And the Spirit & the bride say, come.... Reveaaltion 22:17

And the Spirit & the bride say, come.... Reveaaltion 22:17
And the Spirit & the bride say, come...Revelation 22:17 - May We One Day Bow Down In The DUST At HIS FEET ...... {click on blog TITLE at top to refresh page}

Sunday, October 30, 2016

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Bucer

"Martin Bucer, Bucer also spelled Butzer (1491-1551) Protestant Reformer, mediator, and liturgical scholar best known for his ceaseless attempts to make peace between conflicting reform groups. He influenced not only the development of Calvinism but also the liturgical development of the Anglican Communion.
 ...he became acquainted with the works of the great humanist scholar Erasmus and of Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation. In 1521 Bucer withdrew from the Dominicans and entered the service of the count palatine of the Rhine, one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman emperor. The following year he became pastor of Landstuhl, where he married a former nun. Excommunicated by the church in 1523, he made his way to Strasbourg,
Bucer often advocated the use of obscure language and ambiguous formulas when explicit agreement between the opposing parties was impossible to attain. His justification for the use of ambiguity was that he believed that the essential goal was the reform of the people and the doctrinal issues could be worked out later. At Basel in 1536, Bucer participated in the writing of the First Helvetic Confession, a document that was considered by many Reformed theologians to veer too much toward Luther’s views, especially regarding the Lord’s Supper.
 Bucer’s policy of agreement by compromise was seen in a better light when it was applied to the problem of religious toleration. Under Bucer’s policies there was less persecution of Anabaptists and other minority groups in Strasbourg than in most of Europe.
Bucer supported the offical, cautious reform program of Cranmer and the scholarly Nicholas Ridley against the more radical reform of the English church urged by the Zwinglian John Hooper and the Scottish Reformer John Knox. The First Prayer Book of Edward VI (1549), the liturgical book of the newly Reformed English church that contained evidence of Lutheran influence, was submitted for formal criticism to Bucer, who could not speak English. His assessment, the Censura, delivered to the Bishop Ely a month before Bucer died, pointed out the vague Lutheranisms of the prayer book. " Britannica
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Colossians 1:20

CREATION in the Old Testament Prophets PAGE

....hath not one God created us?
Malachi 2:10
 
DANIEL
HOSEA
JONAH
AMOS
MICAH
MALACHI
JOEL
HABAKKUK
 HAGGAI

Celtic - Catholic Halloween

"Some of today's popular celebrations associated with Halloween have pagan roots stemming from

the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This harvest festival of the Druids ushered in the New Year,
beginning on the evening of October 31, with the lighting of bonfires and the offering of sacrifices. As the Druids danced around the fires, they celebrated the ending of the summer season and the beginning of the season of darkness. It was also believed that at this time of year the invisible "gates" between the natural world and the spirit world would open, allowing free movement between the two worlds.
During the 8th century in the diocese of Rome, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1, officially making October 31 "All Hallows Eve," some say, as a way of claiming the celebration for Christians. However, this feast commemorating the martyrdom of the saints had already been celebrated by Christians for many centuries before this time. Pope Gregory IV broadened the feast to include the entire Church. Inevitably, some of the pagan practices associated with the season persisted and have mixed into modern celebrations of Halloween.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness,
but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Ephesians 5:7,8

Purgatory & Halloween

"Early Christians commemorated the deaths of martyrs on their individual saints’ days. As the number of martyrs grew, they began to put aside a day to commemorate all of them. This, as we have seen, was the origin of All Saints’ Day. It commemorated all saints “known and unknown,” including those not officially recognized by the church. Meanwhile, people prayed for the non-saintly dead. Religious communities kept lists of their dead members and said masses for them:
Masses with Mementos of the Dead, that is, Masses for the Dead, were said continuously in a great many chapels or monastery churches after the ninth century. At Cluny, these Masses went on day and night…. It seems that various localities set aside one day a year for all the dead, that is, for those who, unlike clergymen and monks, were not assured of the help of their brothers–the forgotten people, the majority of laymen. (Philippe Ariès 159)
As with All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day was celebrated at different times in different places. In the 11th century, St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny, established November 2 as the date for the commemoration of All Souls’ Day at his monastery and all its daughter houses. The November observance spread from Cluny to other Benedictine houses and ultimately to the rest of western Christendom. It is no coincidence that it fell on the day after All Saints’ Day:
[All Souls’ Day] could be conveniently linked to the preceding festival, as saints were increasingly seen as intercessors upon behalf of departed souls facing judgment or suffering it. Indeed, by the high Middle Ages both festivals had become primarily a time at which to pray for dead friends or family members…. (Hutton 364)
Both days are intimately connected to the evolution of the concept of Purgatory, although both were celebrated before Purgatory was adopted as official church doctrine. Purgatory allowed people to feel they were giving material aid to dead loved ones by praying for them, requesting the intercession of saints, and paying for masses to be said. This led to abuses: religious houses essentially became factories that produced masses for the dead. The rich hoped that they could save their own souls by leaving massive bequests to pay for masses. Some bankrupted their families doing so (Ariès chap. 4).
As well as producing masses for the dead, monasteries also produced ghost stories. Purgatory gave doctrinal justification to ghost stories—lots of ghost stories. While souls in hell could not return, according to most church authorities, and those in heaven would not, souls in Purgatory could return and had reason to do so. Ghost stories were used for propaganda: the ghosts returned and asked for suffrages and masses.
Because of their association with Purgatory, certain rituals associated with Hallowtide were suppressed during the Protestant Reformation, though some traditions remained, such as begging for soul cakes." SI
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing,
Ecclesiastes 9:5

Pagan - Catholic Roots of Halloween

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
2 Corinthians 6:17
"The feast of All Saints has a long history in the Church and at one point enjoyed the pride of place of Octave, which is only reserved for Christmas and Easter these days. As Fr. Grunow points out over at Word on Fire, the feast began in earnest in the 7th Century:
The practice of a festival day to honor the whole communion of Saints, rather than that just a single saint, seems to happen for the first time in the Catholic Church with the consecration of the Pantheon as a public place for the Church’s worship. This happened in

the year 609 (or 610) on May 13th. The Pantheon had been originally dedicated for the use of Roman religion as a place where all the gods would be honored. Boniface displaced the images of the gods from their shrines and gave the building over to the Saints of the Church, particularly the Martyrs. This was a kind of “in your face” to pagan culture. Boniface was saying that the old gods had been defeated and were defeated by the faith of the Church’s Martyrs… How we get from May 13th to November 1st is interesting. The festival of All Saints seems to emerge from the dedication of another Roman church that was consecrated by Pope Gregory III. The church is named St. Peter and all the Saints. It was a subsequent pope, Gregory IV, who extended the annual festival that commemorates this church dedication to the whole Church as All Saints Day. The extension of festivals specific to the Church of Rome is part and parcel of how the Catholic Faith becomes the underlying cultural matrix from which a new kind of European civilization would emerge." CatholicExchange

Creation Moment 10/31/2016 - U R Programmed

"All biological systems ... are natural molecular computers. Every
one of us is a biomolecular computer, that is, a machine in which all components are molecules "talking" to one another in a logical manner. The hardware and software are complex biological molecules that activate one another to carry out some predetermined chemical tasks. The input is a molecule that undergoes specific, programmed changes, following a specific set of rules (software) and the output of this chemical computation process is another well defined molecule."
      — Ehud Keinan, American Technion Society, May 2013   
 In the day that God created man,...
Genesis 5:1

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Closer Look Sermon SERIES (by Randy Skeete)

A Closer Look Sermon SERIES
(by Randy Skeete)
 
But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Ephesians 2:4
A Piece of Cake
Better than the Best
Opposites Attract
The Second Time Around
Lost in Love
Walking with Giants
Gifts are Received, not Taken

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Latimer

"HUGH LATIMER, (1490-1555) English bishop, and one of the chief promoters of the Reformation in England, was born at Thurcaston, Leicestershire. He was the son of a yeoman, who rented a farm "of three or four pounds by year at the uttermost." Of this farm he "tilled as much as kept half a dozen men," retaining also grass for a hundred sheep and thirty cattle.
 The purpose of his Parents was to train him up "in the knowledge of all good literature," but his
father "was as diligent to teach him to shoot as any other thing."
.....indeed Latimer mentions that in the reign of Edward VI, on account of the increase of rents, the universities had begun wonderfully to decay. He graduated B.A. in 1510 and M.A. in 1514. Before the latter date he had taken holy orders. While a student he was not unaccustomed "to make good cheer and be merry," but at the same time he was a punctilious observer of the minutest rites of his faith and "as obstinate a Papist as any in England." So keen was his opposition to the new learning that his oration on the occasion of taking his degree of bachelor of divinity was devoted to an attack on the opinions of Melanchthon. It was this sermon that determined his friend Thomas Bilney to go to Latimer's study, and ask him "for God's sake to hear his confession," the result being that "from that time forward he began to smell the word of God, and forsook the school doctors and such fooleries."
Protestant opinions were being disseminated in England chiefly by the surreptitious circulation of the works of Wycliffe, and especially of his translations of the New Testament. The new leaven had begun to communicate its subtle influence to the universities, but was working chiefly in secret...
In December 1529 he preached his two "sermons on the cards," which awakened a turbulent controversy in the university, and his opponents, finding that they were unable to cope with the dexterity and keenness of his satire, would undoubtedly have succeeded in getting him silenced by force, had it not been reported to the king that Latimer "favoured his cause," that is, the cause of the divorce.
At last a sermon he was persuaded to preach in London exasperated John Stokesley, bishop of the diocese, and seemed to furnish that fervent persecutor with an opportunity to overthrow the most dangerous champion of the new opinions. Bilney, of whom Latimer wrote, "if such as he shall die evil, what shall become of me?" perished at the stake in the autumn of 1531, and in January following Latimer was summoned to answer before the bishops in the consistory.
After examination, he was in March brought before convocation, and, on refusing to subscribe certain articles, was excommunicated and imprisoned; but through the interference of the king he was finally released after he had voluntarily signified his acceptance of all the articles except two, and confessed that he had erred not only "in discretion but in doctrine."
After the consecration of Cranmer to the archbishopric of Canterbury in 1533 Latimer's position was completely altered. A commission appointed to inquire into the disturbances caused by his preaching in Bristol severely censured the conduct of his opponents; and, when the bishop prohibited him from preaching in his diocese, he obtained from Cranmer a special licence to preach throughout the province of Canterbury. In 1534 Henry formally repudiated the authority of the pope, and from this time Latimer was the chief co-operator with Cranmer and Cromwell in advising the king regarding the series of legislative measures...
The sermons of Latimer possess a combination of qualities which constitute them unique examples of that species of literature. It is possible to learn from them more regarding the social and political condition of the period than perhaps from any other source, for they abound, not only in exposures of religious abuses, and of the prevailing corruptions of society, but in references to many varieties of social injustice and unwise customs, in racy sketches of character, and in vivid pictures of special features of the time, occasionally illustrated by interesting incidents in his own life.
In September 1535 Latimer was consecrated Bishop of Worcester. While holding this office he was selected to officiate as preacher when the friar, John Forest, whom he vainly endeavoured to move to submission, was burned at the stake for denying the royal supremacy. In 1539, being opposed to the "act of the six articles," Latimer resigned his bishopric, learning from Cromwell that this was the wish of the king. It would appear that on this point he was deceived, but as he now declined to accept the articles he was confined within the precincts of the palace of the bishop of Chichester. After the attainder of Cromwell little is known of Latimer until 1546, when, on account of his connexion with the preacher Edward Crome, he was summoned before the council at Greenwich, and committed to the Tower of London. Henry died before his final trial could take place, and the general pardon at the accession of Edward VI procured him his liberty.
Crowds began to listen to him both in London and in the country. Shortly after the accession of Mary in 1553 a summons was sent to Latimer to appear before the council at Westminster. Though he might have escaped by flight, and though he knew, as he quaintly remarked, that "Smithfield already groaned for him," he at once joyfully obeyed.
On the 16th of October 1555 he and Ridley were led to the stake at Oxford. Never was man more free than Latimer from the taint of fanaticism or less dominated by "vainglory," but the motives which now inspired his courage not only placed him beyond the influence of fear, but enabled him to taste in dying an ineffable thrill of victorious achievement. Ridley he greeted with the words, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as (I trust) shall never be put out." He "received the flame as it were embracing it. After he had stroked his face with his hands, and (as it were) bathed them a little in the fire, he soon died (as it appeared) with very little pain or none." 
Encyclopedia Britannica
His lord said unto him,
Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
Matthew 25:21

Papal Notes - Preparing to Undo the REFORMATION

"Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden for a joint ecumenical
commemoration of the Reformation is a big step forward because Catholics and Lutherans are "no longer defining themselves in opposition to each other", but in communion with one another,
Those were the words of the head of the Holy See press office, Greg Burke, to journalists at a briefing on Wednesday ahead of the Pope’s departure for southern Sweden on Monday October 31st. Pope Francis and the heads of the Lutheran World Federation will be jointly presiding at an ecumenical prayer service in Lund cathedral, followed by a public witness event in the nearby city of Malmö. On the following morning, All Saints Day, the Pope will also celebrate Mass in Malmö for Sweden’s tiny Catholic community.
Also addressing journalists in the Vatican press office about the
significance of this unprecedented ecumenical event was the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, Rev Martin Junge, and the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch."
VaticanRadio

 ...and all the world wondered after the beast.
Revelation 13:3

Creation Moment 10/30/2016 - The ENGINEER

"The quest for understanding our universe as a whole benefits from
the integration of knowledge from all areas of study, including those that consider questions of purpose, such as design engineering. The synthesis of this knowledge that provides the most satisfying answers regarding human experience is one that admits the recognition of purpose and the existence of an (as yet, not-well-understood) engineering influence."
       — Halsmer, Asper, Roman and Todd, “The coherence of an engineered world,” Transactions of the Wessex Institute Jan 2011
Q: Who is that ENGINEER?
A: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
Colossians 1:16

Friday, October 28, 2016

ARCHAEOLOGY: King's Maidservant

Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
Psalm 147:12
"Israeli investigators have seized a rare scroll mentioning the city
of Jerusalem from the time of the First Temple in the seventh century BC.
The mention of Jerusalem is the first ever found outside the Bible.
It is significant because it shows a woman, a maidservant of the King, to be wielding considerable authority. 
They found it to be from the "King's maidservant" and to include the earliest reference to Jerusalem in a non-biblical document.

The ancient Hebrew reads:
 [מא]מת. המלך. מנערתה. נבלים. יין. ירשלמה,
which translates as:
"From the King's maidservant, from Naʽarat,
jars of wine, to Jerusalem."
ChristianWorld

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Cranmer

"Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) was born in Nottinghamshire. His parents were minor gentry.
Thomas and his younger brother joined the clergy.
A plague forced Cranmer to leave Cambridge for Essex. He came to the attention of Henry VIII, who was staying nearby. The king and his councillors found Cranmer a willing advocate for Henry's desired divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Cranmer argued the case as part of the embassy to Rome in 1530, and in 1532 became ambassador to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Cranmer was sent to Germany to learn more about Lutheranism. Here he met Margaret Osiander, the niece of a Lutheran reformer, who he married.
In 1533, Cranmer was chosen to be archbishop of Canterbury and forced (for a time) to hide his married state. Once his appointment was approved by the pope, Cranmer declared Henry's marriage to Catherine void, and four months later married him to Anne Boleyn. With Thomas Cromwell, he supported the translation of the bible into English. In 1545, he wrote a litany that is still used in the church. Under the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer was allowed to make the doctrinal changes he thought necessary to the church. In 1549, he helped complete the book of common prayer.
After Edward VI's death, Cranmer supported Lady Jane Grey as successor. Her nine-day reign was followed by the Roman Catholic Mary I, who tried him for treason. After a long trial and imprisonment, he was forced to proclaim to the public his error in the support of Protestantism, an act designed to discourage followers of the religion. Despite this, Cranmer was sentenced to be burnt to death in Oxford on 21 March 1556. He dramatically stuck his right hand, with which he had signed his recantation, into the fire first." BBC
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Luke 6:22

Path of Prayer to the MERCY SEAT

Thy paths drop fatness.
  Psalm 65:11
 
"Many are "the paths of the Lord" which "drop fatness,"
but an especial one is the path of prayer.
 
No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, "My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me."
 
Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. .....
little alone with Jesus,
your religion will be shallow,
polluted with many doubts and fears,
and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord.
 
Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; ... Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel's fields. 
 
 At a distance they see the sacrifice,
but they sit not down with the priest to eat thereof,
and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering.
 
But, reader,
                                      sit thou ever under the shadow of Jesus;
                     come up to that palm tree,
           and take hold of the branches thereof;
let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with marrow and fatness."
Charles Spurgeon

Creation Moment 10/29/2016 - 10 Times Off

If "they" are off by 10 this whole time, they may still be off by more, which raises the question: What else have "they" been wrong about in "science"?
And he brought him forth abroad, and said,
Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars,
if thou be able to number them:
Genesis 15:5
"Scientists working on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope project have increased the estimated number of galaxies in the universe by
a factor of 10, the Space Telescope Science Institute has announced.
Verifying the number of galaxies that the universe contains is “one of the most fundamental questions in astronomy,” the STScI explained, and a new analysis of data retrieved from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observations increases that number dramatically.
It had previously been thought that there were 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, but a team led by Nottingham University’s Christopher Conselice used images converted into 3D representations and new mathematical models to make inferences beyond the capabilities of contemporary telescope technology, leading to the number increasing to two trillion." RCL

Thursday, October 27, 2016

SDA News - Bye, Bye 1st Admendment

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Romans 8:7
"A Seventh-day Adventist lay minister who says he was fired by Georgia’s Department of Public Health because of his sermons says he will not turn over his sermons for review by state attorneys.
Dr. Eric Walsh had been appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/Aids and was hired by the Georgia state agency in May 2014. He was supposed to start working in June
2016.
But the DPH found out that LGBT activists had protested Walsh when he was selected as the commencement speaker at Pasadena City College. The agency launched an investigation into his preaching and he was asked to hand over copies of his sermons.
DPH employees watched the sermons, and later the agency rescinded the offer of employment after Walsh had been employed for only a week.
Walsh then filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in September 2014, arguing that he was fired for his sermon content.
The state of Georgia then filed for a Request for Production of Documents, asking that Walsh turn over his copies of sermon notes and transcripts.
"No government has the right to require a pastor to turn over his sermons," Walsh said in a statement. "I cannot and will not give up my sermons unless I am forced to do so."
ChristianHeadlines

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Erasmus

"Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) This illegitimate son of a Dutch priest lived in search of knowledge, in pursuit of piety, in love with books, and oppressed by the fear of poverty. Along the way, his writings and scholarship started a theological earthquake that didn't stop until western European Christendom was split.
Born in Rotterdam, orphaned by the plague, Erasmus was sent from the chapter school of St.
Lebuin's—which taught classical learning and the humanities—to a school conducted by the monastic Brethren of the Common Life. He absorbed an emphasis on a personal relationship with God but hated the severe rules of monastic life and the intolerant theologians.
And as soon as he was ordained a priest in 1492, he did, becoming secretary to the bishop of Cambrai, who sent him to Paris to study theology.
Colet, who would later become the dean of St. Paul's, encouraged the Dutch scholar to become a "primitive theologian" who studied Scripture like the church Fathers, not like the argumentative scholastics.
Thereafter Erasmus devoted himself to the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written.
The result was his most significant work: an edition of the New Testament in original Greek, published in 1516. Accompanying it were study notes as well as his own Latin translation—correcting some 600 errors in Jerome's Vulgate.
Erasmus's enemies accused him of inspiring the schismatic Luther. And indeed, Erasmus found much he liked in the German's writings, describing him to Leo X as "a mighty trumpet of gospel truth." At the same time, he privately told his printer to stop printing Luther's writings because he didn't want his own efforts tangled with the Reformer's.
Erasmus pleaded moderation to both sides. But when pressed, he sided with the pope. "I am not so made as to fly in the face of the Vicar of Christ," he assured Leo.
Indeed, Luther attacked him as a Moses who would die in the wilderness "without entering the promised land." And the Roman Catholic church forbade his writings. "Had I not seen it, nay, felt it myself," he wrote, "I should never have believed anyone who said theologians could become so insane." CT
......of making many books there is no end;
and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecclesiastes 12:12

Creation Moment 10/28/2016 - Giants in the Land

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak,
which come of the giants:
Numbers 13:33
"The land of giants. It sounds like something from a fairy tale, but it arguably exists in a region of Northern Ireland where a cluster of people with a genetic predisposition grow abnormally tall.

In Mid-Ulster, about 1 in 150 people carry a genetic mutation to the AIP gene that leads to an overproduction of growth hormone resulting in acromegaly, also known as gigantism. The hormone disorder is spurred by a tumor on the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ at the base of the brain.
"This is probably the highest proportion of giants in the whole world in that little part of Northern Ireland," Marta Korbonits, professor of endocrinology at Barts and the London School of Medicine Queen Mary, tells Seeker. Korbonits led the team that discovered the link between the AIP gene defect in Irish populations and gigantism in 2011.
In their latest research, Korbonits and her team calculated that the AIP gene defect traces back 2,500 years. The team found the variant in Charles Byrne, a man born in 1761 who grew to be 7 feet, 6 inches tall and was known as the "Irish giant," as well as in 18 other Irish families.
Humans have about 30,000 genes, and if you imagine that each gene is a book within a library, we have a library with 30,000 books, Korbonits explains. "The one which we're talking about here is called AIP... and the Irish guys have one particular spelling mistake in this book." Discovery
 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Servetus

"In 1553, a Spanish scientist, lawyer, physician and amateur theologian named Michael Servetus arrived in Geneva. Servetus was the first person to postulate on circulation of the blood. Servetus had earlier published On the Errors of the Trinity (1531) in which he questioned the divinity of Christ. He also sent Calvin a copy of the Institutes with “corrections” noted in the margin. Servetus tried to convince the people that he was correct, and was arrested for his trouble. During his trial, Calvin was so incensed that that he blurted out, “May little chickens dig out his eyes a hundred thousand times.” Servetus was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake." Z,C&A
.... even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:1

What is the Church supposed to have?

 ....that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God,
which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and ground of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:15

Q: Don't you think the Church leaders should be more careful in preserving the Truth and not let all these heresies & distractions in?

Creation Moment 10/27/2016 - Creation in Ezekiel

"Ezekiel.
Ezekielis not concerned with how the world itself came into existence, . . . but rather with re-forming a world gone awry.” As illustration, three passages outline Ezekiel’s theological usage of creation:
        ● Ezekiel 28:11-19 is a prophetic oracle that centers on a description of the king of Tyre as a

type for the anarchic cherub, which has been interpreted since the times of the early Christian writers as pointing to the fall of Lucifer. A number of indicative creation linguistic markers are present, yet the context of the passage is focused on the description of the hubris of a fallen angel that is staining a perfect world. As with Jeremiah, creation language is employed as a powerful paradigm to describe the origin of sin.
        ● Ezekiel 31:1-18 transfers the same scenario into the realm of human history. The cosmic tree representing human kingship, a motif well-known from ancient Near Eastern iconography, is used as a metaphor for the downfall of the king of Assyria, which in turn serves as a warning for Egypt’s future judgment. The chapter describes the glory of the tree within creation terminology and cosmology (e.g., Eze. 31:4/Gen. 7:11) and connects it with paradise (Eze. 31:8, 9, 16, 18). Creation terminology is employed to describe the downfall of two prominent nations, Assyria and Egypt. Thus not only paradise has been spoiled, but also human history.

        Re-creation in Ezekiel and the reversal of de-creation as exemplified by the two previous passages can be found in Ezekiel 47:1-12 within the context of the vision of the future glory of the temple, which in itself serves as a creation motif. This time the trees are growing again, not in rebellion against but under Yahweh’s power and provision of fertility (Eze. 47:12). The sustaining agents of God’s power are the rivers of paradise that connect Ezekiel to the creation account in Genesis 2:10-14. Ezekiel deliberately merges temple/Zion with paradise imagery because the destruction of the earthly temple in Jerusalem and his own exile in Babylon has caused the place of God’s presence to transcend to a heavenly realm, indicating that Yahweh’s presence is continuous and does not depend on human realities.
        As the connections between Ezekiel 47:1-12 .and Genesis 2:10-14 (And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed:) reveal, Ezekiel understood the symbol of Zion in a new way. Free of explicit reference to the temporal, political realities of kingship, priesthood, and the earthly temple, the temple-mountain and river of Ezekiel’s last great vision stand as timeless symbols of divine presence. For Ezekiel, the earthly Zion, with its city and temple, was a bitter disappointment.
        Creation in Ezekiel is used to express his (and the divine) disappointment over angelic rebellion and consequent human history, which replays that rebellion again and again, but he moves beyond that in stating that God is able to re-create something new and eternal from the shreds of human history. However, one should be cautious not to attribute an exclusive other-worldliness to the Ezekiel’s prophecies. One should not forget the prophet’s vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 which employs creation terminology in the re-creation of the house of Israel."
PerspectiveDigest

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

That Gentleness of God...

 
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:
and thy gentleness hath made me great.
2 Samuel 22:36

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Knox

"The sword of justice is God's, and if princes and rulers fail to use it, others may."
John Knox (1514-1572) He was a minister of the Christian gospel who advocated violent revolution. He was considered one of the most powerful preachers of his day, but only two of the hundreds of sermons he preached were ever published. He is a key figure in the formation of modern Scotland, yet there is only one monument erected to him in Scotland, and his grave lies beneath a parking lot.

Dramatic events were unfolding in Scotland during Knox's youth. Many were angry with the Catholic church, which owned more than half the real estate and gathered an annual income of nearly 18 times that of the crown. Bishops and priests were often mere political appointments, and many never hid their immoral lives: the archbishop of St. Andrews, Cardinal Beaton, openly consorted with concubines and sired 10 children.
In the early 1540s, Knox came under the influence of converted reformers, and under the preaching of Thomas Guilliame, he joined them. Knox then became a bodyguard for the fiery Protestant preacher George Wishart, who was speaking throughout Scotland.
During a Protestant service one Sunday, preacher John Rough spoke on the election of ministers, and publicly asked Knox to undertake the office of preacher. When the congregation confirmed the call, Knox was shaken and reduced to tears. He declined at first, but eventually submitted to what he felt was a divine call.
It was a short-lived ministry. In 1547, after St. Andrews Castle had again been put under siege, it finally capitulated. Some of the occupants were imprisoned. Others, like Knox, were sent to the galleys as slaves.
He made his way to Geneva, where he met John Calvin. The French reformer described Knox as a "brother … laboring energetically for the faith." Knox for his part, was so impressed with Calvin's Geneva, he called it, "the most perfect school of Christ that was ever on earth since the days of the apostles."
Away from his homeland again, he published some of his most controversial tracts: In his Admonition to England he virulently attacked the leaders who allowed Catholicism back in England. In The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women he argued that a female ruler (like English Queen Mary Tudor) was "most odious in the presence of God" and that she was "a traitoress and rebel against God." In his Appellations to the Nobility and Commonality of Scotland, he extended to ordinary people the right—indeed the duty—to rebel against unjust rulers. As he told Queen Mary of Scotland later, "The sword of justice is God's, and if princes and rulers fail to use it, others may."
Knox returned to Scotland in 1559, and he again deployed his formidable preaching skills to increase Protestant militancy. Within days of his arrival, he preached a violent sermon at Perth against Catholic "idolatry," causing a riot. Altars were demolished, images smashed, and religious houses destroyed.
The Lords of the Congregation militarily occupied more and more cities, so that finally, in the 1560 Treaty of Berwick, the English and French agreed to leave Scotland.
The Parliament ordered Knox and five colleagues to write a Confession of Faith, the First Book of Discipline, and The Book of Common Order—all of which cast the Protestant faith of Scotland in a distinctly Calvinist and Presbyterian mode.
 Knox was clearly a man of great courage: one man standing before Knox's open grave said, "Here lies a man who neither flattered nor feared any flesh." Knox's legacy is large: his spiritual progeny includes some 750,000 Presbyterians in Scotland, 3 million in the United States, and many millions more worldwide." CT
Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.
Isaiah 42:25

Papal Notes - Need Jesuits?

"Pope Francis on Monday paid a visit to the 36th Jesuit General
Congregation taking place in Rome. He addressed his Jesuit brothers – who elected the new Jesuit Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, during this General Congregation – telling them that Church needs them." VaticanRadio

"Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created, the
most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power."
Great Controversy p.234 E.G.W.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Thessalonians 2:3

Creation Moment 10/26/2016 - Why isn't it Frozen?

Out of whose womb came the ice?
Job 38:29
"Secular speculations insist Earth coalesced into its current state over four billion years ago, leaving one huge problem: the young sun would have been so dim that Earth would have frozen. Secular astronomers have long invoked methane gas to defray this dilemma, called the "faint young sun
paradox." A recent study revealed two new reasons to totally reject methane as a rescuing device, leaving this paradox stronger than ever.

According to a University of California Riverside (UCR) news release, "For at least a billion years of the distant past, planet Earth should have been frozen over but wasn't." Life forms that left fossils fitted to these "ages" clearly show that Earth wasn't frozen, but perfectly suited for life from the time of its earliest rock deposits. A methane-packed atmosphere might have generated enough of a greenhouse effect to insulate the planet for life to survive those long ages.

Publishing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, three researchers associated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute revealed a key oversight that decades-worth of methane-embracing models apparently overlooked. Their new and more realistic model of biogeochemical cycles in an early Earth's oceans revealed plenty of methane-destroying sulfate.
Lead author of the study and UCR graduate student Stephanie Olson told UCR Today, "You can't get significant methane out of the ocean once there is sulfate."

Without oxygen, Earth would have no ozone to shield even a faint sun's UV radiation. Radiation slaughters methane molecules and damages DNA. Since life thrived when currently fossilized creatures roamed Earth, oxygen was certainly around at the time.

But that means oxidation reactions occurred. On continents, these reactions would have turned iron into rust and pyrite into sulfate. Erosion would have transported loads of sulfate to oceans, where even a smidgeon of it would directly destroy methane. And insufficient methane in the oceans means too little methane for the atmosphere to warm things up.

At least 300 parts of methane per million parts of other gases might rescue an early-Earth scenario from the faint young sun paradox. But 10 parts per million falls woefully short. However, this analysis revealed a second reason to reject the idea that methane could rescue an early Earth from freezing over.

Single-celled marine life was around back then, supposedly making all the methane. But in today's oceans, tiny cells extract energy much more efficiently from sulfate than by processing complex organics to make methane. Ancient cells would have preferred sulfate and produced too little methane.

Methane to the rescue? Not anymore, according to this recent secular science."
ICR

Monday, October 24, 2016

REFORMATION 101 SERIES: Beza

"Theodore Beza, (1519-1605) one of the lesser-known names of Reformation history in our day and age, was born in Vézelay, France in 1519 and would become one of the most important leaders of French Protestants during the critical period of the sixteenth century. Leaving behind the pleasures and security that come with a wealthy family of nobility, he chose to cast his lot with the persecuted people of God. After his conversion to the Gospel of Christ in 1548, he forsook his worldly education and career and left his native country for Geneva, Switzerland, where he was welcomed by John Calvin and became a Protestant preacher.
Beza also became a champion of the Huguenots as their foremost representative to King Charles IX
and the Catholic ecclesiastical leaders of France, risking his life in his travels as he plead the case of the suffering French Christians. They would turn to him time and time again for counsel and leadership during the dark days of civil war and brutal persecutions, including the infamous massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, 1572.
Beza also contributed greatly to the writing of the French Psalter, which fueled the fire of the Huguenot cause, and inspired their soldiers with courage as they faced the armies of Catholic tyranny on the battlefield.
Beza became John Calvin's successor at Geneva and labored tirelessly in preaching and in caring for the thousands of destitute, persecuted saints who fled to Geneva for refuge. He remained at Geneva for many years until his death in 1605.
....the three large volumes of his Theological Treatises (Tractationes Theologicæ), revised and republished by the author himself in 1582. Since his opponents were wont to reply, as best they could, to his arguments, Beza, unwilling to leave the last word to them, usually rejoined with a defense of his first position. Thus, we not infrequently find two or even three treatises bearing upon the same point and pursuing the same lines of thought, addressed to the same antagonist.
The very first position which Beza undertakes to establish is that "Papists, in place of the true God, worship a fictitious and imaginary divinity that is neither perfectly just nor perfectly merciful," for "that cannot be a perfect justice which approves of human acts of satisfaction, nor that a perfect mercy which only supplies the deficiency in man’s merit."
To the same class of general treatises belongs A Summary of the Whole of Christianity, with the alternative title, "A Description and Distribution of the Causes of the Salvation of the Elect and the Destruction of the Reprobate, Collected from the Sacred Scriptures." At the head stands a table or diagram, occupying a single page, wherein the author’s conception of the whole scheme of God’s dealings with the human race is presented to the eye. This is followed by a "Brief Explanation of the Foregoing Table," covering thirty-five pages chiefly taken up with proof-texts derived from Holy Writ, but introduced by sundry citations from Saint Augustine, indicating that the question about Predestination is not a question of mere curiosity or of little profit for the Church of God. This treatise is, ...published in 1555, ...is almost needless to remark that it closely reflects the influence of Calvin.
On the subject of Predestination, Beza crossed swords, as early as 1558, with Sebastian Castalio, in defending Calvin’s doctrine from the accusation of being contrary to natural affection on the part of God, as the Father of mankind, and from other similar accusations.
What Beza believed on the subject of the Lord’s Supper we learn well enough from his own utterances respecting it, both in his great speech before Charles IX at the Colloquy of Poissy, and on other occasions. While denying that the elements of bread and wine are in the Communion transformed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ, according to the Roman Catholic view, or that the body and blood of Christ are present in, with, and under the bread and wine, according to the Lutheran view, he declined, on the other hand, to assert that the elements are mere signs and that the act of partaking is a mere commemoration, as was the Zwinglian view held in German Switzerland, but, with Calvin, believed that the worthy partaker, not in any carnal sense, but none the less truly, by faith feeds upon the body of Christ. He repudiated the notion that he would divorce Christ from the feast he had instituted.
Beza rendered to Huguenot devotion a service not less notable in another direction. The worship of God’s house could have been conducted in an orderly and impressive manner and with undiminished fervor without Calvin’s liturgy at all; but, deprived of the metrical psalms, the worship would have lost its most characteristic feature. Without those psalms, too, the very history of the Huguenots, civil as well as religious, would have been robbed of a great part of its individuality. In the long conflict that arose out of the effort to crush the Protestant doctrines and their professors in France, from the first outbreak of civil war in the middle of the 16th century down to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in the 17th, and indeed far beyond that time, when the Reformed faith was supposed to have been annihilated, the psalms were the badge by which the Huguenots were recognized by friend and foe alike; they were the stimulus of the brave, the battle cry of the combatant, the last consolatory words whispered in the ears of the dying.
Beza found time to give a careful and final revision to the French version of the Bible in common use among Protestants.
 It was the Epistle of Paul to the Romans when young Louis Iselin, in 1581, wrote a letter to his uncle which has come down to us. Beza’s lecture hour alone was announced by the ringing of the bell of the cathedral of Saint Pierre, as if calling to a religious function, and precisely as it used to ring for the lectures of John Calvin before the university was instituted." by Henry Martyn Baird 1899
That chant to the sound of the viol,
and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
Amos 6:5