Thursday, August 29, 2013


                                             Love, Died, Cross, Thorns, Crown, Heart    

     The importance of the inspiration of the Bible is foundational to the Christian faith. If the Bible were just a collection of writings by men, without God's authorship, it would be spiritually worthless. The inspiration of the Word of God is the very basis for referring to the Bible as the Word of God. Through the fact of the inspiration of scripture we are able to know that the words contained therein are true and reliable. There are many proofs to verify the inspiration of the Bible.

One such proof is the fact that the Bible accurately deals with prophetic content. No other religious writing even dares forecast future events while the Bible not only predicts the future, but does so inerrantly. The Old Testament is filled with prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. Every one of those prophecies have either been fulfilled by the life of Jesus Christ or will be fulfilled at His second coming. One such example is found in Psalm 22 where we find David giving a very detailed description of a death by crucifixion hundreds of years before this type of capitol punishment even existed.

Another proof of the inspiration of the Bible is the cohesiveness of each of it's 66 books. Imagine endeavoring to put together a compilation of writings written over a 1500 year period by over 40 different authors and all of it with one common theme, the redemption of mankind through one person, the God/man, Jesus Christ. This would be an impossible undertaking if it were attempted by the power of man, but as Jesus told us Matthew 19:26 - “with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible. It is difficult to get four people together who agree theologically, yet the Bible was written by over 40 authors, most of whom never met, and yet were able to put forth the same message with out contradiction or error. This could only be accomplished by the power and inspiration of God.

Historical and Archaeological evidence also supports the inspiration of scripture. Indeed the Bible was written over a 1500 year period by over 40 different authors and amazingly does not contain one historical flaw or archaeological inaccuracy. In fact, many archaeological discoveries have been made by the direction of the Bible. One such discovery is the real Mt. Sinai discovered by archaeologist Ron Wyatt, in what is now Saudi Arabia. Wyatt used the Biblical account of the Exodus to discover the location of the Israeli camp in which Moses received the 10 commandments from God.

The Bible itself testifies as to it's own inspiration. II Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God...” Although a self description does not usually hold any veracity, that is not the case in this instance. As the Bible has been tested and tried by almost every generation, it has maintained it's integrity under heavy scrutiny. This scrutiny testifies to the truth of the above verse. When the Bible has been found true under every verifiable measure, that which is not verifiable becomes acceptable by default.

What we find ourselves with is a solid accounting of God's plan and dealings with mankind, given to us by God Himself as He inspired ordinary men who made themselves available to His will. The Bible has been unsuccessfully attacked by it's critics for ages past and has stood up to all scrutiny. God continues to remove the evidence of those who would claim He does not exist or that His word is not true because that evidence is nothing more than false claims and baseless accusations.



  This was the second book I have read by Raymond Khoury.  I came across Raymond Khoury at a library sale where two of his books were in the religious fiction category.  Overall I enjoyed the story very much as well as the subject matter.  As a conspiracy buff, I was definitely attracted to the secret society verses the Roman Church plot line.  As a student of the Bible, I felt the author was a little sloppy with his Biblical history.  On page 92 we read a very sketchy version of the building of the two Temples in Jerusalem.  The book states that the first Temple was started by David after God's command and completed by Solomon.  In reality, according to the only historical account, David desired to build a Temple for God but God would not allow it as David had shed too much blood.  God declared that Solomon would build the Temple.  David did gather the building materials and began the manufacturing of the items used in the Temple, but the Temple itself was completely constructed under Solomon's command.  The book also leads the reader to believe that immediately after Solomon's death, Israel was invaded.  This did not happen for hundred's of years after the death of Solomon.  Also, the book inaccurately states that the second Temple was built by King Herod.   The second Temple was constructed under the command of Ezra the priest as recorded in the Old Testament account of Ezra.  Herod later added on to the existing Temple.  While this may seem nit picky on my part, a book dealing with history should at least get it's facts straight.  When I read this mishandling of history I was unable to fully rely on the veracity of the rest of the historical content of the book.
     The basic story is the power struggle between the Vatican and the Knight's Templar, during the middle ages.  The knights had supposedly uncovered a writing of Jesus Christ in which proved that He was only a man and never claimed divinity nor Messiahship.  High ranking members of the Roman Church find out about the writing and due to unbelief on their part, believe it to be genuine without verification and embark on a deadly mission to suppress any knowledge of the book before it destroys the faith of all believers.
     The book deals with some very important issues of faith.  Also highlighted is the greed and corruption of the Vatican.  Unfortunately, Khoury completely ignores protestant Christianity as if it does not exist.  Khoury gives the impression that the Roman Church is the only voice in Christianity.  Khoury does a great job of exposing the faithlessness of the leadership of the Vatican while being sensitive to the adherents of the Catholic faith, many of whom are devout believers. What Khoury does not handle well is the Bible itself.  Presented throughout the book are arguments against the canon of scripture and especially the Gospel accounts.  Charges are made concerning the reliability of the 4 gospel accounts in the New Testament.  These arguments against the authenticity of the Gospels are easily destroyed by just a little bit of research into the early church.  The Gospels were written during a time when many eyewitnesses were still alive who could have, and would have, exposed the writings as fraudulent.  The fact that each of the 11 disciples who witnessed Christ's resurrection were killed for their testimony should prove that the testimony of the Gospel writers is true. Who would die defending a lie, certainly not 11 people telling the same lie.  Khoury also attempts to bring up other "gospel" accounts that have been proven to be counterfeit writings produced many years after the first apostles were dead.
     Overall I enjoyed the story and the plot line.  I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.  One item I felt was unnecessary was the gratuitous sex between the two main characters, it did not drive the plot or contribute to the story in any way, it was disappointing behavior by the male character who made much of his so called faith and relationship with God.
       I do not necessarily recommend this book based on the liberal use of foul language and the one sexual encounter that could have definitely been left out.  Otherwise, The Last Templar is a fast paced read that will satisfy any mystery/thriller fan.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


   The turmoil in the nation of Egypt has been a central news story for some time now. These events are also, seemingly, central to Bible prophecy and remind us that we are living in the last days.   First, a revolution that unseated long time president and one time ally of the United States, Hosni Mubarak, next the installation of he Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, and now a bloody military coup in which Egyptians are killing Egyptians for control of the government.  Prior to these events, Egypt has had a stabilizing effect in the Middle East.  Though a mostly Muslim country, Egypt has a large, and until recently, unpersecuted, Christian population.  For the most part, Egypt was a friend to the America, and peaceful toward Israel.
   The trouble started when as President Mubarak consolidated control over the country and became more of a dictator than a president, much as the the Shaw of Iran did back in the 1970's. As in the case of the Shaw, the people wanted Mubarak out and instead of the U S defending it's friend and ally and attempting to negotiate for better conditions in the country, bad foreign policy led to an extremist Islamic group taking control of the country.  In Iran, the Ayatollah, a Muslim pope, in a sense, runs the country, and in Egypt, Morsi, of the extremist group, the Muslim Brotherhood took over.
 The Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist Islamic group that advocates Sharia law. What once began as a humanitarian group, has now, almost 100 years later, become an advocate of Jihad.  The creed of the Muslim Brotherhood is:  Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. (emphasis added)  The Muslim Brotherhood is not a friend to America nor it's belief in personal freedom.  The Muslim Brotherhood does seem to be a friend to our president, which is somewhat disconcerting.

Unrest in Islamic countries is nothing new, anyone who reads the paper or watches national news knows that unrest in the Middle East is almost the norm.  What is notable is the fact that today's headlines concerning Egypt seem to be taken right from the pages of Bible prophecy.  The prophet Isaiah foretold these events almost 3 thousand years ago as they were revealed to him by God.  Look with me, if you would, at this passage from Isaiah 19:

Isaiah 19:2-4  And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom; 
  and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;   and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. 

The next several verses pertain to the Nile river being dried up and having "bare spots". Interestingly, there is much turmoil over the Nile river as other nations are utilizing it's waters for agriculture and even low cost energy production, causing consternation in Egypt concerning the loss of water in the river itself.  Speaking of the Nile river going dry just a few years ago would have been laughable, but today is a growing concern as water rights treaties are being ignored or revisited.

The passage in Isaiah continues :

Isaiah 19:12-16  Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt. 
  The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have made Egypt stagger. 
  The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit. 
 And there will be nothing for Egypt that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do. 
  In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 

This passage shows two notable things, first, the leaders of Egypt are the cause of the turmoil and confusion, which evident and second, that this turmoil will continue until the Lord returns.  If the events in Egypt today are indeed the fulfillment of this prophecy, there will be no quick solution.  Interestingly, verse 17 of the above passage refers to Judah being a terror to Egypt, could it be that these events are a build up to the events that would cause a world leader to broker a treaty between Israel and "the many" as the Bible tells us will happen just prior the the Great Tribulation?

We are certainly living in exciting times, as events foretold thousands of years ago are beginning to unfold before our very eyes.  Since 1948, the world seems to be back on the prophetic timeline and events are happening at an escalating pace.  We need to pray for the people of Egypt, especially the Coptic Christians who are experiencing escalated persecution.  As of this writing over 800 people have been killed due to government instability and the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.  As in all things, faith in the God of the Bible through Jesus Christ is the only answer to true peace.

I encourage you to read the whole of Isaiah 19, especially the last verses that pertain to God bringing Egypt into a time of peace after the return of Christ.  Please join me in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Egyptian church and as always for the peace of Jerusalem.  I quote John the Revelator: "amen, come Lord Jesus!"

Sunday, August 4, 2013


The following essay is part of my exam for Systematic Theology as is the preceding essay An Overview of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit.  

    The person and nature of Christ, very simply put, is He is 100% God and 100% man. John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. John further explains, in verse 14, that the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew demonstrate the human ancestry of Christ while the Gospel of John and most of the New Testament writers demonstrate the deity of Christ. As demonstrated above, John specifically declares that Jesus is God in the flesh.

We find in the person of Christ all the attributes of God that are exclusive to God.
In His omniscience, Christ knows all things as demonstrated by Jesus revealing His knowledge of the Samaritan woman in John chapter 11. In His omnipresence, Christ is all places at all times as demonstrated in Matthew 18:20 when He declared that when 2 or 3 are gathered together, He is in their midst. If two or three are gathered in multiple places, then Jesus would have to be in more than one place at at a time in order for this to be truthful. In His omnipotence, Christ is all-powerful.
This is revealed to us in Matthew 28:18 when Jesus Himself declares that “all power is given unto me.” Paul also testifies to the power of Christ in relation to his own weakness, in 2 Corinthians 12:9. In His immutability, we see that Christ does not change. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same “today, yesterday, and forever.”

These attributes are exclusive to God and all attributable to Christ, demonstrating that He is indeed God. His humanity cannot be denied due to the fact that He is born of a woman, descended from a specific family line traceable back to Adam, the fact that He is shown eating and drinking, the fact that he suffered pain and the fact that He was killed. All the evidence of scripture demonstrates that Jesus is God and man in every sense. 


      The Holy Spirit is the active agent of the God-head in the salvation of the lost. Prior to salvation, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict the sinner of his lost state. In John 16 Jesus explains the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the lost. Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin. This means that the work of the Holy Spirit amongst unbelievers is to reveal their sin and cause them to recognize a need for salvation through Christ. The Spirit accomplishes this through a number of ways. One such way is when the Spirit of God quietly speaks to the heart of an unbeliever, pointing out short-comings and failures. This is one reason why the self esteem movement is so dangerous as it deceives people into believing that they are good in and of themselves and there is no need for God or salvation. Self esteem teaching becomes the antithesis of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of an unbeliever.

Another way the Spirit works in the hearts and minds of unbelievers is through the lives of believers of whom the Spirit dwells. As we are tabernacles of the living God, we are indwelt by the Spirit of God and are used to convey the message of God in both word and deed. I Peter 1:1 demonstrates this in the life of a believing wife as she bears witness of her faith through her godly lifestyle. This verse points out that at wife through her actions will demonstrate God to her unbelieving husband and that will supplant the Word of God in his life when he does not read the Word. As believers we are called to bear witness to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 12:11-12 Jesus tells the disciples that they need not worry about what to say when they are brought before rulers and questioned but that the Spirit would tell them what to say. We too must be in tune with the Spirit of God that we may be able to hear and speak the words He places in our hearts for the lost.

The work of the Spirit does not end when a person comes to salvation, the Spirit then indwells the believer and becomes a comforter, a guide and a counselor, bringing about the work of sanctification in our lives. Romans 8:29 tells us that we have been predestined to be transformed into the very image of Christ. That is the work of sanctification, the Spirit making us useful for kingdom work.

Saturday, August 3, 2013



  This film is based on a true life case of supernatural investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren.  In 1971, they investigated a haunting in a farm house in Rhode Island that turned out to be a demonic manifestation that, according to the current homeowners, continues to this today.  As far as movie quality goes, the film was well made, the acting was very good and the story moved along smoothly with not plot holes.   I would give the production a high rating.

The content of the movie, however, is another story.  I came out of the film with very mixed feelings.  While the scenes of the actual haunting seemed authentic, the movie veered off, for me, when it got into the demonic possession of the Carolyn Perron.  The basic plot of the film is the Perron family moves into a large farm house with a sinister past.  The farm house is haunted by past occupants and other various ghosts who died in connection with the house.  Famed demonologists, Ed and Lorrain Warren are called upon to help the family.  The story progresses to the point where Carolyn Perron becomes possessed by the evil spirit of a witch who committed suicide after sacrificing her baby to Satan.  Carolyn Perron then attempts to kill 2 of her 5 daughters as the Warrens race against time to rescue the children.  The Warrens are able to prevent the murder of the little girls and exorcise the demon from Carolyn Perron and everyone lives happily ever after.

     Normally, I would not give a film like this a second thought but due to the fact it was based on a true story, my wife, who hates horror movies, especially ones dealing with the demonic, showed an interest.  I checked the content on Internet Movie Data Base, which is a great resource for checking inappropriate content in films ( and checked out the review on Christian Spotlight on Entertainment ( and decided that we could give the movie a shot.

The film deals with many Biblical themes such as God, demons, prayer, and baptism, and puts these subjects in the proper light, for the most part.  To be honest, some scenes disturbed me to the point where I was actually wanting to get up and walk out of the theater on the ruse of using the rest room.  I do not scare easily, nor do movies based on supernatural occurrences affect me, but this movie contained material that hit pretty close to home for me on a personal basis, any one who has lived in a home that was  inhabited by an active demonic force would agree.  The presentation of the haunting was extremely accurate and realistic.  Where the film veers off into Hollywood fantasy was in the possession of Carolyn Perron.  By this point in the film, reality had departed.  The filmmakers knew that they needed to climatic ending so they wrote an exciting happy Hollywood ending.

The truth of the matter is that the Perron family lived in the house for 10 years and the activity never ended. No possession, no big exorcism, no big happy ending.   Others have occupied the home and have also reported strange happenings.  The film also failed to make the point that these manifestations were not the departed souls of dead people, but demons who had taken on the persona of those people to gain entry into the lives of the occupants of the home.  Haunting is real, the spirit world is real, most people's idea of what haunting and spirits are is false.  The Bible is very clear that to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD.  If one is to believe the Bible one has to conclude that the spirits of the dead are not trapped here unable to move on.  The fact that the Warrens were called denonologists lends credence to the fact that they understood this truth.

I would not recommend this film to anyone unless they were grounded in the understanding that the demonic realm is very real and not to be dabbled in.  I was pleased that Biblical themes were dealt with properly, but was very disappointed that the film went for the schlocky possession/exorcism ending.  Overall I would give this film an A for production value, an A for entertainment value, and a C for redeeming content.  I am not sorry I saw it, but it is not something I would run out and tell people to go see.