Friday, August 28, 2009

Old Testament survey (31): Obadiah

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?

How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! (Obadiah 1-6)

Overview

[1] Obadiah, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), Evolution and You (or Why God Hated Esau) (PDF)

Either this was written as prophecy before it happened or it is a historical record of what did happen. The natural interpretation, of course, is to accept it as history rather than prophecy, which places the date of Obadiah’s prophecy around 587 B.C., after the Babylonian captivity and during the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah.

The little kingdom of Edom is the subject of this brief prophecy. Verse 6 is the key verse: “How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!” (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Obadiah, from gotquestions.org (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, is only 21 verses long. Obadiah is a prophet of God who uses this opportunity to condemn Edom for sins against both God and Israel. The Edomites are descendants of Esau and the Israelites are descendants of his twin brother, Jacob. A quarrel between the brothers has affected their descendants for over 1,000 years. This division caused the Edomites to forbid Israel to cross their land during the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt. Edom’ sins of pride now require a strong word of judgment from the Lord. (Read the complete article)
[3] Obadiah, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Internal evidence seems to fix the date of Obadiah’s ministry in the reign of the bloody Athaliah 2 Kings 8:16-26. If this be true, and if the ministry of Joel was during the reign of Joash, then Obadiah is chronologically first of the writing prophets, and first to use the formula, “the day of the Lord”.

The book is in four parts:

1. Edom’s humiliation, Obadiah 1-9.
2. The crowning sin of Edom, Obadiah 10-14.
3. The future visitation of Edom in the day of the Lord, Obadiah 1:15-16, (Isaiah 34.). Isaiah 63:1-6.
4. The inclusion of Edom in the future kingdom, Obadiah 1:17-21; Numbers 24:17-19.
[4] Turning The Tables – What Goes Around Comes Around – The Boomerang Effect, by Paul G. Apple
How do we respond when disaster strikes some group of people that is not in our immediate camp? Maybe a church that we feel is apostate and deserving of God’s judgment; maybe a foreign country that has not been friendly to our administration; maybe an ethnic group that differs from us in many respects . . . I am especially thinking of situations where we tend to look down on others in our pride and feel superior … as if that group is especially deserving of God’s judgment.

Those under the calamity should rightly examine their own hearts to see if this is God’s hand of judgment or discipline. But it is a much more murky area to navigate for those who are merely the onlookers. Rather than being quick to point the finger, we must first look to our own standing with God and then respond in compassion and mercy. (Read the complete article)
Discussion

[1] Bible references to “pride”
Exodus 18:10-11; Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-20; Judges 9:14-15; 1 Samuel 2:3-5; 1 Kings 20:11; 2 Kings 14:9-10; 2 Chronicles 25:18-19; Job 11:12; 12:2-3; 13:2, 5; 15:1-13; 18:3; 21:31-32; 32:9-13; 37:24; Psalms 9:20; 10:2-6, 11; 12:4; 18:27; 31:23; 49:11; 52:7; 73:6, 8-9; 75:4-6; 101:5; 119:21, 69-70, 78; 138:6; Proverbs 3:34; 6:16-17; 8:13; 10:17; 11:2, 12; 12:9, 15; 13:10; 14:21; 15:5, 10, 12, 25, 32; 16:5,18-19; 17:19; 18:11-12; 20:6; 21:4, 24; 25:14, 27; 26:5, 12, 16; 27:2; 28:11, 25; 29:8, 23; 30:12-13; Isaiah 2:11-17; 3:16-26; 5:8,15; 9:9-10; 10:5-16; 13:11; 14:12-16; 16:6-7; 22:16, 19; 23:7, 9; 24:4, 21; 26:5; 28:3; 47:4-10; Jeremiah 9:23-24; 13:9, 15, 17; 48:7, 14-15,29; 49:4,16; 50:31,32; Ezekiel 16:56; 28:2-9,17; 30:6; 31:10-14; Daniel 4:37; 11:45; Hosea 5:5; 7:10; 10:11; Obadiah 1:3-4; Nahum 3:19; Habakkuk 2:4-5, 9; Zephaniah 2:10, 15; 3:11; Malachi 4:1; Matthew 20:26-27; 23:6-8, 10-12; Mark 7:21; 10:43; 12:38-39; Luke 1:51-52; 9:46; 11:43; 14:8-9; 18:14; 20:45-47; Romans 1:22, 29-30; 11:17-21, 25; 12:3, 16; 1 Chronicles 1:29; 3:18; 4:6-8, 10; 5:2, 6; 8:1-2; 10:12; 13:4; 14:38; 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12, 18; 12:7; Galatians 6:3; Ephesians 4:17; Philemon 2:3; 1 Titus 2:9; 3:6; 6:3-4, 17; 2 Titus 3:2, 4; James 3:1; 4:6; 1 Peter 5:3, 5; 1 John 2:16; Revelation 3:17-18; 18:7-8
[2] Prophecies concerning Israel

Their rejection of the Messiah
Isaiah 8:14-15; 49:5, 7; 52:14; 53:1-3; Zechariah 11, 13; Matthew 21:33; 22:1
War and other judgments
Deuteronomy 28:49-57; 2 Kings 20:17-18; 21:12-15; 22:16-17; 23:26-27; Isaiah 1:1-24; 3; 4:1; 5; 6:9-13; 7:17-25; 8:14-22; 9; 10:12; 22:1-14; 28:14-22; 29:1-10; 30:1-17; 31:1-3; 32:9-14; Jeremiah 1:11-16; 4:5-31; 6; 7:8-34; 8; 9:9-26; 10:17-22; 11:9-23; 13:9-27; 14:14-18; 15:1-14; 16; 17:1-4; 18:15-17; 19; 20:5; 21:4-7; 22:24-30; 25:8-38; 28; 34; 37; 38:1-3; 42:13-22; 43; 44; 45; Lamentations 5:6; Ezekiel 4; 5; 11:7-12; 12; 15; 16; 17; 19; 22:13-22; 23:22-35; 24; 33:21-29; Daniel 9:26-27; Joel 2:1-17; Amos 2:4-5; Micah 2:10; 3; 4:8-10; Habakkuk 1:6-11; Zephaniah 1; Zechariah 11; 14:1-3; Malachi 4:1; Matthew 21:33-34; 23:35-38; 24:2, 14-42; Mark 13:1-13; Luke 13:34-35; 19:43-44; 21:5-25; 23:28-31; Revelation 1:7
Dispersion
Isaiah 24:1; Jeremiah 9:16; Hosea 9:17; Joel 3:6, 20; Amos 9:9; Ezekiel 4:13; 5:10, 12; 20:23; 36:19; Daniel 9:7; John 7:35; Act 2:5
Blessing and restoration
Isaiah 1:25-27; 2:1-5; 4:2-6; 11:11-13; 25; 26:1-2, 12- 19; 27:13; 29:18-24; 30:18-26; 32:15-20; 33:13-24; 35; 37:31-32; 40:2, 9; 41:27; 44; 49:13-23; 51; 52:1-12; 60; 61:4-9; 62; 66:5-22; Jeremiah 3:14-18; 4:3-18; 12:14-16; 23:3; 24:1-7; 29:1-14; 30:3-22; 32:36-44; 33; 44:28; Ezekiel 14:22-23; 16:60-63; 20:40-41; 36:1-38; 37:12,21; Daniel 11:30-45; 12:1; Joel 3; Amos 9:9-15; Obadiah 1:17-21; Micah 2:12-13; 5:3; Zephaniah 2:7; Zechariah 1:14-21; 2; 8; 10:5-12; 12:1-14; 13; 14:3-21; Malachi 3:4; Romans 11; 2 Corinthians 3:16; Revelation 7:5
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Turning The Tables – What Goes Around Comes Around – The Boomerang Effect, by Paul G. Apple

[2] Materials by David Malick
[3] The Book of Obadiah, by Imanuel Christian

[4] The Minor Prophets, by J. Hampton Keathley, III

Sermons on Obadiah (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Gospel in Action, Obadiah 8-18, by Rev. Chris Harbin, Rocks Baptist Church - Pamplin, VA

[2] Obadiah’s Hymn of Indignation, from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee AR

[3] Accept God’s Lordship, by Eddie Steetle

[4] Sermons by Paul Hawkins
For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Developing a theology of music

Music - contemporary versus traditional, praise and worship versus hymns and Gospel songs - has become a very divisive issue. Two significant things we should not forget though:

[1]
There isn’t a single reference to music in Luke’s account of what happened during Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.

[2] Colossians 3:16 emphasizes the teaching or didactic function of music: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Pastors must retake responsibility for doctrinal content of music

Seldom do we find pastors who are good in music (singing, conducting or playing any instrument). Thus, pastors often leave the choice of music to the choir director or the song leader. As the 1996 Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals observed, “Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of the music.” Leonard Payton in “How Shall We Sing to God?” mentioned below says that “pastors must retake ecclesiastical authority over the music and over every word sung in corporate worship and in small groups.”

Some resources that can help you in developing your church’s theology of music are the following:

[1] Building a Christian Philosophy of Music, from Free Sunday School Lessons (Baptist/Reformed), with a critique of “many serious weaknesses” of Contemporary Christian Music:

Some guiding principles that should shape congregational singing and hymnody:

1. Theo-centricity (God-centered): songs that focus on the character of God, such as “Immortal, Invisible” or “Holy, Holy, Holy”

2. Gospel-centricity: songs that focus on the person and work of Jesus, such as “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners!” or “Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”

3. Theologically accurate: songs that convey the truths of the Scripture accurately and clearly, such as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” or “And Can it Be?”

4. Simplicity (ease of singing): songs that are easy to understand and memorize, such as “Amazing Grace” or “The Old Rugged Cross”

5. Beauty: songs that use imaginative and compelling poetry, such as the lyrics from Isaac Watts, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” – “Must I be carried to the skies, on flow’ry beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody seas?”

6. Musical excellence: substantial tunes of majesty and nobility, such as “Austrian Hymn” (Glorious Things) by Haydn, “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven, “Aurelia” (“The Church’s One Foundation”) by Samuel Wesley
[2] “How Shall We Sing to God? Recovering the authority of Scripture in worship musicby Leonard Payton, from The Coming Evangelical Crisis by John H. Armstrong (Moody press, 1996):
The lyrics in many of the praise choruses often contradict Scripture. Consider the chorus “Highest Place” directly associated with Philippians 2:9: “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” (NIV)

We place you on the highest place,
For You are the great High Priest;
We place You high above all else,
And we come to You and worship
At your feet.”

The trouble is that these lyrics indicate it is Christians – not God – who exalt Jesus to the highest place, directly contradicting the Scripture on which the song is based.
[3] “Enjoy Your Worship (free PDF download), from the book “O Worship The King” by John Macarthur, Joni Eareckson Tada, Robert and Bobbi Wolgemuth, (Wheaton, IL, Crossway, 2000):
Praise choruses are meant to be sung as simple personal expressions of worship, whereas hymns are usually corporate expressions of worship with an emphasis on some doctrinal truth. A hymn usually has several stanzas, each of which builds on or expands the theme introduced in the first stanza. By contrast, a praise chorus is usually much shorter, with one or two verses, and most of these choruses make liberal use of repetition in order to prolong the focus on a single idea or expression of praise.

Few modern praise choruses teach or admonish. Instead, most are written to stir the feelings only. They are too often sung like a mystical mantra—with the deliberate purpose of putting the intellect into a passive state while the worshiper musters as much emotion as possible.

There is certainly nothing wrong with the simple, straightforward personal praise that characterizes the best of today’s praise choruses. Neither is there anything wrong with the evangelistic and testimonial thrust of yesterday’s gospel songs. But it is a profound tragedy that in some circles, only contemporary choruses are sung. Other congregations limit their repertoire to hundred-year-old gospel songs. Meanwhile, a large and rich body of classic Christian hymnody is in danger of being utterly lost out of sheer neglect.

Obviously, then, neither the antiquity nor the popularity of a gospel song is a good measure of its worthiness. And the fact that a gospel song is “old fashioned” is quite clearly no guarantee that it is suited for edifying the church. When it comes to church music, older is not necessarily better.

In fact, these same “old fashioned” gospel songs that are so often extolled by critics of modern church music are actually what paved the way for the very tendencies those critics sometimes rightly decry. In particular, the lack of substance in so much of today’s music is the predictable fruit of the wholesale shift away from hymns to gospel songs, which began sometime in the late nineteenth century.
[4] “The Music of Worship, Pleasing God or Pleasing Ourselves?by Becky Maceda, FaithWalk Vol. 3 No. 1:
To evaluate worship biblically is to be willing to step back from our own preferences and experiences and ask, “What pleases God in worship?” We know that not all worship and music please Him (see Ex. 32:4-6). We therefore need to examine three aspects of worship music if we are to bring it in line with Scripture: 1) the words that we sing. 2) the melodies of the words we sing, and 3) the instruments we use to accompany the singing.

True worship is faithful to the doctrine of God as revealed in Scripture. Even the most well-intentioned believer may unwittingly end up in idolatry--worshiping a god he has fashioned in his own image.

Kim Riddlebarger argues: “This is not to say that worship is not to be emotional or that one is not to experience God during worship, but worship must be based on a correct knowledge of God, not an ecstatic experience of God. Worship has a doctrinal, and not experiential, context. This intellectual priority in worship is also seen in the prohibitions against idolatry.”

We need to be careful then of such lyrics as these:

I just want to be where You are
Dwelling daily in your presence
Take me to the place where you are
I just want to be with You.

Is God omnipresent? It is not clear from the words of this song, specifically the third line, even when the entire song is considered.
[5] “Music and the Worship of the Living God” by Dan G. MacCartney, Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary (discussion of the principles of correspondence, holiness, regulative, holistic and excellence):
The worship of God, and thus, also the music of worship, should correspond to God’s character. How we worship should reflect the kind of God He is.
[6] “Reformation in Doctrine, Worship, and Life” by James Montgomery Boice (Reformed theologian and pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1968 until his death; former chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy for over ten years; founding member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals):
Whereas the old hymns expressed the theology of the church in profound and perceptive ways with winsome, memorable language, today’s songs reflect a shallow or non-existent theology … songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word or phrase over and over again. Songs like these are not worship, though they may give the churchgoer a religious feeling. They are mantras which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among the worshiping people of God.
[7] “Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal” by T. David Gordon


“In such communions, worship had previously been understood as a meeting between God and His visible people. Worship was a dialogue, if you will: God speaking through Word and sacrament, and His people responding in prayer, praise, and confession. The decisions that governed such worship revolved around this dialogical conception of worship as a meeting between God and His people.”

“The failure to make such a distinction creates an unintended irony: that those who are genuinely seeking for God are often repulsed by the so-called seeker-friendly services, which seem to be more about fun than answering life’s most serious question.”

“Young people who attend church see a group of fifty-year-olds playing their guitars in front of the church in order to reach the young will perhaps politely appreciate the gesture, but they frankly regard the music as being fairly lame.”

“Biblically, the goal of youth is to leave it as rapidly as possible. The goal of the young, biblically, is to be mature…1 Cor 13:11.” “Extended adolescence is part of what our youth need to be delivered from.”

“The most common argument for employing contemporary worship music is the strategic argument: to reach a culture captivated by pop music, the church must employ such music. But this argument, as we have just seen, is far from cogent.”

“When the church approaches an individual as a consumer to be pleased, rather than as a recalcitrant sinner to be rescued, the church is no longer doing what it is called to do.”

“The question of what constitutes a suitable or appropriate prayer or song for Christian worship is as old as the apostolic church. Paul addressed the Corinthians on the matter, for instance (1 Cor 14:14-17).”

“We don’t disagree with the past; we just don’t pay attention to it.”

“Johnny hasn’t been persuaded that hymn-singing is wrong; Johnny simply cannot relate to anything that doesn’t sound contemporary. He cannot shed his cultural skin, the skin of contemporaneity, of triviality, of paedocentrism. He thinks he prefers contemporary worship music forms to other forms, but in reality he prefers contemporaneity as a trout prefers water; it is the only environment he knows.”

“Johnny is monogenerational outside the church; so he is monogenerational inside the church.”

Should Baptist churches sing “Majesty”?



Question: What do the term “kingdom authority” and the expression “Kingdom authority flows from His throne” mean? The answer determines whether Baptist churches should consider singing “Majesty” or not.

Jack Hayford (prominent pastor of Church-on-the-Way Foursquare Church, founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, and with prominent members such as Pat Boone, TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch) wrote this song in 1977 after he and his wife visited England.

In Kenneth W. Osbeck’s book “Amazing Grace 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions”, Hayford explains what his song is all about:
“Majesty” describes the kingly, lordly, gloriously regal nature of our Savior – but not simply as an objective statement in worship of which He is fully worthy. “Majesty” is also a statement of the fact that our worship, when begotten in spirit and truth, can align us with His throne in such a way that His Kingdom authority flows to us – to overflow us, to free us and channel through us. We are rescued from death, restored to the inheritance of sons and daughters, qualified for victory in battle against the adversary, and destined for the Throne forever in His presence.
“Majesty” teaches Pentecostal kingdom doctrine

Ptr. David Cloud in his book “Contemporary Christian Music Under the Spotlight” (1998) argues that “Majesty” teaches Pentecostal kingdom doctrine. Ptr. Cloud is an oftentimes controversial figure and we should not take his view as the final word in this matter. However, considering Hayford’s Pentecostal theology, how else can we explain what the line “kingdom authority flows from His throne” means?

The “Apologetics Index” in its article “An Examination of Kingdom-, Dominion-, and Latter Rain Theology” describes what Pentecostal “Kingdom Theology” is all about:
The basic premise of Kingdom Theology is that man lost dominion over the earth when Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan's temptation in the Garden of Eden.

God “lost control” of the earth to Satan at that time, and has since been looking for a "covenant people" who will be His “extension,” or “expression,” in the earth and take dominion back from Satan. This is to be accomplished through certain “overcomers” who, by yielding themselves to the authority of God’s apostles and prophets for the Kingdom Age, will take control of the kingdoms of this world.

These kingdoms are defined as all social institutions, such as the “kingdom” of education, the “kingdom” of science, the “kingdom” of the arts, and so on. Most especially there is the “kingdom” of politics or government.

This naturally implies the concentration of military and police power in the hands of those in control during the Kingdom Age. They are referred to as the “many-membered man child,” whom Kingdom Theology adherents believe will be the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-5: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars....And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.”

Those who hold to Kingdom Theology assume that the Church (some believe only a small group within the Church, called “overcomers”), under submission to the latter day apostles and prophets, is that man child, and that it has the responsibility to put down all rebellion and establish righteousness. This necessitates the utilization of supernatural power and the full implementation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This theory is based upon the idea that all authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to Jesus. Since believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth; we have the power to believe for and speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age.

The many-membered man child must take control of the earth before Jesus can return. Necessary to the Kingdom Age is “the Restoration of the Tabernacle of David,” defined as the completion of perfection of the Bride of Christ - a Church without spot or wrinkle.

During the Kingdom Age (or after all else is subdued during that time) Satan and all enemies of God will be put under the feet of the many-membered man child. This will be the fulfillment of I Corinthians 15:25-26: “For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

Note: I do not wish to nor can impose on anyone my view about “Majesty”. I do believe in the Biblical distinctives of Baptists, specifically, autonomy of the local church (download PDF) and individual soul liberty (download PDF).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Resources in complementarianism (Biblical manhood and womanhood)

The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood offers free resources like articles, journal articles, sermons, book reviews, conference audio, online books, questions and answers, evangelical feminism and Biblical truth; with multi-lingual resources in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

(Note: Jump to Danvers Statement Affirmations and online books for reading or download)

Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

The Danvers Statement is an official statement of the complementarian Christian view of gender roles. It is not the product of any particular Christian denomination, but has been endorsed or cited by many Christian groups. It was first published by the The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in Wheaton, Illinois in November 1988. Work on the statement began with “several evangelical leaders” at a CBMW meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts in December of 1987. In 1989, a paid advertisement center-spread appeared in the January 13 issue of Christianity Today accompanied with the Danvers Statement. (From Wikipedia)

Rationale

We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern:

  1. The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity;
  2. the tragic effects of this confusion in unraveling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood;
  3. the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives;
  4. the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women;
  5. the growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality;
  6. the upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family;
  7. the emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness;
  8. the increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts;
  9. the consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity;
  10. and behind all this the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which in the power of the Holy Spirit may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture.

Affirmations

Based on our understanding of Biblical teachings, we affirm the following:

  1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Genesis 1:26, 2:18).
  2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Genesis 2:18, 21–24; 1 Corinthians 11:7–9; 1 Timothy 2:12.
  3. Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Genesis 2:16–18, 21–24, 3:1–13; 1 Corinthians 11:7–9).
  4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Genesis 3:1–7, 12, 16).
    • In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife's intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.
    • In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.
  5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Genesis 1:26–27, 2:18; Galatians 3:28). Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:21–33; Colossians 3:18–19; 1 Timothy 2:11–15).
  6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
    • In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands' authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands' leadership (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18–19; Titus 2:3–5; 1 Peter 3:1–7).
    • In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 1 Timothy 2:11–15).
  7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission—domestic, religious, or civil—ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Daniel 3:10–18; Acts 4:19–20, 5:27–29; 1 Peter 3:1–2).
  8. In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Timothy 2:11–15, 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.
  9. With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world (1 Corinthians 12:7–21).
  10. We are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in our families, our churches, and the culture at large.
Online books for reading or download

Several full-text books on gender issues from The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood are available for you to read online or download. The books below are intended for personal use only. You may download the PDF files to a personal computer. Please do not make copies or distribute them.

Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood (view entire book in PDF)

For years a debate has raged over how to define true masculinity and true femininity. While there is agreement that men and women share equally in the privilege of being made in God's image, some views of manhood and womanhood blur God-given gender distinctions.

Wayne Grudem assembled a team of distinguished writers to show how egalitarian views destroy God’s ideal for your relationships, marriage, and life purposes. The contributors to this book include: John Piper, Bruce A. Ware, Richard W. Hove, Daniel Doriani, Daniel R. Heimbach, and Peter Jones.

These writers explore key issues, including the interchangeability of male-female roles, the meaning of submission, and the historical novelty of egalitarian interpretations of Scripture. This book will demonstrate how some views of manhood and womanhood tamper with our understanding of God’s character and why the extremes of male domination and feminism destroy the beauty of our sexual differences — differences that celebrate the excellence of men and women as God created us.

Biblical Womanhood in the Home (view entire book in PDF)

The feminist revolution was supposed to make us feel better about ourselves, bringing us greater fulfillment and freedom. Yet many of us are feeling anything but fulfilled and free. Across generational lines, inside the church and out, we are understanding that we have lost the beauty and wonder of our distinctive makeup and calling as women. We are realizing that what was supposed to lift us up has been tearing down society, churches, and most importantly, our own families.

There is now a new movement spreading its seeds - seeds of hope, humility, obedience, and prayer. It is a call to return to godly womanhood, and it is resonating in the hearts of women everywhere.

Building Strong Families, Dennis Rainey, editor (view entire book in PDF)

Besides our relationship with our heavenly Father, there is nothing more important than our relationship with our family. It is the building block of our churches, communities, and nation. So when we neglect our families, the foundation of our churches and nation crumbles, and our homes begin to splinter.

If we desire to fulfill God’s calling in our lives and to make a difference in others’ lives for eternity, then we must start within our families. Whether single or married, with children or not, we all have a part in God's calling to build strong spiritual families.

Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley (view selected chapters in PDF)

Through personal anecdotes and careful examination of Scripture, Carolyn McCulley challenges single women to regard their singleness not as a burden, but as a gift from God that allows them to perform a unique role in the body of Christ.

Equality in Christ by Richard Hove (view entire book in PDF)

The debate over the roles of men and women is raging, not only within society, but also within the church. Some believe the Scriptures teach that men and women have unique roles in the home and church. Others hold that gender is irrelevant to these roles.

In the midst of this heated debate stands Galatians 3:28, frequently cited as one of the critical texts in determining the biblical teaching on gender roles. In this book Richard Hove thoroughly examines Galatians 3:28 to discover what it says - and means - so that we can accurately understand its significance in this dispute.

Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth by Wayne Grudem (view entire book in PDF)

God created us, male and female, in His image. So what does that mean?

Has the modern church suffered a tragic loss of the beauty of manhood and womanhood as created by God? Has the feminist influence within today's evangelical church led to a rejection of the effective authority of the Bible? In this reasoned, comprehensive response to more than one hundred controversial claims from evangelical feminists, biblical scholar Wayne Grudem answers these questions.

The Feminist Gospel by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Can feminism be squared with the Bible? Mary Kassian meets this question head on as she offers a thorough inquiry into 20th-century feminism. Her careful examination of feminist thought - both religious and secular - gives readers a solid basis for making up their own minds about feminism.

The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Feminism remains one of the most urgent issues the church is facing today, as shown by the increasing confusion over gender roles in marriages, families, and churches. With a growing number of theologians and denominations advocating radical gender egalitarianism, we must answer many questions about women in the church - and in the wider culture. In order to do this, first we need to understand the history and development of feminist thought.

Fifty Crucial Questions by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

Fifty Crucial Questions
is a booklet adapted from chapter two of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. It offers an overview of the vision of manhood and womanhood presented in the larger volume by giving cogent summary responses to the most common objections to that vision. Because every effort to answer one question (on this important issue) begets new questions, the list of questions here is not exhaustive. Nonetheless, we hope to give enough trajectories that readers can track the flight of our intention to its appointed target: the good of the Church, global mission, and the glory of God

The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy by Vern S. Poythress and Wayne Grudem (view entire book in PDF)

This book is intended for personal use only. You may download the PDF file to a personal computer. Please do not make copies or distribute them.

“Interacting throughout with contrary views, the authors argue convincingly that the Colorado Springs Guidelines are right to maintain the need to keep the inclusive masculine when translating the Bible. This is the best book on its theme.” J.I. Packer

“I am glad for this book for at least three reasons. It is unmodern in its allegiance to the objective, original meanings of inspired Biblical writers who have reasons for their specific words that often go deeper than we thnk. It is unique in that there is simply no other book on this issue so thorough and so careful. It is useful to scholar and layman alike...I highly recommend this unmodern, Unique, useful book.” John Piper

Man and Woman in Christ by Stephen B. Clark

Men and women should live together in love and serve the Lord together. Most of what they should be doing is the same. But as we learn how to perceive and draw upon the value of what is distinctive to men and to women, our life together becomes stronger and more beautiful. There is something worthwhile about women for which men cannot substitute, and vice versa. When we live our life together as Christians “the way it was written,” it becomes better.

Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood, Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey, editors (view entire book in PDF)

The conviction of the editors is that family ministry in your congregation begins with your own family. Wayne Grudem and Dennis Rainey gathered a group of prominent Christian leaders to provide wisdom for people who want to see the Gospel flourish in their church families. Their essays touch on building strong marriages, confronting domestic violence, reaching out to singles, and more. Besides Grudem and Rainey, contributors include: R. Kent Hughes, Daniel L. Akin, Bob Lepine, H. B. London Jr., Dick Purnell, Timothy Bayly, Ken Sande, C. J. Mahaney, Bob Davies, David Powlison, Paige Patterson, Paul David Tripp, and Edward T. Welch.

Building families is the greatest way to spread the kingdom in today’s world. With families in such disarray in our society, the church has the opportunity to provide answers, and Christian families have a unique opportunity to bear witness to the Gospel of Christ.

Water of the Word by Andrew Case (view entire book in PDF)

This book is made available by the author and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

“Andrew Case has provided an ingenious and glorious tool for Christian husbands, one that has the potential of binding husbands and wives ever closer together while these prayers seek more intimate relationship between their wives and their God. By employing themes, principles, promises, and pleas from Scripture itself, Case has crafted hundreds of rich and meaningful prayers that any and every Christian husband can pray for his own wife.” Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Women, Creation and the Fall by Mary Kassian (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

In the sixties, feminists threw down the gauntlet to the church over its treatment of women. In response to this challenge, the church has reexamined and redefined time-honored Biblical principles. In many cases, it has obliterated all role distinctions between men and women.

Although women have indeed been repressed and held back from ministry, the answer is not to reject Scriptural truth. Rather the church needs to return to properly implementing that truth.

This book seeks to free women in their roles in the home and church. It lays the foundation for that freedom by a thorough analysis of the Bible’s teaching on woman’s status and roles. The author points the way to reinstate a full Biblical ministry for women.

Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by J. Ligon Duncan, III and Susan Hunt (view entire book in PDF)

This is made available by Crossway Books and is for personal use only and should not be distributed.

Susan Hunt and Ligon Duncan walk through the Scriptures to help readers better understand what it means to have an effective, biblical women's ministry in the church. The benefits of women's ministries are great: training and discipling, evangelizing, and reaching out to the poor and needy. This book, written by seasoned ministry leaders, provides many proven tools to help start a women's ministry in your church.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper and Wayne Grudem, editors (view entire book in PDF)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Old Testament survey (30): Amos

Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked (Amos 2:4)

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:24)

Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more (Amos 7:7-8)

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. (Amos 9:14)

Overview

[1] Amos, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

Amos was God’s man giving God’s message. Simply because Israel was being religious on the surface did not guarantee that God would not judge their sin. Because of their rejection of His law—their deceit and robbery and violence and oppression of the poor—God said, “I hate, I despise your feast days…. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them…. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs…. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:21–24).

It was a day of false peace. In the north was Assyria hanging like the sword of Damocles ready to fall, and in the next half century it would destroy this little kingdom. Israel was trying to ignore it, and they kept talking about peace. But Amos said, “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth” (Amos 9:8). His message was not a popular message. He warned that it was God’s intention to punish sin. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Amos, from gotquestions.org (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Amos can see that beneath Israel’s external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God’s Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.

The Book of Amos ends with a glorious promise for the future. “I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God” (9:15). The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:7; 15:7; 17:8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (see Joel 2:26,27). Revelation 20 describes the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, a time of peace and joy under the perfect government of the Savior Himself. (Read the complete article)
[3] Amos, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
Amos, a Jew, but prophesying (B.C. 776-763) in the northern kingdom (Amos 1:1; 7:14-15) exercised his ministry during the reign of Jeroboam II, an able but idolatrous king who brought his kingdom to the zenith of its power. Nothing could seem more improbable than the fulfillment of Amos’ warnings; yet within fifty years the kingdom was utterly destroyed. The vision of Amos is, however, wider than the northern kingdom, including the whole “house of Jacob.”

Amos is in four parts:

1. Judgments on the cities surrounding Palestine, Amos 1:1 - 2:3.
2. Judgments on Judah and Israel, Amos 2:4-16.
3. Jehovah’s controversy with “the whole family” of Jacob, Amos 3:1 - 9:10.
4. The future glory of the Davidic kingdom, Amos 9:11-15.
[4] Amos, from Easton’s Bible Dictionary
The Book of Amos consists of three parts:

(1.) The nations around are summoned to judgment because of their sins (Amos 1:1-2:3). He quotes Joel 3:16.

(2.) The spiritual condition of Judah, and especially of Israel, is described (Amos 2:4-6:14).

(3.) In Amos 7:1-9:10 are recorded five prophetic visions. (a) The first two (Amos 7:1-6) refer to judgments against the guilty people. (b) The next two (Amos 7:7-9; Amos 8:1-3) point out the ripeness of the people for the threatened judgements. Amos 7:10-17 consists of a conversation between the prophet and the priest of Bethel. (c) The fifth describes the overthrow and ruin of Israel (Amos 9:1-10); to which is added the promise of the restoration of the kingdom and its final glory in the Messiah’s kingdom.
[5] No Escape Clause For God’s Own People – Sin Brings Judgment, by Paul G. Apple
People with an impressive spiritual pedigree or important ministry position or years of fruitful Christian service can imagine at times that they are exempt from God’s standards. They excuse themselves when they sin – thinking they will not be held to the same high standard of righteousness or that they will somehow escape God’s judgment. Here in Amos, God demonstrates that the same severity and justice that He applied to the surrounding nations will be applied to His own people as well. God does not play favorites. In fact privilege and accessibility to God’s revelation bring greater accountability, not less. “For to whom much has been given, much will be required.” (Read the complete article)
Discussion

[1] Amos and the promises of God, by Ken Boa
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:7-8)

For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the windd, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name. (Amos 4:13)

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name (Amos 5:8)

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:21-24)

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. (Amos 9:13-15)
[2] Visions of Amos
  • Grasshoppers, Amos 7:1-3
  • Fire, Amos 7:4-6
  • Plumbline, Amos 7:7-9
  • Historic interlude, Amos 7:10-17
  • Basket of summer fruit, Amos 8
  • Worldwide dispersion, Amos 9:1-10
  • Worldwide re-gathering and restoration of kingdom, Amos 9:11-15
[3] Biblical references to “repentance” being attributed to God:
Genesis 6:6-7; Exodus 32:14; Deuteronomy 32:36; Judges 2:18; 1 Samuel 15:11, 29, 35; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalm 106:45; 110:4; 135:14; Jeremiah 15:6; 18:8, 10; 26:3; 42:10; Joel 2:13; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9-10
[4] General references to “repentance”:
Leviticus 26:40-42; Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 10:16; 30:1-3,8-10; 32:29; 1 Kings 8:33-50; 2 Chronicles 6:36-39; 7:14; 30:6-9; Nehemiah 1:9; Job 11:13-15; 22:23; 33:26-28; 34:31-32; 36:10; Psalm 22:27; 34:14, 18; 51:17; 95:7-8; 147:3; Proverbs 1:22-23; 9:6; 28:13; Isaiah 10:21; 22:12; 31:6; 44:22; 46:8; 55:6-7; 57:15; 59:20; 61:1-2; Jeremiah 3:4, 12-14,19; 4:1-4, 14; 6:8, 16; 7:5, 7; 13:15-16; 18:8, 11; 24:7; 25:5; 26:3, 13; 31:9; 36:3, 7; 50:4-5; Ezekiel 7:16; 11:18-20; 12:3; 14:6; 16:61-63; 18:21-23, 27-28, 30-32; 20:43; 33:10-12, 14-16,19; 36:31; 37:23; Daniel 4:27; Hosea 2:7; 3:5; 5:15; 10:12; 12:6; 14:1,2; Joel 1:14; 2:12,13,15-18; Amos 4:12; 5:6,15; Jonah 3:8,9; Haggai 1:7; Zechariah 1:3; 12:10; Malachi 3:7; Matthew 3:2,7-8; 4:17; 5:4; 9:13; Mark 1:4, 15; 2:17; 6:12; Luke 3:3; 5:32; 6:21; 10:13; 13:1-5; 15:1-10; 18:10-14; 24:47; Acts 2:38, 40; 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20; Romans 2:4; 11:23; 14:11; Ephesians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:25; Hebrews 6:1; James 4:8-10; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 2:5; 3:2-3, 19
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by David Mailick
[2] Materials by by Hampton Keathley IV
[3] Materials by John F. Walvoord
Sermons on Amos (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

Overview of Amos, by Peter L. Dorn

Amos, by Jason W. Miller

The Roar of God/Amos 1, by Douglas James Wilson

Amos 2

God Is Not Silent, by Steve Littlefield

The Sins of Seven Nations/Amos 2, by Douglas James Wilson

The Judgment of Nations, by William A. Ebert

Brought to Book, by James A. Basinger

Amos 1, by Paul Hawkins

Amos 5

Amos, by Chad Oltman

Amos 7

For He is Small/Amos 8, by Douglas James Wilson

Amos 7, by Paul Hawkins

Reflecting on Amos, by Keith Bucknall

Amos 9

Righteous & Just, by Steve Littlefield

Anointing Of Increase 08-01-04, by Randy Ietto

Advent 2001 -3 The Coming Restoration, by Richard DeRuiter

The Fallen Booth of David/Amos 9, by Douglas James Wilson

His Strange Deed, by James A. Basinger

Amos 10, by Paul Hawkins

Sermon illustrations on justice, by Jim L. Wilson

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials.

(2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

(3) “A plumb bob or a plummet is a weight, usually with a pointed tip on the bottom, that is suspended from a string and used as a vertical reference line, or plumb-line. The instrument has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians by bricklayers, masons, and carpenters to ensure that their constructions are “plumb”, or perfectly upright. It may also be used in surveying to sight a point on the ground that is not readily visible.” (Wikipedia). The two-minute video below shows, at the 1:32 mark, how a plumb bob or plumbline is used.


(4) Heartlight graphics for Amos 4:13, Amos 5:4-5, Amos 5:14, Amos 5:24
(non-KJV; please read Rules of Use)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Through the distance ...

I have not given up hope that it will still be you and me in marriage and ministry.“And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.” (Gen 31:49)

“Is the Lord going to use in a great way? Quite probably. Is He going to prepare you as you expect? Probably not. And if you’re not careful, you will look at the trials, the tests, the sudden interruptions, the disappointments, the sadness, the lost jobs, the failed opportunities, the broken moments, and you will think, He’s through with me, He’s finished with me, when in fact, He is equipping you.” (The Mystery of God’s Will, by Chuck Swindoll)