Mobile Command Unit

Ok, I broke down and ordered one of those fancy Reformation Study Bibles.

I have the old “Reformation Study Bible,” you know, the edition just after they changed the name from the New Geneva Study Bible? It was a solid Bible and I used it often so when I noticed the crimson hardcover was on sale I picked one up…which is difficult to do considering the weight of the volume! It’s not that heavy, I was joking, it weights in at about 4 lbs.

This edition offers a very clean page style, the font is easy to read and the paper is bright white and thicker when compared to some of my other study bibles. (The ESV Study Bible which is WAY too thin if you ask me). The notes have been updated and revised as you probably already know. The confessions in the back are useful and the sidebar theological notes are extremely valuable, which is why I call it a Mobile Command Unit. I like to bring my Bible along with me to the coffee shop and read it during lunch. Sometimes the Bible I’m reading will solicit a comment or two. The sidebar notes are useful in these situations because it allows you to on the same page when discussing a theological subject when blind sided with random conversation.

It has everything you need to do battle!

reformation study bible crimson

8/10

I gave The Reformation Study Bible an 8 out of 10. It lost a point due to the single column paragraph setup. When reading, studying or even arguing over something from scripture, I’ve found it helps to have a versified two column Bible. Maybe that’s just me. This Bible lost another point due to the limit in translations (ESV/NKJV). It would be nice to have this study Bible with a modern Geneva translation or the King James. I’m thankful for The Reformation Heritage Study Bible which does come in my preferred translations and I would recommend that edition in a hearbeat.

That’s all for now folks.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Day of the Lord?

When does the “Day of the Lord” take place? What say ye?

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Revelation 6:9-17

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Prayer

A. W. Pink, “…what is now being taught on the subject of prayer, and the deplorable thing is that scarcely a voice is lifted in protest. To say that “human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man” is rank infidelity—that is the only proper term for it. Should any one challenge this classification, we would ask them whether they can find an infidel anywhere who would dissent from such a statement, and we are confident that such an one could not be found. To say that “God has ordained that human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man”, is absolutely untrue. “Human destiny” is settled not by “the will of man,” but by the will of God. That which determines human destiny is whether or not a man has been born again, for it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. And as to whose will, whether God’s or man’s, is responsible for the new birth is settled, unequivocally, by John 1:13—”Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD”. To say that “human destiny” may be changed by the will of man, is to make the creature’s will supreme, and that is, virtually, to dethrone God. But what saith the Scriptures? Let the Book answer: “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2:6-8). Link

John Gill provides a proper theological background to prayer, “…it should be said that God’s will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our crying. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” (Jer. 15:1). The prayers of Moses to enter the promised land is a parallel case.

Our views respecting prayer need to be revised and brought into harmony with the teaching of Scripture on the subject. The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No; prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of, as in the former case, seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, “not my will, but thine be done”.

“When God bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, as if He was inclined and turned by them; but it is for His own sake, and of His own sovereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it is answered, This is the way and means God has appointed, for the communication of the blessing of His goodness to His people. For though He has purposed, provided, and promised them, yet He will be sought unto, to give them, and it is a duty and privilege to ask. When they are blessed with a spirit of prayer, it forebodes well, and looks as if God intended to bestow the good things asked, which should be asked always with submission to the will of God, saying, Not my will but Thine be done

Sin

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors”  A.W. Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Redemption all is ours!

“If sinless innocence be theirs, Redemption all is ours.”

“O the riches of the love of God!

The redemption of the soul by the blood of the God-man-mediator is all ours; and the angels cannot even sip it. It is out of the reach of their pure lips and holy hearts; but the Lord, in the riches of his grace, bestows that especial favour, with all the blessings connected with it, upon the objects of his precious choice, of his love, his own love.

Have you, my friends, been brought, as poor sinners, poor broken down sinners, to gadsbybelieve in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Have we been brought to cast our cares upon Christ, to feel a little measure of his love and blood?

O how amazing, then, how wonderfully amazing the feeling, when sometimes we have been drawn up by the power of God the Spirit to behold the glory of the workings of a faith entering into the bosom and the love of the God-man, and saying, “My Lord and my God!”

How amazing!

Reason is confounded; even Unbelief is obliged to skulk away for a moment; but it is such a devil it will soon come again; but it is obliged for a moment to skulk away, while the soul has solemn, sweet, and blessed intercourse with God in Christ Jesus.

To speak of a millionth part of the blessings that God’s people have secured to them, which are causes for thankfulness, we never can. Just let us drop a hint or two, if we can, upon the suggestion, and then leave it.”

William Gadsby

Wandering Thoughts

How the mind causes our thoughts to wander:mind

The arrogance of the mind alienates us from the life of God, and from communion with him. When a present and appropriate petition or instruction is conveyed through the ear into the understanding, it shamelessly plays therewith, and takes occasion to run out on some contiguous notion; and from that to another and at length rests and dwells on some strange and unusual point, till the gates of good Spirit, and the present matter has ended. And thus by a default in the understanding, we seek not God, Psalm 53.2[i], nor find him as we might; and that excellent faculty, which would penetrate into the divine mysteries, and should guide the will and heart unto God, by the deceptiveness of its unmortified vanity, mislead us from the chief good, and entangles us in distractions. We read of a “defilement of body and spirit,” 2 Corinthians 7.1[ii], whereof surely this is a part, and must be cleansed in them that will “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” – Rev. Richard Steele (I’ve updated the language. Any words in italics have been altered.)

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[i] “God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”

[ii] “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. “

Amillennialism

Re-post from 2013!

Such a great video on the subject of Amillennialism. He mentions a few problems that I struggled with and helps to explains the details.

The Amillennialist affirms that the people of Israel have not been cast off or replaced, but rather, that the Gentiles have now been included among the Jews in God’s Covenantal promises. In other words, not replacement but expansion. God’s redemptive plan, as first promised to Abraham, was that “all nations” would be blessed through him. Israel is, and always has been, saved the same as any other nation: by the promises to the seed, Christ. Amillennialists, do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth after His second coming. Rather, they affirm that when Christ returns, the resurrection of both the righteous and wicked will take place simultaneously (see John 5), followed by judgment and and the eternal state where heaven and earth merge and Christ reigns forever.

Strong points of Amillennialism

* It is highly Christocentric: it makes Christ the center of all the biblical covenants (even the “Land” covenant or Siniatic)

* It notes the universal scope of the Abrahamic Covenant (as key) to interpreting the rest of the biblical covenants * It sees salvation history oriented to a person (Christ), instead of a people (the nation of Israel)

* It emphasizes continuity between the “people of God” (Israel and the Church are one in Christ Eph. 2:11ff)

* It provides an ethic that is rooted in creation, and “re-creation” (continuity between God’s redemptive work now, carried over into the eternal state then)

* It emphasizes a trinitarian view of God as it elevates the “person”, Christ Jesus, the second person of the trinity as the point and mediator of all history

* It flows from a hermeneutic that takes seriously the literary character of the Scriptures (esp. the book of Revelation) – Bobby Grow

Yours in the Lord,

j

Regulative and Normative

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Samuel Waldron gives us the following in his Exposition of the 1689:

“Mr Anglican must use the materials of the Word of God, but has no blueprint and may use other materials. Mr. Puritan must use only materials of the Word of God and has a blueprint. It takes no special genius to discern which will be more pleasing to God.”

Mr. Anglican represents the Normative Principle of Worship (NPW) and Mr. Puritan represents the Regulative Principle (RPW), but is it accurate? Is there really a set blueprint or pattern that we must follow? Are believers allowed to worship God in ways that are not commanded in scripture? I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last year and have come to the conclusion both positions are honestly trying to “do things biblically,” but the big difference is how each view allows culture and tradition to influence them.

What’s the Difference

Some RPW proponents are against instruments being used and are Psalms only, others contend instruments are fine and songs used on Sunday do not have to be from the Psalter. Those who allow instruments tend to prefer pianos and other “traditional” instruments. Some NPW proponents believe smoke machines, TV screens and drum solos are God glorifying, others, are strongly against all of it. Some believe it’s important to have drama and lights, turning morning worship into a show and creating an emotional response in the people to bring glory to God.

Both the RPW and the NPW folks believe they are within the biblical bounds of God honouring worship.

No matter what position taken on this issue both are really based on preference and that preference is influenced by culture. Some NPW folks would allow the use electric guitars on Sunday morning. Some might not. Within the groups holding to RPW some would never be caught dead singing anything but the Psalter. What’s the difference between these two groups? I’m guessing it’s personal taste and culture.

The traditional position held before RPW and NPW were expressed during the Reformation accepts the traditions of the past, within the bounds of scriptural commands and prohibitions. Overtime local congregations allowed for some elements of culture to be used within their own worship services and liturgies, some gaining approval and others being discarded. The pre-Reformation view allowed for things such as a church calendar, prayer beads, kneeling when receiving communion, a Lord’s Table set apart, crossing oneself, raised pulpit, etc. to enter into the church and liturgy. Over time these traditions gain approval of God’s Ministers and His people and carrying on for future generations.

Learning from Christ’s Example:

Many RPW folks believe we should not use a church calendar to regulate our seasons of worship because it is not commended in holy scripture so I ask that you consider the example set by Jesus Christ Himself.

We read in John 10:

“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.”

As many of my readers know the “Feast of the Dedication” is today called Hanukkah or the “Feast of Lights” and was not given by commend to the Jews but rather grew out of the intertestamental period – the Maccabean Revolt.

1 Maccabees 4:

“52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. 58 There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed. 59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.”

According to The Pulpit Commentary, Hanukkah “occupied eight days, was distinguished by illumination of the city and temple and of other places throughout the land, and hence was called the ‘Feast of Lights.'” The prominent Dr. John Gill also recognizes the lack of a positive command when he commented on the verse from John, “there were no annual feasts appointed in commemoration…”

It would seem rather odd that Jesus would attend the Temple during Hanukkah if He had a problem with it. It would also seem odd that if Jesus had a problem with Hanukkah it went unmentioned, but instead we see Jesus in a different passage instructing us:

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Mat 23:2-3

I guess we have to use some common sense on this one, as a “good” Jew of His time Christ would have kept the Feast of Lights or been accused of not following the traditions of the Elders…after all, the very Son of God commanded that, “whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do…”

Confessions of Faith

As I pointed out above I don’t really see a big difference between the two Protestant positions if both are seeking to glorify God.

From the 39 Articles of Religion found in every Book of Common Prayer:

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority- in Controversies of Faith: And yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.”

The 1689 London Baptist Confession reads:

“God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added”

and the Westminster:

“The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.”

Anglicans and Lutherans believe the church should decide how worship is to be conducted using scripture as well as traditions from church history. The Reformed wing of the Reformation uses a sliding scale of degrees when they introduce, “good and necessary consequences…” I’ve never really paid attention to, “good and necessary consequences” in relation to worship before but it seems one could use “good and necessary consequence” to conclude that (1) since Jesus kept a church calendar and (2) God has always regulated the year using feasts and fast, the practice should continue.

Some say, “Psalms only” others claim, “any song on a scriptural theme will do.” Both can be said in a confessionally Reformed church. Whatever one can feel justified in allowing during the Lord’s Day worship service seems to be acceptable. The biggest issue I now have is why have most Protestants ignored 2,000 years of continuous church tradition for a modern culture?

Again, it seems to me, that people reject tradition for the sake of rejecting tradition replacing it with modern cultural trappings in accordance with their own personal tastes. So why not use a Reformed liturgy? Another question to consider is, how do you remain RPW if Jesus kept Hanukkah and Hanukkah isn’t commanded by scripture? As I continue to learn and reform, I’m beginning to see nothing wrong with traditional forms of worship such as liturgy.

Just a few wild theological thoughts and ramblings from an insomniac.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Sketches of Church History

This is an excellent find! I’ll post it and it will probably go unread but if you’re a Bible believing Protestant, especially Reformed, this is the kind of work that will aid you with your understanding of biblical prophecy.

papacy

 

SKETCHES

OF

CHURCH HISTORY.

From A.D. 33 to the Reformation.

BY THE LATE
Rev. J. C. ROBERTSON, M.A.
CANON OF CANTERBURY.


PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE.


LONDON:
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, CHARING CROSS, W.C.
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.
26, ST. GEORGE’S PLACE, HYDE PARK CORNER, S.W.
BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET.
New York: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.
1887.

CONTENTS.

PART I

CHAPTER

  1. The Age of the Apostles
  2. St. Ignatius
  3. St. Justin, Martyr
  4. St. Polycarp
  5. The Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne
  6. Tertullian–Perpetua and her Companions
  7. Origen
  8. St Cyprian–Part I —Part II —Part III
  9. The Last Persecution
  10. Constantine the Great
  11. The Council of Nicaea
  12. St. Athanasius–Part I —Part II —Part III
  13. The Monks
  14. St. Basil and St. Gregory of Naz.–Part I —Part II
  15. St. Ambrose
  16. The Temple of Serapis
  17. Church Government
  18. Christian Worship–Part I —Part II —Part III
  19. Arcadius and Honorius
  20. St. John Chrysostom–Part I —Part II —Part III —Part IV
  21. St. Augustine–Part I —Part II —Part III (Donatism) —Part IV —Part V —Part VI (Pelagianism) —Part VII
  22. Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon
  23. Fall of the Western Empire
  24. Conversion of the Barbarians– Christianity in Britain
  25. Scotland and Ireland
  26. Clovis
  27. Justinian
  28. Nestorians and Monophysites
  29. St. Benedict–Part I —Part II
  30. End of the Sixth Century
  31. St. Gregory the Great–Part I —Part II —Part III —Part IV

PART II

  1. Mahometanism; Image worship
  2. The Church in England
  3. St. Boniface
  4. Pipin and Charles the Great–Part I —Part II
  5. Decay of Charles the Great’s Empire
  6. State of the Papacy
  7. Missions of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
  8. Pope Gregory VII –Part I —Part II —Part III —Part IV
  9. The First Crusade–Part I —Part II —Part III
  10. New Orders of Monks–Military Orders
  11. St. Bernard–Part I —Part II
  12. Adrian IV–Alexander III –Becket –The Third Crusade
  13. Innocent III–Part I —Part II —Part III —Part IV
  14. Frederick II–St. Lewis of France–Part I —Part II —Part III
  15. Peter of Murrone
  16. Boniface VIII–Part I —Part II
  17. The Popes at Avignon –Ruin of the Templars–Part I —Part II
  18. The Popes at Avignon (continued)
  19. Religious Parties
  20. John Wyclif
  21. The Popes return to Rome
  22. The Great Schism
  23. John Huss
  24. The Council of Constance–Part I —Part II —Part III
  25. The Hussites
  26. Councils of Basel and Florence
  27. Nicolas V and Pius II
  28. Jerome Savonarola–Part I —Part II
  29. Julius II and Leo X
  30. Missions–The Inquisition

TABLE OF DATES

PART I

PART II