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School of Practical Christianity Update

I have had a few positive responses for the 6 week School of Practical Christianity. If you do not mind coming to a small class, we will go for it.

The first class will be 2:00-4:00 P.M. Saturday January 11, 2014 in my home at 114 S. Howard St. Moscow, ID.

The first hour will be on where we are in Jesus Christ.
The second hour will be on Walking in the Light

Please email me if you plan on attending the 6 week course: jimwilson27@frontier.com

Peer Pressure 2

There is another type of peer pressure. It is much heavier than the type I mentioned in the last post. It is tradition.

Religious tradition has hundreds of years of pressure. It could be religious, or family, or national. The whole culture may be into this tradition. The Jewish culture in the present day is more tradition than it is theological. Jews could be atheists but very into the tradition.

It was the same in the time of Jesus. The traditions were hundreds of years old. It is the nature of tradition to gradually grow away from the truth that started the tradition. The tradition is the new truth. Jesus both bucked the tradition but taught against it,

“He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.’ And he continued, ‘You…

Peer Presure

There are several types of peer pressure – some of it neutral; most of it bad.

Neutral – Clothing. Styles change from country to country and from generation to generation. People dress like other people dress. This is not bad unless it is disobedient to parents or sexy. We know this from teaching in I Corinthians 9:19-23,

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

This id…

Throw It Off

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

We can focus on the “sin that so easily entangles” and get more mired down or we can focus on the command, “throw off everything.” This is something we do at the start of this distance race. We are not to discard them during the race.

Although “sin easily entangles”, it is also easy to throw it off. Do it.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Persona

There is some difference between a person's persona and his personality. His persona is what he wishes other people will think he is. His personality is what he really is. We all have a persona. It may be mild or wild but it is not real. It may be innocent imagination or it could be hypocrisy. The question is: “Are we more concerned about what people think of us or what God knows about us?” Do we get upset when people at church find out how we act at home. Are we more upset about how we act or that people know how we act? If there is a difference, fix it.

Impatience

The last 24 hours I have been thinking about impatience and anger. You may know most of the scripture I am going to quote you. I trust that they will hit you differently from something you know in your head.

As you look at each verse ask yourself the question, “Is this verse true or false?” Make yourself answer the question. If you answer “True”, thank God from your heart for this true statement and then thank God all day long for this truth. The result will be that this truth will end up in your heart. It will not be just information in your head.

My first verse is a rhetorical question. “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” He is not wanting to know how to sin. It is true. Thank God! This will become a part of you.

Sin does not travel in singles. Where there is one sin there are others close attached. When one sin happens another is close behind.

“But now you must put them all away, anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth” (Colossians 3:8). These si…

Forgiveness

There is in practice in our society an event called an apology. Culturally, it is accepted in polite society. However, it is not a biblical word or concept. We read it in Matthew.

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (Matthew 18:15)

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 4:23-24)

In both cases reconciliation is the object. We assume it includes an apology. What is included is rebuke and forgiveness. We see this in several places in the New Testament.

The first is Luke 17:3-4, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him.”

Notice…

Love

There is, in this world, very much erotic love. Some of it is in the will of God but the overwhelming majority of it is in sin, contrary to the moral law of God. However, we think if it feels good, it must be good.

There is, also in the world, very much friendship love. It is also pleasant so we think it is also good. However, in II Timothy 3 it is speaking of friendship of money and themselves. This is a very evil love.

These first two types of love occur in marriage. They also occur in Christian marriage. Because our Christian wife is our best friend and because of our erotic attraction to her, we think our love for her is Christian love. It is not. It is two forms of humanistic love. These two types of love happen but they are not Christian love.

What is the difference?

Love is patient. If I am not patient, I am not loving. Regardless how much I insist that I love my wife if I am impatient with her I am not loving her.

Love is kind. If I am ever unkind to my wife I do not love …

Books

You may know that I have been giving, selling and loaning books for 65 years. You may also know that I read books. You may not know that I very seldom read books in the daytime. Since reading was a pleasure, I did not think that working time should be used for pleasure. So I read in bed. That shortened my reading time because I would fall asleep while reading. Even with this abbreviated reading time I got through a lot of books. I am 86 years old, that means I had many bed time readings. Today however, I got into my recliner with six books (I read more than one at a time). All of these books are very different from each other and very good. They are

1. The Bible (Acts 7-8)
2. Strunk & White: The Elements of Style (After sixty years of writing I thought I should learn how to write)
3. The Curate's Awakening, a novel by George MacDonald. The story of an Anglican Clergyman who was not a saved man. I had read it 25 years ago.
4. The Death of a Guru, the autobiography of Rabi R. …

Teaching 3: The “How” of Teaching

“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)

Notice “proclamation”, “admonishing”, “teaching”, “everyone”, and “with all wisdom.”

This kind of teaching is not “iffy” teaching. It is authoritative. Again the object is to “present everyone perfect in Christ.”

In the Lord Jesus Christ

Jim Wilson

Effective Teaching 2: The Content of Teaching

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

"Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." (Ephesians 3:8)

“For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6)

This is what we are to teach. Glorious riches

School of Practical Christianity

For the Saints in Moscow and Pullman

How many of you think in terms of the following scriptures, or how many would like to think this way?

“You must aim to be saintly and righteous, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle.” (I Timothy 6:12)

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12)

“Not that I have obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)

“Do everything without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14)

“Love one another deeply.” (I Peter 1:22)

“But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy in all you do.’” (2 Timothy 3:16)


We are th…

Does This Describe You?

Does Psalm 112 Describe you?

Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gn…

Effective Teaching 1

The next few posts will be on effective teaching.

First, pay attention to the commands.

“...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

He does not say “teaching them everything I have commanded you.” We are not teaching the commands; we are to teach obedience to the commands.

We may not know how to teach obedience; we do know how to teach information. We can grade that. We cannot grade obedience. So our Secondary Schools, catechisms, Bible schools, Seminaries, sound churches teach the commands.

Teaching obedience means teaching the heart. Teaching commands means teaching the head. Head commands might get will-power obedience, or legalism, or rebellion. It is not the same as heart obedience. Heart obedience is grace obedience.

Closed Christian 4: Denominations

I have mentioned several kinds of closed Christians. Some of them are hard to recognize because they have been around so long we think they are normal. This kind is in denominations. Even if we accept differences we can still be closed. The differences may be

in church government
in systematic theology
in holiness
in eschatology
in baptism
in form of worship
in ethnicity
in language
in communion
and any combination of the above.

Even if the differences are okay, the way we hold to our distinctives is not ok! The way we hold on to them makes us closed Christians. Read and meditate on all of Romans 14 and I Corinthians 1:10-12, I Corinthians 3:1-4, and I Corinthians 11:18-19. The last three are posted below.

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s househol…

Closed Christian 3: Men Followers

This group can be small churches or mega churches. Because of this they do not seem to be closed. Their superiority is not in doctrine but in personality. They are Christians who follow one man. He may be right in his teaching. The followers may also hold to the truth, not because Jesus is the Truth but because the teacher said it was the truth. This is very dangerous. The teacher could add something false and the followers would buy it because he said it.

Many years ago I was visiting a new Presbyterian Church in Omaha. The congregation, not big, was sitting on folding chairs. The pastor, a young man, had previously been a campus pastor in Iowa. His text, I think, was Matthew 18:6, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

He was liberal in his theology so I wondered what he was going to say about the text. He preached for a while and finally g…

Christian 2: Small Groups

Small groups can be a wonderful means of fellowship. They can be a great means of building each other up in the faith, increasing unity. They can be a better means of studying and understanding the scriptures. They can be one with other small groups.

However, they can also be a “closed” group of “us four and no more.” They are superior and exclusive. This is sin.

Closed Christian 1: Individual

The extreme “closed” Christian is the one who does not go to church of any kind because the churches are all “wrong.”

The second extreme “closed” Christian does not go to church because most of them are “wrong.”

The third extreme “closed” Christian does not go to church because the people in the church are not Godly. They are gossips, etc.

The fourth does not go to church because it is judgmental.

The fifth does not go to church because it is held on Sunday Morning.

All of these Christians are, in themselves, extremely judgmental and proud. They are isolated Christians. They are part of the body but acting like they are not part of the body. They are unbiblical.

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1 NKJV)

The isolated Christian is an anomaly.

“Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop be…

An Open Letter to Closed Christians

This is an “open” letter to, or about, “closed” Christians. There are many kinds of “closed” Christians so there might be more than one “open” letter. One of the difficulties in this type of writing is that many “closed” Christians are so “closed” that they do not receive letters.

First, I will define the minimum of truth that defines a Christian.

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.” (I Corinthians 15:1-5)

Second, I will define the response to this truth. There are several works that are used in this respon…

Voluntary Ignorance

The Bible has many statements that describe unbelievers. Here are a few:

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (I Corinthians 2:14)

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Corinthians 4:4)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19)


All of this is inexcusable. It is understandable, but not excusable. The above statements are obviously true of all non-Christians of whatever description. They do not explain the ignora…

Sin & Sinners

The Old Testament is a history of sin.

The cause: Adam and Eve.
The history: Genesis 1:6.

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5)


430 years in Egypt
40 years in the desert
400 years of Judges “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
(Judges 21:25)
Israel, the Northern Kingdom, 9 dynasties, 200 years of kings, all of them evil
Judah, another hundred years of increasing evil
From Malachi to Jesus, another 400 years of sin

Sin defined:

“And where there is no law there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15b).

“But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (I John 3:4).


Sin is ubiquitous.

“As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even on…

Peace Treaties

William Jennings Bryan, about 100 years ago, was Secretary of State of the United States. He was a great orator and a committed Christian. He was a great leader in the abolition of war and for arbitration.

Between 1913 and 1914 he signed twenty-six treaties of peace with foreign nations. The first World War began in August 1914.

At present there are attempts in Qatar for the U.S., Taliban, and Afghanistan to make peace. Hamas and Israel have not been at the peace table since 2008. North Korea and South Korea signed a truce, but not a peace treaty in 1953 (60 years ago). Shiites and Sunnis in several different countries are at war. Even if there is a treaty signed by governments, there are great movements, the press, internet, and religions that will override the treaties.

Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Th…

Truth

If you read something I have written previously, it is for one of two reasons:

1. I am too old to know that I have written it before.
2. I think you need the repetition.

Here goes a possible repetition. Over the years (more than 60 of them), I have heard the following nonsense:

“That is your belief. This is mine.”
“That is true for you, but not for me.”

This conversation can be about atheism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, homosexuality, and all kinds of religious beliefs or immoral practices.

One of the first of these remembered conversations was in the home of a family in Sasebo, Kyush. It was probably in October, 1950. It was with their college-age daughter, Suziko. We had been talking about the Daiutsu in Kamikura (idol Buddha). We were seated on the tatami at a low table. We were talking about the time this giant idol was made and about the prayer wheels in front of the idol.

A prayer wheel is like a roulette wheel. It has many little posts on the perimeter of the wheel. The worsh…

Truth or Fiction

If we had to vote for truth or fiction we would probably vote for truth. If the vote were between truth and lies, there would be no question, we would vote for truth.

However, fiction and lies are not synonyms. They would be if the fiction was about real people. If the fiction is about imaginary people then they might be more truth in the novel than in the biography.

I am going to quote a few paragraphs by two great American women novelists of the 20th century.

“Pa Kurtz was slight and wiry, all muscle and bounce. His wife had avoirdupois to spare and her leisurely walk was what is known in common parlance as a waddle” (Star Across the Tracks, Bess Streeter Aldrich, copyright 1949, pg. 18). She is the heroine in the story.

“A door opened at the back of the hall, letting in light, and a woman came through it, a country lady of immense size and immense charm. She advanced with a stately swaying motion, shifting her great weight from foot to the other with patient humorous determinat…

Hearing the Word of God

The New Testament was written when there were no printing presses and literacy was not for everyone, so oral communication was the means. It included reading aloud, teaching, and preaching.

“After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.” (Colossians 4:16)

Oral communication requires listening, not just preaching. Listening is not just hearing; it is also paying attention. James expresses this several times.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)


“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

“And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:20)

“Let the wise listen and add …

Reading the Word of God

Read the Bible in 67 Days!

For a downloadable PDF version of this click here: ccmbooks.org

There are many Christians who read the Scriptures sporadically in time and place. In other words, they read the Scriptures “now and then” and “here and there.” They gravitate to their favorite chapters. If asked the last time they had read the New Testament through, they would not be sure they had ever read it through. Consequently there is an appalling ignorance of the God’s Word in the body of Christ, and a consequent lack of obedience. Listening to the best Bible teachers in the world will not make up for the personal ignorance of the individual.

There are several reasons why there is an unwillingness to read through the New Testament or the Bible: 1) “It is difficult to understand the “thees and thous.” 2) “I ran into the “begats.” 3) “When I don’t understand a verse, I stay with it, trying to understand it; so then I don’t progress.” 4) “It’s dull reading.” 5) “It’s too long; it would ta…

Studying the Bible: Contextual Study

There are many ways of studying the Bible. Two of these ways are:

• Topical
• Contextual

I am going to dwell on the contextual. It is very difficult to come up with a wrong theology or heresy when studying the Bible this way.

If I want to study one book of the Bible, I start by reading it through at one sitting. Tomorrow I read it through again. The next day the same. When I do this, it reinforces what I learned the first time, plus I learn something additional that I missed.

I do this every day for a week. The second week I read the first half of the book each day. The third week I read the first chapter every day.

When I am reading this first chapter I cannot possibly take it out of context. I know where it fits in the whole book.

This is called deductive contextual study. I start with the whole and bring it down to one verse.

If I want to have a group contextual study of the book, deduction is difficult, so I use induction. I start with verse one and continue verse by verse str…

An Atheist Buddhist

The following is the result of a conversation with and atheist Buddhist. From the conversation, I realized that we agreed on a few things:

• It is difficult to prove a positive.
• It is impossible to prove a negative.
• Believing something doesn’t make it true, e.g., believing the earth is round does not make it round, and believing the earth is flat does not make it flat.

As I understand it, there are three kinds of atheists. You can recognize them by what they say:

1. “I don’t believe in God.” “Don’t” modifies “believe.” It does not modify God. This kind of atheist is really saying, “There is a God in whom I do not believe.” He is not really an atheist.
2. “I believe there is no God.” Here, “no” modifies “God.” It is a belief statement. This man is really saying, “I have a positive belief in nothing (or “matter” or “naturalism” or Darwinism). That is a greater faith than I have.
3. “There is no God.”That is a dogmatic statement about a supposed “fact.” Once someone makes a statement…

Murder, Sin & the Law

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

A few years ago, a man was convicted of a double murder here in Moscow. He had killed his wife and the baby she was pregnant with. The baby was considered a human being who had been murdered. However, if a woman wishes to abort her baby, the baby is not considered a human being, and killing the baby is not considered murder. Apparently in this country we can have it both ways.

We cannot have it both ways with God. There are two kinds of laws of men (of all nations):

1. malum in se: This refers to behaviors which are evil in themselves.
2. malum prohibitum: This refers to something which is evil simply because it has been prohibited.

An example of the first is murder. All states have laws against murder. Making the law is not what makes the murder evil. It was already evil.

An example of the second is a 55 mph speed limit. Exc…

False Religions

All false religions require complete loyalty to their teachings. To leave their teachings is to be lost in hell. This keeps people in bondage. They are afraid to leave.

Islam says the Injil (the New Testament) was changed by Christians in the first five hundred years.

Mormonism says the Bible (the KJV version) is inspired when it is correctly translated. Any place where it differs from Mormonism is “incorrectly translated.” As a result, Mormons do not read the New Testament.

When they do read the Bible, faith is created in the idolaters, atheists, animists, Muslims, and Mormons, and they turn to the Father through the Son.

“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Romans 16:19)

Do not study these religions. Become an expert in the Truth. In your contact with these people, love them, befriend them, be kind to them. But do not let your conversations dwell on Mohammed and the Ko…

What God Thinks About Mormonism

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Joseph Smith either wrote the Book of Mormon himself, plagiarized it, or got it on the golden plates from an angel.

In any case, it is “a different gospel which is really no gospel at all” (vs. 6-7).

All false religions change three things:

1. Who Jesus is: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
2. The complete work of salvation on the cross: “And by that will, we have be…

What God Thinks of Animism

Animism is not the same as idolatry. It is the direct worship or placating of demons. It is found from Finland to New Guinea. It is in Africa, Latin America, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and Siberia.

Animism is found in thousands of languages which cannot speak to each other. There were no missionaries to propagate it. It is everywhere.

These demons are believed to dwell in rocks, trees, houses, mountains, and streams. They do not dwell in these created things, but they are real and dwell in people.

Jesus cast demons out of people.

“They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Co…

What God Thinks About Islam

We do not know that God thinks about Islam specifically, other than this. The religion is made up of one fifth of the world’s population, who have all believed the lie that the Koran is literally the word of God in Arabia. Jesus died for these people on the cross.

Here is what Islam believes about Jesus:

1. He was born of a virgin.
2. He is a prophet of God.
3. He is going to come again.

Here is what they do not believe:

1. He is the Son of God.
2. He died on a cross.
3. He rose from the dead.

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our ins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the …

Response to Comment on "Idolatry" Post

I received an anonymous post on my recent blog about idolatry. Here it is:

“What does the Bible say about those portraits of Jesus that are so common?”

The portraits were made after the Bible was written. What the Bible says has to cover everything that occurs after it was written.

“You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-16)

Jesus said in John 4:22-24, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

There is a physical description of Jesus in Matthew 19:2: “…

What God Thinks of Atheism

God gives much more revelation about people who worship false Gods than He does about atheists.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 14:1-2)

This is repeated in Psalm 53:1:

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.”

People are born with a tendency to sin:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—or before the law was given, sin was in the world.” (Romans 5:12-13)

People are born sinners, but they are not born fools; they have to become fools.

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they cl…

Idolatry

In this nation under the Constitution we have freedom of religion and freedom of expression. We are grateful for this freedom. This freedom allows all kinds of false religions and other expressions of evil, and they take advantage of it. Our nation is flooded with evil of all kinds, taught on TV, the internet, the universities, books, magazines, and churches. God, however, does not tolerate them. God is not under the Constitution. We should think as God thinks.

Here, from God’s revelation, is what He thinks about this evil. Today I will start with idolatry:

“You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky an…

The Holy Nation

Three months after the Exodus from Egypt, two million Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai. Before the Ten Commandments were given, God spoke to Moses (recorded in Exodus 19):

“‘Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the LORD has said.’”

After the commands were given (three times), the people had 40 years in the wilderness, several years of conquest, 400 years of judges, 400 hundred years of kings, and 600 years of captivity and occupation until the time of Christ. All of this, except a few years of light, was saturated with sin, gross wickedness. That was about a total of 1480 years. This was the holy nation.

There is a similar statement made to another group of chosen people.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of Go…

Goings On

Thank you for your prayers and gifts. We had 4,000 copies of How to Be Free From Bitterness inserted into “The Moscow-Pullman Daily News”. We now have a cartoon gospel tract titled “Are You a Good Person?” ready to be inserted. I would appreciate your comments on the strategy. Communication in print is not a substitute for personal contact. I am still personally involved with needy unbelievers and fouled-up believers almost daily here at my house.

At my childrenʼs request, I am working on my autobiography. Heather is typing it into a computer and Doug and Nancy are reading it as I produce a few pages at a time.

I have a slight problem: I have never kept a diary, and I am now 85 years old. If any of you knew me and Bessie in the past and remember events, dates, and/or have pictures, please send them to me. Hold down on the flattery. My memory is fairly good, but there are blank places.

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name;…

Respect & Love

You may know, or have guessed, that Bessie and I, in our fifty-eight and one-half years of marriage, have been called upon to help in marriages that need it. I think in most, but not all, we were of some help.

Often there has been a lack of understanding of Ephesians 5:18-33.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing …

The Heart: Forgiving from the Heart

Here is another post on the heart by Bessie, taken from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago.

By Bessie Wilson

In the eighteenth chapter of Matthew we have a remarkable story that Jesus told in answer to a question Peter asked. “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

We all know Jesus’ answer: “Not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Or the more traditional King James rendering, “until seventy times seven.” Regardless whether it is seventy-seven times or four hundred ninety times, it is obvious that Jesus put no limit on the times we are to forgive.

The story is remarkable in that it pictures the enormous debt which was canceled because of the mercy of the master. But it also pictures the minor debt which this same servant would not cancel towards a fellow servant. Not content with choking him, he also put him into prison. The other servants soon informed th…

The Heart: God’s Own Heart

Here is another post on the heart by Bessie, taken from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago.

By Bessie Wilson

When God rejected Saul as king over Israel, He said He would choose a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), and that man was David.

This has puzzled me, and perhaps it has puzzled you. Not only did David commit adultery with Bathsheba, but he attempted to cover it up by having Uriah the Hittite placed in battle where he could be killed. He compounded his sin of adultery by that of murder. We find ourselves saying, “Do you mean this is a man after God’s own heart?”

We must look at David at the time when God chose him to replace Saul. As a shepherd boy on leave from the sheep to carry provisions to his brothers in battle, David heard the challenge of Goliath. We read in 1 Samuel 17:26 that David’s response was, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?&q…

The Guarded Heart

Here is another post on the heart by Bessie, taken from a column entitled "The Heart" which was published in The Hammer (a CCM magazine) years ago.

By Bessie Wilson

Most of these articles on the heart have been written to stress the importance of keeping a right heart before God, because this is what our God is concerned about. We could continue this indefinitely because the Scriptures abound with such references. However, this month we shall consider His gracious provision for the “guarded” heart. He can make our heart a garrison.
This is found in a very familiar portion, Philippians 4:4-7:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In this passage we are told to do …