Believers’ Circumcise hearts and Jesus

The Domain for Truth

This is a thought about Jesus I had this week.


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Hittites, Canaanites, and Phoenicians

Salvageable

The world of western Asia and the Mediterranean basin was packed full of civilizations in ancient times. I have already written about Egypt and about the Minoan civilization on Crete. The latter might have produced the Philistine civilization that bordered upon Israel for many centuries. Further east in Mesopotamia were the cities of Sumer, one of the world’s earliest civilizations. One of the world’s first empires, the Akkadians, arose in northern Mesopotamia and conquered all the Sumerian cities. Later the Sumerians were displaced by Semites, who adopted the Sumerian system of writing (“cuneiform”) and other Sumerian traditions. Hammurabi, famous for codifying the laws of Babylon and publishing them to be read by Babylon’s cities, was Semitic. So was Abraham, who left the city of Ur in Mesopotamia and traveled to Canaan because of commands and promises that were given to Abraham by the Lord.

To the north of Mesopotamia, in…

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A tent and a building

Salvageable

For we know that ifthe tent that isour earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.For in this tentwe groan, longing toput on our heavenly dwelling,if indeed by putting it onwe may not be found naked.For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortalmay be swallowed up by life.He who has prepared us for this very thing is God,who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,forwe walk by faith, not by sight.Yes, we are of good courage, and wewould rather be away from the body and at home with…

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abnormally normal?

See, there's this thing called biology...

Two posts have caught my attention, first Night Wind’s, ”The World Doesn’t Want to Be Saved.” Precisely. Well done, well said. I enjoyed that Huxley quote at the end, about the sheer insanity of being a normal in a society that no one in their right mind would accept and adjust to.

So it is a bit amusing that Pastor Wilson wrote, “The Revolt of the Normals.” Hmm. Let me tell you, the normals are revolting, indeed. Not quite in the way Wilson imagines, but revolting for sure.

Do you know what I used to call the normals of the churchian world? The Beautiful People. It was not a compliment, I hated them, and sometimes I still do. What marks the beautiful people? Apathetic, complacent, devoid of empathy, self absorbed.

The kind of people who seem to believe the unregenerate are going to roast forever in hell, and yet…

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Madness

See, there's this thing called biology...

I used to be quite angry at God for leaving me behind on a penal colony for the criminally insane. People are quite unintelligent, usually mean spirited, and also insane, so it does little good to try to communicate with any of them.

God and I have since become good friends and so I no longer feel abandoned and left behind by Him. People however, are still incredibly unintelligent, mean spirited, insane, and it does little good to attempt to communicate with any of them.

If you’re offended by my words, you’re probably part of the problem.

I do prefer the company of dogs, or even cats. Birds, hamsters, even bugs. None of these creatures pretend to be so much more intelligent then the really are, and they are either kind and friendly or else they are purpose driven. They seldom suffer any mental health problems, except perhaps for birds…

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7 Questions Christians Should Think About and Ask Concerning Woke Claims

The Domain for Truth

7_questions_christians_should_think_about_and_ask_concerning_woke_claims

Given the New Left has made everything political in which there is no neutrality, and that include the personal (see The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self) I thought these seven questions mind  be helpful for believers to think about as social media, public education, entertainment and woke corporations swarms people to go with the flow of the trend of being politically woke.  I minister to young people in a very liberal part of the US, have done campus ministry even back when I was in the Marines, as a student and also an campus ministry adviser and I see this creep into among believers all the time which affects the individual’s sanctification.  

For this post I will list the seven questions and some explanation about the questions. 

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Bible Contradiction? Did God kill all the Egyptian cattle in the fifth plague?

The Domain for Truth

bible_contradiction_resolved_did_god_kill_all_the_egyptian_cattle_in_the_fifth_plague

For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Did God kill all the Egyptian cattle in the fifth plague?

Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction:

Yes, they were all killed.

In the fifth plague of Egypt (the plague of cattle) “all the cattle of Egypt died.”

behold, the hand of the Lord will come with a very severe plague on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel.”’” 5 And the Lord set a definite time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.” 6 So the…

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The Church during 2021: See if your church can help with India and Nepal With Second Covid Lockdown

The Domain for Truth

For this Sunday here’s what you can do: See if your church can help with India and Nepal With Second Covid Lockdown.

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Empathy, Courage, and Good Science?

See, there's this thing called biology...

So, I’m busy trying to speak the precise opposite into the world, the reverse of everything I see going on around me. I honestly just want to scream and tear my hair out when I hear religious leaders carrying on about the alleged ”sin of empathy” and the horrors of too much forgiveness. This is totally anti-christ. This violates everything Jesus taught us. Good grief, it’s vile.

Then I turn away and walk right into the secular world of Scientism. Gah, this is so against everything science teaches, this is like the epitome of all anti-science. There is nothing even resembling science to be found anywhere here. Ack!

My brain is a little bit attached to things making sense. I do have powerful logic component tucked in there somewhere. Check on your friends with personalities like mine peeps, we are not okay. The world has gone mad, mad I tell…

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Apologetics Sermon Illustration # 63: Why we warn against false teachers and a registered sex offender in a retreat for sex assault survivors

The Domain for Truth

GO TO PART 62

apologetics_sermon_illustration_why_we_warn_against_false_teachers_and_a_registered_sex_offender_in_a_retreat_for_sex_assault_survivorsPoint: Contrary to the spirit of our age, the New Testament has a lot to say about false teaching and false teachers.  Believers are to be on the alert for them, to resist false doctrines , refute them, warn others about it and not to fellowship with false teachers.  Sometimes Christians today lack discernment and often will just let false teachers go because they use Christian vocabulary with different meanings; that is, false teachers have a pass among some Christians because their false teachings are “sprinkled” with a little bit of Christianese even though the true meaning of their contents are not Christian at all.  It might be appropriate to get the idea across that Christians must be aware of false teachers (be it in the form of a cult leader, compromiser, Liberal or secularists) with the following illustration.

Picture: I saw a Canadian news article…

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– The Churchless Christian –

His Eternal Word

cropped-rose-4.gifPsalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’”.

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching”

__________

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we must have our names on a church membership roll to be saved. However, that doesn’t mean that joining with other believers in a local church is not vital to our spiritual growth. Gathering regularly for worship and instruction encourages love for others, good works, and mutual accountability (Hebrews 10:24-25). I read an article some time ago that likened the Christian without a church to:

(1) A student who won’t go to school; (2) A soldier without…

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Thomas the Brave

Jesus began his teaching and healing ministry in Judea but because of opposition from the Jewish leaders he moved to Galilee to continue his work. But he still had ties to Judea and he was asked to return there.

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” (John 11:1-3)

Bethany was near Jerusalem, the headquarters of those who wanted to kill Jesus. When he announced his intention to go there, his disciples objected.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” (John 11:7,8)

One of them responded differently.

Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16)

All of the disciples believed Jesus would be killed if he returned to Judea. All except Thomas urged him not to go. Thomas was prepared to go with him and die with him. He showed a degree of courage that the others lacked.

Thomas continued to express courage. After Pentecost he went to India preaching the gospel and was martyred there. He has always been honored for his bravery.

Actually that last statement isn’t true. It should be, but something happened that overshadowed his courage. After his resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:24,25)

Because he doubted what he was told he in commonly known as “doubting Thomas”. Even those who never read the Bible are familiar with this phrase. Most people know him as a doubter; very few are aware of his bravery.

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

The popular attitude toward Thomas is an illustration of the truth of this statement. We tend to focus on the one time he doubted and overlook his lifetime of courage. This will not always be the case. When God finally judges all of us Thomas will be honored as Thomas the Brave rather than being dismissed as doubting Thomas.

Cultural Fault Lines?

See, there's this thing called biology...

Night Wind did a post called,‘Generations and Cultural Fault Lines,” and a study by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University is mentioned. It speaks of a shift in core values along generational lines, including things like no longer valuing traditional families and faith.

I think what I liked about Night Wind’s piece is that it expresses some of my same frustrations, not so much with the Left……. but with the Right. We simply cannot raise children (or let the entertainment system raise them) and then complain about how they seem to have no core values! Night Wind says in part, ”I’m sorry if I’ve run out of patience with the Political Right. I’ve grown tired of listening to Conservatives carryon….”

Me too! Little spat broke out on Twitter about ”participation trophies,” and someone mentioned, ”we were just little kids, you were the one’s who wanted all the…

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– Being Found Faithful –

His Eternal Word

cropped-rose-4.gif1 Corinthians 4:2, “It is required in stewards that one be found faithful”
____________

What comes to your mind when you hear the word faithful? Webster defines the word as being steadfast in affection or allegiance. Loyal or firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty.  Being resolute which implies a firm determination to adhere to a cause or purpose? Many people would say they are faithful to their partner in marriage or they are faithful in sticking to a diet plan or exercise program. But what about our faithfulness to our Lord and His ministry? Are we faithful in this area as we are in other areas of our life?

It’s sad and true that many believers in Christ profess to be faithful; however, there are varying opinions about what actually constitutes faithfulness to them. There are those who think if they attend at least one church…

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How To Read the Bible

See, there's this thing called biology...

Anyway you want! Read it while hanging upside down off the bed and eating cheese puffs. Go on line, find a voice that is pleasing to you, and have it read to you like a bed time story. Doesn’t really matter how you go about it, as long as you are taking it in, like regularly putting gas in your car or checking the oil.

My parents were atheists, the Bible was absolutely forbidden, so naturally I read it from cover to cover in as many versions as I could get my hands on. When I was 3 my grandmother taught me how to read and there was some concern over whether or not I should actually learn on account of the fact that there were things in the world that could influence me if I knew what they said. I had no idea what a Bible even was, but…

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Are you a CINO?

If you read many political discussions you may have read the terms DINO and RINO. They stand for Democrat in Name Only and Republican in Name Only. They describe those who are members of a political party but who don’t really promote the things that party stands for. In the long run it doesn’t really matter whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a DINO, or a RINO. One day Jesus Christ will return and set up his kingdom and rule the entire world. All of our present governments and political parties will be eliminated. But it will make a big difference whether or not you are a CINO.

CINO stands for Christian in Name Only. We are all sinners and deserve nothing but eternal condemnation in Hell. Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to atone for our sins.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)

Anyone who turns from his sin and receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior will be forgiven.

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13)

There is large body of people in the world who have taken this step and are forgiven. But there is another large body who believe they are Christians but have not really put their faith in Jesus. They are CINOs. There was a time when I was a member of this group.

As early as I can remember I have gone to Sunday school and church. Unfortunately I attended a church that wasn’t always Biblical in its teaching. I don’t recall that anyone in that church explained the way of salvation to me. They emphasized the need to be baptized and join the church. When I was 14 years old I took this step. After being baptized I believed that I was a Christian, but in fact I was only a CINO.

God didn’t allow me to go on in this condition for very long. I learned of a radio program called Back to the Bible which taught the Bible accurately and as a result of listening to program I heard the gospel and became a real Christian.

People become CINOs for many reasons. Some are baptized when they are infants and think that this act makes them Christians. Sometimes someone who attends a church that actually preaches the gospel will go forward in response to a public invitation and believe that this saves him. I have even heard of people who were ordained and serving as pastors who realized that they were not saved. The Bible says that we should examine ourselves to make sure our salvation is real.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

If you are unsure whether you are a Christian or only a CINO here is a site that may help you to examine yourself and determine your true spiritual condition.

Through the Narrow: Life is Short, Eternity is Forever – By Tami Dykes

Tulips & Honey

Life Is Short, Eternity Is Forever

While waiting in the E.R. my youngest brother says to me, “Tami, I’m dying.” This was already understood by the whole family but he had never said those words before.  After a few seconds, I broke the silence with, “Well, we are all dying, none of us get out of this life alive.” I know that probably sounded insensitive but it was true. But I also desperately wanted my brother to think deep and hard about the statements we were both making. I then asked him if he got right with God and repented of his sins. Our conversation pretty much fizzled out after he said, “Yes, I did. “I so needed him to understand that he did need to repent for the sin in his life, he wasn’t innocent, noneof us are. The conversation was awkward, to say the least, but awkward was the…

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A soft answer or a harsh word

People are often angry at us. Sometime they have a good reason; sometimes they don’t. It is important that we respond to the anger in the right way.

A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
(Proverbs 15:1)

We can respond with a soft answer or with a harsh word. The Bible tells of two men who responded in each of these ways.

The first was Gideon. God empowered him to drive out the Midianites who had invaded Israel. After he had done this the men of Ephraim, another tribe, were angry with him.

Then the men of Ephraim said to him, “What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?” And they accused him fiercely. 

And he said to them, “What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the grape harvest of Abiezer? God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. What have I been able to do in comparison with you?” 

Then their anger against him subsided when he said this. (Judges 8:1-3)

Gideon gave a soft answer and pointeed out that they had helped by capturing two of the Midianite leaders. This dissipated their anger at him.

Jephthah faced a similar situation but responded in a completely different way. He defeated the Ammonites who were trying to invade Israel. The Ephraimites were angry with him just as they had been with Gideon.

The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire.” (Judges 12:1)

(I wonder why the Ephraimites waited for someone to invite them to join in the fight. It seems to me that they could have simply gathered their forces and taken action against the enemy. I sometimes feel they were more interested in quarreling with their fellow Israelites than defending Israel from its enemies.)

Jephthah didn’t respond the way Gideon did.

And Jephthah said to them, “I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” 

Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh.” 

And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan.

At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell. (Judges 12:2-5)

Jephthah’s response led to a civil way in which 42,000 Ephraimites were killed. Earlier he had defeated the Ammonites but we are not told how many of them were killed. It is possible that he killed more Israelites than Ammonites.

When others are angry at us it is natural for us to respond with anger. Christians have the Holy Spirit in us. Our response should be supernatural, not natural.

Answers for Seekers

Bucket lists

A lot of people have what they call a bucket list, a list of things they want to accomplish during their lives. If you are a Christian you don’t need to make a bucket list; God has already made one for you.

The Bible tells us that we are saved by God’s grace and not by anything we do.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

We are not saved by our works but we are saved to do the work that God has assigned us.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

In other words, God has prepared for each of us a bucket list of things that he wants us to accomplish during our life.

There have been many times when I have failed to do the work that God has given to me, and I am certain that that is true of others. We need to ask ourselves whether our failure prevents God from accomplishing the work he meant to do through us. The answer to that question is found in the book of Esther. God allowed Esther to become queen of Persia. When an official named Haman plotted to destroy the Jews Esther’s cousin Mordecai told Esther she needed to go to the king and ask for his help. When she expressed fear about doing this, here was what Mordecai said to her.

Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:13,14)

If we fail to do what God wants us to do, that work will be done by someone else, but we will suffer for our failure to obey. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes what that suffering will consist of.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it.

Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 

If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Our salvation is the result of God’s grace and not the result of anything we do. If we are not faithful in service we won’t lose our salvation, but we will lose the reward we could have gotten.

Deathbed salvation

Mr. and Mrs. Brown were faithful members of their church and the taught their sons, Harry and Tom, to be faithful too. When the sons grew up Harry rejected his parents’ teaching and stopped attending church. Tom continued to be active in church.

The time came when Harry was about to die. He realized that he was not ready and finally repented of his sins and put his faith in Jesus Christ. His life had been wasted because he had lived for his own pleasure but in the end he was saved.

Tom also reached the end of his life. Looking back he realized that he had tried to live a Christian life but in fact he was not a Christian because he had not repented and believed in Christ. Near the end of his life he finally took this step. His life had been wasted because he had trusted in his church and his service to it rather than in Christ but in the end he was saved.

When we think of deathbed salvation we generally think of someone like Harry rather then Tom. The Bible gives us an example of such salvation. One of the criminals who was crucified with Christ repented and was told that he would be in Paradise that very day. We often forget that all people, regardless of how good a life the live, fall short of God’s standards and need to be saved.

There was a time when I was on the way to ending up as Tom did. I had gone to Sunday school as long as I can remember. When I was 14 years old I got baptized and became a member of my church. I was active in the church and at one time seriously considered becoming a preacher. The only thing wrong was that the church was liberal in its theology and on one there had ever told me how to be saved.

God didn’t wait until I was on my deathbed to save me. About two years after I joined the church I began listening to a radio program called Back to the Bible and through it a learned the true way of salvation.

Someone who lives a life contrary to the Bible doesn’t need to wonder whether he is saved or not. If he thinks about the subject at all he will know he isn’t. But it is possible for someone to live a life that is outwardly righteous and not really be saved. The Bible warns us in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” Satan uses many tricks to keep people from being saved; one is to convince us we are already saved. Examine yourselves to make sure you are not falling for this trick.

Answers for Seekers

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Squid's Cup of Tea

seeking shalom through wrestling well

ApoloJedi

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sixdaysblog

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)

My Rainy, Windy Life

Life is not mundane.

His Eternal Word

Psalm 119:89,"Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven"

Tulips & Honey

Christian, wife, mom, homeschooler, podcaster

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