Saturday, December 13, 2008

What was the Star of Bethlehem?

What was the Star of Bethlehem? Currently making waves abroad and here in the Philippines are the website and DVD entitled “The Star of Bethlehem” by Frederick A. Larson, a litigation lawyer and professor at Texas A&M University. Essentially, Larson says that the star of Bethlehem was “the planet Jupiter crowning the star Regulus in a rare triple conjunction and then rendezvousing with the planet Venus.”

There are several reasons, however, why Larson's theory is wrong:

(1) Contrary to Larson's view, the vast majority of Biblical scholars and archeologists date Herod's death at 4 BC, based on the writings of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Larson's theory therefore has a significant problem since Herod would be dead by the time the Magi arrive.

(2) Larson's theory about the Star of Bethlehem emphasizes Jupiter's retrograde motion. Some astronomers have also emphasized this retrograde motion but have come up with different explanations and conclusions.

(3) Larson's theory is based on a gross misinterpretation of Revelation 12.

Read the complete article

Friday, December 12, 2008

Improve your church website or blog

RefTagger is an amazing, free new web tool that instantly makes all the Bible references on your website or blog come alive. Bare references turn into hyperlinks to the full text of the passage at, making it easy for your readers to access the text of Scripture with just a click.

Even better, RefTagger brings the text right to your readers by generating a tooltip window that pops up instantly when they hover over the reference. For example, try hovering your mouse over this verse [John 3:16] or the verses in the next paragraph and see what happens next.

RefTagger supports all of the Bible book names and their standard abbreviations. It will recognize and tag books with only one chapter whether you cite them with or without the chapter number (e.g., Jude 9 or Jude 1:9). To avoid false hits, RefTagger will not tag whole books like Luke or whole chapters of Scripture like John 10 unless you wrap them in the Bibleref markup (see below for instructions). It also handles multiple verses in a row (e.g., John 3:16-18, 22; 4:2-4), portions of verses (e.g., Ps. 1:1a; 1 Cor. 15:28c), and verses through the use of the f or ff abbreviations (e.g., Gen 3:15f; Job 2:1ff), and recognizes many other common abbreviations and formats (e.g., Lk 2:1; cf. 4:4; Gal 3:3; cf. vv. 8-10; Eph 3:1 and 4:2). Whether you use a hyphen (-) or an en dash (–), RefTagger will correctly recognize and tag your Bible references (e.g., Rom 5:1-10; Eph 2:8–9).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Guide Network of Internet Evangelism Day, and Digital Japan

The Global Use of Internet and Digital Evangelism (Guide) Network is an networking resource, linked with “Internet Evangelism Day” and “Web Evangelism Guide”, Internet Evangelism Coalition, Global Christian Internet Alliance, Lausanne, and visionSynergy. Its purpose is enhancing global spread of the Gospel in multiple languages via the Internet and mobile digital devices, by networking with practitioners to share resources and information, encourage Kingdom collaboration, and help the body of Christ to embrace and engage in internet/mobile evangelism ”

The vision: Networking together for web and mobile evangelism

A special emphasis is assisting in the emergence of internet/mobile evangelism in more countries and languages beyond English, including the non-western world. There will soon be the ‘second billion’ web users outside the West, and even more have mobile phones right now. So our interest also includes the development of viral video clips and cartoons that can be used with mobile phones or online. We also wish to see increased convergence, synergy and collaboration between different electronic media, for instance DVDs and radio ministry, with the Web/mobile devices.

We also wish to help the cross-cultural missions community in developing digital evangelism and discipleship integrated with their ministries on the ground.

How the Guide network can help you

[1] Link you with others

Are you wishing to do web evangelism in a particular language? Are you planning a mobile phone initiative? Perhaps you are looking for training? We can probably link you with others working in the same area. With our involvement in the cross-cultural missions community as well as the new media, we do have a unique web of relationships to draw on. Or you may be a mission agency, just wondering whether to move into web or mobile ministry. Are you the editor of a Christian publication who wishes to interview people regarding web and mobile evangelism? Whatever your needs or questions, please write.

[2] Free articles for editors

A wide range of freely re-usable articles is offered to Christian print and web editors, and bloggers, like about web evangelism, MP3 interviews and talks, freely available for podcasting and broadcasting, and other articles which are seeker/skeptic-friendly for non-Christians, and features on broader evangelism issues for Christians.

Reaching Japan for Christ through the Internet

Digital Japan aims to link together anyone interested in any form of digital outreach to Japan including any combination of outreach websites, blogs, church sites, social networking, chat rooms, mobile phone evangelism, Bluetooth broadcasting, video clips, Manga comics, cartooning, teaching English online, podcasting, audio, gaming and anything else digital. It is is a private discussion group not listed in YahooGroups directory. Messages are only viewable by members, and are not spidered by search engines. Anyone with an interest in Japan is warmly invited to join.

Please share news, ideas, questions, and encourage others to join this group. Please link to the Digital Japan Network page from appropriate webpages and blogs. Digital Japan is linked with the Guide Network and Internet Evangelism Day's Japan resource page.

Join using the normal YahooGroup procedure (you will need to mention in a few words why you wish to join.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

How to create a blog for your church or ministry

A blog is a free, easy to use form of a website, capable of posting pictures and text. As of May 2008, according to Technorati (a popular blog search engine) there were more than 112.8 million blogs. You can use a blog for posting pictures and articles of your church events, announcements, etc. Through a blog, you can keep your sending church and supporting groups and individuals informed about what’s happening to your ministry.

How serious can blogging be? According to a Christianity Today article by Ted Olsen, Mark D. Roberts, one of the most prominent "pastor bloggers," announced that he was leaving his pulpit at Irvine, California, Presbyterian Church to become senior director at the Laity Lodge retreat in Texas and concentrate on his blogging. "My blog now becomes a part of my primary work," Roberts told his congregation.

To learn more about how to create a blog for your church or ministry, please view the YouTube video below.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Monday, November 03, 2008

Charles Haddon Spurgeon resources

Doug Whitley as Charles H. Spurgeon (from Preachers of the Past)

The Spurgeon Archives (sermons and writings)

Spurgeon audio sermons (Windows Media or Real Player required)

Spurgeon’s Sermons (from Internet Christian Library)

The Treasury of David
The Treasury of David, from (This seven volume "magnum opus", by Charles H. Spurgeon, was first published in weekly installments over a twenty-year span in the London Metropolitan Tabernacle's periodical, The Sword and the Trowel. As each section was completed it was published as a volume until the seventh and final volume was released in 1885.)

The Treasury of David, from

Treasury of David, from

Treasury of David, from

Treasury of David Bible, from eword

Treasury of David / C. H. Spurgeon's Commentary on Psalms, from

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Scriptures

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.

By the "Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God.

By "inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

Psalms 19:7-11

7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Psalm 119:89, 105, 130 and 160
89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

130. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

160. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Proverbs 30:5-6
5. Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Isaiah 8:20
20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Luke 16:31
31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Luke 24:25-27, 44-45
25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
John 5:39, 45-47
39. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
John 12: 48
48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
John 17:17

17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Acts 1:16
16. Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Acts 28:25
25. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Romans 3:4
4. God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Romans 15:4
4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Ephesians 6:17
17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
1 Peter 1:23
23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
2 Peter 1:19-21
19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Revelation 22:19
19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Articles of Faith: Of the True God

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

Genesis 17:1

1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Exodus 20:2-3
2. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exodus 15:11
11. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Psalm 83:18
18. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.
Psalm 90:2
2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Psalm 147:5
5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
Jeremiah 10:10
10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
Matthew 28:19
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mark 12:30
30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
John 4:24
4. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 10:30
30. I and my Father are one.
John 15:26
26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 17:5
5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Acts 5:3-4
3. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Romans 11:23
23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
1 Corinthians 12:10-11
10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 8:6
6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
2 Corinthians 13:14
14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
Ephesians 2:18
18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 4:6
6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Philippians 2:5-6
5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
1Timothy 1:17
17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 John 5:7
7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Revelation 4:11
11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The 19th Fundamental Bible Conference in Metro Manila, Philippines, October 28-31, 2008

Click to get an enlarged view of this flyer for downloading The theme of this year’s conference is "Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:12). Keynote speaker is Mr. Doug Whitley (as the Apostle Peter, the Apostle Paul, Dwight L. Moody, R.A Torrey and Charles H. Spurgeon). Mr. Whitley is a former professor at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Minnesota and his full-time ministry now is to revive voices of preachers from the past (like George Mueller and Hudson Taylor) and mimic them in full costume while delivering a Bible message.

Other speakers in the conference are Ptr. Cornelio Guiang, Grace Baptist Church; Ptr. Vince Bacquiller, Living Faith Baptist Church, Tondo, Manila; Dr. Phil Kamibayashiyama, Director, Bob Jones Memorial College, Quezon City; Ptr. Eric Garcia, former missionary, Gospel Light Baptist Church, Kent, Washington; Ptr. Sammy Villafranca, Foundation Baptist Mission, Valenzuela City; and Ptr. Leo Lorenzana, Promised Land Baptist Church, Malabon City.

The purposes of this conference and ministry are:

1. To provide a haven of wholesome Christian fellowship for born again believers of like-precious faith;

2. To Biblically address (theological, doctrinal, ethical, moral, philosophical, legal) issues that pose as a threat to the spiritual well-being of the Bible-believing Christians;

3. To heed the Scriptural admonition in Jude 3 to "earnestly contend for the faith."

The venue is the IBP Auditorium, Integrated Bar of the Philippines Bldg., #15 Julia Vargas St. Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, nightly, 6:00 - 9:30 pm. One-time registration fee: P150/head (Fellowship meal for Friday afternoon excluded).

For more information, please contact Dr. Roberto-Jose Livioco, conference chairman, at tel. nos. 636-5535 and 829-4474.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Holy Spirit

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.

Genesis 1: 1-3

1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Matthew 3:11
11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Matthew 28:19
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mark 1:8
8. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:35

35. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 3:16
16. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Luke 24:49

49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
John 1:33
33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
John 3:5-6

5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 14: 16-17, 26
16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26-27
26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
John 16:8-11, 13
8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9. Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Acts 5:30-32
30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Acts 11:16
16. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Romans 8:14, 16, 26-27
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Ephesians 1:13-14
13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:7, 13
7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Hebrews 9:14
14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 Peter 1:2
2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Answers from the Evidence Bible

Answers from the Evidence Bible (from The Way of The Master, ministry of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron)

How to Witness to Specific Groups of People; Points for Open Air; Preaching; Springboards; In-Depth Comments; Common Questions and Objections like Abortion; Archeology & History; Bible; Buddhism; Closing Words of Comfort; Death; Evolution; Gospel; Hinduism; Islam; Jehovah's Witnesses; Jesus Christ; Love; Mormonism; Muslim; Panic Attacks; Pornography; Prayer; Quotes; Resurrection; Sabbath; Salvation; Science

Free PDF lessons

The Forgotten Key to Biblical Evangelism
Judgment Day
Scientific Facts in the Bible

Free Open Air Downloads

Atheist Debate Outline - Adobe Acrobat - Challenge an atheist to a debate on a local college campus. Then use this four point outline to help you get the Gospel across to all your hearers.

"The Good Test Flip Chart" - Adobe Acrobat - Print this off, then have it enlarged at a photocopy business. This flip chart includes questions to draw a crowd, the good test, the evolution offer, scientific facts in the Bible and more... Ray sometimes uses this on an easel to help draw a crowd for open air preaching.

Atheist Debate Outline - MS Word or Atheist Debate Outline - Plain Text - Challenge an atheist to a debate on a local college campus. Then use this four point outline to help you get the Gospel across to all your hearers.

"The Good Test" - Adobe Acrobat - Print this off, then have it enlarged at a photocopy business. Ray uses this on an easel to help draw a crowd for open air preaching.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“The State has no authority or competence to control the training of pastors and ministers”

There are numerous Bible schools all over the Philippines and in this post I will discuss whether or not recognition or accreditation with the Commission on Higher Education is necessary. At present however, very, very few Bible schools are CHED recognized. One or two Bible schools have sidestepped the issue of CHED recognition by networking with a US seminary. It is the US seminary which grants the degree, not the Bible school in the Philippines.

Generally, governments around the world (including the Philippines) have been strict over the use of the words “college, university, seminary, credit and degree”. If schools want to use these words as part of their name or their services, or want to grant degrees (bachelor’s, masteral or doctoral), then the proper accreditation must be obtained from government authorities.

In the Philippine context, that authority is the CHED established in May 18, 1994 through Republic Act 7722 or the Higher Education Act of 1994. Commission Order 31, s. 1995 enumerates the CHED’s policies on voluntary accreditation in aid of quality and excellence in higher education. Any school which violates CHED standards or regulations can be closed down.

Conflicting views on the necessity or desirability of accreditation of Bible schools

There are Bible colleges in the US which see nothing wrong about obtaining accreditation from the State. For example, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas is a fully accredited private, non-profit institution of higher learning associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

On the other hand, there are Bible schools in the US which believe that State regulation of Bible schools is un-Biblical. These schools also believe that the establishment of a Bible school is an exercise of the Constitutionally-protected freedom of religion. In brief, “freedom of religion” implies unfettered freedom to worship; to print instructional materials; and to train teachers and organize schools in which to teach things that include religion. This means that any church or denomination can organize and maintain a Bible school without having to seek authority from the State.

Benefits from and criticism of accreditation, Philippine context

In the Philippines, those who desire CHED recognition of Bible schools say that such recognition is beneficial and desirable for several reasons. Recognition (1) makes it easer for foreign students to come into the country and study in Bible school; (2) Bible school graduates who want to pursue higher education or other college courses can do so because the subjects they have taken or the degree they have obtained will be credited or recognized in secular colleges; (3) Bible school graduates can find employment in secular jobs because the degree they received will be accepted by companies; and (4) quality standards of teaching and facilities will be guaranteed.

The main criticism against these so-called benefits of CHED recognition is that Bible schools exist primarily, if not exclusively, to equip and train pastors, missionaries, evangelists, church workers and lay leaders for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Under what circumstances should a Bible school seek accreditation? Does the government have authority to control the training of pastors and ministers?

My main point is this: CHED recognition becomes necessary if the Bible school uses the word “college” as part of its name and/or grants degrees like Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Christian Education, etc.

Otherwise stated, if the Bible school uses the words “institute” or “seminary”, then CHED recognition is not necessary. If the Bible school does not grant degrees but gives to its graduates for example a certificate of merit for completing a training program for pastors or missionaries, then again, CHED recognition is not necessary. The principle is that “The state has no authority or competence to control the training of pastors and ministers.” (More on this below)

Can the Philippine government compel Bible schools to seek accreditation with the CHED?

Several pastors who have church-based schools using the ACE or School of Tomorrow curriculum have approached me for legal advice. They told me that the Regional Offices of the Department of Education have been pressuring them to obtain government recognition through the submission of some 17 to 25 documentary requirements. My answer has always been for these pastors to network with other leaders of church-based schools that are experiencing the same kind of problem and to ask for legal help from the SOT itself.

The question is, can the Philippine government through the CHED force Bible schools to submit to regulation or accreditation?

In the United States, all states except for California require Bible schools to be accredited (either by the government itself or by private entities). Some of the private entities which accredit Bible schools in the US are the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS); Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS); Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).

Non-accreditation can lead to penalties or even the closure of the school. For example, in 1998 the state of Texas fined Tyndale Theological Seminary and Bible Institute (a non-accredited school in Fort Worth) $173,000 for issuing degrees as without a license and for its unauthorized use of the term “seminary”. Tyndale is an evangelical and dispensational Bible school.

The facts of the HEB Ministries/Tyndale case (from the text of the Texas State Supreme Court August 2007 decision)

Petitioner HEB Ministries, Inc., a church in Fort Worth operates a school, Tyndale Theological Seminary and Bible Institute, which was founded in the early 1990s to offer a biblical education in preparation for ministry in churches and missions. By 1999, its campus consisted of a library, four or five classrooms, administrative offices, a small bookstore, and a computer department, and its enrollment was 300-350 students, with over three-fourths in correspondence courses.

Tyndale’s 1997-1998 course catalog stated: At Tyndale our focus is upon you — the professional minister or motivated layman who wishes to make a difference for Christ in our world. You are the most important part of the TYNDALE equation. Our job is to meet your needs — to meet you half-way with quality Bible courses that help you in your ministry endeavor.

The catalog also contained a lengthy “Doctrinal Statement” setting out Tyndale’s positions on issues of faith. The catalog listed 172 courses, 162 of which were in religious subjects. Of the other ten, three were in general education — “Basic English Grammar & Composition”, “Read, Research & Study Basics”, and “Ancient World History” — and seven were in typing, word processing, and use of the Internet, offered by the “Department of Theological and Biblical Research”. The catalog offered 20 “diplomas”, all in religious subjects.

Tyndale’s catalog offered no “diploma” in any secular subject and no “degree” of any kind, but it characterized programs of study required for a diploma as equivalent to programs of study required for a degree at the same level. For example, the catalog referred to its “Diploma Of Theological Studies” program as a “bachelor equivalent program” and “bachelor equivalent course of studies”, and the “Master of Arts Level Diploma” in “Counseling” as a “Masters Level Program”.

The course catalog did not state that Tyndale’s diplomas were the equivalent of college degrees, but neither did it state that they were not; it was silent on the subject. The catalog stated that Tyndale and Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary were “going forward with parallel programs [in prophetic studies] and exchange of credits between the two institutions”, but did not otherwise say that Tyndale academic credits could be applied toward earning degrees.

In 1998, Tyndale had never been accredited by an agency recognized by the Coordinating Board and had never obtained a certificate of authority from the Board. Tyndale never sought accreditation or a certificate of authority for what it describes as “doctrinal reasons”. In its 1997-1998 course catalog, Tyndale described its position on accreditation as follows:

Many seminaries are on shifting sands. They feel they must impress the world or the culture with their intellectualism. Thus, some schools are spending large sums of money on appearance and are no longer focusing on the substance — strong theology, solid Bible courses, practical language exegesis, etc.

What validates Tyndale? Tyndale believes it is affirmed by its Board of Advisors, Board of Governors, the students attending and, the world-class Guest Faculty who give our students the best of academics and the greatest training in the spiritual message of the Scriptures. But again, many schools seek RECOGNITION and AFFIRMATION from the state, from secular associations or professional groups that really have no business meddling in biblical matters.

The approach of many seminaries and Bible schools is obsolete and antiquated. They are still trying to be, as they call it, “traditional” schools. But mainly, they simply try to keep up with the Joneses. They attempt to look and act like secular universities. But in reality, a school like Tyndale, and other schools with our convictions, are the ones that are traditional, not the other way around.

For example, in the 1960s, most Christian schools were not accredited, nor did the best want to be. They were satisfied with serving the Lord by being complete and whole within their framework and calling. As well, a student could get the best education at these institutions and know he had not been compromised with the culture. But in the 1970s, a push was on for state approval and accreditation. “We want state and federal government approval. We want the world to like us?” [sic] Did any of this have anything to do with the quality or teaching message of those schools? It did not! When one of the big seminaries became accredited in the 1970s, almost all of the older faculty and all of the graduates testify that the school went down hill — not in a certain secular quality manner, but in its message and commitment to truth and the Gospel.

One of the largest Christian Universities in America has said, “We will not become accredited!” That school today is highly respected and other schools want their graduates. Accreditation or lack of it has not had anything to do with the school’s quality or mission.

At commencement exercises on June 26, 1998, Tyndale recognized graduates with 34 awards, listed in the program with titles as follows:

“Certificate of Biblical Studies (Cert. BS)” — two;
“Diploma of Basic Biblical Studies (Dip. BBS)” — three;
“Associate of Biblical Studies (ABS)” — one;
“Diploma of Advanced Biblical Studies (Dip. ABS)” — one;
“Bachelor Level Diploma in Biblical Studies (BBS)” — two;
“Bachelor Level Diploma in Theological Studies (Dip. Th.S.)” — six;
“Diploma of Christian Studies (DCS)” — two;
“Master of Arts (MA)” — nine;
“Master of Theology (Th.M.) — two;
“Doctor of Ministries (D.Min)” — one;
“Doctor of Theology (Th.D)” — two;
“Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)” — three.

In conferring these awards, Tyndale did not use the word “degree”. Nevertheless, the Commissioner of Higher Education fined Tyndale $173,000.00 for for using the word "seminary" and issuing theological degrees without receiving government approval.

Attorneys of the Liberty Legal Institute then filed a suit in district court against the state for violating the U.S. and state constitutions. The suit, entitled HEB Ministries v. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and filed on behalf of Tyndale as well as two other other seminaries in Texas, argued that government attempts to control the religious training of seminaries are unconstitutional. The Austin Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state and the case was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

“The state has no authority or competence to control the training of pastors and ministers”

Last August 2007, the Texas State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tyndale, saying that “state education requirements affecting the institutions ‘impermissibly intrude’ upon religious freedom protected by the U.S. and Texas constitutions.”

The Court ruled that “since the government cannot determine what a church should be, it cannot determine the qualifications a cleric should have or whether a particular person has them. Likewise the government cannot set standards for religious education or training.”

Does the HEB Ministries/Tyndale ruling apply here in the Philippines?

Please take note that the freedom of religion clause of our 1987 Constitution is of American origin. Thus, interpretations and decisions of the United States Supreme Court with regards freedom of religion are given great weight by our own Supreme Court. In the landmark case of Estrada vs. Escritor (which I also discussed in this blog) for example, our High Court cited numerous passages from US Supreme Court decisions.

Should the issue of accreditation (or non-accreditation) of Bible schools in the Philippines ever reach our courts, then we can cite the Texas State Supreme Court ruling in Tyndale that “The state has no authority or competence to control the training of pastors and ministers.”

Read the complete Tyndale decision of the Texas State Supreme Court

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Open Letter from Internet Evangelism Day about Web Ministry Training

To: Bible College and Seminary Principals, Deans of Study, Training Administrators, Evangelism Tutors, Missiology Departments, Magazine Editors

From: Tony Whittaker, Internet Evangelism Day Coordinator, Jul 2008

At Internet Evangelism Day, we recognize the vital role that colleges play in equipping our generation for ministry and evangelism in a rapidly-changing world. You are probably already using the Internet in many ways – to reach your supporting public, network with your students and perhaps offer online distance-learning modules too. May we write to you about the potential of the Web for direct evangelism, and the possibilities for training in this area?

A new baby
In 1996, a birth took place which has already dramatically affected many of that year’s other 80 million babies. For it was then that the Internet emerged as a mainstream communication medium after its gestation period as a minority hobby. By the end of the century, it was becoming clear that the Web would be as significant as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press – which transformed society, communication, the church and the entire way that the Gospel was proclaimed. M Rex Miller, in his book The Millennium Matrix [1], proposes that we now live in a ‘digital communication culture’, and that this is rapidly superseding the previous ‘broadcast communication culture’ (the radio and TV era from about 1950 onwards), which itself had to a considerable extent replaced the ‘print communication culture’ that Gutenberg started.
Those who grew up with computers as children can be truly said to have been born in this new ‘digital country’. Those of us who were adults before the computer revolution are at best ‘immigrants’, and perhaps still only occasional tourists in a strange new land.

A God-given tool
With well over one billion current users, and ‘the second billion’ expected to come online in the next few years (who will be almost entirely in the non-western world), the Web has enormous potential for cutting-edge evangelism (not least in the difficult 10/40 Window countries), as well as in nurturing believers. Unlike previous communication systems, it is not primarily a one-way linear medium (‘print on a screen’), but a powerful two-way relationship builder that can target any affinity group.

We thank God that some ministries and missions are already ‘seizing the day’ and using the Web effectively for outreach. But unfortunately, these are the exception. Although there are vast numbers of Christian websites and blogs, the overwhelming majority are only for Christians. Church websites can be very off-putting to outsiders. The situation is even worse in non-English languages. Most cross-cultural mission agencies are not using the Web for evangelism. The opportunities to use this God-given tool are immense, but not yet being grasped.

We wonder if this is a gap that colleges like yours could be poised to fill. With your vision, experience and resources, you could help to shape and establish a web evangelism movement that will impact the world for years to come. This new medium also offers many opportunities for student placements, assignments and research projects. A college could also initiate [2] a web evangelism project of its own.

Internet Evangelism Day’s role
Internet Evangelism Day is an initiative of the Internet Evangelism Coalition [3], a grouping of major ministries with a vision for online outreach. Its purpose is to encourage the worldwide church to understand and use this powerful new tool. We do this with an annual focus day on the last Sunday of April, and through a year-round resource website [4].

This site explains the nature of the Web as a medium, and explores principles and strategies to reach non-seekers, in both the West and the non-western world, including:

  • church websites that reach outsiders in their community
  • social networking and chat rooms
  • video clips
  • mobile phone outreach
  • outreach websites
  • blogging
  • gaming and the Second Life virtual world
We do believe that these are insights which any Christian in full-time ministry needs to understand, whether as pastor, evangelist or missionary. May we respectfully suggest that you might consider the possibility of a web ministry module within your curriculum, if you do not already do so. Our resources can be starting place for such a module. You can build an introductory seminar(s) of 1-3 hours using our free downloads [5]: PowerPoint, video clips, drama scripts, music, discussion questions and handouts. We can also offer seminar lecturers [6], in person or via video-conferencing. Our free articles [7] are available for reproduction in college magazines and alumni newsletters.

Many of our other resource pages and external links can provide a basis for additional seminars and lectures, and are frequently used for this purpose. We offer them to you free of charge – we have no other agenda than equipping Christians and catalyzing new web evangelism initiatives. Unlike mediums such as video production, much web ministry requires surprisingly little technical knowledge, and training courses do not need technical expertise or expensive equipment. If you are considering a more extensive course, here is a possible curriculum [8] and book-list [9].

The Web also offers students the opportunity to participate [2] in direct web ministry as part of their course, either through the creation of their own evangelistic projects, or by volunteering to do email mentoring or other ministry as a placement within an existing web outreach ministry. There are also many areas of need [2] for research-based dissertations in the area of web evangelism.

Can we interact on this?
Would you share your experience and thoughts with us? Do you already cover any of these subjects within your curriculum? (We will create a listing on this site of colleges offering training in these areas.) Do you have online publicly-available research or resources about digital media outreach and strategy? Are there other materials that we could provide for you? Would you like to network with others on these questions? Please email [10].

This letter can be freely reprinted, republished or otherwise copied. You can also download it as a PDF file [11]. Please discuss it, blog about it, pass it to others [12] in the academic Christian community, or suggest they read it online at

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Devil or Satan

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness - destined however to final defeat at the hands of God's own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.

Isaiah 14:12-15

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Ezekiel 28:14-17
14. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Matthew 4:1-3
1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Matthew 13:25
25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Matthew 25:41
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mark 13:21-22
21. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Luke 22:3-4
3. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
4. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
John 14:30
30. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Ephesians 2:2
2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
13. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
1 Thessalonians 3:5
5. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-11
8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
1 Peter 5:8
8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
2 Peter 2:4
4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
1 John 2:22
22. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
I John 3:8
8. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 4:5
5. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
2 John 7
7. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Jude 6
6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Revelation 12:7-10
7. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Revelation 13:13-14
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Revelation 19:11, 16, 20
11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:1-3, 10
1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Creation

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God's established law was that they should bring forth only "after their own kind." Since God created mankind into genders distinctly male and female, we believe that the only legitimate marriage is that between a man and a woman. He has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that God rejects any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance.

Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27

1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 2:21-23
21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Exodus 20:11
11. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Nehemiah 9:6
6. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Jeremiah 10:12
12. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
John 1:3
3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Acts 4:24
24. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Acts 17:23-26
23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
24. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26. And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Romans 1:20
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Colossians 1:16-17
16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Hebrews 11:3
3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Revelation 10:6
6. And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Fall of Man

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of His Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice, and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.

Genesis 3:1-6, 24

1. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

24. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Ezekiel 18:19-20
19. Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
20. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

30. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Romans 3:10-19
10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15. Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16. Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17. And the way of peace have they not known:
18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Romans 5:12, 19
12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Galatians 3:22
22. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Ephesians 2:1,3
1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Virgin Birth

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.

Genesis 3:15

15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Psalm 2:7
7. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.
Isaiah 7:14
14. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:18-25
18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Mark 1:1
1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Luke 1:35
35. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
John 1:14
14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Galatians 4:4
4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
1 Corinthians 15:47
47. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1 John 5:20
20. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Atonement for Sin

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all sufficient Savior.

Isaiah 53:4-7, 11-12

4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Matthew 18:11
11. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
John 3:16
16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 10:18
18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Acts 15:11
11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Romans 3:24-25
24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Galatians 1:4
4. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Ephesians 2:8
8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Philippians 2:7-8
7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Hebrews 2:14
4. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Hebrews 7:25
25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 9:12-15
12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 12:2
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.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of Grace in the New Creation

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.

Luke 5:27

27. And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
John 1:12-13
12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 3:3, 6-7
3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Acts 2:41
41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Romans 6:23
23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17, 19
17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Galatians 5:22-23
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Ephesians 2:1
1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Ephesians 5:9
9. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Colossians 2:13
13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
1 John 5:1
1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Articles of Faith: Of the Freeness of Salvation

(Note: Review quizzes and activities for Articles of Faith now available)

We believe in God's electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

Isaiah 55:1

1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Matthew 11:28
28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
John 3:15-18, 36
15. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 5:40
40. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
John 6:37
37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Acts 2:38
38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Romans 8:29-30
29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 10:13
13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1 Corinthians 15:10
10. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Ephesians 2:4-5
4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Colossians 3:12
12. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1 Thessalonians 1:4
4. Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
1 Timothy 1:15
15. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Titus 1:1
1. Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
1 Peter 1:2
2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Revelation 22:17
17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.