How Are We to Understand Satan’s Battle for the Christian Mind?

REASONABLE FAITH BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 FEARLESS-1 Why Me_
Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 100 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

In the 20th century alone, the United States saw the First World War or Great War, Russian Civil War, Second World War, as well as the Cold War, French Indochina War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghan War, the Iraq War, and the ongoing War on Terror. One would think that the United States was a warring nation, but almost all of the battles or wars were defensive or coming to the rescue of other nations. This world has seen tens of thousands of wars, most for selfish, sadistic reasons.

However, one ongoing battle has been playing itself out over the last 6,000 plus years that most do not consider. This is sad because the outcome for every human that has walked this planet could not be greater. There has been one line of attack after another engaged, with every kind of weapon thinkable. The opposition is not after land, wealth, or any minerals. No, these are simply after our minds. This sounds like a modern-day Hollywood movie, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Just who is this enemy after the minds of the human race?

Revelation 12:7-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels made war with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels waged war, but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS

The dragon had been strong enough to sweep away a third of the stars with a flick of his tail. But he was not strong enough to prevail over the angels led by Michael. The dragon was hurled down to the earth, and his angels with him. Thus, the stage expands from the skies to the land.

The big question is: When does this occur? Scripture suggests that Satan has been defeated (“booted out of heaven”) more than once. He appeared in the garden of Eden as the already fallen,[1] evil ancient serpent (Gen. 3:1–15). That original fall is everywhere assumed in Scripture. (Some but not all conservative Bible scholars think that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give information about the devil’s prehistoric fall.) Also when the apostles of Jesus successfully cast out evil spirits, Jesus reported, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Satan’s second defeat occurred during the days Jesus was on earth.

Unless one takes the events of this chapter to reflect a flashback to the church age, the present event seems to be even later, at a time when Christian martyrs are being made (v. 11). Further, it is at a time very shortly before the end of the age, when “he knows that his time is short” (v. 12). This, then, must be a final exclusion of the devil from access to God shortly before Christ’s return.

During this time, the dragon will unmask further his wicked character. He is first the one called the devil. Devil is Greek in origin. It means “slanderer” (see v. 10). Second, he is called Satan. Satan, in both Testaments, is Hebrew in origin and means “accuser” (see Job 1). Third, he is the one who leads the whole world astray. Of course, this began with Eve in the garden of Eden and has affected every human generation (2 Cor. 11:3). The serpent will continue deceiving right down to his bitter end.[2]

Are we affected by this battle? Yes, very much so, as it is like any other war, everyone is involved. As we learned from the above, Satan and his hundreds of millions of demon angels have had access to heaven since the beginning, the Fall of Adam and Eve. However, they also have had access to the earth as well, as Jude tells us “the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place [heaven].” (1:6) Satan’s original intent was to deceive Adam and Eve, having them rebel against their Creator, in which he was successful. He sought the worship of man, which rightly belonged to God. His next goal was to deceive other spirit creatures, i.e., angels and to have them join his battle. He accomplished this goal before the Flood of Noah, when he convinced an untold number of angels who became demons, to join him.

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These rebel angels had the power at one time to materialize in human form, just like those who had remained faithful to God, when they delivered messages for Him to Abraham, Moses, and others. (Gen. 18:1-2, 8, 20-22; 19:1-11; Josh. 5:13-15) The “proper dwelling” that Jude spoke of is Heaven, which these angels abandoned, to take on human form, and have relations that were contrary to nature with the “the daughters of man.” (Dan. 7:9-10) The Bible intimates that these rebel angels were stripped of their power to take on human form as you never hear of it taking place again after the Flood, only spirit possession thereafter. These disobedient angels are now “spirits in prison,” who have been thrown into “eternal chains under gloomy darkness [Tartarus],”[3] which is more of a condition of limited powers, not so much a place, like a maximum-security prison. (1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6)

The offspring of these unnatural relations between materialized angels and women were the Nephilim, giant humans of about 9.5 feet tall, who were half angel and half human, demigods. The world had become so corrupt and violent that this is why God brought the Flood. It is in this environment that Enoch courageously preached the message of condemnation, which he was commissioned to deliver to that evil world. We know “all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:23-24)

Satan’s third goal was to kill the long awaited seed, Jesus Christ, whose ransom sacrifice was to rescue humankind. (Matt. 20:28) This battle would determine the war because if Satan failed to prevent the seed from carrying out his mission, his fate was settled, and some of the issues he raised in the Garden of Eden were no longer viable.[4] Well, Satan failed, as Jesus offered himself as that ransom sacrifice, and ascended back to heaven, seated beside the Father. From that day, Satan has become like a vengeful bank robber, who is caught in the back with hostages, surrounded with no way out. He wants to take as many followers with him before he goes out in what he perceives to be a blaze of glory.

1 Peter 5:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

ADULTERY ADULTERY ADULTERY ADULTERY

The Beginning of the Battle for the Mind

We must go back to the beginning when this battle for the mind began with Adam and Eve. You will likely remember that God laid only one restriction upon the first human couple, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17, ESV) Adam must have went over this restriction with his new wife often and very well as Eve had it memorized and took it more serious than is usually taught. Satan, as the serpent hanging from the tree, was very clever and ingenious in how he indirectly said, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1) The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”―Genesis 3:2-3

Notice how Eve, not only responded with the correct answer, but she was also very emphatic, going beyond the actual command, saying that they were to not only not eat from the tree, but they were not to even touch it. “You can be sure that you will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “God knows that when you eat the fruit of that tree, you will know things you have never known before. You will be able to tell the difference between good and evil. You will be like God.” (Gen 3:4-5) The woman made two mistakes at that moment, (1) she did not consult her head, Adam, and (2) she entertained, cultivated this misleading, slanderous information. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. Afterward[5] she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.”–Genesis 3:6

Here Eve was deceived because she looked at the tree differently than she had before. Eve lost the battle for her mind based on this supposedly new set of “truths,” (1) she would not die, (2) the fruit of the tree would make her wise, (3) she would be like God, independent, able to determine for herself what is good and what is bad, setting her own standard. Now, this one tree looked no different from any of the other thousands of trees in the Garden of Eden. Yet Eve now says ‘the fruit of the tree looked good, it was pleasing to look at.’ The human eyes are the window to the human mind-heart, the seat of motivation. Eve, even though she was perfect, meaning that her natural desire was to do good, stumbled based on the principle that James gave his readers. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:13-16)

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1:13–16. People sometimes complain, God is tempting me. Two insights about God show that he is not responsible for evil. First, God cannot be tempted by evil. God has no weakness or tendency which temptation can exploit. God’s holy character puts him out of reach of temptation. Evil has no appeal for God. Evil is repulsive to God.

Second, God does not use evil to tempt anyone. True, God sometimes places us in situations in which we can compromise (Gen. 22:1). However, he does not do this with a view to encourage our sin but to build us up.

Verses 14–15 outline the beginnings of sin in the human heart. First, openness to temptation develops from weaknesses in the human heart. Dragged away and enticed comes from the language of fishing. The first word described the act of luring fish from their hiding places. The second word pictured the enticing of fish as with a juicy worm on a hook. Evil desire is the bait which hooks the human being. The Bible will not let us blame heredity, an evil environment, or wicked companions for sin. The blame rests squarely on the individual, on you and me.

Verse 15 uses the language of childbirth to trace the development of evil desire. A conception occurs when persons surrender their wills to lust. The conception produces a child named sin. When sin becomes full grown, it produces death.

Practically speaking, sin occurs whenever a person’s mind approves the performance of a sinful act. Whenever the person repeatedly approves the same sin, the result is death. This is death in all its terror—a total disintegration of the personality, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It leads to a separation from God lasting for eternity. It all begins when an individual yields his will to evil. No one can blame God for this. I do it to myself.

The act of temptation itself is not sinful. Sin develops only when an individual assents to the deed and agrees that it is good or desirable. Our evil nature and disobedient wills provide an easy avenue along which temptation can stroll. Sin develops only when we invite temptation to leave the avenue and visit with us personally.

Verses 14 and 15 do not mention the role of Satan in temptation. The Bible pictures Satan as active in temptation (1 Pet. 5:8–9), but James was not presenting a complete analysis of all temptation. He only wanted to show that God was not the cause of sin. He laid the blame for sin upon human weakness and disobedience.

Verse 16 provides a solemn warning against being deceived by wrong thinking concerning the source of sin. We may apply the words either to what has immediately preceded (vv. 13–15) or the verses which follow (vv. 17–18). If we apply the words to the preceding statements, the warning is against excusing ourselves from responsibility for sin. If we apply the words to what follows, the warning is against a wrong view of God’s character. Either interpretation provides truth.

Verses 2–12 urge us to endure the trials of life. Verses 13–16 urge us to resist temptations. We can ask God for the wisdom to know whether to endure the trial or to resist the temptation. God can supply both grace to endure and strength to resist. He uses our endurance and our resistance to give us spiritual maturity and growth in holiness and stamina.[6]

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We notice too that Satan was so crafty that he was able to deceive another perfect creature to go against the grain of her perfected leanings and violate God’s one prohibition, even though it had been so deeply ingrained in her. Eve was misled by misinformation and lies that were ingeniously presented in a very subtle, indirect way. Notice Paul’s words to the first-century Corinthian congregation, “But I am afraid lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds may be led astray from the sincerity and the purity of devotion to Christ.” Yes, Satan has misled Eve by his craftiness, leading her mind astray from what she knew to be true, getting her to accept the lie.–2 Corinthians 11:3.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE

Genesis 3:6 Excursion

Almost all translations translate Genesis 3:6 as follows.

Genesis 3:6

(ESV)

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6

(LEB)

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. And she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6

(ASV)

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6

(NASB)

6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

As you can see from these English translations, the plain sense of the text is, Adam was with her. This creates a real Bible difficulty. Before I delve into why, I will say that if almost all of the translations are in agreement, generally, this should be respected, and accepted. It is very unlikely that the very best Hebrew and Greek scholars of the past 100 years are all mistaken. Now, the difficulty arises because, if Eve and Adam are standing there before the tree of knowledge as the serpent spoke to Eve, it means that Adam, the head, was very much involved in this process. Think as you read this commentary below, which is trying to rationalize how the situation played out, with both being there.

MIRACLES MIRACLES MIRACLES MIRACLES

Eve “was indeed deceived,” but Adam “was not deceived.” Of course, this cannot be taken absolutely. It must mean something on this order: Adam was not deceived in the manner in which Eve was deceived. See Gen. 3:4–6. She listened directly to Satan; he did not. She sinned before he did. She was the leader. He was the follower. She led when she should have followed; that is, she led in the way of sin, when she should have followed the path of righteousness.[7]

The reason for the difficulty is this, they are taking it as though Adam and Eve are standing before the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the serpent, Satan, starts to speak to Eve. They carry on a conversation with Adam simply passively listening. Satan deceives Eve, but Adam is not deceived, yet he does not argue with the serpent, snatch the fruit from Eve, but rather just stands there letting Eve eat the forbidden fruit, knowing she will die. Really? This author just cannot see how that can rationally be the case. I would argue that Eve was alone before Adam joined her.

Was Adam standing beside Eve when she had the conversation with the serpent, was deceived and chose to rebel against God? The Bible shows no indication that this is the case. The translations above make it appear that way though, “she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

YodThe Hebrew verb translated as “grave” is in the imperfect waw consecutive,[8] as a result, it points to a temporal or logical sequence (usually called an “imperfect sequential”). Hence, a Bible translator or committee can translate the several occurrences of the waw, which tie together the chain of events in verse 6, with “and” as well as other transitional words, such as “subsequently,” “then,” “after that,” “afterward,” and “so.”

Genesis 3:6 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate, then she also gave some to her husband when with her, and he ate.

One has to ask themselves, would Adam have passively stood beside his wife Eve, listening to the conversation, between her and the serpent, as it spewed forth lies and malicious talk,[9] especially when Paul tells us explicitly that Adam was not deceived by the serpent? Are we to believe that Adam just stood there and remained silent? Are we to believe that Adam just chose not to interrupt the peddling of lies? Listen to the Bible scholar below, who thinks this is reasonable.

Genesis 3:6 makes it clear that he was “with her” during the interchange with the serpent, but he remained silent. He should have interrupted. He should have chased the serpent off. And when it comes down to it, when he is offered the fruit himself, he eats it–no questions asked, no protests given. Adam and Eve together rebelled against their Creator, so they both suffer the horrible consequences.[10]

The conversation with the serpent reveals that Adam had previously carried out his responsibilities as the head, informing her of the command not to eat from the tree. (Gen. 3:3) It seems far more likely that Satan, through the serpent ignored this headship, going after the newer person in the Garden of Eden, i.e., Eve, when she was alone. Eve later replied, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Let us assume that this author is simply mistaken, and it should be translated, “and she also gave some to her husband who was with her.” Adam does not need to be clear on the other side of the Garden; he could have just been out of hearing range, and still have been with her. Suppose he was across the field, visually in sight, but still, out of hearing range, it could still be said that he was with her. Husbands have you ever been in a huge store with your wife, like Wal-Mart, and at the same time you are on one side of the store (lawn-garden or automotive), and she is on the other side of the store. If you stated that you were with your wife at Wal-Mart, would that mean that you were necessarily standing right beside her? Let us say that an issue came up in the store, so you walked over. Now returning to the Garden of Eden, it was no small place (i.e., a city park); rather, it was about the size of a state park, possibly 18,000 acres of land and 3,000 acres of water. If Adam was in eyesight but out of hearing range, it could still be said that he was with her. She could have called him over after her transgression, at which point, he demonstrated that his love for her was greater than that of his Creator, and so he ate.

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Excursion On Who Was Deceived

1 Timothy 2:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and came to be in transgression.

14 but the woman was deceived

Genesis 3:13 has Eve herself stating, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Eve had been completely deceived by the serpent, consumed by the desire of the eyes, mind, and heart for the prospects that lay before her, having only to eat of the tree, so she transgressed the law of God. As was stated in the above, this tree of knowledge of good and evil looked no different from any other tree; it was a mere symbol of God’s sovereignty. However, look again at Eve’s words, after she succumbed to the serpent’s deception, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she ate”

Both Adam and Eve had a natural desire to do good. We in this imperfect age and flesh have a natural tendency to do bad. Listen to the words of one of the greatest Christians ever to walk this earth. “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:21-24) However, Paul knew the real source of his strength in weakness, as he goes on to answer his own question, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

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With Eve’s natural desire leaning toward good, it means that she really had to go against the grain, to violate her conscience. The human eye is a wonder of creation, but it is also a direct channel of communication to the mind, which in turn affects the emotions and actions, the figurative heart, the seat of motivation. Satan tempted Eve by having her look at a tree that was no different, giving it a whole other look with the desire of the eyes. He did the same thing with Jesus, trying to persuade him to sin by reaching out inappropriately for things Jesus saw with his eyes. (More on this in a moment, Lu 4:5-7) The apostle John warns us,

1 John 2:15-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

1 Timothy 2:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman having been thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.

Adam was not deceived; he simply chose that his love was greater for Eve than it was for his Creator. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14 is not shifting the blame on Eve; it is Adam, who was responsible for sin, old age and death entering the world of humankind. (Rom 5:12, 19; 1 Cor. 15:22) Unlike Eve, he was not deceived by the lie that they would not die, or that God was withholding good from them, such as special knowledge. Both Adam and Eve intentionally and willfully went on a course of self-resolve, and rebellion against God. Adam’s sin was far more severe than that of Eve. Moreover, it is his status as the head of Eve and of the human race, which laid the full accountability at his feet. However, we must realize that Adam also fell in the battle for his mind. Satan likely observed the couple for some time and came to believe that he would choose Eve, the newer person to the Garden of Eden first. Further, Satan must have believed that Adam would selfishly desire Eve over his Creator. In the end, Satan won this first battle for the minds of Adam and Eve.

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The Battle for the Mind Continues

It would seem that Satan began his rebellion in Eden by himself, having no other angels take his side at that time. The issues that he raised had never been raised prior to human creation. Therefore, he had no real arguments to get other angels to join him in the Garden of Eden. However, they were certainly waiting and watching, seeing how things developed. Some 1,500 years later, in Noah’s day, Satan could make the claim that he had misled all of humankind up unto that point, possible thousands, with the exception of only three men Abel, Enoch and Noah. His argument to the angelic body could have been something like this, ‘I alone misled thousands by myself, just imagine if I had had help, with an army of angels, I could have completely thwarted God’s plan, and humans would be worshiping us!’

Satan could have gone on to bolster his argument, by saying that he was winning against God, as fifteen centuries has passed since the rebellion in Eden, and where is this so-called promised “seed”? (Gen 3:15) He could have sold the idea that if the angels used their powers to materialize in human form, having relations with the women of earth, they would produce offspring of being who were half human and half angel, who could rule the earth, defeating God’s plan of saving humankind. These demigods, Satan could argue, could take over and rule the earth, but be under Satan and the angels, who would receive the worship that rightly was going to go to God. While this is certainly, an inference of how the argument, behind the scenes, with Satan and the angels could have gone, the Scriptures tell us, this is, in fact, how it went historically, leaving out the conversation behind the scenes.

Enoch lived in a very violent world, where he was the only faithful follower of God at that time. Enoch only lived 365 years in an era where everyone else lived over 900 years. The “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6 were disobedient angels. The same expression “sons of God” is found in Job 1:6 and Job 38:7, and is applied to angels. The apostle Peter supports this interpretation as well, for he writes, “he [Jesus] went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared.” (1 Pet 3:19-20) Moreover, Jude adds weight to this position as well, when he writes, “the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6)

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Reviewing what was discussed earlier,

  • These rebel angels had the power at one time to materialize in human form just like the ones who had remained faithful to God as they delivered messages for Him to Abraham, Moses, and others. (Gen 18:1, 2, 8, 20-22; 19:1-11; Jos 5:13-15)
  • The “proper dwelling” that Jude speaks of is heaven, which these angels abandoned, to take on human form and have relations that were contrary to nature with the “the daughters of man.” (Dan 7:9-10)
  • The Bible intimates that these rebel angels were stripped of their power to take on human form as you never hear of it taking place again after the flood. We only hear of spirit possession thereafter.
  • These disobedient angels are now “spirits in prison,” who had been thrown into “eternal chains under gloomy darkness,” which is more of a condition of limited powers, not so much a place, e.g., like a maximum-security prison.- (1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6)
  • The offspring of these unnatural relations between materialized angels and women were the Nephilim, i.e., giant humans of about 9.5 feet tall, who were half angel and half human, demigods.

The world had become so corrupt and violent that this was why God brought the flood. It is in this environment that Enoch courageously preached the message of condemnation, which he was commissioned to deliver to that evil world. We know that “all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more, for God took him.”–Genesis 5:23-24.

By faith, Noah “constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family.” (Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:13-22)

Noah was also “a proclaimer of righteousness” who also possessed great courage in preaching under the same conditions Enoch had; warning all that a great flood was coming. (2 Peter 2:5) Try to picture that evil world. You had the giant Nephilim causing everyone to live in fear, powerful angels materializing to take women, all living in debauchery, yet Noah and his family were walking with God, living a righteous life, doing all that God had commanded. Now, imagine having to go out and preach condemnation to these ones, saying that ‘a worldwide flood is coming because God has judged you, repent now and be saved!’ Imagine the ridicule, the threats that Noah and his family must have faced. How much faith it must have taken to work on the ark, day after day, month after month, all the while being threatened, taunted and mocked. Nevertheless, Noah did not allow fear of man, demigod, or even rebel angels to keep him from his commission as a preacher of righteousness. Unlike Adam and Eve, his love for God was greater than his love for man.

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Hebrews 11:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

11:7. Noah (Gen. 6–9) showed his faith in response to a specific warning from God. He took the warning to heart, built an ark, and saved his family. Noah’s act of building the ark condemned the scoffing unbelief of his generation and provided visible evidence that Noah believed God. Noah’s contemporaries must have been merciless in their ridicule of this “foolish” man who was building an ark so far inland.

In building the ark, Noah became an heir of faith righteousness, a theme echoing Paul’s discussion of the subject (Rom. 9:30; 10:6).[11]

Genesis 6:13-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.[12] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits,[13] its breadth fifty cubits,[14] and its height thirty cubits.[15] 16 You shall make a roof[16] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit[17] from the above;[18] and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort will come to you to keep them alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 And Noah did according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.

6:22 We have commented earlier that Noah’s obedience is a recurring feature in Noah’s tōlĕdōt (v. 22; cf. 7:5, 9, 16). Here, like the encompassing destruction to come, we are told that his obedience to God’s instructions is inclusive—“everything” (v. 22). The verse begins and concludes with the verb “did,” emphasizing the patriarch’s part: “Noah did (wayyaʿaś) … so he did” (kēn ʿaśâ, NASB). “So” (kēn) is reminiscent of creation’s first obedience to the divine word, “and it was so” (wayhî kēn; 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24). The failure of the first Adam and the succeeding patriarchs does not obviate God’s commitment to bless the human family. However, disobedience has its painful consequences of toil, sorrow, and death, which they cannot escape. This execution statement is heard again at Moses’ completion of the tabernacle: “Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him” (Exod 40:16). Israel could look to Noah as a model of covenant fidelity as they drew the parallel between God’s “command” for that ancient patriarch and the divine directives by the voice of Moses for their own times (cp. Exod 39:32, 42; Num 1:54; 2:34; 9:5).

Noah’s actions model for later generations the obedience and the efficacy of faith when it is placed in the veracity of God’s word (e.g., Heb 11:7). Noah’s venture to build his vessel upon dry land while awaiting the impending floodwaters is exemplary of a person trusting in what cannot be seen or proven (Heb 10:38; 11:1–2). As is the case for many of the saints, God is calling upon Noah to accomplish a task that has no precedent, for an experience that had no counterpart. Ironically, the destruction by water that dooms all the living is the vindication of Noah’s faith and credits him with righteousness. Such persevering faith in the word of promise motivated Peter to challenge the scoffers of his day who disputed the eschatological conflagration heralded by the prophets and apostles. The divine word declaring the “day of judgment” (2 Pet 3:6–7; cf. 2:5, 9–10) is just as certain as the cataclysmic waters of Noah’s generation.[19]

2 Peter 2:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;

Yes, God thwarted Satan and his army of rebel angels, in the days of Noah. At the Flood, the giant Nephilim were destroyed, and the angels who had materialized in human form had to give up that body by dematerializing and going back to heaven. The angels, who were formerly “sons of God” did not return to the positions they formerly held, they were in heaven with their new master, Satan, becoming his demon army. Yes, God did not spare the angels who sinned but held them captive in Tartarus, a prison-like condition, with chains of darkness he handed them over to be kept for judgment.–2 Peter 2:4.

However, the war was far from over, as the next 2,100 years, the battles for the minds of humankind continued. The Scriptures are inundated with how the Israelites fell victim to the influences of Satan repeatedly throughout these centuries. Satan already had the pagan nations that surrounded Israel, very deeply involved in idolatry and immorality. Satan knew that the ongoing influence of these nations would eventually corrupt the minds of God’s people. This is why God had commanded the Israelites to displace these nations completely when he gave them the Promise Land. They were to keep themselves separate from that demonic influence. However, Israel failed to obey, they did not completely remove these nations, and in time, they were living right among this idolatrous, immoral influence. The Israelites eventually set aside the Mosaic Law, living by the defiled practices and false worship of the pagan nations. Much of the Israelite history has them being 9 parts rebellious pagan worshipers and 1 part Israel of God. On 2 Peter 2:5 Peter H. Davids writes,

The point in our work is that Noah was not just righteous, but a preacher of righteousness. This righteousness is apparently assumed for his family as well. (Since in that culture it was expected that a family would follow the religion of the head of the family, this assumption was a culturally appropriate one.) The contrast is, of course, between the righteous remnant that was delivered and the “ancient world of the ungodly” (to give a more formally equivalent translation) that was not spared. The implication is that God can bring the final judgment upon this world and spare the righteous while destroying the unrighteous. Indeed, the presence of the righteous is no safety for the unrighteous, for God can save the former in the midst of judgment, just as he did Noah.[20]
The Reading Culture of Early Christianity THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third Edition King James Bible

The Battle for the Mind Builds

Centuries passed with God’s people in their on-again off-again relationship with God. It came time for God to keep his promise that he had made back at the time of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden that he was going to send a seed that would eventually bruise Satan in the head, which is a deathblow. Yes, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [born as a human about 02 B.C.E.], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus was going to serve as the chief witness to the truth of the Father.

After his baptism in 29 C.E. by John the Baptist, Jesus went out into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, which left him weak and hungry. It was then that Satan chose to tempt Jesus, waiting until he was in a weakened condition. Read carefully as Satan offers the first temptation for Jesus’ mind:

Luke 4:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

Jesus’ First Temptation

First, Satan played on Jesus’ natural desire for food, as he deliberately waited until Jesus was in a weakened state from fasting. In addition, Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God, as he had been in heaven with him. Notice how he is attempting to attack Jesus’ hunger, by starting his accusation with “if,” to get Jesus to use his powers for selfish gain. In other words, he wanted Jesus to be annoyed and say, ‘You know I am the Son of God, so watch as I turn these stones into bread!’ Was Jesus tempted into a selfish act, a needful feeling of proving himself right? No, Jesus did not permit Satan to bait him into rebellion.

Luke 4:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”[21]

Jesus’ Second Temptation

Luke 4:5-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And he led him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in a moment of time. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if you bow down before me, it shall all be yours.”

One way of being emphatic in the Greek language is to front word(s) before others, and in this case, the second person pronoun (soi, “to you”) was fronted to the beginning of the Greek sentence by Luke to show just how important this question was. The English is not able to bring this out well, but the Greek makes it all too clear. What Satan was saying, is a bit like what a car salesperson might say,[22] ‘Look, this deal is for you and you alone!’ Did Jesus even slightly consider Satan’s offer? No, he responds,

Luke 4:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

Jesus’ Third Temptation,

Luke 4:9-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And he led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

Notice that Satan even quotes Scripture, but of course twists it to suit his misleading benefits. This temptation is much more subtle than one might think. Satan wanted Jesus to get caught up in himself, and take the easy way out, as opposed to the humble three and half year ministry that lay ahead. If Jesus had stood on the top of the pinnacle of the temple, at a time of the day when everyone was out, with all gathered to see him there; it would have made his ministry easier. Because if he had leaped in front of thousands of onlookers, and angels came to rescue him before he hit the ground, many would have had faith in him, based on his showmanship. However, Jesus knew his Father’s will was for him to have an education ministry of three and a half years, a ministry of humility. Moreover, how did Jesus feel about doing the will of the Father? Here are his own words, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)

Matthew 4:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”[23]

On many other occasions, Jesus used the Scriptures to help unsuspecting people escape Satan’s influences, as well as those of the overbearing Jewish religious leaders, who were twisting the Scriptures for their ill-gotten gains. Jesus made more than 120 references or quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures, from over half the books of the Hebrew Old Testament, in his three and half year ministry. This may appear to be trivial when you think of a three and half year ministry. However, notice what John says about Jesus, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book.” (John 20:30)

John also said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) Thus, if we take everything Jesus said in the Gospels, it would only amount to 3-4 hours of speaking. Now imagine four speakers at a religious assembly, giving an hour talk each, and each of them referencing or quoting some 30 Scriptures in their allotted hour. These would be considered highly biblical talks. Moreover, Jesus usually never had any scrolls in front of him. Therefore, his quotes and references were from memory. In the famous Sermon on the Mount, he directly or indirectly referenced dozens of Scriptures from memory.

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third Edition King James Bible

No Longer Walk in the Futility of the Old Mind

Revelation 12:9, 12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows he has a short time.”

We see here that Satan the Devil is thrown down from the heavens to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. The Bible talks about the heavens, and it is only from the context that one can truly determine what is meant. The heavens can be the earth’s atmosphere where the birds fly. (Deut. 4:17; Pro 30:19; Matt 6:26) The heavens can be outer space, which is on the other side of the earth’s atmosphere. (Deut. 4:19; Isa 13:10; 1 Cor. 15:40, 41; Heb. 11:12) The heavens can be midheaven, which is where the eagles fly; thus, within our atmosphere. (Re 8:13; 14:6; 19:17; De 4:11 [Heb., “heart of the heavens”]) Heaven can also be the heaven of heavens or highest heavens (Deut. 10:14; Neh. 9:6). “The Hebrew expression [heaven of the heavens], however, may be nothing more than poetic imagery.”[24] This is an expression of completeness for the physical heavens, as they visually extended out from the earth in all directs as far as the eye could see.

Now that we have covered all of the aspects of the physical heavens, we can now turn our attention to the spiritual heavens. The spiritual heaven exists outside of the physical heavens and is the home of God and all other spirit creatures, like the angels, cherubs, and seraphs. (Jude 6; Gen. 28:12, 13; Matt. 18:10; 24:36) The spiritual heavens would have an infinite vastness, unlike anything we could possibly imagine. In other words, the spirit creatures, who share the spiritual heavens with God, do not have access to his presence at all times, beholding the face of the Father.

For example, consider our Milky Way galaxy. There could be as many as a trillion stars in our galaxy. If humans had a spaceship that could travel at the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second, it would take 100,000 years to cross it. This boggles the mind does it not. Now, there are about 100 billion galaxies in our universe. We are not finished yet because there are approximately 125 billion universes. Now, this is almost impossible for our human mind to grasp. What a backyard for the human family. Whoever said that we would get bored if we lived for an eternity, likely never considered the vastness of it all? Moreover, the universe is continuously growing, as are the others. If this is what we have, one cannot really wrap their mind around the spiritual heavens.

Satan and his angels had access to the spiritual heavens in the days of Noah, and centuries later in the time of Job.  “Again it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah that Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah.” (Job 2:1) Even centuries later Jesus speaks prophetically of a future fall that Satan is to have, as a result of Jesus ransom sacrifice. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” He also said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” John 12:31

We will never know the day and hour of Christ’s return. However, many Bible writers speak of the “last days” before that return. Paul wrote, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”–2 Timothy 3:1-5, 12-13

While we may not know the day and hour of Christ’s return, the events of the 20th century and now the beginning of the 21st century suggest that we may very well be living deep in the “last days.”[25] Even though the “last days” has been going on for almost 2,000 years from now, it is quite short, when one contemplates eternity. Some Bible scholars believe that Jesus’ return is very close [which they should not suggest]. However, they then go on to suggest, “be careful to obey the Scriptures and accurately interpret the evidence of Christ’s return without abusing the Scriptures in an attempt to somehow date his coming.”[26]

Again, here is how we are to view Christ’s return. We should live as though it is tomorrow, but plan as though it is 50-years away. Again, how are we to apply this principle? We live as though Christ is returning tomorrow, by walking with God, having a righteous standing before him. We plan as though it is 50-years away by living a life that makes plans for a long-term ministry that fulfills our end of the great commission. (Matt 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Our sinful nature would not do well if we knew the exact day and hour. We do badly enough when we simply think Christ return is close. You have had religions that have set end of time dates, or are constantly saying, ‘the end is near!’ The ones who set actual dates for Christ’s return: quit their jobs, sell their homes, take all their money out of the bank, and take their kids out of school, either (1) to have a good time before the end, or (2) to spend the last couple years yelling from the rooftops that “the end is coming!” Those who are constantly saying, ‘the end is near,’ are similar, in that they do not take job promotions because it would cut into their ministry, they do not allow their children to have university educations or plan careers because the end is near. These groups are at least concerned about their ministry, but they fail to realize, that we do not know when the end is coming, nor are we meant to. Below, we will talk about the 50-year ministry plan, which is not saying that Jesus is returning in fifty years because it could just as easily be three hundred years.

In dealing with Satan and his angels being kicked out of the spiritual heavens, and cast down to the earth says, Revelation 12:12 says, “O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” We do not know if this has specifically happened as of yet, but we do know that a great wrath will go with it, which will last for a short time. What a “short time” is specifically we do not know. To whom is that great wrath going to be directed toward? Certainly, Satan is not interested in the world of humankind, who is already alienated from God but only in the chosen ones of God, and his sole efforts will be toward eradicating them if he cannot turn them away. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus identifies the signs of Christ’s presence, and the conclusion of the age, followed by talk of the Great Tribulation. It would seem very likely that Satan’s being expelled from the spiritual heavens, having a great wrath for God’s people, because he knows his time is short, could very well coincide with the Great Tribulation, coming just before it.

Matthew 24:21-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no flesh would have been saved: but for the chosen ones[27] sake those days will be cut short.

Even if this has yet to begin, we know that we are likely living deep in the last days, with things deteriorating from bad to worse, and will culminate into the Great Tribulation such as this earth has never seen, nor will ever see again. We do know the devastation of the First and Second World Wars of the 20th century, and that this Great Tribulation is going to be so bad, these will pale in comparison. If we knew that a hurricane was coming to our beachfront property, and we did not prepare, this would be foolish.

We are losing millions of Christians every year to the progressive, modernistic world of humankind, who is alienated from God, and the Great Tribulation is not even upon us as of yet. In Satan’s attempt to acquire the minds of today’s true Christians, he uses fear. Right now, to be a truly conservative, evangelical Christian, who allows the inspired, fully inerrant Word of God to lead his way, is very unpopular, and these few are viewed as being different, the lepers of the modernistic society.

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Eighty percent[28] of “so-called” Christianity have abandoned their post and joined the ranks of the world, because they cannot handle being different, and would rather be popular. It is these ones, who Satan is using to blind the minds of our Christian brothers, misleading them from their conservative position into the world of liberal-progressive Christianity.[29] Instead of making their churches like a biblical church, based on criteria from the Word of God, these ones are making the church to suit the worldly people who would not otherwise attend their church. In this liberal-progressive environment, the churchgoers are 9-part world and 1-part Christian. Moreover, even the modern so-called Bible translations, like the Good News Bible, the Contemporary English Version, the New Living Translation, have the translation philosophy that is focused on today’s reader, making every effort to translate the original language text so thoroughly that the modern language translation is easy to read on a 6th to 7th grade level. In doing this, they have,

  • reduced the level of vocabulary from what you had written to what the translator regarded as a seventh-grade vocabulary level;
  • cut your sentences down into a series of shorter sentences;
  • dropped metaphors because he decided that a target audience did not know how to handle figurative language;
  • changed words that he thought to be old-fashioned;
  • eliminated words that he thought to be technical;
  • changed words to match what he thought you had intended to say.[30]

Satan has also used commercialism and materialism to sidetrack the Christian mind, brainwashing them into thinking that they need the latest of everything. Even true Christians are swept away in this battle for the mind, as they too are becoming as Paul put in the above, “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” The philosophy is that pleasure and material wealth is the single genuine goals in life. Another propaganda tool of Satan is the television, movie and music video industry. The eyes are the window to the heart, the seat of motivation is bombarded with scenes of graphic horror, scenes overwhelming the mind with rape, murder, robbery, arson and every other crime. The movie and television industry has a way of making the evil of this world look like the good thing, and Christian moral values a bad thing. (Isa 5:20-21) If true Christians are to survive this offensive material, then they must be selective about what goes into their mind.

Satan also uses our natural desires for a sexual relationship, which should be with our wife alone. This is seen as old-fashioned in today’s world. Everything about this world reeks of sexual immorality. Many products sold on the internet or television, are sold having half-naked women advertising them. (Heb. 4:13) A recent sitcom in the United States is called, ‘The New Normal.’ The premise of the show is about two men named Bryan and David, who are a happy gay couple living in Los Angeles, California. The title of the show exemplifies the new mindset of the Western world toward homosexuality, the new normal. In other words, it is just an alternative lifestyle, which is now normal. Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9

Marriage is no longer honorable, as many live together outside of marriage, and of those who have married, about fifty percent end in divorce. (Matt. 19:6-9; Rom. 7:2, 3; Mal 2:14-16) The young ones these days are living in a world of nothing but parties, drugs, sex, and loud, hateful music. (1 Pet. 2:12) The apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesians are very fitting,

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The Old and the New Person

Ephesians 4:17-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

17 This, therefore, I say and bear witness to in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 who being past feeling gave themselves up to shameless conduct,[31] for the practice of every uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard him and have been taught in him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that you take off, according to your former way of life, the old man, who is being destroyed according to deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new man,[32] the one created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and loyalty of the truth.

Satan is very crafty in using the natural desires that God gave us, which are now bent toward wrong, as a tool in his chest of weapons, in the battle for our minds. Yes, his battle for your mind, my mind, every true Christian mind carries on without letup. On Ephesians 4:17-19, Max Anders writes,

4:17. The Gentiles in Ephesus were particularly sinful. Ephesus was a leading city of commerce and culture in the Roman Empire, the home of the pagan temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Worship of Diana involved the worst immorality of degraded pagan religion. That influence made Ephesus a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a wicked place indeed. Temple prostitution, graft, crime, immorality, idolatry, and every conceivable form of sin abounded. Many of the Christians in Ephesus came out of that kind of background. In contrast with that evil background, Paul made his appeal, “Don’t live like that any longer!”

First, he says, it is futile to live like that. It leads to nothing.

4:18. Second, he says, it reflects darkened understanding, a result of having turned their backs on God. Their hearts are hard, and as a result, their mind is dark. Lives separated from God’s holiness are ignorant lives. This is hard for the sophisticated, educated people of Ephesus to accept. How dare someone call them ignorant. Paul did not contend they had no knowledge. He contended the knowledge did no good in leading them to a lifestyle that pleased God. Without such a lifestyle, their minds did not function properly.

4:19. Their hard heart, which yielded a darkened mind, led to an unholy life. Paul says they have given themselves over to sensuality, a life without concern for the consequences of their actions. Their desire for sensual pleasure overrode every other regard. No matter what they did, such desire was never satisfied. They always wanted more. Lust not love dominated their lives. Such Gentiles certainly did not serve as models for the church. They were not mature. They did not bring unity.[33]

Prepare Your Mind for Action

Romans 8:5-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For setting the mind on the flesh is death, but setting the mind on the spirit is life and peace because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity toward God, for it is not subjected to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Satan cannot read our mind. However, our emotions, life, and actions, as well as what we say are indicative of our thinking. It is his goal to know how we think, so he can corrupt our mind. If we are ones who have our mind on the flesh, we will live in accordance with the flesh. However, if our mind is on the Spirit, we will live in accordance with the Spirit. If we are to desire the will and purposes of God in our heart and mind, it will only come through forming a longing for his Word, through the company of our Christian congregation, as well as personal Bible study and prayer. On Romans 8:5-8, Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier write,

8:5–8. Here, in different language, is Paul’s contrast between the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:19–23. He lists the deeds and the fruit in Galatians; here he explains from whence they arise. The mind of a human being can be set upon only one thing, either the desires of the flesh or the Spirit. The new way of life in the Spirit makes it possible for the mind of the believer to be set upon what the Spirit desires. Here is what Paul states, implicitly and explicitly, about the two kinds of people he is describing:

 

 

Those Who Live in Accordance with the Flesh

 

Those Who Live in Accordance with the Spirit

 

What they think about doing Minds are set on the desires of the flesh Minds are set on the desires of the Spirit
Ultimate end Leads to death Leads to life and peace
Attitude toward God Hostile toward God Receptive toward God
Attitude toward God’s standards Does not submit to God’s law Seeks to fulfill God’s law
Ability to keep God’s standards Unable to submit to God’s law Able to submit to God’s law
Ability to please God Cannot please God Able to please God

Paul is not defining two categories of people here: Christians versus non-Christians, or Spirit-filled Christians versus “carnal” Christians. Rather, he is using the opposite extremes of the spectrum to illustrate two ways of living life in God’s world. One way is to live it according to the desires and directives of the flesh, a way that produces hostility toward God and ultimately death. The other way is to live life according to the desires of God as revealed and empowered by his Holy Spirit, a way that leads to life and peace.

James Boice recounts a story from the life of the English abolitionist, William Wilberforce, that illustrates the vacuum of spiritual understanding manifested by those who are devoid of the Spirit. Wilberforce, a strong Christian, had tried unsuccessfully to get his friend, William Pitt the Younger, the prime minister of England, to go and hear the great British preacher Richard Cecil. Pitt was a nominal Christian only, a church member, and Wilberforce thought the preaching of Cecil might awaken saving faith in his friend’s heart.

Finally agreeing to go with Wilberforce, Pitt attended Cecil’s preaching service where the two sat under a powerful and wonderful presentation of the truths of God. Wilberforce was sure that his friend Pitt would sense the truth and embrace it wholeheartedly. But as they left the service, Pitt turned to Wilberforce and said, “You know, Wilberforce, I have not the slightest idea what that man has been talking about.” Boice concludes by saying, “Clearly, Pitt was as deaf to God as if he were a physically dead man” (Boice, 2:808–809).

This is Paul’s point. A person with his or her mind set upon the things of the flesh cannot “accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). All one has to do is look around societies and cultures to see the results of living life with the mind set on only that which the flesh desires. The result is not life and peace—it is death and destruction. But that is the easy observation to make, the one down at the far end of the spectrum. What about those who claim to be Christians who yet manifest many of the same characteristics as those who make no such claim? What are we to do with the indicators from contemporary polls that suggest the practices of “Christians” are often not much more spiritual than those who live in and of the world? Paul is about to suggest a serious implication.[34]

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Be Holy as Obedient Children

1 Peter 1:13-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 Therefore, gird the loins of your mind,[35] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As children of obedience,[36] do not be conformed according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, you also be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

The Greek here for “prepare your minds for action” (ESV, LEB, HCSB, and NASB) is literally “gird up the loins of your mind (mental perception).” “Girding up your loins” infers that one is getting ready for action. This is a reference to the custom in Bible times of “tucking up the skirt of a garment into a belt and tightening it so the legs would be free.”[37] Peter was here using the expression as preparation for vital and strong mental or spiritual activity. The Greek behind “being sober-minded” has the sense of one keeping their senses. Bible scholar R.C.H. Lenski states, “Soberness is the opposite of infatuation with the things of the world, a calm, steady state of mind which weighs and estimates things aright and thus enables us to make the right decision.” (Lenski 1945, 2008, 52) As you know Satan is seeking to get at our thinking, to corrupt it, and we need to prepare our minds for strong mental or spiritual activity. On 1 Peter 1:13-16, David Walls and Max Anders write,

1:13. This verse sets the time line boundaries for our behavior. The first word, therefore, points back to the preceding discussion that focused on our salvation hope. We entered into that hope when we committed ourselves in faith to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The last words in this verse, when Jesus Christ is revealed, point ahead to an undisclosed day in the future when Jesus Christ will come to earth the second time. Christians must not forget the first chapter of our salvation or ignore its final chapter. The first affects the second. The second affects the first. From the outset believers are to live each day for that great final day.

How do we do this? First, prepare your minds for action. In the first century, people who wanted to walk or run quickly faced a problem. Before they could quicken their pace, they had to gather up their loose flowing robes with a belt so they would not trip and fall flat on their face as they set off for their destination. Translating that into daily living, Peter said, “Pull your thoughts together. Don’t let anything hinder your mind as you put it to work for God.” In other words, have a disciplined mind.

Be self-controlled expresses the same idea. A loose paraphrase might be, “Stay on your toes spiritually.” Be realistic about what you face in your life as a Christian. Be alert and ready in your whole spiritual and mental attitude, because it is so easy to slide, especially when you are suffering. In those moments it is very difficult to “pull your thoughts together,” and to “be realistic” about your circumstances. The tendency of our mind is to scream exaggerations and denials. The inclination is to lean away from spiritual concerns.

That will be our fate unless we set [our] hope fully on the grace to be given [us] when Jesus Christ is revealed. The main emphasis is on putting one’s hope completely in the final demonstration of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. At this moment, we enjoy only the beginning of that grace. What we have experienced of grace up to this point in our lives does not begin to compare with the grace that will be ours at the second coming of Christ. We must have the long view in mind, or the short run will kill us. Peter is really issuing a command: “Keep looking toward your final salvation, which will be fully experienced when Christ returns. You have been saved, you are being saved, and you will be saved, so don’t get off course.” Our future hope is not simply a theological doctrine with little or no practical application. It is, in fact, an ethical hope. It has behavioral consequences. If we really believe in the second coming of Christ, this belief must make a difference in the way we live.

1:14. The difference in the way we live is described by Peter’s words, as obedient children. Obedience does not produce a believer in Jesus Christ, but true belief will always produce obedience in a believer in Jesus Christ. Part of this obedience is our nonconformity to evil desires. The verb conformed means “to be fashioned into something.” The word describes the practice of adopting for oneself a pattern or mold of life that is changeable and unstable.

The emphasis of verse 14 helps us see that this conformity does not begin with outward actions, as much as it begins with our attitude, our mind-set, our character. Peter is referring to a conformity of thought and purpose. What God requires in us is a total change of purpose. Our outward life will change only as it is a natural outworking of an inner change. Conformity is a lack of obedience that adopts the attitudes, mind-sets, and purposes of the culture of which we are a part. Conformity belongs to the time of ignorance when we did not know Christ and so lived like the world.

One of the prevailing attitudes of our culture is, “I don’t want any problems, any pain. I do not deserve to experience difficulties or trauma in any measure.” As believers, we are not to adopt that mind-set. We are to conform to the example of Christ, the Suffering Servant.

1:15–16. The alternative to conformity is holiness. Among God’s characteristics, as he has revealed himself, none is more significant than his holiness (see Lev. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7). Both the Old and New Testaments speak more about his holiness than any other attribute. The implication is that believers who cultivate Christian hope must also cultivate personal holiness. The root meaning of the word holiness could be expressed as “different or distinct.” It describes a qualitative difference. Holiness includes a specific moral sense of separation from evil and a dedication to a life of right living. The lives and attitudes of Christians should be qualitatively different because of their relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Holiness produces in our lives a loving conformity to God’s commands which ultimately produces the character of God in us.[38]

Jesus THE APOSTLE PAUL THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS

Christian Humility

Philippians 2:2-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

2 If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit,[39] if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind,[40] having the same love, being in full accord[41] and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility[42] consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,[43] but also for the interests of others.

 Christ’s Humility and Exaltation

5 Have this mind[44] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

The Christian body of Christ needs to have oneness of mind with each other, as well as humility, taking care of each other in these difficult times. We must set aside any prideful tendencies, for those that are proud refuse to accept biblical guidance, which is direction from God himself. The apostle Paul put it this way, “he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions.” (1 Timothy 6:4)

Another misstep for today’s Christian is a laziness of mind. Many comments like, “Bible study is really not necessary, or the Holy Spirit tells me what the Word of God means” contributes to this laziness of mind. Another is, “God is looking for people with a heart that is receptive to him, not all of this head knowledge. God is not impressed with what you know.” While these statements have some measure of truth to them, they are misrepresenting the truth of the matter, and only lead to a lifetime of living as a spiritual babe, as opposed to a mature Christian. A mind at rest will stay at rest, as it needs to be fed the deeper things of God if it is to be alert, strong and ready to offensively teach another, as well as to defend against Satan’s vessels, which are used to undermine the Christian faith and the Word of God. We do not want to be like the Jews of the first century, whose “minds were hardened” to the point that they were unable to recognize the Son of God. (2 Cor. 3:14) On Philippians 2:2-5, Max Anders writes,

2:2. Paul instructs his readers to make my joy complete in practical responses with the following outlook toward one another:

1.   being like-minded

2.  having the same love

3.  being one in spirit and purpose

These sentiments are viewed by Paul as being normal for Christians. Being united in Christ, believers work together for the same purposes rather than seeking areas of disagreement and division.

2:3. After revealing the positive way for believers to behave toward one another, Paul gives negatives to avoid. Unity in love means selfish ambition and vain conceit have no place in the Christian life. Such characteristics rise from pride, not from love. Instead, humility is to characterize the Christian. We are not to exalt ourselves above others.

You are probably thinking that this is easier said than done. Yet, Jesus, himself, said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). Biblical love is selfless. The opposite of this kind of love is selfishness. Humility does not mean putting ourselves down but rather lifting others up.

2:4. Looking out for our own interests comes naturally. We need, and receive, no instruction for that. We are instructed to look out for the interests of others. We are to keep an eye out to discover ways we can help others even when they do not see they need such help. The apostle stated in Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

2:5. Paul proceeds to give examples for the Philippians to emulate. The first is Christ. He is the supreme example of humility, love, and selflessness. Christ’s model brings to life Paul’s words. As believers are united with Christ, we are to have the same attitude as Christ, one of humility. Paul expresses the same thought in Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” All believers should share this humble, selfless mind-set of Christ.[45]

James 4:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

If we draw close to God in our worship, as well as our commitment to him, he, in turn, will draw close to us. Many, who shy away from putting the effort into buying out the time to get to know God better, which requires deepening our knowledge of him in personal Bible study, will say that head knowledge will get you nowhere. Well, yes that is true to an extent, but a deeper knowledge of God’s power, love, wisdom, and justice, among other outstanding attributes, will give us guidance for our godly life, meaning the head knowledge as some like to call it, will get down to our heart, the seat of motivation.[46]

“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that Mature Faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”  – Dr. Lee M. Fields.

We can be double-minded, doubting, wavering persons when we live as the world does, because we would not actually have faith in the promises of God, or whether they are going to come true. In other words, we are playing both sides of the fence, just in case. We have one foot in the world of humankind alienated from God, and the other in Christ. Jesus said, “You are either for me or against me.” There is no fence sitting.

Sensible thinking, thinking that contributes to one lovingly surrendering one’s life to God’s will and purposes, is what will defeat Satan’s efforts to enslave our mind. If a wrong desire enters your mind, it needs to be immediately dismissed, giving no ground to Satan. When the anxiety of living in a world plays to the materialistic side of our nature, we need to determine within ourselves that we are going to control our mind. When we feel enraged over an injustice, or a wrong perception, challenge our irrational thinking with biblical thinking. Who are we going to let control our mind, our fleshly desire, Satan and his world that caters to our sinful nature, or God’s Word? Have we not matured, enough to apply the Spirit-inspired Word of God? We live in a time like no other, as there are provisions that will help us correctly understand the Word of God so that we can find the knowledge of God.

Reaching Forward to God’s Goal

Philippians 3:12-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 Not that I have already obtained it or am already perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself as having laid hold of it: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;[47] and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 Only to what we have attained, let us go on walking in the same.

Again, we turn to Max Anders, who writes,

3:12. Paul’s description of his desires pointed forward to a goal. He had not “arrived.” Not yet mature, he was still very much in the race of the Christian life. The perfection he would have at the future resurrection was not yet attained. He still had to deal with what in Romans 7 he calls “the flesh,” an innate pull to sin. He had to deal with his sinful body and was only too aware of the need for further spiritual growth. He purposes to press on as he had not attained the intense personal knowledge of Christ that he desired and had not become all that Christ wanted him to be. He did not press on out of personal power or will. He did so because Jesus had chosen him and on the Damascus road grabbed hold of his life. Paul always held God up as the source of every part of the salvation experience. A fact of the Christian life is that the more you mature the more you realize how much further you have to go to become like Christ.

3:13. Paul, in this verse, underlines his denial of personal power or attainment and his single-minded focus. To describe that focus, he employs the image of a runner in a race who hopes to win the prize. He cannot look back. He cannot cloud his mind with past memories. He strains every muscle in his body to achieve forward motion. Eyes focus on the finish line. Paul forgets the guilt of persecuting the church. He forgets the pain of prison and physical punishment. He forgets the frustration of disobedient church members and false teachers. He looks ahead to see the resurrection, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face.

3:14. With this focus he pursues his goal intently. His goal is to win the prize for which God had called him in Christ Jesus. He wants to hear God call his name and summon him to the victory stand, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face and know him in perfect intimacy. Earthly prizes do not last. Eternal prizes do. The goal can never be realized on earth. It is a goal that pulls us heavenward. Note 1 Corinthians 9:25: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” In the late 1950s, Jim Elliot, former husband of author Elisabeth Elliot, gave up his life to reach a hostile tribe in the jungles of Ecuador. His words have been immortalized: “He is not a fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” While Paul was not spiritually where he thought he would ultimately be, he intended not to be distracted by anything as he pursued his goal (Heb. 12:1–2). Both discipline and determination are required to accomplish this objective.

3:15. Paul believed that all spiritually mature Christians would agree with or would share his philosophy toward life. Mature translates the same Greek term as did perfect in verse 12. Paul pointed to a difference of opinion as to the meaning of perfection. His opponents thought they had obeyed the law and achieved perfection in this life. Paul knew he would never obtain perfection. The only persons who could claim to be part of the “perfect ones” were those who knew that running the race and seeking the goal was the only mark of perfection possible on earth. If they thought differently, Paul was confident God could cause them to change their minds, since Paul’s human arguments could not. Paul was content to shed some light on the subject.

3:16. As followers of Christ, we are responsible to live out or put into practice what we have learned. We are not perfect, but that is no excuse not to run the race and seek the prize. God is calling us to the victory stand. We must run as hard as we can to cross the finish line.[48]

Do Not Be Anxious Over Anything

Philippians 4:4-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be made known to all men. The Lord is at hand.[49] In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds[50] in Christ Jesus.

4:4. Again Paul returns to the key theme of this letter: joy. He calls believers to rejoice at all times and repeats the call for emphasis. This includes the bad times as well as the good (compare Jas. 1:2–5). Christians should be known as joyful people. Such joy resides not in circumstances or positive attitudes toward life. Joy reigns in the heart only when Christ is Lord of life. Joy is always in the Lord.

4:5. A practical way to have joy is by exhibiting gentleness to all. This lets the church and world see that you belong to the Lord. The Greek word epieikēs means “yielding, gentle, kind.” It includes the ability to go beyond the letter of the law in treating others, to provide something beside strict justice. It does not insist on personal rights or privileges. Christ embodied such gentleness in his dealing with all people (2 Cor. 10:1; compare 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 3:2; Jas. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:18). Why should we surrender personal rights for others? The Lord is near. In both time and space, God is available to us. He is not far removed in heaven but present in our hearts to hear and relate to us. His nearness also means he knows us and what we are. In time, God is near, for he is coming again. Then we will receive our rewards for living like Christ rather than like the world.

4:6. Joy replaces anxiety in life, so Paul advises the Philippians not to be anxious about anything. The cure for anxiety? Prayer! Worry and anxiety come from focusing on your circumstances such as imprisonment or persecution which Paul and the Philippians faced. Anxiety or worry doesn’t accomplish anything, but prayer does (Jas. 5:16). Jesus warned against worry which demonstrates a lack of trust in God (Matt. 6:25–34).

4:7. The peace of God comes from prayer involving both asking God for earthly needs and thanking God for his presence and provision. The expression appears only here in the New Testament. God’s peace reflects the divine character, which lives in serenity, totally separate from all anxiety and worry. Such peace is like a squad of Roman soldiers standing guard and protecting you from worry and fret. Such peace is not a dream of the human mind. The human mind cannot even comprehend this kind of peace, wholeness, and quiet confidence. Such peace protects the two organs of worry, heart and mind that produce feelings and thoughts. Such protection is real, available in Christ Jesus. Those who do not trust and commit their life to Christ have no hope for peace.[51]

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Christian Living

ADULTERYADULTERY: The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality

Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.

MIRACLESMIRACLES: What Does the Bible Really Teach? 

WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?

“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.

“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.

SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?

Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?

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THE POWER OF GODTHE POWER OF GOD: The Word That Will Change Your Life Today

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Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …

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PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCEPROMISES OF GOD’S GUIDANCE: God Show Me Your Ways, Teach Me Your Paths, Guide Me In Your Truth and Teach Me

Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.

Powerful Weapon of PrayerTHE POWER OF GOD: The Word That Will Change Your Life Today

Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …

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Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …

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The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.

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John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …

THE BOOK OF JAMESTHE BOOK OF JAMES (CPH New Testament Commentary 17)

This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …

THE OUTSIDERTHE OUTSIDER Coming-of-Age In This Moment

SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …

thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING: When Hope and Love Vanish

Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …

Waging War - Heather FreemanWAGING WAR: A Christian’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook

The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.

Human ImperfectionHUMAN IMPERFECTION: While We Were Sinners Christ Died For Us

There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …

For As I Think In My Heart_2nd EditionFOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART SO I AM: Combining Biblical Counseling with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [Second Edition]

In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …

APPLYING GODS WORD-1APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]

THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …

Put Off the Old PersonPUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]

THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …

Walking With Your God_Second EditionWALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD: Putting God’s Purpose First in Your Life [Second Edition]

A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …

Wives_02WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?

This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. 

HUSBANDS - Love Your WivesHUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?

This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. 

Technology and Social Trends-1TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL TRENDS: A Biblical Point of View

Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?

Christians and GovernmentCHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT: A Biblical Point of View

Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.

Christians and EconomicsCHRISTIANS AND ECONOMICS A Biblical Point of View

Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …

A Dangerous JourneyA DANGEROUS JOURNEY: Those Who Become Jesus’ Disciples

Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.

Prayer Life

Power Through PrayerPOWER THROUGH PRAYER A Healthy Prayer Life

Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer.  So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.

Powerful Weapon of PrayerTHE POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER: A Healthy Prayer Life

DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.

How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1HOW TO PRAY: The Importance of Prayer [Updated and Expanded]

What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.

Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELSHOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS?

Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q?  Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source.  From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.

REASONABLE FAITHREASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.

JesusJESUS CHRIST: The Great Teacher

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!

PaulTHE APOSTLE PAUL: The Teacher, Preacher Apologist

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIPDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?

Mosaic AuthorshipMOSAIC AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY: Who Really Wrote the First Five Books of the Bible?

Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?

Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.

What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.

Agabus CoverDEFENDING AGABUS AS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET: A Content-Based Study of His Predictions In Acts by Sung Cho

Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM-1UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.

is-the-quran-the-word-of-godIS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.

the guide to answering islamTHE GUIDE TO ISLAM: What Every Christian Needs to Know About Islam and the Rise of Radical Islam by Daniel Janosik

The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …

Reasons for FaithREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?

a-time-to-speak-judy-salisburyA TIME TO SPEAK: PRACTICAL TRAINING for the CHRISTIAN PRESENTER Authored by Judy Salisbury, Foreword by Josh McDowell

A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.

BIBLICAL CRITICISMBIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …

APOLOGETICSCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.

REVIEWING 2013 New World TranslationREVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURESREASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONSREASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …

CONVERSATION EVANGELISMCONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTTHE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOKTHE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.

divine-appointmentsDIVINE APPOINTMENTS: Spontaneous Conversations on Matters of the Heart, Soul, and Mind

“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE_Third EditionYOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.

“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.

THE CULTURE WAR-1THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.

EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.

CRISIS OF FAITH_PaperbackCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …

INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSESINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …

THE CHURCH CURETHE CHURCH CURE: Overcoming Church Problems

In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.

FLEECING THE FLOCK_03FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing

Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …

Deception In the ChurchDECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.

LEARN TO DISCERNLEARN TO DISCERN: Recognizing False Teaching In the Christian church Today

Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …

Translation and Textual Criticism

King James BibleTHE KING JAMES BIBLE: Do You Know the King James Version?

The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.

The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …

DO WE STILL NEEDA LITERAL BIBLE_DO WE STILL NEED A LITERAL BIBLE?: Discover the Truth about Literal Translations

We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.

Choosing Your BibleCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …

Introduction to New Testament Textual CriticismINTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: From The Authors and Scribe to the Modern Critical Text

INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.

The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.

The Reading Culture of Early ChristianityTHE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY: The Production, Publication, Circulation, and Use of Books in the Early Christian Church

THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?

MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third EditionMISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …

Biblical Studies

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISMCALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM: The Bible Answers

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.

How to Study Your BibleHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.

How to Study by TorreyHOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit [Updated and Expanded]

How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.

Deep Bible Study Cover_Torrey-1DEEP BIBLE STUDY: The Importance and Value of Proper Bible Study [Updated and Expanded]

Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)

THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.

The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST: Jesus’ Final Ministry at Jerusalem [Updated and Expanded]

With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.

INTERPRETING THE BIBLEINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …

How to Interpret the Bible-1HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …

The Church Community_02THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …

Developing Healthy ChurchesDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …

Dying to KillDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …

journey-with-jesus-through-the-message-of-mark_ebook-onlyJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application.  …

ANGELSANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview

Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.

Bible Doctrines

ezekiel, daniel, & revelationEZEKIEL, DANIEL, & REVELATION: GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG, KINGS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH, & THE EIGHT KINGS OF REVELATION

The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?

Identifying the AntiChristIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …

Understaning Creation AccountUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last ThingsEXPLAINING the DOCTRINE of LAST THINGS Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell

second coming CoverThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.

What Is HellWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.

miraclesMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.

Homosexuality and the ChristianHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.

Daily Devotionals

40 day devotional (1)40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS Coming-of-Age In Christ

If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.

DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHSDEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ

Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?

DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDYDEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God

This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.

DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERSDEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith

Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.

Daily_OTDAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_NT_TMDAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_DarkerBREAD OF HEAVEN: Daily Meditations on Scripture

BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it!  These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.

theconversationcoverTHE CONVERSATION: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter

The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.

More Than DevotionMORE THAN DEVOTION: Remembering His Word, Apply It to Our Lives

Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.

Christian Fiction

02 Journey PNGTHE ROAD TO REDEMPTION: A Young Girl’s Journey and Her Quest for Meaning

Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.

Oren Natas_JPEGOREN NATAS: Satan Incarnate As the Antichrist

AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.

Sentient-FrontTHE SENTIENT a Novel

A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.

ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”

Judas DiaryTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.

The RaptureTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …

Seekers and DeceiversSEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …

[1] This author would not consider Satan’s appearance in the Garden of Eden, as a time when he was “booted out of heaven,” but rather abandoning his proper dwelling place.

[2] Kendell H. Easley, vol. 12, Revelation, Holman New Testament Commentary, 211 (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998).

[3] Tartarus is found only in 2 Peter 2:4. Tartarus is not to be confused with Hades or Gehenna. It is more of a condition than a place.

[4] The issues raised in Eden, as well as in the days of Job were:

(1)  Satan called God a liar and said he was not to be trusted, as to the life or death issue.

(2) Satan’s challenge therefore took into question the right and legitimacy of God’s rightful place as the Universal Sovereign.

(3) Satan also suggested that people would remain obedient to God only as long as their submission to God was to their benefit.

(4) Satan all but said that humankind was able to walk on their own; there being no need for dependence on God.

(5) Satan argued that man could be like God, choosing for himself what is right and wrong.

(6) Satan claimed that God’s way of ruling was not in the best interests of humans, and they could do better without God.

[5] Some Bible translations give a different impression. The King James Version renders the text: “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” The Hebrew verb wattitten for “gave” is “with a prefixed pronoun SUBJECT and a sequential waw [waw is explained below], hence signifying a time-based or logical sequence of the events.” (A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-Forbes Analysis of the Hebrew Bible) Are we to believe that Adam simply stood by, passively watching this conversation and events, without interjecting anything into it? German Bible scholar J. P. Lange comments on just that: “The presence of the man during the act of temptation, even his keeping quiet, is hardly imaginable.” And in explaining the phrase “with her,” Jewish commentator B. Jacob mentions that it does “not [mean] who was standing with her (during the previous act or while she ate).”

[6] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 261–262.

[7] William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 4, Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, New Testament Commentary, 110 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001).

[8] Within Hebrew grammar, you have what is known as the Waw Consecutive Theory. Before addressing that, the waw is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the consonant “w or “v”, and is pronounce “w” as in way. The Hebrew letter looks like an upside-down hockey stick (See Image above). However, the Hebrew waw also serves as a conjunction that has the basic meaning of “and.” It never stands alone, but is always joined with another word, normally with the Hebrew verb, forming one word with it. For example, wattanah would be “and came to rest.” The waw in this excursion will look like the letter in the parentheses (ו).

The Waw Consecutive Theory is believed by some Hebrew grammarians that the waw (ו), has the power to convert from one state to the other (i.e., from the imperfect [not completed] to the perfect [completed] and from the perfect to the imperfect), which has been greatly debated for a century. This writer, like other Hebrew grammarians, do not believe that the waw (ו), has this converting power. The explanation below is a little complex, but it is this author’s hope that context and a good English dictionary will pull the reader through.

The theory of Waw Consecutive: Concerning this theory, O. L. Barnes, in his work A New Approach to the Problem of the Hebrew Tenses and Its Solution Without Recourse to Waw-Consecutive, Oxford (1965), pp. 4, 5, wrote: “The matter has been needlessly complicated by the introduction and slavish adherence to the doctrine of Waw Consecutive, or its more ancient forebear Waw Conversive (the latest name proposed for it is Waw Conservative). Very briefly, though there have been a variety of modifications of the theme, this states that the ‘and – Waw ו’ appearing before the first of a series of consecutive Hebrew Verbs in the Imperfect Tense, if preceded by a Hebrew Verb in the Perfect Tense, indicates that all of them should be read or taken as Perfects (instead of what they really are: Imperfects) and vice versa, provided of course certain vowels associated with the Waw ו in the Imperfect are present.” C

Commenting the reasonableness of this theory, O. L. Barnes wrote on p. 1 of his work, “We may rightly ask why the ‘and – Waw ו’ has this strange converting power. Some recent grammars, in an attempt to by-pass the absurdity, state that it is not really the ‘and – Waw ו’ that has this converting power, but it is the key or guide we must look for to indicate the conversion; in end-result, therefore, it amounts to precisely the same thing. I trust it will be evident from what is stated here that in fact the ‘and – Waw ו’ neither has this power, nor is its assumption necessary to explain the rapid, sometimes abrupt, change in sequence of the Hebrew Tenses. In other words, we may dispense completely with the mythical Waw-Consecutive theory invented by grammarians.”

[9] by way Satan using it as his mouthpiece

[10] Longman III, Tremper (2005-05-12). How to Read Genesis (How to Read Series How to Read) (p. 111). Intervarsity Press – A. Kindle Edition.

[11] Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 201.

[12] A resinous wood, possibly cypress (wood). The exact identity of the wood is unknown; “gopher wood” is simply a transliteration of the Hebrew.

[13] I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.

[14] I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.

[15] I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.

[16] Or window, i.e., an opening for the provision of light.

[17] I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.

[18] I.e., top

[19] K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 369–370.

[20] Peter H. Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2006), 226–227.

[21] Quotation from Deuteronomy 8:3

[22] I borrowed the car salesman analogy off of Dr. Darrell Bock, but it is a bit revised.

[23] A quotation from  Deut. 6:16

[24] , vol. 2, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 713 (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988).

[25] The “last days” is not some future event to which we look. It is now, Jesus Christ initiated this epoch, and it will continue uninterrupted until his return.–Holman New Testament Commentary (p. 301) http://biblia.com/books/hntc73th/2Ti3.1

[26] Towns, Elmer (2011-10-30). AMG Concise Bible Doctrines (AMG Concise Series) (Kindle Locations 6138-6140). AMG Publishers. Kindle Edition.

[27] Or the elect

[28] In this chapter percentages are rounded.

[29] The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma. Progressive Christianity is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed and environmental stewardship of the Earth, as opposed to carrying out the Great Commission Jesus commanded. Evangelicalism is a Protestant movement of the Christian Church whose members believe in the authority of the Bible and salvation through the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ.

[30] Leland Ryken. The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation (p. 28).

[31] Or “loose conduct,” “sensuality,” “licentiousness” “promiscuity” Greek, aselgeia. This phrase refers to acts of conduct that are serious sins. It reveals a shameless condescending arrogance; i.e., disregard or even disdain for authority, laws, and standards.

[32] An interpretive translation would have, “put on the new person,” because it does mean male or female.

[33] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 153–154.

[34] Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 250–252.

[35] I.e., prepare your minds for action (mental perception)

[36] I.e., obedient children

[37] Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Volume 4: Hebrews to Revelation., 129 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002).

[38] David Walls and Max Anders, I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude, vol. 11, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 11–13.

[39] Or any sharing of spirit

[40] That is, thinking the same thing

[41] Lit together in soul

[42] Lit lowly mindedness

[43] Lit not the (things) of themselves each (ones).

[44] Lit be thinking, mental attitude

[45] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 224–225.

[46] If we do not have head knowledge, how can we expect to recall any Bible verses in time of need? In addition, it is obvious when reading Scripture, that the Bible authors often and continually recalled OT passages, which they inserted in their writings. Without the writers’ head knowledge, the NT would be devoid of OT quotes.―Bruce Prince.

[47] Phroneo … signifies (a) “to think, to be minded in a certain way”; (b) “to think of, be mindful of.” It implies moral interest or reflection, not mere unreasoning opinion.

[48] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 244–246.

[49] Or “The Lord is near.”

[50] Or “your mental powers; your thoughts.”

[51] Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 261–262.

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