27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:27 NIV
In our daily lives, why do we not experience the peace that God has made available to us? Is there a secret to finding and holding onto that peace? Is it necessary to do something special or quote a particular verse to access the…
Matthew 24:36-39 NLT
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
#addiction #collab #alcohol #alcoholic #salvation
by Theresa Ommert
You’re walking along a bleak, lonely path in a barren landscape feeling hollow and empty inside. Though there are others around, you feel alienated and disconnected from everyone.
“They don’t want me around anyway,” you tell yourself.
There’s a cold wind blowing and you feel it in your soul.
Nothing in this world feels…
Before I venture out to expound on how Biblical “inspiration” occurs, it’s important to first say a few words about who determines the “meaning” of a text. In other words, where should we get our “hermeneutic” from? Should we draw it from our personal responses? Or should we conform to what the scholars say? But isn’t that still speculation and conjecture either way? Yes, it is! And it could be totally wrong, even if it’s a long-held consensus held by leading scholars! So what determines the meaning of a text? Is it Bible-study tools? No because they only give us a partial understanding. The short answer is: the Holy Spirit! Just as the Holy Spirit is responsible for “inspiring” the Biblical authors, so it is also responsible for communicating the “meaning” to its “recipients.” However, its recipients are not just anyone. They are neither those who openly profess to be “reborn” Christians nor those who post Facebook memes, “Repent or Go to Hell.” Rather, they’re the true, authentic Christians who don’t show off and hardly ever talk about their status as *saved* believers. Unbeknownst to the Cessationists, they hear from God “DIRECTLY.” And they can interpret the Bible not based on current theological trends or methods of exegesis but on the word of the Spirit! So, they are *in the know.* Ideally, this is where the meaning of Scripture should come from! Bible-study tools won’t reveal these meanings no matter how sophisticated they might be. Now, let’s get back to the concept of Biblical “inspiration.”
Can the Bible Limit What God Can and Cannot Do?
There are many modern Biblical interpreters who hold to a form of “Pelagianism.” In ancient times, the Pelagian heresy comprised the Christian theological position that the *human will* alone is capable of choosing the good without the assistance of grace or any divine aid. Even Jesus’ salvific atonement becomes ultimately irrelevant in this view. These people, and I have met quite a few of them, don’t believe that the Spirit plays any significant role in our salvation. According to them, all we need to do is to follow the external dictates of the Bible. In this view, the Bible replaces God and thus becomes God-like, so to speak. Besides contradicting large portions of the New Testament, this position is also heretical in another way because it presents a counterfeit Christianity; that is to say, it presents the exact opposite of what authentic salvation truly consists of. It rejects inward spiritual experiences that lead to true “union” with God and promotes only an external form of obedience to rules and regulations. Jesus himself explains that such people don’t know God; they have neither heard from him nor do they know his “word”:
You have never heard his voice or seen his
form, and you do not have his word abiding
in you, because you do not believe him
whom he has sent (Jn 5.27-38).
Jesus nails it. Their erroneous doctrine is based on disbelief. In essence, they don’t even believe in Jesus. He goes on to say:
You search the Scriptures because you
think that in them you have eternal life; it is
these that testify about Me (Jn 5.39
So, for them, the Bible has supplanted the Godhead and has become their “god.” It’s no longer God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit who holds sway but rather the *Bible per se* and nothing but the Bible. That’s a form of idol-worship where “a means to an end” has suddenly become an end in itself! The King-James Only cult is a case in point!
The Dictation Theory
What is more, as far as Biblical inspiration is concerned, most modern scholars typically say that the Holy Spirit did not give the New Testament authors each and every word by dictation. To which I say, why not? They try desperately to fit in with the modern-secular, liberal culture that does not believe in supernatural phenomena and mocks all forms of divine communications. And yet, according to the Bible, these communications do exist (see 2 Tim. 3:16–17)!
The Bible stands or falls on the presence or absence of these divine communications. What ever happened to the Old Testament declaration: “Thus says the LORD”? Why water it down? Why dilute it to make it more palatable to the masses? Either God communicates with the human family or he doesn’t. In other words, either the Bible is the word of God or it isn’t. It’s that simple. By comparison, you’re either pregnant or you’re not. There’s no in between. Either God directly spoke to Isaiah and to Jeremiah or he didn’t. If he did, the Bible is transcribing divine communications. If he didn’t, then the Bible is the word of man. But if God indeed spoke to Isaiah, why couldn’t he equally speak to the Biblical authors, giving them the precise words audibly? After all, the authors themselves claimed to have heard God speak, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Besides, Jesus himself openly declares:
For I did not speak on my own, but the
Father who sent me commanded me to say
all that I have spoken (Jn 12.49 NIV).
If God has spoken *directly* in Isaiah 6.7, Jeremiah 26.2, Ezek. 28.2, John 2.1, 8, and also through Jesus (Jn 12.49), why wouldn’t he speak directly to the Biblical authors as well?
The Dictation Theory Has Been Greatly Misunderstood
The reason most scholars don’t accept the dictation theory is because it seems to suggest that the Holy Spirit inscribed the words of Scripture through the agency of human authors who were somehow under God’s full control, in a state of passivity (perhaps in a trance), in which God dictated each and every word with perfect accuracy. In other words, scholars totally mischaracterize this communication process, as if they’re talking about zombies, automatons, people half-asleep, on Sodium Pentothal, under hypnosis, Somnambulism, or the walking dead.
This mischaracterization and distortion stems from the fact that these scholars don’t yet fully understand what *salvation* really is, that is to say, what the relationship of the regenerated person to God consists of. Actually, by default, a regenerated person is ALREADY under the *control* of God, so that they don’t have to pass out or become an automaton in order to hear God’s voice. In other words, God communicates with them naturally, without restriction or interference, via a form of Interpersonal communication while they are physically and mentally normal, completely aware, and fully conscious!
Stylistic Differences May Reflect the Source Rather Than the Authors
As for the argument pertaining to the stylistic differences between the New Testament authors, which suggests a variety of different personalities at work——consequently ruling out the possibility of verbatim-dictation from a single source——my reply is, why couldn’t the “stylistic differences” reflect the *source* rather than the authors? In other words, perhaps the texts reflect the Spirit itself——setting the context and content in various ways within the different compositions——rather than the individual personalities of the authors. After all, Heb. 1.1 says that “God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets.” That’s why we can find verbal agreements between disparate texts. For example, we read in the Old Testament narrative of Exodus 34.29 (ESV) that Moses’ “face shone” (Hb. qaran; meaning “shine”) and then, lo and behold, we find the exact same equivalent words used in the Greek New Testament (Matthew 17.2 NRSV) to say that Jesus’ “face shone” (Gk. ἔλαμψεν; meaning “shine”). Two completely different authors with completely *different writing styles* and languages, writing from two completely different time periods and locations, with over 1,000 years separating the two texts, and yet we find verbal agreements! Why? Same source; same Spirit dictating the exact same words through different languages and styles. Such verbal agreements and parallels abound in Scripture. Otherwise, if it was left up to each and every individual author to write whatever they wanted, then it would obviously be the word of man and should not be accepted as the word of God.
Biblical Interpretation Should Be Based Entirely on Biblical Inspiration
Furthermore, Biblical *interpretation* should be based *entirely* on the Spirit, not on guess-work. Being partly-right doesn’t cut it because it implies that we may also be partly-wrong. Either we know what’s going on or we don’t:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide
you into all the truth; for he will not speak on
his own, but will speak whatever he hears,
and he will declare to you the things that
are to come [ἐρχόμενα] (Jn 16.13).
In other words, those who are indwelt by the Spirit walk by the Spirit and are constantly informed by the Spirit who guides them “into all the truth.”
Therefore, based on the aforementioned reasons, it seems indisputable that the Spirit of God inspired the Biblical authors by giving them each and every word by dictation. For God speaks to us directly, but only those who *belong* to him can actually hear his voice. The following quote demonstrates that Scripture (which is almost entirely prophetic) was not left to the discretion of the individual authors but that the authors were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” when they “spoke from God”:
The Power of the Gospel to change lives: Acts Cpt 8
The Power of the Gospel to change lives: Acts Cpt 8
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”zoomIn”]A Christadelphian Video: Description: The gospel message has the power to change lives. As we are taken through the events of the gospel entering Samaria we see how the people that were touched by God’s word were moved by this message and altered their lives. By filling up on God’s word we can grow in our trust of God, make changes in our…
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”zoomIn”]A Christadelphian Video: Description: This study uses the internal evidence of the Scripture to prove the existence of God. Both the resurrection of Jesus and the return of the Jews are key points ably expounded using copious Bible references. Only God can accurately foretell the future and because God is a just God He has made the…
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:1-2, 15-16)
The church decided to concentrate on corporate prayer together.
Hear My Plea by Rochelle Blumenfeld
The apostles Peter and John were arrested for preaching the good news about Jesus. After warning and threatening them to stop doing this, the ruling council of the Jews released them. This was the apostles’ response….
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When…
Walking the Straight and Narrow Road of Life with Jesus
Walking the Straight and Narrow Road of Life with Jesus
Go with the flow! Boy, that phrase got me into trouble — a lot! Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it’s the right thing to do. That’s one of the problems with today’s culture. It’s heading down the road to hell.
Jesus told us…
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.…
There are so many conferences on this subject, trying to provide a methodology for evangelism. Strategies and techniques have been concocted, for this, as many people believe that the Bible needs to be repackaged because they consider its relevance to have expired. Their thinking goes something like this: “What we need are demographic surveys of our neighbourhoods, and then we need to find out…