4-20-2016 Salvation And Bible Faith

No one has received a revelation from God since the New Testament was finished.  God’s last word to Israel was: “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4 NKJV). 400 years of silence from God followed.  God has similar statements in the New Testament: “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3 NKJV); “remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17 NKJV); “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37 NKJV).  The written Scriptures are God’s last words to the world.  Whoever claims more is sadly mistaken!

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

#prophet, #revelation-from-god, #scriptures, #written


4-12-2016 What Is The Church of Christ #2

When divisions began over allegiance to men other than Jesus Christ, Paul asked: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:13 NKJV).  There are religions that ignore or reject Jesus as the Christ.  Apollos “vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:28 NKJV).  It is ignorance of the Scriptures, not the Scriptures themselves, that has let people follow other religious leaders than Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures reveal only One who had died “for our sins.”  The Scriptures reveal only one “name” for people to be baptized into.  Confusion has occurred over those who reject the Bible to uphold their own choices.  God is not to be blamed, nor the Bible branded as causing religious division.

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

#divisions, #jesus-christ, #religions, #scriptures


4-14-2015 “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.

#astonished, #authority, #boldly, #privately-interpret, #scriptures

My favorite dashboard content is…

My favorite dashboard content (the behind the scenes stuff of a blog for those who may not know) is without a doubt the “clicks” section. Stats are important and search terms are interesting but the clicks are what grab my attention.

Why’s that?

For one, on my personal blog, the vast, vast majority of “click-able” content (especially over the last couple of years) is made up of scripture references. There are “related articles” that are valuable, along with side-content such as the RSS feeds and blogging friends and other Bible based websites that get used from time to time, and there’s even a couple of videos that have been viewed. But the scripture-reference clicks are by far the most important to me.

Another reason why the clicks grab my attention is because it lets me know that the person who viewed post was actually interested in studying, and not only reading, about the article’s topic.

Lastly, the reason why the “scripture-reference clicks” get my attention is because it’s the scriptures that get the job done. Faith in God, and whatever topic that revolves around learning about his will for our lives, comes from hearing what the word of God has to say (Romans 10:17). My “opinion” doesn’t amount to “a hill of beans” if what I say does not have the support of God’s written word. That’s why my title bar for Keltonburg Preacher says, “A few ideas supported with a few Scriptures”. So when a person clicks on the provided scripture reference, to me, that says that they are interested in finding out for themselves what the word of God says about the matter, and that is a mentality that I can appreciate in anyone.

What about the rest of you? Care to share what’s your favorite part of the dashboard content?

Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.” (Acts 17:10-12)

#blogging, #personal-insights, #scriptures

People Hang on His Every Word

While I cannot praise the beer industry for its product, I have to admit that beer companies rank near the top in coming up with memorable commercials. One of them has recently been making some funny twists to several clichés and attributing them to “the most interesting man in the world.” One of these went this way: “people hang on his every word—even the prepositions.”

The last half of Luke 19 describes Jesus’s “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. The last two verses tell that He was teaching on a daily basis in the temple while the chief priests and scribes were trying to figure out how to kill Him. They couldn’t come up with anything, though, because according to verse 48, “All the people were hanging on to every word He said” (even the prepositions! J).

As a curious side note, people are divided over Jesus’s prepositions, or at least the ones the apostles left for us in the name of Jesus. The most prevalent error proclaimed by the denominational world stems in part from a misunderstanding of the word “for” in the invitation of the first gospel sermon recorded in the book of Acts. “Let every one of you repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” Does that word for mean “because of” or “in order to obtain”? Millions of people believe it means the former, when a thorough study of the New Testament would indicate the latter. But that’s not the point I was intending to make—we’ll get back to the trunk of the tree now.

“All the people were hanging on to every word He said.” I bet many of those people would be present for that first gospel sermon a couple of months later; I bet many of them would respond to the gospel and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Several years down the road, I bet many of them were racing to the assembly to be present for the first public reading of Mark’s account of the life of Jesus (or Matthew or whoever’s gospel came first). I bet many of them did what Jesus’s mother did by treasuring these things, pondering them in their hearts (Luke 2:19). God, forgive us when we get into such a routine that we don’t think about You or the Words You have left for us. Help us realize that the Scriptures are the most valuable resource on this planet, and may we “hang on every word.” – Joshua Gulley

Josh is a member of the church at the Smithville Church of Christ and a teacher of music at the High School level

#appreciation, #faith, #gospel, #jesus, #scriptures, #the-word-of-god, #translation-of-prepositions


No “Separation of Church and State”

            It is bad enough for government anybody to cite Scripture for any authority for what they are about, but for someone discredited by his peers in government to cite Scripture is totally crass, completely off the scale of hypocrisy! Such is the case of Representative Charles Rangel:

Rep. Charles Rangel: Republicans risk eternal damnation with welfare cuts
By Jessica Chasmar-The Washington Times Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Rep. Charles B. Rangel, appearing on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Monday night, suggested that Republicans who oppose federal welfare may face eternal damnation.
Host Ed Schultz said that according to his faith leader, there is no biblical scripture that backs up Republican votes against Social Security and food stamps.
“Anyone that’s familiar with the Bible, anything like that, Jesus said that you’re going straight to hell if you don’t treat the lesser of his brothers and sisters,” Mr. Rangel, New York Democrat, said.
Speaking of the downtrodden, Mr. Rangel continued: “He said he was hungry, you didn’t give him food stamps. He was thirsty, you didn’t purify the water. He was naked, you didn’t give him Social Security. And God knows he was sick and you gave him no comfort. Can you imagine if 60 million Catholics became missionaries just for the poor, the sick and the uninsured?”
He also argued that people of all religious backgrounds, namely Jews and Protestants, do not support welfare cuts.

1. “Physician, heal yourself” Luke 4:23

Veteran Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., today [December 2, 2010] became the first U.S. House member in 27 years to be censured after a long trial that resulted in him being convicted on 11 counts of ethics violations.

The censure, the highest punishment short of expulsion, is reserved for serious offenses and requires the member in question to stand before his or her colleagues while a censure resolution is read.

An amendment reducing the punishment to reprimand prior to the final vote failed overwhelmingly.

The censure has been used only 23 times in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. The last time a member of Congress was censured was 1983, when then-Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., and Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., faced the penalty for having sexual relationships with minors.  —–by Huma Khan via World News

2. “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at Him” (Mark 12:17).

The passage Rangel alludes to is found in Matthew 25:31-46, and the duties discussed are for “the righteous” to do. Is Rangel suggesting that the Federal Government of the United States of America is “the righteous?” If he is, then is the entire welfare system of the Federal Government “righteous” when it: (1) takes from workers monies they could use to help those in need (Ephesians 4:28); (2) supports those who “will not work” (2 Thessalonians 3:10); (3) renders to Caesar things that “are God’s;” (4) is “a terror to good works” (Romans 13:9)? If he is not, then he is one of the “untaught and unstable” people who “twist” Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

3. “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

If Rangel knew “the Scriptures,” he surely would understand that he is condemned by God’s Prophet, Enoch, who preached before the Flood in Noah’s day: “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). If Rangel knew “the power of God,” he would never blithely apply God’s “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46) to political opponents!

Charles Rangel has demonstrated his ignorance of the Word of God, crassness toward the righteousness that comes from obeying Jesus Christ (1 John 3:7), and how oppressive his government programs are to those of us who want to do right. Would the Apostles, “Peter and John” speak to Rangel and say: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20)? Unfortunately, Rangel’s lack of knowledge of the Word of God may well represent  most in the Government, and that’s where Government today is so foreign to the Government of our Founders!                      —–John T. Polk II

#bible-study, #caesar, #christian-living, #federal-government, #god, #hypocrisy, #jesus-christ, #religion, #righteous, #scriptures, #truth

Why I read Scripture

• I READ THE BOOKS OF MOSES (Gen-Deu) to master, from the historical narrative materials, the timeless models of life with God and to learn from the priestly materials a basic sense of what it means to be holy, forgiven, and in communion with God.

• I READ THE PSALMS to learn how to respond to God with the full range of my faith and feelings.

• I READ THE OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVES to understand how God–who is always the hero of these stories–relates to humans as they really are: elusive, complex, culturally conditioned, unpredictable, and inconsistent.

• I READ THE WISDOM BOOKS (Pro, Ecc) to learn the arts of godly living–how to live sensibly and well in life as it really is.

• I READ THE PROPHETS to be inspired by God’s vision for a moral and just society that one day will fill the earth and to be amazed as I see God’s spoken word take concrete form when predictions of future events come to past in minute detail.

• I READ THE GOSPELS to see God in His definitive manifestation of Himself in the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and to respond to Him by growing in ways of life-changing and world-changing discipleship.

• I READ THE BOOK OF ACTS to enter consciously and confidently into the never-ending story of the triumphant, joyful, spiritual expansion of the Gospel throughout the world. Continue reading

#bible, #bible-reading, #scriptures

I Don’t Need the Pope to do My Book Review

The following excerpt comes from the Huffington Post. For the most part I consider their site to be more of a liberal huff and puff posting place but I wanted to give the link in case someone questioned the quote I’m going to give. It seems the Pope has decided to release another book about the life of Jesus. This one is supposed to focus on Jesus’ birth and childhood. The author of the review had this to say…

“In his book, Benedict sidesteps the extrabiblical legends and focuses solely on what’s contained in the Gospel accounts of the New Testament.

The three wise men from the Christmas story, Benedict concedes, could be inspired by a “theological idea” rather than by a “historical event,” though he says he prefers a more literal interpretation of the biblical account.

The star of Bethlehem, he notes, has been convincingly identified with a major planetary conjunction that took place in the years 7-6 B.C.

Benedict also recalls that, according to the Gospels, there are no animals in the Bethlehem stable to warm the newborn Jesus. But, he adds, no Nativity scene would be complete without them.

Benedict remains convinced that the Gospel narrative of Jesus’ birth and infancy is not just a symbolical account or mere “meditation.”

Matthew and Luke, he stresses, “didn’t want to write ‘stories’ but history, a real history, even if interpreted and understood” through the lens of the faith.”

Here are my thoughts on this review and what it reveals about the Pope’s words in his new book:

1) Actually letting the scriptures speak instead of speaking and making it scripture. What a novel idea!

2) The three wise men could be inspired by a theological idea??? First off, who said there was three? Second off, for anyone to say that the account of the wise men could be based only upon a “theological idea” opens the door to saying that very thing about the entire gospel!

Matthew begins his gospel by saying Jesus was the son of David and of Abraham – is that a “historical event” or just a “theological idea”? Matthew then moves onto the virgin birth and the angel’s appearance to Joseph – are those “historical events” or just “theological ideas”? Matthew then gets to the “wise men” from the east. “Historical event” or “theological idea”? Well, let’s see – Was Herod’s reign a “historical event” or “theological idea”? Was the trip into Egypt a “historical event” or a “theological idea”? Was the wrath of Herod directed toward children that fulfilled prophecy a “historical event” or just a “theological idea”? The return of Jesus’ family, after Herod’s death, to Nazareth and thus fulfilling more prophecy…was that a “historical event” or just “theological idea”? I know what Matthew would say, but the problem is that a lot of people don’t want Matthew to speak because they don’t like what they hear! If one chooses to play with any part of the scriptures and apply a “theological idea only side” title to anything in order to sidestep the “historical event side”, then that person might as well deny the very inspiration of the Bible that says it actually happened!

3) Lastly, the nativity scene wouldn’t be complete without those animals? Even though none were there? Well, I don’t guess I can say much about that considering the scriptures don’t say much about that, but there is one thing I can say about the common nativity scene that is wrong – the wise men didn’t visit Jesus in the stable; that privilege was given to the shepherds. The wise men met the child Jesus in a house, not in a manger (Matthew 2:11). But I guess if it doesn’t matter about the animals, then why should it matter about the wise men? This type of revealed thinking does help to shed some light on how a person can say that the “written tradition” wouldn’t be complete without the “spoken tradition” even though the spoken contradicts the written.

At the end of the day, people may review the Pope’s book, but I don’t need the Pope’s review of God’s Book. After all, if he knew how to properly interpret the scriptures then he wouldn’t call himself the Pope!

When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”” (Matthew 2:14-15, NKJV)

#christmas, #false-teacher, #nativity-scene, #pope, #scriptures