At-One-Ment Day (Yom Kippur)

This past Tuesday and Wednesday was an exciting time for Orthodox Jews. Perhaps you noticed on your calendar the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Most Christians don’t understand the significance of this special day, but it truly is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. The Jewish people observe a 25-hour long fast with intensive prayer.

Yom Kippur is a biblical even that is explained in great detail in Leviticus 16. You may be more familiar with the translation, “Day of Atonement.” Leviticus 16:29 mandates that atonement for sins for the Jews take place on the 10th day of the 7th month every year. I have read many definitions of the word “atone,” but my favorite comes from Dyson Hague’s title on this topic in The Fundamentals: At-One-Ment by Propitiation. Sin creates a rift between God and man. Man needs to make amends in order for the fellowship to be repaired. The cleansing from sin made Israel “At One” with God. That is what Yom Kippur is all about, it was the “At-One-Ment Day.” Consider the process in Leviticus 16. moses-tabernacle-drawing-a

Once a year, the High Priest would make a special sacrifice for the sins of the people. He began by selecting two male goats, a male ram and a young bull.

The High Priest bathed and dressed in special garments.

The High Priest then sacrificed the bull as a sin offering for himself and his family. He brought the blood of the bull, a censer full of burning coals, and two handfuls of incense into the tabernacle. He put the incense on the fire of the altar of incense.

The High Priest entered the Holy of Holies sprinkling the blood of the bull onto the Mercy Seat on top of the Ark seven times with his finger.

After returning outside, he took two male goats and cast lots for them. The first goat was “for the LORD,” and the second would become the “scapegoat.”

The High Priest sacrificed the first goat on the altar for the sins of the people. The blood of the goat was brought into the Holy of Holies and again sprinkled on the Ark seven times.

When the High Priest returned outside to the front of the tabernacle, he took the blood of the bull and the goat sprinkled it onto the “horns” on the altar of sacrifice seven times.

The High Priest called for the scapegoat and laid both of his hands on its head confessing the sin of Israel. He then sent the goat away into the desert. The scapegoat was a symbol for God carrying away the sins of Israel.

Lastly, the High Priest removed his special garments, bathed again, put his regular High Priestly garments back on, and offered up the ram as a burnt offering to make atonement for himself and the people together.

If God required such detail on the Day of Atonement, it was very important for the Jews. For Christians, this is an incredible picture of what Christ did on the cross. In Jesus we see the High Priest, the sacrifice, and the scapegoat once for all. By dying on the cross, Jesus appeased the wrath of God (propitiation) against all those who put their faith in Christ.

Colossians 2:13-15 – And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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Will the real Kim Davis please stand up?

The purpose of this post is not to be political and share my viewpoint on Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to sign gay marriage licenses. My purpose is to point out one key truth that you not find in told in the mainstream media.

First, let me share with you the negative that everyone is aware of because it is being blasted over the news waves. Kim Davis is a sinner who has committed some pretty terrible acts. For example, she has been married four times, divorced three times, gave birth to twins out of wedlock, and was unfaithful in her marriages. A word John Newton published in 1779 seems like a fitting description. She is a “wretch.” Yet, Kim Davis also has something in common with John Newton. In Kim’s own words, she was “living in a pit of sin that I had created with my very own hands.”

In 2011, something drastic took place in Kim’s life. Her mother-in-law left a dying request for Kim to visit a church at least one time in her adult life. Kim’s mother-in-law passed away on a Sunday morning and Kim fulfilled the wish that very evening. In that church service, Kim heard some good news. “The pastor preached out of Galatians, and it really stirred my heart. I repented right there on the altar, just fell on my knees and face and cried.” In a written public statement Kim also shared, “There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.”

Kim Davis indeed does have something else in common with John Newton. As a wretched sinner, she received God’s Amazing Grace. 1 Corinthians 6:11 puts is this way, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Is Kim a terrible sinner, hypocrite, and wretch? Oh yes, but she has been washed! The wrath of God upon her has been appeased through Christ’s substitution by his death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures. The guilt of her sin has been nailed to the cross and she bares it no more.

As I stated before, my purpose is not to share my political viewpoint. I am not calling Kim a hero or rebel. I will let history decide what it records regarding Kim Davis. Today, I shall sing John Newton’s beautiful song with her that reveals the magnificence of what God does for us as lowly sinners who put our faith in Christ.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

A Response to the Redefining of Marriage by the US Supreme Court.

dcc1177e0cc57b4c72b54f545a32-should-marriage-be-constitutionally-defined-as-between-one-man-and-one-womanOver the last 200 years, the United States of America has been incredibly blessed by God. Our country is unique because it was founded upon governing principles and ideals based upon the Word of God. This is not to say that the USA was inherently Christian or that every Founding Father was a Christian, but our nation, as a whole, had a general respect for morality and ethics that were patterned in Scripture.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States chose to redefine the Biblical definition of marriage allowing for homosexuals to legally marry in any US state. As I look at social media, it seems like Christians are in panic mode. Rarely do we see the federal government violate the Scriptures to this degree. I will admit that my stomach felt ill when I saw the breaking news report. But as I now process this news, I must come back to the reality of the “real world.” Friends, the “real world” has Christ at its center no matter what society does. King Jesus is ruling and reigning today just and he has in eternity past and shall in eternity future.

So what does this mean for our country? I will admit that I do not know the answer to that question. You can be assured that I love our nation. God has used her mightily for his glory. I beg him to do so in the future. I also believe that God holds all individuals accountable for their sinful behavior, specifically in the area of homosexuality (Hebrews 13:4). The only “fix” for our nation is revival centered upon the Christ.

NH began equating homosexual unions to marriage on January 1, 2010. The Supreme Court’s ruling on redefining marriage does not change our mission in any way. The mission of NESBC remains to equips saints for the work of the ministry and build up the body of Christ until he returns to take us home (Ephesians 4:12-13). We will remain true to the Scriptures by respecting our government as commanded in Romans 13. When the law of the land contradicts the Word of God, we echo the words of Peter as listed in Acts 4:19-20; 5:29. “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard…We must obey God rather than men.”

There is no need for panic, cause for worry or fear, or change anything we have been doing to glorify the Lord in response to the SCOTUS ruling. We will obey God. We will love our neighbors as ourselves. We will use this opportunity to proclaim Jesus as Lord, King, and Savior to a world who desperately needs him. We will love homosexuals as much as God does, not accepting their sin, but loving the person whom Christ died for.

Do we have an uphill battle? Yes, we do! Being a Christian in America just became a little more difficult, but may I remind you that the victory is already won? The Supreme Court of the United States cannot put Jesus back into the grave. We are but strangers and aliens on this earth making our way to an eternal city with foundations whose builder and make is God.

I encourage you all to take this opportunity to share with others that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Today, there are many people jumping for joy believing the Court gave them something that will fulfill them and make them happy. Do not be deceived, friends, it won’t. Only God can do that, and we are his chosen messengers. In this ruling against Biblical marriage we rejoice, not in the ruling’s debauchery, but rather in the truth that God has chosen us to be his salt and light in this dark hour. Our church needs to be the safe haven for the refugees who are being robbed and shipwrecked by the sexual revolution. When they realize that they are still empty, we need to be standing as a lighthouse of truth so they may see our good works and glorify our heavenly Father. Go and shine for Jesus! 

The Fundamentals: Chapter 9

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Common sense says that without Christ, there is no Christianity, yet the liberal skeptics of the early 20th Century attemptedQuestion.001 to minimize the divinity of Christ and his miracles. They set out on a quest to uncover the real “historical” Jesus as simply a man with no supernatural abilities. The Messiah they tried to create could not have been Messiah at all because he was a mere man. It is interesting to see how sinful men seek to invent theories and then find the proof for them. If this method of research could be switched, the Gospel of John would be the place to start since it is a book that demonstrates the divinity and the sovereignty of Jesus Christ as God. This assault on the deity of Christ is the reason for one of the Five Pillars of Fundamentalism: The literal nature of Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ’s miracles and the Creation account in Genesis. 

The Fundamentals: Chapter 9

The Fundamentals: Chapter 8

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Throughout history, there have been debates that are long forgotten so that the modern reader has no appreciation. Thus farQuestion.001 in the posting of The Fundamentals on this blog, we have seen the errant approach and effects of higher criticism. Chapter 8 is no different, but the chapter addresses a topic from 100 years ago that not many modern Christians have never heard of. During my seminary career, I did not come across this topic outside of its reference in The Fundamentals.

The author, David Heagle, was addressing a doctrinal objection that was relevant in his culture, even though it may not be in ours. This is a necessary practice for two reasons. First, cultures change. Satan can use new forms and methods to combat Christianity. It is not wrong to biblically address these forms. Fundamentalism needs to be fluid in its addressing of culture. Some arguments of the 1970’s may not be relevant in 2014, yet some arguments of 2014 would have never been considered in 1970. I recently testified before the NH House Judiciary Committee stating my case to not amend the NH Constitution to promote homosexual marriage. Early Fundamentalists would have never dreamed that this is necessary.

Second, many of the arguments against orthodoxy are not really new. Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it. Many modern heretics and critics take their play books from the past and regurgitate the error. By being familiar with the past, we can guard against attacks on sound doctrine in the present and future.

Did you know that the Tabernacle in the Old Testament was real? Your reply most likely is, “Of course, why wouldn’t it be?” Skeptics and critics 100 years ago tried to disprove the tabernacle’s authenticity by claiming that priests who lived later in history added the story of the tabernacle into the Old Testament. They suppose the tabernacle was a creation and sketch of pure imagination while the Jews were in exile in Babylon. This is the basis for Chapter 8.

The Fundamentals:Chapter 8

The Fundamentals: Chapter 7

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When I was growing up, I learned many Bible “stories” that I still hold dear to this day. The difficulty with using the termQuestion.001 “story” is that it can insinuate that the account in question is not a historical event, but rather just a fairy tale. Modern Bible skeptics have tried to undermine the Bible’s authority by trying to make it into a fairy tale. And who can blame? If the Bible is the Word of God, the skeptic is forced to accept or rebel against God. It is much easier for the skeptic to run from reality and live for himself.

Were Abraham and Moses real people in history? Did a man named Noah really build an ark under the direction of God? Did God really mean that he created the world in six literal days, or is Genesis 1 a silly allegory with Genesis 2 as the real story (as if God made chapter divisions in the Bible)?

Friends, the Bible is the authoritative, accurate, and inspired Word of God. Everything it contains is an accurate account of historical record. That doesn’t mean that the Bible records every moment in history, but it does include everything man needs to know in order to glorify God. Chapter 7 of The Fundamentals addresses the skeptics who teach that the Bible is a fairy tale. It is unfortunate that many of these skeptics remain in modern Evangelicalism as deceivers.

The Fundamentals: Chapter 7

The Fundamentals: Chapter 6

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Johann Gottfried Eichhorn was a German theologian and higher critic who set out to prove that the Bible was not of divine Question.001origin (inspiration) because he could not comprehend how God could write such a book. Instead of gathering the evidence and letting it speak for itself, Eichhorn and his cohorts believed their own theory first, and then sought evidence. This is a horrible method of scholarship because it is only limited to one’s imagination and skews the evidence unfairly.

In regards to the Pentateuch, also know as the Law of Moses or the first five books of the Bible, the higher critics set out to show that is was not divinely inspired through Moses, but rather a collection of stories compiled and edited over hundreds of year. To do this, the higher critics had to lie and distort dates and data. Chapter 6 of The Fundamentals shines light upon this type of deception and illustrates a massive conclusion. If the Pentateuch is only a human compilation, Christ and all his ministry is vain because it was built upon the Law of Moses. Jesus came to fulfill a divine law, not finish the compiled ramblings of the historic Hebrews. The supreme Christ upheld a divine Pentateuch.

The Fundamentals: Chapter 6

Its Resolution Thursday!

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One of Jonathan Edward’s most admirable qualities was his humility. The test of a man’s character isn’t found in howJE Resolution 3.001 infrequent he falls, but rather how often many times he gets back up, dusts himself off, and serves the Lord. Repentance is the changing of the mind based upon the conviction of the heart. May we all be people of humility and character.