Sunday Walk 59 – End Times

And notice the promises are given to only one kind of person. Do you know who that is? To him to overcomes. There are no promises in the New Testament to those who do not overcome.

Derek Prince, How To Face the Last Days Without Fear! (about 25:00)

A few years ago if someone told me the world was coming to an end, I would likely have been disappointed if I didn’t outright dismiss it. When I prayed the words, “Thy Kingdom come”, in the Lord’s Prayer I did not expect it to come right now.

Call it an awakening or a revival, but something happened over those last few years which changed all that. That change didn’t have to happen, but I am grateful that it did.

Based on my own experience, those who look forward to the end times do not feel at home in “Satan’s territory”. Willing to stay, if that is God’s will, we are nevertheless ready to go with oil for our lamps. As Derek Prince remarked, “The only recommendation that Jesus has is ‘Be ready.’

I have been reading Derek Prince’s Spiritual Warfare for the End Times. YouTube has many of his lectures on the last days. One I particularly like is How to Face the Last Days Without Fear which I quoted from above.

The one I’ve linked to below is a fifteen part radio broadcast. It seems close to the book I am reading. He identified the situation we face and mentioned the defensive resources we have as well as the offensive resources to do this battle.

The six defensive weapons are listed in Ephesians 6:13-17. They are being girt with the truth, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, having feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, taking the shield of faith, wearing the helmet of salvation and carrying the sword of the Spirit. The four offensive weapons are prayer, praise, preaching and personal testimony.

He gives us an example of a personal testimony in Part 15 at 9:45 right at the end of this series. He says, “Through the blood of Jesus I am redeemed out of the hand of Satan. Through the blood of Jesus all my sins are forgiven. The blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin. Through the blood of Jesus I am justified, made righteous, just-as-if-I’d never sinned. And through the blood of Jesus I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God. I am no longer in Satan’s territory.

It’s all through the blood of Jesus. And so I testify as well.

Derek Prince, Spiritual Warfare

Weekly Bible Reading:  Proverbs (Audio), Ecclesiastes (Audio)
David Pawson, Proverbs, Part 34, Ecclesiastes, Part 35, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

Cone Flowers in a Prairie

Pitt – Décima

It’s hard to dream up something new
when morning sunlight’s cloudless, bright.
I should have written more last night,
but that was then. What should I do?
Deceit tries hard to block what’s true,
but goodness stands against its dread.
I’ve only two lines in my head,
“The weather’s fine but Mister Pitt
decided he’d have none of it.”

For now I’ll leave the rest unsaid.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “pitt” to be used in a D line of a décima having rhyme patter ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.

Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Island – Six Sentence Story

Being new there Tim sat at an empty table like a survivor washed onto an island in a sea of festivities asking himself why he bothered going to this church picnic in the first place. He watched children play on inflated structures, but he was far too old for that, and he saw groups conversing, but he was far too shy to introduce himself.

Eventually two elderly women, both widows, along with a husband and wife sat down at his table. The widows spoke of their husbands who were now with the Lord and they all spoke of their activities and the work of their children and children’s children and listened to Tim struggle to pick the right words that avoided topics like where his wife and child were or reveal for scrutiny the questionable paths he followed with his career and choices of entertainment over the years. The husband, who met his wife in high school and had been with her now for over sixty years, invited Tim to a men’s group on Thursday which Tim, although unsure of what he was getting himself into, agreed to attend.

By the time the picnic was over Tim was breathing calmly and wondering why he had not realized before that people like this still existed who overflowed with power in their humility of being salt for the world hoping it was not too late for him someday to somehow do the same.

Denise offers the prompt word “island” for this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley's six-sentence-stories icon
GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley’s six-sentence-stories icon
Focus on Yellow Blossom
Focus on Yellow Blossom

Sunday Walk 58 – Creation Order

The Fall, contra to what you may have seen…in Sunday School, is not simply the eating of the forbidden fruit…. What happens in Genesis 3…is actually an attack on creation order.

Owen Strachan, Issues in Biblical Anthropology, Lecture 3 (about 57:45)

Creation order is the order of Genesis 1 and 2. As Strachan put it: “There’s God and under God there is the man who’s called to this position of headship as the New Testament will call it. There’s the woman underneath him. There are the animals underneath them.” (about 59:00)

Biblical anthropology does not take the creation order from the world but from the Bible. The world blurs distinctions the Bible makes and creates distinctions the Bible doesn’t.

  • The world blurs the distinction between fathers and mothers by calling them “parents”. Strachan recommended that we avoid words like “parent” that undermine the distinction between fathers and mothers.
  • The world blurs the distinction between men and women and the rest of creation in particular the animals. Strachan told us to maintain the distinction. Both men and women, and only they, are made in the image of God. The animals are not.
  • The world creates more distinctions between the sexes than there are and then blurs those distinctions through gender fluidity. Strachan recommended the use of the word “sex” for its specificity of only two biological sexes over the word “gender”. We capitulate theologically to the world by using its preferred language.

Owen Strachan wanted the future pastors in this seminary lecture to see clearly the creation order so they could effectively lead their churches and not be themselves led by the world. He said, “Are you feeling how alien Christianity increasingly is from what our secular culture teaches? Are you feeling that? I hope you are. If you are, good. That’s what you should feel. You should feel that Christianity is distinct from the world.” (about 42:45)

Owen Strachan, Issues in Biblical Anthropology

Weekly Bible Reading:  Psalms (Audio), Proverbs (Audio)
David Pawson, Psalms, Part 32, Proverbs, Part 33, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Psalms and Proverbs

Oops – Décima

We’re persevering. Let me send
a blessing on what you may do
that it be right and it be true.
At last I know you as a friend
to look for when we reach the end.
We’ve seen the way the devil groups
despair with his deceitful troops,
because he wants to hold his ground.
Deep time is short. We’re homeward bound.
He’ll trip and fall, his final oops.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “oops” to be used in the C line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.

Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image

Deal – Six Sentence Story

Jerome thought of all the good he’d be able to do if he made the deal.

“You really could do a lot of good with that money,” reaffirmed the lawyer offering him the contract.

With those additional billions Jerome would be able to implement his plans for climate control by reflecting solar radiation back into space, stop genetic entropy by cloning engineered species, medically manipulate the population into an addicted state of happiness, and eliminate any unhappy terrorists who’d try to stop him.

“Just to make sure you understand,” the lawyer continued, “after fifty years my company will acquire your soul, which you’ve admitted doesn’t materially matter to you anyway, and in exchange you will have enough resources to save your planet in any way you’ve a mind to do so.”

Some years later after a good deal of planet-saving had wrecked the planet, Jerome listened to his top scientists explain how they might be able to remove the orbiting sun-reflecting micromirrors they released earlier that year, but it would be more expensive than Jerome had expected.

He then asked them, “Hypothetically, if someone were fool enough to sell his soul to the devil to hire guys like you, is there another way out of the contract than the one you are now proposing and how much would that cost me?”

Denise offers the word “deal” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.

GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley's six-sentence-stories icon
GirlieOnTheEdge Denise Farley’s six-sentence-stories icon
Crabapple Droplet Blur
Crabapple Droplet Blur

Sunday Walk 57 – Greg Bahnsen on Miracles

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Proverbs 26:4-5, King James Bible 1769, and expounded in Greg Bahnsen’s Always Ready.

In one of Jim Lee’s posts he linked to Reconstructionist Radio, a site offering Grey Toombs’ narration of Always Ready, a collection of essays by Greg Bahnsen. Bahnsen was a proponent of Van Til’s presuppositional apologetics. Keeping Proverbs 26:4-5 in mind, this apologetics answers the fool without capitulating to the fool’s presuppositions.

After reading C.S. Lewis’s Miracles, Bahnsen’s essay, The Problem of Miracles, reprinted as Chapter 34, caught my attention.

At the beginning of the essay, Bahnsen explained why miracles are a problem for the modern mind: “Miracles would disrupt our simplistic and impersonalistic views of the predictability and uniformity of the world around us.”

We should be careful not to accept Naturalism’s presuppositions by becoming aware of what they are. For example, there needs to be a reason for the uniformity of nature. Can the Naturalist presupposition of the existence of impersonal laws of nature provide that reason? Given that “impersonal” implies those laws arose by chance, it is not likely. Furthermore as Bahnsen claimed at about 21:30 in the narration of the chapter, “God’s self-revelation in the scriptures offers no support for the idea that there are impersonal laws of nature which make the world operate mechanically and with an inevitability which is free ordinarily from the choices of God’s will.” So, there is no need for a Christian to capitulate to the Naturalist’s presupposition of impersonal laws of nature.

The Christian presupposition is that the Bible is the Word of God. The creation account in Genesis 1-2 provides a reason for the uniformity of nature since the creation was good and Genesis 3 provides a reason for the disorderliness of evil (rebellion) that we also see.

Is the source of the orderliness we experience personal or impersonal? If we accept that it is personal (rather than arising from impersonal chance), does the Bible reveal the true personal source or might there some other source such as panpsychism, Brahma or some Baal? The Christian presupposes that the Bible reveals the true source and, given that source, miracles are possible.

At the end of the chapter, Bahnsen warned us to be careful with miracles. They are possible, but the presence of a miracle, or perhaps better put, a sign or wonder, does not mean that God was responsible for it. Signs or wonders, given the serpent in Genesis 3, may also come from demonic sources seeking to deceive.

Greg Bahnsen, The Uniformity of Nature: Atheism’s Philosophical Problem

All knowledge is deposited in Christ. Man’s knowledge of the truth depends upon God’s prior knowledge, begins with the fear of the Lord, and it requires submission to God’s Word.

Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready, Chapter 6

Weekly Bible Reading:  Psalms (Audio)
Commentary: David Pawson, Hebrew Poetry, Part 30, and Psalms, Part 31, Unlocking the Bible

Trip – Décima

This prairie’s thick with butterflies.
From bloom to bloom they make a trip
as summer’s winds through flowers slip
at home with life and cloudy skies.

These butterflies distract my eyes
like yellow leaves that float and fall.
They calmly work though very small.
While on this journey patiently,
though home seems far away from me,
I’ll walk and pray, obey the call.

Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “trip” to be used in a B line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. And Eugenia offers “journey” for her prompt this week.

Ronovan's Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Ronovan’s Decima Poetry Challenge Image
Eugenia’s Prompt Image