Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Genuineness of Faith

Peter says in 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” In other words, Peter is saying that trials can be purifying experiences for all of us. God often allows trials to come into our lives, not to break us, but to make us.

It’s been said that temptation is that which puts to the test. Trials sent by God do this. A test is never employed for the purpose of injury. Just as a weight is attached to a rope, not to break it, but to prove it. Pressure is applied to a boiler, not to burst it, but to certify its power of resistance.”

Notice that he says, “being much more precious than gold that perisheth.” The picture here is of an ancient goldsmith who puts his crude gold ore in a crucible, subjects it to intense heat, and thus liquefies the mass. The impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. When the metal-worker is able to see the reflection of his face clearly mirrored in the surface of the liquid, he takes it off the fire, for he knows that the contents are pure gold. It is with God and His child as well. He puts us in the crucible of Christian suffering, in which process sin is gradually put out of our lives, our faith is purified from the slag of unbelief that somehow mingles with it so often, and the result is the reflection of the face of Jesus Christ in the character of the Christian. This, above all, God the Father desires to see. Christlikeness is God’s ideal for His child. Christian suffering is one of the most potent means to that end.”

Notice that our faith is to be “tried by fire.” Charles Spurgeon once said, “Indeed, it is the honor of faith to be tried. Shall any man say, ‘I have faith, but I have never had to believe under difficulties’? Who knows whether thou hast any faith at all? Shall a man say, ‘I have great faith in God, but I have never had to use it in anything more than the ordinary affairs of life, where I could probably have done without it as well as with it’? Is this to the honor and praise of thy faith? Dost thou think that such a faith as this will bring any great glory to God, or bring to thee any great reward? If so, thou art mightily mistaken.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Preeminence of Doctrine

I was just cleaning off some disk space and I found this message that I taught at Calvary Chapel San Antonio a few years ago. God bless Pastor Ron and the folks at CC San Antonio!

The Preeminence of Doctrine

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Correction Refused

If there is anything that I've learned in years of studying the Bible, it's that none of us are perfect. We all still fall so desperately short of God's ideal for us. It's been said that God will allow us to come to Him just the way that we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way. Determined not to give up on us, He brings correction into our lives. II Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." From this verse we see that God has given us His Word for the purpose of reproving, correcting, training and equipping us.

Understanding all of that, and I don't know of one Christian that would deny it (at least not in my circles), why is it that we find it so hard to accept correction? I don't think any of us would say that we are perfect. Most of us readily admit that we are flawed to the bone. Don't believe me? Ask your family and friends to be honest with you. We all have our shortcomings, faults and blind spots. No sane person would deny that. All that said, why can we not handle correction?

As I look back over my years of ministry and all of the people that God has brought in and out of my life, it saddens me to remember all of those who simply could not be corrected. It didn't matter how I told them. I could be direct. I could beat around the bush for a little while. Take them to lunch. Try to break it gently, etc… It was all to no avail. In the end, the correction was rejected and the relationship lost. An old preacher friend of mine told me one time, "Son, you can pat them on the back ninety-nine times, but correct them one time and they'll hate you forever." Why is that? Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." That's some pretty strong language coming out of the Bible! Jeremiah 5:3 says, "O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, but they did not weaken; You have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent."

In the end, I'm forced to conclude that we are simply an arrogant lot. Our American culture has convinced us that we have the right to be right. Proverbs 16:25 says, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." The writer of Proverbs also wrote, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance…" Take that last verse to its conclusion and you arrive at the fact that those who do not and will not except correction do not fear God. How truly sad.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

This was sent to me in the other day from one of my friends in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. It will really make you think where our nation is going.

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.' ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, We shall overcome. Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake. President Omama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight. Nancy Posi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper. The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ants food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again. The house is eventually abandoned and taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood. The entire nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Great Quote

Peter Marshall once said, "It is better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bearing with the Weak

Using Romans 14:1-7 as my text, I want to talk about some principles of conduct for Christians in questionable matters. If we had time to really dig in, we would find that Paul basically gives three guidelines. 1. Conviction – Looking forward. 2. Conscience – Looking in. 3. Consideration – Looking out. In other words, Conviction anticipates, Conscience meditates and Consideration hesitates. I believe that conviction, conscience, and consideration should govern how and why we do what we do.

This reminds me of the Tate Family, "Do you know how many members of the Tate family belong to your church? There is old man DicTate, who wants to run everything, while Uncle RoTate tries to change everything. Their sister AgiTate stirs up plenty of trouble, with help from her husband, IrriTate. Their son DebiliTate is often a bad influence on other children. Whenever new projects are suggested, HesiTate, and his wife, VegeTate, want to wait until next year. DisorienTate has never quite figured out what is going on. Grandpa DisserTate will talk on and on about most any subject when given a chance. GesTate takes a long time to come to conclusions on new ideas. Then there is Aunt ImiTate, who wants our church to be like all the others. DevasTate provides the voice of doom. And of course, there are the black sheep of the family, FragmenTate seems to always be stirring up division, AposTate has formed his own following and AmpuTate has cut himself off from the Church!

Today we have two extremes about Christian conduct in questionable matters; no separation and total separation. This second group is the ones that Paul labels weak in the faith in this chapter. We must learn to balance Christian freedom and Christian responsibility. I submit ten principles for balance in each of our lives.

1. We should not be judgmental in disputable or gray areas (14:1–9).

2. We should be convinced in our own mind as to the rightness or wrongness of an action (14:5).

However we must keep in mind 1 Cor. 6:12 which says, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient…"

3. We must realize that we all will stand ultimately before God and give an account (14:10).

Hebrews 4:13, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

4. We must not put a stumbling block in the way of our brothers (14:13).

I Cor. 8:12 "But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ."

Matthew 18:6 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

5. We must always act in love (14:15).

Galations 5:22a "But the fruit of the Spirit is love…"

6. We must pursue actions which promote peace (14:19).

Romans 12:18

7. We must seek to edify others by our actions (14:19).

I Corinthians 14:12 "Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification (building up) of the church that you seek to excel."

1Co 10:24-25 "Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. (25) Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience' sake;"

8. We must do only that which can be done in faith (14:22-23).

Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

9. We seek to glorify God in all that we do and say (15:6).

Romans 12:1

10. We must always love one another, even when we disagree (15:7).

Monday, November 30, 2009

A True Friend

What is a friend? Friends are people with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with them. They ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. They do not want you to be better or worse. When you are with them, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, as long as it is genuinely you. Friends understand those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With them you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities, and in opening them up to friends, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of their loyalty. They understand. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse them, neglect them, tolerate them. Best of all, you can keep still with them. It makes no matter. They like you. They are like fire that purges to the bone. They understand. You can weep with them, sing with them, laugh with them, pray with them. Through it all--and underneath--they see, know, and love you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Communion with God

Colossians 1:9 says, "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;" From this text, I see two things. We'll look at the first one now. Paul and Timothy were praying for this church in Colosse. Prayer by definition is a "spiritual communion with God." The Apostle Paul tells us that we should pray without ceasing (1 Th. 5:17). We are constantly told in the Bible that we are to be a people of prayer and yet it is one of the hardest things to do in our Christian experience. Why? – Because the Devil knows that it is our strongest weapon against him. Thus he throws everything that he can at us to keep us off our knees. I, for one, do not pray enough. I heard of an Iranian who invented a compass-like device engraved with the names of 150 cities, in Arabic. The devout Muslim needs only to turn the instrument until the needle indicates north, twists a dial to the name of the city he is in and the arrow points the way to Mecca, which Muslims face to pray fives time a day. How many times do we intentionally pray per day? I would venture to say that our Muslim friend out-prays most Christians.

There are two problems that I think we struggle the most with in prayer. First, we don't do it enough. Why? – The world, the flesh and the Devil. The world tells us we're too busy. The flesh tells us we're too tired. The Devil tells us we're too late. Second, we give up too quickly. We pray for a few days, a few weeks, a few months and then we stop. We start thinking that God isn't listening or that He refuses to answer. We do this because we forget that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and God ways are not our ways (Isa. 55:8). We forget that God does not work on our timetable. Never has and never will. In the end, we have not been called to figure out what God is doing all the time, but we have been called to pray all the time.


Tonight will be our graduation ceremony here at Calvary Chapel Bible College Peru. We have four students who will be walking the aisle. Carlitos is from Colombia, Karina is from Honduras, Belen is from Ecuador and Candy is from the United States. My congratulations go out to all four of these graduates. They have each studied hard to earn 80 credits and graduate with an Associates of Theology degree. God bless you guys as you take the next step.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Forgiveness Flower

I read this to the students this morning while dealing with the subject of forgiveness. "One day a missionary was walking along a trail in East Africa with some friends, he became aware of a delightful odor that filled the air. He looked up in the trees and around at the bushes in an effort to discover where it was coming from. Then his friends told him to look down at the small blue flower growing along the path. Each time they crushed the tiny blossoms under their feet, more of its sweet perfume was released into the air. Then his friends said, "We call it the forgiveness flower." It does not wait until we ask forgiveness for crushing it. It does not release its fragrance in measured doses. It does not ask for an apology; it merely lives up to its name and forgives-freely, fully, richly."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sexual Orientation Question

There is something that has bugged me for several years now. I really have a problem with Christians who feel comfortable participating in websites that require them to list their "Sexual Orientation." There are plenty of passages in the Bible that warn against being unequally yoked together with unbelievers, light vs. darkness, children of the world not hanging around the children of darkness, etc... Think about it. We have indeed become WAY too comfortable with this world.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pick a Team!

I received a question the other day from a student that I thought I would just share. It was in regards to a controversial video on the net by Paul Washer. You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cncEhCvrVgQ

He is speaking about false Christianity. The gist of his message is simple, one can not be truly saved if their life does not reflect Christ. No where in the discussion does he say that one can lose their salvation or gain it by works as some have erroneously asserted. Unfortunately, we have reached the point, especially in the American church, where that anyone who literally believes the Bible and seeks after true holiness and believes in biblical separation is labeled as a legalist and a fanatic. The truth be told, a fanatic is usually someone who loves Jesus more than you do. To be brutality honest, the majority of "Christians" that I know show absolutely no fruit of repentance in their lives. They walk like, talk like, think like, smell like and look like the world. Don't believe me? Go look at their Facebooks and their MySpaces. Absolutely no fruits of repentance. Sadly, I say this after having spent nineteen years in ministry and most that time fighting with "so-called" Christians.

Again, the problem is that so many in the church today aren't really saved at all. They've bought into religion but not Jesus. Barnes (a guy that does Christian statistics) agrees with me. He says that six out of ten members in the average evangelical church in America aren't saved at all. Dr. Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary also just released a study that confirmed the same within his denomination.

Jesus said that we can know a tree by it's fruit. Good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. He further states that it is impossible for good trees to produce bad fruit or for bad trees to produce good fruit.

If you look long and hard at the state of the church in America, it is indeed very discouraging to say the least. I have issues with someone who claims to be a Christian and yet lives like a heathen. Do the world and the church a favor and pick a team! I believe this is what Paul was speaking of when he said in Romans 2:24 "...THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU". The bottom line is that, "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES" (Romans 3:18).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thought for Today

I shared this with the students today. "If you don't know where He wants you to be tomorrow, stay faithful to where you know He has you to be today."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hearing the Voice of God, Part 2

The second thing that we need to do to hear the voice of God is to allow Him to speak to us in the way He chooses. We don't need to dictate to Him concerning the guidance methods that we prefer. Remember that His ways are not our ways. He is Lord and we are merely servants.

I'm reminded of 1 Samuel 3:9-10 when Eli said to little Samuel "...go lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.” So, just like little Samuel, listen with a yielded heart; there is a direct link between yieldedness and hearing.

So, now we’ve talked about the steps that are necessary to hear God’s voice…what are some ways that God may choose to speak to us? 1. Through His Word - This could come in our daily reading, or He could guide us to a particular verse of Scripture. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” 2. Through an audible voice - Exodus 3:4 says, “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” 3. Through dreams - Matthew 2:11-13 says, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” 4. Through visions - Revelation 1:10-11 says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.”

But by far, probably the most common of all means of God speaking to us is…5. Through a quiet inner voice. More on that next time.

Change, Part 1

I was working my way through the tiny book of Titus when I came upon this verse in Titus 1:9 which says, "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." I began meditating on the phase "holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught" and it got me to thinking about change. Proverbs 24:21 says, "My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:" As a matter of fact, the Bible speaks profusely about change and how that it is not always good.

The Bible also warns us against being so quick to withdraw ourselves from our past. II Thessalonians 2:15 says, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." Jeremiah 6:16 says, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." Unfortunately, as I reflect upon my nineteen years of ministry, we are a people who insist upon change.

I believe that we are too quick to want change today. Don't get me wrong. I certainly do not advocate that we return to the dark ages. I do enjoy being able to write these thoughts on a computer, in a climate controlled environment under the warm glow of incandescent lighting! No, I'm not talking about that kind of change. I'm talking about change when it comes to the things of God and the house of God. Now maybe I'm getting a little older and I've already been there, bought the T-Shirt and back again, but I've learned and observed a few things over the years that concern me. As I reflect upon many of these changes, I simply do not see the fruit. The average church member today is lost. George Barna confirms that. Dr. R. Albert Mohler in his studies of Southern Baptist life confirms that. Where has change taken us? What have been the gains to church life and more importantly the Kingdom of God as a result? I say that we've lost something in our rush to change things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hearing the Voice of God, Part 1

The Bible says in John 8:26-29 "I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. (27) They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. (28) Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (29) And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

What does it mean to hear the voice of God? If you have a personal relationship with the Lord, you have already heard His voice; it was that inner leading that brought you to Him in the first place. However, most of us, after that initial salvation experience, really struggle hearing His voice. I believe that hearing the voice of God is the basic right of every child of God. God doesn’t want us to simply go through life guessing what God wants from us. Eph 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” I want to share some things that I have learned over the years in “Hearing the Voice of God".

1. Don't Make Guidance Complicated

I’ve learned that it’s actually hard not to hear God if you really want to please and obey Him! John 15:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."”

If you are trying to obey God, He promises to show Himself to you. If you stay humble, He promises to always guide you. Proverbs 16:9 “A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”

Here are three simple steps that have helped me to hear God’s voice: A. Submit, B. Resist, and C. Expect.

A. SUBMIT to His Lordship.

James 4:7a “Submit yourselves therefore to God." Submit means to “to yield to the action, control, and power of another.” What this means is that you and I must submit in seeking God’s guidance.

In other words, before we go into our prayer closets, we need to ask God help us to submit to His predetermined will in this particular situation. It’s also a good time to ask Him to help silence our own thoughts…desires…and the opinions of other people, which may be filling our mind. II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Even though we have been given a good mind by God…at this point, we want to hear the thoughts of the Lord…and not our own. Proverbs 3:5-7a “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes:”

B. RESIST the enemy.

We must resist the enemy when seeking God’s guidance. Our enemy is clever and he wants nothing more than to deceive us. James 4:7-8a “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

Notice that the prerequisite for being able to “resist the Devil” is by submitting ourselves to God! That means in every area of our lives, not just the ones that are convenient, but the ones that are not. I.e. Money, resources, time, etc…

The word “resist” means to “withstand; oppose; fend off; or to stand firm against.”

C. EXPECT an answer.

After asking the question that is on our mind, we must wait for God to answer. He will! John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

I believe that many times God is answering our questions; it’s just that we’re not listening! Listening to the voice of God takes patience and practice.

Psalm 69:13 “But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.”

So, first, don’t make guidance complicated, but simply resist, submit and expect an answer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Suffering vs. the Triumphant Christ

A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:12)

A King clothed in majestic apparel (Ps. 93:1)

The wearied traveler (Jn. 4:6)

The untiring God (Isa. 40:28-29)

He had nowhere to lay his head (Lk. 9:58)

He will become heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)

He was rejected by Israel (Jn. 1:11)

He will be accepted by the nations (Isa. 9:6)

Wicked men threw stones at him (Jn. 8:59)

Wicked men will cry for stones to fall on them to hide from Him (Rev. 6:16)

Clothed with a scarlet robe in mockery (Lk. 23:11)

Clothed in a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies (Rev. 19:13)

Wicked soldiers bowed the knee and mocked (Mk. 15:19)

Every knee will bow (Phil. 2:10)

Wore a crown of thorns (Jn. 19:5)

Will wear a crown of gold (Rev. 14:14)

Feet pierced with nails (Jn. 20:25)

Feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4)

Hands pierced with nails (Jn. 20:25)

His hand will carry a sharp sickle (Rev. 14:14)

Had no form or comeliness (Isa. 53:2)

He will be beautiful (Ps. 27:4)

He delivered up His Spirit (Jn. 19:30)

He is alive forevermore (Rev. 1:18

He was laid in a tomb (Mt. 27:59-50)

He will sit on a throne (Heb. 8:1)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I was teaching the other day through the book of Matthew with the students and I made this comment, "If you want to see where someone's heart is, check their Day Planners and their Checkbooks." After I said that, one of the students added, "and their Facebooks!"

After class, I started looking at people's Facebooks and I must totally agree. For the first time, I started looking at what the postings where about and who they were about. Many of them where innocent enough and not very revealing, others very clearly indicated that the things of God where the most important to them. and yet others were quite obvious that the things of this world occupy their hearts and minds. I'm not saying this to condemn, but quite frankly I was saddened and sometimes a little shocked at what we as Christians are willing to reveal about ourselves to the entire world. To you, it may be just a picture. However, the old saying still holds true, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Yes, I agree, if we want to see where someone's heart is, we need only check their Day Planner, Checkbook and their Facebook. All three added together will really give you a pretty good glimpse as to what is going on in their lives spiritually. It's the places were we spend our time, our money and our thoughts that ultimately determine where we are spiritually. I can't check anyone's Day Planner or Checkbook, but my own. However, I can check their Facebook. What does your Facebook say about you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Evidence of Inspiration

I shared this with my Matthew class at the Bible College today. "Using the Masoretic text, which has not changed by as much as one character for more than 2000 years, we find the word TORAH spelled out at skip sequences at the start of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Hebrew word TORAH means law, or teaching, and is the title rabbis use to describe the first five books of the Bible, the Law of Moses.

Finding this pattern does not mystify the Bible. It is simply there. It is a fact. It can be checked by counting the letters manually or, today, with computer programs. That the pattern is there is remarkable. It recurs too many times to be considered coincidental. It is an indication, a seal so to speak, of divine authorship.

The first word in Genesis 1:1 is BERESHEET, meaning “In the beginning.” The last letter of the Hebrew word is a tav. Hebrew is read from right to left. Tav is the first letter of the word TORAH. Count seven times seven letters, or 49 characters, and the 50th letter in the Hebrew text is vav – the second letter in the word TORAH. Keep going in this way, every 50th letter, and TORAH is spelled out. Also starting with the first occurrence of the letter tav in the book of Exodus, the word TORAH is spelled out in the same way.

Do the exercise in the fourth and fifth books of the Bible – Numbers and Deuteronomy – and we find the same phenomenon, except that the word TORAH is spelled backwards; pointing inwards, so to speak.

What about Leviticus, the middle book of these first five books of the Bible? In that book, dominated by the seven opening chapters detailing blood sacrifices for sin, we find the ancient name for God spelled out. Starting with the first letter yud, skipping seven letters and counting the eighth, we find the word YHWH, translated into English, by the way, as Yahweh or Jehovah.

It is impossible that this could have happened by chance. The only conclusion is that the Spirit of God directed the men who wrote the text."

Monday, August 24, 2009

What is our Liberty?

Galatians 2:4-5 says, “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.” The false brethren spoken of here are those who had questioned the “liberty” of the believers at Antioch. In other words, Paul didn’t give these guys the time of day.

In Paul’s ministry, he had met a lot of these guys. He spoke of them in 2 Corinthians 11:26 when he said, “in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;”

Make no mistake about it. They are still around today. Peter spoke of them in 2 Peter 2:1-3 when he said, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

What is our liberty? No more bondage to the Law (3:25, 5:1, 4:9)! In contrast to the two commands of Christ, (love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind and your neighbor as yourself), the Pharisees had developed a system of 613 laws, 365 negative commands and 248 positive laws...By the time Christ came it had produced a heartless, cold, and arrogant brand of righteousness. As such, it contained at least ten tragic flaws. (1) New laws continually need to be invented for new situations. (2) Accountability to God is replaced by accountability to men. (3) It reduces a person's ability to personally discern. (4) It creates a judgmental spirit. (5) The Pharisees confused personal preferences with divine law. (6) It produces inconsistencies. (7) It created a false standard of righteousness. (8) It became a burden to the Jews. (9) It was strictly external. (10) It was rejected by Christ.

They try to put us back under the Law even today. Jesus told the Pharisees in Matt 23:25 you are “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” This illustration reminded me of what it is like trying to live under bondage. “Professional golfer Tommy Bolt was playing in Los Angeles and had a caddy with a reputation of constant chatter. Before they teed off, Bolt told him, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no." During the round, Bolt found the ball next to a tree, where he had to hit under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down on his knees and looked through the trees and sized up the shot. What do you think?" he asked the caddy. "Five-iron?" "No, Mr. Bolt," the caddy said. "What do you mean, not a five-iron?" Bolt snorted. "Watch this shot." The caddy rolled his eyes. "No-o-o, Mr. Bolt." But Bolt hit it and the ball stopped about two feet from the hole. He turned to his caddy, handed him the five-iron and said, "Now what do you think about that? You can talk now." "Mr. Bolt," the caddy said, "that wasn't your ball." Legalism takes all of the fun out of being a child of the King.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Lord is Faithful

The Bible says in Daniel 1:13-15: “Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.” The Lord proves faithful to Daniel. You know, it’s far better to please God, than to please the world. God will always prove Himself faithful if you do it His way.

There is no better example of this than Noah. I heard Adrian Rodgers say one time that it is better to be in the right and in the minority than to be wrong and in the majority. He also said when speaking of Noah, “He went into the ark in the minority, but he came out in the majority!” We would all do well to remember that.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Gospels

The Gospels cover a period of about thirty-five years. They open with an announcement in the Temple of God (Lk. 1:11-20) and close with the ascension of the Son of God (Lk. 24:51). As the Old testament began with man made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), the Gospels open up with God made in the image of man (Jn. 1:14). The man made in the image of God was defeated by Satan in a garden (Gen. 2:8), but the God made in the image of man defeated Satan in a garden when He submitted to His Father’s will (Lk. 22:39-42). Prior to the Gospels, sheep died for shepherds (Ex. 12:1-13), but now the Shepherd was going to die for the sheep (Jn. 10:11). At his birth he was offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh by wise men who worshipped him (Mt. 2:11), while at his death he was offered thorns, vinegar, and spittle by wicked men who ridiculed him (Mt. 27:29, 34, 26:67). The Gospels describe Jesus saving sinners under a tree (Jn. 1:48), up a tree (Lk. 19:4-5), and on a tree (Lk. 23:43). Looking forward to my study through the book of Matthew with the students!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gathering on Sunday

The Bible teaches that the early church always worshipped on Sunday. It says in Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,…” They were gathering for communion and Bible study on Sunday.

It also says, when speaking of when the offering was to be taken that it was to be done on Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him...” Clearly, the early church worshipped on Sunday. Now, I know that there are those within the church today who are convinced that we must all worship only on the Sabbath or Saturday. I’m not here to knock them in any way. However, I will go to Scripture on anyone who tries to put me back under the Old Testament Law. Jesus came and fulfilled the Law so that I would not have to. If I could have done it myself, Jesus would not have had to do it for me. When Jesus prayed in the garden, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42); what He was in essence saying was, “Father, if this is not the only way for man to be saved, don’t make me do this.” Of course, God’s answer was delivered in the form of a kiss (Matthew 26:48-49).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Willfully Ignorant

I am amazed at how willfully ignorant people can be on the clear teaching about angels and demons (fallen angels) in the Bible. Do you know how many false religions and cults have been started because someone said that an angel came and told then something? The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

That means that if an angel, heavenly or demonic, (it will be demonic) was to stand at the foot of your bed tonight and tell you something that is not in the Bible; don’t you believe it because he is lying and he is accursed by God.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


An Iranian invented a compass-like device engraved with the names of 150 cities, in Arabic. The devout Muslim turns the instrument until the needle indicates north, twists a dial to the name of the city he is in -- and the arrow points the way to Mecca, which Muslims face to pray five times a day. How many times a day do we intentionally pray?

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Word of God

The Word of God is compared to a two edged sword. As a two edged sword it represents the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse shows us both the truth and the severity of the Word of God. If it is allowed to cut one way, it can be a surgical scalpel that the Master Physician uses to repair heal, remove, and restore. Ephesians 5:27 speaks of this process when it says, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”

However, the Word of God may also cut another way and be an instrument of judgment. The Bible says that when Jesus returns for the second time in Revelation 19:15 that “…out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” So, the Word of God can be both an instrument of healing and an instrument of judgment. It’s entirely up to us which way it will cut in our lives. Which way is it cutting in your life?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Here is another distraction in the church today – eternal security of the believer or what some would rather call the perseverance of the saints. Whatever you chose to call it, it’s a bait and switch from the enemy. It’s taking our eyes off of the cross. It’s majoring in the minors. Yes, if you’re truly saved you’re always saved. Yes, if you persevere, than that means you’re saved. Yes, if you don’t persevere then you never were saved to begin with. My goodness, we’re saying the same thing. Let me ask you this while you’re arguing among yourselves, “When was the last time you personally led someone to Jesus?” I believe that all of our bickering breaks the heart of God because it takes our eyes off of him. Leave that stuff to the little professors to discuss over donuts in the teacher’s lounge at the college down the street. Lead people to Jesus!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This is taken from my commentary on Jude. "Listen mom and dad – it’s all well and good that little Johnny is enjoying the youth group and little Suzie is having a great time running around in the children’s ministry, but what about you? Are you getting fed? Are you growing in your walk with the Lord? Are you any closer to God today than you were yesterday? If you are not growing in your walk with the Lord, you cannot lead your children in their walks with the Lord either. For the love of God, find a church that teaches the Bible and stop looking to be entertained. Entertain your children at home. That is not the church’s job."

Andrews, TX

I will be speaking at the Calvary Baptist Church in Andrews, Texas Sunday morning at 10:45am. If you're in the area, drop by.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Father's Day Message

I just posted a message under "Most Recent Studies" that I taught at the First Baptist Church in Brownsville, TX on Father's Day entitled "The Role of a Father".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Galatians Finale

This will be my final article on the book of Galatians. It’s been a great ride and I hope that you have enjoyed it. For the complete articles from day one, you can visit my website at www.dwaynespearman.org. Let’s pick up in Galatians 4:14 where it says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Paul chooses to glory in the cross and not in how many people He has been a part of converting to Christ. He realized that he was doing his ministry as unto the Lord. One’s ministry will fail quickly when they begin to think that it is all because of them alone.

Note, “…the world has been crucified to me…” Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” In other words, the world no longer meant anything to Paul. We would all do well to take heed to that advice as well (1 John 2:15-17).

Notice v.15, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” All God wants is people to be born again by accepting his forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ. It’s not about where you were born or into what family or ethnicity; it’s about coming to Jesus.

Notice v.16, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” God’s peace will rest upon those who walk according this will.

Notice v.17, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Sadly, Paul spent his entire ministry justifying his apostleship.

Note, “…I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:24-25, “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;”

And notice, v.18, “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Amen!