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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Principle and Practice, Prophets and Deacons

Much of the discussion concerning prophets and deacons is often framed by gender and exclusivity. It is assumed that these offices are the sole domain of males and they exclude females. This is much the same as to advocate for the presence and ministry of women in the church, but without a lack of understanding of the scriptures. This is equally true of those who oppose the presence and ministry of these women in the church, but who lack an understanding of the scriptures. The inability of the former and the latter to present a consistent understanding and explanation for the edification of the saints is uncannily similar.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Observation and query on Artemis in Acts 19

This observation and query is taken from my daily reading from last week (June 29) which covered Acts 19.

This is the single and only instance in the scriptures of any mention or reference to Artemis. The Holy Spirit in his wisdom introduced the saints in Christ to Artemis in this passage. The temple of Artemis was located in the city of Ephesus. Yet, the overall knowledge of Artemis with those who lead, teach and preach is dismal. Typically, a Sunday morning Bible study on the book of Acts chapter nineteen might meander through a low-grade PG-rated soft porn about sexual immorality and temple prostitutes. (Generally, a way is found to expound with great emphasis regardless of the book being studied, on Gnosticism. Yet, Gnosticism was new to Asia.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Is the Resurrection of Jesus a Falsifiable Prediction?

Atheists, naturalists, scientists, humanists and evolutionists like to tout this claim about the so-called scientific theory: it can be repeatedly tested and, hence, verified. Scientific theory can as well make falsifiable predictions. I understand their use of the term. It is not the same as in the popular sense which views theory as something which is unsubstantiated and speculative. So, we do not need to chase down that rabbit. I am not going to take issue with their use of the term. I accept their use of the term and will abide by it in this article. Let’s keep in mind that repeated testing of a theory does not equate to replication of whatever is being tested nor does it require the replication of that which is being tested in order for it to be considered verifiable or falsifiable.

Also, I am not going to take issue with the claim that an aspect of the natural world can be repeatedly tested. Yes, all things ought to be subjected to testing.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Observations and lessons for women and men from Huldah, the prophetess

This article was developed from my recent daily reading which covered II Kings 22. The passage relates the finding in the temple of the book of the law of Moses by the Hilkiah, the priest, during the reign of King Josiah in Jerusalem. The book of the law had been lost for an unspecified period of time. There are some observations and lessons for our learning concerning our sisters in Christ in the royal priesthood of believers.

  1. The book of the law was read by Shaphan, the scribe, in the presence of King Josiah who was the leader of Jerusalem and Judah.
  2. King Josiah, as the leader of the people of God, showed the wisdom into which he had grown. Josiah had ascended to the throne at age eight. Now, at age twenty six his wisdom was evident. After the book had been read to him by Shaphan, the scribe, King Josiah did not close the book and conclude that the content of the book was clear and self explanatory. No, he directed Shaphan to return to the men who had sent him to King Josiah. The king directed them to inquire of the Lord for him concerning the words of the book. They, Shaphan, Ahikam, Achbor and Hilkiah, did not take King’s Josiah’s instruction to mean that they were to discuss it among themselves and to come back to the king with the result of their discussion.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Were the apostles baptized?

Were the apostles baptized? This is a question which starts a flood of speculations and assertions often with little or no support from the scriptures. Of course, for some Christians the difficulty about this question is compounded by the different and diverse use of the term baptism. There is the 1) baptism of John the baptist for repentance, 2) the baptism which Jesus commanded for forgiveness of sins, 3) the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and 4) the baptism by fire. [1] The latter two of these four were experienced by the apostles and they are related in the scriptures. These were the baptism with the Holy Spirit and baptism by fire, or the cup of suffering, just as Jesus told them they would indeed drink. It is the former two of these four baptisms which the scriptures relate partially. These are the baptism of John for repentance and the baptism commanded by Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. A good distinction between these two baptisms was made by the apostle Paul in Acts 19. Like many questions for which Christians seek answers there is no better understanding to be gained than to look to Jesus and learn the lesson from him. What are the lessons and implications for believers with respect to their own baptism?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Announcements, communion and reading in the assembly by women

The three items which make up the title of this article represent three areas in which my sisters in Christ will soon be active in the assembly of the saints. Our sisters in Christ are being called on by the anointed shepherds of the Lord’s people to make announcements concerning the congregation. They will assist and participate in serving the communion cup and bread as well as the collection. Additionally, they will read from the written word of God before the assembly of the saints. I commend and praise our elders for this decision which, even if it is with the understanding and conviction of the written word of God, there can still be an emotional struggle of the heart, both for leaders and those whom they lead. I do not speak for anyone nor does the content of this article reflect the understanding, convictions and expressions of anyone other than myself.

It ought not to come as a surprise to hear different voices and reactions to such a decision.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spirits now in prison

in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison 1 Peter 3:19

There is a popular view often heard on the passage above. Often it is seen as sort of a second chance for those who lived and died after a life of disobedience to God. However, this popular message represents a mistaken notion concerning those who lived a life of disobedience to the will God. According to this view the “spirits now in prison” received such a second chance when he (Christ, verse 18) went to make proclamation to them.

two presuppositions
There are two presuppositions which are made concerning this passage both of which are indisputable.