Commandments · Confidence · OSAS · Security of the Believer

1 John – Testing to Know – Test 11


Test # 11 Relationship with Spirits

1 John 4:1 – 7

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.

We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Our last test dealt with loving our brother.  This test also finds its result in loving our brother, but the source of this love is defined by the spirit we know according to John.  Our last test dealt with giving to our brother in need.

This test is defining the spirit we listen to.

Let’s consider John’s claim in verse 6.  He is from God.  The apostles are from God, but of course not in the same manner that Jesus claims He is from God.  Jesus taught that He came from God.

John 8:42

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

Note that John is also describing believers as being from God, in verse 4.  The family of God has their beginning and ending in the Triune God.

John is setting a stage, defining that he and the apostles are true prophets and teachers as opposed to those who are described as false prophets in verse 1.

John is also defining two spirits that are preaching and teaching in his day.  The apostles of Jesus have a message to be trusted and the false prophets that are in the world have a message, even during John’s time.  How much more today!

John has confidence in his message, and the message of the apostles.  John is telling believers to test all messages that you lend an ear to.  He includes all messages, even his own.  He has no fear of failing the test.  (Only those who know they are preaching a false message fear the test!)

Test the Spirits.

Check out the source of the message.  The spirit that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh is from God.  This is a test for believers to continually perform on those they hear.

Let me tell you a story that comes to mind.

I love attending home Bible studies and during series of studies, that I was a new comer to, the believers exhibited denominational differences that I thought I might learn something from.  Was I uncomfortable?  Yes.

In my previous teaching, I had taught against the very thing I was witnessing, but I sought to learn and give these folk an opportunity to provide answers to my questions.

I still remember the room we were in when the key message, in my opinion, became crystal clear.

The teacher was addressing the crucifixion and claimed that the “Christ spirit” left Jesus when He hung on the cross.

Pardon me?

god-in-the-flesh.jpgI sought clarification, and eventually found out they considered Jesus to have the “Christ spirit” during His ministry years only, that is from the baptism up to but not including the crucifixion.

I closed my Bible, stood up, and declared that I cannot accept that teaching.  I turned around and left the meeting.

There are multitudinous teachers out there.  John is supplying a test for the message we are to adhere to.  If you are listening to a message that is not openly teaching the humanity of Christ, run.

Run far away from that spirit and return to the spirit that is from God.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.

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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Introduction

The parables have often caught my attention and, if dwelt on, usually cause me surprise. I often enter a parable with a presupposition, and leave with a different conclusion.

Welcome to Considering the Bible, and our newest series, looking at the Parables of the Lord. The following posts will consider the stories Jesus “laid down beside” our earthly experiences to explain a heavenly, spiritual existence He was re-introducing to the nation of Israel, and eventually the entire earth.

What is a “Parable”

I suppose it is incumbent upon me to explain the concept of a parable. The word “parable” comes from the root greek word παραβάλλω, paraballō.

This word is made up of two greek root words.

  • παρά (G3844)
    • to be with, to be beside..
  • βάλλω (G906)
    • cast, put, thrust, lie

Simply by putting these two terms together, we see that a parable is a story that is “cast down beside” something. Jesus provided short stories of general earthly truths that would illuminate His hearers (if they wanted to hear the message) of a heavenly or spiritual truth.

Why a Series on the Parables

I have never sought to methodically go through the parables in an intentional way, and this blog will give me the structure to attempt this study.

Each post will seek to address the following items

  • Who were the audience when Jesus spoke these words?
    • Was it a private teaching to only his inner circle, or to the population at large? This may have significant bearing on the intent of the message!
  • When did the Lord give this parable?
    • I suspect we may find some enlightenment with understanding when a parable was given by the Lord.
  • Where did the Lord teach the parable?
    • The location of the message may also give us insight as to the purpose of the parable.
  • Why did the Lord give this message?
    • Although we will seek to address this question specifically for each parable, our next post will look at this question in a general manner.
  • What was the message for the original audience?
    • If we get this, it may help with the next question!
  • What is the message for us today?
    • This is the crux of the matter, and only after understanding the intent of the message for the original hearers may we come to an accurate application for our lives. This is the goal!

A spreadsheet of the parables in chronological order is supplied at the beginning of this series. As the series progresses, updates may be required.

The parables, chronologically ordered, matching the spreadsheet noted above may also be downloaded for your information and study.

I am currently using the ESV for the text.

I do hope you will follow along as we Consider the Bible and the message we may find in the parables of the Lord

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Song Squawk – Brutal Planet

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!

This post will consider the song

Brutal Planet – Alice Cooper

I could not believe it when I first heard that Alice Cooper had become a devout Christian. It was such a surprise, and then to hear that he put out some albums with explicit Christian message was too much for me.

The first album I listened to was Brutal Planet, and the title song is included for your consideration.

It is classic Alice with a great message.

Here’s where we keep the armies
Here’s where we write their names
Here’s where the money got us
Here’s our famous hall of shame
Here’s where we starve the hungry
Here’s where we cheat the poor
Here’s where we beat the children
Here is where we pay the whores

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to….

Take a listen!

Brutal Planet – Alice Cooper

“Brutal Planet”

We’re spinning round on this ball of hate
There’s no parole, there’s no great escape
We’re sentenced here until the end of days
And then my brother there’s a price to pay

We’re only human, we were born to die
Without the benefit of reason why
We live for pleasure to be satisfied
And now it’s over there’s no place to hide

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

“This world is such perfection” (What a sight)
“It’s just like paradise” (For my eyes)
“A truly grand creation” (What a sight)
“From up here it looks so nice” (For my eyes)

It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such a living hell
It was a holy garden
That’s right where Adam fell
It’s where the bite was taken
It’s where we chose to sin
It’s where we first were naked
This is where our death begins

We took advice from that deceiving snake
He said don’t worry it’s a piece of cake
And sent us swimming in a burning lake
Now we’re abandoned here for heaven’s sake

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

“This world is such perfection” (What a sight)
“It’s just like paradise” (For my eyes)
“A truly grand creation” (What a sight)
“From up here it looks so nice” (For my eyes)

Here’s where we keep the armies
Here’s where we write their names
Here’s where the money got us
Here’s our famous hall of shame
Here’s where we starve the hungry
Here’s where we cheat the poor
Here’s where we beat the children
Here is where we pay the whores

Why don’t you, come down to
It’s such a brutal planet
It’s such an ugly world
Why won’t you, come down to

“This world is such perfection” (What a sight)
“It’s just like paradise” (For my eyes)
“A truly grand creation” (What a sight)
“From up here it looks so nice” (For my eyes)

Right here we stoned the prophets
Built idols out of mud
Right here we fed the lions
Christian flesh and Christian blood
Down here is where we hung him
Upon an ugly cross
Over there we filled the ovens
Right here the holocaust

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!

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Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Two Much Patience?


Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Patience in the New Testament – A Comparison

In our last post, we considered patience that Christian love exhibits. Patience that is exercised by an anger that is far away, that is distant, that is put off. That patience is Makrothumia

Our current study is to concern ourselves with two Greek words that are commonly translated as patience, or long suffering.

Of course you recognize makrothumia, since we spent some time in our last post thinking on it. The idea of stretched out anger, anger that is put off.

The second word for patience in the New Testament is hupomeno. We will consider this type of patience in a later post on the 7th verse in this passage , but I wanted to consider these two words in comparison.

Hupomeno is also a compound Greek word, made up of the prefix hupo, with the meaning of “under”, typically when associated with patience. The root meno is also a very interesting word, which typically means to “abide”, “remain” or “dwell”. Taking these two word meanings, we can build a sort of synonym when we see hupomeno.

To abide under.

By application, abiding under a situation or condition that is not favorable, that is difficult, that might be crushing your soul. Exercise patience by not escaping from a difficult situation. If an opportunity to escape a difficult situation comes along, patience would require you to remain under the difficult situation. The opportunity to escape may be a temptation to do wrong!

One patience speaks of long drawn out anger, while the other speaks of abiding under. Two completely different terms, describing two different attributes of the patience in a believer.

Another interesting feature of these two Greek terms is what they relate to in the subjects they are active upon.

Makrothumia is patience related to people, whereas hupomeno is patience related to situations.


A few examples

Rom 9:22

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

These vessels of wrath are the people who have rejected God and His Messiah. The verse speaks of God enduring with much patience. Much “drawn out anger”. The Lord cast His anger far away when relating to these people, and yet this verse speaks of destruction. Patience has her limits!

Eph 4:2

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

This particular verse speaks of loving one another, with the expression of humility, gentleness and “drawn out anger”. (Not your typical description of love we might find from the modern media message!)

When I consider patience as “drawn out anger”, it changes my perspective, since I have recently experienced anger towards people. This history of non – “drawn out anger” is sending off alarms in my head. This is not the Christian life I am to live.

We need to realize that anger is a real emotion that can be controlled under the leading of the Spirit of God. I need to possess my soul and control my thoughts under the Lordship of Christ.


Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Paul speaks of patience in tribulation. We may look at the term of tribulation later on in our study, but suffice it for now, the term speaks of a squeezing, of pressure applied. Paul speaks of being patient with his circumstances, with things that are not proceeding as he wishes, of trials that are fighting him.

Paul is telling us he remained under the tribulation. As a believer, I know I seek relief from trials and tribulations. Not so with Paul. Granted, there were times when Paul, in the wisdom of God sought relief when justice was being twisted, as in the time he was beaten in Philippi.

Nope, can’t use that as an example! He took the beating though unjustly. You see, the magistrate did not have the right to beat a Roman citizen, and yet Paul took the beating.

Something is going on here. Paul stayed under the tribulation. His faith was different than mine.

I have a theory about that particular incident in Paul’s life, and how the beating he took supplied a practical blessing to the ones he was ministering to. But that will be for a another post.

2 Timothy 2:10

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Notice that Paul speaks of a patience in everything, for the sake of believers. He saw the faith as a all encompassing life, that had a Father in heaven that worked out all things for his good and the glory of God. Even tribulation or trial that he may have rightfully escaped

Jas 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Temptation. The very word brings a sense of weakness to my heart. My temptations are so justifiable, so reasoned, so allowable. To the point that I do not recognise them as temptations. And there I go.

The believer is the abide under the temptation, carry the temptation instead of simply succumbing to it.

Easier said than done. Help me Lord to abide.

Lets get back to the topic of this series. Our next study will consider how love is kind. (Kinda obvious Carl!)

Let’s wait and see. You may be surprised.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.

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Book Look · Church · Kingdom of God

Book Look – World Christian Trends – Geotargeting

World Christian Trends

As many of those who read this blog realize by now, I struggle with the modern American church, and have found that I have fallen into the basic message it propagates.  

A few years ago, as I mentioned in the introduction to this post series, I stumbled over the graphic below.  

I was greatly saddened by the self love of the modern church, but mostly of how I had accepted the “normality” of the situation.

By way of explanation, the graphic below defines three “worlds” in relation to their opportunity to hear the gospel. 

World AUnevangelized People2.2 Billion
World BEvangelized non-Christians1.9 Billion
World CChristians1.9 Billion

What I find so sad is the focus on evangelizing the saved, the believer. I draw your attention to the third column, which gives an “e” factor. This “e” factor equals the evangelism hours (offers) received per year per capita. In other words, in World C, each person receives a average of 400 hours of evangelism per person every year. In World A, each person is “lucky” to get one offer each year.

When my wife and I were first married, we had a little poster on a wall in our home that spoke of the dead sea. I think the graphic said something like .. “The dead sea is dead because it has no outlet – It only receives.”

As believers in World C, our deadness I fear is a result of not reaching out to those who are in such desperate need, but only servicing our own supposed needs.

Brother & Sister – Consider how you may target the unreached, uncontacted and un targeted. There are numerous mission organizations that are hurting at this time that has World A as their focus.

I hope this post will motivate you to find focus in your giving and prayers.

Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.

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Atheism · Christianity

Discussions with an Atheist – Part 19


A long time ago, I was browsing my Facebook page when I came across a post that ridiculed Kirk Cameron’s efforts to sell an “Atheist” Bible.
A friend (who it turns out to be an atheist) seemed to think that Kirk was “uninformed”
Well I thought, lets discuss this issue, and what follows is a record of our discussion.
I really looked forward to his responses and enjoyed considering and responding to his concerns.
Some of my friends comments are a bit lengthy, and as I read them I found echoes of myself, seeking to defend a position simply by supplying a massive quantity of words, knowing inside that he quality of the argument was weak.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you may find encouragement, and some understanding of an atheist’s worldview.
If you are an atheist, I would encourage you to read and consider my responses.  I seek to understand your position, and if you see a fallacy in my thinking, please comment.  I only ask that you focus your position to one point at a time, in order that I may respond (if I can) without unnecessary confusion.
My comments and responses are in red.

” to think a being created this one earth in the billions of other galaxies and made everything for the purpose of a couple billion Christians or 6.8 (and rising) humans is again arrogant …but to say something is not disproven does not make it any more valid than a faith based claim.”

“Arrogance” if proven untrue. You seem to assume your position is not “a faith based claim”. It is!

“Religion (sic) noun. Belief that is not proven that there is an imaginary being that created everything from nothing and only speaks to “special” people.”

Is this an actual definition or did you make this up? BTW, I am not defending religion. Get that out of your head! Institutional religion, in it’s varied forms, has committed more atrocities than any other institution I can think of! Jesus did not create a religion. As a matter of fact, His death doomed the very religion of the Jews.

”and lets face it stats are a great indicator whether something is possible or not,”

Whether something is possible is not a good indicator if something is true. Many things are “impossible”, and yet happen. Try to focus friend! You seem to ramble and use a “shotgun” approach. It is difficult to follow your train of thought sometimes.

Many of the issues you bring up are repeats of previous comments. It seems you are struggling, not with information/data/knowledge, but with your will. You WILL NOT allow anything to disturb your world. You understand that if there is a God, (and His name is Jesus) He has a claim on your life and this is unacceptable to you. But if there is a God, He will not go away!

As a matter of fact, He may just die for you! If that is true…

With this last discussion, we dropped communicating.

I can’t remember exactly why, but I hope my friend considers who the Lord is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hey thanks for dropping by and reading my post, especially if you are an atheist friend.  I hope to hear from you and would appreciate a comment to begin a discussion.

Have a great day.

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Kingdom of God · New Testament

Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 19

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the nineteenth post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

19. Both had the same attitude toward women’s roles – Respected and trusted them with ministry responsibilities


John 4:28-29, 39 — The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”… And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…

Mark 14:6, 8-9 — [Mary of Bethany] has done a good work for Me. …She has done what she could…Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Matthew 28:5, 7 — But the angel answered and said to the women…“go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”


Galatians 3:28 — There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 16:1-2 — I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

Romans 16:3 — Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…

Philippians 2:2-3 — I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel…

Titus 2:3-4 — the older women likewise, [admonish] that they be…teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women…

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.

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Commandments · Confidence · OSAS · Security of the Believer

1 John – Testing to Know – Test 10


Test # 10 Love of the Brethren

1 John 3:14 – 18
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Sometimes I think if I study the Word more and more, it is proof of my passing from death into life.  Or if I seek out the lost, or pursue a holy life or provide for my family, or….  All these things God calls us to, and more, but this particular test John gives is simple.

Love for the brethren, our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

It is so easy, at least for me, to cry and whine about the believers I know, but that is such a sinful attitude.  I need to serve them, love them, seek their good above my own.

And there is the rub.

If I were to give all my money or time to a brother, in need, would that be loving him?

I have come to realize that giving can be a complex problem, where supplying funds, or efforts, or counsel can just as likely backfire as do well.  How can we know when a gift initially considered, will not simply enable a sinful decision.

Is this our place to discern?  We are called to love the brethren, and love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.


To truly love the brethren is not to simply be polite, or nice.  Note that the Word defines love as kind. (see 1 Corinthians 13:4)  Nice is not in the definition!  It is in France.  (Sorry bout that – couldn’t resit a dad joke!)

To be kind in a difficult situation is to speak truth gently, to find the best method to address a wrong attitude or action in a brother.  To be nice is to pat him on the back, give him a hug and tell him everything will be alright.  We are not called to be nice.  That is a false caricature of the true believer.

To love a brother is to “not insist on your own way”.  (again check out 1 Corinthians 13:5) Oh no…. how can I know I helped a brother if I am to allow for alternate ways for a brother.

This is too much for me.

OK, so to help a brother must result in my brother accepting my counsel. Not so fast Carl!

Humility 1I need humility to truly love a brother, and this humility comes from Him.  If I am to love a brother, I need to exercise humility in our discussion, or in my gifting, directing the brother to Him.  If my brother finds assistance in knowing Him, I am truly loving my brother.  If I am seeking only to make another Carl – golly – that is just a waste of time!

Like I said at the beginning – this test is simple.  I did not say it was easy.

To love a brother is to get out of the way, but I just don’t want to sometimes.  But alas – that is what is needed!

And that is the test John is speaking of here.

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.

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Book Look · Church · Kingdom of God

Book Look – The Gospel According to Moses

Gospel according to Moses

I  picked up this book to find fault.  I admit it.  I tend to be critical of anything I am not comfortable with.

I started to read it years ago, and put it down, without getting too far into the first chapter.

Recently, it beckoned me again, and I have found a book that is irenic in its approach to the Jewish way of thinking.  The way of thinking, and somethings what they think.  The author describes his many times of visiting a Jewish Chever Torah, a meeting for Jewish folk to discuss their faith.

During these meetings, the author found their manner of discussion to be unlike those in the Christian Church.

Let me explain by use of the authors words.

“…Rabbi Stern fires off another question. No one answers. He offers a provocative observation – something controversial to stir the pot.   Still, we are silent.  Finally in frustration, he exclaims, “Come on people! Somebody disagree with me! How can we learn anything if no one will disagree?”

Wow – That is a radical thought.  Disagreement for the sake of thinking!

The author comments a bit further on.

“Unfortunately, most theological conversations I have had in church have been the self-reinforcing kind: a group of people sitting around telling each other what everyone already believes.  If some brave soul interjects a radical new idea or questions one of the group’s firmly held views, it is usually an unpleasant experience We shift in our seats uncomfortably until someone rises to the bait. The discussion remains civil, but it seems that any challenge to the groups theology must be corrected, so all comments are solidly aimed at that one goal: arriving at a preconceived answer”

I don’t know about your experience, but I have often asked a question within a Sunday School class or Bible Study setting only to be ignored, told that we will address that later, mocked, or worse yet, asked to not return.


If we have the truth in the pages of the Word, why can we not ask tough questions?  Sure, some questions have no answers and we need to accept that.  Some questions have answers that cause theological tension. We need to accept that tension, struggle with it, and understand when another believer hasn’t considered an opposing view.  This is where the Chever Torah process would build the immature believer into a thinking, and more mature believer.

I suppose I come off as a bit of a problem in some get togethers, and I readily admit that I enjoy a good discussion – some might call it a debate.  In recent years, I have found theological stances that have challenged my faith, struggled with them and accepted some as valid, turning my Christianity on it’s head somewhat.

Has it been uncomfortable?  You bet.

Have I lost friends.  In some ways my fellowship has been strained with some brothers, and it hurt at first, but when I consider my brothers perspective, I understand.

Have I regretted the pursuit of growing in my understanding? Not at all.

Considering “The Gospel according to Moses” I would recommend the book for the challenges it presents.  It will supply comparisons with the Jewish faith that are very interesting.

Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.

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Let Me Tell You a Story – Pleasing God


Jim attended a church we visited years back, and his infectious hospitality drew us in. We stayed in the church for years and developed a great friendship with Jim and his family.

Eventually, our family moved to the US, and he continued in Canada. We lost contact for years, and recently another brother from Canada let me know that Jim had passed away.

The memory of Jim, along with his happy demeanor and engaging smile, brought back a number of times we spent together.

Jim loved to golf. I had recently purchased a computer game called “Links 360”, and being in Canada, the golfing season was severely restricted (unless you used orange golf balls!) We invited Jim and his family over for supper one Sunday night, and I showed him the game. He was captivated. We spent hours playing the game, and Jim eventually bought the computer the game was on. I tell you he loved to play computer golf!

Another time we got together was to study the Bible. A number of times, we would be reading and the Lord seemed to impress on our minds and hearts certain truths that one of us needed to hear. One specific time, we were reading through the book of 1 Thessalonians, beginning in the 4th chapter.

1 Thessalonians 4:1

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

I can’t remember which one of us hung on the phrase “to please God”, but as we considered the phrase, we experienced a renewed hope that we weren’t simply trying to appease an angry God, but that God was willing (and able) to be pleased.

To please God.

Who would have thought that the gospel would provide a possibility of such magnitude to the saint. Of course, we understood the Son was fully pleasing to the Father at all times until the crucifixion, where the Father turned away from His Son.

This is an unfathomable truth for me.

As a matter of fact, the truth of the Father turning away from the Son is far and away a greater truth than the resultant hope of the saint being pleasing unto God. Yes – that is true – the hope of the saint being pleasing to the Father is based on the Only Begotten being abandoned, left to die alone and under the weight of our sin.

He is worthy of all honor and glory, for Who is like unto Thee O Lord?

I am looking forward to visiting with you Jim. It has been decades since we had that study, and I remember the table we were at, the room we were in, and the fellowship we experienced together.

Thanks for being a friend.

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