You never know what you may find in a fortune cookie

Most people enjoy fortune cookies. You don’t have to take all of them seriously to get a kick out of them!

Matter of fact, every once in a while the fortune is actually worth listening to.

Not too long ago, I got a cookie that said, “An ounce of care is worth a pound of cure.” It’s a little different from the version I’m used to hearing, but who could argue with what it is saying?

A few weeks later I got another cookie that said, “Do not be overly judgmental of your loved one’s intentions or actions.” I suppose the saying could even be applied to the actions and intentions of your “not-so-loved” ones too.

A few days ago, I opened a cookie and I found, “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” It really, really rang a bell for some reason.

You never know what you may find in a fortune cookie when you open it and read what it has to say … but then again you never know what you may find in the Bible if you open it and read what it has been saying for thousands of years (Deuteronomy 8:32, Matthew 4:4).

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38 NKJV)

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24 NKJV)

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

#food, #scripture, #wisdom

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11-16-2017  “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – Speaks Boldly

Whether Jesus preached that great Sermon on the mount, or in Capernaum’s synagogue, “the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29; Mark 1:22 NKJV). There is a difference between preaching what one knows about the Scriptures, and preaching as an author of the Scriptures. Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10 NKJV). No church or preacher today has been given that same boldness to change or privately interpret the Word of God. “But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?” (John 7:26 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#interpretation, #preaching, #scripture

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9-25-2017 Evolutionary Contradictions

Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. “The prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie’” (Jeremiah 28:15 NKJV). The false doctrine of “Evolution” causes people to exchange “the truth of God for the lie” and worship and serve “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 NKJV). There is no scientific fact to prove it, and it contradicts Scripture and scientific facts! God will reject the immoral and “whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15 NKJV). “Evolution” cannot account for: amazing design and detail; a human’s emotional heart; cell DNA; faith and hope; an eternal soul; or life, itself. It substitutes primordial goo for God; survival of the fittest for mercy; and outer comparisons for inner connections.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evolution, #facts, #lie, #scripture

What do you read there? Luke 10.26 VOTD

“He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?'”

Luke 10.26 NRSV

When a scribe came to Jesus with a question, the Lord sent him to Scripture.

How does Jesus’ answer (given in the form of a question) apply to our own questions today?

#Scripture #Bible #VOTD

All his letters: 2 Peter 3.15-16 VOTD

“And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, speaking of these things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.”

2 Peter 3.15-16

Peter’s reference to Paul’s letters indicate they were widely read and highly regarded as inspired Scripture early on.

To what does “these things” refer that Paul wrote about in all his letters?

#inspiration #Scripture #2Peter #VOTD

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9-22-2015 Evolutionary Contradictions

Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. “The prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie’” (Jeremiah 28:15 NKJV). The false doctrine of “Evolution” causes people to exchange “the truth of God for the lie” and worship and serve “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 NKJV). There is no scientific fact to prove it, and it contradicts Scripture and scientific facts! God will reject the immoral and “whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15 NKJV). “Evolution” cannot account for: amazing design and detail; a human’s emotional heart; cell DNA; faith and hope; an eternal soul; or life, itself. It substitutes primordial goo for God; survival of the fittest for mercy; and outer comparisons for inner connections.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evolution, #false-doctrine, #lie, #scientific-fact, #scripture, #truth

Opinions are like noses everyone has them and…

Opinions are like noses, everyone has them and they are often poked out front in places where they don’t belong. One of our adult classes is viewing a video series made by one of our brethren. In the series he takes a number of positions that can at best be categorized as his opinion, yet he treats each as if they are a “thus says the Lord”. There is nothing new about this. For decades and more people have been unable to separate their studied judgments from scripture from the scripture itself. While I agree with those studied judgments that make sense to me, I find those that do not make sense outrageously offensive and samples of flawed human reasoning and the pushing of opinions. The trouble with this is no one wants to put me in charge of separating which opinions we should respect as scripture and which to reject. Therefore duly chastened, I suggest we stick to a “book, chapter and verse” “thus says the Lord” approach to what we know is right and wrong and recognize and admit that beyond that we enter the realm of opinion and studied judgment, treat it as thus and allow others room to think for themselves. This is Just-A-Minute.

#judgment, #just-a-minute, #opinion, #scripture

The New Testament

A good summary statement on “The New Testament as Scripture” by Francis Van Tate, in New Testament Survey, by Don Shackelford, ed.

The New Testament was given by inspiration of God and has been transmitted down through the ages and restored in a trustworthy fashion; therefore, when it is correctly translated and properly interpreted, its message is the exclusive doctrine of Christ and God’s required moral standard” (p. 39).

Are there any parts you might tweak?

#inspiration, #new-testament, #scripture

A Song and Scripture Outline: Notes from Revelation

I believe I’ve mentioned before that on 5th Sundays at Keltonburg we have a song and scripture service in the evenings. It consists of a topic/theme with the reading of scriptures pertaining to the theme and the singing of songs that go along with the scriptures that are read. The theme that we used yesterday was: Notes from Revelation. It was a play on the word “notes” to include the singing as much as the scripture when it comes to reminding us about the overall theme of the book.

Here’s the outline in case you’re interested:

  • Revelation 1:10-20 / God Holds the Future in His Hands
  • Revelation 4:1-11 / Holy, Holy, Holy
  • Revelation 5:5-14 / Worthy Art Thou
  • Revelation 7:9-17 / Beautiful
  • Revelation 11:15-19 / The Kingdom is Spreading
  • Revelation 12:1-11 / Hide Me, O My Savior, Hide Me
  • Revelation 14:1-7 / We’re Marching to Zion
  • Revelation 20:7-15 / There’s a Great Day Coming
  • Revelation 22:1-5, 12-17 / There’s a Fountain Free
  • Paradise Valley

It’s a pretty good outline as far as covering 22 chapters with 9 scripture readings and 10 songs goes, but a person can definitely add to it or take away from it as they see fit…the outline that is, but not the book (Revelation 22:18-19).

#book-of-revelation, #outline, #scripture, #singing, #song-and-scripture-service, #worship

Views on Inspiration

Open Bible 01

In R.C. Sproul’s book, Can I Trust the Bible? he discusses the issue of inspiration and whether it was dictation or whether each writer was allowed to express their own personality/writing style.

He summarizes with this:

“We do not know the process by which inspiration was given. But because of inspiration, no matter how God brought it about, every word of Scripture carries the weight of God’s authority.”

1. Do you agree with him?

2. Can we truly know how it was done?

3. What are your views on this issue?

#inspiration, #scripture

I’ve got a semantics question fellows after seeing…

I’ve got a semantics question, fellows, after seeing this recent FB post:

“The Bible does not contain the Word of God; the Bible is the Word of God. There is a difference.”

*What is your definition of “the Bible”?*

For me, I actually prefer the statement “the Bible contains the word of God.” I define the Bible as Genesis through maps. 🙂 There are lots of things in our modern Bibles that are not the “word of God” (e.g., concordance, chapter & verse divisions, footnotes, etc.). If the imitation leather cover says “Holy Bible,” then everything inside is a part of the “Bible”, right? Thus, is it not better to say: “The Bible contains the word of God”? (I actually prefer lowercase “w” on “word” when not referring to the Logos, but I won’t go in to that right now… 🙂

Even some things within Scripture itself (like Satan’s lie in Gen. 3:4) is not really the “word of God,” is it? I understand that Gen. 3:4 is an accurate account of what Satan said AND that the Spirit inspired Moses to make a record of it, but how can a LIE be “the word of God”? I find this terminology troubling. Gen. 3:4 IS Scripture, but is it the “word of God”?

Your thoughts are most welcome.

#bible, #scripture, #word-of-god

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Where Was “Vatican Smoke” In The New Testament Church?.

Please read Acts 15:1-31, then read the following:

1. There was NO appeal to Peter, but to “apostles, elders” and the “whole church” gathered to hear Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 12 (“all the multitude”), 22

2. EVERY speaker proclaimed only the Word of God (Oral & Written):

    (1) Acts 15:2-4:  Paul and Barnabas proclaimed what God had been doing among Gentiles (before Acts 13-14 had been written);

    (2) Acts 15:5-11: Peter reminded them of the events of Acts 10-11 in selecting Gentiles to be saved (before it had been written down);

    (3) Acts 15:12-21: James preached God’s Prophecy about the goal of bringing in Gentiles, quoting Amos 9:11-12, THEN gave HIS “judgment”;

    (4) Acts 15:22:  THE CONCLUSION WAS INSPIRED ENTIRELY BY GOD’S WORD (A.K.A. “SCRIPTURE”), AND IT WAS UNANIMOUS – LIKE NO Roman Catholic Church COUNCIL!!!!

3. The letter sent to the Gentiles with this Apostolic preaching (Acts 15:23-31) was an Apostolic “letter” (Greek: epistole). When copies are actually distributed to the Christians of a Gentile background (Acts 16:4), they are termed “decrees” (Greek: dogmata): The “DOGMA” was necessary and delivered immediately to the Gentiles!!!!  Refer to Acts 15:1-16:5 and notice that:

(1) The church didn’t wait hundreds of years to know “dogma.”

(2) This was an epistle of Scripture from the Apostles, and NOT from a Roman Catholic Church “Magisterium,” or “Vatican Council,” or “College of the Cardinals,” or announced by “smoke!” When Peter and the REAL Apostles of Jesus Christ taught and wrote Scripture, it was in writing that WAS “Scripture,” based upon Scripture, NOT the result of political “in-fighting” and out-maneuvering ,as is continually practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. People who “blow smoke” are NOT Apostles of Jesus Christ!

(3) “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” Acts 16:5. The churches of Christ are always strengthened by Scripture and always apostatize when following human commandments (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). Wrong attitudes always produce and defend wrong doctrines(1 Timothy 6:3-5)!

4. THERE WAS NO VOTE TAKEN, NOR SUCCESSIVE SESSIONS OF THIS COUNCIL!

5. There was NO: supremacy of Peter, voting on doctrine; waiting hundreds of years to deal with controversy; multiple sessions to arrive at a conclusion; opposition to the views expressed; PRESENTATION OF ANY OUTSIDE “TRADITION;” “COMMENTARIES;” OR PREVIOUS “COUNCIL” CONCLUSIONS; BUT ONLY SCRIPTURE (BOTH WRITTEN & UNWRITTEN)!

6. This was the ONLY council gathering like it in Scripture.

    (1) The gathering to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:13-26) did nothing to replace James the brother of John
when Herod killed him (Acts 12:1-2);

    (2) The gathering to disprove Jewish heretics sent Gentiles their “dogma” (Acts 15:1-31) and never met again!

—–John T. Polk II

#bible, #bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #dogma, #epistle, #faith, #preaching, #roman-catholic-church, #scripture, #vatican, #writing

Social Media and Fellowship

What role does social media have in Biblical fellowship? More specifically, what does it do to the lines between sound and unsound brethren? In the past, I have received Facebook friendship requests from false teachers who have dozens of sound brethren as “friends.”

Should we be Facebook friends with false teachers? Do we need to examine the Scriptures on fellowship through the prism of social media? I look forward to the discussion.

#facebook, #false-teachers, #fellowship, #scripture, #social-media, #truth

The Implanted Word

I am preaching through James and this Sunday morning, my text will be James 1:21, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

What a great passage! What thoughts do you have on the implanted word and this passage in general? Thanks! I look forward to reading your great comments.

#james, #preaching, #scripture

No divine truth fails to apply

No divine truth fails to apply to man’s need and service. All doctrine finds usefulness in daily faith. What God says always makes a difference to his creatures. “Every Scripture is … useful.” As well, no faith can be exercised apart from truth. Every spiritual movement springs from an oracle of the Lord. We are God’s evangelists, all of us, and his words, all of them, bring life, create meaning, provide strength, establish purpose, and issue forth in fellowship with his glorious presence.

#bible, #doctrine, #scripture, #truth