Announcement March 11, 2017

Hello Friends,

Today I want to announce that the i am HIS Ministries website is open.  The construction of the site is mostly done save the online store and migration of the previous post from my old site.  While I have your attention a new welcome email is under way coupled with a release of a small eBook “My Story” given for free when you sign up for my email list.  You may sign up now and will receive both the new welcome email and the book when it is completed.


I’m also looking for a supplier for my first product and hope to be operational with that by the end of the month.

Anyways there’s much to do and you’ll hear more from me soon.

-Jeff-

Ransomed

I was talking with my wife about how we don’t really think about what really means when we say Jesus died for our sins.  And then later that night they showed a clip from The Passion of Christ at church.  I was thinking about this on my way to school today and I felt the need to write a song to help us grasp the reality of what he went through.
Ransomed
By: Jeffrey Reum
I was condemned to die, to live in an eternity of pain
The wrong I’ve done has earned me this fate
There is nothing I can do to reverse this decree
But my destiny was change on that tree
With every blow from the whip your back was mangled
Despite the searing pain your love for me kept you there
When the drove the nails it must have been excruciating
And as your life slipped away the fear was probably overwhelming
Your divine right, you laid down; your mighty army you stayed
All for me, All for me
You took my place, on that cross; I’m set free, my sin is gone
By your love, by your love
I just want to say thank you,  I just want to say thank you

Do We Really Need Holliness

 

Holiness.png

Introduction:

Hello Friends,

 

So, the other day I was reading another bloggers post.  This person suggested that believers do not need to fear Hell.  While I agree with this, mainly because due to our belief we won’t be going there, I was left with the since that either Hell didn’t exist or that no one would go there.  At this point I cannot say for sure what this individual thought or intended to say, but I do think that these ideas exist and are worth talking about.

 

As I approach this topic or any topic regarding God, I am always interested in the why.  For example, if Jesus died for my sins, why would He want to do that.  If God says don’t kill, then why?  If God tells us to be holy, then why?  I don’t do this to put God on the spot, but because I want to know Him more, to perhaps grasp a little more of the thoughts and ways that are above my own, and to understand His heart more.  I truly believe that He knows best and is ok with me wanting to understand His commands.

 

What Does the Bible Say?

 

So, to cut to the chase; God does tell us to be holy.

 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26, ESV)

 

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.” (Leviticus 20:26, ESV)

 

but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”” (1 Peter 1:15–16, ESV)

 

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”” (Exodus 19:5–6, ESV)

 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9, ESV)

 

From the very beginning God has intended for us to be like Him.  We are made in His image and called to be holy as He is holy.  In the past I did a study of the word holy and looked at how it was used.  I noticed that the word “holy” was attributed to God or something that belonged to God.  At this point I am not ready to fully expound upon this word, which I will do in a future post “What is Holiness”.   But these verses demonstrate that God wants us for Himself, in the same what that I want my wife for myself.  We are His treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

 

Why?

 

Since it is clear that God commands us to be holy, the question is why?  Why does God want us to be holy?  I think the following verses gives us insight important for answering this question.

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, ESV)

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 24:3–6, ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)

And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV)

 

The first two verses tell us the requirement to be in God’s presence, clean hands, a pure heart, no deceit, and no idols.  The second two tell us that Jesus was given so that we may have eternal life, which is to know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent.  To simplify, God say’s this is what it takes to hang out with Me, and hey Jesus died so that you can hang out with Me.  Take a look at these two verses.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,” (Hebrews 10:19, ESV)

 

The throne of grace is easy to understand, God/Jesus’s throne, how cool is that.  Check out this description of God’s throne found in Isaiah 6

Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”” (Isaiah 6:1–5, ESV)

In this passage Isaiah is trembling before the King of the Universe, as he should, but we are told we can come confidently before Him.  Wow!

In Hebrews 10:19, the writer talks about the Most Holy Place.  Below I have provided links below for more detailed teaching on the matter, but essentially the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies, is the place in the tabernacle where God’s presences dwelled above the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant.  This place could only be entered once a year by the high priest and only after following the proper protocol.  Even then he would enter with a rope tied around his waist just in case he died.  And now we can enter with confidence.  How cool!

 

The Problem

The problem with over playing the grace or legalism cards is that they both have fundamental misunderstandings of God.  The legalist focuses on the justice, righteousness, holiness, judgement and wrath of God, while the hyper-grace crowd focuses on God’s love, mercy, patience, grace, and kindness.  One side views God as a rage driven vindictive judge while the other treats Him as a permissive grandfather.  Both points of view are incomplete.   Both are focused on either the eternal punishment of Hell (to be escaped or not to worry about), and/or the eternal reward of Heaven, a place of eternal bliss or happiness.  These verses can categorize this.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”” (Revelation 21:8, ESV)

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”” (Revelation 21:4, ESV)

These are important verses and are not to be ignored and we can look forward to the time when pain, sickness, sin, and death are no more and are grateful that we were rescued from our previous fate, eternity in Hell.  But personally, I look forward to these verses:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3, ESV)

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:22–23, ESV)

At the end of the day there is one question to ask for us.  What motivates us, or what do we delight in.  Do we delight in the pleasures of this world, do we delight in our ability to follow the rules, or do we delight in the presence of the Lord?  Which of these fulfills the greatest commandment?

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38, ESV)

I think we get so short sighted, either we are too focused on enjoying the pleasure of life (whatever we believe that to be) or we are focused on avoiding the bad place, getting to the good place, and possibly getting a heap of rewards and a big shiny crown to show off.  The reality is that we have some access to God now, and when we do get to the good place the limits to our current access will be removed.

We can get caught up in the concerns of life and How Jesus make everything better or we are busy trying to be good.  But Jesus said:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:5–6, ESV)

Holiness cannot be attained by our own efforts.  It is something that comes from Jesus.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

Jesus cleanses us, and then it is up to us to abide in Him.  Through this process, we are transformed into His likeness, we bear fruit: fruit of the spirit, fruit of righteousness, fruit of ministry, and so forth.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

If we are partaking of the sinful “pleasures” of this world, then we are making a choice.  We are choosing something other than God to bring us pleasure.  And perhaps we are inadvertently saying God you’re not enough.  Life is only enjoyable with __________.  When in reality:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV)

If we love the Lord our God with our entire being, then what are we going to be seeking.  Getting high/wasted, getting lucky, getting rich, climbing the socioeconomic ladder?  No, we will be seeking God and longing to be like our Daddy God.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29, ESV)

Conclusion:

     I think I went on enough to make my point.  In the end, it is undeniable that the Bible tells us that God wants us to be Holy.  I believe the reason for this is because He wants to spend time with us, and holiness is the requirement.  In fact, He long to be with us so much that He sold everything in order to make it happen.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45–46, ESV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16–17, ESV)

What concerns me both for the legalist and the hyper-grace camp is this verse:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21–23, ESV)

Are we living our lives in pursuit of knowing Him, or is it something else?

 

I leave you with this question:  If God wants us to be Holy so that we can be in His presence, what is holiness?  I encourage you to follow my blog and to sign up for my email list so that you will be notified when my next post, “What is Holiness” is published (see the side bar or menue).

 

Link on the Most Holy Place

http://the-tabernacle-place.com/articles/what_is_the_tabernacle/tabernacle_holy_of_holies

Link on the Tabernacle

http://the-tabernacle-place.com/articles/what_is_the_tabernacle

 

 

 

 

A Picture of Worship

worship

Hello friends, I have a great post for you today.
Today I want to provide for you a picture of worship.  As we do this I want to provide the following definition of worship.
    Worship is any act of adoration, exultation, or praise.  For Christians this is expected to be directed at God but humans worship many things.  Some examples would be: athletes, musicians, celebrities, food, technology, or our significant other.  In most cases when we talk about worship you usually are referring to singing with music in a church setting., but it can incorporate a great deal of activities including but not limited to: singing, instrumental music, dance, painting, spoken words, spoken word poetry, sculpting, and so on.
     Worship is giving God the praise He deserves because He is King, because He is Holy, because He is just, because He is righteous, because loves us, because He saved us, and a whole slew of other things.
     Worship can be looked at as a duty but I believe the picture above captures the bidirectional nature of worship.  Before I talk about this some more I want to share a story about some time I spent reading my Bible one day.
     The other day I learned something as I was reading Song of Songs chapters 1 & 2 that really grated my intellect.  As I was reading I was thinking of it through to lenses that this interaction between a man and his betrothed signified: 1 a picture of romance for marriage, and 2 a picture of God’s love for us.  As I was reading I was noticing themes of mutual desire, delight, and adoration being expressed between this man and this woman.  It dawned on me that if this is a picture of God’s love for us (which marriage is and this is definitely a picture for marriage see Ephesians 5) then God desires, delights in, and adores me.  And He is expressing this through His word and probably in other ways I don’t notice as I rush through my day.  What I get here is that while we are worshiping God He is also worshiping us.  Worship is bidirectional.  This was a hard idea for me to accept.  God is awesome, He is holy, righteous, pure, mighty, and powerful.  It seemed wrong to say that He praises or worships me.  But think on the cross He was saying I love you this much, this is how valuable you are to Me.  He says that we are His masterpiece, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that we are His treasure and a pearl of great price ( Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 139:14,Matt 13:44-46)
     Another picture used in the Bible to help us to understand and relate to God is that of our Heavenly Father, Abba Father, or Daddy God (Romans 8:15 Galatians 4:6, Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 15:11-32, 1 John 3:1 and more).  As a father of 6 I can understand this in a much more powerful way than before I had children.  Currently I am going through OSL level 1 (Operation Solid Lives).  During the class time we are watching a series called “The Love of God” in which Jerry Dirmann brings to life how much God and Jesus loves.  The first session titled “Love From the Very First Chapter” talks about this beautiful world that God created loaded with things that are here simply for us to enjoy; the beauty of nature, sweet smelling aromas, colors, a variety of enjoyable foods, and so forth.  In the beginning He placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden and told them to have fun enjoy the delicious fruit and to stay away from the one tree that could ruin it all.  One day the Lord came walking through the garden to talk with them, and something was wrong they were hiding.  They had been tricked by the serpent (Satan) into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the tree previously mentioned.  A curse came upon the devil, Adam, Eve, and all of creation, the ability of man to fellowship with God was severed, and the Heart of God was broken, as His babies were taken away in chains, doomed to an eternity in torment (see my post caged babies).  Unable to tolerate this God includes in the curse upon the serpent an allusion of the rescue plan to later be fulfilled.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15, ESV)
We know now that this head bruising offspring is Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)
 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3, ESV)
Jesus came and died in our place so that we can know Him and God.  He allowed Himself to be tortured, mocked, and killed in our place so that He could be with us forever.
What we see in this brief look at this is that God and Jesus really want to spend time with us.  In a healthy father child relationship we see this at work.  We see a child who is elated when daddy’s car pulls in the drive.  Personally I often come home to a bunch of smiling faces peering through the glass of the storm door when I come home.  There is a smile that comes across my face when they laugh or do something silly.  There are protective aggressive emotions that are activated when someone hurts them.  There is a sadness that comes when they are hurting or sick.  I shed tears when my daughter was so sick she was hospitalized.  My love for my children is a shadow of God’s love for us/me.
In the future I will write more on this, so, be on the look out for the upcoming post “In My Daddy’s Arms” for more about this.
As we come to a close I want to talk about this following verse.
You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
Jesus paid the price for us to have eternal life, to know God and Jesus, in whose presence is fullness of Joy.  When I hold my daughter and spend time with her there is joy.  When we spend time with God in worship, we are stopping everything else to be with Him.  And in those moments we often sense Him near.  One of the things I have learned is that we can use our imagination to help us visualize what we know to be true.
Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (ESV).  Also Hebrews 10:19, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, (ESV).
Do you not know that you[c] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, ESV)
If we believe in Jesus He comes and lives inside of us and gives access to His throne room. Knowing this I would often imagine myself standing before Him.  On day while I was at church camp I was imagining as I worshiping a portal in the distance where I saw God seated on His throne with the six winged angels around Him (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4).  I’m not sure how it shifted but I was closer as if I was standing in front of Him worshiping.  What if when we worshiped we all did this or something like it.  I encourage you to do more than just sing, worry about life, worry about how you sound, or whatever and picture the truth, that He is there waiting eagerly to meet with you.
 I leave you with two things.  Another glimpse at the picture of me and my daughter as an example or intimate worship with the Father and the song “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin

Worship.png

Blog Changes

A quick update about the blog.
jeffreyreum_com-logo
I am currently in the process of doing a Kickstarter.com project to launch jeffreyreum.com a Christian Blog and resource store.  Part of this process will be to move my site to jeffreyreum.com and use a new web building software, bluehost/weebly.  One of the benefits of this will be taking advantage of WordPress’s strong blogging community and setup, but allowing me the customization and easy page editing that Wix has provided.  In preparation for this I have moved all content that wasn’t on my WordPress site to my WordPress site.  And will post all new materials there. jeffreyreum.wordpress.com. I will leave the Wix site jeffreyreum.wixsite.com/ministries up until the new site is ready to launch.  Thank you for your support

His Love Endures Forever

 

 I know I’m a little behind, but I just watched the first episode of NBC’s “A.D.” and there are few things I would like to say.  First I wasn’t taken back by any gross errors like when I watched the first episode of the “Bible” and “Son of God”.  Now to the good stuff, there were many times that I was overwhelmed not in my intellect as I had tried to make it to be but deeper within, a place I don’t know super well.  Overwhelmed to uncontrollable tears, something my “manliness” isn’t proud of, however I allow exceptions for Jesus.  However, my “intellect” had enough to add its piece.  For those who don’t know Tuesday April 14th, 2015 I had my tonsils removed.  My doctor told me to prepare for 2 weeks of horrible pain.  I wishfully hoped that my experience would follow the more favorable sounding ones on the web.  But the extent of my condition that has been brewing for at least 15 years hasn’t allowed that.  The pain I have experienced is definitely in the running for number one in severity, along with rotten teeth and kidney stones.  As watching this I began to wonder, God maybe you have allowed me to experience this, rather than a miraculous healing, to show me, to help me realize how great is your love.  Even now as I write I am overcome, but I cannot explain it much more than that.

 I had wanted to watch this since it aired and haven’t, and I wanted to be well on my way to recovery but I’m not.  This Monday starts the final week of the first class of the last part of getting my bachelors, and I now have to try to do last week’s work, this week’s work, and then final Library project that I haven’t started, all by Sunday April 26th, 2015, but it is at this point of stress, at this point of pain and discomfort that I watched it.  And I realized that all this pain I have experienced, is nothing compared to the pain he had at the end of the whip, under the weight of the cross, being nailed to the cross, and dying on the cross.  My pain didn’t touch His.  And He took it so willingly. (Please see my older post where I elaborate on this more along with the song.)  My wife asked me to get a Q-tip and I had to stop several times on this journey because of grasping some of this truth.

  I ask you take time to take all this in, reflect upon your own pain, watch the show, watch the “Passion: of the Christ” allow it all to sink in.  If you struggle with believes that God love you, this should put that to bed.  This truth will change your life.  This truth will not let me settle for the normal life, 9-5, evening with the kids, vacations every summer, bills paid in advanced.  I cannot sit by and watch the world burn, I cannot sit by while people are dying and going to hell, while people, including children, are cutting themselves thinking they aren’t worth anything, selling themselves like they are nothing, when my God, my King, my savior bleed and died saying otherwise.  The whole world must know His love, they must, and He wants them to.  He is crying out from the heavens, He has been crying out throughout all time, he is crying out to you now, “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, over and over again.   Listen, stop trying to explain it away, accept it, and turn Him away no more.

Watch  The Show

See The story and Lyrics Behind Ransomed

Revelation: The Nature and Authority of Scripture

This a paper I had to write for class.

 Youtube Art.png

Jeffrey Reum

Dr. J. Wallace

Biblical Interpretation

3 May 2015

Revelation: The Nature and Authority of Scripture

         How we view the nature and authority of the scriptures, the Bible, determines the course of our theology, which is the framework of our faith and thus impacts strongly how we live.  To put into question these thing, the nature and authority of the Bible, is to question the very foundation upon which we stand.  This paper will briefly outline my position on the nature, authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of the Bible, which will demonstrate that it is inspired and coauthored by God, and thus an authoritative foundation in which we can place our trust and build our lives upon.

        The nature of the Bible begins with its source; is the Bible written by God or is it a book of human origins.  It is assumed by the general population that God is perfect and man is not.  While many want to paint man in a bright light, we all know that we are capable of great quantities of deceit and evil.  Therefore, it is generally assumed that if the guidelines of the Bible are from God then we should abide by them.  However, if the Bible is written by man then what place does one man have to impose himself above another?  We all have this instinct to be our own bosses and decide what is right on our own.  I myself have very strong inclinations to this.  Because I know that even people with multiple degrees and other credentials are human and capable of being wrong.  So based upon this principle, many people desire to undermine the divine authority and authorship of the Bible, which removes any say It has over how they live their lives.  It is simple another source of human philosophy that seeks to impose itself upon others.  In light of this we can better understand the motivation behind any questioning of the Bible.

         There is more to this thought then simply disproving the Bible.  For example let’s take the following example as reason to test if said book is from God.  The Islamic faith is based upon the teaching of Muhamad, a prophet of Allah, whom many equate to God.  How are we to determine if his book, the Koran, is from God?  We now have two sources claiming the same the thing, the Bible and Koran, but with radically different presentations of what God is like.  Is the Bible true just because it was first?  How are we to decide? The New Dictionary of Theology asserts that both those who are trying to rationally prove or disprove the Bible are both “…making human reason the arbiter of divine realities” (338).  In light of the situation I have presented I think this statement, while I initially agreed, is unfair.  What matters in this situation is motivation.  Have you set out on your quest of proving or disproving the Bible in hopes of giving license to your behavior or an honest search for truth?  Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV).  I have noticed that those who are objectively searching for the truth, even if it is to disprove the Bible, come to the conclusion that the Bible is what it says it is, like Josh McDowell.  While we know the Bible to be true, for someone who has just been presented with that fact to accept it blindly without some evidence could be dangerous.  One, if they were presented with The Book of Mormon we would not want this, and two, often an untested faith is weak.  If is far better to wrestle with these truths and come out on the other side with your faith, than to have not been tested, which won’t happen.  I think it is better to get these things out of the way early, rather than to be blindsided by them later, be it at a secular college, the loss of a loved one, or one of the other many things that drive people away from the faith.

God’s primary route for convincing an individual of the divine nature and authority of His word is the Holy Spirit.  This is alluded to in many places; we find one example of the Holy Spirit confirming what is true in Acts 2:37, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do”” (NIV)?  Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (NIV).  Hebrews 2:3-4 says, “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”  What these verses demonstrate is that Holy Spirit confirms His word as true both by speaking to the inner being of the individual and by miraculous signs.  While there is great merit in putting to bed the questions and criticism of critical Bible scholars, which may mislead some from the faith.  The real power of persuasion belongs to the Holy Spirit.

        While, we should primarily be seeking for the Holy Spirit to move and open people eyes to the truth, the Bible shows that we should not abandon apologetics.  Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).  Paul Coulter list the following passages showing the Biblical case for the intellectual defense of the Gospel: Acts 17: 1-4, 22-34, Acts 26:24-29, Romans 2:15, Philippians 1:7,16, and 1st Peter 3:13-16.  Unbelievers, and/or believers who are struggling with faith in God and His word, are doing so with the influence of Satan’s lies.  John 10:10 states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; …” (NIV).  If he can convince people of anything but the whole truth, he has accomplished this in some degree.  However Jesus says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”” (NIV).  If we truly love our neighbors as our self, then we will be determined to refute any lie that Satan has fed them in hopes that they will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Apologetics is a labor of Love.

         The primary target of those who wish to discredit the Christian faith is the Bible.  It is the foundation of everything that we believe and teach.  Therefore is important that we spend a good portion and our time and energy in its defense.  The first thing we need to focus our attention on is who is the author(s) of the Bible?  Is it a book, as it asserts, written by God as it states in 2 Timothy 3:16, “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (NIV), or is it the work of man designed to accomplish his own will in the name of God.  I argue along with many others that the authorship of the Bible belongs to God, who used men as the physical writers to convey His message(s), in order to accomplish His will.  Which, when boiled down is to reconcile mankind to Himself, establishing and intimate relationship (not sexual) with each individual.  God inspired through many means the human writer(s) to write His words.  “Inspiration can be defined as the process by which God directed individuals, incorporating their abilities and styles, to produce His message to humankind” (Hays 443).  This message given throughout time through many smaller messages can only be understood with this in mind, which dictates that we dive into the context of each of these smaller messages to understand it completely and draw what it means for us today.

         One of the factors that is at stake in this process is the creditability and correctness of the Bible.  The particular aspects we are interested is the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.  “Infallibility signifies the full trustworthiness of a guide that is not deceived and does not deceive” (Ferguson 337).  While, “Inerrancy signifies the total truthfulness of a source of information that contains no mistakes…” (Ferguson 337).  There are many who doubt that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, for many reasons.  One would be is the Bible as we know it actually the word of God or has it been fouled in some way through the years?  I say yes it is the Word God, but my focus today will be on its inerrancy.  One thing that always comes into play is the use of seemingly imprecise information.  These claims are easily put to rest when we understand what is meant by inspired.  We as humans use language in order to organize our thoughts and communicate them and our wishes with others.  This language operates in the framework of the context and culture that we live.  Each section of the Bible is written in the framework of the human author and his literary style.  When I say to my son that he is taken ten years to clean his room, we both know that is an expression meaning he is taking way too long to clean his room and not that it has actually been ten years since he started.  An example this in the Bible is that Jesus rose three days later, this does not mean 36 hours, but it spanned across three days.  Many assert that this “imprecision” is equivalent to error.  The only error in this case is the reader forcing his/her own contextual cultural framework onto the text.  The use of rounding and approximations, loose quotations, or even poor grammar and literary style does not mean that the Bible contains factual errors.  But that in comparison to the readers framework of how things should be said it is considered an error.  However, when desiring to understand the meaning of the text intended by the author it is important that we understand the context, culture, and literary styles of the author (Hays 146).  When we approach these seemingly imprecise parts of the Bible in this manner, many of the objections of critical Bible scholars are put to rest.

        The authority of the Bible is dependent upon the fact that it is written by God and both infallible and inerrant.  Once we have accepted these facts, we must come to the conclusion that there is a God who has made the universe, all that is in it, and even us.  Then it would only be logical that He has authority over us, and thus His word has authority.  The rub is when we either reject His authority based upon the fact we don’t acknowledge the above facts, or think that we know better.  I am seeing some of this with my son.  He is very intelligent and thinks he knows best.  This creates a lot of friction, and it is and will be a long process in teaching him to trust me.  Much like it is when we set out to learn to trust God.  Even those who are attempting to do this set themselves over the text and accept the things that seem right and dispute the things that don’t some of this is the result of not understanding the framework in which the particular text of the Bible in question was written.  Other times is the result of conflicting values with the culture we were raised in.  Hays states that because of this, “… we miss one of the main points of the Bible, namely, that the biblical message is from God and is above culture.  The challenge is to critique our culture with the Bible and not vice versa” (Hays 143).  When we do this we are truly honoring the authority of the Bible.

         In conclusion, I restate the truth that The Bible is the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God, which was written through human individuals, and is the ultimate authority for all of our lives.  And despite this human element in the authorship the Bible, “says exactly what God wants it to say and has not been corrupted by human mistakes” (Hays 446).

Works Cited

Ferguson, Sinclair B., David F. Wright, J. I. Packer. The New Dictionary of Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity, 1988. Print.

Hays, J. Daniel, J. Scott Duvall. Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. Print.

Holy Bible, New International Version. Biblica. 2012. Biblegateway.com. Web March 27, 2015.

McDowell, Josh, Sean McDowell.. More Than a Carpenter. Carol Stream, IL:. Tyndale House, 2009. ebook.

The Gospel of The Kingdom

First Posted: March 1, 2016

 

Below is a paper I just wrote for my class Jesus and the Kingdom at Life Pacific College for the Degree Completion Program.  I’m sharing this because it speaks to thing I think we as the church in America can need to think about.  The paper is a quickly written brief exploration of the topic, but I hope it inspires us to explore it more.

Jeffrey Reum

Brian Tomhave

Bi331X Jesus and the Kingdom (online)

1 March 2016

Gospel of the Kingdom

     2000 years ago Jesus Christ walked the Earth proclaiming that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matt 7:10).  As He did this he brought on 12 intentional disciples that He trained to do as he did, which include the working of miracles, mostly healings and exorcisms.  These miracles were considered a part of this message now labeled the Gospel, which upon His departure, He commanded his disciples to proclaim in all the Earth.  A reading of the book Acts reveals stories of their obedience accompanied by the hand of God, which stirred up the known world within a lifetime.  Nearly 2000 years later this message that began with a group of less than 200 has been embrace to some degree by billions of people.  However, for many the message has become polluted and/or diluted.  This paper will depict a picture of this message and its execution as it would look unpolluted/diluted, demonstrating that the same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us and wants to get out (Rom 8:11).

     The first thing we must address in order to return to the purest form of the Gospel, is what is the purest form of the Gospel.  I would argue that Jesus’ definition of the Gospel would be the purest, and most be discover unadulterated by our current culture and thus find His message as intended for the culture of His time.  According to Matthew 4:17, Jesus’ initial message was to “repent for the Kingdom of God is near”.  And again Matthew 4:23 states that Jesus was “proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom.”  A quick search in an electronic Bible (the Gospels) for the word kingdom reveals a plethora of hits written in red.  Clearly the Kingdom of God was central to the message of Jesus.  So the question is what is the Kingdom of God, and what did Jesus have to say about it?  As I searched through my hits with the word Kingdom, it became clear to me that Jesus’ message about the Kingdom was largely focused upon entrance to the Kingdom, who is going to make it, and who is going to be appointed to authority.  But there were also key stories that revealed its nature as well, this is the focus of the paper.

    The first point of the nature of the Kingdom that I want to discuss is that of fellowship with the King.  This is the most significant part of the nature of the Kingdom and all of creation, and because of this Jesus taught so much about entrance into the Kingdom. Over and over again he explained that a day will come where the final selection process will happen.  A parable that captures this is that of the wedding feast found in Matt 22:1-14.  Jesus speaks about a feast that the Father has prepared for His Son, and He sent out invitations inviting people to come.  The Father is inviting us to the most intimate of fellowship, a meal.  Time and time again through the entirety of God’s Word He is inviting people to fellowship, inviting them to be His people and He would be their God.  He longs for this so much that He let Jesus get be beat, abused, tortured, mocked, and killed to pay for it.  He gave it all for the pearl of Great price (Matt 13:45-46)  It says in revelation that there will not be a temple in the new Jerusalem because God and Jesus will be the temple, we will have direct access to them, face to face like Moses.  We won’t need a sun or moon because they will give us light.  The beauty of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached is that God made a way for broken sin laden people who were unworthy of entrance to His Kingdom and access to Him, to have it.

     The other point of the nature of the Kingdom is that of its deliverance from the works of Hell.  In John 12:31 Jesus says tate Satan is the ruler of this world.  The popular understanding is that God gave us this position in Genesis, but we lost it to Satan when Adam sinned.  As a result of this sin, death and decay entered the world.  Beforehand, there was no sin, no death, no sickness, no hunger, no thirst, no deformities, no blindness, and the list goes on and on.  These are all the work of Hell.  On the other hand God is a good father who gives good gifts and all things that are good come from Him (Mt 7:11, James 1:17).  In  Mathew 12:25-29 Jesus is responding to accusation that He is performing His miracles with the power of Satan.  He essential says this; that I have come and bound the strong man (Satan) and plundered him of his stolen goods, bringing freedom to those whom God loves from his devices, that this mean the Kingdom of God has come near.  Thus the Kingdom of God is one devoid of all suffering.

The question about all this is if the Kingdom of God has come as Jesus puts it, then why are people still oppressed by the devil?  The understanding is that if His Kingdom has come then Satan’s is no more.  That brings us to the idea that the Kingdom of God is present but not yet.  One day God’s rule will once again be established over all of creation, the angelic host, demonic forces, mankind, and the Earth.  For the time being Satan and His posse have be given free reign in the planet (sort of), so thus their works that bring suffering are all around.  However the reign of the hearts of men can only be given by the individual.  Satan procures this through the means of deception, either through lies or by withholding the truth (Rev 12:9).  One day God will banish him to the fiery lake but in the meantime he has power.  The present aspect of the Kingdom of God is that the truth, His truth, has been revealed and accepted by some of the sons of man. For these the Kingdom God has now been given reign.  The reality is for man war has been over territory and resources, but in the spiritual realm it is over the souls of men but territory is still an element.  When Jesus said the Kingdom of God has come it was because He brought it with Him.  He was like an elite special force soldier, better than even the folk lore of Chuck Norris, taking back territory from Satan.

     As disciples of Jesus we have been called to follow Him, which mean doing as He did.  In John 14:12 He even says that we will do greater things than He has.  In the great commission of Mark 16, He tells His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.  And then he asserts that those who believe in Him will drive out demons, speak in new tongues, not be hurt by snakes or poison, and heal the sick.  We are to be the elite Special Forces for the Kingdom of God, bringing freedom from the works of Hell to all that we come into contact with.

     In my community I am aware of the following: sickness, poverty, enslavement to substance abuse, neglected children, abused children, people with cronic seizures, and the list goes on and on.  People who are precious to God have been enslaved and bound by the enemy.  It doesn’t matter what it is the Gospel address it all.  The problem is we haven’t done was it necessary to have the Kingdom, and thus we aren’t brining it.  We aren’t selling it all to get the treasure in the field (Matt 13:44).  We aren’t living up to the requirements.  In fact part of the requirements is doing what we can to alleviate these things with the talents we have already been given.  We aren’t even really fulfilling the command to go and preach, ie being messengers inviting others to the Kingdom.  And when we do they don’t see it, because we don’t really have it to the full.  In Acts the power of God gave testimony to the message.  For us even when we do, do our job His power isn’t present to confirm it.  Before we can address the needs of the community with the Gospel of the Kingdom we need to submit to its requirements.  The best thing we can do for our community is fall on our face before the King and admit our sin of complacency and devotion to other masters (Matt 6:24).  We need to look deep within ourselves and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in correcting what we are doing.

      In conclusion I want to state what an eye opening experience this class and exercise has been.  I was unaware of how much development my understanding of the Kingdom of God needed.  It wasn’t that I was off or anything but that I hadn’t been fully gripped by its reality.  It is amazing how focusing on and studying the word or God can change us.  I hope that I have been successful in communication the reality that this was the message of Jesus, that freedom from sin and the second death is only the beginning of His works.  That what He did wasn’t only for the future ecological consummation at the end, a better after life, but it was for a currently life infused with the powerful Spirit of God Almighty.  That we have been equipped to do all that is necessary to be part of God’s messenger squad for the Great Banquet.  The Kingdom of God is something that He wants to make available to all, but we and those whom are invited must make a choice of whom we will serve.  Unfortunately what this means is something that has not been discussed in this paper due to time and focus.  The Kingdom of God will be fully established one day but the invitation secures our place in it, but also offers itself for the here and now.  Also acceptance of the invitation requires our participation in inviting others.

Works Cited

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001. Print.

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

A New Adventure

Hello Friends,

Today I begin a new adventure, blogging.  I do so for a couple of reasons; 1, I like to write and share my ideas, many of which are unconventional and I believe would be beneficial to the world, 2. I heard that you can generate an income from blogging.  Personally I live for the Gospel and have things on my heart to do that would use up time slots that many employers expect.  For example for the longest time I have wanted to start an after school program for my youth group, Fusion After school.  To do this I would need to be available from 2pm to 5 or 6pm Monday thru Friday.  This doesn’t account for the time needed for administration, planning, meetings, phone calls, etc.

Bear with me a moment while I hash a couple avenues and I will get to the sorts of things I hope to share.  I have discovered three avenues so far in my research, advertising (ad networks and affiliate), sell something (for me ebooks and songs), or possible through monthly donations.  At this point I haven’t landed on an idea just yet.  I’m not a big fan of plastering ads all over my site that is meant to provide spiritual insight. I could if need be do some Christian affiliate advertising, if I like the product.  I like the idea of selling books but I need some time to write them.  The monthly donation route has been something that has came to mind many times but I’m not sure about what is appropriate, legal, and what the tax implications are.

One thing I have learned about this is that getting to a point where a blog is able to generate significant income takes time and is dependent on on traffic.  So I figure I got some time to land on something, and in the meantime build an audience as they say and do some hustling in order to make a living and remain open to the needs of ministry and my family.  (By the way I can clean carpets, refinish hardwoods, low voltage wiring, moderate pc work, moderate carpentry, laying hardwood, websites, etc) LOL!  Now that that stuff is out of the way, and I question myself on how much I should have shared, I invite you along on the journey as I begin to blog.

In the side bar I have a list of categories of topics covered or that expected to cover along this journey.  Either lessons learned or reflections I have had.  As a father of six pursuing ministry and a degree I learned quite a bit about family life, father hood, and discipling children.  As I have bumbled my way through trying to run a world class Hell stomping disciple factory of a youth group I have learned some key lessons.  In addition I have made some leadership blunders and learned a lot while at Life Pacific.  One of my favorite things to talk about though is what I’m calling the pursuit of the Divine.

What I mean by pursuit of the Divine, is in regards to the discrepancy between

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”” (Mark 16:17–18, ESV)

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14, ESV)

These verses do not seem to fit with the modern experience of the North American Church.  Personally I stand by scripture as being accurate and the problem exist in man not God.  The pursuit of the Divine is a pursuit of the manifest presence of God and the revival of the Church.  The Lord has shown me many areas for us to improve.  The way I understand the Gospel and the Christian life is through the lens of what scripture reveals the heartbeat of God to be, and not so much as a sterile lifeless duty.  A blend of grace and truth, understanding the value of each person with out short cutting the call to holiness, righteousness, and complete and total commitment to the Lord.

Overall in this post, I know it isn’t something super exciting and engaging but I wanted to provide an explanation and allow you guys to become a part of my world.  So strap in, hold and prepare for what I believe will be an exciting journey.  I truly believe that what I have to share will add value to your life and/or ministry.