & lesbian leaning pastors within the Christian churches of America.  Do they seriously mean to not just reinterpret, but re-write the biblical text by omitting the parts that offend them? Perhaps the women pastors are doing the same? I suppose arguments can be made in all cases in order to argue the point allowing any one of us to change what God truly meant by His word…wouldn’t you think?

Spousal abuse could also present a valid case for permitting divorce. After all, a man is charged that he is to “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself” [ref: Ephesians 5:25-33 NKJV] Abuse, whether it be physical or emotional is not love. Do people make mistakes within their marriage? Yes, they do, so not all abuses are bad enough to call for a divorce, or dissolution, of the marriage vows and bond which God has put in place.

truth-is-the-new-hate-speech-and-you-will-be-18900394

I hope this blog posting does not confuse you or turn you against me. This is what God’s word discusses. This is what we are to be learning. We are to be in alignment of the truth and we are to be the beacon of truth to the lost sheep of God! Pick up a book, change the station that will teach you something, listen to the radio, podcasts, etc. But first start your day with the Bible and the Word of God! There are far more sub-topics concerning the issue of apostasy in America, let alone in the Christian religion, but I believe you get the gist of my intent. Therefore, I will let is go for now, just because it is such a hot potato topic. Read your bible and study it, it will click.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

The Quandary of the Trinity: Truth or Heresy?

An all important understanding to the Trinitarian Doctrine is this and is summarized in the biblical teachings:

  1. God is three persons.
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.

Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are those three separate and distinct persons of God. Yet, contrary to the beliefs of many, they are still one God…Not a polytheistic belief. Each is separate and each if fully God and they are ONE GOD. The inferences run throughout the Old and New Testaments, but is through our reason and logic that we have come to the final conclusion that these statements hone our understanding of God and the Doctrine of the Trinity. Hone our understanding, not confound it!

birth-to-deathFirst of all, let us understand something first, we are finite beings, we the species of man are finite creatures that were created. We are born well after the beginning of creation itself. We are born after the arrival of the sun, the earth, the moon, or even the proverbial big bang. We are born, we live, we work, we retire or are placed into an old folks home, and eventually we do meet our demise. The reason this must be understood by us is because we are forced to learn what has happened up until the time we live. Which means we must speculate, deduce, infer, and induct with our logic and reasoning. I other words, we do not know it all…we must learn from others. We must ascertain who is telling and teaching us the truth and discern who is teaching us falsehoods and other fallacious knowledge. You may not believe any of my blog postings, but are you willing to look into my assertions and claims? Are you willing to prove or disprove any of the reasoning or logic that I use to back up my claims? If you want to be true to yourself, if you desire to be an ethical researcher, you must be willing to use logic and reason, as well as, be willing to dig deep into what is presented to you and either pick it apart or be willing to prove each point to the truth of the matter. What are YOU willing to do?

Now, lets move into this topic of the Trinity.

1. God is Three Personstrinity

The Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit…these are the three persons of God. Three separate and distinct persons; meaning that the Father is not the Son, nor is He the Holy Spirit. Nor is the Son the Father, nor is He the Holy Spirit. Each is separate from one another. And the Holy Spirit is not the Father, nor is He the Son.

To touch on this topic is quite difficult, in that, it is a mystery that may never truly be understood by any of us. After all, we are finite in nature and God is infinite in nature.

The Son showed submission to the will of the Father by being hung on a cross for the sins of mankind. That He (Jesus) would be the final sacrifice for all the sins of men. An offered gift to mankind, all he must do is accept such a gift. Jesus, our intercessor between God, the Father, and man. A priest in the order of Melchizedek. The separation of the distinct persons of God rely on the words of Jesus, such as:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. ~John 16:7 NKJV

If Jesus did not die on the cross for us, the Holy Spirit (Helper) could not come and the day of Pentecost would never have occurred. Also, Jesus as the Son of the Most High, was seen to have a limitation (of sort); however, you must keep in mind that He was human (both man and God) and God the Father was able to limit Jesus’ ability(ies).

Many question as to whether the Holy Spirit is a separate person of God or just the “power” of God the Father. Although, the scripture is quite telling in this matter, in that, the Holy Spirit is in a relationship with the Father and with the Son (Matt 28; 1Cor 12; 2Cor 13; Eph 4; 1Pet 1.) The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Helper, Counselor, & Comforter. This is how God speaks to us and guides us…through the holy Spirit of God. Just as in Exodus 31:3 where the Spirit of God filled Bezalel in many ways. God helps and aids us in workmanship, wisdom, understanding and in knowledge.

2. Each Person Is Fully God

It is further testified to the fact that not only are each of the three (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) separate and distinct from one another, each person is fully and wholly God.

God the Father is clearly God. This is evident in the Book of Genesis where God created the heaven and the earth. The evidence is furthered through both the Old and New Testaments.

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit was at the beginning before there was time. Before there was substance. Before anything was created. God was and hence, I AM was present.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.~John 1:1-4 NKJV

Here, John refers to Jesus as the Word. And John, further, states that the Word was with God and was God. Now, where the bible, both Old and New Testaments, speaks of “In the beginning…” one can infer that it is in the “beginning” of our time (creation of heaven and earth), not necessarily the beginning prior to the existence of time.

Many other passages throughout the scriptures that indicate that Jesus is fully God include Hebrews 1, Psalm 102, Titus 2, 2Peter 1, Isaiah 9 and Romans 9 just to pick a few.

And the Holy Spirit is fully God. We can assume and deduce from the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is fully and wholly God by virtue of what the Apostle Matthew stated in verses 28:19-20, “...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Yielding to the Holy Spirit person-hood, separate, wholly and fully.

We are also reminded by the writer of the Book of Acts (5:3-4) where Peter asked Ananias,

“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

Again, person-hood status yielded to the Holy Spirit, and rightly so. The proofs and inferences are multitudinous throughout the scriptures showing person-hood for each individually and, yet, wholly and fully God in their own right. And also, one can logically and reasonably infer that they are one God, NOT a polytheistic creation. Am I saying it is unreasonable to infer that these are polytheistic entities…perhaps, as a young and naive Christian. But as you grow and learn more about the One God who created us, it would beg the question and eventually would demand your attention to seek that answer.

3. There Is One God

The scriptures are pretty clear that God is one and there is one God. The 3 separate and distinct persons of the Trinity are one in purpose, in agreement, in essence, and in nature. Simply put, God is only one being. There are not three Gods, but only ONE.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV

The New Testament reaffirms that there is only ONE GOD. After all, the New Testament teachings are based upon the teaching of the Old Testament. They are, in fact, clarified teachings of Jesus, the Son of God.

Common everyday items used to explain the Trinity:

  1. A chicken egg consists of a shell, a yolk, and an egg white, yet it is altogether one egg. The three parts create a unified whole. The shortfall of this illustration, and others like it, is that God cannot be divided into “parts.” The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one in essence, but the same cannot be said for the shell, yolk, and white of an egg.
  2. A similar illustration uses the apple: the fruit’s skin, flesh, and seeds all comprise the apple, just as the Father, Son, and Spirit all comprise God. This illustration has the same weakness as the egg illustration, namely, the parts of the apple, considered independently, are not the apple. By contrast, each Person of the Trinity, taken independently, is still God.
  3. Another illustration is said to have originated with St. Patrick. As Patrick was evangelizing the people of ancient Ireland, he explained the concept of the Trinity by using a very common plant in Ireland: the shamrock, a member of the clover family with three small, green leaves on a single stem. One legend has it that Patrick in his travels happened upon some Irish chieftains in a meadow. The tribal leaders were puzzled about the doctrine of the Trinity, and so Patrick bent down and plucked a shamrock. The three leaves, said Patrick, are still one plant, just as the three Persons of the Trinity are one God. Another legend is similar, except that it has Patrick teaching in the province of Connaught, where he spoke to the daughters of King Laoghaire, Ethne and Fedelm. The shamrock analogy is perhaps better than the egg and apple analogies, although it shares the weakness of possibly dividing God into “parts.”
  4. Another common illustration of the Trinity involves the different states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas). The illustration typically uses water as the example: water exists as a solid (ice), a liquid, and a gas (water vapor). No matter what physical state water is in, it is still water. Its chemical composition remains the same—it is H20, no matter if it’s floating unseen in the atmosphere to create humidity, or floating in chunks in your tea to help relieve the humidity. The problem with this illustration is that liquid water, when it freezes, “switches” from liquid to solid, and, when it boils, it “switches” to vapor. However, God does not “switch” states or modes. Liquid water can become solid or gas, but God the Father never becomes the Son or the Spirit. The idea that God manifests Himself differently at different times and in various contexts (like water manifests itself variously as solid, liquid, or gas) is called modalism, and it is a heresy to be avoided. [Personally, I like the shamrock explanation the best!]

shamrock

While these analogies are not perfect, they are but a few ways for we finite beings to understand the Spiritual concept of the Trinitarian Doctrine. I hope this was as helpful to you as its research was to me. The Trinity is a very difficult to understand doctrine, let alone attempting to make sense of it all. But one must be willing to do the research and let the facts and information lead you where they must. But do so prayerfully!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

References:

Systematic Theology An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, by Wayne Grudem (1994)

Christian Apologetic Research Ministry (CARM.org) by Matt Slick

GotQuestions?org

 

 

Controlling Our Tongue

taming-tongue_si

While reading the first volume of Donald Grey Barnhouse’s exposition on the Book of Romans, this segment caught my attention. Really struck a chord with me, as my ability to control my tongue is rather weak. Habits are truly hard to break, and bad ones are even worse…as they tend to slap you in the face all of the time. Sadly, we all have the problem where we revert to things we have done before. That is regardless of whether or not we have been attempting to change, or not!

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, once told us:

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. ~James 1:26 NKJV

And he told us,

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. ~James 3:6 NKJV

And he also reminded us about this, as well,

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. ~James 3:8 NKJV

Is our religion and our beliefs useless? All because we cannot control the carnal nature of our tongue? No, but it does give an air of hypocrisy in the eyes of those we are trying to be a beacon of hope for…doesn’t it? In their eyes we are, in no uncertain terms, full of crap! And yes, I can see that point of view, quite easily. The problem being is this: we are faulty creatures and tend to fail God daily. It is that simple…we are not perfect. Could God just spritz us with the very Spirit to purge us of all the evil and nature that we desire to be rid of? Yes, He could. But again, where would the fun and struggles be if everything were just handed to us without any effort?

Lee-pray

We tend to use, in our common everyday language, the profane idioms and blasphemous uses of God’s name or title. We each have the abilities to overcome our carnal natures , but because our uses of the same make us feel good, better, or all important in the eyes of others, we continue to do so. Donal Grey Barnhouse, stated quite emphatically and wisely:

The Word of God says that a man who would be able to control the tongue fully would be a perfect man.

He reminded us that We were each saved by Jesus Christ and through such salvation we have been given such power to control our urges, desires, and carnal natures. A power which will grow day by day enabling us to change our desires, our verbiage, our passions. Much like the bit that is placed into the horses mouth in order to guide such a large and strong beast…we are much the same.

bit-in-mouthThough we be the same, we are also different. God places His Holy Spirit within each of us to guide and empower each of us to follow God and His Word! By this same token, This Holy Spirit is that bit that we place within the mouth of the horse…with one great difference – we each have free will, and we must be willing to subservient ourselves to God and His will! This is a conscious decision that we each must make. We cannot tame our tongues by ourselves, we like horses need help and guidance.

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. ~James 3:10 NKJV

Our Lord’s brother, the Apostle James, reminded us that both good and bad comes from our mouths. Blessings and curses. We will in once sentence tell our wives or children that we dearly love them dearly, and without skipping a beat will curse out the gut who either cut us off in traffic, or can’t seem to get up to speed while merging. Seriously? YOU angerhave the audacity to merge into highway traffic doing 65 mph or more, but you are only doing 35 mph????????

Well, you can tell what I think of such things! Pretty disgusted to say the least!

ANYWHOOOOOOOO…we do need to be more in control of our mouths, tongues, minds, and our natures in order to accomplish the greater good. ESPECIALLY with our spouses and our kids in the vehicle! You know, we tend to be more flippant with our language with those we are closer to than those we do not know. At least I have found this to be true for myself. This is where my toughest challenge lies.

Righteous-IndignationDonald Grey Barnhouse also reminded us at the end of his chapter entitled, “THE POISON OF ASPS”,

An if they are not to be, it must be by our submission to the restraining grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. May He give us grace to come for more grace.

We each have a task before us and that is to control our anger and our unnecessary outbursts. Not all anger and outbursts are ungodly, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. After all, did not Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers within the temple? Not all anger and outbursts are wrong, but we tend to misconstrue what we are suppose to do and then justify what we want to do. But, of course, that is another topic for discussion. And perhaps will require a greater ability to explain than I have at this time.

Give all of yourself over to God and be led by the Holy Spirit. Bridle your tongues, curb your thoughts, and submit yourself to God’s will! It will take time, but you will see a difference.

Godspeed on your quest, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Power of the Church Over Man

The-Power-Of-The-Church

 

History of the Church and it waging war to gain power over it’s members. Taking God out of the equation, either by inference or overtly. Man does not need faith alone but mother church in order to be saved in the eyes of many. There are those who teach the Health and Wealth doctrines, pleading their cause that God wants you and I to be rich and wealthy. And truly the only way once can become so wealthy is by giving your meager amounts to the Church (thereby making it rich and wealthy and all those who work for it as corporate officers.) You on the other hand, will end up giving your money away to the church and her officers and you will still be waiting for God to perform the miracle that was hollowly and blazzonly promised you. Work that you know in your heart should have been done by your.

Anatomy of the StateIn the book ANATOMY OF THE STATE by Murray Rothbard we are slapped in our faces with the essential purpose of a governmental entity, which is (slightly paraphrased) to grow and to survive even at the stripping away of the rights of those who placed her in control over them. Mr. Rothbard reminds us with this tid-bit of information – “How can an organization of this type sustain itself? It must engage in propaganda to induce popular support for its policies.” And why is this? Because the state or government does not produce anything and therefore must steal from the resources of those that created her. While this is but a little off the beaten path the church is, as a matter of fact, a corporation, which by nature is a figment of the imagination and creation of the state.

I have always accepted the statement by Jesus, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20 NKJV) To be much of the basis of the church foundation, ministry, as well as our camaraderie among our fellow Christians. Aligning ourselves together as one with the message of Christ.

The church which is spoken of in the confines of the bible is, are both seen and unseen, as it is referenced by Matt Slick in his article What is the church? He points out,

The members of the invisible church are the actual body of believers. They are the ones who are truly regenerate and have trusted, by faith, in the true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The true Christian is indwelt by the Lord Jesus (John 14:23) through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Christian church is figuratively said to be the body of Christ.

Sadly, though, there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing. Seeking out those who would wolf-sheepeasily be swayed to their way of thinking. In so doing, they lure these easily swayed people to join their ranks and before they know it, they are quickly running down the wide path to hell with all the joy in their hear because God wants them to be this way and follow this path, and fulfill these tasks…because he is glorifying God with these actions and tasks that are being completed! While in reality, God gave us each a brain to think with, a mind to reason with, and instincts to wrench our guts with. This is how we are able to love God ‘…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV)

While I truly believe there has been a slowing of the “mass exodus” of those leaving the church (as a whole) it is one of those things that comes in goes in waves. It is precisely because of the vast numbers of churches that spew not the word of God from the Bible, but rather they feed their flock precisely what they wish to hear. They show their flock that because they accept homosexuality, transgenderism, pansexualism, beastiality, pedophilia, etc., by assigning a person of such moral standard to a post within the confines of the church.

  • God wants you to be rich, wealthy and healthy
  • God will accept everyone into heaven
  • God does not want you to suffer but rather to proffer
  • God seek for you to be in a castle not a shack
  • and in reality, this list can easily be lengthened by leaps and bounds

The church has been Incorporated to, in theory, separate church from the state. However, if you really look at this it becomes quite the conundrum. Why you ask? Because you are asking the state to create you into a corporation, granting you certain legal protections. And as a church, you are eligible to become a 501(c)3 organization:

A 501(c) organization is a nonprofit organization in the federal law of the United States according to 26 U.S.C. § 501 and is one of 29 types of nonprofit organizations which are exempt from some federal income taxes. Sections 503 through 505 set out the requirements for attaining such exemptions. Many states refer to Section 501(c) for definitions of organizations exempt from state taxation as well. 501(c) organizations can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and unions.

For example, a nonprofit organization may be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) if its primary activities are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering amateur sports competition, preventing cruelty to children, or preventing cruelty to animals.
(ref: 501(c) organization, wikipedia)

Church IncI recall reading a book by Charles Giuliani, CHURCH, INC., which I found very enlightening and aided me in my understanding of the church as a whole. A corporation is neither good nor bad…but it is but an outward appearance of those placed into positions of power in order to run that corporation. It is the people that make it ethical or unethical, good or bad, wise or wicked.

When those who are in authority of government, a corporation, etc., are in power to do good – God can do very powerful work through such an entity. However, when those who are placed into such seats of power in order to serve themselves and enrich themselves, much evil and wickedness can come of such things.

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV

We have been reminded to Glorify God with our entire being BECAUSE we were bought at a price! That price was the cost of our very souls which were purchased from our sinfulness, through which we repented because we believed in the word of God, it’s promises and our belief that Jesus died for our sins and was raise to sit on God’s throne.

We were warned that all man potentially would be left to himself and his own hedonistic pleasures because he chose not to believe in God and the salvational gift offered to him through His Son, Jesus. The Apostle Paul reminded us that:

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. ~Romans 1:26 NKJV

It is this type of man who refuses to believe. It is this type of man who see and does not accept. It is this type of man who witnesses miracles and, yet, refuses to believe the miracle that occurred. God will not necessarily override one’s Free Will, but He will give one numerous chances…even up to one’s last breath, in order to change one’s heart. That is because God

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

The church, overall, has a tremendous power over the lives and souls of men. And more importantly it has a mission in God’s overall plan. But it is up to God’s people to keep the church on the right track! Godly Men! Those seeking God’s will through prayer. It is up to us to test the words spoken to us by our pastors, preachers, reverends, and priests. And if those words do not conform to God’s word, it is up to us to challenge our leadership’s message. In love. In earnest. In God’s Spirit.

Seek His will and His strength and He will use you in a most powerful way!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

An Apparent Contradiction, or So They Say…

contradictions

There are, perceived contradiction within the biblical text. But are they truly contradictions, or are they misunderstood & misinterpreted theological ideologies? Let us look at one such contradiction in a comparative manner.

First, let us see what the Apostle Luke has told us:

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:42-43 NKJV

And let us look at this  scripture by the Apostle Paul:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV

Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. ~1 Corinthians 15:18

We recognize and believe that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God and, therefore, He cannot lie. We affirm this through our faith and through the reading and research we do, at least those of us who go beyond the Sunday Church and Bible Study Classes. It is part of the tenets of our faith. That being said, if these are the words of Christ, it is a promise of God’s only Son. And since most of what has been said, biblically, is based upon the oral traditions of the Jewish Nation and the Hebrew People (Israel), it stands to reason that they were held to task by those who were around them within the community. Holding their feet to the fire, so-to-say, by correcting them when they went awry in their retelling of the occurrence.

bible gutWe must also remember that the New Testament was written in Greek. There were no punctuation, excepting for the end of a sentence…a period, as I am aware. The English punctuation did not about until the bible, old and new testament(s) were transcribed into the English language. By the 1400 AD the Bible was translated to the Latin language and it was transcribed into the English language between 1400 – 1800 AD. Which was where much of the punctuation was infused into the bible as we know it, today.

According to Matt Slick’s website, CARM.org,

Paul speaks of a man who was caught up to paradise, parallels this to being caught up to heaven, and is clear that this was not necessarily just a vision by was, perhaps, a bodily experience. Paradise, then, must refer here to a heavenly abode that currently exists. Paul, writing infallibly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defined Paradise as a present, heavenly reality to which a man could ascend either in or out of the body. It is also worth pointing out that early Christians frequently used the word “paradise” to describe the conscious state of believers’ souls between bodily death and future resurrection.
~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

So, who are the “Dead in Christ”? Accordingly, the dead in Christ are those believers who dead in christhave died prior to the second coming of Christ. (Note, whether 1 Thessalonians 4 is referring to the second coming or the rapture is a matter of debate.) Believers, whether dead or alive, belong to Christ. (ref: “Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?”, gotquestions.org)

So, this leads us to further ask the question “Will we fall asleep or die and then go to heaven, or are we to wait until a later time?” It is my belief that unless directly promised by God or His Son (as in the case of the thief on the cross) we shall all fall asleep in Christ until the resurrection. At which time we shall be judged. According to the same article:

At death, the body lies in repose in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the last day, but the soul goes to be at home with the Lord. This is the doctrine of the intermediate state. Believers experience in a provisional sense the rewards that await them in heaven, while unbelievers experience a taste of their eternal torment in hell (Luke 16:19–31). ~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

Another article by Matt Slick is rather telling, as well:

But what does “dead in Christ” mean? It refers to the Christians who have died before the return of Christ. They will rise first and return with Him (2 Cor. 5:8). They are “in Christ,” that is, they are saved. The phrase “in Christ” is a designation of being saved, along with other great things like redemption, eternal life, no condemnation, etc.  Check out “In Christ Grid.”

1 Thessalonians goes on to say . . . “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words,” (1 Thess. 4:17-18).

As you can see, there are two resurrections in this context. Those who “rise first” are resurrected to their glorified bodies before those who are raptured. ~Who are the dead in Christ who rise first at the rapture? by Matt Slick

We can infer from these articles which explain these scriptures to us any number of ways. But it is easiest to follow logic and reason, which are gifts which God gave us in order to love him. Remember the “Great Commandment”?

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Following logic and reason, and my trust in the explanations of these fellow Christians, that we will die and “fall asleep” in Christ until the second coming of Jesus.

I personally would deem the thief on the cross as a special circumstance, in that, he (I would reasonably and logically speculate) was learning from Jesus while in prison. He spoke of and taught about the Kingdom of God to the thief  while in the prison as if he were of the crowds during His sermons. He, unlike his fellow thief, came to repent to our Lord and was saved through Christ, personally.

 

contradictionSo, these apparent contradictions are not contradictions at all. We must simply take these and place them within the proper context. Which is something that we do not seem to want to do in our conversations these days. There was a study done and it was shown, to be true that I may add, that we do not listen carefully enough to understand what others may say…rather, we listen to respond. An I am not casting stones at any of you, because I am very guilty of this…one of the numerous problems of my carnal nature which I need to gain control over! One of the many areas in my life I fail daily.

Most people heard something somewhere that there were, or are, contradictions in the bible. And without any searching themselves, they take what was stated as for truth. This is just one of the many problems within this society of ours. No one wants to look uncool…even for God. They just want to be accepted by those around them and cannot see themselves going against their friends. NEWSFLASH: Not everyone is your friend! God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the best friend you can ever have, all others are optional!

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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