A friend sent me an article by Hank Hanegraaff … you know, the “Bible Answer Man.”  The article is a response to the Left Behind books and movie.  Hank is a preterist, so he and Tim LaHaye are at polar opposite eschatological extremes.  Anyway, in the article Hank offers a rather biased “definition” of dispensationalism, which he says results from a “strict literalism” when reading the Bible.  This is an accusation I hear regularly.  And I can’t help but be amused by it.  Inherent in the charge of “literalism” is the tacit admission that our view is the result of actually reading what the words on the page genuinely say.  So, I guess in order to support the other positions, you must ignore what the text says in favor of an interpretive scheme.

No thanks …. I’ll stick with the words on the page.  But, thanks for admitting it’s in there.


Daily Assurance

I woke up this morning with the phrase “daily assurance” rolling around in my noggin.  Perhaps it’s an echo of what we taught Sunday morning about asking our Father for daily bread.  We don’t get to ask for tomorrow’s provision, only today’s.  In the same way, God provides us with daily confidence and assurance that He is present, mindful, and involved in the events of our lives.

Jesus instructed, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:34)  There is tremendous wisdom in that.  As my old professor used to say, no one ever had a nervous breakdown worrying about today.    But we’re anxious over tomorrow, next week, a month from now.  So we should remember the phrase, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

The prophet Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations.  And he knew what he was talking about.  He had a rough go of it; nearly forty years of telling the truth and not a single recorded convert.  In chapter 3, after penning a litany of afflictions, Jeremiah turns his eyes to the only refuge available.  And it’s in that context — the list of woes and troubles — that Jeremiah provides the title of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

This I recall to my mind,
            Therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;  Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3: 21-24)

I have been known to half-jokingly warn: Cheer up, saints, it’s going to get worse.  But not this morning.  Rather, cheer up, saints, because our God is good and His mercy is new in this cycle of the earth’s rotation.  The same God who keeps the universe spinning promises that He will provide the mercy necessary to sustain you, forgive you, and comfort you.

And I know me.  Before this day is out, I will be utterly dependent on that mercy.  I am grateful that it is renewed daily.  That knowledge refreshes my soul.


Ecclesiology Week 3 Notes — and a new video!

Well, it only took 64 weeks, but we’ve managed to wrap up our Systematic Theology Series.  Here are the notes for our final week.

Ecclesiology Week 3 Notes

And, we’ve produced a new YouTube teaching video.  This time we addressed the common misunderstanding arising from the phrase “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

I shot this video in my sunroom, which means there was plenty of sunlight pouring in through the blinds.  That caused my webcam to color-balance rather arbitrarily throughout the video — a fact I had not noticed until everything was put away and I was editing the raw video, adding graphics, and preparing it for processing.  At that point, it was too late to go back and restate everything.  So I let it go.

Well, once it hit YouTube, their process emphasized the problems and my skin tone ranged from pasty white to sunburn red.  It was not pleasant.  So, I used YouTube’s adjustment panel to convert the video to black and white. Fortunately, all the graphics were black and white to start with, so it didn’t change them much.  And I think the end result is at least somewhat more watchable.

But, I’ll let you decide.



Ecclesiology Notes for Weeks 1&2

Three weeks of ecclesiology will bring our Systematic Theology series to a close.  For those of you keeping up with the notes, here’s the material I used for weeks 1&2.

Ecclesiology Weeks 1&2

Audio for Systematic Theology, Week 62 – Ecclesiology Part 1

Audio for Systematic Theology, Week 63 – Ecclesiology Part 2


Angels and Demons — New Notes!

We are continuing our study of Systematic Theology and here are the notes for the last three weeks:

Angelology Part 3

Demonology Part 1

Demonology Part 2

I appreciate all the positive feedback.  These appear to be subjects that have piqued the interest of our listeners.  And that’s good.  Anytime God’s word make people sit up and pay attention, that’s a positive thing.  Thanks again.


Angelology Notes for Weeks 1&2

I guess the title tells you what to expect in this post.  :-) Here are the notes for the first two weeks of our teaching on Angelology as we continue our Systematic Theology series Angelology Weeks 1&2 notes And if you’re looking for the audio for these two lessons, just click the players:



The Doctrines of Grace from SGBC Mesquite

The Mesquite meeting of the Sovereign Grace Bible Conference occurred in late June, 2014.    Audio from that meeting is hitting the Internet, bit by bit, and the whole conference will be posted on the main conference site: sovereigngracebibleconference.org

But, in the meantime, here’s audio from the five nights of teaching on The Doctrines of Grace, following the TULIP acrostic.

Lesson 1 (Introduction and Total Depravity)

Lesson 2 (Total Depravity to Unconditional Election)

Lesson 3 (Unconditional Election to Limited Atonement)

Lesson 4 (Limited Atonement to Irresistible Grace)

Lesson 5 (Irresistible Grace to Perseverance of the Saints)

These audio files are hosted on the GCA Archive site. Here is a direct link to the Doctrines of Grace folder on the site.  Just scroll down to the bottom of the page:




References from July 6 Message

Yesterday morning we looked at several Bible passages that pointed toward the virgin birth.  I’ve had a couple of requests to post my notes, or at least provide a list of references, for those who weren’t able to keep notes.  And I’m happy to oblige.  So, here are the references, in the order they were presented in the message, along with a couple of notes and quotes that I relied upon:

Genesis 3: 8-15

Genesis 12:1-3

Genesis 48:8-22

Genesis 49:8-10

1 Chronicles. 5:1-2

2 Kings 15:37-16:9

Isaiah 7:1-16

virgin–from a root, “to lie hid,” virgins being closely kept from men’s gaze in their parents’ custody in the East. The Hebrew, and the Septuagint here, and Greek ( Matthew 1:23 ), have the article, the virgin — some definite one known to the speaker and his hearers.

It’s possible that the primary prophecy concerns Messiah as a promise of deliverance to Judah – and to Israel as a whole. But, the immediate prophecy concerning a child reaching an age of knowledge may refer to Shear-jashub, whom God specifically told Isaiah to take with him. There’s no reason for the boy to be there unless maybe he is the direct object of the timeframe given by God, a foreshadow of the one who would be born by a virgin and be the redeemer and deliver of the people.

Barnes writes, “Of both her kings – Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the temple, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria. Induced by this, the king of Assyria marched against Damascus and killed Rezin, 2 Kings 16:9. This occurred but a short time after the threatened invasion of the land by Rezin and Remaliah, in the “third” year of the reign of Ahaz, and, consequently, about one year after this prophecy was delivered. Pekah, the son of Remaliah, was slain by Hoshea, the son of Elah, who conspired against him, killed him, and reigned in his stead. This occurred in the fourth year of the reign of Ahaz, for Pekah reigned twenty years. Ahaz began to reign in the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah, and as Pekah was slain after he had reigned twenty years, it follows that he was slain in the fourth year of the reign of Ahaz – perhaps not more than two yearn after this prophecy was delivered; see 2 Kings 15:27, 2 Kings 15:30; 2 Kings 16:1. We have thus arrived at a knowledge of the time intended by Isaiah in Isaiah 7:16. The whole space of time was not, probably, more than two years.

Luke 2:21-40

Matthew 1:18 and forward.

And here’s a direct link to the message: