“There is an authenticated case of a man being converted by a sermon eighty-five years after he had heard it preached. Mr. Flavel, at the close of a discourse, instead of pronouncing the usual benediction, stood up, and said, ‘How can I dismiss you with blessing, for many of you are Anathema Maranatha, because you love not the Lord Jesus Christ?’ A lad of fifteen heard that remarkable utterance; and eighty-five years afterwards, sitting under a hedge, I think in Virginia, the whole scene came vividly before him as if it had been but the day before; and it pleased God to bless Mr. Flavel’s words to his conversion, and he lived three years longer to bear good testimony that he had felt the power of the truth in his heart.”
Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students
There are many Bible verses that provide guidance for spiritual victory in the Internet age, and one of those is Ephesians 5:11 - “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” There are two simple commands and principles here. First, the child of God is to have NO fellowship with the works of darkness. This is a great protection. If I determine that I will not fellowship with darkness on Facebook, then I will not associate with, join hands with, link to, or befriend anyone or anything that pertains to spiritual and moral darkness. I will not befriend or “Like” or join in with communication threads pertaining to immodest dress or rock & roll (whether secular or “Christian”) or drinking or drugging or worldly partying or dating or vain philosophy or charismatic heresy or slandering of good churches. I refuse to have “a little fellowship” with darkness, because my God has instructed me to have “no fellowship” with it. The second command in Ephesians 5:11 is to “reprove them.” As a child of God, a pilgrim in a strange world, my responsibility is not finished when I avoid fellowship with evil and error. Separation is not enough. I must speak out against things that are wrong. This will tend to limit one’s associations and narrow one’s “tent,” but it is exactly what God’s Word commands. Godly reproof is light in the darkness, as we see in the same context: “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:13). If you stand up for truth and righteousness as you should, you will not get along smoothly and comfortably with the worldly crowd. You will be like the pastor who shared the following with me recently: “I felt that when someone became my friend on Facebook they [should know] they had friended a Bible preacher. There were times I’d post Scripture and comment about Bible principles. As long as I was general about salvation, no big deal. But, as soon as I was specific about sin, I was attacked personally no matter how much Scripture I would use. One time I commented on Tim Tebow. I had been to his website to get some information about him and when his website loaded, a country music song about drinking on Friday night automatically played. I commented on Facebook about the bad testimony that was. That resulted in harsh criticism of me. One man said, ‘Tim Tebow will lead more people to Christ than you ever will.’ Many times Facebook created a forum for others to gang up on me. I made a comment about people being at the kids’ baseball game on Sunday instead of Church. Several ‘Christians’ criticized me.” This reminds me of something Jesus said: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).
(Friday Church News Notes, December 7, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
Our sun, though remarkably stable as stars go, follows an eleven‑year cycle of activity. Every eleven years the sun’s surface is torn by solar storms. These storms can send a hot blast of particles at the earth at a million miles per hour. When they hit the Earth, these particles can disrupt radio communications and electrical systems. During this peak, the sun’s magnetic field is at its strongest.
Five and one-half years later, the sun is relatively quiet. During this quiet period, the sun’s magnetic field is at its weakest. As a result, the sun’s atmosphere develops leaky holes. These openings, called coronal holes, eject protons and electrons into space at two million miles per hour. Now two climatologists have collected data that indicate that during this quiet period, the sun may actively cool the Earth. They studied 20 years of temperature data from weather satellites and found that the Earth’s temperature average was lowest when the sun had the most and largest coronal holes. In 1995, the sun’s surface was covered with coronal holes and the Earth’s lower atmosphere averaged two degrees cooler than when the sun was most active. They theorized that some of the particles ejected from the sun enter the atmosphere and serve as nuclei for water droplets, increasing cloud formation and cooling the lower atmosphere.
While we have much to learn about the sun, we can thank a loving Creator for giving us a uniquely stable sun that supports life.
“I recently did a little computer-generated test to help determine my ‘physiological age’ as compared to my ‘chronological age.’ (Thankfully, I was 8 years younger than my chronological age, 55 rather than 63.) One of the first questions I was asked was whether I was male or female. Why? It’s because--brace yourself!--men are biologically different than women. What a revolutionary concept! But if a computer program is going to determine your physiological age vs. your chronological age, it needs to know something about your biology since, to repeat, men are different than women. Medical science understands this. Genetic studies understand this. Common sense understands this. But it appears Twitter no longer understands this. So, Twitter has updated its terms of service, adding further information under the category of ‘Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.’ Specifically, Twitter explains, ‘We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.’ Note carefully that last sentence, which singles out ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming.’ And what, precisely, do these terms mean? To misgender would be to refer to Bruce Caitlyn Jenner as ‘he.’ To deadname him would be to call him Bruce rather than Caitlyn. Twitter now forbids this usage, meaning that Twitter forbids you from being scientifically and biologically correct. To do so is to risk being banned. ... And if you dare raise your voice in protest against this social madness, you risk being banned. Who cares about your conscience and convictions. Who cares about scientific reality. Speech that falls outside the lines of transgender political correctness is absolutely forbidden.”
“Twitter Declares War,”Christian Post, Nov. 30, 2018
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”
There are some Christian leaders who have suggested that Genesis does not teach how old the Earth is. They argue that the main point of Genesis is to show that God created everything, and that we, as human beings, are central to His plans for the universe. Therefore, they say, the issue of the age of the Earth is not important. After all, God is described as the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7:9. A 6,000-year age for the Earth is not very ancient, compared to the millions and even billions of years of evolution, so surely these creationists have everything wrong at this point.
In Britain, you will often see signs for places like Stonehenge there are often labeled as “Ancient Monuments”, despite the fact that they may only be a few hundred years old. Yet, when you are inside them, you consider them to be ancient. Whether something is ancient or not depends on what you compare it with.
Six thousand years is not ancient when compared to 4.5 billion years. However, it is our contention, from Scripture, that the 4.5 billion years did not exist. So, what is the point of comparing one age with a vast age that did not exist? It is like asking a toddler what they were doing in 1983. The question is meaningless.
Six thousand years of history refers to ancient history. We do not define ourselves in comparison with millions of years that didn’t exist. Instead, we consider the eyewitness account that God gave us, and count it as just that.
“While in Israel and the West the role of political opposition is anchored in law, the governments of the Persian Gulf states tolerate no such criticism. Anyone defying the government is soon found in a cemetery or in prison or forced to travel abroad. ... The Gulf states have no real political parties, at least not as Westerners would define them. This is how countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait operate. In fact, with the exception of Kuwait, these countries have no parliament at all, and all power is vested solely in the royal families, who, we might remember, were handed the reins of rulership by the British in the early part of the 20th century. The power wielded by these families is absolute. ... The Gulf states are having trouble combatting popular opposition given voice by online social networks like Facebook and Twitter. And that only makes them more dangerous. Since the Arab Spring, many of these regimes have set up cyber units to hunt down those who criticize them online. ... Under these conditions, the Gulf monarchies are dictatorships in every respect. There is a total absence of human rights ... Acquiescing in economic considerations, the West continues to engage and do business with these monarchies, while all but ignoring their rampant violations of human rights.”
“Democracy and Civil Rights,” Israel Today, Dec. 2018
“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
My parents did not want dandelions in our garden. They are classed as weeds, and they have a tendency to take over large areas, especially in flower beds and also among the grass in a lawn. But when we came across them in the countryside, they were much more welcome. Pretty much every part of a dandelion plant can be put to some useful purpose.
Dandelion leaves can be eaten as part of a salad. They have a mild, peppery taste. When I lived in England, I would collect together a woodland salad, with finely chopped dandelion leaves, wild garlic, and blanched nettle leaves.
An infusion of the flowers in olive oil makes a fine remedy for aching muscles. A jar can be filled with flower heads, lightly pressed down, then filled with oil, sealed, and left for two to four weeks. Alternatively, the flowers can be treated with gently melted coconut oil, then solidified to make semi-solid balm.
The roots can be cleaned and used in one of two ways. They can be finely sliced and saute as a vegetable. Or you can roast them on a very low heat. The dried roots are then put into a coffee grinder and powdered. The resultant powder is brewed like coffee, and tastes similar.
It has often struck me that God has made a lot of very useful plants for us, like the dandelion. It makes little sense to me to suppose that so many uses could all have evolved. This is an example of God’s creative power.
The preparation for the building of the Third Temple is reaching fever pitch. On December 10, the last evening of Hanukkah, the “nascent” Jewish Sanhedrin is planning to consecrate a stone sacrificial altar and perform the daily offering that occurred every morning and evening in the ancient temple. The sacrifice will be enacted by Kohanim (Levites) dressed in biblical priestly attire. It is not known whether the lamb will actually be sacrificed at the site, but meat will be roasted on the altar. The Temple Institute’s golden menorah will also be lit. The Sanhedrin was a council of rabbis who led the Israelites before and after the destruction of Herod’s Temple. It ceased to function in the fifth century AD, but in 2004 a group of orthodox Jewish groups announced that they were re-establishing it. The “nascent” Sanhedrin’s goal is to establish a “Bible-based organization to replace the United Nations.” The announcement by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz states, “We are very close to the time about which the prophets of Israel prophesied that the God of the world who created everything will be called by the world in the name of the God of Israel, for only the people of Israel remained attached to Him. ... God’s call to return his people to his land will show that the belief of some nations that Israel was in exile as a punishment was a mistaken belief. The exile was only in order for Israel to serve as an example to the nations for serving God. ... Now, it is time for the Creator’s people to return to their land, and from here light will come forth to the world. And when we merit it, and the Temple will be restored and built on its place, then even more will all the nations realize that the time has come to worship God” (“Sanhedrin Invites 70 Nations to Hanukkah Dedication of Altar for the Third Temple,” BreakingIsraelNews, Nov. 29, 2018). Israel abides in the same self-righteousness that caused her to reject her own Messiah 2,000 years ago. She doesn’t admit that her dispersal was a punishment. But just before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when he shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:34-35). And the apostle Paul, trained as a rabbi at the feet of the famous Gamaliel, said of Israel, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:3-4). The “nascent” Sanhedrin who are re-enacting the daily sacrifice are blind to the meaning of that sacrifice, having rejected the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
(Friday Church News Notes, December 7, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
As a child, I was a big fan of the TV show Thunderbirds. The series, featuring puppets, concerned a rescue organization operating five special rescue craft – some of which were like rockets – called Thunderbirds. However, it did not occur to me to ask where they had got the title from.
It turns out that thunderbirds are legendary creatures that feature in stories by Native American people, especially in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Here is part of a story from the Sioux:
One day, long long ago, before the white man came to America, a party of Sioux Indian warriors were out hunting. They had left their village far behind. Before they realized it, the group of braves found themselves alone in the bare and rocky badlands of the West. Suddenly the sky darkened…. There was a clap of thunder that shook the earth. Looking up in terror, the Indians thought they saw the shape of a giant bird falling to earth….
Large flying creatures that cast huge shadows on the earth? These do not sound like ordinary birds. Indeed, they are probably not birds at all. First Nation people, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, report battles in the sea between thunderbirds and killer whales. These were clearly fearsome beasts with large wingspans.
If the descriptions are considered in an unbiased way, the creatures described sound rather like pteradons – flying creatures, classified by evolutionists alongside dinosaurs. It seems at least possible that Native American people may have seen pteroadactyls and other extinct flying creatures. This would be consistent with what we read in the Bible.
The Siberian rhino (Elasmotherium sibiricum) is an extinct rhino that lived on the Eurasian Steppe (present-day Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, northern China). It is a good candidate for the unicorn mentioned in Job 39:9-12, which was notable for its strength and untamable spirit. See also Numbers 23:22; 24:8. The Siberian rhino is also called the Siberian unicorn. It looked like a giant buffalo with a massive horn protruding from its snout and weighed more than 3.5 tons (“Eurasian Ice Age Wiped out the Siberian Unicorn,” UPI, Nov. 27, 2018). “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave by labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?” (Job 39:9-12).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 30, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)