Jeroboam II, King of Israel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 31, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

The first king of the northern kingdom of Israel once the nation divided was named Jeroboam, and he was instrumental in causing the nation to split. That Jeroboam, sometimes referred to as Jeroboam I, had a legacy of being very evil through idolatry and disobedience to God. He was referenced in the descriptions of many of the kings of Israel who followed him – they continued in the ways of Jeroboam, or they did evil in the eyes of the Lord as Jeroboam did.

So when another Jeroboam comes along, we would expect him to continue in the evil ways of his namesake, and that is exactly what he did. Jeroboam II was the son of Jehoash, the previous king of Israel, and he took the throne when his father passed away. Jeroboam II’s reign is recorded in just 7 verses of Scripture, 2 Kings 13:23-29.

Jeroboam II began his reign during the reign of King Amaziah of Judah, and he reigned for 41 years. His namesake Jeroboam I is referred to in the general description of his reign: “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit” (verse 24).

But in spite of that evil, God still caused a time of prosperity for the nation of Israel. In verse 25, we read how Israel regained territory that it had lost and expanded the boundaries of the nation. This indicates that while Jeroboam II was not great at following God, he was clearly a strong military and political leader, and God allowed Jeroboam II to use his skills to take over additional territory that the nation had previously lost.

Verses 26-27 are a great summary of God’s grace on the nation of Israel: “The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them. And since the LORD had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.” Their actions deserved punishment, but God saw that they were suffering enough and decided to use the reign of Jeroboam II to relieve them of some of that suffering.

God still cared for Israel and showed mercy to them, even though they were His wayward child so to speak. The Arameans had been oppressing Israel, so God sent the Assyrian army to defeat the Arameans and provide relief for Israel. Israel had previously had some victories over the Arameans under King Jehoash, but this time God provided them with a full victory over the Arameans.

The people of Israel did well from a military perspective during this time period, but their spirituality suffered greatly. God sent 4 prophets to the nation during Jeroboam II’s reign to try and turn the people back toward worshiping Him and Him alone – Amos, Hosea, Jonah, and Micah.

The prophet Amos lived near the border of Israel and Judah, and technically he lived in Judah, though his message was directed toward both kingdoms. Amos 1-2 contains his messages to surrounding nations, including Judah. Amos 3-6 contains messages to Israel’s leaders. Amos 7-9 contains his prophetic vision for the Israel. We don’t know much about Amos himself, but his message to Israel is clear: Israel will be punished for their wrongdoing. Israel had a great calling and they had great responsibility representing God to the surrounding nations, so there will be great consequences for their unfaithfulness to Him. God desires to restore them rather than destroy them, so He gives the people plenty of warning.

The prophet Hosea lived around the same time as Amos, and his main message is to showcase Israel’s lack of faithfulness to God. Hosea 1-3 focuses on Hosea’s marriage as an example of God’s relationship with Israel, and Hosea 4-14 provides warnings to the nation. God told Hosea to marry Gomer, knowing that Gomer will be unfaithful to him. God commands Hosea to remain faithful to her in spite of her unfaithfulness. That’s the message that Israel needed to hear from God – God kinew that Israel would be unfaithful to Him, but God would remain faithful to Israel anyway. Much of Hosea’s recorded prophecy is essentially doom and gloom for the nation, but there is some hope in it as well.

The prophet Jonah is, of course, most well known for his message to the people of Nineveh and for being swallowed up by the great fish when he tried to run away from that calling. The book of Jonah is dedicated to that part of Jonah’s life. We don’t know what message specifically that Jonah gave to King Jeroboam II, but he is specifically mentioned by name in 2 Kings 14:25.

Micah was a prophet who lived in Judah during this time frame, the same time as Isaiah was a prophet in Judah as well. But Micah’s warning message is directed to both Israel and Judah. His message, like the other prophets, is one of warning that God’s judgment is coming. The people and their leaders have continued to sin, so God’s patience is running out.

That’s just how evil King Jeroboam II was – it took not one, not two, not three, but four prophets during his 41-year reign to try and turn the people back to God! Sadly, none of these warnings appear to have had much success, though God did not yet bring His judgment of exile onto the people for another 30 or so years after Jeroboam II’s reign ended.

What can we learn from Jeroboam II’s reign? We can be thankful for the grace that God gives us, and the fact that He often gives us multiple warnings before we’ll experience His punishment for our actions that disobey Him. God’s grace is evident in each of the prophets that God sent during Jeroboam II’s time. God kept giving warning after warning through multiple prophets rather than simply destroying the people. Even though Israel was very disobedient to God, God still loved His chosen people and tried to help them make good choices.

Even though we are often very disobedient to God and worship other things than Him with our lives, God still loves us! He gives us plenty of warnings through His Word and through other Christ followers around us to help us make better choices so we don’t receive punishment for our disobedience. God continues to show us His grace, especially through the sacrifice of Jesus for us so that by faith in Him, we will never experience the true punishment of eternal death that we deserve. Even if we’re as evil as Jeroboam I or Jeroboam II, God still gives us warnings and opportunities to escape His wrath by making the choice to follow Jesus.

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The Way Forward Is Back

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 28, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This post will wrap up my series on what is going on with our culture for the time being, but there is far more to be said about these issues. We need to face some facts. The fact remains that our culture here in the U.S. is not Christian and is in fact quite hostile towards Christianity. We aren’t bleeding for our faith yet, but we are fast approaching that, and there are people who intend to harm us as much as possible in high positions. This is simply fact.

The fact also remains that American Christendom has long departed the tenants of the faith. While many of us long to go back to the good old days when there actually was morality, to be honest, I do not believe there is any going back for this country. I do believe we have crossed the point of no return. That’s as a country. But what about us as individuals?

One thing we have to remember is that we are not of this world. The United States is not our home. While we should cherish what is left of this once-great country and praise God for the little freedom we have left, the U.S. is not paradise. It is not our final destination. Eternity with God in the New Earth is our ultimate destination.

That said, when God judges a nation, the one thing He says to all who may believe is to come out from among them. While that sometimes means actually physically leave the country, sometimes that is not an option. What is does mean in every situation is to come out of that culture. Do not partake in that culture any longer. The church needs to actually obey this. We’ve heard it, but few are listening. The world has so deeply infiltrated the church that it is nearly impossible to identify a genuine sheep anymore. And even when there are genuine sheep, there is no power behind them. Why? Because the world has gotten so deep into our roots that we cannot comprehend what to do apart from it. Need an example? “Youth ministry.” I am not against churches ministering to youth, but how are we doing it. It is exactly as the world does it in our schools: age segregation and be “youth focused” instead of “Gospel focused.”

The church is dead. It has a reputation for being alive, but it’s dead. There is no life in it. Where is the church in which people are genuinely getting saved, holiness is sought, the world is being shunned, and spiritual eyes and ears are being opened? It’s hard to find. Why? The answer is because we have followed the world and left the narrow path.

We have departed the path for so long that we cannot just stop and leap over to the narrow path. We actually have to go backwards and repent of our departing the path. One thing I’ve greatly enjoyed in my pastor’s teachings on Exodus is that God didn’t merely take Israel out of Egypt from bondage to slavery. He took them through the wilderness so He could get Egypt out of Israel. Israel was still hooked to Egypt’s gods, Egypt’s “luxury living,” and Egypt’s authority. The wilderness was scary, and not even the promise of their own land could keep them believing. God had to strip that all away so only teenagers were those alive during the Plagues and the Red Sea Crossing who remembered it when they finally entered in, in their 50s.

Over and over again, we see the same central message: Go back to the ways God taught us from the beginning. To do so, we have to backtrack and pull away from the direction we are going. We cannot simply steer this ship back onto the right course. We made a wrong turn in the maze of life and there is no route out except turning around and going back.

Israel did this during the time of the Judges. They would sin, then God would hand them over to enemies, then they’d cry and go back to God, and then God would send a deliverer. But Israel kept going back to their sin because they really weren’t sorry for their sin. They were sorry they were being oppressed. They went back to just get the difficulty over with, but they never actually went back to their roots and what God established from the start.

The American home departed the path of the Biblical home at late as the Industrial Revolution. Which homes today are actually following the Biblical mandates and the parents can point to which Scriptures they are using for their decisions? Can we find anyone giving examples? We will follow the Bible’s moral standards, but how have we followed Biblical principles for home decisions, job decisions, kid decisions, what we watch and read, who we hang out with, and all that stuff? Is the Bible playing a role in any of it? I’ll be honest: it may be difficult for me to actually say “I do this, this, and that, because Scripture commands me according to this, this, and that passage.” There are things that are there in general principle, but have I actually directed and guided my life according to Biblical principles or just modern “Christian” home traditions? One thing I have been chewing on is to really get a set of “advisors,” a board of directors, good friends who can give me a whopping when necessary. I’ve never had any real mentors in my life with whom I can talk face-to-face. I am so grateful for my current church because they see that need too, and steps are being made to get some kind of mentorship going again. We need to get back to the Biblical principles of Christian living, not American culture living with Christian flavors.

How do we get there? There is one word to describe it all: repentance. We need to completely abandon the world’s way of doing things, turn around, and go back to the basics. There is a reason I keep harping about origins, and a key reason why is that is where most of the departure has taken place. While not a universal statement, if you trace the demise of a church, a seminary, an educational institution, a denomination, etc., many times you will find a caving on origins at or near the beginning of that path towards death. There are other issues such as morality, but when origins go, Biblical authority goes, and everything else spirals. This is a key point of the Romans 1 spiral to depravity. If we want to truly go forward in our walk of faith, we have to go back and return to the very spot where we departed. We cannot just look for a path back to the good path. We have to completely backtrack. And that may include destroying and abolishing “traditional” ministries that have long lost their purpose and have now become institutionalized. We need to cut off and prune the dead branches that are no longer producing fruit or multiplying and get our resources to branches that are producing.

So, as I conclude this series on what has gone wrong with the home and getting back to a Biblical-based home, we need to abandon modern psychology; we need to abandon the American culture of consumerism; and we need to return to the Bible, strip away all that theology and tradition and reset God’s way. The nations want a “Great Reset.” We need one, too. The way forward is back: back to the basics, back to the foundations. And let me warn you what Jesus warned us all: if we do not reset things ourselves, God will do the resetting for us, and He will strip us down to nothing so there is nothing of self or the world dominating our lives.

How can we reset? How can we go back so we can truly go forward? This was not intended as I wrote this series, but my next one is on how to understand the Bible. We have so drifted away from Biblical truth and Biblical foundations that religion is just a matter of interpretations. And it has gotten so bad that in order to justify unfounded positions, people actually turn to hide behind illiteracy. So likely to end 2022, I will do a study on how to read and understand the Bible, and there will be no need to go to seminary to follow up with it.

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How Are Acts and Timothy Connected to Theistic Evolution?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 27, 2022 1 comments

by Steve Risner

This week is the last in a series of posts focusing on Scriptures that a theistic evolutionist gave me, telling me they were 1) supportive of deep time and universal common descent and 2) that they were difficult for “young-earthers” to explain. We’ve looked at several passages and found that not one is remotely supportive of deep time or universal common descent. We’ve also found that, while none of them poses any sort of issue for a Bible-believing creationist, some were actually passages commonly used by creationists to support their position. It’s been bizarre to say the least.

Last week, I looked at a series of Scriptures, most from Psalms, that used figures of speech and/or poetic language to make their statements. I guess this was supposed to be tough for creationists because we read Genesis “literally.” But we don’t read every word of the Bible literally. That would be silly, and no one does this. For instance, if it says, “God has pitched a tent for the sun,” we don’t believe the sun has a tent around it that God built. If the Word says, “The skies proclaim the work of Your hands,” we don’t believe that the sky actually speaks or that God used His hands, getting them dirty and blistered, to make the universe. I think any elementary school aged child could determine these things without an issue. We read the Bible naturally, allowing it to be read as it was intended. We sometimes call this the plain reading of Scripture. Read poetry as such. Read figures of speech as such. Read narrative as such. You get the idea. As with so much of Biblical reading, context is critical to understanding what the text is trying to say. There are very often clues within the text or within other parts of the Bible that will tell us how the passage was intended to be read.

Today, we’ll start with Acts 1:7 which reads, “He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.’”

I have no idea how this is supportive of theistic evolution or problematic for Biblical creationists. No explanation was offered, so I have to figure it out on my own. The only connection I can make is perhaps that he’s suggesting this means we aren’t supposed to know when events happened in Scripture. But, really, that seems to be a ridiculous claim. God seems very interested in us knowing when events happened and remembering them. There are numerous holidays that He prescribed for the Jews, and there is a day of the week He commanded the Jews to set aside to remember His creative works. All of these days are set aside to remember something—usually an event. But the creation, one of the most important events in all of history, is one God not only told the Jews to remember with a holiday—He told them to remember it every week! If you are curious how Biblical creationists calculate the approximate time of creation, you can read about that in the blog post I wrote in March of 2019 called “Is Young-earthism New?

Like so many other verses this person has used in this series, he’s totally taken the verse out of context and given it an application that is not indicated or appropriate by the context (if my understanding for his use of it is correct). Why did Jesus say this to His disciples? In verses 4 through 6 of this chapter, we find the disciples are told by Jesus to wait in Jerusalem until they are baptized with the Holy Spirit. They replied with a question: “Will you restore the Kingdom at that time?” Jesus’ response begins in verse 7 where He tells them, essentially, that God has determined when that will happen and they don’t need to worry about it. He goes on to tell them they’ll be baptized in the Holy Spirit and will be empowered to go and tell everyone about Him.

I can find no way to connect this passage to a belief in deep time or universal common descent or to even suggest that knowing when creation took place is not for us to know. That is a complete misapplication of Scripture. However, I find that many times, this is exactly why theistic evolutionists (this person is no exception really) get their theology wrong. They come to the Bible already believing in deep time and universal common descent and try to pluck out verses that will support that. They fail miserably since there is no Scriptural support for deep time or universal common descent. But having a very weak understanding of what the Bible says and how to read and apply the Word of God is a major problem, in my experience, with those who reject the plain teaching of Scripture about creation.

The last passage for this series will be 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which reads, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

This is interesting because theistic evolutionists want to essentially omit or completely rewrite the first 11 chapters of Genesis, but we are told here that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching…” I believe that the whole of Scripture confirms that God created everything there is in 6 days about 6000 years ago and that He caused a Flood to happen about 4500 years ago that wiped out all animal life and humans on earth except a small portion that was saved on the Ark. There is no way around this if “all of Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching.”

As I rack my brain trying to figure out how this can apply to the argument to support theistic evolution, I realize I just can’t think about the Bible as these folks do. This list was given to me by one theistic evolutionist, but I don’t feel he is unique in his misapplication and misunderstanding of Scripture. Old earth creationists have similar issues but theirs are not so nearly magnificent. Scripture could hardly be clearer as to the creation account—what God did, the order He did it, when He did it, and why He did it. It could hardly be more specific when the Bible tells us He destroyed all land animals and humans except a few He allowed to go onto an Ark built by a man and his family that God chose to survive. There’s no wiggle room here. Any argument is either based on semantics or is just a terrible misapplication of Scripture from them. Not a single text I have gone over here with you is remotely supportive of theistic evolution. Not one little bit. And none of them are even sort of difficult for a creationist to explain and apply to their beliefs on origins.

I am reminded of something Martin Luther said: “When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”

It comes down to this: Do you believe God Almighty or not?

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Amaziah, King of Judah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 24, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

King Amaziah was the son of King Joash of Judah, who you may recall took the throne at the age of 7. Amaziah was 25 when he took over the throne after Joash was murdered. Joash had followed God for most of his reign, but after Jehoiada (the high priest who influenced him) passed away, Joash took the nation away from God and led the idol worship. Amaziah followed somewhat in his father’s footsteps, by worshiping God but also not removing the places of idol worship. Amaziah’s story is found in 2 Kings 14:1-22.

Amaziah’s reign is summarized by the author of Kings in verses 3-4: “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not as his father David had done. In everything he followed the example of his father Joash. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.”

King Amaziah started out his reign by killing the people who killed his father King Joash (verse 5). But it is specifically noted in verse 6 that he did not also kill their children, as he may have wanted to do out of his anger. But it is specifically forbidden to kill children for the sins of their parents (and vice versa): “Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16). So, King Amaziah did follow God’s law in that instance.

King Amaziah is also remembered for being the one to defeat the Edomites (verse 7). There is more detail of this battle given in 2 Chronicles 25:5-24. Amaziah found 300,000 men fit for battle within Judah, and he also hired 100,000 additional troops from Israel to bolster their army against Edom. A prophet came to King Amaziah and questioned the use of troops from Israel, saying that God would not give them victory because of the Godlessness of Israel. Even if they fought courageously, God would make sure they’d lose the battle if the troops from Israel were involved. King Amaziah brought up the fact that he had paid money for those troops, and the prophet replied that God would give him much more than that in return. So King Amaziah sent away the troops from Israel, who were furious about the situation.

King Amaziah and the nation of Judah were victorious in their battle against Edom. They killed 20,000 Edomites; 10,000 in the battle, then they captured 10,000 more alive but threw them off a cliff and killed them. But, while they were in battle, the rejected and disgruntled Israelite socliers plundered some towns in Judah and killed 3,000 people!

After the victory, King Amaziah brought back the gods of the Edomites and set up them up for worship in Judah. God sent another prophet to the king to warn him of God’s displeasure with that act. But King Amaziah wouldn’t listen to the prophet; he shot him down, saying that he was not in the position to advise the king. The prophet gave Amaziah one final warning that God would strike them down because of their worship of idols and not listening to God.

Then, King Amaziah and his advisors got the idea to fight against Israel, so they sent word to Jehoash, King of Israel. Amaziah was caught up in the pride of having defeated the Edomites, so he thought he could take on the larger and stronger nation of Israel as well. King Jehoash of Israel replied to Amaziah of Judah, “You say to yourself that you have defeated Edom, and now you are arrogant and proud. But stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also?” (2 Chronicles 25:19).

Did King Amaziah listen to this warning? Nope! Israel and Judah engaged in battle, and Judah was basically wiped out. The army basically retreated to their homes, King Jehoash captured King Amaziah, Israel broke down parts of the wall around Jerusalem, and they took all of the valuables out of the temple and brought them back to Israel. This battle is recounted in both 2 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 25, so it was significant for Judah that they disobeyed God in this way and got defeated by their sister nation.

King Amaziah’s biggest downfall was not listening to God, including not listening to the people that God had placed in his life. Even though it was reported that King Amaziah “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 14:3a), the end of his reign does not agree with that. He did listen to the prophet who instructed him to send away the extra men he had hired from Israel in the battle of Edom, and God granted him victory because of that. But then, he chose to turn on Israel and fight them, which God clearly did not condone, so therefore Judah suffered heavy losses in that battle.

The message here seems clear for the people of Judah: listen to God, and you’ll be blessed; don’t listen to God, and you’ll get destruction. The same is true for us today. Things may not happen in our lives with that clear cause and effect as is reported for King Amaziah and the nation of Judah, but that principle still holds true. The blessings we receive from God may not be what we expect or desire, but we know that God is still sovereign and working to bless us in the way that is best for us when we are obedient to Him. But when we turn away from God and do our own thing, we should expect to have disastrous consequences in our lives.

Are you listening to God and the people who He has placed in your life? Or are you doing your own thing and turning away from God? Examine your life to see which way you are headed, and call out to God to help you correct your direction if needed.

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Remembering the Old Paths

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 21, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

My church is aptly named The Old Paths Christian Church based on Jeremiah 6:16. The vision of this church is to seek the ways that historical Christianity has used to remain strong and alive and recapture what the real thing is. God established His pattern early on for how man is to live, and He expects us to live and obey by it. One of Leonard Ravenhill’s famous quotes is, “The world is not looking for a new definition of Christianity. It’s looking for a new demonstration of Christianity.” We need to go back and rediscover what it really is, because here in America, it is practically gone.

I love Alicia Childer’s testimony, as shared in American Gospel: Christ Crucified. She was a church girl and an artist in a Christian girl band, but she never knew what Christianity actually was. She ended up in a liberal church where basically her faith was completely destroyed. However, before abandoning Christianity completely as many had, she decided to make sure that she actually understood what she was leaving. In the end, she discovered what real Christianity was and that what she had thought it was all along was simply a fake. She has now come to the real faith. She still has much to learn, as we all do, and has become an active apologist to give answers for this faith that she never got early on. She had to go back and learn the old paths – what historic Christianity actually taught.

Several years ago, I wrote a post titled Ancient Landmarks. It was based on Proverbs 22:28, which tells us not to remove the ancient landmarks. For the ancient Hebrews, the landmarks defined the inherited property that was to be passed on the family line. When the landmarks were moved, it changed everything. The same concept applies to doctrine. When we move the doctrines, we change the entire entity of the faith. This is no small matter.

I harp on origins frequently because that is the field where the doctrines of the faith are being attacked and have so nearly fully been knocked down that now the enemy can come in and get more central doctrines once more. But we (the historical Church) chose not to fight on origins when it mattered the most, and now the enemy has been within our walls for 200 years, undermining and overthrowing moral standards and central doctrines. I fight for origins because we have to build the walls of the church again to protect the sheep from the wolves. Yes, that sounds mean spirited, but only to those who either are completely oblivious to wolves or are wolves themselves. We must return back to our origins. If we are to return to the old paths, if we are to return the ancient landmarks to where they used to be, we may as well start back at the beginning. I am not going to do that this post, though, because I need to emphasize the importance of this battle even more.

Sinful man is very adept at forgetting God and what He has done. My pastor is preaching through Exodus, and his sermon on Exodus 16 about how Israel whined about food and God’s provision of both quail and manna was a good one. It was primarily about the complaints of Israel against God. I mention this because of how selective Israel’s memory was. This was just a month and a half out of leaving Egypt. They wished that God had never actually delivered them at all, they wanted all the comfortable foods, and they blamed Moses and Aaron for making them suffer. They forgot the whips, the brutal labor, and the death that had surrounded them in Egypt. Why was God doing this? God didn’t merely take Israel out of Egypt; He needed to use the wilderness to get Egypt out of Israel before they could enjoy true freedom in the Promised Land. They still longed for the ways of Egypt. They did not know nor remember the old paths set up by Abraham – the paths of faith and trust in God.

Today is only slightly different. Again, within a few months past, Israel had seen the 10 plagues, the departure from Egypt, the Red Sea deliverance and crossing, and miraculous water. But they couldn’t trust God for food, even when they had cattle that provided milk, cheese, and meat. Today, we remember the things God did from yesteryear but have the attitude of, “God, what have you done for us lately?” Sports are like that. Who remembers who won the Super Bowl five years ago? Who did Lebron James beat or lose to in the NBA Finals six years ago? Who have been the last five Oscar winners? Only dedicated and loyal fans remember. A player has a bad year and is in danger of being traded or released despite being an All-Star the year before. Memories are so short these days. What about God? One thing my church elder mentioned was the depression that many men of God faced. Why? Because despite all their work, they were not seeing any results. Even when miracles were performed, it was as though they were not important. Jesus even lamented in wonder if anyone would believe when He returned.

This is why God gave us the Bible. This is why God told Moses to write about the battle over the Amalekites in a book. This is why Joshua set up a stone pile at the Jordan River. This is why God had Israel do all these extensive feasts and parties. All of that was so Israel would have the means to remember all the things He had done for them and so they would finally learn to actually trust Him. But it’s not just to remember what He did. We need to remember the boundaries, the landmarks, and the paths God prepared for us. We can’t just go off on our own and trailblaze our own thing. We have to go God’s way, and yes, that means going through wildernesses rather than taking shortcuts through enemy territory (Exodus 13:17-18).

One of our weapons in this spiritual battle is our testimony. What has God done for us? Do we know? Do we remember? If God came through in some situation in the past, why do we continue to struggle trusting Him in a similar situation now? Is God suddenly no longer reliable? When has God ever failed us? Answer: never. While we are to be good stewards, while we are given natural resources, do we actually trust God? Do we trust Him to use our resources correctly? Do we trust Him to come through when we need Him the most? We have to remember the paths God set out for us. I wrote another post titled Don’t Doubt in the Dark. When we are in dark times, let us not forget what God has told us in the light. We have to remember the old paths. We in this culture got off them a long time ago. So, in order to get back on to the right path, we not only have to remember the old paths, but we also have to go back to that path in order to go forward again. More on this next week.

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Should We Take Everything Literally?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 20, 2022 1 comments

by Steve Risner

We’ve looked at Scriptures I was told support theistic evolution and create problems for Biblical creationists. Of the 6 references so far, not one even remotely connects to the topic of theistic evolution or deep time and, in fact, some of the passages of Scripture are quite supportive of the Biblical narrative on creation and the Flood. We’ve looked at 2 Peter 3:8, Psalm 90:4, Romans 1:20, Job 12:7-10, Genesis 1:11-12 and 1:24. None of these passages hints at universal common descent or deep time. It’s uncanny to me that a person would make a big deal about how they can use the Bible to support their position (which is anti-biblical) and then provide references such as these to do so.

Because these references are so weak and because few if any are taken in context, I’ll just write a couple more posts on these. The bottom line is that there is not a single passage of Scripture that supports the theistic evolutionist in his belief in abiogenesis, deep time, and universal common descent among other things related to origins. Not one passage of Scripture. Conversely, the Biblical creationist’s entire basis for their beliefs on origins is founded in reading Genesis as well as other important portions of Scripture. Genesis 1-11 are critical to the origins beliefs of what some call young-earth creationists. I prefer the term Biblical creationist because that’s what we are—creationists who believe the Bible and gather information on origins from it.

This week, we’ll lump several Scripture passages together as they all seem to be suggesting the same sort of thing. However, please keep in mind I may not be applying these passages as the theistic evolutionist would like. I was not given an explanation at all for them, just a list. For most of these, the same one or two explanations will work, so we’ll list them and then talk about them.

Psalm 102:25: “At the beginning You founded the earth; The heavens are the work of Your hands.”

Psalm 19:1-4: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.”

Psalm 104:5: “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

Habakkuk 3:6: “He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed—but he marches on forever.”

Deuteronomy 33:15: “With the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills.”

Ecclesiastes 1:4: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”

None of these verses are used to support universal common descent, but instead they are used to create issues for Biblical creationists. It’s a weird idea, really. We all know that “literalism” is a thing and I do not know of any person who adheres to it exclusively. Literalism simply means you take everything literally. So, if the Bible says, “The heavens are the work of Your hands” that HAS to literally mean God used His hands to build the heavens—though maybe with some large hammers, saws, and some good lumber. When the Bible says, “In the heavens, God has pitched a tent for the sun” this HAS to mean God built a tent to go over the sun. Obviously, no one believes these things so BAM! They think that Biblical creationism or YEC is destroyed by this.

Except no one believes this way. No one says every word in the Bible is 100% to be taken literally. It’s a silly idea, and if ever there was a strawman fallacy, this would be a great one! We choose to read the Bible “naturally” as Ken Ham is known to say. Let it be read the way it was intended. We allow for figures of speech and idioms and things like that. Often, poetic language and prophetic language are not to be taken exactly as they are written. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can willy nilly pick what passages you want to read literally and which ones are to be read figuratively. That creates major issues, like the one we have in the Church today where so many have abandoned God’s Word, claiming it either says something it doesn’t say at all or claiming that even though it says something it really means something entirely different. Figures of speech are just that. Like, “It’s raining buckets” or “That’s as dangerous as forked lightening” or “They’re so good they’ll make you wanna slap your mama.” We don’t mean these things literally, and no one is ever confused by these things. But apparently, theistic evolutionists don’t get it. They think if you take Genesis 1-11 as a historical narrative, you are bound to take every written word in the Bible as a literal statement. It’s nonsense and no one that I know believes this. I find it hard to believe that they think we believe this way; perhaps it’s just a defense mechanism.

I’m not sure how else to explain this other than to say poetic language and figures of speech do not have to be taken literally. This is not inconsistency on the Biblical creationist’s part. It is understanding communication. Genesis is clearly written as a historical narrative. In fact, it is more consistent with that format that other texts in the Bible that no one argues about—like Samuel, Kings, or Chronicles. Its language and word usage demand a historical reading, and it is continuous with the rest of Genesis. There is no break or change of content between chapters 11 and 12. The entire book is written as historical narrative. It’s not poetry, although if it was it wouldn’t mean it’s not true. It’s not figurative, although elements of it can be applied to other areas of our lives.

There are nearly 2 dozen major doctrinal positions that come directly from a historical reading of Genesis. Few of these make sense if you read the Biblical text a different way.

To further understand the topic of how to understand Genesis and other passages of Scripture related to origins, you can read these blog posts:
What Is the Plain Reading of Scripture? and Part 2
Genesis: the Polemic and Part 2 and Part 3
The Genesis Myth and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Thanks for reading! Let’s stand on the Word of God and reject the humanist origins myth for what it is—a way to pull people from the Truth.

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Jehoash, King of Israel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 17, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

By this point in the monarchy of Israel and Judah, we’re up to the 20th king between the two kingdoms. The author of the books of 1 and 2 Kings probably feels a little repetitive by now – oh look, another evil king of Israel! While there have been some good kings in Judah, all of them in Israel have been wicked. At first, it looks like the author literally devotes only 4 verses to the 16-year reign of King Jehoash of Israel:

In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them. As for the other events of the reign of Jehoash, all he did and his achievements, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Jehoash rested with his ancestors, and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
- 2 Kings 13:10-13

In those few verses, we see that he became king, he reigned in evil ways by continuing the idolatry of those who came before him, other stuff is written in another book, and then he died and his son succeeded him. But when we continue reading the rest of 2 Kings 13 and even into 2 Kings 14 (which we'll look at next week), we learn more about Jehoash and his reign.

The prophet Elisha was suffering from an illness that would soon kill him, so King Jehoash went to visit him. Why did an evil king go to visit a prophet of God? Perhaps King Jehoash did have a little faith in God, or at least thought this would be an encounter that would help him and his kingdom. God can and will use even a small step in the right direction to help us see His working in our lives.

Elisha then leads King Jehoash through a series of things that may sound rather odd with a bow and arrows. When they first begin this encounter, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands, which signifies that there will be spiritual symbolism to the acts that follow.

Elisha instructs, and King Jehoash follows his instructions, to open the window and shoot an arrow out it. Elisha proclaims that is God’s victory for Israel over the Arameans. Israel had been at war with the Arameans for quite some time, so that was great news to King Jehoash.

Next, Elisha tells the king to take the arrows and strike the ground with them. King Jehoash does so, but only 3 times. Elisha then tells him he should have kept striking the ground at least 5 or 6 times. Since he stopped striking the ground with the arrows, Israel would only defeat Aram 3 times. And then, Elisha died and was buried.

But God wasn’t done with Elisha yet! We see one last miracle performed through him. “Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet” (2 Kings 13:21). God is clearly the God of the living, and He was displaying His power for King Jehoash and the nation of Israel in this act. This was another sign that what God had prophesied through Elisa to King Jehoash about victory over the Arameans would come true. Even though Israel was currently disobeying God through practicing idolatry (just as the raider was evil), God would give them another opportunity to live and obey Him.

Next in this chapter, we see some historical notes about the Arameans. While they were not part of God’s chosen people in Israel or Judah, God still protected them to some extent. God used Hazael King of Aram to oppress Israel for many years to show Israel the consequences of their disobedience to Him. Even though Israel kept disobeying God’s commandments, because of the covenant God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God did not banish Israel from His presence.

When the Aramean king Hazael died, his son Ben-Hadad succeeded him as king. Then Elisha’s prophecy was fulfilled: “Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-Hadad son of Hazael the towns he had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Three times Jehoash defeated him, and so he recovered the Israelite towns” (2 Kings 13:25).

Even though Israel was continually disobedient to God, God still gave them another chance. King Jehoash took a small step toward God by visiting Elisha when he was ill and about to die, so God blessed that by giving Israel a small victory over their oppressors, the Arameans.

Israel had been turning away from God and actively rebelling against Him for many generations at this point, but one small step toward obedience to God was enough to receive God’s blessing in the life of the nation, at least through a few small military victories.

What small step toward God do you need to take in your life? No matter what you have done in your life or how much you have sinned, one small step toward God is enough for God to begin working on your heart and blessing you with His goodness in your life. That doesn’t mean that one small step will make everything wonderful and perfect for you, but all it takes is one step to begin your journey of following God. Take that step today!

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Be Fruitful and Multiply, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 14, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

After writing my previous post on being fruitful and multiplying in regards to Genesis 1:28, I sensed it needed further study and namely on the multiplication part. As I have mentioned, this verse is usually taught as “have lots of kids and fill the earth.” This is the same commandment given to Noah after the Flood. While this verse definitely does teach to have kids and procreate, there is so much more to it.

There are modern families who have taken this verse to the full extreme. The Duggar family is the classic example, with 19 natural born children (and each with a name starting with “J”). They are professing Christians, but something went wrong in that home. What “cancelled” them was allegations (which I understand to be true) of sexual abuse by one of the older kids. While each is held responsible for his own actions, one has to wonder how it went unnoticed and how there was an environment where this was a possibility. These issues did not stem from having so many kids but from something else.

As this is part of a series on what the Christian home is supposed to be in an American culture that is all about consumption, there is one thing that people on all sides have noticed. In the agrarian cultures, families had lots of kids because that meant working hands for the farms and animals. That was a productive home. But with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and technology, work went to a factory or business instead of the home and kids suddenly had nothing to do. As a result, families started having fewer kids. This is especially true when the mindset changed from “kids are an asset for life” to “kids are a liability, keeping us from our pleasure and consumption and enjoyment.” We no longer talk about “how many kids can we have?” but instead “how many kids can we afford?” Our view of what a “child” is has changed and it REALLY went downhill when abortion entered the scene.

But multiplying carries much more to it than just having children and multiplying people. When Jesus told the Parable of the Sower, He tied these two things together: fruit and multiplication. The three soils of the path, the rocks, and the weeds did not produce fruit. But the good soil did produce fruit, and that fruit was 30x, 60x, and 100x what was sowed. Fruit and multiplication go together. Last week, I emphasized on being fruitful – that we need to be productive and bearing fruit that will produce works, deeds, and attitudes that are becoming of God. If we are bearing such fruit, it multiplies.

One of the problems we have is men of God who have great visions and do great works but when they pass away, there are few who carry it on. Often the vision goes a different direction, which can be fine, but when that happens, it is due to loss of sight of what God is doing. When Henry Morris started the Institute of Creation Research, he had a vision to see highly qualified scientists trained and teaching on Biblical Creation. They have pretty well kept that vision after his passing. But when David Wilkerson started Times Square Church, he sought to simply preach the Word and forget all the social engineering and methods that seminaries and church builders are using. Yet after he passed, the church looks nothing like what Wilkerson started and doesn’t even preach the same message. The Salvation Army also lost the vision that William Booth had. Then they were Gospel first and help was second. Now they are primarily just a charity organization that hardly preaches the Gospel at all (though I know some still do). But things are not multiplying as they should be; they are instead “devolving” into something entirely different.

The Creation Truth Foundation saw a problem with how they were doing ministry. They would go to a church and arm and equip them then leave and they’d be on their own. So, what they did was create the “Cadre” program which was designed to train and equip pastors and church leaders on the issues with intense training for the purpose of multiplying the ministry and content and carrying it out. While I had studied origins for several years prior to going to the Cadre, it was at the Cadre when I got my commission to go, and it was there that the fire was lit. That is also when I started with Worldview Warriors in 2014. It was life changing. I learned little in terms of new content, but what I have been doing with Worldview Warriors and now as co-leader of the El Paso Creation Network, the vision the Creation Truth Foundation has multiplied with me. I am not officially part of them, but I am a product of their fruit.

Multiplication is not just about having kids. It is about sharing the faith so others can go out and do the same. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. Disciples are people who seek and walk after Jesus and then teach others to do the same. It is about multiplication. Instead, the modern evangelists in general have this idea of making converts and professions of faith that more often than not have no weight to them. We have lost the meaning of multiplication. Today, we think we are growing if we have more people in church, but we quit examining them to see if we are multiplying sheep or goats. Most are multiplying goats and goats are going to leave when the tests come. We need to be concerned about multiplying sheep instead, and that calls for proper instruction and proper evangelism using the full council of Scripture.

Finally, multiplication is not about our kingdom but about God’s kingdom. We need to be focused on multiplying God’s kingdom, which means His purposes, His will, His authority, and His plans. Now, don’t read what I am not saying. God is sovereign and He does indeed rule over everything. But there are ideas and teachings and even territories that are not submitting to God’s sovereign reign. Our job as ambassadors is go to these rebellious sectors and call for them to make peace with God before God’s judgment comes. He is simply delaying His judgment because there are some loyal citizens He wants to save before that happens. God never lost territory. He still rules over it all. But when we rebelled, we went from treasured vessels to things to be tossed out in the trash. We are called to bring the message of hope, restoration, and regeneration before the trash is taken out to be burned. Those who obey God will receive a great reward, but what if that reward included souls we have witnessed to? Let us go back and re-learn what being fruitful and multiplying truly means. Our American culture has departed from the truth for so long that the only way we can get back do the right thing is not to “right the ship” but to actually go backwards and reset back on the foundation God gave us from the start. That is for next week.

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Jehoahaz, King of Israel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 10, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Jehoahaz is the next king of Israel that we’ll take a look at. He was the son of King Jehu, and he took over the kingdom after his father died. Jehoahaz became king when King Joash was ruling in Judah, the same year that Joash began fixing up the temple.

Just like every other king of the northern kingdom of Israel, “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them” (2 Kings 13:2). Because of that continued disobedience to God, God allowed the Arameans to oppress Israel, both under King Hazael of Aram and then his son Ben-Hadad (2 Kings 13:3).

The oppression of the Arameans got so bad that King Jehoahaz cried out to God for relief (2 Kings 13:4). A few verses later, we read how bad it got – Israel was down to 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 soldiers (2 Kings 13:7). Back in the days of King Ahab, he could easily round up 2,000 chariots! God allowed to Arameans to basically cripple the military forces of Israel because of their continued disobedience. Jehoahaz was the 11th king of the northern kingdom, and not one of them had actually honored God and encouraged the nation to follow Him.

After King Jehoahaz cried out to God, we see in 2 Kings 13:5 that “The LORD provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes as they had before.” Who was this deliverer? We don’t know, and the text gives no indication. Perhaps it was someone from within Israel, perhaps a prophet of some sort, or perhaps it was someone from outside the nation. But at any rate, God heard the cries of Israel and delivered them from the oppression of the Arameans.

How did Israel respond to God’s deliverance? “But they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit; they continued in them. Also, the Asherah pole remained standing in Samaria” (2 Kings 13:6). They cried out to God, God delivered them, and they thanked Him by continuing to worship false gods, including Asherah.

We really don’t know anything else about Jehoahaz and his 17-year reign over the kingdom of Israel. His death was likely from old age, as 2 Kings 13:9 reports that “Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Jehoash his son succeeded him as king.”

King Jehoahaz’s reign has similarities with his father Jehu’s reign. King Jehu followed God in some aspects of his reign, but he also did not make a great effort to be obedient to God. He still allowed some idolatry to happen, though he did get rid of a large part of it by destroying the temple of Baal and all his prophets. King Jehoahaz did cry out to God for help, and God delivered the nation, but then Jehoahaz continued to allow the people to worship idols instead of the one true God.

The events of King Jehoahaz’s reign are also reminiscent of the time period of the Judges for the nation of Israel, before the era of the kings and before the kingdom was divided. Israel would go through a 5-step cycle in their relationship with God: sin, slavery, supplication, salvation, and silence. The people would sin by disobeying God (usually by worshiping false gods), then God would allow them to go into slavery and be oppressed by their enemies. When it got bad enough, the people would cry out to God to deliver them (supplication). God would deliver them (salvation), and then they would have a time of silence or peace until the cycle started all over again with sin after they got complacent.

However, in the time of the judges, the nation of Israel would often recognize God as their deliverer and turn back to Him for their time of silence. Under King Jehoahaz, Israel did not do that and instead continued to worship false gods. The difference is leadership. The judges were leaders of God who were obedient to what God commanded them, whereas King Jehoahaz committed idolatry like all the kings of the northern kingdom who went before him. He did not break the pattern established for the nation.

How have you seen God intervene in your life and provide some kind of deliverance for you? When God has done that, what is your reaction? Do you turn your life toward worshiping and praising the God who delivered you, or do you turn back to your sinful ways that likely caused the situation that God needed to deliver you from? God is always worthy of our praise and honor simply because of who He is, but He is especially worthy of it when He delivers us from difficult situations. Focus your life on praising God, no matter what you’re currently experiencing!

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Be Fruitful and Multiply, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 7, 2022 2 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about how man was given dominion over the earth, but there is a second part of the first commands given to man: to be fruitful and multiply. Most of the teachings I have heard on this issue is basically to procreate – to have lots of kids and fill the earth. This is indeed part of it; God made the earth to be inhabited, and He gave the earth so many resources that even secular scientists think we could easily manage 10 billion people on this planet. With better resource management, we could manage even more than that.

God’s command was to be fruitful and multiply. The multiply part is pretty straight forward, but as I have been going through the gospel of Luke in my personal studies and listening to the teachings of my church’s teaching elder in our men’s meetings, I now understand what being “fruitful” mean in a far deeper way than ever before.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the issue of the home being a place of production rather than what it has become – a place of entertainment and consumption. Because I have lived so far away from my circles for most of my life that hardly anyone would want to come visit me, I am used to going out to others. As a result of that among other things, my home has primarily been a place of consumption. Work was “out there.” School was often “out there.” Even ministry was “out there.” Yet despite that, my parents have always had the mindset of “How can I make this home a place where we can be hospitable and host people?” I have learned from that mentality. When my parents moved to Michigan, I stayed in El Paso and moved to an apartment. I see this apartment as being a temporary place (for how long is up to God) but I have always wanted to be able to host a Bible study. For so long, I’ve had to go to some other place. As of writing this post, I am on the queue to host our men’s meeting.

But the key thing here is: how are we using our resources for the Kingdom of God? That includes our homes. My parents would service the bus for Jesus Chapel School, which my former church hosted at their building. The pastor would never have thought about using his own home for such things. I’m not blaming him, but that is a severe problem we’ve had in the American home and the church – the compartmentalization of church life, home life, work life, etc., when as Christians, everything should be viewed with God and the church as primary. (Check out this post, this post, and this post for more on that idea.) As result of this compartmentalization, “home” is reduced to a place to just eat, sleep, and consume with entertainment.

But our commandment is to be fruitful. The Biblical view of the home was that it was to be a place of production where everyone was involved; it was not merely for survival, but all life revolved around the home. “Church” wasn’t just meeting at the Temple. It was to be done at home with the father being the priest of the home. Today, we don’t have that view. We see church as “that building where we meet.” Many will say, “The church is the people, not the building,” and they are correct to say that, but how many people thinking that will say that about their own home? How is my home being used as productivity? I am examining myself on how I can be more fruitful and more productive.

My elder told me directly that one of the ways I have been productive is by writing daily devotionals, blog posts, and books. Even though I knew that, I needed to hear it. He’s been blessed by them and has been using some of my material in his sermons. I’ve been blessed by his teachings, too, and this mini-series has been a fruit of that. We are feeding off each other, which is what the church is supposed to do.

Being fruitful means you are producing works that feed others for the purposes of the Kingdom. The greatest American problem today is that we no longer think in terms of production but in terms of consumption. We are not thinking about producing fruit others can enjoy but what we can eat from others. The original American dream was to be a place of productivity. Today, it is a place of consumption. A society consumed by consumption will literally eat itself to death. The Communists were right. They never would be able to beat us in an outright war, nor did they need to. They just needed to feed us little doses of consumption and communism and we’d fall from the tree on our own. And they have nearly succeeded. Why? Because we left the moorings of Scripture. If we had maintained a Biblical worldview as a nation, not just in morality but in how the home was to operate, we’d never have fallen for these tactics.

What the Industrial Revolution and Evolution/Communism have done together is remove the father from the home. Even if he is part of the family, he is at work most of the time, not at home. He doesn’t make the main decisions anymore because he’s not there. Moms don’t have anything to do after “cleaning the house” which is part of the job, but not the primary job of the Proverbs 31 wife, so they seek something else to do, too. To be honest, feminism is right about their objections on the status of the home. But because they don’t know God, their solutions are even worse than the problems. And kids are at school, effectively raised by anyone except mom and dad. Productivity is no longer a thing to be considered or grasped in the context of a home. Being fruitful, being productive is not meant to be just “out there” where ultimately we are actually producing for someone else’s home. The socialists constantly object to greedy CEOs, and there is a legitimate complaint there. But they want to throw the baby out with the bath water and promote communism without dealing with the primary issue: consumption instead of productivity. Now, we are to be able to enjoy the fruit of our own labor. A workman is worthy of his hire.

Finally, Jesus said that branches that do not bear fruit will be cut down and burned. There are many debates about whether that is talking about believers and unbelievers, but keep in mind that Jesus frequently used His parables to distinguish true and false believers. The true believer who abides in Christ will bear fruit. It will be natural. A branch attached to the vine is going to produce fruit. But if there is no fruit, then there are only two options: the branch is not actually attached to the vine, or there is something blocking the nutrients from getting to the branch and it must be pruned. God is not taking couch-potatoes to heaven with Him. He is not going to take those who just consume and try to ride the works of others to spend eternity with. He is taking those who showcase Himself, those who bear His fruit, and those who are productive for His purposes to Heaven. I am not preaching works-based salvation here at all. But the strongest evidence that you have actually been born again is that you will produce fruit that only a born-again believer can produce.

How are we being fruitful? How are we being productive? Some of us are being fruitful; some are not. Where are the areas in our lives where we are not being fruitful? What can be done about that? One thing for sure is that we need to go back to what God has established and stop trying to do all these “new” things. God set His pattern, and He expects us to follow it. Let us go back, remember what He established, and go after that.

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Do Romans and Job Support Evolution?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 6, 2022 1 comments

by Steve Risner

I’ve been walking us through some Scripture references that a theistic evolutionist told me supported his beliefs in evolution and deep time and were difficult if not impossible for creationists to rectify with their position. We looked at Genesis 1:11-12 and 24 (here) as well as 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4 (here) and found not only is there no support for the theistic evolutionist’s beliefs here but there is pretty good support for the Biblical creationist.

As I continue to review this list of Scriptures that is supposed to be supportive of deep time and universal common descent and bad for Biblical creationists, it becomes more and more disappointing to me. I was hoping for something that would at least be remotely interesting or a challenge. The only challenge I’ve run into, honestly, is how to connect these passages to the theistic evolutionist’s beliefs. It’s a stretch for most to say the least.

This week, I’ll be looking at two more passages together because they, like the previous posts, have a similar theme. Rather than write two blog posts on the same theme, I thought this might be easier for us all. Today we’ll talk about these two passages:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” - Romans 1:20
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” - Job 12:7-10

My assumption is that these passages are being used to show us that God wants us to ask nature about Him and allow it to tell us things about the nature of God. While I believe we can glean a great deal from nature about our awesome Creator, I don’t believe either of these passages can be used this way if we care about context and proper application. This is strikingly reminiscent of the previous posts on this topic. Context is generally ignored.

This verse from Romans is often used by Christians to explain to the unbeliever that he is without excuse for his unbelief. Atheists and other unbelievers will say they find no evidence for the existence of our Creator. But the reality is the evidence is all around us—creation itself is the evidence for our Creator. The universe is overflowing with an abundance of evidence for a Creator and, more specifically, the God who left us His written Word—the Bible. The complex and specific information found in each of our cells demands an unimaginably intelligent mind to have brought it about; any other explanation is na├»ve and silly. The fine tuning of the universe for us to live right here on this earth is another example. The sophistication and remarkable adaptive abilities of life and the earth itself are great examples. The amazing bodies we find in space and their breathtaking beauty… the list goes on and on.

I am always in awe of the world around me. I love looking at landscapes, animals, and plants whenever I travel. My children think I’m weird because I take note of interesting looking trees and even photograph them just because they look cool. Maybe I am weird, but I see the work of His hands all around me all the time and I take a minute to appreciate it. Human beings are certainly without excuse if they do not know in their hearts that they have a Creator. How this helps the evolutionist, I can’t say, and no other explanation was offered.

When taken in context, looking at the previous verses in Romans, we find that this verse is exactly what I’m saying it is—a statement by the Lord on how no man or woman has a reason to reject Him since they can see the evidence for Him all around the world. These verses are not saying we can know ALL there is to know about God by looking at nature. That’s obvious, I would hope. But we can at least see He is the Creator, He enjoys order, He has instituted laws that the universe operates by, and His power is eternally unlimited. In other words, by looking at the things we can see around us, we can understand some things about the invisible or the unseen. Paul is here exclaiming the awesome and magnificent power of Almighty God and how necessary it is for Him to have created with such eternal power.

If we look at Matthew 7:7-8 and consider it with this passage from Romans, we find that God doesn’t expect us to gather all we know of Him from nature. Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Here we see Jesus Himself telling us that if we ask God, He will reveal Himself to us. He doesn’t say, “Look at the universe and ask the stars how old they are. Talk to rocks and see what they’ll say about the origins of life.” We don’t need to do that. God Himself has revealed such things to us in His Word. Nature can add to our understanding, but it is far from the source of our understanding.

The bottom line with this passage is that if an unbeliever claims there is no God, they are willfully ignorant. There is no connection to universal common descent, deep time, or even science.

The passage in Job, they will say, is another example of God telling—even commanding—us to use science to explain things about God. While I think you can learn from nature quite a lot, I find His Word to be the most revealing and most easily understood communication from the Lord about who He is and what He’s done. But the major issue with using this passage as a source for truth at all is that Job is speaking here. This is simply a quote from a man who is trying to figure out why he is suffering so much and why is God allowing so much tragedy. He’s responding to a friend who made some claims that Job found so elementary and so obvious. He’s going to suggest that even the dumb animals can tell him better than this friend, and/or he’s saying God is the One responsible for all that happens—good or bad—in our lives. Either way, there is no way to connect this passage to the topic of origins. Since we’re just quoting Job speaking here, we can’t even say his words are true or wise. Job, a man, could be wrong. God’s response to him shows us that’s most likely the case in a great many things.

Here’s the deal with allowing our study of nature to trump the clear teaching of the Word of God: science is the study of the world around us. We can learn a great deal of things from these studies. We can learn how electricity works, how atoms work, how to clean a grease stain, how to build a sturdy structure, how to find water, how to build an internal combustion engine, etc. We can learn a lot from studying the world around us. However, we’re not talking about science in its true sense when we’re discussing origins. Origins is a worldview topic. Science cannot tell you where the earth came from; it’s impossible. Science cannot tell you when the world was formed; it’s impossible. Science cannot tell us how or where the first life forms existed on earth; there is no way to determine this. These are all things we will believe based on our worldview.

The fact is that what we “know” today because of science will change tomorrow. What we think is right at the moment will likely change in the future. What evolutionists like to do is say “science” when they mean universal common descent or some other unfounded, unprovable imagining. They want universal common descent and deep time to be settled and unquestionable so they can act like you’re a fool or some sort of “science denier” if you want to think for yourself. But this isn’t true at all. They believe whatever it is that they believe at the moment, and they think you’re a moron for disagreeing with them because, you know, “all scientists agree” but won’t bat an eye when 10 years down the road they think something completely different. They then believe that someone is some sort of idiot because a person believes what the evolutionist believed 10 years ago. It’s a rather odd thing to watch. But the currently popular belief on origins from a secular standpoint is hardly a thing I would put my faith in. In fact, since I know what they believe now about origins will likely change in the future, I’m not sure what the point is. I rest on God’s unfailing and unchanging Word. It tells us things like how the world was created, how and when life was made, and a whole variety of other things that I find convincing and important.

All this is to say that neither of these passages confirms universal common descent or deep time. In fact, neither of these passages has any connection to the topic at all. Next time, we’ll look at more Scriptures that were told to me to be evidence from the Bible supporting universal common descent and deep time. So far, it’s been underwhelming.

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John 17:1-5

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 4, 2022 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

This is the start of John 17, so it’s a continuation of chapter 16, but just in these 6 verses we can see where Christ’s focus is in his ministry. Even when He’s talking about Himself, He’s really directing the focus onto the Father.

Jesus is drawing His strength to go through with whatever may come next from God (“Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”) This is like the old adage “help me help you,” but on a whole different level. Not only is the ask and return the act of help, but it’s glory. Yet, how did God glorify Jesus? He was sent through the flogging, bearing of the cross, death, and resurrection. However, as the prayer was answered, Jesus was able to glorify God because of all that He went through due to it being God’s will for mankind’s sake.

Also note here that Jesus didn’t ask for things to be easy. There was no quantifiable condition here at all, just “Whatever it is, Father, bless me with the strength to get through it so people know you love them.” Often, we can find ourselves asking to glorify God but only if it’s easy, painless, and we can stay in our pajamas. I’m just as guilty as the next person with this. It’s easier writing an article compared to talking to strangers face-to-face, and this world is definitely not making it any easier to sacrifice myself to glorify God in that way. But as we go through this chapter of John 17, we’ll see a few recurring themes, one of them being that Christ never takes His focus off of God.

One thing Christians might struggle with, especially when we account for doctrinal and traditional beliefs, is receiving eternal life. There are sects that follow a “works only” or a “works and faith” view on this, and then there are those who view it as “faith only.” Whenever possible in these situations, I look to the words of Jesus to know what to believe. Here, we see Jesus give the answer clearly as “knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ.” This is where I will always wonder why people will say the Bible is inerrant and infallible but they don’t believe Jesus Christ. More importantly, though, we need to also understand who gets eternal life from another perspective; Jesus also says that those who receive it are given to Christ by God. This implies a sovereign God, otherwise how could God give people to Christ as believers?

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” This should be the crux, the core, and the focus of every Christian ministry out there, whether you’re organized as a ministry or doing it solo. People like to make this difficult as if there’s a secret formula to follow what God wants us to do. Again, if we go back to the what Jesus said, we see this:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
-Matthew 28:19-20

So ultimately, it’s not difficult at all in the sense that it’s not some sort of secret. But it can be the most stressful experience you ever have, depending on where God is leading you. Yet, if you follow in Christ’s footsteps and continue to do His will, then you can be rest assured you will hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

I want to take a moment to also offer clarification on another common aspect that Christians can get tangled up on: what is God’s will for me?

We know Jesus came here to save us – to pay for our sins so we could have eternal life with Him and the Father for eternity. But for those of us who are fully human and not at all divine, there’s a simple formula to check whether you’re in God’s will or not:
1. Does the action, thought, etc. have the characteristics of God?
2. When praying about it, does the Spirit speak to you in a loving or a concerning way?
3. Is the action, thought, etc. supported by the Bible?

The first one might be hard to tell at first, especially if you’re new to the faith. But the more you read the Bible, the more you’ll understand just who God is. For example, it is not God’s will for you to kill or even talk down to someone, as that violates the 10 Commandments. It is a characteristic of God, though, to help someone in need or to defend someone who is being bullied.

WIth the second item, we need to look at the response we get from the Holy Spirit. If you struggle in discerning this, then I suggest speaking to a mature Christian like a pastor or mentor and continue reading the Bible. For me, this is reflected in whether I feel at peace about the circumstance or not. A good way of knowing if the Spirit is guiding you to something or not is looking at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-25.

The third item is probably one of the biggest ones because it’s also the most ambiguous. There can be times, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, where we have to start thinking more abstractly when situations are not specifically addressed in the Bible. This can also be a very dangerous thing since we can start inserting or taking out things that fit our narrative if we’re not careful. I recommend examining the circumstance under the lens of the Bible with at least one other person. This will help you have a more unbiased opinion of the matter.

In the next post of this series, we will go through more of the body of the chapter of John 17.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.