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Bible Study: The Chaos Plan – Lesson #7

Lesson 7:  The Endgame

Revelation 19:17-19 (NKJV)
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh ofcaptains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Continue Reading Here

Book Of Genesis – Lesson #24

Lesson 24:  Genesis 38;  Genesis 39; and Genesis 40 

Read Genesis 38:1-11

The sordid story of Judah’s sin with Tamar serves to magnify the grace of God when we remember that the Lord Jesus was descended from Judah (Luke 3:33). Tamar is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy in Matthew 1; three of them were guilty of immorality—Tamar, Rahab (v. 5), and Bathsheba (v. 6). The others are Ruth, a Gentile (v. 5) and Mary, a godly virgin (v. 16). There is a deeper and typological meaning to this story of moral failure.  Genesis 37 closes with an account of Jacob’s sons selling their brother Joseph unto the Midianites, and they in turn selling him into Egypt. This speaks, in type, of Christ being rejected by Israel and delivered unto the Gentiles. From the time that the Jewish leaders delivered their Messiah into the hands of Pilate, they have (as a nation) had no further dealings with Him; and God, too, has turned the focus from them to the Gentiles. Hence it is that there is an important turn in our type at this stage. Joseph is now seen in the hands of the Gentiles. But before we are told what happened to Joseph in Egypt, the Holy Spirit traces for us, in typical outline, the history of the Jewish nation, while the antitypical Joseph is absent from the land.  It is no accident that the story of Joseph is interrupted by chapter 38. The disreputable behavior of other members of Joseph’s family makes his conduct, by contrast, shine like a bright light in a sordid world. Continue Reading Here

Sermon Audio: More Hard Sayings

Scripture Reference:  2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

Sermon Audio: Guilty Of The Blood

Scripture Reference:  1 Corinthians 11:23-32

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Sermon Audio: Trained To Run

Scripture Reference:  Hebrews 12:1-11

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Sermon Audio: Membership Has Its Privileges

Scripture Reference:  Ephesians 2:11-22

  11   Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
  12   That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
  13   But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
  14   For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
  15   Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
  16   And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
  17   And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
  18   For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
  19   Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
  20   And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
  21   In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
  22   In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Sermon Audio: I Can Do No Other

Scripture Reference:  2 Timothy 4:1-5  and  1 John 1:1-7
2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

1 John 1:1-7

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Sermon Audio: Let It Shine

 Scripture Reference:  2 Corinthians 4:1-11

1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

 

Sermon Audio: Focus On The Things That Last

Scripture Reference:  2 Peter 3:10-18

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Women Of The Bible: Lesson #29 – Priscilla, Philip’s Daughters, Drusilla, Bernice and Phoebe

 PRISCILLA

Scripture references:  Acts 18:1–26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19 

 Bible Search Tool

Priscilla and her husband were Christian Jews who met Paul in Corinth. The couple had moved to Corinthian when the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome. Paul stayed with this couple, who apparently became Christians before meeting the apostle. When Paul left Corinth after a ministry of some two to three years, Priscilla and Aquila went with him to Ephesus. There they hosted a house-church in their home (1 Cor. 16:19), as they probably did in both Rome and Corinth. Continue Reading Here

Commentary: How Strong Is The Promise

By:  Pastor Roy Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon regarding this commentary here.

God’s promise concerning the perpetuation of the Davidic dynasty and the Levitical priesthood would be as unbreakable as God’s covenant of day and night.  Some of the people were accusing God of forsaking His two houses – Israel and Judah, and were thus despising the Jews as being cast-offs, a non-people. 

The Lord replies that His covenant with His people is as fixed as the laws of nature,  The descendants of David would be as innumerable as the host of Heaven and the sand of the sea.  This promise (covenant) will be fulfilled in the fullness of the Body of Christ, who are made kings and priests as recorded in the Book of the Revelation.

John addressed the Revelation to the seven churches located in the Roman province of Asia.  First, John wishes for these churches grace…and peace.  Grace means the undeserved favor of God and the strength that is needed in the Christian life day by day.  Peace is the resulting calm that enables the believer to face persecution, sorrow, and even death itself.

It comes from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.  This clearly describes God the Son.  He is the dependable witness.  As firstborn from the dead, He is the first One to rise from the dead to die no more, and the one who holds the place of honor and pre-eminence among all who are raised from the dead to enjoy eternal life.  He is also the ruler over all earthly kings. 

Following his initial greetings, John writes a tribute of praise to the Lord Jesus.  First of all, he speaks of the Savior as the One who loved us (loves us) and washed us from our sins in His own blood. 

Note the tenses of the verbs: loves, a present, continuous action; washed, a past, completed work.  Note too the order:  He loves us, and indeed loved us long before He washed us.  And note the price He paid: His own blood. 

Honest self-evaluation forces us to confess that the cost was too high.  We did not deserve to be washed at such an exorbitant price.

His love did not stop at washing us, though it could have done so.  He mad us kings and priests to His God and Father.  As holy priests, we offer spiritual sacrifices to God: our persons, our possessions, our praise, and our services.  As royal priests, we tell forth the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

If we meditate on such love, we can only conclude that He is worthy of all the glory, honor, worship, and praise that we can heap on Him.  And He is worthy of the dominion over our lives, the church, the world, and the entire universe.

Amen.

Commentary: Who Are You Looking For?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this commentary Here!

Read the Scripture: Luke 19:37-44

The disciples made a cushion or saddle for the Lord with their own clothes. Many spread their clothes on the road before Him as He ascended from the western base of the Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem. Then with one accord the followers of Jesus burst out in praise for all the mighty works they had seen Him do. They hailed Him as God’s King, and chanted that the effect of His coming was peace in heaven and glory in the highest. It is significant that they cried “Peace in heaven” rather than “Peace on earth.” There could not be peace on earth because the Prince of Peace had been rejected and was soon to be slain. But there would be peace in heaven as a result of the impending death of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His ascension to heaven.

The Pharisees were indignant that Jesus should be publicly honored in this way. They suggested that He should rebuke His disciples. But Jesus answered that such acclamation was inevitable. If the disciples wouldn’t do it, then the very stones of Creation would! He thus rebuked the Pharisees for being more hard and unresponsive than the inanimate stones.

As Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, He uttered a lamentation over the city that had missed its golden opportunity. If the people had only received Him as Messiah, it would have meant peace for them. But they didn’t recognize that He was the source of peace. Now it was too late. They had already determined what they would do with the Son of God. Because of their rejection of Him, their eyes were blinded. Because they would not see Him, they could no longer see Him.

Pause here to reflect on the wonder of the Savior’s tears. As W. H. Griffith Thomas has said, “Let us sit at Christ’s feet until we learn the secret of His tears, and beholding the sins and sorrows of city and countryside, weep over them too.”

Jesus gave a solemn preview of the siege of Titus—how that Roman general would surround the city, trap the inhabitants, massacre both young and old, and level the walls and buildings. Not one stone would be left upon another. And it was all because Jerusalem did not know the time of its visitation. The Lord had visited the city with the offer of salvation. But the people did not want Him. They had no room for Him in their scheme of things.

When we remember the “Triumphal Entry”, we must remember that although the people were looking for a king who would set them free from the Romans; they completely missed the SAVIOR who would set them free from sin.  The world as a whole wants to “create” religions, political movements, and philosophies that will meet what THEY want, rather than simply accepting the Savior that God sent; His Own Son.

Bible Study: The Book of Malachi

Introduction:

Malachi (My messenger, a shortened form of Malā’k-îyyāh, messenger of Jehovah) has the distinction of being the last of the prophets and the bridge between the two Testaments, looking forward both to John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Himself.

Malachi has a special question and answer style that has caused some to call him “the Hebrew Socrates.” We know nothing definite about the prophet apart from his book. There is every reason to accept him as a bold, often severe writer, who with Haggai and Zechariah called the post-exilic Jews back to their covenantal relationship with God.
It is clear that Malachi wrote after 538 b.c., since he used an almost exclusively post-exilic word for governor. It is also obvious that he wrote later than the other two post-exilic “minor” prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, since in Malachi the temple is finished, the rituals have been re-instituted, and in fact, enough time had elapsed for spiritual decline to set in. Also, the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. Malachi probably should be dated between about 470 and 460 b.c. Continue Reading Here

Bible Study: The Book of Zephaniah

The Book of Zephaniah

“If anyone wishes all the secret oracles of the prophets to be given in a brief compendium, let him read through this brief Zephaniah.” —Martin Bucer (1528)

We know very little about Zephaniah the son of Cushi. His name means Jehovah hides, i.e., “protects” or “treasures.” He liked to put dark against light and light against dark, painting a very gloomy picture of the Day of the Lord, yet giving a very bright foreglimpse of Israel’s coming glory and the conversion of the Gentiles to the Lord. As Bible Commentator Hewitt points out, the Prophet Zephaniah minced no words: There is no compromise in the language used. He denounces sin and announces judgment with perfect fearlessness and closes his book with a song full of inspiration and hope looking forward to the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom.

Zephaniah ministered during the reign of Josiah (640–609 B.C.). The book was probably written between 621 and 612 B.C.

Zephaniah probably prophesied from Jerusalem (“this place,” 1:4). The historical background of his prophecy will be found in 2 Kings 21–23 and the early chapters of Jeremiah: Continue Reading Here

Commentary: What Are We Saved From?

By: Pastor Roy L. Crane

What Are We Saved From? (Revelation 20:7-15)   Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon on this subject here!

The devil himself is cast into the lake of fire to join the beast and the false prophet.

Next we are introduced to the great white throne judgment. It is great because of the issues involved and white because of the perfection and purity of the decisions handed down. The Lord Jesus is sitting as Judge (John 5:22, 27). All of the dead, small and great, stand before God. Two sets of books are opened. The Book of Life contains the names of all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. The other books contain a detailed record of the works of the individual.

The sea will yield up the bodies of those who have been buried in it. The graves, here represented by Death, will deliver up the bodies of all those who have been interred. Hades will give up the souls of all who have died. The bodies and souls will be reunited to stand before the Judge.

This then is what we are saved from: the Lake of Fire, the final abode of the Devil, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and of all who have not accepted Christ. Period.  We are not saved from the effects of bad habits; from the social pain of our relationships, or from the loneliness of poor self-esteem. We are saved from an eternity of fire in the company of the most evil persons ever.

When we down-play what it is we are saved from, we cheapen what Christ has done.  He gave His LIFE to keep you out of the Lake, even though by any standard of measurement you truly DESERVED and had EARNED your place there.  As a sinner, in rebellion against your Creator, in violation of His Word and ways, you were truly destined for the Lake.  However, in love and grace, Jesus gave Himself willingly as the atoning sacrifice for your sin so that you could be SAVED from the Lake.  The only issue that we carry into eternity with us is this; how did we respond to Jesus’ purchased salvation?  Did we accept it with repentance, gladness, and joy; or did we reject it and refuse to grasp the life-line that we have been offered?

Bible Study: The Book of Habakkuk

Habakkuk 

“Habakkuk was not a self-centered person concerned only with the comfort and safety of himself and his family. As a true patriot, he was deeply distressed by the moral and spiritual conditions about him. He loved his nation, and knew it was moving ever closer to the precipice of destruction by continuing to break the laws of God. Therefore two anguished questions burst forth from his lips: How long? and Why?”     —Richard W. De Haan

Habakkuk 2:4 has the distinction of being quoted three times in the NT. In Acts 13:40-41 the Apostle Paul ended his sermon in the synagogue at Antioch, Pisidia, by quoting Habakkuk 1:5, another illustration of how an apparently obscure and short OT book can have rich doctrinal content. Also, compare Habakkuk 3:17-18 with Philippians 4:4, 10–19. Both the prophet and the apostle could rejoice in their God no matter what the outward circumstances of life might be. Continue Reading Here

Bible Study: The Book of Joel

The Book of Joel

“Joel, … was probably the first of the so called writing prophets; so this book provides a valuable insight into the history of prophecy, particularly as it furnishes a framework for the end times which is faithfully followed by all subsequent Scripture. God started a new work with the writing of Joel, that of preparing the human race for the end of this temporal era, and thus gave an outline of His total plan. Later prophets, including even our Lord, would only flesh out this outline, but in keeping with the divine nature of true Scripture, never found it necessary to deviate from this, the initial revelation.” Montague S. Mills

The prophecy of Joel is short but certainly not lacking in beauty or interest. The prophet uses many literary devices to produce his vivid style: alliteration, metaphors, similes, and both synonymous and contrasting parallelism. Continue Reading Here

Bible Study: The Book of Micah

Micah

Micah is the fourth largest of the minor prophets. It is quoted five times in the NT, once by our Lord. The most famous quotation (Matt. 2:6) is from 5:2, the verse that predicts that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (there was another Bethlehem up north).

Another fascinating feature of Micah is the prophet’s fondness for “punning.” Many people enjoy making plays on words. In English- speaking cultures this is not generally considered a serious literary form (although Shakespeare used it often). In Hebrew, however, such serious writings as constitute the OT have many plays on words. Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest types of literature to translate, since no two languages have the same sets of double meanings. Continue Reading Here

Bible Study: The Book Of Jonah

The Book Of Jonah

“The book is unique in that it is more concerned with the prophet himself than with his prophecy. The condition of his soul, and God’s loving discipline of him, instruct and humble the reader.” —George Williams

Jonah (Heb. for dove) is the only one among the prophets whose prophecy does not consist of what he said but rather of his own life and experience. His experience portrays the past, present, and future of the nation of Israel, as follows:
1. Intended to be a witness for God to the Gentiles.
2. Jealous that a message of grace should be extended to the Gentiles.
3. Thrown into the sea (Gentile world) and swallowed by the nations, yet not assimilated by them.
4. Cast upon dry land (restored to the land of Israel) and made a blessing to the nations.

Continue Reading Here